Sunday was Father’s Day! As a gift from my boys, I received the infamous AlumaWallet! The gift wrapping was perfect for any dad…brown paper sack and duct tape. I opened the gift and immediately looked at my wife and thought, “ Why would you let them buy this? I have a perfectly good wallet (I used one of these…seriously).
I did not shame the gift out loud, I think I said something like, “Wow boys, thanks! This looks fancy, I will use this for special occasions!” My 7 year-old said, “DAD, a truck can drive over it and your credit cards will not bend!!!” My 4 year-old said, “Dad, if you hold it under the water your credit cards will stay dry.”
I did not want to crush their joy by telling them that…
Credit Cards can get wet and it is not a problem
Wet money dries easily
Credit cards are fine to drive over
My wallet has never been in danger of being driven over…and if it was, it would hurt the car more than my wallet
What I did do was give the boys a huge hug, told them I loved them, and thanked them. After the gift giving, my wife told me that my oldest had been talking to her about getting me the AlumaWallet for Father’s Day for over 2 months. At that time Keri had no idea what he was talking about but one day the infomercial came on and he freaked out, “MOM, MOM, THIS IS THE WALLET!!!” She said he was so excited to get it for me, he just knew I would love it. Hearing this story, my heart immediately melted. So today, I am the proud, owner of an AlumaWallet that I use every day!
Now…All that said I am on a mission to drop hints to my boys that…
Their mommy loves sun glasses
Their mommy might need some new sun glasses
And remind them that her favorite color is something crazy
Happy Mother’s Day…You better wear them Baby
What gadgets did you get for Father’s Day?
PARENTS – They’re the number one influence in all areas of a teenager’s life, but especially with regards to faith. Having committed Christian parents enables a teenager to have a constant source of discipleship as well as a model of what the Christian life looks like on a daily basis. Find out why
ADULTS – The other members of a teenager’s church matter, whether they are “youth workers” or not. The support, advice, love and help they offer is essential to the faith development of a teenager. The more of these adults they have, the more likely they are devoted.
PRAYER – This goes way beyond simply praying before meals and bedtime. A relationship with poor communication will quickly sour. It’s the same with God. The more a student prays the more they are connected and committed to God.
SCRIPTURE – God has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word. In order to know Him you must know the Bible. This is more than just the who, what, when, where, why and how. A developing passion for God’s Word reflects a developing passion for God Himself.
VALUE – If a teenager doesn’t recognize a need for faith in their everyday life, then they will soon abandon that faith as emerging adults. Holding faith to be important is a very personal decision, yet seeing how valuable it is to others helps instill that same value in the life of a teenager.
BELIEFS – The less doubts a person possesses as teenager, the less doubts they will possess as an adult. This is true because this isn’t about blindly going along with whatever you’re told. This is about firmly knowing what you believe and how to back it up with why you believe it.
EXPERIENCES – God is a personal being who lovingly interacts with His people. The more a teenager personally experiences this divine interaction the more they come to love God and understand what it means to abide in Him for a lifetime.
via [Student Life]
There is a good post for parents over at crosslineyouth.com that you should read. The post is on what questions you should be asking your kids when you pick them up from church. Here are 3 of the 5 that they recommend.
5 Questions To Ask After Bible Class
1. What did you learn?
2. How does that change the way you think?
5. Do you think there is something we all need to change?
Head over to http://www.crosslineyouth.com/parents/what-not-to-ask-your-kid-after-church/ and read their post.
Pastor Rusty told me about a book that sounds great for parents with wayward children. If you are struggling with children who have wandered away from the church consider picking up Kitti Murray’s book, “A Long Way Off: Hope & Healing for Parents of Prodigals.” The book seems to be out of print but you get get a used copy from Amazon for pennies plus shipping. Here are a couple reviews of the book I pulled from Amazon.
“So often we bombard ouselves with the question: “Where did I go wrong?” We see the question in the eyes of others, even our friends. Kitti Murray’s book, A Long Way Off, does not ask the question, nor does it attempt to answer it. Instead, this is a book of healing and love. It helps us learn that there are other parents out there hurting the same way we are.”
