Small Things To Do That Will Make A BIG Impact On Your Child

July 14, 2008

If you are a parent of small children like myself,  you may have questions on how to bring your children along in the things of God.  It is never to early to start teaching and sharing in the experiences of our Father in Heaven.  He loves to give good gifts to His children!  A simple way to start is to read one bible verse a day with your family.  Weekly I will be posting different verses that will help in your week.  Yesterday the kids learned about Daniel and his friends.  They were taken from their home in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon to train for three years and serve the King.  Daniel and his friends chose not to defile themselves by eating the King’s food.  (It is said that the food and wine may have been offerered to idols)  Because Daniel and his friends chose to follow God, God honored that choice and made them wise, healthy and strong! 

As parents, when our children see us make choices to follow and love God, we are preparing them to do the same.  Your children are imitators of you! 

Prayer for parents:  Dear Lord, allow us as parents to follow and love you so that when we step out of the way our children will be right behind you and follow in your way.  Open up our eyes to see you and our ears to hear you God.  We love you and we want to be servants of only you.  In Jesus Name, Amen. 

Through the Week…
Monday: Read Psalm 40:3.  “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” 

 What has God done in our family that we could tell others about to help them trust God?

Tuesday:  Read Psalm 56:3.  “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.”

When are you afraid?  How can you trust God in that situation?

Wednesday: Read Romans 8:28.  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose”

When has God worked out a situation in your life for good? How can that help you trust God more in the future?

Thursday: Read 1 Peter 5:7. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

What worries can you give to God right now?

Friday: Read Psalm 46:10. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Why is it so important to be still before God? How can we help each other do that?

Saturday: Read Psalm 23.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

When is it hard to trust God’s plans? How can this passage encourage our family to trust God?

I hope this has given you a place to start with your children!  I would love to hear of some other ways you have made your faith a daily practice with your children.  Be blessed in your week!

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.  -James 1:17-18

post created Monday July 14 by Erin Esser-Nusery Director, Children’s Ministry Assistant

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Cleanse my heart, OH GOD!

July 8, 2008

As Director of an exciting children’s ministry, I am alway anxious to see what God is going to do next. This summer I have really been led to move into the deeper things of the Spirit with the children during our meetings. I use a tool called a “Heart Bucket” of which I adopted from the Children’s leaders at Bethel Church in Redding CA.   It is as simple as a red bucket with a heart drawn on the side. We have been crying out “Create in me a clean heart, OH GOD!” We need to be cleansed from our unrighteousness so that God can fill us to overflowing with the fire of His Holy Spirit. I have been showing the children  how God can literally clean out our hearts. I use  a scrub brush and scrub the inside of the bucket to create the memory and visual imagery of how God can clean us out. Without a clean heart, God cannot pour more of Himself into us. We have been quieting our hearts before Him and asking Him to cleanse us and we have begun to see WORDS of KNOWLEDGE come forth.  Approximately 15 words of knowledge were spoken by children during our Sunday meetings a couple of weeks ago. 90% of the words  were confirmed by either other children in the room or parents who arrived at the end to pick up their kids  or teachers in the room.  Pains in the stomach, ankle, ear, throat, hand, finger, and others were prayed for. As we received the Words of Knowledge, the children corporately layed hands on the individual who needed healing and it was AWESOME to see the faith of children grow even greater!  Pray for our meetings and for the children as we continue to move as the Spirit leads. Praise Jesus for His mighty works  through the  children!

WAYS TO GET YOUR BABY TO GO TO SLEEP AND STAY ASLEEP EASIER

June 26, 2008

Thanks to our Go Kids! Daycare Director, Tana Bieber for the following post:

Get baby used to a variety of sleep associations. The way an infant goes to sleep at night is the way she expects to go back to sleep when she awakens. So, if your infant is always rocked or nursed to sleep, she will expect to be rocked or nursed back to sleep. Sometimes nurse her off to sleep, sometimes rock her off to sleep, sometimes sing her off to sleep, and sometimes use tape recordings; and switch off with your spouse on putting her to bed. There are two schools of thought on the best way to put babies to sleep: the parent-soothing method and the self-soothing method. Both have advantages and possible disadvantages.

  1. Parent-soothing method. When baby is ready to sleep, a parent or other caregiver helps baby make a comfortable transition from being awake to falling asleep, usually by nursing, rocking, singing, or whatever comforting techniques work.

