Moms that Pray

Posted by Phil

The longer I work for Ridgecrest Summer Camps, the longer I realize how crucial prayer is for our campers. We pray for them almost ever day of the year. I love that.

I know that many of you have heard of Moms in Touch. Some of you may not know anything about them. That’s ok. But I’m learning more about them, as my wife may begin to lead a group of moms at our local Primary School. While there is a lot that I don’t know about them yet, here is what I do know.

They pray. I mean they really pray. It’s guided…not fly by the seat of your pants, but intentional.

It’s not just a social hour. These moms get down to business. Why? Because they believe in it. They believe that seeking Jesus with our hopes and desires is a real thing.

If you want someone to pray about anything, then let them know. They will pray!

I realize that every Moms in Touch group may be different, and I really only know details about 2 groups. But if you are looking for a group of moms who want to put their children, their school and their community before the Lord in prayer, then this is a good place to start.

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

My parents don’t trust me

Posted by Phil

This is an interesting exchange between a teenager speaking on behalf of other teens and a parent who is also a counselor.They are discussing the issue of parents trusting their kids… Check it out…

“Hi. I’m John, and thanks for coming to this site. I hope you are ready to hear some things about an important area of our lives — how we get along with our parents when they don’t seem to trust us.

Almost every teenager in the world at one time or another has felt like his parents don’t trust him. I have had that feeling since the sixth grade! My parents are neat people. But when I feel distrusted, I need help. When I am the one caught in the crunch, I need some answers.

That’s the whole idea behind this web site: it’s for teenagers like you and me to be able to hear someone who can help with our everyday questions and problems.

There is someone I would like for you to meet who is qualified on this subject from two standpoints. He is a parent. He has had two teenagers of his own. And he has admitted that there have been some times when he had to deal with this question of trust in his home.

His name is Pat Clendinning. He is a professional counselor who talks with parents and youth about their relationships. And I believe he can help us think through some of these issues.

Pat, I get so confused sometimes as to what part of this is my imagination and what part of it is real. And if it is real, is it my parents’ imagination, or do they have a legitimate complaint? Does that make sense?

Pat: I think all of those possibilities are real from time to time, John. Maybe you think they don’t trust you when that is really not the case. But there is no doubt that there are times when they probably don’t. Right or wrong, they just don’t trust you.

John: Sometimes I know I have done something that caused them not to trust me, but there are also times when I don’t think I have done anything at all and I feel like they are not trusting me. It might be good to know some of the legitimate causes of parents not trusting their kids.

Pat: I think this is one you could answer for yourself. Tell me what issues of trust really bother you.”

Read more of this article by Pat Clendinning

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

Reduce parent-teen conflict

Posted by Phil

Children are not born with instructions. Even if they were, I doubt that many parents would actually read the directions. Most parents, like me, learn from experience. The following four pointers are some principles I’ve used to reduce the parent/teen conflict in my own home and to increase my teen’s involvement in making responsible choices.

Realize your own needs

of teenagers are usually approaching an age of reflection, and this mid-life stage can be a time of personal crisis! Parenting a teen can add to the intensity, as you must face your own issues and those of a budding son or daughter. As a parent, you must come to terms with your own emotions and not transfer these to the challenges of parenting.

Respond productively to emotions

Teens are a bundle of emotions, but never discount the vital role of these emotions. Emotions are at the surface, but they offer parents an open line of communication with their teens. This time can assist you in better understanding your teen’s deeper feelings and thoughts.

Too often, parents discount how seriously their teens desire their opinions. Find out what your teen feels is the source of his emotions and talk about it. The source may be real or imagined, but it is serious to him. Choose one meal each day when the family can gather to talk. Use it to build a lasting family tradition.

Focus on positive behaviors

Conflicts and disagreements offer an opportunity for parents to help their teen talk through a time of difficulty. This can be a teachable moment for your teen, other siblings, and yourself. They will expect you to criticize what’s wrong, so asking questions and listening can catch a teen off-guard.

A turning point in my own life was when I knew my actions deserved punishment, but my dad responded calmly. We talked through my choices and the natural consequences that would result. This became a defining moment in my own life!

Develop a plan of action

Teens have adult bodies with a child’s experience. As a result, they may struggle with knowing how to act on their feelings. The following gives you a way for your teenager to be a partner in developing a plan that you both can agree upon.

Compromise can be a dirty word in theology, but it’s critical in relationships. Parents can move their children toward adulthood by allowing them to negotiate some house rules. This means teaching them to make appropriate choices and weighing rewards and punishments.

Within your expectations, consider what is negotiable: curfews, cell phones, car keys, and so forth. Encourage your teen to begin by praying and to list their wants. You must then explain what you expect. As you talk with your teen, offer possible alternatives and list the punishments for violating the rules.

