5 Questions with Melissa Wilson

Posted on May 23, 2012 by Phil

dotMOM event - worshipby Polly House

Women gather for worship at the first .Mom (pronounced Dot Mom) event from the LifeWay Women.

Melissa Wilson is an event coordinator with LifeWay Women and organizer of the .Mom (pronounced “Dot Mom”) event recently held in Birmingham, Ala. Wilson took time to answer some questions about how the event turned out.

Q. You had about 1,500 women at the event, many of them moms in their 20s and 30s. Did you design this conference specifically for them?

A. We wanted to have a conference for moms of all ages with children of all ages. It was incredible to see three generations from a family – all moms attending together. We offered speakers and conferences from young moms in their 20s all the way to some great grandmothers! Moms of all ages were represented.

Q. Why did you choose Angela Thomas, Angie Smith, Vicki Courtney and Priscilla Shirer for your platform speakers?

A. All of them have written Bible studies for LifeWay Women, so their names and work were familiar to the women who attended. All of the platform speakers are incredible Bible teachers, plus all of them are moms too.

Q. You had dozens of breakout conferences the women could choose to attend. Why so many?

A. We wanted to cover as many mom-related topics as possible. Our prayer had been for moms to walk away encouraged, energized and excited about being the mom God has called them to be.

Q. You surprised the conference attendees when you brought the Dugger family from Arkansas out on stage. Why did you bring them in?

A. They were in Birmingham working with Impact Alabama, helping to rebuild homes destroyed by the recent tornadoes. They happened to be staying at our hotel, and since LifeWay already has a relationship with them (program personalities at the LifeWay Kids conference), we asked them to stop by. We were thrilled when all of the family was able to show up and sing for us. Only Michelle, the mom, and the youngest baby were unable to be there since they were both sick.

Q. What will the next .Mom conference look like?

A. .Mom will be back in Birmingham at the Sheraton Sept. 21-22, 2012. We will have a different line up of main session speakers, but again we will have a wide assortment of breakout sessions for the moms to choose from.

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Remind daughters, ‘Don’t marry a Bozo’

Posted on May 9, 2012 by Phil

dotMom event - Jackie Kendallby Polly House

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jackie Kendall is a straight talker. She tells moms straight out, “Don’t let your daughter marry a Bozo!”

Kendall was one of the breakout conference leaders during the .Mom (pronounced Dot Mom) event, held Sept. 23-24 in Birmingham, Ala.

Speaking to a room full of women, Kendall didn’t hold back from telling them they have a great responsibility for keeping their girls safe from predatory guys.

“The greatest abuse is letting your [daughter] grow up thinking the world revolves around her,” she said. “The easiest way to make sure a girl is a Bozo-magnet is to teach her that everything is all about her.

“Is your girl growing in her love for Jesus?” Kendall asked. “Does she see that you are? Does she have a pattern of doing for others at home and at church?”

She cautioned that girls who aren’t helping other people are usually self-focused and will attract guys who are aware of this vulnerability.

“Do you know why older guys date younger girls?” she asked. “It’s because they are easier to seduce.”

She cautioned moms to step in if they see their freshman daughter dating a senior boy (in high school or college). “These guys see these younger girls as easy fruit. A girl will be all swooning and flattered that the older guy is interested in her, but you need to stop that relationship. He isn’t interested in her, just interested in using her.”

Kendall warned the women that in their roles as moms, Sunday school teachers, or any other where they are around girls regularly, they need to watch for signs of abuse in girls who are in relationships with guys.

“Remind them that sex will ruin a good relationship and sustain a bad one,” she said. “If you see a girl in a really bad, abusive (verbal, emotional or physical) relationship, there is sex involved. These precious girls get involved with these Bozo guys and get led around like dogs.”

She said girls need to be reminded that they need to require guys treat them with respect. “No sexual control before marriage means no sexual control after marriage. Fornication will lead to adultery.”

Kendall is author of several books, including Lady in Waiting: Becoming God’s Best While Waiting for Mr. Right; The Young Lady in Waiting: Developing the Heart of a Princess; and A Man Worth Waiting For: How to Avoid a Bozo.

“These girls have to know that waiting for Mr. Right is important,” she said. “What is worse than waiting? Wishing you had!”

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LifeSpan spiritual growth strategy for parents

Posted on March 14, 2012 by Phil

Parents, do you have a plan for your kids’ spiritual growth? At LifeWay, we’ve developed the LifeSpan spiritual growth strategy for children, from infants to high school seniors. Regardless of your kids’ ages, you can be confident that LifeWay curricula, events, and other resources provide targeted objectives that encourage spiritual growth with a strong biblical foundation. Bret Robbe explains how you can do all of this while keeping your family worshiping and growing together.

Watch Video

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Mission As Life: Is Your Parenting Hitting or Missing the Mark?

