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Monday night…. 6:30….. Cowboys and their Pre-K  daughters  came pouring into the chapel at CrossRoads Church!  A night of  activities, a craft, dancing  and a giant ice cream sundae was part of the evening to unfold!  Cowboy hats, chaps, bandanas and boots were the fashion of the evening.  30 Dads, 1 Grandpa and 33 “Cowgirls”  made up the special event!  A big “Thank You ” goes out to our helpers… Peggy Kingcott, Marcia Bowler, Jaqi Tiechroeb, Helena Bowler, Dave Grobe and Chris Smith! We hope you enjoy a few of the snapshots from this fun night! A “Big Thank You”  to Cindy Bourn for the delicious cookies as well!

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It is intimidating to be handed a baby and have it entrusted to your care. Even more intimidating to recognize that you are to be this child’s spiritual guide on life’s journey. The Apostle Paul functioned as a spiritual father to many churches. To his church in Corinth, Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

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How confident are we to say, “Follow my example of following Christ”?

This phrase probably sounds too arrogant to our ears. How could we as fallible people think that we could follow Christ so perfectly that we could be a fitting example for others to follow? It sounds too bold to suggest that we would be the example of Christ that others should follow. However, as parents, this is the role that we play. Little eyes are watching our every move and imitating our actions–both good and bad.

Remember your audience

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of the eyes that watch us. Knowing our actions are being followed should guide us to be more like Jesus in our homes and to our families. Maybe we need to say, like Paul, “Watch me demonstrate God’s love for you kids and your mother. I am trying to love you like Jesus loves you.”  Or maybe, “See how we practice forgiveness, we are trying to follow Jesus example.” Those small phrases might be reminders to us of how loving and giving we need to be.

Align your words and deeds

They will watch our every action and determine where our true priorities lie. They do not need to hear our words to tell them what matters to us. They will see from our actions what we value and where we invest our time and energy. With our words we may say what we want our children to care about, but our actions will betray us if we are not practicing what we preach.

Dwell with Christ

If we never open our Bibles, how will we know how God has called us to live? It is in dwelling in relationship with God that his character is seen. As we love God, his spirit transforms our lives and molds us to live into the image of Christ. Apart from time spent with God, we will have nothing of Christ to offer to others. We can’t give what we don’t have.

Model Christ

The truth is that our kids are looking to us as their living breathing example whether we admit that we are or not.  We are our children’s first close-up view of Jesus. We are the example they will see for how to care for each other. We are the example they will watch for learning to communicate in love.  Our children will learn forgiveness and restoration first at home before they will later recognize it from Jesus. May we be able to say, “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Walk humbly

It would be arrogant to think that we could step into Christ’s role–we fall far short of his righteousness at every turn. But God has given us an authoritative role in our families to point others back to him. It should humble us to think that God chose us for this task. If we walk with great humility, our families will see the servant leadership that Christ modeled for us in his time here on earth.

Admit your errors

Hypocrisy is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to being an effective witness. We will all mess up sometimes and we should own that. We do the best that we can, but we are human and sometimes our selfishness is going to show itself in our words and actions. It is important that we recognize our bad behavior and seek forgiveness from God and from each other. Pretending to have life together will only damage our witness. What our families need to see is a contrite heart.

It may be intimidating to model Christ, but God equips us for the challenge. As we humbly draw close to him, he will help us to radiate his love to the world. And even when we fall short of the example that we strive to follow; in Christ we have forgiveness and a fresh start.

Christian parents desire that their children would have a healthy and active relationship with God. We want them to have the blessing of fellowship with God as well as an anchor to hold them fast to godly principles. We want them to know the joy of salvation and have the support of a community of faith. Our desire is that the depth of their faith would grow with them throughout their lives. We long to say, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John:4). We want our children to transfer the dependency they have on us to a relationship where they are dependent on God. But how can we help our children transfer their head knowledge about God into a heart knowledge that delights in relationship? Although there is no magic formula, there are things that we can do to help our children engage their faith.

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Share your learning

Embrace the role of spiritual guide that God has given to you by leading with your own example. Studies show that parents are the most influential people in the faith formation of their children. Faith grows in the context of relationship. Discuss what you are studying in the Bible and how you are finding yourself being molded and stretched by God. Let your kids see your own Spiritual growth by sharing about your own faith journey. Regularly share together with your family and ask each person to talk about what they are learning from God’s word.

