Monthly Archives: August 2010
Back 2 School Bash @ Hayward Wesleyan Church on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 for middle school and high school students.
This past Sunday in Main Street (grades 1-6), the story was covering the second half of Exodus: Israelite complaining, receiving the Law (10 Commandments) and their charter as a nation, etc. Kathy Baker talked the students through the various stories quite well. Then we put the 10 Commandments up on the screen and had the students write them down on a piece of paper.
Our goal was for the students to memorize the 10 Commandments. I come across students all the time that think they know what the 10 Commandments are, but actually don’t really know them. But when working with kids on a Sunday morning, how do you get them motivated to learn/memorize 10 Commandments? Prizes.
In our storage room, I’ve got two large Rubbermaid containers filled with “prizes”, more like junk to me, but to kids, unspeakable treasures. I dumped those containers of prizes on the stage and spread them out while I watched their eyes go wide and their mouths drop. “If you can recite the 10 Commandments from memory to another leader this morning before Main Street is over,” I told them, “You can pick a prize off the stage.” Their reaction was like winning the lottery! It really motivated them to memorize the 10 Commandments!
I was working with about 3 incoming 1st graders. These kids are young, but they did it! They wanted the prizes so bad that they struggled to do it and they did! It was fun to see the students having fun while they were tackling something that is difficult to do.
Last night Macie was coloring with markers at the table, and we weren’t watching her (usually she’s fine). Amanda was in the bathroom doing something with Sari and Macie went in there, too. Amanda started laughing hysterically and sent Macie to see me in the living room. It was really funny! For the next hour we were calling Macie, William Wallace (from Braveheart)!!
Back in April, I was asked to come in and meet with a ministry at our church called Mentoring Future Families. This is a strategic outreach for single parents (typically women) and their children. They serve a meal, then there is a babysitter for the kids and the moms go and talk about stuff (i.e. parenting, life, etc.). Really neat ministry.
After introducing myself and talking about children and youth ministry at Hayward Wesleyan Church, I asked if they had any questions they had always wanted to ask a pastor. One young mother asked me this profoundly simple, yet complex question: “How can I grow in my spirituality?”
One of the leaders looked over at me and said something to the effect of “Boy! I’m glad you’re here!”
A question like that could mean any number of things. Some women in this group are Christians while others are not. I could have given her some tips and techniques, however, I could tell that that is what she wanted me to do. I remember thinking to myself (praying actually!): How would Jesus field this question? I thought of the rich young ruler who really wanted some tips and techniques from Jesus in order to “inherit eternal life” and yet Jesus told him to get rid of everything and follow him. So I answered the question this way:
I talked about my own experience with reading the Bible. I said that as a pastor and a student of the Bible, I have read it countless times. I told her that generally speaking I have a good handle on the Old Testament and the Epistles in the New Testament. While there is always new things to learn and insight to be gained, by and large those areas of the Bible are rather easy for me to grasp and continue to work through understanding them. However, the area of the Bible that gives me the most trouble is the Gospels. That Jesus character always trips me up! Stories in the OT stay fairly consistent. Paul and the other writers in the NT are not extremely shocking. Jesus, however, is extremely shocking. Just when I think I’ve got him figured out, as in what he’s probably going to say next, he does something totally unexpected! It’s like he’s God or something!! No matter how many times I read stories in the Gospels, I am always on my heels when it comes to interacting with Jesus. It’s good because it reminds me that as humans we won’t have this thing all figured out, but there is a person that we can look to who does have it figured out.
So my advice was to read through the Gospels and try to figure Jesus out and see where that might take your “spirituality.”
(note: I really do think the rest of the Scriptures do the same thing I am talking about with Jesus in the Gospels. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I have the rest of the Bible conquered—I do not. At this stage in my own biblical understanding, the Gospels is what continually challenge me.)
On the way home from my Grandma’s 80th birthday party, Sari had to go to the bathroom. We stopped at this gas station off of I-35. As we pulled in to this place the girls yelled: “Look at the fish, daddy!” For a second I thought we were in Hayward already, but then I remembered we were still about 2 hours away!
After we went to the bathroom, I took the girls over to the fish and we checked it out. By the way, it was a model of the walleye that Paul Bunyan caught!
So we are still in Spokane (last day) and we were heading to a local aquatic park to go swimming with the girls. Nana had to stop by her work to do a couple of things. While the girls were playing in the lobby in their swimsuits a salesman came in and greeted us and the girls.
Feeling confident, I suppose, Sari proceeded to tell this friendly salesman: “I’m potty-trained!” It was hilarious! Not only Sari’s comment, but also the salesman’s: “Me too!” Then Sari got shy again!