They are just kids….Right?

I apologize for such the long break, sometimes life gets busy. But during this time I have had a chance to see God really do some great things in a group of kids. During our Kids Church (B.I.G.) on Sunday mornings my staff and I like to encourage the kids to worship. Normally we will start with what we refer to as a warm-up song, something that gets them moving, out of their shell and also to burn off a little extra energy. From there we will lead them in worship, using songs that they hear during our adult services. We use tracks, videos, live music and even a Capella.

They really worship, lifting their voices, hands and hearts to the Lord. We shout, cry, dance, clap our hands and do our best to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. They watch the adult staff, as we worship and they follow suit. Many times during worship the presence of God moves and they are taught to respond. I believe they are beginning to know what it like to feel God and what happens when we respond.

During our Sunday Night Celebration services, there is usually thirty to forty kids sitting up front waiting for service to start. Once worship starts, they begin to worship, singing, praising and dancing before God. I have heard a few times from others that these kids are just playing, or even mocking. Some have said they are just kids, they don’t really know what they are doing. To others, it just strikes a nerve, how could parents let their kids behave like that.

I guess my first question would be if our eyes were on God and we were worshiping as well, would we see them? Maybe the focus is on the wrong thing. Second, are they really playing? For the most part, they are not. They are doing what they have been trained to do, respond to God with praise and worship. Is that really so bad?

It was during these worship services that I saw a kid that said they haven’t seen their dad in years, begin to worship and cry before God. Another that has had thoughts of suicide, another that is tormented by nightmares, and another that has been bullied all week begin to pour theirs hearts out during worship, responding to God and God responding to them.

The Bible says to train up a child, teach them, instruct them, be an example to them. Life can be hard, even for a kid, but there is a God that loves them and cares for them. The same as He loves and cares for me. Why wouldn’t we want our kids to know and feel this same God? Let’s train them up, let’s be an example to them. Keeping our eyes on God, as they follow us.

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If You’re going to Do It, Do It Right the First Time. A Life Lesson from My Dad.

My oldest son Nate has recently just turned ten. Being the wise and knowledgeable father that I am, I felt it was time to give him a job at the church. I want him to learn at a young age that there is more to ministry then just speaking behind a pulpit. We must first serve. His job is to clean the pulpit that our pastor preaches from each week.

I had the woman who normally cleaned it train him, I made another staff pastor aware of his job and duties to make him accountable. I want him to be consistent, faithful, trustworthy, and build memories from what he is doing and be told to do. While watching him on week, I found myself telling him something I have told him many times before, “Nate, Do it right the first time.” I must have told him time this in the last 3 years a hundred times. I have explained that it saves time to do it right the first, that you only have one chance to do it right. If you’re going to do it, do it right son.

I was really not for sure where I got that principle until tonight while in a text chat with brother and sister. As we begin to share our favorite Christmas stories, family traditions, songs and gifts given and received, I heard the words or maybe I saw the actions of my Dad, If your going to do it, do it right. We did Christmas right. At times we had a lot, at others we didn’t. But we did it right. We kid’s never knew. Why, because he never let us know.

We live life once, for the most part we get one chance to do it right. If we have messed up there is a God that loves us and forgives us and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful for a lesson learned long ago, so however you do it, do it right. So why no do it right the first time.

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Toys VS Hollywood, But Dad Wins!

So it’s Friday night, first night of Christmas vacation, and the kids and I are ready for their normal routine–camp out! For the last five years we have taken just about every Friday night to “Camp Out” in the living room and watch movies. This night was not going to be any different. The twins were already making their request to stop by the mighty box that is red and grab a DVD.

That is when I decided to check out the reviews of a couple of films that my kids were wanting to see. And that is when it hit me, like a sucker punch in the gut.  I read two reviews, from a well-known movie site, about movies based off toys. That’s right, I said TOYS! How could a movie, based on toys that I played with during my childhood, which my ten & eight year old boys are asking for, get a PG-13 Rating? One movie even used a word that starts with the letter after “E” and before “G”. But hey, they only hear it once. Who are they really trying to Transform?

The other review, the one with the green pizza-eating guys in shells, well, at least they don’t swear. Thank the Lord. But they have sexual/sexy references. What! Since when  has something green in a shell ever been sexy? And torture scenes? Again we are talking about TOYS here, folks, those things we work hard to buy for our kids because they have to have it.

Hollywood has done it again, taken something so innocent, and turning it into something so corrupt, that it exposes our children to things, even if for a brief moment, that will plant a seed that can slowly destroy their innocence. I drove right by the big red box, hand picked the DVD and protected my kids one more Friday night.

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