Middle Adulthood: Leaving Your Mark

17 03 2016

Middle adults (40-65) are at a critical juncture. They are realizing the brevity of life and their unique opportunity to build a nurturing and equipping legacy filled with deep meaning. This is not the time to fade out or burn out! You have life experience to share! Fan your desire to contribute to the next generation.

Our lives become the sum of all whom we have loved.

-George E. Vaillant

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord…

-Psalm 78:4

There are many endeavours that the middle adult can be involved in. Career enrichment, family satisfaction, business decisions, investment securities, health improvement, etc. Life at this time can be very full and flourishing. Yet, if not handled well, can become empty, stagnate and stale.

You may begin to ask yourself questions like these,

What do people get for all their work? Why do they work so hard on this earth?

-Ecclesiastes 1:3

But when your life is lived for others and not for self, you will begin to move toward deep satisfaction and not toward bitterness, resentment or callousness.

Individuals at this stage of life who recognize that meaningful care is the hallmark of an enduring legacy will enrich their own lives as well.

Here are some ways to really care:

  • Tell stories to children
  • Find someone to mentor…fast
  • Donate from what you have acquired
  • Volunteer your time any way you can
  • Teach the unique skill set you have developed
  • Build something that will last
  • Play games with children
  • Put less value on your physical traits and more value on your contributions
  • Find contentment with whatever you have and have become
  • Discover how you can maximize and share your life experience and practiced abilities
  • Don’t run from the reality that declines in your body are coming, but face it with grace
  • Find ways to challenge and stimulate your mind, body and spirit
  • You may be launching children, but don’t neglect opportunities to connect
  • Don’t run from your aging parents, but keep them close and take care of them
  • Spend time with children and really listen to them

Lord, help us to age with impact.

Advertisements




Hear: Speaking So Children Want to Listen

22 12 2015

What would ministry be without conversation?

-Katey Hage

How can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them?

-Paul (Romans 10:14)

Simply thinking that you believe in, fully trust and devote to Jesus is a strong starting point. True belief then leads to a transformation of lifestyle. This prompts us to speak so others can hear and want to listen. Speaking so children will listen is a challenge, but with love as your motivation, creativity as your friend and fun as your language, you’ll be well on your way. “Do you hear what I hear? A song, a song, high above the trees. With a voice as big as the sea.” Inspire some curious conversations with your words this week!

Think about ways you can speak words that connect with children.

Love. Love is the path that allows children to hear your words. Speaking words of kindness opens the door to the heart which builds relationship.

  • I’m so glad to see you today!
  • Jesus loves you!!
  • Come on over! I want to know what you think about…
  • Check this out.
  • That is a super idea! Can you tell me more about that?
  • You are amazingly awesome!

Creativity. Creativity just takes the typical and turns it into interesting.

  • So when the angel appeared to Mary, Darth Vader attacked Joseph and they had an epic light saber battle right?
  • I want you to know about God’s amazing plan. Let me tell you about a time when my plans flopped…
  • God always keeps his promises. I don’t. I remember when I promised…
  • Can you read this for me?
  • I’m so thankful that Jesus is my best friend. The other day, I was having a hard time with… and I remembered something Jesus said…

Fun. Play, quite literally, is a child’s language. It’s how they learn, understand and provides opportunities for communication.

  • Roll this dice. The number you roll will determine what action you must take. (Ie. whisper a phrase to pass around the circle, tell how you would respond to x situation, show on your face how you’d feel if x happened to you…etc.)
  • We’re not going to have any fun at all today. We’re not going to play any games or sing any songs or hear any stories. Boring, boring!
  • Take a look at this picture. What comes to your mind?
  • For each right answer, try to get this ball into the moving bucket.

What ideas do you have for increasing the quality of your communication with children?

Lord, use my words to spark true belief.





Jesus Loves You: The Ultimate Message

1 12 2015

…this I know, for the Bible tells me so…

-Anna Warner and William Bradbury

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

-Jesus (John 3:16)

The famous song, called “Jesus Loves Me,” was written as a poem by Anna Warner and later, William Bradbury added a chorus and the tune. It endures to this day perhaps because of it’s simplicity and yet also because of the profound truth it conveys. There is no greater message than knowing that God has revealed his everlasting love through his Son, Jesus Christ, our promised rescuer.

When was the last time you said, “Jesus loves you,” to a child? These are simple words that bring a powerful and lifelong impact. There’s something amazing about knowing that God, Creator of the universe, became a man, Jesus, who identified with us in our sin and struggle and made a way for us to return to a relationship with God. Say it as often as you can!

Lord, thank you for loving me in my weakness and in my misery and in my wrongdoing.





Purpose: Created to Care

6 10 2015

We were created to love. We were created to give. We were created to care.

-Sue Miller and Adam Duckworth

You will never know fulfillment, deep satisfaction and gratifying joy until you serve. The more you strive to feed your greed, the more you’ll feel your gut in a rut. You’ll remain empty until you empty yourself for others. My bent is helping children and families know and follow God. What’s yours? Get after it!

Lord, forgive me for only living for me. Excite my soul as I seek and find ways to pour love into someone else.

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

-Ephesians 2:10





Get Down: A Simple Action with Profound Implications

16 06 2015

The girl ran into the room, met with friends, began to play and the adult was right down there with her.

This is the story of great children’s ministry volunteers and parents the world over! Teaching children about God’s great love doesn’t require Disney-esque storytelling prowess. It requires a simple act: get down. Step into their world today.

Screenshot 2015-06-16 15.36.18





Express: Creative Communication

2 06 2015

The other day, I was talking with my kids about the movie Big Hero 6. In it Hiro and Baymax, his mechanical nurse, have the following interaction:

[Hiro and Baymax are inside a creepy abandoned warehouse. Baymax sneaks up behind Hiro.]

Baymax: Hiro?

Hiro: [Screams] You gave me a heart attack!

Baymax: [Rubs his hands together] My hands are equipped with defibrillators. [Moves his hands towards Hiro] Clear!

Hiro: [Alarmed] STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP! It’s just an expression!

Expressions are clever phrases we use in our communication that can easily be misinterpreted. In talking with children, it’s good to use clear, understandable and creative expressions to communicate.

How do you use creative and loving expressions with children?





Love God: Modelling Worship for Children

5 05 2015

Enough with the big and complicated words to describe God! Don’t get me wrong. We are ever growing into a greater awareness of the “sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, transcendent, incarnate, sanctifying God…” Wait, did I just lose you?

Jesus told us to become like children. I take that to mean we continually return to what’s most basic and important and that is a loving relationship with our great and good God.

Next time you’re with a child, show them how you truly love God who is great and good. Perhaps a prayer like this will help:

God is great, God is good, let us thank him for this food.

How do you model worship for the children in your life?








%d bloggers like this: