Praying For Your Kids

Posted on October 31, 2012 by Phil

You’ve heard it before. You’ve done it before. Perhaps you’ve done it today. But we all agree that we NEED to do it. I’m not sure that I’ll ever feel as if I’ve prayed enough for my children.

Sometimes I would try hard and think for something new to pray for on behalf of my kids. Part of this is easy as new challenges, new friends, and new situations arise in their lives. I find myself praying for those things. But I believe that there is enormous value in consistently pray for the same core things for your kids as they grow and mature.

When Amy and I got married a while back, one of my mentors named Charley, who is a phenomenal dad and husband, drilled praying for our kids into our heads. Charley is almost obsessed with his family and praying on their behalf.

Years ago Charley handed me a sheet of paper, with some notes on it. These were the notes he used to pray for his kids. These notes are still tucked in my bible and I still use them to pray for Piper and Lily each day.

I couldn’t think of anything better to leave you with other than a picture of this note. I urge you to print it out, crop it down, and stick it in your Bible, or your car, or your mirror, or over the sink…anywhere that you will see it every day. Don’t worry, it won’t take you long to memorize the list.

No matter how you do it, just do it. Go before the Lord every day on behalf of your children. And know this. Every morning at 9am, here in the Lake Lodge at Camp, we gather and pray for you and your family. Be encouraged and enjoy…


If you ever have questions about this list. Feel free to contact me, I’ll be here!

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Parenting Teens Is Tough; LifeWay Offers Help

Posted on October 24, 2012 by Phil

Parenting Teens Magazine

Parenting a teenager is terrifying!

“There’s no doubt about it,” said Mike Wakefield. “Even if the teenager is a great kid, it’s still absolutely terrifying to think about all the new skills a parent has to develop to navigate through those years.”

Wakefield leads the team that produces Parenting Teens, a relaunch of LifeWay’s popular Living with Teenagers magazine. The redesign of the magazine has been developed specifically to answer questions, offer advice and provide resource information to help parents be the primary spiritual developers in their families.

“I believe most Christian parents want to be the ones who teach and lead their teenagers; they just don’t know how,” he said.

“When we were redesigning this magazine, we looked at tons of other parenting publications,” he said. “We wanted this one to be different. We asked ourselves, ‘what can we do that would make a parent want to pick up this magazine instead of some of these others?’ What we discovered is that we (LifeWay) are the only ones who look at parenting teens from a Christian perspective. So, when we went to redesign the magazine, we really wanted to highlight that difference. We also wanted to help parents develop their own Christian walk, as well as offer practical advice. I think we have done that.”

Parenting Teens will be divided into three sections: “Know, Grow, Become.”

“We want to help parents know their teens, so we will give lots of information about teen culture and issues related specifically to adolescence,” Wakefield said. “We want them to grow as parents, which is the section where we focus on parenting skills and issues. And, we want to help them become more Christlike, so we’ve added a section specifically for a parent’s spiritual growth as an individual.”

Each issue of the monthly magazine will feature a “Voice of a Teen” column. A teen will write this column and address some struggle, such as the struggle to be perfect: perfect grades, perfect body, perfect talents, etc.

“On the perfection topic, we want the parents to understand their own attempt at perfection – and, yes, parents do that too – may be having a negative influence on their teens,” Wakefield said. “Hearing it straight from the teen will have an impact.”

Bundling option

While Parenting Teens will be available as an individual subscription, Wakefield said there is the option of bundling Parenting Teens with ec magazine, a monthly magazine for teens that offers challenging daily devotions and relevant feature articles designed to help students understand that their relationship with Christ should affect every part of their lives.

“Bundling these two magazines together can be a great benefit for the whole family,” Wakefield said. “The magazines will be aligned thematically to help each one build on the other. The articles won’t be the same, of course, but they will encourage discussion between parents and teens about what they’ve read.”

Parents who choose a bundle option will receive a 15-percent discount on the pair of magazines.

Good value for churches

Parenting Teens will offer four Bible study outlines in each issue of the magazine – for churches that have Sunday school or small groups for parents of teenagers.

“What youth minister doesn’t want to be a hero for the parents of his or her students?” Wakefield asked. “With this resource, he or she can provide a way for parents of youth to be discipled throughout the week. In this way, Parenting Teens is so much more that just a leisure reading or advice magazine.

“We want parents who have issues with their teens to know they are not alone, insane or bad parents,” Wakefield said with a laugh. “Parenting teens can be tough. We want to offer tools to make it a little easier.”

by Polly House on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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Objection: Robotic Ritual

Posted on October 17, 2012 by Phil

Scriptures: Malachi 1
Going Through the Motions

Family Connections

“My mom’s been serving leftovers for 30 years. Nobody knows what the original meal was.” Old joke told by anyone who’s never had to put a meal on the table 7 days a week.

