Human Sin: Avoiding Two Traps

14 06 2016

My wife doesn’t like this word, but sin sucks! Children are aware of their own sin. When approaching the topic of sin avoid these two traps: 1) Gloss over sin saying, “That’s just kids being kids.” (Seeds planted soon grow.) 2) Squash children with an overbearing weight of impossible expectations. Rather, teach awareness of personal and mass sinfulness while always holding onto hope that God has a way out.

Thorns

Sin is anything we think, say or do that does not please God.

-Child Evangelism Fellowship

No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds.

-Galatians 6:7-8

Glossy

Because children are aware of so much wrong around them, glossing over it, watering it down, ignoring it or flat out denying it only masks an oozing wound. A wound that’s infected must first be recognized before it can be cleaned. A seed of sinfulness planted will soon become an unwanted, choking weed.

Squashy

Because children are so trusting and delicate, they can be easily squashed and crushed under the weight of heavy burdens that we may put on them to act right. The wound is opened further with forced conformity and children may respond in one of two ways: 1) withdraw and pretend to behave well or, 2) resist and rebel.

Mix-y

I wonder if there’s a middle ground here-perhaps a beneficial mix. Not between glossing and squashing, but take a closer look at what good may possibly be embedded in these mindsets. I like the words awareness and hope. People who gloss may tend to want hope, however, they distort it. People who squash may tend to promote awareness, but they dwell on it. Let’s mix ’em.

Awareness and honest assessment of my personal sin will cause varying degrees of guilt and grief. This is actually a good thing, but not on its own. Hope comes along and shows us the way to complete relief and freedom from the oppression of sin. So with children, we show them the serious effects of sin which can lead to repentance (change of heart and mind), but also show them hope in a God who makes things right and brings us back together.

Here’s a simple and effective visual you can use with children to explain the effects of sin and the reward of hope. Hold your two fists together. Talk about close and enjoyable relationship. Pull your fists apart. Talk about the pain of a good relationship that is separated. Bring your fists back together again and celebrate the joy of coming back to good relationship. You could even try moving your fists slowly apart to illustrate little sins building up over time. Or try moving your fists apart quickly to illustrate something more harmful.

 

That’s what sin does: separates. 

That’s what hope does: rejoins.

Lord, don’t let sin crush us. Deliver us!

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My Mallory Weiss Tear

2 05 2013

I’m sure you can tell many of your own personal stories to your children. They will love hearing about them! Don’t neglect to pass on your journey to the next generation. They will benefit from your experience and the lessons you learned from it. Here’s one of my stories and a simple lesson you can teach your children.

Image

from Wikipedia

One night a few years ago, there was some sickness going around. I got it. I started feeling a little queasy before bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up and was like, “Oh boy, here it is.” So I went downstairs knowing that I was going to throw up, but trying to think of anyway I could avoid it. You know, crackers and stuff. But nope, nothing was going to work. My body needed to throw up!

So it happened. Not cool, but something didn’t look right. What came out was kind of dark. So I was trying to figure out if I should go to the hospital or not. Cause I felt siiiick! I ended up going to the doctor and he said it’s probably just a virus. I came back home, but didn’t feel any better.

Later that morning, I threw up again. It was dark again. I’m thinking, “Now I know I threw up blood.” Ya gross right? So I went back to the hospital. I knew something wasn’t right, but there was NOTHING…I…COULD…DO! My wife came along with me and she said I looked white. I waited at emerge for somebody, ANYBODY to help me. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew the doctors could help me. I trusted that they knew what to do and would take care of my problem.

I ended up waiting awhile and discovered that something had gone wrong inside my body. When I threw up, the doctor told me that I tore something inside me and they had to go inside and have a look. He said it was called a Mallory Weiss tear and sometimes happens with young, strong, powerful, good looking and amazing young men. Okay, okay that’s not all true, but he did say young and strong.

So they prepared me for an operation. They put me to sleep, for which I was SO thankful! Then they stuck a tube down my throat with a camera. They found a tear, then they used water to wash it away and clean me up inside. They couldn’t use stitches or anything, but I think the medicine they gave me helped to heal my wound.

