Protection and the Illusion of Control

As a dad I want to protect my kids.

I will do anything in my power to keep them safe.

BUT, “my power” is so limiting because children, make individual choices….

 

I tell them not to talk to strangers, they offer them donuts

I tell them not to run and they race through the china shop

I tell them to be kind and they throw fists

 

My power is so limiting… It is an illusion…

My desire to protect does have a foundation…

My goal as a parent is lead them to that foundation…

 

Foundations are future choices at the conception of  current ideas and thought

Foundations are felt but can not be Forced

Foundations take Trust or fear will be the foundation

Foundations are proven when Faith is needed

 

 

We all will build a life by the choices we make…. What is your foundation?

 

 

 

 

Here We Go…

So, I am leaving on a Jet Plane… I am hoping I won’t be back…. The same person I was when I left…

Many have asked, If I am afraid of going… Not Really… I am honestly more afraid of NOT going… Leaving is scary but you know, not leaving is even more scary to me….
Who knows what I might have missed out on if I had stayed…

I talked with a friend earlier about Obedience and acting out of Obedience to do what God has called, gifted and prepared you to do… We both agreed that Obedience in the tough times of life is both uncomfortable and necessary for growth in your relationship with Jesus… So I will go in Obedience…

Obedience to go, when “my work” is here.
Obedience to go, when the summer just got two weeks shorter.
Obedience to go, when the unknown is there and known is here.
Obedience to go, when the hugs from my children and beautiful wife are here.

Am I afraid nope. Why because I know I am loved by Jesus and I am willing to be obedient to His call, and the doors He opens… He. is. Faithful. Always.

I read this passage this morning and it encouraged me. I hope it does the same for you:
Psalm 108:12b-13a
All human help is useless. 
With God’s help we will do mighty things

Please Pray: 
For my team: We will be working a youth camp, we will need His Help
For me: That I experience Him and His Love in greater ways than I can imagine
For my family: Grace and the kids, Especially Tyler (He’s Two Year Old Bruiser)

 

 

The Act of Faith

But seriously, how often do I really have to trust Jesus with my life?

Hear me out… I have a great job, great relationship with my wife (by the Grace of God), great family life, my kids love me, great friendships! Overall things in my life are pretty predictable. I wake up, I exercise, make breakfast for my kids, go to work, come home, eat dinner, play with my kids, kiss my wife, help put the kids to bed and then go to bed.

When I read scripture I notice that Jesus was always putting opportunities for the disciples to “use their faith in God.” This is above the normal faith in Jesus to just exist in a community. This was stuff nobody else was doing, stand out and move out kind of action in faith for God to move type of opportunity! Recently, I was reading in Mark 14. Where Jesus sends his disciples (First Followers) into Jerusalem to prepare for the passover meal. He gives them simple instructions: Follow the pitcher.
You can read it here:

Matthew 14:13-16

13 So Jesus sent two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: “As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ 15 He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” 16 So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

I wonder what it was like for those disciples as they approached the city. Did they have doubts, “Jesus said a man would carry the pitcher right?” Or maybe “did Jesus say before the city or after we entered that the pitcher man would be found”…  Regardless of what their doubts were, they showed the Act of Faith! They didn’t sit around allowing doubts and fears to stop them from accomplishing the mission Jesus had sent them on: Follow the pitcher.

Right now the pitcher I am following, the thing that is requiring unusually large amounts of faith, is my trip to the Middle East. This is a time for action no matter the doubts or fears. Trusting God and stepping forward following His lead. What pitchers are you following? How are you stepping out and trusting God with your life?

 

Parents: Making The Transition

The transition from Elementary to Middle School is as important for your students as it is for you the parent. So many Emotions!!! You will soon have a TEENAGER!!!

Remember we parents are the primary influencers of the practical application for what being a Christ Follower in this world looks like.
Here are a few reminders and pondering points for you to think about how your child will grow in their relationship with Jesus during the most transitional time of their life.

As always here our Middle School Team is always excited to talk with parents about helping you succeed in leading your child in their relationship with Christ!
If you have questions please do not hesitate to email me: tneary@wchamburg.org

Your child will grow. But will they grow away or towards Jesus? Check out the graphic below. Be encouraged. Be challenged.
summer deals! (2)

Love Alone Will Win This Fight…

I have been bullied, as a kid, a teenager, as a young adult and as an adult….