Once an agreement is reached, put it in writing – signed and dated. This simple exercise can increase communication and reduce conflict.

The front porch may be gone, but the need to talk continues. Allow your experiences and an emphasis on consequences guide you as you guide your teen. Before you know it, you just might have a mature young adult on your hands.

by Dr. Larry Purcell on Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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

Spiritual mothering

Posted by Phil

by Beth Moore

God created every life to be fruitful and multiply, but this God-given dream represents more than physical offspring. I believe our dreams to have babies represent a desire to have fruitful lives, to invest ourselves in something that matters and makes a difference.

In the Old Testament, God promised great numbers of physical descendants. In the New Testament, His emphasis is clearly on spiritual offspring. God calls us to be fruitful and to multiply until He calls us home. Potential for spiritual offspring is virtually limitless. God desires to empower you to bear spiritual offspring. God created you to bear much fruit. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mommy more than anything in the world. Now my children are almost grown. Recently my older daughter and I were enjoying a time of rich fellowship together when she paused and asked, “Mom, when Melissa and I grow up and perhaps even move far away from you and Daddy, will you be OK?”

A lump welled in my throat, but I still answered confidently: “Yes, darling. Most people just need to feel useful. As long as I have Jesus, I will always feel useful — even if I occasionally feel lonely.”

I have tried my hardest to keep my children from growing up, but all my efforts have failed. Sometimes I think: “What will I ever do? I was born to be a mommy!” Then I remember God has called me primarily to women’s ministry, and I will always have the opportunity to “mother” a few spiritual offspring as long as I am willing to invest myself.

In fact, one of my spiritual daughters has a particularly dry and delightful wit. She is a gifted Bible teacher at only 27 years of age and hardly ever misses an opportunity to affectionately rib me about my age. I introduced her once as a spiritual daughter, and later she said, “Since you led the person to the Lord, who in turn, led me to the Lord, wouldn’t that really make you my spiritual grand-mother?” After that I called her a smart aleck, we had a great laugh, and every card or gift that I have sent to her since that remark have all been signed, “Love, Granny.”

If God chose for you to have physical children, prepare yourself! They will grow up! Then it is time to enlarge your tent and invest in spiritual children! If God chooses for you never to have physical children, He is calling you to a bigger family! God purposely placed the dream of fruitful lives in our hearts. Oh, how I love the paradoxical ways our glorious heavenly Father works. Only He can bring gain from loss. Only He can make us more fruitful in our barrenness!

One final thought. Undoubtedly one of the reasons I wanted children was to bear offspring who were the image of my husband. I wanted little Keiths and Keithettes! I did not want them to look like me. I have always thought Keith was far more beautiful than I. You see, the same is true of our spiritual offspring. Once we fall in love with Christ, we are so taken with His beauty, we want children to look just like Him. That is spiritual parenting in a nutshell; raising spiritual sons and daughters to look just like their Father in Heaven. What could be more important?


This article was adapted from Breaking Free © 2000 (Broadman and Holman). Used by permission.

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

Get a parenting makeover

Posted by Phil

You’ve seen TV shows where a makeover is done on a house or a person. Well, you can now do a parenting “character makeover!” After all, we serve a God of fresh starts, second chances, and rebirths. Anytime is a great time to let Him remake us into the parents He wants us to be!

Prideful parents need humility

We’ve all seen prideful parents. They take all the credit for how amazing their kids are turning out! They may also push their kids to perform so they can live out their dreams through their kids’ accomplishments.

Pride leaves us delusional. We think we are the reason our kids are capable, attractive, popular, or successful. At the same time, we are oblivious to the reality that everything our kids are is from God. We, as parents, are simply stewards of His treasure!

In contrast, humility focuses on God. To get rid of pride, it’s as simple as applying John 3:30: He must increase, but I must decrease. Focus more on God. Look for Him, thank Him, give Him credit, and praise Him. As you do, your prideful self-focus will naturally decrease.

Insecure parents need confidence

An insecure parent second-guesses her decisions, feels inferior to her kids or to other parents, or needs constant reassurance that she’s doing the right thing.

Confidence is that inner self-assurance that lets us interact effectively with others-even our teens! Usually we think of “self-confidence” as believing in ourselves, but it’s really “God-confidence” because your confidence is only as strong as the One in whom you trust.

To start building God-confidence, try doing a Scripture study of what God thinks of you. You can start with passages like Ephesians 1:4: For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight.

Fearful parents need courage

Raising teens can fill us with fear. Between worries about peer pressure, drunk drivers, social networking, and driver’s ed, anxiety can be crippling. It not only keeps you on high-alert, but it also causes you to hold your teen way too tightly.