Advantages:

  1.  
    • Baby learns a healthy sleep attitude – that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state to remain in.
    • Creates fond memories about being parented to sleep.
    • Builds parent-infant trust

So-called “Disadvantages”: Because of the concept of sleep associations, baby learns to rely on an outside prop to get to sleep, so-as the theory goes-when baby awakens he will expect help to get back to sleep. This may exhaust the parents.

  1. Self-soothing method: Baby is put down awake and goes to sleep by himself. Parents offer intermittent comforting, but are not there when baby drifts off to sleep.

So-called “Advantages”: If baby learns to go to sleep by himself, he may be better able to put himself back to sleep without parental help, because he doesn’t associate going to sleep with parents comforting. May be tough on baby, but eventually less exhausting for parents.

Disadvantages:

  1.  
    • Involves a few nights of let-baby-cry-it-out
    • Risks baby losing trust
    • Seldom works for high-need babies with persistent personalities
    • Overlooks medical reasons for nightwaking
    • Risks parents becoming less sensitive to baby’s cries

Remember, in working out your own parenting-to-sleep techniques and rituals, be sensitive to the nighttime needs of your individual baby and remember your ultimate goal: to create a healthy sleep attitude in your baby and to get all family members a restful night’s sleep.

 

Praying Children 101

May 9, 2008

I often get questions about children and prayer, and I love to hear that parents  are interested in getting involved with the prayer life of their children.  I am re-reading Let the Children Pray by Esther Ilinsky. She is the founder of the Esther Network International Children’s Global Prayer Movement.   Long name, but her purpose is to mobilize children worldwide to pray for revival in their generation. I believe she has some good answers to questions that parents have regarding prayer and children.  For the next few blogs, I will give you my thoughts on some of these topics, which are generally the same as Esther’s viewpoint. http://www.kidsprayer.com is  a link to kids and parents prayer activities and fun stuff to get you started after you’re done reading this.

Q. Do you teach children about fasting and prayer?  A. Absolutely! Within the context of supervision, children can fast from a meal now and then. But we encourage them to fast from dessert or TV, or video games, or whatever they choose.  Esther shares an example of a 6-yr. old girl who cried and refused to eat when she saw starving children on TV.  The little girl’s parents became worried and sought counsel from Esther.  Esther told the family that they could begin to pray together as a family instead of eating a meal. At that time, they could cry together for those children. That is fasting and praying. When the family began to experience spirituality together, everyone was happier. The child had permission to fast from a meal with supervision, but was taught tha Jesus wanted her to continue to pray.  Blessings and see you CATG kids this weekend!

Prayerwalking-family ideas part 2

May 3, 2008

I hope you are enjoying the prayerwalking ideas for you and your family to take part in. Blessings to you and your family and here are a few more ideas to choose from:

  • Brainstorm from prayerwalk “prompters.”  For instance, did you notice a house that looks neglected or a car that’s speeding?  Come up with a list of possibilities.  Also, check out the book, Prompts for Praywalking by Steve Hawthorne http://www.waymakers.org.
  • Prayerwalk your children’s school on a weekend.  Pray for students, teachers, and school issues.  Look up the names of teachers and administrators ahead of time in a yearbook or school directory so you can pray for them by name.  Stop and pray in spots where your children say there has been a conflict, bad attitudes, one child treating another poorly, etc.
  • Check into the six-minute video Prayerwalking for Kids.  (see my previous post for a link).

Prayerwalking-ideas for families

May 2, 2008

I found some great resources about families prayerwalking together from PrayKids! magazine http://www.praykids.com.   I will post 1-2 ideas daily for the next few days, so keep checking back! I  hope you are blessed as your families pray for your neighborhood releasing transformation and miracles.

  • Get the whole family excited by planning a special family prayerwalking event.  Discuss in advance where to go.  Get a street map and highlight the route you will be taking.  Pack a lunch, a water bottle and a notebook and pen to write down notes about what you are prompted to pray.  If a particular house or place ( like a school, clinic, etc.) really burdens someone’s heart, make sure to pray for that situation throughout the week during your family’s prayer times.
  • Turn some of your regular family outings into prayerwalks.  If you’re walking to a park, pray for the houses you pass along the way.  If you’re going to the library, pray for the people in the buildings you pass and for the people checking out books, etc.

