Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Friends. What friendships do I need to encourage in the life of my student? Remember, our goal is purity. If our student doesn't have any good friends, that's where I start. Be creative in the way you inquire about friends. Get involved at whatever level you are allowed and work from there. If you vote your stock too soon by saying "because I'm your father", we'll suffer a set back. Ask questions. Don't preach sermons.
Dating and courtship. One comment: Treat your spouse in a way your student will want to treat their opposite sex friends. For the student, purity is modeled in the life of the parent.
Boundaries. Yes. And lots of them. Let students watch you build the fences. Talk to them so they know why we observe limitations. Many of our boundaries deal with issue of time. "When can I...?" Even as students grow up, talk about how important right timing is in every process of life
Celebrate Find one thing to remind students about purity. Every time they see that special object, hear a certain code word, or recall a person, they associate this image with a vow to purity. For some, it may be a ring or an annual event or a personal gift. I'll never forget a conversation with my father in the area of purity and faithfulness. When I wondered one time how he was able to remain faithful to my Mom. he responded, "Wasn't that what I was supposed to do?" Someone modeled purity for him and so I was able to model purity for my sons. Can it be this simple? Yes! Note: I didn't say is was easy.
Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.
Students are looking in a lot of places for their identity and values. Often they leave home with one set of values (Dan & Mom's), usually good ones, only to jettison them along the way as they develop their own "new" set of values. Every day our students wrestle with surroundings of inferiority, conformity, independence and for sure, questions about love. How can we be pure in a impure world?
One word: FRIENDS! Andy Stanley said, "Show me your friends and I will tell you your future." What kind of friends do my son or daughter have? Do they support the pure values of God's Word? This not only refers to real friends, but made up friends also. TV, video and movie friends. Do you find it alarming that we will invite some people into our living rooms through a TV program that we would never allow through our front door? What kind of friends have I exposed my self and my family to?
Now that the TV is off, how can I help my student develop healthy friendships? Or, how can I help my child loosen the grip of wrong friends?
More in part 2.
Friday, February 19, 2010
- Peer Groups
During this time, nothing lasts like scripture. The Bible is our best ally when it comes to preparation. There is more hope for understanding God's Word than there is understanding hormone changes, growth spurts, and increased appetites. A student's desire to belong gels during this time and the budget takes a huge hit if students wake up and decide they want to try and keep up with the latest fashion. During this time, be sure your student knows the value of God's Word, especially memorizing and owning it. If they know what God wants them to do, they'll think twice before doing what the wrong crowd is doing.
Peer groups are very influential. Try this: Change their peer group. Parents would do better if students looked up to their parents rather that friends who stand and fall at the least wind. This comes when parents spend time with their students. Please, don't give me the come back "I spend quality time (vs. Quantity time) with them." Any time spent with students is quality time. Be different and spend lots of time with them. The wrong peer group will do this if you don't want to do it. If you don't know what your students are doing, you're not spending time with them. Learn their likes, hangouts, tastes, and favorite music, books and videos. Be courageous if some of their desires need stern course corrections.
The last thing concerns time. Take time to help them see their value and worth. Take time to show them what is really important in life. Be sure, though, that our actions as parents back up our words. This is the greatest thing we can offer at this stage of life: consistency. Allow them time to be independent. This is a time of "firsts" for our students. First love (or crush). First time on their own (trip to mall with friends). First test of values, morals and trusts.
Help students interpret some of these changes even before they face them. Without judging people, take them to places to watch people and discuss actions, values and consequences. Perhaps select a place farther away from home so that the student can learn with a crowd they might not have contact with again. Help them to uncover the deceit in advertising, store front images and movies they might watch. There is no better use of time than these adolescent years.
