Monthly Archives: June 2011

Summer Family Project Ideas

Hmm… I came across this intriguing post from a blog entitled True Woman (interesting reading I do, eh?!). It has to do with summer time projects that families can do with some of the freedom they have in the summer. I thought the article was worth sharing. You can read the post below or go to its original location here:

I’ve noticed a strange look on the faces of my friends with school-aged kids lately. It’s a look I see about the end of May every year. It’s one part delight and two parts panic, and I think I know the source—school’s out for summer! For many moms, that means having all of their children home all of the time.

Many families I know take the summer fun approach. They fill their days with trips to the pool, excursions to the lake, and movies in the afternoon. I’m all for fun summers. I love to take my boys swimming, cool off with red popsicles, and stay up late enough to catch lightning bugs in old mason jars.

But, I think summer also offers a unique opportunity to do ministry together as a family. A whole lot of free time offers a whole lot of opportunities to reach out to others and minister side by side. If your kids can get a taste of the value of serving like Jesus did, they’ll be learning an important lesson.

So, here’s a starter list of family summer ministry ideas:

Help with Vacation Bible School
Many churches host VBS during the summer. Instead of just sending your kids off to attend, grab your pre pre-teens and teens and get involved yourself with serving. If your church doesn’t have a VBS, look for ways to serve in another church, or launch a one-day VBS for a few kids in your neighborhood.

Plan a local short-term missions trip
You don’t have to be a missionary to take a missions trip. Simply think of a group of people who have a need, and find a way to meet that need while sharing the love of Jesus. You can go for a day, a weekend, or a week. Here are a few missions trips my family have done:

  • Clean up a playground in a low-income housing area, and then offer a free hot meal to the residents (hot dogs and chips work great!).
  • Find an area of your state that has been impacted by a natural disaster, and get plugged in with a relief organization such as the Red Cross or Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Ask your pastor for a list of widows or shut-ins, and call and offer to do lawn work for free during the hottest days of summer.
  • Call that same list of widows and shut-ins and offer to bring them fresh produce from your garden. They likely don’t have the oomph to garden themselves, but would love to share in the bounty of your back yard.
  • Call your local pregnancy care center and offer to come and sort supplies for moms in need.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are endless!

Serve lemonade
Encourage your children to set up a lemonade stand to raise funds for people in need. Even young children will enjoy creating and decorating a lemonade stand, making lemonade and treats, and collecting money from “customers.” (I would recommend calling friends and neighbors and encouraging them to stop by). Then, give your child a few options of organizations and let them go with you to deliver their hard-earned money.

Adopt a family
Not every momma gets to stay at home with her kids in the summer. This can be especially true for single moms. That means some kids are left to fend for themselves while their parents work. If you know a family in this situation, offer to take the kids during the day for the summer, and be sure to specify that you don’t expect any payment in return. Will it be a sacrifice? You betcha! But God’s Word urges us to look after each other in practical ways like this. Be intentional about looking for a family that you can help by being generous with your time.

Chalk up some blessings
Grab the sidewalk chalk and hop in the car to visit people in need of an extra boost. Write an encouraging message in chalk on their sidewalk or front stoop, or write out a verse that is applicable or encouraging. Taking the time to give an encouraging word can go a long way . . . doing so in bright colored chalk is even better!

Summers provide a unique opportunity for families who have the time and flexibility to break free from routine. Using that window to serve others in Jesus’ name is one of the  best uses of your family’s time. Any other ideas? How can your family minister together this summer?

via True Woman


Extreme Hanky Panky | Minute to Win It (video)

Extreme Hanky Panky:
Using a designated hand for each box, remove all tissues from 2 tissue boxes in under 60 seconds.

Video Blueprint
via Vimeo

The Song of Solomon Illustrated Literally

When I was in college, one of my professors shared this picture with the class. It is a depiction of a “literal” rendering of what Song of Solomon (or Songs) 4 and 7 says. His point was that while we like to say we take the Bible “literally” it is not what we really mean. We have to be careful when we take literature “literally”. Words, metaphors, language, allusions are all literary devices meant to communicate a divine point (or rather, story) using a human instrument. Human devices will always fall short, but we need to seek out the intent of the author rather than the “literal” rendering.

This example is a no-brainer, right? So what do we do with the other word pictures scattered throughout the Scriptures that are not quite so simple to decode? For me, these applications chasten me to keep learning and interpreting and discerning what the Holy Spirit wants to teach us through the Word of God. Coming across this satirical graphic again reminds me to interpret and teach cautiously and humbly.