Cultivating conversation with God

Model for your family how to take concerns regularly to God. Let your children hear you pray for them and for others. Prayer time can quickly become just routine without much thought if you don’t give it focus. Practice different approaches to prayer in your home to encourage genuine expression of the heart. When challenges arrive, stop and pray so your children learn how to handle worry–by taking concerns before the throne of God. This modeling of how to handle struggles will serve our children well throughout their life. When they start to worry they will remember to transform that worry into a prayer. Prayer is an essential element of a healthy faith life.

Time with God

Help your children cultivate time spent with God through his word. God speaks through his word and in it we find ourselves in his story. It is in time spent in scripture reading that the Spirit plants his word most fully in our hearts. We always let our children stay up later at night if they were reading the Bible or their devotional book–it was a treat for them. Time spent time spent alone in scripture should be a regular part of your daily routine as it helps us to discover God’s identity and it anchors us in his truth.

Encourage wonder

When faith is just pat answers it is not compelling. Wrestling with the big questions in scripture helps us to grow in our understanding of what we believe. Exercising your creative imagination around gaps in the narratives of scripture is a helpful way to understand what God is doing in the Biblical text and begin to understand the nature of God. Choose to wonder together about how the Biblical characters felt and what the situation felt like from their position. What would you have done if you were in Daniel’s shoes or if you were facing Esther’s predicaments? How do you face similar challenges in your own life and what truths of scripture does God have for your life?

Allow doubts

Doubts can scare us, worrying us that our children are walking away from their faith. Yet doubt can be an important path to faith if we use those doubts to wrestle with God. The Psalms are full of the language of doubt and struggling, but we recognize the richness of relationship with God that they represent. It is better to move forward exploring the things we don’t fully understand this side of heaven instead of brushing off doubts as something bad. If we are not allowed to question, then our faith will never grow roots. It is in pouring out our doubts and concerns to God that we find God faithful. As we search for God we find him and be drawn back into relationship.

Delight in God’s world

Wandering through the local aquarium shows us God’s creativity in the variety of shapes, colors, and types of sea creatures–and that is just what he put in the water! In nature we catch a glimpse of our creator God that causes us to marvel at his power and creativity. Help your kids see the connections by pointing out God’s wonders. Stop to marvel at bugs and birds and changing leaves. From the power of the waves to the beauty of flowers, God’s attributes are on display. All of nature including ourselves carry God’s fingerprints.

Challenge and stretch

We learn best when we put our faith into action with our own hands. Day by day, acts of living sacrificially demonstrate that our faith is more than words. Service learning and mission trips can also help to fuel a spiritual passion by taking us outside of our normal life to acquaint us with the needs in God’s world. Serving others helps us to see beyond ourselves and guides us to extend the love of God to one another. It is good for us to create habits of obedience to draw us into the rhythm of life in God’s kingdom.

Enlist community

Studies show that faith grows best when we can readily witness multiple examples. Close relationships with those who love God lay the path for faith to be transferred. The research suggests that youth need at least 5 adults invested in their life who demonstrate an active faith. This community of faith creates a sense of belonging among God’s people and helps them to feel at home. Enlisting mentors to help your children navigate their faith questions can be a real blessing.

All of these practices can be helpful for connecting our kids’ hearts to the heart of God. There are no guarantees when it comes to faith formation within our families. We do our best and trust the God who loves our children even more than we ever could. He will draw our children close to him. We lean on God and continue to trust that since God started his work in the lives of our children, he will continue to carry it out to completion!

This is a re-blog from Family Fire’s Article “Growing in Faith: Moving from Head to Heart”
NOVEMBER 7, 2016 • DEB KOSTER
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It’s a touchscreen world. And it’s full of touchy subjects. As parents, we must have a strategy to guide our kids safely into adulthood, teaching them how to interact with sex, technology, and social media. 

Parenting can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Learn how to talk to your kids about Touchy Subjects!

Download the e-book or watch a video.

The Touchy Subjects Video Course will walk you through conversations on sex, masturbation, relationships, culture, social media and so much more in just ten information packed video sessions.

this is a reblog by www.xxxchurch.com

 

ulture          THREE THINGS THIS WEEK

This is a re-blog from axis.org’s The Culture Translator. Check out www.axis.org to gain weekly insight into how pop culture, technology, and media are influencing your students.

  1. Halloween

What it is: Holidays = party time for many teens. And with that come many choices: Do I drink? Do I hook up? Do I get in a car with my drunk friend behind the wheel?

Why it’s important: As hard as we try to raise our children to honor God in all they do, they aren’t robots. So if your teen makes foolish choices this weekend, it’s ok to get upset because, if we love holiness, sin should be abhorrent to us. However, turn your righteous anger into a redemptive opportunity to offer grace and forgiveness. You know your teen best: What will best help him deeply grasp the consequences (emotional, spiritual, relational, etc.) of his choices? What will draw her closer to the heart of God, rather than push her even more toward the patterns of this world?

