Why Summer Adventure Club?

Around this time of year, I get a steady stream of direct-mail advertisements from Christian publishers touting their latest and greatest Vacation Bible School programs. In a few weeks, you won’t be able to drive through your neighborhood without seeing banners promoting the VBS at the church around the corner. Nearly all conservative churches hold summer programs like this for various reasons.

Given the fact that VBS (or, as we call it, Summer Adventure Club) is business as usual for American churches, I’m a little fearful that we might fall into a we’ve-always-done-it-this-way mindset when it comes to this endeavor. Of course, we haven’t “always done it this way,” so there’s still time to really think through why SAC is meeting some crucial needs: Continue reading

Social Networking: what’s a Christian Family to do? (part 2)

We are in a huge paradigm shift in our culture!

In an ever-changing culture that is always seeking for something new to market, there will always be fads. I would agree there are elements within the “social networking orbit” that are fads, but it does seem as if many of these social networking sites have gone mainstream. Consider that 1 in 3 Americans has a Facebook account or that yesterday YouTube experienced 2 billion views (yes, you read that right – 2 billion) and YouTube is only 5 years old. Twitter recently “hit mainstream” in early 2009. Will we be “tweeting” 10 years from now? It’s hard to tell. Probably not, something else will have come along. But the overwhelming evidence points to social networking sites that, love them or hate them, are here to stay.

As a Bible-believing Christian with four children under the age of 10, how do I help them navigate through the culture that they are about to enter into over the next 4-6 years? Continue reading

What do you do when wicked men prosper?

What are you to do or think when the person who is cheating the company gets the promotion?  Or the woman who lacks morality gets special treatment on the job?  When someone comes onto good fortune while pursuing their path of immorality and wickedness while you have been praying for help just to pay the bills? 

As my 5-year-old would put it, “Daddy!  Bad guys aren’t supposed to win!”  Many of us wish we could retreat to that child like innocence in this area of life.  But the reality is, sometimes it appears that people prosper in spite of or even because of their wickedness.  What should be the Christians attitude toward these situations?  Continue reading

Social Networking: what’s a Christian Family to do? (part 1)

Ever since the Garden of Eden raising a family to honor God and live for Him has been challenging. In fairness to parents who are rearing children in our technology saturated culture, the learning curve has dramatically increased. Consider this: when 9/11 occurred there was no such thing as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. The past five years has seen a virtual cultural explosion of what is called social networking.

  • MySpace – 2003 (2nd largest social networking site following Facebook)
  • Facebook – 2004 (400 million active users world-wide)
  • YouTube – 2005 (receives 2 billion hits per day)
  • Twitter – 2006, but it really took off in early 2009 (75 million users in the US)

By the way there is a new social networking site in development for 6-10 year olds called Togetherville and so the cultural maze just became a little more challenging for families.

There seems to be three responses to the social networking phenomena from Christian families. Continue reading

New Security Features at Church

Our church cares for hundreds of young children each day. In order to ensure their safety, we’ve implemented some new security features in the buildings. From now on, if you need to get in the building during the day, all you have to do is …

Remaining Joyful During Difficult Times

Do you find your circumstances dictate how you feel? Do you find that happiness exists only when “good things” happen in your life?

  • an unexpected pay raise
  • a refund check
  • the kids get an “A” on the test
  • your spouse surprises you with a gift

While all these could be sources of joy, what about when your hours get cut back at work, an extra bill from the hospital visit? What robs you of joy reveals your source of joy. Here are four essential truths to recalibrate your mind on what gives you joy even during difficult times… Continue reading

Influence

Matthew 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world.

The Christian’s main function is to influence the world.  Salt preserves, light illumines.  This is not a command or a request that we influence.  It is a statement of fact.  You are salt.  You are light.  You are influencing.  The only question we find here, is whether we are influencing effectively. 

Years ago, Elihu Burritt wrote this, “No human being can come into this world without increasing or diminishing the sum total of human happiness. Continue reading