Passing on the Faith to the Rising Generation is Worth It! (video)

This video speaks for itself. But if I can say at least this: the time spent investing in the life (spiritually, emotionally, and playfully) of a child or teenager is time well spent.

via Kidmin1124
source YouTube

Integrity in Our Play

This article is a re-post from a campaign/emphasis we did at Hayward Wesleyan called “Ablaze for God.” We did a series of devotionals for that week on a blog you can find here. I wrote a few of those devotionals that I recently re-read and thought I should re-post another one of them here:

“Jeremy, you’re no good when the TV is on.” This is true. When the TV is on in my home, I am drawn to its pulsating orb of light! Maybe because I am an extremely focused person. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing when I don’t want to be distracted; a curse when I want to be distracted! Watching television allows me to focus on a mind-numbing task rather than an intense one. Which frustrates my wife and now my daughter [I currently have two daughters] because I often go too far in the mind-numbing department. I become “no good” to anyone (let alone the two [now three] people I love the most in my life!).

So how does one relax from a long day’s work (or long week’s worth of work) without escaping or being destructive? Does God care about our exhaustion and need for “vegging out” and is this something a person ablaze for God person should do?

God gave us something amazing in the act of creation—He stamped His image on us. Much ink has been spilt in understanding what the “image of God” means, but it at least means this: somehow we are like God. Not outside looks, but embedded into our character and passions—our soul. Because God is a creator, we are also mini-creators. We were created by God to re-create.

When I watch TV I am seeking to be renewed and refreshed; I am recreating. What goes wrong is that I recreate in front of the TV too long to the neglect of the women in my life. Integrity in our play should be sourced in a God-inspired act of creating again what was worn out of us in a hard day’s work. In that sense, re-creation serves a divine purpose in that it brings back a sense of wholeness and balance that is taken from work.

More than anyone, children understand the necessary component of play in our lives. My daughter Sari wants me to be involved in her stacking of blocks, reading a book, or poking her finger in my belly button as I lay on the floor watching TV!

On that note, I guess I’d better turn off Seinfeld and get my finger poking revenge!

Via Ablaze for God: a consuming journey to the heart of God

Everyone Wants Better, No One Wants Change!

via lifehacker

The Kinetic Love Project

Red Cedar Community Church in Rice Lake, WI is tackling a huge issue: human trafficking. Some of their high school students have started a project called Kinetic Love Project. You can find more information on their website here or on Facebook.

The Kinetic Love Project was started by a group of high school students wanting to take a stand against modern-day slavery and make a differerence in the lives of those victimized by human trafficking.

The mission of the Kinetic Love project is to educate and empower teenagers to think globally, by taking the global social issue of modern day slavery and being active participants in its eradication. It’s estimated that there are 27 million people in slavery in our world today. Human trafficking is the fastest growing form of organized crime generating billions of dollars each year.

The Kinetic Love Project is joining with World Hope International to stand against trafficking. This project seeks to raise funds and awareness in efforts to aid WHI as they assist girls who have been rescued from sex slavery.

Am I Prejudiced?

“All of us have inborn prejudices. What are they?” – Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

Under the topic of “ethnic diversity”, Dr. Lyon asked us (WI Wesleyan District Conference) this question. It struck me because I don’t think I have prejudices, but I probably do. In fact, I’ve often prided myself on being ethnically diverse and non-prejudicial. But maybe I’m judgmental in my attitude and ignorance more than I realize.

I wonder what my “inborn prejudices” are? I wonder what I am ignorant of? What about you?

Our Indwelling and Our Infilling

This article is a re-post from a campaign/emphasis we did at Hayward Wesleyan called “Ablaze for God.” We did a series of devotionals for that week on a blog you can find here. I wrote a few of those devotionals that I recently re-read and thought I should re-post one of them here:

What if Culvers came to town? I’ve heard this rumor often in my short time in Hayward. What if the rumor was true and the backhoes started digging, foundations were placed, the building structure went up, the lights were turned on, the food smell was wafting through town, the cashiers were ready, but the doors remained locked? And not just one day, but three days, and then a week, and then almost a month! What were they doing?! Why go through all that trouble to create an amazing restaurant, cook the food, and then NOT open up and share it?! That’s crazy!

Exactly! This would be the difference between being “indwelt” with the Spirit versus being “infilled” with the spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit of God happens when a person opens up their heart to God in faith through Jesus. The Holy Spirit builds a home in the heart of that faith-filled person. It is like the creation and existence of a Culvers restaurant in Hayward. We are all excited that the Spirit just made a new home in the heart of another child of God!