 

  1. Dig into the Word

What it is: Jefferson Bethke, whom you may recognize from this viral video, has an amazing online workshop with practical tools to help us get excited about and make time for reading God’s Word every day.

Why it’s valuable: The Bible is more accessible than ever, yet our technological advances don’t necessarily help us to better understand it or apply it to our lives. If you, your family, or your students have ever felt disconnected from, confused by, or even bored with God’s Word, this course is absolutely worth the investment. With so many things competing for our time, attention, hearts, and minds, being rooted in God’s Word is paramount!

 

  1. The Walking Dead

What it is: Season 7 of the top show premiered Sunday with blood, brutality, death, and the worst villain yet.

Why it’s influential: The storytellers at AMC are masters, knowing not only how to drive ratings up by pushing the limits of violence, but also how to make viewers feel personally connected to the characters. In this week’s season premiere of TWD viewers received a punch to the gut when one of their most beloved characters was murdered by the sadism of newcomer Negan, leaving many viewers with a real sense of personal loss and the feeling of being manipulated by the show’s increasing level of cruelty. At this point, the show is a cultural experiment to see just how much gratuitous violence the audience can take before they break. TWD smashes heads and calls it art. It’s not, it’s dehumanizing. Help your younger viewers create the discernment to know when enough is enough by refusing to continue filling their minds and hearts with gore, brutality and violence.

Have you registered?

The weekend of November 18-20, we have an awesome Junior High Youth Retreat planned for student in Grades 7 & 8.

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This has been an annual student retreat where our Junior Highs head to Circle Square Ranch in Halkirk, AB. It provides your student(s) with a fun filled weekend of games like “Mantracker”, campfires, bible teaching and worship. Spending a weekend together focusing on learning more about faith and God, having fun, and building community provides a great start to the ministry year.

The cost of this years camp is $120. You can register online at www.CrossRoadsChurch.ca/ComingEvents (you can pay online via credit card or choose to pay at the Church office by cash or cheque). Transportation to this wild weekend retreat will be provided.

For more information, please visit our webpage at www.CrossRoadsChurch.ca/Grade7-8.

*Please be sure to contact DallasC@CrossRoadsChurch.ca if subsidy is required. We do not want your student to miss out because of financial reasons.

This is a reblog from Axis.org “The Culture Translator”. Go online to sign up for their free weekly newsletter that aims to help you better understand the world your student inhabits, provide weekly insight into how pop culture, technology and media are influencing your students AND provide a platform to start biblically-based conversations with your teens

ulture

 

Vol. 2 Issue 40 | October 7, 2016

Three Things This Week

1. 4 Great Questions

What it is: In David Kinnaman’s book “Good Faith,” he describes four critical conversation starters to help you talk with your students about some of the most divisive issues of our day.

What they are: Whether it’s politics, gender confusion, video games, racial problems, or dating, ask your students these four questions to help frame every difficult conversation: 1. What is Right? (Celebrate it.) 2. What is Wrong? (Correct it.) 3. What is Missing? (Create it.) 4. What is Confused? (Clarify it.) Use these four questions to help your students develop conviction about their own beliefs, while cultivating compassion and respect for those who may disagree with them.

2. Clowns

What it is: An epidemic of creepy clowns have been spotted all across the United States causing school closures and even a riot on Penn State’s campus earlier this week.

Why it’s weird: Clowns are kinda freaky anyway, much less reports of a machete wielding clown in Georgia, or clowns in South Carolina attempting to lure children into the woods. This story is a perfect example of a few real life events fueling a social media fire-storm leading to the outbreak of copycat occurrences across the US. In truth, clown threats are more of a social media phenomenon among students than a real world reality, reminding us of how easily it is to blur the lines between the virtual world and the real world.

3. #NationalPoetryDay

What it is: Thursday, October 6 was National Poetry Day.

Why it’s important: In our technological age of texts and tweets, when schools often just teach to the test while de-emphasizing creativity, offer your students living ideas instead of dry facts. How?Read poetry. Read poetry to remind yourself that you are human. Read poetry to engage the heart and the mind. Read poetry to encourage your students that there is no education like self-education, and no stimulus to unleash the imagination like the power and form of beautiful words. Here are three contemporary poets to read with your students: Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, and Malcolm Guite. And, here are the top 20 “poems” your students are listening to this week.