“I have read this wonderful book once, held on to every word, passed it on to another hurting parent, and am buying my second copy to soak in again. Kitti Murray’s book is inspired and truly brings comfort and hope to parents whose kids are wandering.”
All this week firstfreeparents.com will be posting devotional book ideas that can help your child or family with their devotional time. With Christmas around the corner maybe one or two of these could be a great stocking stuffer. We will do our best to cover all the ages so please come back every day this week!
There are a ton of options for teen devotions. To be honest my favorite devotional is the Bible and using one of these methods I covered with our high school students last year (you can find those here, here, and here), but I use other tools as well. Here are a few tools I have either used or recommend
A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life
A Godward Life: Book Two One Hundred and Twenty Daily Readings
Studies on the Go: The Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians
Studies on the Go: John
Studies on the Go: Romans
Studies on the Go: Proverbs
Creative Times With God: Discovering New Ways to Connect With the Savior (Simply for Students)
The Message//REMIX Solo: An Uncommon Devotional
Come back tomorrow and hear form Luke Uran on some great junior high resources.
This is our final post on Bible study methods. I hope these have been helpful to you as a parents and possibly something you can pass on to your child now or someday. Enjoy these final four methods.
The Book Survey Method
In the book survey method, you get a telescopic view of a book of the Bible. By doing this step first, you understand how the pieces of the book fit together. It helps you ensure that you won’t mistake the forest for the trees when you study the book further through the next few methods.
The Chapter Analysis Method
Next, you focus your study on a particular chapter from the book you just surveyed. Through this method you’ll look carefully at each paragraph, sentence, and word in the passage you are studying. As you study the chapters of the Bible in this way, you’ll limit outside help and ensure that you’re getting your won insights on Scripture.
The Book Synthesis Method
This is the natural conclusion of this set of methods. After you’ve looked at the book as a whole and then analyze the different chapters within it, you’ll conclude by putting the book and all of the insights you’ve gained back together again. It’s a particularly important step after you’ve torn the book apart in the chapter analysis method.
The Verse-by-Verse Method
In the 12th method you take a particular verse of Scripture and study it in detail by asking particular questions, looking at cross-references and paraphrasing each verse. You can either use this study to work systematically through a passage or combine it with the topical method to look at all of the Scripture related to a topic.
While we know studying God’s word is crucial to spiritual growth we know that these methods will take time, discipline, and possibly some study tools. Stay tune for future posts on devotionals that we recommend for your child. We will try and have all our contributors chime in so you can find an age appropriate tool that works for your kid(s).
Yesterday we posted 4 or 12 Bible study methods that I spoke on in our senior high Sunday School class a few months ago. Here are 4 more and come back tomorrow for the final 4.
The Biographical Method
This one is pretty self-explanatory. It involves picking a biblical character and studying his or her life as presented by Scripture. But it isn’t just about storing information on the person. The reason you study biblical characters is to see why they were spiritual successes or failures. Once you discover that, you can either emulate what made them spiritually successful or avoid what made them fail. With more than 3000 biblical characters, this form of Bible study offers an almost endless supply of opportunities.
The Topical Method
In many ways this is like the thematic study, only more extensive. When studying the Bible topically, you typically attack a broad subject in Scripture (or in a specific book of the Bible)—like prayer or sin. Also, unlike a thematic study, you ask every question you can muster. What you get at the end is a broad idea of what the Bible (or a book in the Bible) says about the topic.
The Word Study Method
Many of the great doctrines of Scripture revolve around a single word, such as grace, atonement, or faith. This study method allows you to focus on what some of these words mean in the original language. The method requires more reference books than the other studies, because you’ll need sources to be able to uncover the meaning of the biblical words in the original languages. The method is based on two things. First, the meaning you find from a word must be based on the original languages. Second, context must give you the ultimate meaning of the word you’re studying, not the English translation.
