Archive for March 2012

Intentional Exercise

The March issue of Columbus Parent Magazine came out last week. Included in this issue are all the summer camps, classes and activities available around Central Ohio. Have you thought through your summer plans yet? Where and how will your family spend their time?

My kids were practicing piano the other day. We have made time in our weekly schedule in order for them to take piano lessons. Subsequently this means that we also have scheduled times for them to practice the piano in order to exercise their skill. Realistically our yearly family schedule revolves around practicing or exercising many different skills: school work and projects, church programs and events, sports, music, housekeeping projects.

A couple weeks ago in Parent Equipping class, parents discussed how to view their child as a whole person with 5 distinct parts: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social. Very rarely do we as parents remember to structure our personal schedule to allow equal exercise for each of our parts. This become even harder when nurturing our children. Do your family activities and involvements reflect exercise  in all parts of life? Most of our lives skew to one part and very few of us think through how to exercise all parts.

How have you scheduled your summer? What activities will make up your time: sports camps, tutoring, lawn work and beach vacations? As we walk the road to the Cross for Lent, we encourage one another to be intentional. How would your spring or summer change if your calendar reflected equal intentional physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social exercise? How would it change if you were intentional together?

Sarah Young reminded me of this in her devotional Jesus Calling on March 10th. She wrote

“knowing that your future is assured can free you to live abundantly today. I have prepared this day for you with the most tender concern and attention to  detail. Instead of approaching the day as a blank page that you need to fill up, try living it in a responsive mode: being on the look out for all that I am doing. “

How often is my family just filling up a page? Do we really believe in living life abundantly? What if we were as intentional as Jesus is in creating every detail of our day? What if we created intentional exercise opportunities for each part God created in us? What if our calendars and commitments exemplified practice in physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social exercise? Surely it would bring delight to God’s heart.

3 0pportunities for intentional spiritual exercise as a family:

Vista Family Lent Challenge – spend some time spiritually together as a family this Lent. In addition to family activities on the blog, Parent Equipping team has made a special Family Challenge packet for Lent. Complete this challenge with your family or other neighbors, friends, relatives or life group members and report back about your project during the next Family Sunday service  Get it here:  A Passover Haggadah or it is available on the resource table at both sites.

Beulah on the roadJune 12-15 with Vista! Bring your friends or volunteer to help this local outreach in the Columbus area!

We want to bring the Beulah Beach experience to you! Kids who have completed kindergarten through 6th grade are invited to at tend camp from 9:00 AM th rough 4:00 PM, Tuesday through Friday.  This week will be packed with activities and fun such as: dunk tanks, crazy songs, sports, hilarious skits, blow up toys, and Beulah Beach’s ROCKwall! Our staf f is dedicated to providing a safe and encouraging environment for every camper. Every part of camp is  programmed and supervised by our energetic and responsible college-aged counselors and activities staff! (from their website)

Beulah Beach – Vermillion, OH Family camp June 29-July 3 or July 4-8. Single Parent Family Camp July 13-15, Father & Son camp August 24-26

Family camp is an experience that will enrich your family and provide some great opportunities for building relationships, playing together, and relaxing in a Christian atmosphere without pressure or demands. It’s no secret that in our day and age, the family is struggling. It is apparent that one of the greatest problems is a lack of quality time spent together. We want you to spend time with your family, that’s the priority of Family Camp.  Family activities are all planned for your family to have fun and interact together each day. The motto of Family camp, “everything is optional” couldn’t be more true. (from their website)

More Christian Camps in the area: Spend time on your vacation growing closer by exercising each part equally or volunteer to work at some Christian camps as a family service project this summer.


Intentional Hands – edited this time

I read John 13: 1-20 today during a meeting. This is when Jesus washes the feet of his followers. I struggled to disengage mentally from my culture of tennis shoes and ODOT in order to visualize a world of sandals and dusty roads.

I found myself thinking about hand washing. This is something I can relate to, especially in March. Everywhere we are washing, rewashing while we sing the alphabet and applying lots of hand sanitizer every time we are out.

Washing someones hands or feet can be a great reminder of  humility & serving one another. It teaches me to put less emphasis on my desires, my needs, my perspective, my agenda and my goals. The focus becomes others.

