Coffee Breaks and Daddy Days

We all know that it’s important to spend quality time with our kids. But how do you do it? And what do you do. I knew someone who didn’t spend that much time with his kids, and when he did, they would watch a movie. I think the guy just didn’t know how to spend time with his kids. Here’s some of the things I’ve discovered along the way.
 
1) Me and my boys have a “Daddy Day” or “Coffee Break.” Each week try to take one of my boys out for coffee (winter) or for a walk or bike ride (summer). Just the two of us. These are some of my most precious memories, ever! “It’s just you and me old man” – Jari
2) Sometimes I leave my phone at home – that’s why there’s “No Picture Available.” Then I’m not distracted and can give him my undivided attention.
3) It might cost you a few bucks to go for coffee once a week. $3 a week – they’re allowed one treat, either a donut or hot chocolate. If you can’t afford that, maybe you need to revisit your spending habits.
4) Help them memorize one of the verses: one they’ve learned in KidZone, at church, or one of your favourites. Then discuss what it means and how to live it out. KidZone verses are often on FB or a link to a verse calendar is often on the KidZone site. 
5) Pray together – ask “If God did a miracle at your school, what would it be?”
6) Smile and say “I love you”
7) Find something to celebrate in their personality or character “I love how creative you are”
8) You can do it! 
 

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We Survived Winter!

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure thankful it’s spring and I’m looking forward to the new season with some fresh enthusiasm and fresh ideas for KidZone

Supervised Gym Time
Sometimes our kids come to KidZone with a lot of energy. If we could find some parents to supervise, I would love to see if we could have supervised gym time from 9:50-10:20 each Sunday. Would you be willing to help out? Would you like to help create a schedule?

Grade 6 Serving Sundays
Our Grade 6 students will be moving up to youth group this fall, and I would love to begin giving them opportunities to serve before or during the worship service. This could be decorating, preparing crafts, praying, stuffing bulletins, greeting, and any other ideas we can think of.

Schedule in Planning Centre 
Our worship team schedule uses an app called Planning Centre and I will be transitioning our KidZone schedule into it as well. This will enable all leaders to see when they’re on the schedule and open the door for moving towards online check-ins for kids.

Download the Celebrate Songs free from the Grades 1-6 KZ Class

 
Play Cafe April 24 or 25
1:30pm-3:30pm bring you kids and invite friends to the church building for an afternoon of gym time and snacks. Coffee will be available for parents. Let us know if one of these dates works for you
 
KZ Friends and Families BBQ May 19 (Long weekend) 
I would like to invite all the KidZone families to join us for a Hot Dog BBQ in our backyard so kids can play and families can hang out together. 12pm-2pm
 

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Millennials & Teens who Follow Jesus

Going to McDonalds doesn’t turn you into a Big Mac, and going to church doesn’t turn you into a Christian. So how do you become a Christian? Long story short, turn and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Romans 10:9). This is an amazing truth, but how do we bring that into the home to raise our kids to become disciples of Jesus? There is no magic answer that will guarantee if you do these 15 things you will child will be a disciple, but there is hope! 
 
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:22-23
 
I recently attended a Children’s Ministry Conference in Sasktoon and heard from a number of incredible speakers (I would love for you to come next year). One of the local breakout speakers, Maureen Brown, shared some of her research that shows 5 things that are common in young adults who continue to follow Jesus. Again, this isn’t a guarantee, but when we intentionally focus our hearts and families on faith, we are creating opportunities for kids to place their faith in Jesus and become his disciples.
  1. Ate dinner 5-7 nights a week as a family
  2. Serve with your family in a faith-based ministry (with a humble attitude)
  3. Have at least one significant spiritual experience in the home during the week – This will likely include authentic times of: prayer (not just at meal times), reading the Bible daily, discussing faith, fasting, Bible Camp, Family Camp
  4. Trust with  responsibility in a ministry at a young age
  5. Have at least one other adult in their lives, other than parents, who believe the same things as parents
 
Personally, there are a few things that I think are extremely important as we seek to incorporate these 5 things into our parenting: Bible Camp and/or Family Camp (Ranger Lake or Redberry), Christian Conferences, reading Christian books and the Bible daily, Praying, listening to Christian music and authentic Christian community. 
 
Looking for more hints like this to make a kingdom impact in your own life and the life of your child? Check out my post called The Number One Thing
 
Parenting is tough and it is wonderful. I need all the help I can get and I’m also praying for you!

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Youtube Autoplay

The other day, my two youngest boys wanted to listen and sing a song, and the only lyrics they new were “glory.” Great, that really narrows it down. Then the song came on thanks to Youtube autoplay and they got really excited.
 
What is “autoplay”? When you pick a song or something to play on youtube, it will automatically play a similar video right after. But eventually the videos can change bit by bit, and before you know it you’re watching something totally weird and maybe even inappropriate. For this reason, people often turn autoplay off. And if you don’t plan on paying attention to what your watching, that’s probably very wise.
 
However, in this case, it was kinda neat. We were listening to Seeds Family Worship music and then The Rizers came on with another scripture song for 2 Peter 3:18
 
Youtube and the internet have a lot of junk on them, and we need to closely monitor and pay attention to what we watch. There is a lot of great content available as well. 
 
“Above all else guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life” Proverbs 4:23. Pay attention to what you and your children are listening to and watching. 
 
It brings me GREAT joy when I hear my kids singing Christian music, especially when they start singing along in the bedroom while the tv is on in the living room. Sometimes I even sing out loud in our kitchen, knowing that they are listening. Sure enough, they start singing and humming in the living room. Our kids are watching us and following our example, lets fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)! 
 
On another note, this week there was a lot of talk about Momo videos that would come on during autoplay selections and they were inappropriate. Apparently, these Momo videos actually don’t exist and people have nothing to worry about. 

