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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Reality Check for the Most Important Relationship of Your Life!

New Year Prayer Guide

1. Adoration: Praising God for who He is

Read & Reflect:
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:1, 2, 4, 5, 8 NLT)

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalms 46:1 NLT)

Pray that God would give you a greater understanding of His Word.
Pray for God to place a desire in your heart to know Him and be known by Him
Pray that you may better realize how much God loves you and what He has done for you.

2. Confession: Releasing to God your sins
Read & Reflect:

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:8-10 NLT)

People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13 NLT)

Talk to God about the sins you have knowingly committed this weekend.
Talk to God about any sins you find yourself repeating.
Talk to God about any relationships that have been broken because of sin… (Gossip, lies, unforgiveness)

3. Thanksgiving: Thank God for all He has done.
Reflect on these verses:

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. (Hebrews 12:28 NLT)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

List 10 blessings in your life, pray and thank God for them.
Pray that Jesus would help you to have a more thankful heart in 2014 than 2013.
Pray and Thank God for His Son and life we have because of His Life, Death & Resurrection.

4. Supplication: Asking, making requests to God

Read & Reflect:
Take delight in the Lord , and he will give you your heart’s desires. (Psalms 37:4 NLT)

Give your burdens to the Lord , and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (Psalms 55:22 NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

Pray for boldness to have great conversations with God this year, talking to Him like a best friend.
Pray for any requests you may have.
Pray for Jesus give you hope for the new year and a glimpse of how He wants to grow in you and move through you!

Write a Letter To God:
Hide the Letter and find it in July. (We gather the letters and mail them out in July)

Step #1: Write about your current relationship with God. Think about God as a friend, Would you say you are close friends or distant? Write about why you think that.

Step #2: Write about the relationship with God you want to have. Are there areas you need to grow in? Are there areas of your life you have not fully surrendered to Him? Write about how you want the relationship to be at the end of 2014.

Step #3: Write out a few easy action steps that will help you move in the direction of where you want your relationship with God to be. Write out an action plan.

*If you are brave, write out on a separate sheet of paper & share your action plan with a trusted friend and pray for them throughout this year!

What Is A “Good Dad” Anyways…..

I was talking to my friend today and he made a comment. I have heard this comment before and I honestly do enjoy hearing it… I think most dads want to hear it…. He said “Your a “Good” dad…. Some don’t know where to start to be a “good” dad…

Well on my way home from his house I began to ask, what makes a dad “Good”… What makes a dad “Bad”…. So I made a short list… Here it is:

1. The kids know that their dad loves their mom. NOW before you go and get all upset single dads…. Single dads it matters how you treat your “ex-wife”… She birthed your kids, there are more ways than physical to show your kids you love their mom. But this is important because your kids need a solid support system, and parents you ARE the CORE of that system….

2. You Fall Forward… This is a John Maxwell illustration, the idea is this, Dads you know that your going to make mistakes as a Husband and as a Father… But make them as you are being intentional in your relationships. Here is an example, I love to take my kids grocery shopping, its a blast… I run up and down the isles and I chase Joel behind the displays…. I really make the most of my time at store/playground while buying groceries…. Some people don’t like that… Some people won’t like anything you do because nobody took the time to care about them when they were a kid, its in there defense system to be mean… So I am in the checkout line and this is something I do a lot… I take Joel and I throw him down on the checkout belt and he rides toward the cashier… Well someone took a pretty big offense to that and they yelled at me… Of course this idea of falling forward must be tamed, but the principle is the same, don’t sit back and wait for life to pass you by… Make mistakes… Do it in a way that people notice your trying to be a better parent…

3. You Have FUN TOGETHER… Just because you don’t remember what is like to be 4 years old, doesn’t mean you have to ruin it for your kids too… Be reminded of how much fun it is to be young… You wont feel old after awhile… Just a warning… You probably don’t move like you used too.. You probably will feel it in the morning…

4. BEING CURIOUS… Ever wonder why kids ask so many questions… Me either it can be annoying… lol… Just kidding.. But your kids are learning SOO MUCH because they are not afraid to ask the most important question ever: WHY?!?! As many times as they ask you, WHY… YOU ASK THEM… Its fun and it their view on the world is often refreshing!!!

5. Your kids know you love them…. Again Love its about physical touch… Its a billion times more than just words…. You cant throw gifts at kids and expect them to know you love them… They will know you love them when you value them enough to spend time with them… There is no way around that… Time=Love….. You cant make enough money to by them happiness… Happiness comes through security and security comes through relationship which is only possible when you spend time together… And when you spend time together with your kid(s) they will know you love them…

Those are the quick five that I came up with… What about you? What would you say is a quality of a “Good” dad???

OH YEAH…. What makes a “bad” dad…selfishness & Knowing what your suppose to do and doing nothing….Or acting like any of the dads you see on “Comedy” TV Shows…

Lies… (Exposing the truth from the relationship lies of our culture) #Part 1

Hey Parents!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out what is being taught to your children! I hope this helps you as well as your students to defeat these lies… – Pastor Tom

1st Lie: “I Love You” – said from one middle schooler to another inside a “dating relationship”

Truth: Two Loves you can BANK ON… The Love of the God of The Bible and Love of Family … “In middle school I don’t understand love enough yet to say I Love You to another middle schooler.” What they are offering is an IMITATION of what they perceive real love to me… BUT… REAL Love is SELFLESS and often like children, all students care about in Middle School, is themselves

Understand this: Parents who set up for their children structure for dating and have open communication about parental standards, will significantly decrease the chance of their son or daughter being hurt emotionally, physically and spiritually. Our kids need parents to set up boundaries and they need us to be unmoving in our authority.