Verses about others in the Bible discussing washing or actually washing feet to exemplify humility, honor or hospitality: 1 Timothy 5:10, 1 Samuel 25:41, Judges 19:31 (would not recommend this story for kids), Luke 7:44, Genesis 24:32

Washing goes even deeper in the Bible as symbol of what Jesus death will do for our sin forever. Ritual washing was a big part of Jewish tradition in the tabernacle and temple. Exodus 30:17-21 – Aaron and his sons or priests cannot come before the altar without washing their hands and feet in a specific bronze laver. Being not washed separates them from God. It keeps them unclean and unable to enter his presence. They have to go through this washing every time so they will not die in God’s presence. It is called a “perpetual state” for them. Their washing is not once and complete – the washing done by the blood of Jesus is once and complete. He says in John 13: 8 “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” He was speaking of a deeper washing.

Verses about washing of priests and others as means to cleanse from sin: 1 Kings 7, leviticus 8:21, Job 29:6, Exodus 29:17, Psalm 108:9, Psalm 60:8  – some of these are kind of gross so preview before reading with your family. Our kids liked the gross ones – just saying

Family Activities: wash and pray over each family members hands. Pray that they will know that Jesus washes them clean, that their work will be pleasing to Him and they will seek to use their hands for good in this world. You can even anoint their hands with oil for added emphasis of them being called by God to serve him in this world.

For younger kids, memorize Psalm 51:10 together by saying it every time you wash hands or use hand sanitizer. You can even post it in your bathroom by writing it on the mirror with sharpie markers – they wash off mirrors with water. Let your little one have fun writing on the mirror. Caveat – you may need to instruct them it is only for the mirror right now and not a license to write on walls whenever they want.

Lent Service Project: Vista partners with Better Way ministries in Columbus. They are always in need of hygiene products for the people to whom they minister. Details can be found on the vista website under Local Impact. This is a great concrete way to tie Jesus washing of us to our prayers for others to know the freedom of being washed in Him.

Digging Deeper – Fascinating teachings that explain the Tabernacle  and its furnishings pointing to Christ’s death can be found in most commentaries, student Bibles or by major Christian authors and speakers. If your family likes history and deeper bible study, you might consider studying it together. A 12 lesson study with activities can be found at Digging Deeper ministries, or an intro to the tabernacle for younger kids at The Tabernacle Place. There is some great stuff on youtube or godtube as well. This was one of my favorite women’s bible studies from Beth Moore and one of the coolest Sunday school lessons I remember from the elementary grades.

Intentional Eyes

Pastor Mike has challenged Vista to read through Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I love the way God will bring several thoughts on one theme together for me. He is so kind and patient in His instruction because I have a hard time seeing it initially. Chan’s introduction talks about “being astonished” by how we can see the Holy Spirit work in our lives everyday. Pastor Mike recently taught a series describing thankfulness as choosing to see the daily provision of God. Intentionally practicing thankfulness helps focus our hearts on Him. He referenced Romans 1:21. How can we as a family be astonished or thankful if we are not looking for Him all around us? We need to become more intentional with our eyes.

Those thoughts dove-tailed with a book I am reading along with Kim Patch (Worthington) and Barbara Weisenberger (Dublin) called Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. This week we discussed the humorous or playfulness that God exhibits around us everyday. It is evident only if we are watching. Then Dara Huber (Dublin) recommended a blog about Family Lent ideas authored by Ann Voskamp who is the author of the book one thousand Gifts. I read that book because Karen Slivestri (Dublin) lead a group of Vista women through it last month. This best selling book revolves around actively looking to small things around us to be thankfully astonished by God’s goodness everyday.

So it seems like God is showing me where to start the Lent blog – Intentional Eyes. How can we help each other open our eyes to what God is doing around us and to where to Holy Spirit is leading this Lent season. The Eisel family is spending the next 7 days actively looking and recording 7 of God’s little gifts to us. Some things from tonight: the smile of a new friend, a waterfall, clouds. This booklet idea comes from Ann Voskamp and can be printed off from the resources below. We would love to hear how your family in encouraging one another to adopt more intentional eyes.

Family Ideas for encouraging Intentional Eyes

Thankful for baby – Pray thanksgiving over every part of your baby as you are changing, feeding or bathing  – include each little toe. Tim’s uncle used to call them “sweet little peas.”

Once a day toddler play – Say with them “I see the tree that God made. Thank you God for the tree”. Insert anything into the blank that a young one can point to. Gets a little dicey with buildings and made objects, but we would say when they got older “I see the building that was made by the people God made.”

Family booklet for thanksgiving7 days of 7 things available here on a holy experience blog by Jan Voskamp

Teen tangible – Remember that they still need to hear encouragement even if they don’t show it. Think of one thing you saw in them that reminded you of how thankful you are for them (about their character – not just their behavior) Commit to text, tweet or write one on a slip of paper for under their pillow for 7 days.