Try the resource below for extend talks with your students on these issues:
ʺPreparing for Adolescenceʺ (Dr. James Dobson) • 738304 • 8 CD Album (includes 6 CDs for teen/pre‐teens, and 2 leadership CDs for parents)
Dr. Dobson brings the conversational warmth straight to you and your adolescent. Among the many topics
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I tell people to invite all their friends, family, unbelievers they know so everyone can see the commitment which has already been made to receive Jesus as Savior. Baptism is a celebration for everyone. It is the best opportunity a new believer has to tell a lot of people about their new life in Christ (Rom. 6:5) The word baptize means "to dip". People who were baptized in the New Testament "came up out of the water" following their "dipping."
37And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]
38And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.
39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
There are 3 things to concentrate on during this Milestone:
- We need to teach them what they need to know
- We need to be diligent (consistent & intentional) in teaching them what to do
- We need to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit
John 3:16 covers the first two:
- God Loved
- God Gave
- We believe
- We receive
As you get closer to this milestone, you will discover more about these two in the Parent Summit that will be planned later in the year.
What about the Holy Spirit in the part of salvation? God is always moving. As parents, our challenge is to pray (our greatest ally in Milestones) and watch (sometimes the hardest thing to do.)
Our prayers are to be centered on God's activity in our child's life. Is my child asking questions about spiritual things? Do I see them mimicking my activities (reading the Bible, praying, singing, etc.)? Do I see pieces of their spiritual journey coming together? This may be the activity of God's Spirit. Take every occasion to talk to your children when you see them showing interest or asking questions about things they see in church and worship.
Remember this: A child can believe what a child can believe. Their level of processing information is at a child's level of thinking. Don't expect them to think mature, adult thoughts about God. Frankly, their child-like thoughts are probably closer to God's ideals that our point of view.
Two cautions: Even though we may not see changes in our child's attitude toward spiritual things, they may still be picking up some ideas about God. Also, don't be tempted to force a decision on your child they are not ready to make. They may be able to give lots of examples of sin in general, but if they can't see their personal sin, the time may not be right. Let God continue to work.
More about celebration of Milestone 2 and baptism next time.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Prior to the celebration comes one of the first equipping sessions with Pastor Rod as he guides the parents down the path to maturity. Yes, this is mandatory because the Bible is very serious about training this new generation according to Deut. 6:4-7. The vision begins to clarify and parents are challenged to provide spiritually for their child. New parents feel a sense of urgency when the first child comes. They want the very best they can supply.
The walk down the Legacy path takes on meaning. In this first Milestone, parents learn about Faith Talks, God Moments and Celebrating Milestones. As God's special gifts to parents, children need parents, not friends or caretakers, to be the "hands on" people in their life. This is why children are dedicated to the Lord and By His Word during this special day.
You're on the way!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Since then, our call center has answered 1,765 calls and helped share the gospel so that 657 people could pray to ask Christ to be their Savior. Our center helped train and start two other centers in Austin at sister churches during the past 5 years. Volunteers from area churches are partnered with Anderson Mill each time the call center opens.
Thank you, Anderson Mill, for making it possible to so many to be a part of this nation-wide network of call centers each month. Pray about joining this exciting ministry in 2010 and you too can answer the phones with us, “Hello. This is the Billy Graham Telephone Center. My name is Al. Did you call to receive Christ as your personal Savior?”
Contact Al Magness: firstname.lastname@example.org 512-258-5843 X 104 or go to http://www.ambcaustin.org/ for more information.
Friday, February 12, 2010
"Leaders who refuse to listen, will soon find themselves surrounded by those who have nothing important to say."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
How do we remained focused in uncertain times? These past few months many of us have experienced uncertain times. Lost jobs, lost health, lost relationships and a shaky outlook for tomorrow. Lord, You got me into this. Sometimes we get into a situation that seems to have no way out. Can't move forward, to the right or to the left. We're stuck! "I thought I had a plan."
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
"9 out of 10 isn't bad." When we share the good news with other people, the gospel offers hope not odds. It is 100% sure that with Jesus as Savior, a person will go to heaven. Period. That's the best news we can share with people. 100% of the time. 100% of the people who accept Jesus as Savior go to heaven. How would you like to live a life that has based it's future hope on , "Well, I hope I go to heaven"?
We can know with certainty, today, right NOW!