Monday, October 10, 2011

The Tug of Foolishness

I wanted to share with you all a personal testimony about this weeks lesson. This lesson was particularly relevant as we discussed some issues with our teenagers this week. As many of you know we have 3 teenage boys. They are an awesome blessing to us but at times we have our struggles. Earlier this week we had a good discussion about music and what types of music we should listen to. The position we have for our family may not be the position that works for all families, but for us, we highly encourage Christian music. We allow "neutral" music and highly discourage and disallow music with negative lyrics. This practice has worked for us for many years and hasn't been called into question... until this week.

Our boys are growing and they are beginning to reason for themselves. So this last week they began questioning us about music. Now, in our family we rarely listen to the radio. For the most part we listen to songs we have purchased on Itunes. This allows us to select the types of music that we like the most. Our boys have found a great site on the web called Pandora. Pandora allows you to listen to a variety of music. It allows you to like and dislike songs and over time it learns what types of music you do and do not like.

So here is the issue. Our sons have picked up on Pandora and have started listening to "neutral" music with the occasional "negative" music sneaking in. Once they hear a "negative" song they dislike the song, but of course they have already heard it at that point. Since our boys are teenagers and are growing more independent we want to give them freedom to spread their wings and begin making decisions. We want to begin this process now so that they are prepared to live on their own in just a few short years. So this last week when my wife went downstairs and heard a song with questionable lyrics it sparked a great conversation.

We tried to explain to them that it is important to watch what we allow into our lives. We need to limit the negative and increase the positive. Of course being teenagers they thought we were a bit narrow in our thinking. They tried to explain that it was okay to listen to non-Christian music. That it didn't affect them. We tried to explain that as you allow more and more non-godly influences it desensitizes you.

We used this illustration. If you have a continuum from one to ten; ten being good and godly, and 1 being completely worldly and sinful. Our eternal goal is to bring all of our life into the ten range. That is what we are made for. That is our goal in holiness. We want to see most of our lives with ten events with maybe the occasional six or seven or even five. If we allow ourselves to live most of our lives in the five range we begin seeing some sevens and eights but also some fours and threes. And we tend to think that the fours and threes are not so bad. Then as we fill our lives with more threes and twos, eventually ones are not so bad. We are trying to encourage them to live as much of their lives in the ten range because that is our eventual dwelling place. Heaven will consists of all tens.

Of course teenagers being teenagers they pointed out that you just cannot live your life surrounded with all tens. They asked about movies, the occasional neutral song that is just plain fun, and the great novel, web page, or musical that just isn't in the ten range. It was convicting on our part as a mom and dad. It made us evaluate our lives to see where we were living most of our lives. It is hard to tell your kids to strive for the tens if you yourself are settling for threes, fours or sevens.

At the end of our discussion I think they still thought we were a bit extreme. The question was asked, "Why do the "neutral" and "negative" songs sound so good?, Why can't Christian entertainment, entertain like the world does?" I thought it was a good question and have been thinking on it over the weekend. I think there are various reasons why it isn't as good, but I think one of the reasons has to do with the heart. Our hearts are easily drawn away from the good things. We are attracted to those things that are neutral and negative. Part of the reason non-Christian entertainment is so entertaining is because we are drawn to it by our remaining sinful nature. We need God to grant us new appetites. We need to be praying that we and our children begin to hunger after righteousness.

Here is the great part. God is so good to reinforce His Word. This weeks lesson for Kidz Klub focused on how we are called to wisdom as Children of God. That, as we walk the way of wisdom we need to hold onto instruction, guard our hearts and keep our feet from evil. Foolishness is always calling us to love what is wrong. It is always tugging at our heart. We need to strive to do what Proverbs 4:27 says, "Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil."

In this week's parent page there are some great ideas for helping yourself and your kids think through the tug of foolishness.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkinland Pics

What a great turnout we had this year at Pumpkinland! Thanks to all who came!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bible Information

We were asked this week by a couple of parents to recommend a Bible for their son/daughter to bring to Kidz Klub. So we came up with some thoughts!

One thing that we like to encourage our kids to do is to begin the habit of bringing a Bible to Kidz Kore and Kidz Klub. Sylvia Holtrop, our 4th and 5th grade teacher, encourages the kids to bring their Bibles because it is our "text" book. Just like we bring our school text books we need to bring our church text book.

We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, through the words of human authors. We believe that the Bible was verbally inspired, without error in the original writings. It is the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires and trusted in all that it promises and as we teach our children we seek to refer to it as often as possible.

For Each lesson, our teachers will turn to the Bible to demonstrate that the words that are being taught come directly from the text book. If the children can turn to their Bibles and see the same words it becomes even more powerful.

We would encourage children as early as the Kindergarten age to begin bringing their Bibles. If children in preschool would like to bring a Bible that is great too. We realize that in the K-1st grade ages that they may not be able to read from them but it does begin to establish the habit of bringing them. Here are a list of some great Bibles that could be purchased.

These examples are by no means all-inclusive - they are just some we have used with our kids or seen in person. And even a small "Gideon" Bible is not a bad option - just something so they can get in the habit of using it in their classes. With our kids, we have found that if we can find a Bible that "catches their eye" they are more willing to look through it and read it. But any Bible can be tricky for our Kindergartners and 1st and 2nd Graders to read - so at that age - any attempt is good.

Encouragement for Sons

This video is quite a great look at a new book out. We wanted to make you aware of it as it looks very helpful for those of us with boys to raise!

AND if you are interested in the book - it is available in Nook, Kindle and Ibook format for $1.99 until October 15. We have not read it yet - but it does look good.

(This copy is regular price - but I wanted to link it anyway here. Just make sure if you want the ebook format for $1.99 that you click on the link above.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kidz Klub Reading

One of the things we are encouraging the kids to do this year in Kidz Klub is to read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. When they read it (or have it read to them) they get extra stickers on their sheets. BUT we don't want it to stop there - if they do read that wonderful book - we have some others that they can continue on and read as well - ALL super for talking about "The Way of the Wise and The Way of the Foolish" - our theme for this year. So encourage them to keep reading with any of these titles - and if they do, be sure and let us know so we can give them extra stickers!!

The Dangerous Journey by Oliver Hunkin

Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Snack Sign Up

We are trying something new this year!! :)
We have online snack sign up - let me know what you think of this!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kids of Courage

We are always looking for ways to show our kids what missions can look like - maybe through missionary stories, videos, praying for missionaries or countries, etc. So when I found this site for children put together by Voice of the Martyrs - I was thrilled. You may want to bookmark it - I think it is something you will turn to over and over.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


There is nothing easy about parenting, but I did think this article was encouraging!
We pray for each of you - that God gives wisdom AND strength.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Praying for our Children

Praying for our children~

Live for Christ~ John 17:13

Grow strong spiritually~ John 17:15

Serve Christ~ John 17:17

Experience Fellowship~ John 17:21

Bring Others to Christ~ John 17:20

~Rick Warren