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June 21, 2012

Dunes trip Friday, June 22.
Bring $3 for gas, a waiver (download at the right or on the FB page), a MODEST swimsuit, and your own lunch.  It would be good to bring your own water bottle and some sunscreen, too.


Winning at Home Wrap-Up

June 14, 2011

We’ve just recently wrapped up the “Winning at Home” series on Sunday mornings.   One highlight for me is that each week has given us someplace to start in relationship to intentionally leading, prayer, and priorities.  On our worst days it’s easy to listen and feel GUILTY that we’re not doing more (or better) in our own homes…but the challenge has been to START SOMEWHERE!  We can each do that.

Here’s one highlight for me from each week’s sermon (you can listen to the sermons HERE):
1)From Bruce on week 1:

I “win at home” when my commitment to Jesus shapes . . .
how I live – modeling a life in transformation that affects my habits, hobbies, and service
what I pass on to others – teaching by my conversations
how I make decisions –priorities that affect my time and resources
who I depend upon – prayer that puts God before self

2)From Roger on week 2:

Your children are your life ministry. Start where you’re at laying the foundation of a new process.

3)From Kip on week 3:

When considering my family, I must choose between good and best. One application of this is to learn to say “or” not “and.”

4)From Jeff on week 4:

WHY we pray is so that our children develop a love for God and His word. From Colossians 1:9-12 we can pray that are children live consistently worthy, regularly pleasing, constantly fruitful, Biblically wise, spiritually powerful, and joyfully thankful.

What about you?  What were your highlights from the series?

Students, Phones, and Smart Parenting

June 2, 2011

I had a conversation with the dad of a student in our youth group the other day.  His question was this:  “My son has internet access on his phone.  What’s available in terms of internet filters for phones?  I want to help him stay pure.”  Good question!  In fact, I don’t think I have had this conversation with one other parent yet (regarding phones), but it’s something almost all of us have thought about.

Does your student have internet access on their phone?  Have you thought about this yet?

In doing some research I found this article by Kevin E. Outland at on how to “Get Porn off your Kid’s Back.”  He says some really helpful things, some of which Jim Swanson recommended at one of our last Parents’ Connections at WLGBC.  Here’s a few of his points:

1. Don’t allow your kids to have Internet access in their bedroom – whether on a computer or other Internet enabled device (Smart Phone, iTouch, PSP, iPad etc.). You’re just asking for trouble. Make Internet access available only somewhere in your house that you can see what they’re doing online (like your kitchen).

2. Get an Internet filter. Yeah, they cost a few bucks but it’s well worth it to protect your kids. Sometimes they can run into Porn Monkey’s with just a simple typo. Now I hear from people all the time on how kids can get around filters. Well that is not all kids and sometimes a filter is just the deterrent a kid needs to keep him away from Monkey Island (porn monkey island).

3. Check your kids computer, phones and other electronic devices for porn. They can get it from places other than the Internet – a text from a friend, an email with an attachment, a USB stick from a buddy. So randomly check their devices and see what you can find. If they know you’re checking that may help them avoid the monkeys.

Internet access won’t be going away, and not everything on the internet is pornography, but parents DO have the right and responsibility to set the standards and guidelines regarding usage for their students. Here are a few resources I found to help with that if you choose to allow your student to have a phone with internet access.  Let me know if you have found more.

X3Watch Android:  This “always on” application is an accountability tool (no filters) for those with Android-enabled phones.  Cost is $6.99.

X3Watch iPhone:  This application requires you to disable and replace the Safari browser.  No filters, either.  Cost is $6.99.

Verizon Wireless Content Filters:  This free service allows parents to set age-appropriate content filters based on a rating system.

Covenant Eyes Android App:  Be a part of the test group for Covenant Eyes’ newest tool.

What about you?  What will you do

A Gospel Primer (and Winning at Home)

June 1, 2011

Two years ago I was given a book by Paul Wright called “A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love.” Confession time…I only recently picked it up and began trying to digest it in small doses. The basic premise of the book is that each of us need to begin to preach the gospel to ourselves daily. Milton Vincent starts off his book by putting it this way:

The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom…1 Corinthians 1:21, 23), so scandalous (according to my conscience…1 Corinthians 1:23), and so incredible (according to my timid heart…1 John 3: 19-20), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should.   There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil (2 Corinthians 4:4) than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsings of the gospel.

