Fall Child Dedication Service

By | August 28, 2015

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At Vista Child Dedications are held during service, two times a year -in the spring and fall.  The next opportunity will be Sunday, October 4th.   If you would like to have your child(ren) dedicated please sign up here and feel free to email Melinda Woody with any questions you may have.

What is a child dedication?
This special service permits parents to publicly present their children to God and to make a commitment to bring their children up in a Christ-centered home.   Child dedication is the act of giving back to God the gift He has given you as parents. It is an act of worship, thanksgiving, dependence, trust and commitment. We as Christians have a tremendous responsibility given to us when the Lord blesses us with a child.

What does it signify?
It is a parent’s act of dedication, making a spiritual commitment to God concerning the upbringing of their child. This commitment involves a lifestyle of praying for the child, teaching from God’s Word and setting a Christ-like example.

How is this different from baptism?
Dedication is not infant baptism. It does not indicate or assure salvation. At Vista, we believe that every person must exercise personal faith in Christ when he or she is old enough to understand the Gospel.

Where in Scripture is there a precedent for dedication of a child
The practice of child dedication has been modeled throughout the Bible. The Israelites brought their 8-day-old children to the priest for blessings. Hannah (I Samuel 1:24-28) brought her long-awaited son Samuel to the priest Eli to dedicate him to the Lord. Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for His dedication.   He allowed little children to come to Him for His blessing (Matthew 19:13-15).

What is the next step?

If you are interested in participating in the child dedication service please email Melinda Woody.

 

Move Up!

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This Sunday all classes will move up!

Meadowlands & Base Camp: If your child has had a birthday within the last 4 months now is the time to move up.

Climb – Summit & Rapids: All students will move up to the next level according to their grade leave.

If you have any questions please reach out to your Kids Community Director at your site.

Daniel Was Rescued from the Lions

By | August 22, 2015

dan 6You have probably been to a zoo, gone inside the cat house, and seen a lion. You were not able to pet the lion. In fact, there was some kind of fence or wall that separated you from the lion, because lions are dangerous wild animals. The lion is one of the largest animals in the cat kingdom, second only to the tiger. A male lion can reach eight feet in length and can weigh up to 500 pounds. A lion’s roar can be heard five miles away. Lions may not eat for several days, but when they do, they tend to eat all of their prey. They are able to take down animals that are much larger than themselves.

In ancient Egypt, the lion was respected and feared. Anyone with the ability to hunt a lion was considered to be very brave and was often rewarded by the Pharaoh. Lions were a large part of Egyptian activities, and many Egyptian gods were portrayed as hybrids of the lion, meaning the image of the god had some part that was a lion and some part that was a different animal.

Review: Last week, we learned about how God crashed King Belshazzar’s party. Belshazzar was having a feast, and he invited all the top officials in his kingdom. They were all giving praise to the gods of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. In the middle of the party, a hand appeared out of nowhere and started writing on the wall. Although all the wise men of the kingdom tried, the only one who could interpret the writing was Daniel. He explained that there were three words used to describe Belshazzar: numbered, weighed, and divided.

What was the meaning behind the three words? Belshazzar’s days were numbered; he was measured against God’s standard and was found lacking; his kingdom would be divided.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 6

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Post the words Character and Consequences on a wall as headings for two columns.

Under the Character column, post the names: Satraps/Administrators, King Darius, Daniel. Leave space after each name to post the characteristics of that person.

Explain that a characteristic is a distinguishing feature or quality of a person. A consequence is the result or outcome of something that happened earlier. As you go through the story, post the appropriate character traits and consequences under each name.

After the story is complete, place the word “God” under the Characteristics column. Go through and write your own characteristics of God and the consequences that result.

Explain that God’s plan was for Jesus to live in our hearts. It’s up to us whether or not we open the door and let Jesus in to help us live a right life in God’s eyes.

 

Pray:

  • Pick one or two character traits you think God would like to see in your life, and ask God to help you develop those traits
  • Thank God that He is faithful, and that He protects those who are faithful to Him.

Lesson: August 23rd

God Gave Daniel Wisdom

By | August 15, 2015

dan 5Webster defines pride as: a feeling that you are more important or better than other people. King Nebuchadnezzar was a man with many accomplishments, fame, and wealth. It was these feats that no doubt led him to consider himself better than others. Nebuchadnezzar was given two dreams from God which warned him about the destruction of his kingdom, but the king ignored the warnings. One year after the second dream Nebuchadnezzar spoke these words: “Is this not the great Babylon that I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Within that same hour, Nebuchadnezzar lost his mind and became like an animal eating the grass of the field. He would remain as such until he acknowledged the God of heaven. God does not tolerate pride against Him, because there is nothing and no one more important or better than He is.

