Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm going to tell this week's story backwards . . .after children's church one of the kids came up to me and said that he wanted to get baptized, so I told him we should talk to his mom about it. She was there to pick him up and he went over to tell her while I got the rest of the kids off to Sunday School. When it was just the three of us in the Chapel foyer, Connor said that he wanted to get baptized and I asked him if he knew what that meant. He said something about getting your sins forgiven and living for Jesus. I then explained to him that we ask Jesus to forgive our sins first, then we get baptized to show our church family about our decision to follow Jesus.

We talked about what sin is, and how Jesus is the only one who can forgive our sins. Connor admitted that he has sinned (against mom, but not dad:-). I told him he could pray and ask God to forgive his sins and make him a child of God right then or he could wait and think about it. At first he said he wanted to wait, but then (on his own) he decided he was ready! Praise the Lord! We prayed, mom and I cried and heaven had a celebration! So you may be in for a baptism next Sunday!

Connor has been coming to Grace since he was a baby. When he was a shy toddler and wasn't too excited about mom leaving him in the nursery and two year old class, Mom was consistent (and those teachers loved him). Mom stuck with him and with the importance of him being in church. Over the years, it has been a joy to watch Connor grow. He's now a first grader and super involved with the Grace Kids! He loves to be here and he's a joy to have around!

Connor has seen his mom and dad be faithful, he's talked about God with them at home, he's heard them pray, he's seen them love and serve others in Jesus' name. Connor's parents would probably tell you that they're not perfect and they haven't done everything exactly right...but let me tell you what they have done right - They have loved Jesus and Connor has seen that!

What a perfect way to end a day where our children's church lesson was on Elijah and Elisha from 2 Kings 2.1-14. We acted out the story and learned that just as Elisha had learned to be a man of God by following Elijah, we can look for godly people to show us how to be people of God.

Of course, you are the number one person that your child is learning from! This will always be true. I also trust that there are others in their lives who are pointing them to Jesus and teaching them to serve, give, love, pray and read their Bibles; but YOU will always be the number one influencer of your children. Don't ever let "the world" tell you otherwise!

Here are some things to talk about this week as we continue to explore this story:

Read the scripture together and talk about what you learn from it.

Tell your children about the people who have helped you followed Jesus.

Ask the kids things that they have learned from you and others about following Jesus.

Remind the kids that other people are looking at their lives too and that they are not just followers, but they are also leaders who can point people to Jesus.

Here's one last interesting thought from Highlights Magazine: "Three out of four kids said that they get to spend enough time with their family, but about 25% would like more time. Slightly more children ages 9 to 12 want more time with their parents than kids ages 5 to 8."

Note that: Even though the your kids are growing up, they're not out-growing you!

Okay, enough of my ramblings! Keep on loving your kids and don't be afraid to talk with them about God stuff. They don't care if you know all the answers! Remember that your heavenly Father loves you perfectly and is more than willing to give wisdom if you ask!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just doing my job

So I got pulled over by a Columbia policeman one day last week. As I turned out of the Walgreen parking lot, I was in the process of putting on my seat belt. I stopped at a red light and as soon as I started to move, he turned his lights on so I pulled over. When the officer walked up to the van, he introduced himself and asked if I knew why he had pulled me over.

I responded, "Because I didn't quite have that seat belt all of the way buckled when I pulled out of Walgreen?"

"Actually, you have a brake light out. I didn't notice your seat belt thing." Then almost as an afterthought, "But thank you for being honest. "

It didn't occur to me to be anything but honest and while he ran my license and registration info, I straightened up the front of the van a little bit.

When the officer came back, he was filling out his form (only a warning, thank goodness!) and asked where I worked. I told him Grace Church of the Nazarene and without missing a beat he said, "You guys do a really great Halloween thing over there. I bring my kids every year."

I thanked him for his kind words and for only giving me a warning. He explained that the paperwork would show that he had been doing his job to keep people safe, he didn't want anyone rear-ending me. Then he thanked me again for being honest about the seat belt situation, like that was really amazing or something.

All that to say, he didn't see me putting my seat belt on so if I'd never said a word it wouldn't have mattered and we still would've had our nice little conversation about Family Fall Fun Fest. But hopefully because I was honest, it made an impression on him about me - not as a pastor, or even a member of Grace Church but as a follower of Christ. This isn't about me, but what I'm getting at is: I don't do the things I do, act the way I act or go the places I go (or don't go) because I am a pastor, but because I am a follower of Christ and everywhere I go, whether I realize it or not, people are looking at my life to see Jesus.

That very kind officer was just doing his job that day and I was just doing mine - being a follow of Jesus. Are you doing yours?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This week's lesson was on the story of David showing EXTREME kindness to Mephibosheth (ask your kids how to pronounce it if they were in children's church! :-). This story comes from 2 Samuel 9.1-13 and is an awesome example of what grace really is!

In comparison to what David's kindness meant for Mephibosheth, we learned about what God's grace means in our lives: we haven't done anything to deserve God's love, sin separates us from a pure and holy God, but God comes looking for us and loves us because of Jesus. God makes us a part of his family and gives us a home when we accept his gift.

We will continue exploring this story Wednesday night with more activities!

Some questions to discuss:

Why did David show such extreme kindness to Mephibosheth?
Where to you see God's grace in your life?
How can the kindness you show to others make a difference in their lives?

Your kids are awesome! I am glad to be a part of their lives and to be able to assist you in raising people of God!

You are loved,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Little Disciples

Had to take a minute from a book I'm reading called "Walk With Me" by Hal Perkins to share with you an "aha" moment . . .

Have you ever thought of your kids as your disciples? Just as we are supposed to be disciples of Jesus - to walk the way he walked, and talk the way he talked - our kids are following us. How are you leading them? What are you teaching by the things you say, the way you react, how you spend your time? Wow! That's big!

The Grace Kids ministry team is here to help you as you endeavor to raise people of God . . .as you follow Jesus, go make disciples at home!


Monday, February 1, 2010

The Tower of Babel

This seems like an excellent tool to keep you updated on what the kids are learning in children's church and on Wednesday nights, so in addition to any random thoughts I post, you can check this out to get the conversation going with your kids about their Bible lessons! (We start a lesson/topic on Sunday morning and continue with activities on that same lesson on Wednesday nights . . .

This Sunday we will be looking at the Tower of Babel from Genesis 11.1-9. This is a great story that reminds us that we should do the things we do to bring attention to God, not ourselves. Sometimes we get so focused on things - good things, even things for God - that we leave him out of the picture. We don't ask for his help or guidance, and then we sit back and think about what a good job we've done. Yikes! When we do that, we've missed the point! God showed the people in the Bible story that they were nothing without him. Usually, when we feel like "nothing", it's because we've been trying to do things on our own.

Things to talk about:

How can we keep God as the center of all we do?
When someone gives us a compliment for a job "well done", how do we give glory to God?
Start each day with a prayer, for God to guide you.
Pick a verse, or part of a verse think about it when your brain is free - for ex. "Let them all praise the name of the Lord, for his name is very great" Psalm 148.13.