Needless to say that these small doses of “gospel-thinking” have been extremely challenging to me personally. As someone who regularly stands up in front of others and reminds them of their need for the gospel today as much as the day they were saved I often don’t preach it regularly to myself.

Back to the idea of “Winning at Home.”  In the first week’s sermon we were encouraged by Bruce Barlow to “start somewhere” in bringing faith into our home.  This last week Roger Peugh gave an excellent message from Deuteronomy 6.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his message on Sunday:

Your children are your life ministry.

The beginning of the process (passing on a vibrant faith) is having it be real in my own life.

Be fake and they will reject you in a heartbeat.

Start where you’re at laying the foundation of a new process.

I love that! “Start where you’re at…” gives hope that no matter where we’ve been we can do something new and intentional in our own home…and that’s not just for those who have children.

Coming full circle back to Milton Vincent…
Today’s reading was about “Loving my brothers and sisters” and I think it’s particularly valuable as I consider my own children (because the core of my fatherly responsibilities are to bring up my boys as brothers in Christ that God has given me a special and unique bond with for my earthly life).   Here’s what was written…I’m including the connection with children in the quote.

…I realize that the greatest gift I can give to my fellow-Christians (children) is the gospel itself. Indeed, I love my fellow-Christians (children) not simply because of the gospel, but I love them best when I am loving them with the gospel! (1 Thessalonians 5:8) And I do this not merely by speaking gospel words to them, but also by living before them and generously relating to them in a gospel manner. Imparting my life to them in this way, I thereby contribute to their experience of the power, the Spirit, and the full assurance of the gospel (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

That idea of relating to them in a gospel manner seems to be the daily battle if I am to win at home.  If I am to take Bruce and Roger’s advice in this manner I must start somewhere.  What about today?

RightHere details, forms, and deadlines

May 31, 2011

The RightHere ministry experience will be June 26-July 1.

Forms were due this past Sunday, but we’d really like to see a few more applications turned in.  If you’re considering participating could you PLEASE turn your forms in by June 2?

Here are the 3 forms you need to have:
Student Application
Detail Sheet
Team Covenant

Instructables for teachers

May 27, 2011

Instructables is giving away free Pro memberships to educators.   If you haven’t yet used Instructables you should…it’s a lot of fun and often very helpful.  We’ve used it to fix a dishwasher, grow vegetables, make speakers, and do various other projects.  Educators can benefit from a Pro membership that allows them to print entire Instructables (sets of instructions) in one document.

Winning at Home

May 26, 2011

We’ve started a new series at WLGBC entitled “Winning at Home” and I couldn’t be happier.  For years if someone asked what the church was known for people might say one of three things…kids, youth, and missions…and rightly so.

Recently that might have changed to include a few other things, but the focus on kids and youth has never changed.  We love kids…but we love their families, too.  We are passionate about wanting people to connect to God and make worship their way of life.  We are passionate about wanting people to connect to each other and be involved in healthy groups within the church family as well as partnering with others in prayer.    We are passionate about desiring people to connect to the mission that God has placed on all believers to be planted into their world through service and evangelism.

I think the best way to accomplish all three of those God-given big picture desires in every family is through the home!  “Home” is a great word, too, because it reminds us that every home is a place to encourage and deepen faith, no matter what the makeup of your home is.  Whether you are single, single-again, married, married with kids, empty-nesters, or a single parent your home matters!

This series will begin to unpack what it means  to start “winning” in each home.  Bruce Barlow helped define a “win” at home last week by using this definition:

I “win at home” when my commitment to Jesus shapes . . .
how I live – modeling a life in transformation that affects my habits, hobbies, and service
what I pass on to others – teaching by my conversations
how I make decisions –priorities that affect my time and resources
who I depend upon – prayer that puts God before self

You can listen to Bruce’s message HERE (it should be uploaded in the next two days).

Bruce also mentioned some research done by Lifeway Research and quoted by Ed Stetzer at the D6 Conference that Nick and I attended in the fall.  If you want to know more about that research, you can hear Ed explain it himself in this video:

Let’s win at home this week.  If you’re not doing anything…START SOMEWHERE!