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.
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!
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.
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.
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.