January 30, 2009

I grew up in a family where I was the youngest sibling and the youngest of all the grandchildren on my dad’s side and near the end on my mom’s side.  So you can imagine as a child I took my share of teasing.  Teasing seems cute and fun, but teasing will become bullying and that becomes dangerous.  The teasing became bullying to me and I responded with fits of rage and anger.  Then not only would I get bullied, but then I would get in trouble for my inappropriate retaliation.  Later on I learned that in order to keep from being bullied, I would bully first.  That began a trend of many years of bullying other kids my age, younger, or older.  These kids were chosen because they had certain visible or knowable weakness.  Thank God that something changed in me and in my life where I chose to respond to the bullying of my childhood by defending those bullied rather than adding to their injury.

There are students in our ministry who are being bullied every day at school.  There are students in our ministry that are bullying others.  It is time for us to heal our wounds by studying how Jesus handled bullies (chief leaders and Pharisees) and how story after story calls us to be community together and stand together and defend one another.  Encourage your children to treat everyone with the heart of Christ and model the Golden Rule!


Making A Difference

January 24, 2009

This past week has been one of the most memorable of our time.  Not only were we able to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. and his famous movement and speeches, but we were able to witness the inauguration of the first African-American president.  One has changed history in overwhelming ways and in ways that have yet to be realized, while the other has the hope of an entire nation on his shoulders.  It made me ponder what kind of difference I have made or will make in the future.  I want to make a difference in the world, whether my little world or over the entire globe.  I want my two boys to make a difference.  I know they are only 11 months, but we spent Monday morning watching the youtube video of Rev. King’s I have a dream speech.  I want them to know that his speech is still making a difference today and that the way they conduct their lives could do the same. 

I also thought that to want to change the entire world is really crazy and too much to ask.  However, as I meditated on these thoughts, it came to my mind that God is much bigger than anything we could possibly dream and through our tiny efforts he can change the world. 

How can you and your family change the world?  How can people be changed through Christ because of what you do or who you are?  Ask the question to your teenager and dream together of what could happen.  Then make a plan of two to three things you will do this year!



This has been an incredible beginning to a new school year and now that our calendar year is new, I can’t think but how wonderful this year will be.  God is doing some amazing things in the life of this church and the families that represent our youth ministry.  We have much to be thankful for and much to anticipate in this new year.  We are so thankful for all of you and your support of this ministry.  We hope that your 2008 was blessed and that your 2009 will be even more blessed.  Whether times are good or bad, easy or a struggle, we know that God’s promises are eternal and that He will always be with us.  May we live in the hope of things to come while we serve his kingdom today.