Archive for October 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do – Tim Stauffer

So I was driving down the highway with my 3 kids the other day and was startled by the direction of our conversation. I asked my kids what they thought I would teach them if I could only teach them one thing in life. Immediately they responded that I would teach them to follow Jesus—they were right. But happened next was unexpected to me.

I proceeded to ask them how they thought I would go about teaching them and how they would learn to follow Christ. Immediately one of them said— we will watch you because you will show us how. Wow, what a batch of mixed emotion that produced for me. I was so proud of them. I was so humbled by the privilege of parenthood. And I was kind of terrified. My children are closely watching me and taking their cues about how to do life from what I model for them.  You know, your kids are the same way. By God’s design, children learn best from what they see modeled.

Jesus closely watched and emulated His Father too. In John 5:19 we read, “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  I believe the author of Proverbs 22:6 was talking about modeling when he wrote “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” The best training tool a parent has for their children is a life lived with character, consistency, and authenticity.

Modeling well begins with a deep desire for Christ to be formed in you. Join with me in this prayer – “Lord, give me the character I need to be an effective Christ-like parent.”

Parenting Resources we like: Strong Fathers – Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meek  and Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas

Spiritual Formation resources: Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard.

Tim Stauffer’s Bio

Tim & LaRonda Stauffer and their 3 children have been attending Vista since early 2010.  In addition to leading a Life Group with his wife, Tim also serves as a Life Group coach and is part of Vista’s teaching team. Tim is a professional counselor in private practice specializing in marriage counseling, sexual addictions, and the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional under supervision. To learn more about Tim you can visit his website at www.timstauffercounseling.com

Daughter of a King-Rikki Letizia

Several weeks ago I was driving home early from work so that I could help my teenage daughter prepare for a high school football game. She had been on my heart all day and when she had called me at the office I had offered to leave early and come home to help her with her make-up.

During my daily driving I had been praying for her, most specifically been praying that she would feel confident that evening amongst a new group of peers. Let’s face it being a teenager is just one of those times when most of us are still figuring out who we are and where we are headed. A couple of verses kept knocking around in my head during my prayers,

‘Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—’  John 1:12

‘The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.’ Romans 8:16-17

I knew what I needed to say to her and really, when I wasn’t face to face with her  – my confidence was mighty.  Fast forward to an hour and a half later when we were sitting on my bathroom floor; my daughter, her friend, and I and we were rushing through the make-up process because we were running low on time. My daughter’s nervousness was palpable.

Oh, did I forget to mention there was going to be a new boy who would be at this football game? There was a new boy (of course) and she had been confiding in me about her perceived deficits.  I felt prompted to tell her about the verses, but I was also eyeballing her friend and not wanting to embarrass my daughter. Finally, I had decided that it wouldn’t hurt either of them to hear what I needed to say.

“You are the daughter of a King and this is really, at the end of the day, just a high school boy.”

She looked at me dumbfounded, “What?  I don’t even know what you are saying to me right now?”

I saw the friend looking at me, like I had completely lost my mind.

“God is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords…” I implored in the verbal shorthand only she and I seem to share.

She started to giggle and said, “Oh!  I thought you were saying dad was royalty.”

I rolled my eyes and shook my head.  “Um, if your Dad were a king I would totally be rocking a tiara right now and someone would be doing BOTH of our make-up.  Seriously, though I just want you to get your identity from the right place here and you are a daughter of the King of Kings.  I just don’t want you to forget that or get wrapped up in the stress of things that don’t matter.”

As I finished her make-up she was quiet and introspective as she was taking in what I had said.  I asked her if it made sense, if it would be helpful to her at all?  She told me that it did make sense and that she felt that it would be a helpful reminder throughout the night.

As a parent I just wanted to be sure that she felt the freedom of what that means.  That she felt and continues to feel the boost in her self-worth that it should give her.  We are not a commodity whose value is determined by how popular the school or the world tells us we are that day.  Our true value lies in the worth of our King.

Verses are a great way to battle self-esteem issues for ourselves and our children. I have used this for myself personally and with my children. Below I have listed some negative statements and some verses we have used to repudiate any negative thinking with regard to their self-worth:

I don’t like myself, I am not attractive, I am not good at anything

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”  Jeremiah 1:5

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…” Ecclesiastes 3:11

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

I can never do this, it is too hard:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:29-31

“…Everything is possible for him who believes.”  Mark 9:23

I don’t fit in, everyone is more popular than I am:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.   And the God of peace will be with you.”  Philippians 4:8-9

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Galatians 1:10

Bible App we like for itouch and ipad: “Bible Shaker is the quickest and easiest way to get Biblical passages and individual verses to help you in all areas of your life. Just choose a category and “shake” a scripture out, then click on the passage to read it. Need more? Shake it again to get another scripture.”

Resource we like:

199 Bible Verses for Teens

Daily Grace for Teens – Cook

Praying the Scriptures for your Teenager – Berndt

LifeCoach your Teens – Cross