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Just a Phase.

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If someone has ever told you, “It’s just a phase,” chances are it was intended as a consolation or a word of encouragement. More than likely, what they meant was, “Don’t worry. You can survive this. It won’t last forever.” When I first became a mother and my colicky son was crying for hours after each feeding I needed to know there was hope for a different tomorrow. I needed to know there would come a day when I didn’t smell like baby vomit and when the child I loved didn’t cry for hours.

There’s a lot of truth to the idea that your current relationship with your child is “Just a Phase.” But that’s not to suggest that, as parents, we should grit our teeth and hold out for the next phase to come. A phase isn’t something to wish away or hurry past. Because once a phase is over, it’s over.

We only have the opportunity to know our child once as a three-year-old. After 52 short weeks, they turn four. Sure, moving to the next phase means they will stop throwing catastrophic tantrums when you insist they cannot finish the half-eaten breakfast bar they just discovered under their car seat. But it also might mean fewer spontaneous giggles, loss of imagination. It might mean they finally discover “bilzoder” is actually pronounced “bulldozer.” It might mean you have to start answering some questions you weren’t quite ready for.

Whether your child is a toddler, an elementary age kid, a middle schooler, or a high schooler, they’re in a phase.

And the phase won’t last for long.

Every phase is a timeframe in a kid’s life when you can leverage distinctive opportunities to influence their future. But in order to leverage the opportunities of each phase, you have to show up for it.

That may sound obvious, but it can be incredibly challenging at the same time.

It’s easy to get stuck in the phase that came before. It’s baffling at times when you realize your child isn’t the same person you thought you knew last year. When their interests change, or their preferences change, it can be hard to keep up.

It’s easy to rush into the phase that should come later. Maybe it’s because we’re ready to watch a new movie, read a new book, or play a new game, so we stretch the age-limit just a touch. Maybe it’s because—let’s face it—if we can get our son to shoot a basketball through a ten-foot goal when he’s six, we’ve earned serious bragging rights. But childhood isn’t meant to be rushed. If we’re always in a hurry to get to the next phase, we can miss what is unique about the phase our kids are currently in.

So, whatever phase you’re child is in, remember there is something remarkable happening right now. This phase won’t last forever. Don’t rush the clock. Don’t wish away the moments you have.

At Vista we value Parent Equipping, coming alongside of families supporting and assisting parents to develop the Kingdom attitudes and practices of their children. This is an important concept to fully understand and embrace. Christian schools and the local church’s Sunday school have traditionally been looked to as the places where children learn about God, the Bible teaches us that children really need to learn from their parents. , Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs us to take God’s Word and …repeat it again and again to our children. We are to talk about it when we are at home and when we are away on a journey, when we are lying down and when we are getting up again. This is a basic model for teaching children about God in the home. The perspective taught in this passage is that the parents are primarily responsible for the spiritual development of their children.

We know that this is not easy. We know it can be overwhelming. We want to partner with you and your family in the development of worshipful, relational and missional children. You don’t have to do this alone so we have created ways to be on this journey with you:

  • Yearly: Milestone Celebrations – Child Dedications (twice a year) and Baptism
  • Monthly: talk.pray.do – a monthly resource based on Deuteronomy 6, encouraging families to teach their children about God as they go through the ordinary experiences of life. It’s about intentionality within the rhythm of your everyday life. We encourage you to TALK with your children for 15 minutes a day. PRAY at least twice a week in meaningful time together as a family. Then we simply ask that you DO one family night a month. Each month we provide instruction and tools to serve as a springboard for your family time.
  • Weekly: “What did they learn?” email follow ups to allow your family to continue the discussion at home regarding the lesson taught that Sunday. If you ever miss a week, check the Vista Parents Blog for more information.
  • Groups: Family Discipleship small groups that study a particular subject for 6 to 10 weeks. Check the Vista Parents Blog for groups forming or email me if you would like more information, to lead or host one.
  • Vista Parents Blog: As mentioned several times before the Vista Parents Blog is a hub of information for your family with everything from helpful tips, resources, lesson follow ups and important Kids Community updates.
  • Serve: We all go through seasons where serving is hard and requires sacrifice. Jesus is worth that sacrifice — and so are our children. We can trust Him to provide rest and Sabbath while we also serve. Whether it is teaching kids, chaperoning a student event, or serving in Kids Community, let’s remember that little eyes are seeing our actions and believing that they too are called to serve the body of Christ.
  • Family Sunday:  We offer Family Sunday, every 7 weeks or so to allow time for your family to worship and serve together.

Let’s do this together! Its just a phase and we don’t want to miss it.

talk.pray.do – May

 

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TALK

  • Can you name all the fruits of the Spirit? Which comes easily to you? Which one is the hardest?
  • What is Joy? Who is the most joyful person that you know? What do they do that makes you think they are joyful?
  • What is a peacemaker? Who are some peacemakers you know?
  • What does it mean to be patient? Is it hard to be patient sometimes? Why?
  • What is kindness? Who was the last person you showed kindness to?

