Category: Discipling kids

Fall Child Dedication Service

By | August 28, 2015

child-dedication-1024x576

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.

 

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

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

Daniel and His Friends Obeyed God

By | July 25, 2015

dan 1YAHWEH: THE LORD

The book of Daniel was written during the time that the nation of Israel was in exile. It would have been a common belief among the Babylonians that Israel’s defeat was an indication that they served a weak god. The Jews may have had such thoughts themselves as they were living in exile. They may have thought that God had not kept His promises to them.

God used the lives of four teenagers to prove that not only is He the one true God, but that He had not forgotten about His people or His promises to them. The account of Daniel and his faithfulness proves the sovereignty (one who has supreme power and authority) of Israel’s God. Daniel and his friends trusted the Lord, and He showed Himself able to protect and deliver them.

As a result, His power is made known to and proclaimed by the nations of the world. Our Memory Verse for this unit sounds like it could have been the words of Daniel giving praise to God, but these words were actually stated by a pagan king of Babylon.

 

Review: In the last lesson we learned how the nation of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians. God took His prophet Ezekiel to a valley where he was instructed to prophesize to dead bones—telling them that God would breathe life into them again.

What was God promising His people who were now in exile through this prophecy? God would put His Spirit back in them and they would be made new. He would settle them back into their own land.

Scripture Reading: Daniel 1

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: paper, pencil or pen

To help review the lesson, divide into two teams and play a game of Tic-tac-toe. One team will be “X” and the other team will be “O”. Using the review questions below, ask one team a question. If the team gets the right answer, they can put either an “X” or an “O” in a spot on the board:

 

  • Why did God have to punish the Jewish people? They chose to worship false gods.
  • How did God punish the Jewish people? They were captured and taken into slavery.
  • What kind of men did the king want Ashpenaz to look for? Ones who were handsome and smart.
  • Why didn’t Daniel want to eat the king’s food? Much of the food was used for idol worship and God had specifically told the Israelites not to eat certain foods.
  • What did Daniel ask that he be fed instead of the king’s food? Vegetables and water.
  • Why did Ashpenaz not want to give Daniel vegetables? He was afraid that Daniel would not look very good and the king would be upset.
  • For how many days was the official to test Daniel and his friends? Ten days.
  • How did God bless Daniel and his friends for taking a stand for what was right? They looked even better than those who had eaten the king’s food.
  • How much better were Daniel and his friends than all the magicians in wisdom and understanding? Ten times better.
  • What special gift did God give to Daniel? The ability to understand dreams and visions.
  • Why did the Babylonians change the names of Daniel and his friends? They wanted them to forget about their home land and their God, and to worship the false gods.

Pray: Ask God to help develop you into people who please Him no matter what. Give thanks to God that He is able to protect and deliver us from the enemy’s temptations.

 

Lesson: July 26th

Staying Connected To Your Kids

By | July 10, 2015

Want to know one of the most effective ways to stay connected to your kids?

Have fun with them! Laugh! Play! Create! Explore!

God has given you not just a child to raise but another human being to enjoy, get to know, learn from and best of all, LOVE.

We want to help get your creative juices flowing so we’ve come up with a few hangout ideas for you and your kid. Yes, that was singular. Kid. These ideas are meant to be experienced one-on-one. It’s great having siblings and being a member of a family, but every now and then nothing is better than being the only child and having mom or dad’s undivided attention.

So, are you ready to have some fun with your kid? Are you ready to break away from the same ol’ same ol’ and make a memory? Well, what are you waiting for? Go have some fun and let us know what is your favorite way to connect with you children.

 

Toddlers

  • Dance in the living room to music together.
  • Go outside and explore.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Cuddle up and read books and look at pictures together.

 

Preschool

  • Go to a park or playground and play hide-n-seek.
  • Go get ice cream or make sundaes at home. (Don’t forget the sprinkles!)
  • Have a “fancy” dinner or tea party.
  • Go to your local airport and watch airplanes take off and land.
  • Make a fort in the living room with cushions and blankets and “camp out.” If it’s a warm night, go in the backyard.

 

Elementary

  • Let your child pick out a couple of new board games and have a game night.
  • Ride bikes together. (And if you’re not chicken, try to skateboard.)
  • Try doing an art project or craft together.
  • Make dinner together.
  • Have a good old fashion pillow fight!

 

Middle School

  • Watch YouTube together (Good Mythical Morning, See Ya Reel Soon, and StampyLongNose are highly recommended.)
  • Curl up in the bed and read together.
  • Let your child teach you how to play his favorite video game.
  • Go to a concert and jam out together.

 

High School

  • Walk around the mall and window shop, or set a budget your kid can spend on something “just because.”
  • Go out to eat at your kid’s favorite restaurant.
  • Get your nails done and go to Starbucks. (Hey dad, you’re missing out if you’ve never had a pedicure.)
  • Throw the football, baseball, or try some ultimate Frisbee.
  • Put on your team’s colors, and go to a high school, college, or pro game

 

 

WordPress Themes