Conversation Starters: Give Thanks – Anyway!

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Honor God by obeying and thanking Him.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Every November, we are reminded to be thankful for all the blessings and good things in our lives. It’s easy to be thankful when the blessings are obvious or right in front of us. Thankfulness is harder when the road before us is uncertain and we feel like we’re facing more challenges than blessings. We can truly give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18), because God is always at work on our behalf.

Concept: Give Thanks – Anyway!


Exodus 20; 31:18

LIFE POINT: God’s people were traveling to the land God had promised them. They camped in a desert near a mountain until God told them to move. Moses would go up the mountain and talk to God. One time God gave Moses and the people ten special rules or Commandments to follow. These are some of the rules God wanted His people to follow: Love God. Love your mother and father and do what they tell you to do. Do not take anything that does not belong to you. Always tell the truth. After God was finished talking with Moses, the people heard thunder and saw lightning. A trumpet blew, and smoke filled the area. The people were afraid. Moses told them to not be afraid. “Love God and make right choices,” he said. God wrote these rules on two stone tablets so the people would remember them.

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child ten items to count. Use the opportunity to talk about the Ten Commandments God gave to the people.


Exodus 20; 31:18

LIFE POINT: God commanded Moses to tell the people what He wanted them to do. God reminded Moses of all He had done for the people. Then God told Moses His special commandments.
Worship only God. Do not make idols. Honor God’s name. Remember the Sabbath is God’s special day. Respect your parents. Do not murder. Keep your marriage promises to your husband or wife. Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not want the things that belong to other people. When the people heard the thunder and trumpet, and saw the lightning and smoke, they shook with fear. Moses said, Don’t be afraid.” God spoke again. “Do not make idols to me. Instead make an altar from the earth. Use it to offer your sacrifices to Me. I will bless you in every place you go.”

LIVE IT OUT: Talk about the Ten Commandments with your child. Help him think of different ways to express the commandments that convey the same meaning. Discuss modern applications of the commandments.


2 Chronicles 20:10-30

THE POINT: Our circumstances don’t define our thankfulness. How do you normally respond to a situation you cannot fix? What are the benefits of being a thankful person? How does being a thankful person bring recognition to Christ? Discuss the following quote:

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”1—G. K. Chesterton

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out this Thanksgiving. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Begin family prayers this week by thanking God. List the small things God is doing for your family in the battles you are facing.
• COMMUNITY: Pray with your student about any battles he or she may be walking through. Check in each day to see how God is working in the situation.
• CULTURE: Help your student to prepare for future battles. This can be through Scripture memorization, prayer, etc. Remember that even in tough situations, God is working in us to make us more like Him.

1. “G.K. Chesterton > Quotes > Quotable Quotes,” Goodreads [online], [accessed 1 February 2016]. Available from the Internet: thanks-are-the-highest-form-of.

Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged , , , | Leave a reply

Conversation Starters: Created with Great Value

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God can use people even if they make mistakes.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Our culture often determines a person’s value by how that person can contribute to society or not be a burden to others. Unfortunately, a lot of people—including the unborn, the elderly, or those with special needs—must depend on others. Some people question the value of a person who cannot “stand on their own two feet,” but God never does. Every person has value and purpose.

Concept: Created with Great Value


Judges 6:11-23

LIFE POINT: The Midianites had attacked the people of Israel. The Israelites called to God to help them. God chose a new leader to defeat the Midianites. God chose Gideon. An angel came to Gideon and said, “God has chosen you to help, Gideon. God is sending you. You will free your people.” Gideon said he was not strong or powerful, but the angel told Gideon that God would be with him. Gideon cooked a meal for his visitor. He brought meat and broth and bread to the angel. “Put the meat and bread on this stone,” the angel said. “Pour the broth on it.” The angel touched the food with his staff. Fire burned up the meat and bread. Then the angel disappeared. Gideon knew that God had sent the angel to talk to him. He knew that God would help him to help the Israelites.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to name ways God helps him. Be ready to supply a few answers. Help your
child learn the verse “God helps me. I will not be afraid.” Lead him to say the verse like a cheer.