 

PRAY

Practice the fruits of the spirit this week. Faithfully pray and ask God for help. Do something good for someone. Practice self-control when your emotions or desires are leading you to lose control. Be gentle with your actions and kind with your words.

 

DO

This week join with us on the Vista Parents blog for devotional prompts on how to be a family rooted in the Fruit of the Spirit. Daily devotional posted on the different fruits of the spirits. Enjoy planting the wildflowers together as a family.

 

Join with us on social media using the #KCrooted #talkpraydo

The Nothern Kingdom was Destroyed

The nation of Israel was familiar with captivity. They were slaves in Egypt for over four hundred years before God delivered them. Throughout their wilderness travels, they constantly turned their backs on God and worshipped idols. After entering the Promise Land, God sent judges to rescue them against enemies because they had turned against God. They had numerous kings that led them in doing evil in the eyes of the Lord. The Bible talks about God’s anger burning against the people, but He always forgave and rescued them when they repented and turned back to Him. Today’s story ends quite differently. God has been pushed too far, and a new phrase appears on the pages of 2 Kings…God ”removed them from his presence”. God has now turned His back on Israel. He will allow them to once again be taken into captivity.

Although Israel seemed to have no hope, God did promise that He would someday return Israel to their homeland (Isaiah 11:10-12). Even more importantly, God promised to send a Messiah. That promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God turned His back on His own Son because of our sin, but then Jesus was raised from the dead, and the perfect sacrifice was given for us.

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 9.32.42 AMLast week we learned how God healed Naaman. Naaman, a valiant soldier in Aram’s army, had leprosy. A servant girl told him to go see Elisha for healing. Naaman was told to wash in the Jordan River seven times for healing. At first, Naaman refused, but his servants convinced him to obey. Naaman was com- pletely healed.

What did Naaman say after he was healed? “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel”

 

Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 17:1-23

Memory Verse: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey” 2 Kings 17:13b

 

 

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  1. Who was the king of Israel during this time? Was he good or evil?

King Hoshea did evil in the eyes of the Lord.

  1. What king attacked Israel?

Shalmaneser the king of Assyria.

  1. What did the king of Assyria do with the Israelites?

He took the Israelites captive and de ported them to Assyria.

  1. Reread verse 7; what does the Bible say is the reason Israel was taken captive? “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the Lord their God.”
  2. List some examples of things the Israelites did to sin against God.

They worshipped other gods; they secretly did things against the Lord; they built high places, set up sacred stones and Asherah poles, practiced witchcraft.

  1. God had warned all the nation of Israel against such evil practices, but they ignored God time and again. What phrase tells us that God had enough? (v 18-20)

“So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence…the Lord rejected all the people of Israel.”

  1. The nation of Israel not only went against the Sinai covenant with God, but they also ignored the words of the prophets that God had sent to them as warnings. God describes them as stiff-necked people comparing them with stubborn oxen refusing to move when needed. Are you sometimes stiff-necked? Talk about things we do that would ignore God’s Words. What should we do right away when we have sinned against God?

 

PRAY:

Adoration: Praise God that He is the one and only true God.
Confession: Confess a specific time when you ignored God’s Word and did evil in His eyes. Thanksgiving: Offer thanks to God for His patience and forgiveness.
Supplication: Ask God to help keep the idols out of your life and to obey His Word.

 

DO:

True or False Wall Instructions

  1. Choose 2 opposite walls—label one as FALSE and the other as TRUE.
  2. Use the questions below to review the five lessons from this unit.
  3. Have everyone stand in the middle of the room.
  4. After reading a question, each person will run to the wall he thinks is the correct answer. 
Questions
  5. After the nation of Israel was divided, the Northern Kingdom had several kings that loved and obeyed the Lord. False—they did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord.
  6. King Ahab was married to Queen Jezebel. True
  7. The prophet Samuel challenged King Ahab and the prophets of Baal. False—Elijah challenged.
  8. Israel was guilty of worshipping Baal. True
  9. Queen Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah. True
  10. On Mt. Carmel, Elijah poured oil on the sacrifice. False—he poured water
  11. On Mt. Carmel, God proved He was real by sending fire from heaven. True
  12. Elijah was afraid of Queen Esther. False—it was Queen Jezebel
  13. Commander Naaman was cured of blindness. False—it was leprosy
  14. Naaman was told to wash in the Jordan River. True
  15. The last king of the Northern Kingdom was Ahab. False—it was Hoshea
  16. The prophet Elijah took the place of Elisha. False—Elisha replaced Elijah

 

(Vista Dublin lesson February 15th, Vista Worthington Lesson, March 1st)