Simplify

16 12 2014

A cup can only hold so much water. A plate can only hold so much food. A song can only hold so many notes. A story can only hold so many characters. A sports game can only hold so many minutes.

A child can only comprehend so much information. 





Play

9 12 2014

Stress. Can you feel your stomach tighten and your face contort just thinking about that word? Children can be a source of stress, but play is a wonderful antidote to anxiety. Play can soften the toughest of kids and play can bring about greater family or group health. Most importantly, play is a gift from God to be fully enjoyed. Understandably, play cannot be perfectly enjoyed until the New Earth comes, but we can share in glimpses of that great hope to one day come! What are some ways you’ve seen play reduce stress?





Thoughtful Engagement

2 12 2014

With children, our energy can become quickly depleted. But when we are caught up in the great mission of leading them to Jesus, we gain energy afresh. As Isaiah reminds us: “Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength.”





Safeguard

25 11 2014

I can get emotionally wrecked quickly when I hear about or see children being damaged. The real question is, however, what accountability and protections are we putting in place to prevent it from happening on our watch?





Fun, Fun, Fun

12 11 2014

I often laugh when I’m around children. Like when my son tells a knock, knock joke that makes zero sense. Or when my daughter giggles continuously because of a new sound that she’s discovered. Or when a kid completely derails one of my very serious and important small group questions with a comment like, “broccoli and cheese!” …Or something random like that. We adults take things far too seriously. Let fun, laughter and celebration into your life this week!





Nicaragua Family Rhythm Conference Highlights

12 11 2014

My wife, Daphne, and I recently travelled to Nicaragua to train family ministry leaders. We were privileged to be invited as part of a pastoral training team working with Threefold Ministries. We taught two family ministry conferences while the remainder of the team organized details and collaboratively led the ministry couples conferences.

One conference group holding Jim Jackson’s Disciplina Que Conecta (Discipline that Connects) handbook.

One conference group holding Jim Jackson’s Disciplina Que Conecta (Discipline that Connects) handbook.

The people attending the conference were extremely receptive, teachable and enjoyable to be around. The fact that we were training ministry leaders is especially important as many of them will in turn train their churches. One participant, in his appreciation, shared a verse from Deuteronomy 1:11, where Moses expressed a desire that God’s family would multiply. Indeed, may the discipleship of children in families multiply in Canada, Nicaragua and all over the world.

We thank you for your prayers that helped us present this material cross culturally, share transformative experiences and equip ministry leaders with tools for family discipleship.

Photo booth!

Photo booth!

God provided us with Irvin and Davinia, a fantastic translation team. They were not there to simply parrot our words, but communicate our heart while working diligently to ensure understanding for the participants as well as our understanding of participant contributions.

Another prayer request answered in different ways, was that there would be personal blessing and true transformation. They were eager to learn, willing to apply lessons immediately and demonstrated true understanding and changed hearts. Parents learned new training approaches for child connection, discipline and development. Children’s ministry leaders learned unique ideas for teaching the Gospel. Our goofy photo booth helped participants laugh. Our team games energized and inspired them to unite as families. Our group work focused their attention to take ownership of their own family discipleship plan.

Team games! Engaging experiences and memorable moments.

Team games! Engaging experiences and memorable moments.

Alicia and Manuel are starting a church plant. Pray for ministry leaders like them who are seeking to be a blessing to hurting families.

Alicia and Manuel are starting a church plant. Pray for ministry leaders like them who are seeking to be a blessing to hurting families.

Daph and I were particularly touched with the outpouring of responses to one exercise where we asked participants to create something from two bandaids illustrating how God loves to fix what’s broken, mend what’s torn and restore what’s worn out. They shared their stories of family pain while also holding on to their hope in Christ.

May the Gospel multiply throughout the world as families embody Christ’s grace and truth. Thank you for your support!

The conferences team. From left: Steve, Daphne, Helen, Wayne, Janice, Bruce, Doug, Detra.

The conferences team. From left: Steve, Daphne, Helen, Wayne, Janice, Bruce, Doug, Detra.





We’re All Connected

5 11 2014

Appreciate the complexity of life and our own unique influence on it today!








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