Prayerwalking & kids (Part 3): Tuning in to God’s voice

April 29, 2008

One way I tried to help the kids understand prayer walking last week was to help them visualize hearing God’s voice. Earlier this month, our church hosted the Global School of Supernatural Ministry, and during that time, I remember God teaching me about how to hear His voice more clearly. I began to see how hearing God’s voice  is like tuning an AM radio dial into the right frequency (possibly both are vibrations in the air?).   I need to (perhaps it is HOT 77.7) ! I just have to tune Him in. My dear friend, Kristen Hickey, and I were talking about this and she pointed out how radio frequencies come in clearer during the night.  She, appropriately, is  one of the   watchman on the wall listening and crying out to God in the stillness of the night. I also was thinking about the fact that radio frequencies are more difficult to hear during storms ).  The voice is still there, we just need to be very engaged about hearing it.   I remember when I was a kid, I listened to the radio before I went to bed, but there was a lot of noise in my house, so I had to get under my blankets and  even under my pillow to hear the music and the radio announcer.  Today, I see that as a shadow  of a prayer closet.  So, anyway, I shared this whole radio-image-thing  with the kids when I was talking with them  about “getting nearer so  pray clearer”.  I believe when  they position  themselves closer to places or people who need prayer, and listen closely, they can really tune into God’s concerns for the people and places they are near.

 

Kids prayerwalking (part2)

April 24, 2008

Well, last night, the kids had the opportunity to practice prayerwalking.   I used a  wonderful resource  with Praykids! magazines and issue #8 is all about prayerwalking.  Witht the 50 or so kids ages K-5th grade we talked about why we should prayerwalk–“getting nearer so we can pray clearer”.  Often, God will give us words of knowledge on what to pray for simply by being closer to the place or people he wants to touch.  Of course, God can hear us anywhere, but being in the midst of our school, neighborhood, city park, church playground, etc.  give us clues on how we can pray for those places/people. 

HERE IS THE PRAISE!:  The children and  leaders planned where each group was going and then decided to go (GOKIDS!).  The 2nd and 3rd grade girls decided to head East on the busy 26th street and just kept walking, allowing God to lead them where to go. One of the girls suggested going to the house of one of the girls who was absent last night. The walk was becoming a lot longer than the leader was expecting and she suggested turning around so they could get back to church on time. But, the girls insisted on continuing on the journey.

So, they finally get to the house and the girl’s aunt was there and informed them that their friend had just been taken to the hospital because she fell off the trampoline with  possibly had a broken leg.  Scary, of course, but the girls knew just what to do. They gathered on the girl’s front lawn and prayed for her healing and protection. I finally saw them running back 15 minutes late with their prayerwalking testimony. They were so excited that they had followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and were able to be at the place that they needed to pray.  If they wouldn’t have gone there, they would never had known that their friend was needing prayer.  I believe their faith was greatly increased last night seeing the fruit of trusting the Lord’s leading. My daughter and several others who were with the group planned on following up and calling the mom of the girl when they got home to see how things turned out. The report came back as a clean bill of health!!! Praise the Lord and may the children continue to see miracles and signs and wonders!

Prayer Walking and Kids

April 17, 2008

I am back from Birmingham, Alabama. Our staff attended the ARC conference. www.relatedchurches.com Very refreshing and encouraging. Lots of laughter!  It is great to get new ideas, spend quality time with friends and receive confirmation that we are following God’s plan for our particular body of believers. It is exciting to know that we are linked and contribute to  an association that has the bold plan to plant 2000 churches by the year 2020. I believe they are at around 65 already. GO GOD!

Here is a very cool link to Prayer walking and children. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQOLGTKL_ag 

I plan on showing the kids  this video next Wednesday night at church and then pray in and around the property of our new building that is to open May 5th.

Last Weekend, the folks at Church at the Gate wrote scriptures on the floors in the new Children’s and Youth Equipping Center.  They are  prophetic proclamations over the destinies of the children and the youth as they  grow and are equipped to live out their destinies  in the Lord, and who will eventually be sent out to live victoriously as overcomers and as leaders spreading the gospel of Jesus and having incredibly intimacy with the Lord. whoo!

Be bold and courageous!

 

Weekly Boost Hope in Jesus

March 28, 2008

Weekly Boost Welcome Parents and Guardians!

Hey, we are on the countdown for opening the new building! I’m cheering for the 3rd weekend in April, but I am realistically expecting the first weekend in May J

I would love to get your feedback on ideas for decorating, etc. for the new building. If you would like to be a part of the process, please email me your ideas, etc. We have been meeting on Tuesdays from 11:30-1 to bring our ideas to the table. You are welcome to join us!

We will not be meeting April 1, but we will be meeting April 8.NO KIDMO or WEDNESDAY NIGHT ACTIVITIES on April 9 and April 16. We will be having Wednesday night KIDMO on April 23 and the LAST night of KIDMO is April 30. 

May 7th is dress Rehearsal for the STOMP & PRAISE children’s choir program and May 14th is the perfomance of the program. All children are welcome to participate in this including decorating, handing out programs, serving food, ushering, helping with props. We want all children to attend the performance, even if they are not singing. WE will send home reminders of all of these dates

.KIDS FOR CREATION   (KFC) TRAINING CAMP (alternative to traditional VBS) will be held on May 17, 18, and 19th  (SATURDAY through MONDAY) from 6-9. This will be for grades K-5 and parents are encouraged to participate with their child. Talk to Rachel Weisbecker if you have any questions or email me and I will get you in touch with her.

We are planning on transitioning to a new check-in system in which you will scan a barcode per family and then a nametag with a parent receipt will print out. Watch for more details soon so that you can get your barcode assigned to your family.

We are looking forward to our new youth pastor Jared Dupert and his family joining us. They will move here as soon as their townhouse is sold, so pray for a quick sale!  He and I have talked about starting a 5th and 6th grade youth group, so I will keep you up to date on the developments of that.

Still  looking into starting a SCRIP program as a way to raise funds for the children’s ministry. For every $1000.00  in HYVEE cards purchased for food and gas, the church gets $50.00. I figure if 50 families commit to $500.00 per month, the church can raise $1250.00 per month for toys, sports equipment, craft supplies, chairs, tables, baby wipes, etc.  If you are interested in heading this up, contact me ASAP!

Also,again,  the church officially has a new 15-passenger van with a wheelchair lift! YAY GOD! WE WILL USE THIS VAN! If you are interested in being a driver for kids, or for adults, let us know ASAP, as well.

We are still  looking for someone to head up a coffee ministry. The church acquired some coffee brewing equipment from a coffee shop that went out of business. Call the church or email me if your interested.

The North Campus  Wednesday children’s ministries continues at the Heartland House community room The youth group girls and leaders as well as the regular children’s ministry leaders hosted an outreach last Wednesday. The report was that it went very well and they had a great turnout.

This Coming  Weekend at CATG GOKIDS! Children’s Ministries

MEMORY VERSE:“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.”  Romans 5:3

Bible Lesson:
Peter Explains Belief in Jesus  1 Peter 1:3-9

Take a night next  week to have some teaching fun with your family with one of the following activities related to the Bible lesson:

Hope Day!    On your family’s calendar, put a circle around one date this week.  Call the day “Hope Day”! Every day this week, build your family’s anticipation by asking, “What do you hope will happen on Hope Day?”  On Hope Day, plan a special, hopeful celebraiton for your evening meal.  Serve your family’s favorite food.  Then have a special dessert.  Talk about what it means to hope in God and how certain we can be that God will always do the best for us. 

OR  

Spend time in  a weekly devotion together (see below):

Monday:           Romans 8:28     How can this verse help you the next time you’re worried or afraid?

Tuesday:           Isaiah 41:10      How can this verse help you face your problems?

Wednesday:     Matthew 6:25    Everyone faces problems at times.  How can this verse give you hope?

Thursday:         Psalm 23   How can reading this passage the next time you face trials give you peace?                   

 Friday:         John 3:16  What is God’s promise that can help you through any tough time you could ever face?  

Saturday:          John 16:33  How does it feel to know that Jesus is bigger and more powerful than any trouble you might face?

 Weekly Challenge for Children and Parents
In your child’s memory book, there is a journal page and weekly challenges. Please look at the introduction to  the journal and then encourage you child to draw or write the things that God says to him/her or things that he/she wants to say to God. In addition to the ideas in your child’s verse book, here are a couple more for your family:

 ·         Reminder: Store is rescheduled for May. encourage your child  to work on their verse memorization weekly, reminding them that having the Word in their heart is an eternal blessing, but in the short-term, they get points to spend at the store. **Your children earns points by attending Go Kids!, memorizing scripture and completing their weekly challenges in their Go Kids! Bible Memory Books, and by bringing their Bible and/or friends to church.)

Service Opportunities:

Take part in the blessing of serving in Children’s Ministry.  If any of the areas below interest you, please reply to this message or sign up at the Registration Desk.

  1. Children’s Prayer Coordinator Coordinate prayer meeting times for parents and/or teachers and/or children to pray for one another.
  2.   Greeter for new visitors with children during weekend services at the check-in desk- Great parent job.
  3.  Children’s Worship Leader for Wednesday nights or when the new building is opened- Training kids to worship with Instrumental Music, banners, dance, & vocal music.  Will train!
  4. Bible Memory Listener: Listen to children say memory verses at beginning of Children’s Church and pray with them when needed.

 See you this weekend at Go Kids! and Blessings to you and your family.