Gods Word Defining Love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT)

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

GODS LOVE: 

1 John 3:16a (NLT) 

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. 

John 3:16 (NLT)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The I LOVE YOU test: This is a good standard for filtering out true love in relationship at any age.

* Are You Patient? (Are you trying to rush the relationship… if SO, Your not IN LOVE)
* Are you Kind? (Girls, if are not treated like a princes in a disney movie, you are not in LOVE)
* Are you Jealous? (If you are Jealous all the time because they have friends, you are not in LOVE)
* Are You Always Right? (If you control the relationship needing to be right all the time, YOUR NOT in LOVE)

A Challenge for the Boys: 

BEFORE you tell a girl you love her:

1. Tell her Dad You Love Him & You Love His Daughter.

(If you cant because you don’t know Him or because you are sacred… Your NOT ready to say “I LOVE YOU”)

2. Ask Him if He would allow you to tell her you love his daughter.

(He Loves her more than you do and has spent the hard time picking her up when she has fallen down, If he thinks you will hurt his daughter he will tell you that you are NOT ready to say “I LOVE YOU”)

3. Respect Your parents and her parents decision.

(Going behind your parents back is never safe, BUT this one is like playing with fire, if you can’t OR won’t respect what her dad says and live under the guidelines your parents have set, you are NOT ready to say “I LOVE YOU”)

Summary:

I LOVE YOU is a powerful statement and should be handled with GREAT CARE… We do not want to be tricked into believing we have the Real thing in a middle school relationship when what we really have is a cheap imitation.

Parents I hope this will help you think about how to prepare your sons and daughters for dating. There are two things you as a parent can bank on from me as their youth pastor:

1. I will always point students back to what you the parent says about dating. And 2. I will always teach that middle school relationships do not last and should not be pursued because they will always cause more drama and pain than if they had just remained friends.

If you would like to talk with me about how to set up relational boundaries I would be more than willing to sit down with you and help you. Also, our next Equipping Weekend here at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg (March 22-23rd) We will be hosting a seminar about Helping Your Middle Schooler to Make Wise Choices. Be on the look out for more information about that!

DO ME! To GROW! The lies of to do lists…

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Merge Now...

 

Being in the ministry and working in Church, I have often struggled giving people TO DO’s.

You know what I mean:
“You want to grow in your relationship with Christ?” DO THIS….
“You want to be a better Follower of Jesus?” DO THIS….
“You want to know how to Love more?” DO THIS…..
“You want serve better?” DO THIS….

I believe I struggle with that approach because its not really that easy… If it were then everyone would have a TO DO: List and our lives would radiate God’s Love and we wouldn’t see a lot of the brokeness and heart ache we see in the world, because we would have figured out the code. If we really want to have a growing relationship with Christ that will be lasting, what needs to happen?

I remember awhile back a pastor friend of mine told me that “We are most like Christ when we serve”… That is something I think about a lot… I believe the statement to be true…

I remember when I was in High School, I would get out of class and head strait to the church (actually there were times when a friend and I would literally race there, but dont tell my parents about that), I wanted to be PRESENT I wanted to be near the action of God because I knew my faith would grow there!
What did I do you might ask… Well, I talked and listened to the pastors, I would do some paperwork for them and just try to be present and wait for an opportunity to serve to arrive…

To some, that time of my life might be confusing, You might ask yourself. Didn’t Tom have any friends, wouldn’t he have wanted to go do something else?

Yes I had friends, but, I was doing something that gave me purpose… I wanted to do something that mattered, something eternal, even if it was as small as counting up receipts for the children’s pastor.

I didn’t have a to do list. I had a desire, a desire to do something for God and I was willing to be present and wait for opportunities to move… and because of that my faith did grow, I learned how to follow Jesus and I was taught how to love others… Because I made myself present and available for God.

So… If you want to grow in your relationship with God, Get around His people, Im not saying you just have to run to the church and hang out with pastors… But you need to be around people who are serving Jesus!

*Note: I do believe in TO DO Lists for productivity, but do not believe there is a to do list for growing closer to God. I don’t have a TO DO List for my relationships… I also acknowledge that I am still a work in progress and have not arrived but rather am Growing every day closer to Jesus Through His AMAZING GRACE (Not just my wife).

What is Love?

 One Sunday morning recently I sitting on my bed and my son brought his Bible over to me and asked if I would read it to him… Of course I took him up on this offer because I value his desire him to read from Gods Word.

So I begin reading it and point to a picture of Jesus.
Joel (2.5yrs) looks at me straight faced and said: “Daddy, I love Jesus”… Of course being a Christ Follower, &  Pastor I was pretty excited to hear him say that, even though I know he might not fully understand what that means… Just hearing him say that was pretty special…

I am not one to let a teachable moment pass by, I asked him, since we had the Bible open, “do you want to read more about Jesus?” His response still has me laughing as he said:

“Nope…”

What a difference a few seconds makes!!!
Lets just say ,I wasn’t having a proud dad moment anymore…
As soon as he said that I was reminded of the times where I have been all “I Love Jesus” and then never taken the time to grow in our relationship by getting into His Word…

What Is Love if I never spend anytime getting to know the other person? Getting to know God?

I hope this funny little story challenged you like it challenged me… Let’s not just say “I love Jesus”and then ignore the letter God wrote that explains our situation and His Sacrifice and His Love and His Forgiveness…

What is Love? Open the Bible and you will find out!!!