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2191 Mars Hill Rd
Watkinsville, GA, 30677
United States

706-769-8315

Faith Presbyterian Church PCA. A community church located just outside of Athens, Georgia in Watkinsville, Oconee County. Serving our community, loving our neighbors and making disciples. 

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This Week in Faith 6-14-19

Steven Brooks

  • VBS is next week! Thank you to all of those who have helped us get ready and/or are volunteering next week. This week is one of the ways we try to be a blessing to our community and we could not do it without you. We have 180 kids signed up so be in prayer for all that goes on here, that the week would go smoothly, friendships would be built, and people would leave knowing the good news about Jesus.

  • 14 of us spent last week visiting our friends in Merida, Mexico and serving alongside them in their city. If you missed the updates and pictures, click here to see and hear about the week.

  • This Sunday, we will continue our Sunday school class on the parables of Jesus for kindergarteners through adults. We are studying the parable of the Unforgiving Servant from Matthew 18. Our adults and kids have so much to earn from each other as we look at the words of Jesus. I hope you will join us. And even if you go to the adult Sunday school class, we are all studying the same parable each week with he hope that it will spark meaningful conversations about Jesus at lunch and throughout the week.

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How to Pray When Preparing For Family Vacation

I know I don’t pray enough about our vacations. Between the busyness of getting ready to go, the guilt over things I am leaving undone, and the misplaced confidence that vacation is one of the things I can control, I don’t often prepare myself, or my family, well enough for vacation. The encouragement of this article to pray for physical and spiritual rest, reconciling relationships [‘The God-honoring family is not the conflict-free family but the forgiving and reconciled family’ was a helpful sentence for me], and more are the things we need most out of our vacations. So why not trust God to provide them!

Click here to read the article by Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger.

How to Model Forgiveness With Your Own Children- Thoughts From a Mom in the Trenches

Modeling and encouraging forgiveness between our kids can be a challenge, and more so when we also long to see genuine heart change through the process. But in the heat of conflict, it can be difficult to help our kids walk down the road to forgiveness and reconciliation. And it can be hard for us to offer forgiveness when its for the same thing we have dealt with a hundred times before. There are some good, practical things here that we can do, along with why they are helpful and how they can help us point our kids towards Jesus…and maybe walk closer to him ourselves.

Click here to read the article by Allison Mitchell.

5 Key Truths About Friendship By C.S. Lewis

I recently saw the movie Tolkien, about the early life of JRR Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. One of the things that struck me as I watched it was the close friendships he had with a few other guys in high school and college that changed the course of his life, and led him to be able to write about friendship so effectively. Our kids get lots of opinions on what friendship is- from other kids, TV, movies, and the public life of others. Because so many of these opinions conflict with each other, what a friend is and how to be a good one are confusing subjects for many students. This article, looking at a portion of a book from one of Tolkien’s good friends later in his life, CS Lewis, helps us understand the importance of friendship for ourselves as adults, and how to help our kids cultivate good friendships in their own lives.

Click here to read the article by Jared Kennedy.

VIDEO: When ‘I Don’t Know’ is a Good Answer and When It’s Not

This is a helpful distinction about how to use the words ‘I don’t know’ in conversations about faith. As we talk about our faith, we can be in danger of speaking too much or not enough. It is not helpful for us to engage in deep conversations about topics of which we know nothing about but feel like we should keep talking so we sound like we know something. It’s ok for us to say ‘I don’t know’ if we really don’t know. But like she talks about in the video, we are failing to love our neighbor if we don’t go from that conversation to learn as much as we can about that topic and the implications the gospel has for understanding that topic SO THAT we can come back to our friend and continue the conversation in a way that is fruitful for our friendship and for their understanding of faith. Rebecca McLaughlin, who does this video, has recently released a great book, Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion, which I am reading right now. It is a great resource to prepare you to answer some of those toughest questions that your kids, friends, or co-workers might be asking.

Click here to watch the video with Rebecca McLaughlin.