I had to recover for awhile. The doctor said later that I had lost a lot of blood and was close to needing a blood transfusion, which just means I would need to get blood put into me. I’ll tell you what, I am SOO thankful for doctors and hospitals!!!

After that experience, I hate throwing up even more. I bet you hate throwing up too. Isn’t it so good to know that when we have problems with our bodies, we can go to hospitals and have doctors fix us up?

You could say this to your children: “We have a more serious problem than our bodies getting sick, injured and even dying! There is nothing we can do about this problem on our own. We need something far better than doctors. We need Doctor Jesus!”

[Jesus] told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” -Mark 2:17





How Everyday Moms and Dads Influence the Future

22 12 2011

For one of my classes in seminary I wrote a paper inspired by the Biblical passage in Exodus 20:5-6 and repeated in Deuteronomy 5:9-10, which says,

…I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

I asked myself the question, being a dad of three young children, “How does what I do affect my kids and their future kids down through the generations?” So for all dads and moms, the questions that arise from this passage are extremely urgent. If how I brush my teeth affects future generations, how much more so will the way I treat my wife, work at my job and love my God! And if there is an affect, what kind of affect is it? How severe is it? How lasting? Then also, how important is it that I make very intentional decisions right now about how I live my life and raise my kids, because it will dramatically alter the course of history!? Our sin does have profound penalties on future generations, but do not be crushed by this thought. Rather, relish in the wonderful reward for those who love God: steadfast, unbreaking and forever love in everlasting covenant friendship with God!

If you’re up for it I challenge you to read the research paper I put together in the attached pdf. Doing so may shakeup the course of your life and future family history in incredible ways! While it will require some serious thought, the process will deepen your commitment to God and your family’s future legacy.





What Are Kids Watching?

30 11 2011

I was checking out some kids tv over on YTV. There’s a new popular show called Victorious marketed to tweeners. A recent episode is called Ice Cream for Ke$ha. Tori basically is desperate to win a contest to have Ke$ha for a private concert. Ke$ha is a popular musical artist with a hit song called “Blow.” I don’t recommend your child view her music video on Youtube, however, as it is very sexually provocative. So how do you go about choosing what to watch or let your kids watch? Do you know or care what is being consumed? Media has a subtle influence. It can make sin appear fun and exciting. Yet it can also lead down a path of self-indulgence that leads us away from our selfless Jesus. Be careful little eyes what you see. What do you think? What are some of your kids favourite shows?





Chat Show (Vol.2, Iss.10): joke, angels, northern lights, sin

28 05 2011

Funny joke, angels, northern lights, bad things and sin all make up this edition of my weekly Chat Show at our LEDGE kids church service.

(From April 17).

Use the arrows to move around in the slide show or press stop to stay a little longer on a particular slide.

Please note, that when I include references to games, movies and other forms of entertainment, I am not necessarily recommending them, but simply creating awareness of what kids are interested in.

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Epic Fail

12 04 2011

Guess how that happened!

At church in our kids service, we’re focusing on the theme Epic Adventures for the month. It’s all about joining God in the adventure He’s designed for us. Last Sunday we talked about the most epic fail of all time: the original sin. This sin is what prevents us from living in God’s epic adventure. I posed the challenge that holiness is the epic adventure. On the surface, it doesn’t seem very epic or very adventurous. But when we break it down into the great themes of Scripture we find that it truly is.

Consider this: God, this uncreated, all-powerful, all-knowing, everlasting and holy being, speaks and the perfect universe comes into existence. Part of this perfect universe is a teeny little man and a teeny little woman. Both created perfect and with great value. Both designed to live in amazing relationship with their Creator and for thrilling adventures exploring the world He made.

Now consider this: Man, the created, weak and limited little being, takes things into his own hands and rebels against His Maker. Not smart. We could call that an unholy decision. He has now brought death, destruction and pain into his world. Time is running out. He will die and the Earth will be destroyed. All is lost…unless there is a rescue plan.

Read the rest of this entry »





A Simple Video to Teach Salvation to Children

6 04 2011

Show this video and talk about what needs to happen for us to come to God and be rescued from our sin!

 








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