Posted on August 31, 2011 by Phil

It really depends upon what you are aiming for. Like most parents you long for your children to “succeed” in life. But what does that mean? Is it merely getting into the right schools, having the right grades, the right friends and the right skills so that they can get the right job?

Ask yourself this question, “Am I helping my kids develop the ‘right stuff’ from a Biblical perspective?” Are you, like an archer, carefully aiming your parenting to produce Godly children who will not only have a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, but embody God’s Kingdom values in the way they live their lives?

What can you do to help your kids develop spiritually? Merely sending them to church activities isn’t enough. Studies show that 90% of youth who have heavily participated in church drop out after 2 years in college. For many youth, the checking out begins as early as the age of 16. They find packaged religion to be irrelevant to the real world. What can you do to counter this trend?

1. Embrace God’s Kingdom agenda.

Whether you know it or not, you are now teaching them values that either conform to or conflict with God’s Kingdom. When you decide to participate in an activity that regularly interferes with spiritual responsibilities (church attendance, Bible study, spiritual service) you have taught them that personal fulfillment is more important than obedience to and fellowship with God. You are on display to them 24/7. They watch your every move, how you spend your time, how you spend your money. They listen to what you talk about. Do they see in you generosity, compassion, and a love of God and His Word? Do they see you ordering your life around God’s priorities? You are the first Bible they have read and they started reading right after birth. What have they learned?

2. Create the environment.

How does the environment of your home aesthetically and socially reflect God’s Kingdom agenda? Children swim in the environment of the home. Things dear to God’s heart can be reflected even in the way you decorate your home. Have you as carefully thought about the “value environment” in your home as you have how you have selected its decor? Think of how you celebrate holidays… what can you do to turn them into “teaching moments” that zero in on what God values?

3. Teach by using experience.

Jesus taught people by taking them places and exposing them to real life. The world and all its activity became a textbook of illustrations Jesus used to drive home Biblical truth. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to begin to serve Christ as a family. Go on family mission trips together. Serve in your local area together. God has placed gifts and abilities in your family and He expects you to use them.

The book, Mission As Life: Making the Kingdom of God Your Family’s Passion provides valuable insights and resources designed to help you raise kids to have the “right stuff” from God’s perspective. Your family is a microcosm of God’s church. God has gifted you and your children for serving Him. Doesn’t it make sense that you do that together as a family? Visit Mission As Life for family mission trip ideas and also get a copy of the book Mission As Life.

This article is a paid promotion from a LifeWay.com advertiser.

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True Love Waits – living with teens

Posted on August 17, 2011 by Phil

Something to talk about:

by Rachel Lovingood

Alarming statistics remind us that, as parents, we need to work hard to keep our tweenagers from making mistakes that can affect them for the rest of their lives. This is especially true regarding sexual issues. Tweens are developing socially, and that inevitably means interest in the opposite sex. We must equip our tweens to make godly choices, and thereby to resist the influences they constantly receive from the world around them.

Pay attention

The culture of middle schoolers is very sexual – from their music, to the television shows they watch, to their hallway conversations. If you’ve resisted talking with your tweens about sex and dating, then you’re already behind. It’s vital that you keep communication lines open so you recognize when issues need to be addressed. If you’re reluctant to speak openly with your tweens about sex, the world is more than willing to speak on your behalf, and you may not like its message.

If you aren’t sure what messages your middle schoolers have received, watch the television shows that capture their attention, read lyrics to their favorite songs, and check out the websites they surf. You may be stunned.

Read More…

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Marriage in the midst of parenting

Posted on August 10, 2011 by Phil

Selma and I were married seven years before our first child was born. I thought I knew my wife, but when children entered the picture, I realized there was a lot more “marrying” to be done.

Scripture says our children are a reward (Ps. 127), and ours have been a blessing. But the truth remains: Parenting presents challenges and opportunities for growth in the strongest marriage.


• Time:

Depending on their ages, children require lots of time, and rightfully so. Kids grow up quickly, and you need to be fully engaged in teaching, loving, encouraging, and disciplining. But in the midst of the busyness of child-rearing, there needs to be some time for Mom and Dad.

Easy? No. But it’s essential. That short walk together now and then while older brother watches little sister is a must for your marriage during the craziness of raising a family.

• Energy:

Kids are wonderful. They have an unending supply of energy — and you don’t. A wise marriage leader once said tired bodies make for tired sex. And we could add that tired communication, tired arguments, and tired partners lead to an overall tired marriage.

Couples, this is where you’ve got to rise to the challenge. A 30-minute rescue can revive a parent (“Honey, I’ve got the kids for the next hour. You go soak in the tub.”). Maybe it’s a date without the kids or a simple break from the routine. The key is to carve out small bits of time to recover the energy spent on kids. Your marriage will be stronger when you do.


• Communication:

You’ve heard it said, “Always present a united front to the kids.” To be truly united, meet in advance of any family discussion to hammer out just what it is that your parent team wants to present.