(This post is a re-blog from REV. DR. ROB TOORNSTRA on familyfire.reframemedia.com)

“Dad, do you like Taylor Swift?” Our oldest daughter has officially reached an age where she listens to pop music, watches “America’s Got Talent,” plays online video games, and follows her favorite celebrities. She frequently asks my opinion on this or that singer, song, or celebrity. As parents, we sometimes feel torn between encouraging our children to appreciate the best of our culture as a part of God’s good world and wanting to protect her from the messages in the media that can shape her worldview in ways that run counter to a Christian worldview.  As I’ve reflected on how to encourage our children to engage media in a healthy way, Paul’s words to the Philippians church are instructive: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8).  Three questions come to mind that are helpful in teaching our children – young or old – to think on such things.

“Is the language appropriate?”

Beginning at a young age, I want my kids to recognize and discern between actions and words that are appropriate and inappropriate. What constitutes appropriate changes as children grow older. A young child shouldn’t be exposed to any swearing, for example, while a pre-teen can usually hear a swear word without being tempted to repeat it. As soon as they are able to listen to music or watch TV, kids should be able to recognize words that are vulgar or crass, slang words that are used to insult others, or words that use God’s name as an expression or exclamation. Music, movies, or Internet content featuring excessive vulgarity or profanity is off-limits, especially if kids begin repeating them. Age-appropriateness is a good place to start because it instills a habit of discernment early on, and because discerning appropriate and inappropriate content is fairly easy at this stage, since the focus is on easily identifiable criteria.

“What is this about?”

Sometimes we make the mistake of going no further than the first question; we teach our children that as long as there is no excessive swearing, the content is acceptable for Christians. However, this would be simplistic – books or music can lack profanity, and yet be full of content that is inappropriate for Christians. Conversely, a movie may have language that isn’t appropriate, but still be worthy of our attention because it wrestles with themes that help us understand ourselves and our relationship with God better. The same is true for other adult concepts, situations, and struggles, including sexuality and nudity. The mere presence of adult material is not the issue as much as its age-appropriateness and consistency with Christian understandings.

The point of asking this question is to develop the skill of careful discernment of music, movies, TV shows, or video games. Rather than consuming the massive volumes of media content, kids need to learn to identify themes and messages behind this content. Is the song about relationships? Does the movie explore the place of work? Are the video games about conquest and warfare? This helps us recognize content containing themes that are worthy of our attention and content that is more like junk food – perhaps okay as an occasional treat, but not something that should comprise our daily diet.

“What does this say about what it’s about?”

Asking the second question leads into the third question. If a song is about relationships, what is the song saying about relationships? Is the message that relationships are disposable? Does the movie about racial differences explore our fallen human nature, or does it reinforce prejudices about race? Media can be powerful because it can shine a light on our human condition, highlighting our need for salvation, and offering solutions to our human problem. It’s at this point that I ask questions that encourage young men and women to compare the message of the media to the Christian message. How do the solutions offered compare and contrast with the biblical message? What is lacking? Media that runs counter to a Christian worldview should be challenged, and media that blatantly promotes actions that are contrary to a Christian ethic should be discarded.

As parents, it can be tempting to simply dismiss the place of media because we want to shield our children from negative influences. However, we are doing them a disservice if we do so; we cannot escape media. And, the various forms of media can be valuable elements of our culture, that God calls us to participate in. A better approach is to teach our children from a young age, how to discern the message and the content of the media from a Christian point of view.

Head to FamilyFire.com to sign up for their weekly Family newsletter.

This is an excerpt from Axis.org’s The Culture Translator (Vol. 2, Issue 39 | September 30, 2016 )

Sign up to read more of “Three Things This Week”

What it is: Yesteryear’s parents taught their kids not to pass mean notes in class, how “words could never hurt them,” and not to look in Uncle John’s closet for fear they’d find his magazines. Today’s parents face the same underlying issues, just in very different ways and with higher frequency and accessibility, thanks to the Internet, which is why parental awareness and guidance is needed now more than ever.

Why it’s needed: As Real Simple points out, “Young adults, adolescents, and little kids are all ‘digital natives,’ born into a world where connections are formed and life is lived online. They will be exposed to the negative realities of the Internet.” Though this new terrain seems wild and scary, we must stay ahead of the curve for the sake of our children. A gadget called Circle helps set Internet limits. An app called OurPact also helps with that. This article will help you understand the Internet’s addictive nature. Fight The New Drug helps guard against porn. Above all, having continual conversations about what we do or do not allow into our minds and hearts is key!

Head to https://axis.org/ to sign up for the weekly “Culture Translator” and start having authentic conversations with your teens about a variety of topics they face day to day.