I have also been a bully…

WHY was I a bully… How dare YOU be a bully…

I was a bully because I have been hurt… I was so hurt by bullying and didn’t forgive that I did what I knew… How to hurt others…

BUT something happened…. Adults, people I looked up to, they loved me… They showed me kindness that I was not showing others… They loved the bully… Me…

This set the stage for me to realize who I had hurt and how I had hurt them…. This made me want to show kindness to others where there was hate, to love others where there was pain… and FORGIVENESS where there was brokeness…

How do we stop bullying…
We begin to do what Jesus has done for us, SHOW UNDESERVED LOVE and FORGIVENESS those who have hurt us…
LOVE THE BULLY

I Love Bullies because if I want to be part of the Hope Jesus has brought to this world!

Loved people Love People and Forgiven People Forgive People….

Loving the victims is easy (and necessary) BUT if we want to really change what we all agree is broken, we must learn to love the way Jesus love… When love is NOT deserved!

Checkout:
1 John 3:18
Romans 5:8
Ephesians 4:32
Matthew 18:21-35

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Protect (t)his House: Resource list for parents

Here is a list that was compiled by one of our preaching team members, These sites are to be used to challenge and engage your mind as you talk with your child about sex, purity, relationships, coodies….

If you have a “Go To” site that will help other parents that is not listed below please comment below with the link!

(Copy and Paste the links into your browser)

1. This link is about the Biblical guidelines for dating:

http://christiananswers.net/q-dml/dml-y006.html

2. This link is about a small group curriculum and powerful movement (The testimony videos are AWESOME): http://m.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/True-Love-Waits

3. Some more guidelines for dating: http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Jan/28/guidelines-sexual-purity/

4. A heart felt post about purity from the perspective of a youth pastor:

http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com/2013/02/what-i-wish-i-had-told-my-youth-group-about-purity/

5. This is a drama… about purity… I dare you parents to do this for your kids and video tape it… (and go through the questions together (not video taped) if you video tape it and send it to me… your kid will go to one event for free this year…

http://www.thesource4ym.com/outreach/topic.aspx?ID=138

6. This will help you develop your theology (Though process) for Purity:

http://www.simplyyouthministry.com/jim-s-thoughts-49.html

7. This is a “No holds-bar” document that gives biblical responses to almost everything surrounding this topic:

http://ds.bgco.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2669/Biblical%20Responses%20to%20the%20Questions%20Youth%20Ask%20About%20Sexual%20Purity.pdf

8: This offers 10 great ways to practice purity and would be a great list to run down with your kids!

http://t.co/1BqizbZt9H

9: Stop by the Family Resource Center in the Fellowship Mall at The Wesleyan Church of Hamburg to see other parenting resources.

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Game Plan: Having a successful year of serving!

So you are a volunteer, serving in student ministry. Here are some very practical ways to have a successful experience.

 

Who: do we serve… [Jesus & Others]
Game Plan: Building your personal relationship with Jesus
* praying for God to give you His Spirit, His desires, His eyes
* spending time reading His Word, Knowing Him through scripture
* talking about Him with older adults and ministry partners

Game Plan: The Individuals In your ministry… (Middle schoolers, parents, team members)
* through Christ like kindness
* through showing care
* one person at a time

How: do we serve… Relationships = Christ centered mentoring relationships
Game Plan: friendship with a purpose: Being there when they (finally) have “Jesus Questions”

Barriers that prevent us from “being there” when they finally build trust and need our help to point them to Jesus:
* drama
* learning their names
* showing them we care
* they don’t seem to care that we care
* they think we are weird
* trustworthiness

Overcoming:
* remembering who we serve
* not taking “insults” personally
* continuing to purse the relationship
* prayer
* teamwork: get other students to help you build your family in your team & small group

Why: do we do this…
Focus: You are His Plan A
Nobody else has stepped up to stand in the Gap and show Christ love to our students like you have, yet… He chose YOU, even with your flaws and some of you with your awkwardness and funny spells… Your Plan A to reaching out and showing His love to the students at WCH.

Focus: The Next Generation Needs You
When you think about building a Christ centered relationship with a student at our church don’t think of it as a small thing… The relationships you make have the power through Christ to change futures and generations, as we are where God has called us to be to bring His Hope to this generation…

What Does Success Look Like: Being apart of God’s Plan to draw students close to His heart… 

 

 

 

 

* This content was presented at WCH: Pinnacle Leadership Event 2014