For example, if one child feels she deserves a later bedtime than her younger sister, start by discussing it with your spouse. Rather than one parent immediately responding, make it a shared decision. The planned approach provides daily communication opportunities to build confidence in the marriage team.

• Respect:

The parenting years are excellent times to show respect (directly and indirectly) for your mate. Choose to focus on positive attributes of your mate when speaking to the children. Let them know how crazy you are about their dad or mom. Statements like, “Isn’t it cool that Mom spends a lot of time with you?” or “What other dad would take time off to watch his daughter’s tennis match?” communicate a powerful message to your children — and to your spouse. Whether or not your mate is present when you give the compliment, the respect you communicate is obvious.

• Modeling:

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children is a healthy marriage. Parenting gives you numerous opportunities to show off your marriage to your kids. And it builds confidence in your relationship.

As your kids see you and your spouse working hard to clearly communicate with each other, working through conflict and forgiving each other, holding each other, or going on a date without them — they witness a growing marriage. When the time comes for your child to find a mate, he or she will most likely emulate what was modeled.

• Spiritual Closeness:

No couple has done this parenting thing perfectly. The wisest thing you can do together is to present yourselves to the Lord. One night Selma and I were on our knees, praying in our bedroom, when Jennifer (then in high school) walked in. She later shared with Selma what a strong impact that experience had on her.

Don’t miss the opportunities that come with parenting. Rise to the challenges, and let God grow your marriage in the midst of raising children.

This article is courtesy of HomeLife magazine.

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The greatest challenge dads face

Posted on July 20, 2011 by Phil

When it comes to being a dad, two quotes have had a profound influence on my life.

  • “Some of the saddest people I know are men in their 40’s who tell their teenage children, ‘I’ve had my priorities wrong all these years. From now on, I’ll be spending less time at work and more time with you,’ only to be told, ‘ Gee, Dad, that’s nice, but we have other plans.'”1
  • “Fathering may be the single greatest challenge of your life. Especially if you didn’t have a dad who showed you the way. But take heart. What God asks of you is that you accept the challenge and trust Him to lead you. It’s your responsibility and no one else’s.”2

In other words, families need fathers to step up to the plate and be the leader in every way, especially spiritually. What a wonderful opportunity we have as fathers to influence our children in spiritual, relational, and intellectual ways that will carry them far beyond our lifetime. If we don’t step up, not only will we lose this influence, but we also may harm our children as they grow into adulthood.

Read More…

This article is courtesy of Living with Teenagers magazine.

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Parenting with Trust and Faith

Posted on May 11, 2011 by Phil

A little girl disappears without a trace. A 3 year-old drowns when he wanders off from a family reunion. Hardly a day passes without hearing tragic stories like these that make you shiver as the unthinkable flashes through your mind.

Becoming a parent is not as simple as entering other stages in your life. Parenting is more like being engulfed by a violent tornado and flung into the land of Oz. Everything is foreign and frightening. Once you are a parent, the world, along with its possibilities, offers unlimited dangers.

Parents want to protect their children from danger. God wires parents to be protective of their children.

Last year as my daughters and I were emptying one of our compost bins, I inadvertently hit a mouse’s bed with my shovel. As five pink baby mice fell to the ground, their screeching mother bravely darted in and out of the bin to rescue each one. She need not have bothered; I was far too queasy to harm either her or her squirming offspring. But it was a vivid example of how mothers will sacrifice themselves for their children. As you become a parent, you instinctively wrap your arms around your children and hold on tightly.

Read More…

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Parenting Anxieties

Posted on April 27, 2011 by Phil

Will Jack and William make good enough grades for us to sport those “My Child Is An Honor Student at …” stickers on the back of our cars? When they start reading, will they read four or five grade levels ahead of all of the other children?

In soccer, will they be the best players and score more goals than all of the other children? If one of the boys decides to play in the high school band, will he sit in first chair? If he runs track, will he be the fastest and will he jump the highest and the longest? On the baseball diamond, will he be the best fielder? Will he hit the ball better than the others? Will he always be selected in the first round of neighborhood pickup game draft choices?

Will William Brady always be at the top of the list when friends send out invitations to birthday parties?

If Jack’s class at school is divided into sections, will he be put into the group with the brighter, more advanced students?

Read More…

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10 Summer Camp Prep Tips!

Posted on May 24, 2010 by Phil


Summer is just around the corner! As you get ready to send your camper for the best few weeks of their year, we would like for you to keep a few things in mind. Below are 2 videos that provide you with 10 excellent tips that will help you and your camper prepare for their stay at Camp Ridgecrest for Boys or Camp Crestridge for Girls. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to call us or shoot us a quick email. Thanks again, and we look forward to seeing you soon!   800-968-1630 or rscamps@ridgecrestcamps.com

Ron, Phil and Sharon

Part 1:

Part 2:

We hope that this was helpful! We look forward to seeing you soon…

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