This Week in Faith 5-24-19

Steven Brooks

I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted here but I should be back to a weekly post beginning today. It’s been great to celebrate with our graduating seniors as they finish up this season of their lives and reach a huge milestone. It’s a big accomplishment. We’re really proud of them!

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The Link Between Fun and Faith In Our Homes

“One of the more surprising and encouraging findings from this study is that any sort of interaction—including just having fun—is correlated to faith formation. In other words, forming deeper bonds with our household members helps us grow our faith! The importance of fostering intimacy, sharing rituals and having fun with household members, as well as friends and other non-family guests who become a part of one’s extended household, cannot be overstated.”

This is a great summary of the research talked about in this article. The whole article is interesting but the bottom line is important for us to remember- the relationship building that comes from shared experiences and spending time having fun together translates to more regular opportunities for spiritual conversation and formation. There are so many things that battle for our time. We often have to make tough decisions between good options for our schedule. Don’t just assume that having fun together is the first thing that should go. As we enjoy being a family together, we help each other enjoy God more as well.

Click here to read the article from the Barna Research Group.

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The rest of the content this week centers around using our everyday day encounters with TV, movies, books and music to springboard our family conversations towards Jesus. Our culture is consistently telling stories. Can your kids see how those stories connect back to the biggest story of Jesus? A family movie night, watching a season on Netflix together, or even discussing the biggest news stories of the week, can give your family a common starting point to talk about our world and how we can understand it through the lens of the gospel. I hope these articles will help you see the value of these moments and equip you to take advantage of them.

What You Watch on Saturday Night Is Unavoidably Linked to What You Hear on Sunday Morning

Click here to read the article by Daniel Strange.

Chip Away At Your Children’s Spiritual Growth

Click here to read the article by Jen Oshman.

Pop Culture and Parenting: 3 Tips For Shaping Your Child’s Worldview

Click here to read the article by Nathaniel Williams.

PODCAST: Faith and Culture

Click here to listen to The Good Book Podcast interview with Daniel Strange.

This Week in Faith 4-19-19

Steven Brooks

Don’t forget about our Easter celebration this Sunday! We have services at 8:30 and 11:00. We also have an Easter brunch at 9:30 with an egg hunt for kids 5th grade and under at 9:45. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the good news that Jesus gave his life for us on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins and he is alive again so we can have new life in him!

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What God Wants You to Pray For Your Kids

“Yet, my children’s greatest need is not temporary happiness, but increasing holiness. Holiness and happiness are not in opposition to one another, but are integrally linked.” Prayer is the most powerful and effective tool we have for effective parenting. We have much less control over our kids’ hearts and lives than we hope for. But, we have access to a God who loves our kids more than we do and is in control of their hearts and lives. So if we aren’t praying for our kids, we are forfeiting one of the greatest gifts God has given us in our calling as parents. But what should we pray about? My tendency can be to pray for the immediate, tangible needs I see. But above all, we need to pray that they know and love Jesus. This is what will lead to their ultimate happiness. There are some good, practical things to pray for our kids about. And her book, 5 Things to Pray For Your Kids, is for sale in the church resource center. It is a small book than can be a big help in our prayers for our kids. 

Click here to read the article by Melissa Kruger.

How To Talk To Your Kids About ‘Shazam!’

Micah and I saw this movie last week and really enjoyed it. If you see it with your kids, this article has some great ideas of talking points from themes in the movie that can help steer your conversations toward Jesus.

Click here to read the article by Joe Carter.

Stop Asking Kids What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

“Instead, invite them to think about what kind of person they want to be — and about all the different things they might want to do.” What a great conclusion to this article. We tell our kids that fulfillment won’t ultimately come from their work. We tell them what we hope for them most in their life is to know and follow Jesus. But we can also unintentionally communicate something very different through the questions we ask, the pressures we put on them to succeed, and the unrealistic picture we paint of how the world works. There is some good insight in this article for how we can emphasize the right priorities to our kids as they grow up and laying a foundation of realistic expectations for the future. 

Click here to read the article by Adam Grant.