Not many people, especially kids, like leftovers. But you can actually use those warmed-over dishes to teach spiritual lessons to your children! Next time your kids complain about leftovers, try this:

Play patty-cake saying something like:

Patty-cake, Patty-cake, Thank You, God

Patty-cake, Patty-cake, For this food

Patty-cake, Patty-cake, Thank You God

Patty-cake, Patty-cake, You are good.

Then lead a prayer with: God is great (this keeps them remembering the greatness of God), God is good (this keeps them remembering God’s love). God I thank you for this (actually state the leftovers.)

( – see printout)

School-Age and Students
Ask why they don’t like leftovers. Then challenge the kids to consider how you all (include yourself) offer leftovers at work, school, and home. Then take it deeper by asking how people offer leftovers to God.

As you’re eating the meal, challenge children to list what God offers them new and fresh every day. Explore what you can offer God each day that is new and fresh.

If your budget allows, if they’ve participated positively in this dinner time discussion, reward their willingness to talk and eat leftovers with an ice cream cone.


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The 4 Cs and the Reality of Parenting

Posted on October 10, 2012 by Phil

by Regi Campbell,

It’s not even funny how unprepared I was to be a dad. There should be a law.

My son arrived and I cried. My daughter was born and I cried again. I cried at their baptisms, their graduations, their weddings and at the birth of their children.

A few years ago, a friend shared something that put it all in perspective.

He drew this diagram for me and told me how it works.

He said you start out doing nothing but caring for a child. He eats, sleeps, cries, coos and poops. He stays were you put him so you don’t worry too much about controlling him. Just keep him from things that could eat him…like the dog.

As soon as he learns to ambulate….move around….roll, crawl and then walk, you move into control mode. You have to control him to protect him. You have to keep him out of the street. You keep him from climbing ladders and bookcases. You control what he puts in his mouth and keep him from French-kissing electrical outlets.

What you might not notice is that while control becomes crucial, care gets less. They go to the bathroom on their own. Before you know it, they’re washing, dressing, and feeding themselves. Your care becomes more economic and logistic, paying for all their stuff and taking them where they need to be. They start making up their own minds. You say ‘no’ occasionally, but it’s with fear and trepidation. You find yourself coaching them on life… giving them counsel… pointing them to the best choices. When they hit puberty, you realize they’re only influenced by their friends. You hope they’ve chosen good friends and that you’re one of them.

You start to become friends….companions. You’re not their buddy…buddies go along with stuff. Buddies won’t tell you the truth, even if it’ll save your butt. Buddies will get you in trouble, but they’re never there to get you out. Friends are different.

They love AND respect each other. Friends are companions…they hang out. A ‘companion’ is ‘one who accompanies another’. Companions do life together.

I love this dictionary definition of a companion…

….‘one that is closely connected with something similar’.

A dad and his kid. Something similar. So true.

The day comes when your offspring goes to college. You now have zero control…you can’t even see his medical records without his permission. Your ‘care’ is totally financial. You have no control. And your counsel is occasional because he’s now on his own. Companionship is what keeps you connected. That’s it.

College graduation, career, marriage, kids…they’re launched. You’re done.

The lesson here is to recognize where you are in the cycle. Be ‘fully present’ and emotionally engaged at every stage, knowing what’s coming next and what’s fading away. Don’t try to hold on too long. But don’t jump ahead either.

Ultimately, the day comes when, if you’ve done the first three “C’s” well, they’ll come back and care for you. The cycle is complete.

Question: Are you ‘fully present’ with your kids? If you continue on the path you’re on as a dad, will your kid come back and care for you?
Thanks to Regi Campbell

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Conversation Starters: I Celebrate You

Posted on October 3, 2012 by Phil

Psalm 92

explores reasons to worship and benefits worship brings to our lives

Conversation Starters

How can you keep this conversation going at home? Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even while you’re shopping together:

For Preschoolers

• What is your favorite song to sing in church? Why?

• Why do you think God likes to hear us sing to Him?

For School-Age

• What is your favorite song to sing in church? Why?

• When the choir sings at our church, what do you think we should be doing?

• Do you think it matters to God whether or not we have a “good voice” when we sing to Him?

For Students

• Do you normally think of a worship service as divided into the “worship part” (music) and the “sermon”? Why do you think we do that?

• Is there a style of worship you don’t think you could worship to? Do you think that is more about you or more about the style?

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