If, however, that is all the faith-filled person did, then that would be a shame. Why? Well, it is a little like having this amazing, Culver-aroma snaking around town, but not being able to eat anything. The Holy Spirit is inside your heart, but nothing happens. Culvers was built to serve greasy hamburgers and tasty frozen treats! The Holy Spirit indwells in order to infill!

The infilling of the Holy Spirit means that he opens up shop in your heart. You become a beacon of light and hope for the world around you because you have allowed the anointing presence of the Spirit of God to shine in your life. Infilling is when you allow the Spirit to coarse through every thought and intention of the heart and live out of His power and strength and not our own. Being infilled with the indwelt Spirit is a lot like unlocking the doors to Culvers and ordering that/those…whatever.

Culvers exists not to be a building, but a provision of food and beverages to Hayward and beyond. The Holy Spirit infills, not to merely indwell, but to take a human heart and be a launching pad of God’s power and presence to Hayward and beyond.

Via Ablaze for God: a consuming journey to the heart of God

Forgiveness Works?

At Kids Camp 2011, one of the counselors had an interesting interaction between two boys that were picking at each other.

One of the boys complained to the counselor who in turn instructed the camper to forgive the other. The boy looked at his leader, scowled and said: “No way! He’s not even sorry!” The counselor shrugged and moved on.

Inevitably the picking continued and the boy tried the counselor’s advice. He told the other boy who was annoying him that he forgave him. Instantly, the other boy looked down at the ground and said: “Sorry.” The boy was shocked and couldn’t believe that it worked!

The counselor was so excited that this young man learned a valuable lesson about forgiveness. Oh if we could all learn that lesson, eh?

Good job, Markus!

Successful Tweeting

So tweeting updates @ Kids Camp 2011 was a huge success! The parents loved it! I didn’t tweet a ton like I had wanted to (I ended up only doing about 4-5 tweets a day), but the parents thought that was an incredible way for them to stay connected and “see” them involved and know they were having fun!

Also, I normally use to do our ministry videos @ Hayward Wesleyan, and I used it @ camp and it worked great! The great thing about Animoto is that the videos are created online and are obviously viewable online and are able to be exported to YouTube and downloaded as well. So not only were the Twitter updates awesome, so were the videos that we produced each day!

Memories | Kids Camp 2011 (video)

Jessie is a high school student who has helped out for years @ Kids Camp in the Crafts arena. She took some great pictures over the week of Kids Camp 2011 that we used to show the campers on the last morning of camp.

via YouTube

Thursday @ Kids Camp 2011 (video)

In light of “rainy” Wednesday, Thursday @ Kids Camp 2011 was incredible. It turned out to be a cool day so we didn’t do Water Wars in the morning like we had planned, but we ended up in the rec field and Mr. Dixon led the campers in Pom-Pom Pull-Away, Mob Tag, and a couple of Noodle Races. We still pulled out the Slip -n- Slide for those die-hard swimming fans!

Thursday evening we did the Dodgeball Tournament and Campfire w/ Smores (always a hit)! John cabin dominated the boys and Eve cabin won the girls, and John cabin won the showdown between the girls and the boys! Then John cabin went on to beat the staff (with a little help from me turning things in their favor… JAILBREAK!).

via YouTube

Talent Show @ Kids Camp 2011 (videos)

Normally we do the Kids Camp Talent Show on Thursday night, but due to the rain we moved it up to Wednesday night. The students always seem to pull out funny and off the wall acts and performances. We were able to catch most of them on video. Enjoy!

Pig Sweaking
Laik R. performs his lifelong dream!

Keys to the Kingdom DANCE
Brady C. wows the crowd with an impressive dance number!

I’m a Little Tea Pot RAP
Suzanne F. and Laik R. bring a new twist on an old song.

Plastic Cup Ping Pong
Cody and Zak play a round of invisible ping pong on stage!

You Are My All in All
Lindsay and her cabin sing a song on the guitar and do some motions.

Oboe Solo

Leg Flexibility Tricks
Gabe K. shares a very “flexible” talent!

The Invisible Bench Skit
An invisible bench makes an “appearance”!

Dropped Skit
I don’t know the name of the skit, but a girl gets “dropped” in it!

Awesome God
Lindsay plays the guitar and some campers sing and share some motions to “Awesome God”.

Wednesday @ Kids Camp 2011 (video)

Wednesday @ Kids Camp 2011 turned out to be rainy, yet fun. I guess it’s required “surprise” programming for any camping experience!

via YouTube