Courage means being filled with God’s strength, which frees you to take risks, endure difficulty, or withstand fear. Parental courage is not an absence of fear, but it trusts God and keeps going.

Second Timothy 1:7 says that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound thinking. If you are haunted by a spirit of fear, it’s not from God! Ask Him to release you from it. To practice courage, say yes to an experience that you would normally avoid, such as taking your teen out for driving practice!

Stressed parents need self-control

I (Katie) have a confession: As a stressed-out, single mom in the late 80’s, I was a rageaholic. Anything could send me flying into a verbal rampage. One minute I’d be sweet and kind and charming. The next minute-well, you know the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde drill.

Self-control is what I needed: Self-Under-God’s-Control! It draws on God’s power to exercise restraint and to avoid overindulgence, over-reactions, or even laziness (Prov. 25:28).

To move toward more self-control in your life, take a Sabbath. Clear some commitments and devote one day a week to God and rest.

Impatient parents need patience

Parenting teens is a breeding ground for impatience. Cluttered rooms, words mumbled under their breath, disrespect, forgetfulness, unkindness, and mood swings work in harmony to push us past a point of no return. But patience is about selflessness since love does not demand its own way (1 Cor. 13:5).

You can increase your patience by practicing flexibility, listening, and seeking first to understand rather than to be understood. In other words, don’t rigidly demand things be done your way. Instead, try listening more than you speak. And before you tell them what you think, get to know what’s going on with them first.

Envious parents need contentment

Benjamin Franklin wisely said: “Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.” In order to be content, we need to rid our hearts of envy. We also need to stop comparing our kids to anyone else’s. Comparisons ignite envy, insecurity, and pride.

Contentment rests in thankfulness (Eph. 5:20). To tackle envy, keep a “Thankful List,” looking for things in your teens for which you can be grateful: their health, their disposition, their kindness, their intelligence, their abilities, and the areas where they take after you!

Greedy parents need generosity

I (Shelley) am a food hoarder. I never shared my candy as a child; and to this day, I hide secret stashes of my favorite chips and cookies from my kids. I’ll make my special tuna with boiled eggs, pickles, and onions, only to get frustrated when my kids have the nerve to eat it!

Generosity means being able to hold your time, your house, your personal space-even your tuna-loosely. Paul told Timothy that believers need to be rich in good deeds and always ready to share (1 Tim. 6:18). Watch what you hoard as a parent.

One great way to be generous is allowing yourself to be interruptible. To help remind yourself of this commitment, use the slogan: stop, drop, and roll. In other words, stop to really listen to what your teenager is saying, drop what you’re doing to give him your full attention, and roll with whatever your teen needs.

‘Quitters’ need perseverance

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting teens is seeing things through. It can get be difficult to follow through on consequences or to stick with your teen and believe in them when they disappoint you.

Perseverance is all about persistence and diligence. James 1:4 tells us to let perseverance run its course, so we can be all God wants us to be. Develop perseverance by igniting your heart for your kids. Ask God to restore your passion to see them grow up right, and use that to persevere when you feel like quitting.

Your parenting character traits are like windows into your life. Your teens can look into them and see what Christ is like. Partner with the Spirit to complete a makeover on your character. Start fresh today by admitting the truth about the strongholds in your life. Only then can you truly develop and strengthen your character.

by Shelley Leith and Katie Brazelton on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

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

Standing in the Gap

Posted by Phil

I’ve worked closely with teenagers for the past 11 years. I have considered it my job to know and understand teenagers the best I can. Perhaps the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to be with them. Most would agree that it’s hard to understand a culture that you are not a part of. You can study it, read books about it (or articles like this one), hear first hand accounts of it, and still not have a clear understanding of why things are the way they are. You have to actually be a part of the culture, live with them, experience what they experience, listen to what they listen to, see what they see, and show up in their space….if you want to actually understand them. I considered it a privilege to get to be a part of this culture for many years!

The Parent Factor

Here’s the problem. Eventually, as a parent, you experience that separation from your teenager. You feel as if you can’t show up in their space as you once did, or you will be crowding them. They stop telling you everything. You stop understanding their jokes. And you find yourself missing out, and not a part of their culture anymore. Yes, this is hard.

First, never stop pursuing your kids! Continue to show up in their life and communicate that you love them no matter what they do. When nothing else works, keep showing up.

Standing in the gap

We pray for another caring adult. I am a huge believer in praying for another caring adult who can come along side your teenager. Another follower of Jesus, who can earn the right to be heard by your child. Through shared experiences, this young (or old) adult can break through barriers that seem impossible for a parent. Somehow its just different. Some of you are lucky enough to have incredibly open relationships with your teens. Even for you, the value of these other non-parent relationships with your child is enormous. Pray for these people as they walk along side your child in some of the most difficult years of their life. And remember, as great a relationship as these other folks can have with your babies…they will never replace you as a parent. That is a role just for you.