Judges 13-16

LIFE POINT: “You will have a son,” the angel told the husband and wife.“ Be sure he never cuts his hair. Promise him to God.” Samson grew to be very strong. Samson killed a lion using just his hands. Once Samson was tied up and given to the enemy. When they attacked him, he broke the ropes and killed them with a bone. Delilah kept asking Samson where his strength came from until he answered her. Finally, Samson told Delilah the truth. While he slept, she cut his hair. His strength left him, and he was
taken prisoner. The enemy made Samson blind. They put chains on him. But, Samson’s hair began to grow again. One day in the temple of Dagon, people made fun of Samson. Samson prayed for strength and God gave it to him. Samson pushed against the stone columns. The whole temple fell down!

LIVE IT OUT: As you review the Bible story about Samuel, help your child think of other people that God
used who made mistakes and were disobedient to God. Help your child understand that God loves him and is ready to forgive sin.


Jeremiah 1:4-10

THE POINT: Before you were born, God designed you with great value. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever seen? How does the truth that God knows you personally change how we relate to Him? What are some things all Christians are called to do? How does God equip His followers to fulfill their purpose? Discuss the following quote:

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”1—Saint Augustine

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out.
Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Encourage your student to memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 this week while actively listening for God’s calling.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student to understand that each of us has a calling that is as unique as we are. Spend time in prayer with your student seeking God’s calling in his or her life.
• CULTURE: The world defines value differently from how God defines value. Help your student understand the value that God has placed on our lives.


1. “Saint Augustine Quotes,” BrainyQuotes [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet:

Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged , , , | Leave a reply

Ask Your Kids Questions…. Different Questions

Posted by Phil

Camp Ridgecrest

I find myself asking my kids the same questions each day. I don’t want to be predictable. I don’t want my kids to know what I’m going to ask, before I ask it…that’s when they stop paying attention and thinking they know everything that I know.

We take this philosophy at Ridgecrest Summer Camps too by the way, trying not to be predictable. We like surprise because it keeps campers on their toes, and to be honest, its just more fun for everyone. This is also true when talking to kids about Jesus. If you look at Jesus, you will quickly see that He was anything but predictable.  His actions and questions consistently took people by surprise.  I want kids to know that.  I want them to keep listening to people when they talk about Jesus. I want them to know that there is still so much more to be learned about this Jesus… I think Camp Ridgecrest and Camp Crestridge do a great job at this.

Back to my kids. Do I do a great job at this back home? Yikes. I want to. I came across this article and while skimming it, I jumped straight to the list of questions. I want to ask better questions. I don’t want to be predictable or boring. I can’t afford to be as a dad.

What if you tried to ask your kids questions like these, rather than simply asking, “How was your day?”

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Can you tell me an example of kindness you saw/showed?
  3. Was there an example of unkindness? How did you respond?
  4. Does everyone have a friend at recess?
  5. What was the book about that your teacher read?
  6. What’s the word of the week?
  7. Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  8. Did anyone cry?
  9. What did you do that was creative?
  10. What is the most popular game at recess?
  11. What was the best thing that happened today?
  12. Did you help anyone today?
  13. Did you tell anyone “thank you?”
  14. Who did you sit with at lunch?
  15. What made you laugh?
  16. Did you learn something you didn’t understand?
  17. Who inspired you today?
  18. What was the peak and the pit?
  19. What was your least favorite part of the day?
  20. Was anyone in your class gone today?
  21. Did you ever feel unsafe?
  22. What is something you heard that surprised you?
  23. What is something you saw that made you think?
  24. Who did you play with today?
  25. Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday.
  26. What is something that challenged you?
  27. How did someone fill your bucket today? Whose bucket did you fill?
  28. Did you like your lunch?
  29. Rate your day on a scale from 1-10.
  30. Did anyone get in trouble today?
  31. How were you brave today?
  32. What questions did you ask at school today?
  33. Tell us your top two things from the day (before you can be excused from the dinner table!).
  34. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  35. What are you reading?
  36. What was the hardest rule to follow today?
  37. Teach me something I don’t know.
  38. If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?
  39. (For older kids):  Do you feel prepared for your history test?” or, “Is there anything on your mind that you’d like to talk about?” (In my opinion, the key is not only the way a question is phrased, but responding in a supportive way.)
  40. Who did you share your snacks with at lunch?
  41. What made your teacher smile? What made her frown?
  42. What kind of person were you today?
  43. What made you feel happy?
  44. What made you feel proud?
  45. What made you feel loved?
  46. Did you learn any new words today?
  47. What do you hope to do before school is out for the year?
  48. If you could switch seats with anyone in class, who would it be? And why?
  49. What is your least favorite part of the school building? And favorite?
  50. If you switched places with your teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?