The Book Background Method
This method helps you get a good feel for the background of the biblical passage or book you are studying. You do it by focusing on understanding the history, culture, geography, and political events surrounding the passage. Of course, this method is highly dependent upon collecting quality Bible study reference tools.
Here are the different ways to study God’s word that I spoke about in our senior high Sunday School a few months ago. This is not an exhaustive list but a good start and I thought this might be helpful for you as a parent. They are not mine and I am not sure where I picked these up but I hope you Enjoy them.
The Devotional Method
This method sets the foundation for all of the others. If application is the ultimate goal of how we’re to interact with the Bible, then this method may be the most important for our spiritual lives. It involves taking a passage of Scripture and prayerfully meditating on it until the Holy Spirit provides a concrete application. It’s so important that it’s a part of every other method I teach.
The Chapter Summary Method
This may be the easiest of the Bible study methods to use, and you need very few extra biblical resources to do it effectively. Using the method, you’ll get a general overview of a chapter. You can use the method to systematically go through God’s Word or you can pick various chapters that are of interest to you.
The Character Quality Method
We’ve all got areas of our lives that need work. Using this Bible study method, you can work on positive character qualities that you need to improve (such as honesty, humility, and diligence) and negative ones you need to avoid (such as pride and greed). Unless you really understand a character quality, you’ll never be able to develop it in your life. Through this method you’ll focus on one character quality, look at how biblical characters lived it out, and look for ways to build the character trait into your own life (or avoid it).
The Thematic Method
This study method involves taking a biblical theme (like interceding for others or “the hand of the Lord”) and asking no more than five predetermined questions of the relevant biblical texts. This is another Bible study method that requires few reference tools, with a Bible and a concordance being the most important ones. It’s a great method to use when you’re preparing a Bible study or mentoring someone. It’s also a nice first step before digging into a more thorough topical study.
Come back tomorrow for four more methods.
Keri and I love spending time together as a family but we also enjoy taking our boys out on little adventures. Keri might take them shopping, or to a Museum, or simply go to Starbucks where she can get a drink while the boys enjoy their vanilla milk.
I recently took the boys on an adventure to Chicago.
- I use an app or website like KAYAK to find the best price and location on a hotel. (In the winter you can get a place for under $99 on or near Michigan Ave).
- I make sure the hotel has a pool. (We swim at night before bed and again in the morning.)
- I make sure the hotel has breakfast.
- We try and walk on Michigan Ave. We love watching street performers, eating treats, and window shopping.
- We (THEY) wake up early in the morning, so before breakfast we walk to a bakery or coffee shop.
- Finally we always eat at the double decker McDonalds. (Every time we go I try to convince them to do Portillo’s or Lou Malnati’s or anything but McDonald’s…but in the words of my boys, “BUT DAD, IT’S A DOUBLE DECKER, WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO EAT IN A DOUBLE DECKER McDONALDS.”)
Doug Fields, a fellow youth worker, has a great blog that focuses in youth ministry, family ministry, and leadership. This past week he wrote about three intentional actions that he tries to do with his kids every day. I trust you will find these helpful…
1. AFFECTION: Everyone child needs it (actually, everyone needs it) and they want it from their parents. I’m convinced that one of reasons teenagers are so sexually promiscuous (especially girls) is because they lack physical affection for the significant male figure in their life.
2. AFFIRMATION: Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on one good compliment.” Unfortunately, many kids go that long without genuine affirmation.
Parents yield so much shaping power with their words. When mom introduces her little daughter Amy as shy, Amy lives up to mom’s words as she hides behind her legs. Amy has heard that description so long, it has become prophetic. Words have the ability to shape a life.
3. ATTENTION: Giving attention is more than popping by their bedroom and waving goodnight, it’s tucking them in. It’s more than asking how their day went, it’s asking and really listening to the answer and then asking more questions. It’s more than making sure they get their homework done, it’s helping them so they feel confident and empowered.
Parenting isn’t easy. Intentional parenting is even more difficult, but the rewards your child will read thru affection, affirmation, and attention are worth the difficulty it takes to make these habitual.
This is just a portion of Doug’s thoughts. Check out the full story at DougFields.com.