Be thankful for your youth leaders at your church, or your YoungLife and WyldLife leaders, or even your camp counselors. The Lord uses them in great ways! More than anything else, pray for them and support them. Pray for wisdom and for favor in the eyes of the teenagers they work with…

And while you pray, never stop pursuing your kids and showing up in their space, at their practices, at their games, where they work, wherever they are…

Where do you show up in your child’s space? How do you support them and love them by “just showing up?” Share your thoughts or stories below…

Phil Berry
Camp Director, YoungLife leader and Father

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

Right turns on the road to better parenting

Posted by Phil

Let’s take a look at the steps we can take to get started on the road to better parenting.

1. Teach Christian values. As parents we need to identify, live, and communicate our values. If we value truth and honesty, we must be honest and adhere to biblical standards. We need to believe and teach our teens that the only truth in the world that matters is in the Scriptures. You are deceived, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God (Matt. 22:29).

2. Express love and acceptance of our children. Even when their behavior disappoints us, we must continue to let them know that we love them. Genuine love for our children will grow out of our awareness that we are genuinely loved by God. It’s not always easy, but unconditional love is necessary. We also need to teach our children about God’s love. God’s love is solid and secure. He adopted us into His family, and He knows our needs and will provide them. Your teens need to know and accept these truths.

3. Be consistent with discipline. Our goal is that our children will ultimately become self-disciplined and self-controlled. If discipline does not eventually become internal, no amount of outside pressure to conform will make a teenager a spiritually healthy person.

4. Pray continually for and about our children. God is more concerned for them than we possibly can be, so He welcomes our conversations with Him about them. With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints (Eph. 6:18).

5. Worship together as a family. Participating in regular worship, both corporately and personally, will move us all toward spiritual health. Again, I cannot hope that my child will grow to be a faithful worshiper of the Lord if I refuse to do so myself. Let worship become a lifestyle for you, and your teens will likely catch it from you. Also, remember that personal and family worship are important as well.

6. Be active participants in the work of the church. Remember to balance your time with your family and in your church activities; but, again, if you want your youth to participate in church activities, you must do the same. Dropping them off at youth activities will not teach them to be faithful church members.

7. Participate in ministries that are designed for you as a parent. Not every church does this, but when a seminar or class is offered to help parents be better at their jobs, be sure to go. It will communicate volumes to your teen when they see that you are trying to improve in your parenting skills.

by Chuck Gartman

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

7 Tools That Monitor Your Kids on Facebook

Posted by Phil

As friends of your family that care about what happens to your kids, we here at Ridgecrest Summer Camps want to empower you with tools that help you parent well. If you currently have kids on Facebook, this info may be helpful. And if your kids aren’t on Facebook yet, then chances are they will be one day, or they will be on whatever comes along next. Either way, we want you to be informed about options that are designed and available for parents just like you…

“An ongoing debate continues on how to keep younger Facebookers safe on the site, which already enforces a rule that users be at least 13 years old.

Some parents believe the easiest and most effective handling of the situation is to simply say “no” even to their kids who meet the minimum age requirement for creating accounts on the social network. Others are looking for some safe middle ground that lets them know what their children are up to online.

With that in mind, here are seven reviews of products that help monitor young ones’ activities on Facebook.”

Read more….

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


Posted by Sharon

There’s nothing like watching your child run up to you on closing day with a huge smile on their face to give you a big hug…so big that it makes up for the two weeks of no hugs.  Then you ask if they had a good time and they go off on how much fun they had, telling you about their campout, the fire they got to build, the frog they caught by the lake, the new song they learned, the wreck they had in the mountain biking skill, the time they spent learning about God, talking to God, or how their love for God grew in so many ways.  To me, that would be one of the most amazing feelings as a parent!

How often do you tell your friends about that feeling and the experience your child had at camp?  Whether it be everyday or not very often, we want to make it easier for you to tell your friends about Ridgecrest Summer Camps.  There are a few promotionals materials that we would like to make available to you.  We have promotional DVD’s, brochures, a sample newsletter entry, and sample announcements.  You can use these materials at your church, a small group meeting, a youth group, Sunday school class, your child’s school, a club meeting, or even with your child’s close friends and parents.  God has changed and will change so many lives through camp and this is your chance to spread the excitement!  If you have any questions or would like to receive any promotional materials, please e-mail us at We’ll mail you whatever you need at no cost. And we’d be glad to share with you some of the best ways to impact your community through sharing with others a lifechanging summer camp experience!

Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged | Leave a reply