Thanks for being great parents. Thanks for challenging your kids to grow into young men and young women who love Jesus and love others well. And thanks of course, for letting Ridgecrest Summer Camps partner with you as you do the most important job in the world…raising your kids.

Phil Berry
Director, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys
Ridgecrest Summer Camps

Credits to Her View From Home for a great read…

Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a reply

Conversation Starters: Unstoppable Impact

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: All people should have the opportunity to hear about Jesus.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: America is a very diverse country: cultures, ethnicities, worldviews, and preferences. It is our human nature to gravitate toward people who are more like ourselves, but the beauty of the gospel is that it is not only for people “just like me.” The gospel speaks to any culture, any time, and any place. In Acts 17, Paul gave us an example of communicating the gospel in a diverse culture.

Concept: Unstoppable Impact


Exodus 13:17- 15:21

LIFE POINT: God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into a new land. God gave them a cloud to guide them during the day. At night, He led them with fire to give light. The people of Egypt now were sorry they had let the Israelites go, so they came after them. The Israelites were afraid when they
saw all the horses and men coming toward them. God told Moses to stretch his hand over the Red Sea. Moses did what God said. The water separated. There was dry land before them with water on both sides. The Israelites walked on dry land to the other side of the Red Sea. Once everyone was across, God told Moses to stretch his hand over the waters again. This time the sea flowed back. Moses and the people sang a song to God. They were amazed at what God had done for them!

LIVE IT OUT: If possible, go for a nature walk with your child. Talk about the changing of the seasons and remind your child that God said the seasons would change. Possibly walk near a lake, river, ocean, or pond. Tell the Bible story of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea.


Exodus 13:17- 15:21

LIFE POINT: God led the Israelites to camp at the Red Sea. He led them with a tall cloud during the day and with a column of fire at night. Then Pharaoh decided to chase them with his army and chariots. God told Moses to lift up his staff and to reach out over the water. When Moses raised his staff, God caused the waters to part and make a wall of water on each side with a dry path in the middle. All the Israelites walked across the sea on dry land! The Egyptians followed the Israelites into the sea, but Moses lowered his staff and the waters came together. The Egyptians did not survive. When the people saw the great power of God, they trusted Him and believed in Him. Moses led the people to sing a song of praise to God. He praised God for His power and for His care. He praised God for the miracle He had performed.

LIVE IT OUT: Read Proverbs 3:5 together. Talk about what trust means. Ask your child what it means in this verse. Help your child understand that God is present in every situation and we can trust Him to help us.


Acts 17:16-18, 22-23, 30-31

THE POINT: The gospel of Jesus Christ can impact any culture. What are some things that we worship like idols today? How can we use the things we have in common with others as an opportunity to share Jesus? Why are so many Christians comfortable with not sharing the gospel? Discuss the following quote:

“Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell. We owe Christ to the world—to the least person and to the greatest person, to the richest person and to the poorest person, to the best person and to the worst person. We are in debt to the nations.”1 —David Platt

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Discuss with your student the needs that we all have in common. Pray that you will each become better at finding those connection points with others in order to share the gospel.
• COMMUNITY: Help your student create a list of people to reach out to this week and build connection points with. This can then lead to opportunities to share the gospel.
• CULTURE: Paul shared the story of Jesus by connecting with his audience. Help your student find places in the gospel that can create connection points with the people in his or her life.

1. David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream (Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books, 2010), 74.

Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged , , , | Leave a reply