LISTEN: Dave Thomas on Adolescent Anxiety

This interview was really helpful for me. He touches on so many of the conversations and questions that we have been going through with our kids. I needed the encouragement as well as the help. It’s a 20 minute interview on helping your kids gain the confidence they need to face challenges on their own, recognizing the different personalities and needs each of our kids have, and in general, encouragement for weary parents. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Click here to listen to the interview form the Rooted Ministry podcast.

This Week in Faith 4-12-19

Steven Brooks

Hope Amidst College Admissions Insanity

This is really well said for parents, of kids at any age, who love their kids and are anxious about their future.

Click here to read the article by Cameron Cole.

Why the Admissions Scandal Is Every Parents Problem

The recent charges against wealthy and celebrity parents buying their kids admission to prestigious universities is a big deal. There are elements of it that should cause us to consider the ways in which systems in our society are broken and create uneven opportunities for success. But it should also cause self-reflection on our part to consider the ways our goals and practices as parents might lead us down the same road. Kara Powell does a good job in this article of helping us to remember that our primary goal in parenting is to see our kids know Jesus and that should affect the decisions we make and the way that we parent.  

Click here to read the article by Kara Powell.

Better Than Fortnite: Global Mission in the Digital Age

Our challenge in parenting is not just to tell our kids what we believe is best but how to communicate clearly and compellingly. We want them to understand what we are saying, but the older they get the more we want to listen and engage them with thoughtful questions. We also want to consider the way our own habits and practices are communicating something similar to or different than our words. And more and more, I am convinced that part of helping our kids learn to pursue God comes from giving them an honest, compelling picture of who God is and what he is calling them to. I don’t think our kids settle for being consumed by Fortnite, sports, or themselves because those things are all that satisfying but because they haven’t come to understand the largeness of the mission God calls us to and the courage required to carry it out. This article gives some great insight into how to talk to our kids about this and what to say.

Click here to read the article by Paul Akin.

Podcast: Parenting in Light of the Gospel

Paul Tripp has so many good and encouraging things to share about parenting that relieve the pressure and help keep our focus on Jesus. I hope you get a chance to listen to this 35 minute interview with him.

Click here to listen to the podcast with Paul Tripp.

This Week in Faith 3-21-19

Steven Brooks

Help! I Keep Losing My Temper

Whether your anger shows up in your parenting, your political conversations, or you just feel a low level of anger all the time, this is a helpful article. James tells us that our anger comes from wanting something and not getting it. But the ability for honest reflection about what we want and what is being threatened when we get angry is a lot harder. This article does a good job of helping us think through why anger is dangerous fro our souls and how to not just acknowledge its there, but begin to respond better. No matter how our anger presents itself, we all struggle with anger so it’s important we understand how the gospel makes a better way possible. And ask for the grace to walk in it. 

Click here to read the article by J. Alasdair Groves.

How to Let Teens Settle Their Emotional Storms

I thought this was an interesting article. Her idea seems a little silly for how to respond to the emotional break downs out teenagers have. But I also thought- her idea is better than my helplessness in those moments :) If nothing else, her description of what is going on inside the mind of a teenager, and her call to be patient with them as they navigate this turbulent time in their development, was a good reminder for me.

Click here to read the article by Lisa Damour.

Teens and E-Cigs…A Helpful Infographic

This is a subject that is becoming more prevalent in the lives of teenagers. As you can see from the info graphic, its popularity is on the rise. But the misinformation surrounding the dangers are also on the rise. Most teenagers don’t understand the physical and developmental risks inherent in e-cigarettes and vaping, but the risks are there. Kelly and I went to a foster parent training this past weekend where a doctor who specializes in working with babies born to moms who smoked, drank, and/or used drugs during pregnancy. She was really concerned about the trends in teen vaping and the way that it often leads to other addictions as well. Hopefully, this article and infographic can help you be more aware and informed so you can better engage your kids on this topic.  

Click here to read the article by Walt Mueller.

PODCAST: A Baby’s First Year

Here is an interesting podcast with a pediatrician for those of you going through parenting a newborn- or know someone who is.

Click here to listen to the podcast.