Comparing ourselves with others and thinking that we are better is pride. That does not mean that we should think negative things about ourselves, because we are made in the image of God. Instead of thinking less of ourselves, we should think about ourselves less.

 

Review: Last week, we learned about three teenagers who chose to stand for the one true God. King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden image and commanded everyone to bow and worship it or be thrown into a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey the king’s command. When they were thrown into the furnace, God’s Spirit stood with them. They were able to walk out of the furnace completely unharmed. They remained faithful to God, and he protected them.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 5

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Supplies: baking soda, water, cotton swab, paper

Directions: Ahead of time, mix ¼ cup baking soda with ¼ cup water; dip a cotton swab in the mixture and write the words “numbered”, “weighed”, and “divided” on a piece of paper with the swab. (These represent the meaning of the words in Daniel 5:25.) Or, use three different pieces of paper and write one word on each. Let the words dry so they become invisible.

Explain that today’s Bible story is about a secret message written to the king. The only person who could read and interpret the message was someone sent by God, because the message was directly from God.

Hold the paper(s) with the words up to a light; the messages should reveal themselves. If you’d like, have your family write their own secret messages.

 

Pray:

  • Adoration: Give praise to a God who is able to perform miracles.
  • Confession: Confess to God your pride and when you do things your own way.
  • Thanksgiving: Thank God that He reconciles us to Himself through Jesus Christ.
  • Supplication: Ask God to help you remember what He has done for you and to always put Him first in your life.

Lesson: August 16th

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

By | August 8, 2015

smaIn Daniel, chapter two, Nebuchadnezzar is given a dream about an image with a head made of gold. The image also consists of silver, bronze, copper, iron, and clay. When God gives Daniel the ability to interpret the dream, he tells Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom. Daniel reveals that it is God who has given Nebuchadnezzar dominion, power, might and glory. Daniel makes it very clear that Nebuchadnezzar has power only because God has allowed it. Daniel then proceeds to tell Nebuchadnezzar about his future. Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom will be destroyed, and God will set up a kingdom that will never end. The Bible records Nebuchadnezzar as falling prostrate before Daniel, but it’s not for the reason that you might think.

Nebuchadnezzar is giving praise to this God of Israel who can interpret dreams. He did not show any remorse or fear about the future. It seems that he did not hear anything Daniel said past the golden head representing himself, for in the very next chapter he builds an image of gold. There is no name given to the image, so we can assume it was not made to honor any god. Nebuchadnezzar most likely built the image to honor himself. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride gets the best of him. The fourth chapter of Daniel provides a vivid description of how God dealt with Nebuchadnezzar’s pride.

Review: Last week we learned about how Daniel and his three friends remained faithful to God. Daniel and his friends were chosen to be in the king’s service. They were to be given a portion of the king’s food and wine. Daniel requested that they only be given vegetables and water. God blessed them by making them healthier than all the rest who ate food from the king’s table.

Why did Daniel and his friends not want to eat food from the king’s table? Much of the Babylonian food is offered to idols and it would be wrong for them to eat it..

Scripture Reading: Daniel 3

Memory Verse: Daniel 6:27: “He rescues and He saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

 

Family Activity:

Divide into pairs.

  • With their backs facing each other, tie the pairs together at the waist.
  • Tell the pairs that they are not allowed to communicate with each other in any way.
  • With all pairs participating at the same time, give the pairs directions to do various activities: sit on the couch, spin in a circle, walk to the other room, lie on your back, or any other simple activities you create.
  • After attempting to do the activities, discuss the difficulty of doing the tasks when the partners are unable to communicate to tell each other what they are thinking. It’s like having two minds that are often in opposition to each other.
  • Now give the same directions to the pairs, but this time let them communicate with each other.
  • Discuss how much easier it was to accomplish their tasks when they were of the same mind.
  • When our minds are in tune with God’s mind, we can be determined that we will serve God in spite of what others are doing around us. We will be able to accomplish God’s plan because we will be working in unison with Him instead of doing the opposite of His plan. James 1:8 says that a man who doubts God is double-minded and “is unstable in all he does.” It is important that we be single-minded, focusing on serving God, so that when temptation does come, we can be strong to stand against it.

 

Pray:

Adoration: Give praise to an almighty God who is able to save, even from a fiery furnace.

Confession: Ask God to forgive you for putting other things over Him; for having idols.

Thanksgiving: Thank God that He is a loving God that watches over His children.

Supplication: Ask God to help you take a stand for what is right even though others around you may not be doing what is right.

 

Lesson: August 9th

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