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Lego Movie Music

My son was invited to a birthday party and they went to Lego Movie 2. I figured I’d go along and watch it too, cause I like animated movies (aka cartoons).
I was kinda curious how they would handle the music side of things.The original Lego Movie had an extremely popular song that I won’t mention because you may have just got it out of your head. So, could they find a new song that would instantly be that popular?
The answer is… maybe.
Time will tell, but our family has discovered two things: 1) The original Lego Movie song is now stuck inside our heads and 2) There are at least 2 new songs that can easily get “stuck in side your head.”
So in an effort to get them singing something else, here are some links of our go-2 favourites or things that I want to focus them on:
  1. KidZone Youtube Playlist – I update it once in a while to keep some newer songs on top. 
  2. LHAC on Spotify
  3. Air1 “Worship Now” App
  4. KLove Radio App
  5. Love the Lord lyric video by Crossroads Kids
  6. Bethel Music Kids
  7. City Bible Kids on youtube
 


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The Number One Thing

What has the BIGGEST Impact on influencing a Child’s Life?

Janna Magruder published the book Nothing Less – Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith – It is a survey of 2000 parents of young adults by Lifeway. In it she discovers the top ten influencers in children’s lives that develop them into mature believers. Here’s a list of the top 4:

#4 listening primarily to Christian music.
#3 Child regularly served in church – notice it doesn’t limit this to parents who serve, but children who serve.
#2 Child regularly spent time in prayer
And #1 – Child regularly read their Bible while growing up.
 
Where do we start?
I’d suggest starting with the record of Jesus’ life, the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
Another place to start is at the beginning.
 
Foundations 260 Reading Plan (F-260). The F-260 is a two hundred and sixty day reading plan that highlights the foundational passages of Scripture that every disciple should know. Print it out, check off what you’ve read, and read at the pace outlined or at your own pace.
 
Read Scripture App – Bible Reading mixed with introductory videos
 
Don’t Give Up! You may make a plan and then get distracted for a day, week or year. When that happens, pick up the Word and keep on reading.
 
Bibles for Everyone – Get every person in your family their own Bible to read daily.
The Story – Using the clear, accessible text of the NIV Bible, it allows the stories, poems, and teachings of the Bible to read like a novel in 31 chapters. The Story for Kids is also available.
God’s Story for Me – Excellent for toddlers and pre-schoolers
The Jesus Storybook Bible – For preschoolers and early elementary kids
Hands On Bible – A Fun Bible for kids that can read, especially kids that like crafts, experiments and discovery.
NIV Study Bible – Great for anyone that can read, this Bible includes footnotes and helps that can help you dive deeper.
 

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In Summer

     In the Bible, we see Daniel (this Sunday’s KidZone lesson) had almost everything taken away form him. He was taken captive, given a new name, new language, and new education. In the midst of all this, what does he do? We don’t really know every detail. What we do know is that he did all that was asked of him with excellence and faithfulness, until the people in power forced him to act a certain way (eat the dreaded king’s food). David had foundation that was firm and not swayed by his educators, captors, or the culture around him. That’s what I want to strive for, a heart and attitude that are focused on Loving the Lord God with all my heart (Mark 12:30) even in the midst of extreme circumstance.
 
     It’s been cold outside, like really cold. We don’t want to spend too much time focusing on the days when the grass will be greener (or even visible), but now is the perfect time plan ahead when we are thinking about our summer plans.
 
     Will you intentionally plan your time so that it helps your family grow in faith? Usually if we wait for later, it doesn’t happen, and if we don’t plan, nothing also happens. 
     
A. This summer is likely the best time for you and your family to consider Bible Camp. There are lots of great camps in the area – Redberry Bible Camp, Ranger Lake Bible Camp, and Camp Kadesh to name a few. Maybe you want to take your holidays and rest in God during Family Camp. So far, it looks like our family will be heading to Redberry’s Family Camp. And if Bible Camp isn’t in your families budget, LHAC can sponsor you – talk to Pastor Tyler. Bring your friends, and especially non-Christian friends, to camp. And lastly, when it comes to camp, encourage your kids to share their faith and make friends with someone who doesn’t know Jesus, especially if they’re from the same neighbourhood.
 
B. Plan to go to Church on holidays. Almost every where you go has a church. You may have a great experience, or you may have a challenging one. Either way, it is awesome for your family to continue to worship God.
 
C. Read your Bible and sing songs. Holidays are a great time to spend extra time in the Word, be refreshed, and listen to songs that focus your heart on Jesus.  Listen to LHAC Sunday Songs on Spotify, tune in to a local Christian radio station, download some Adventures in Odyssey, or listen to the Air1 App.
 


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Surrounded

If you’re friends with a sports fan, it is likely obvious. Sports will have a way of finding its way into anything. Their favourite team will show up in their decorations, cloths, schedules, and you may even get told “I can’t tonight, the game is on.” They have a way of surrounding themselves in the culture.

 
What kind of culture do you surround yourself in?
 
I love my sports teams, I love coffee, and I love people. You’d probably have to spend about 10 minutes with me and I’ll probably have already mentioned all three. The truth is, I love God. I believe that Jesus is my saviour. And really, my faith in God is more important to me than anything. So how do I surround myself with Jesus culture?
 
Step 1 – Worship God
 
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
 
Here’s a FREE resource from Seeds Family Worship you can use to have Family Worship Time and add to a culture of faith in your home.
 
Step 2 – All the Time
 

This past week I was able to visit Millar College of the Bible, the college I attended, for their missions conference and represent Envision and the missions side of the Christian & Missionary Alliance. It was a wonderful and restful weekend. One of the many things that made it great was an attitude and culture that is focused on Jesus. I know I can’t go back to college at this stage of the game, and it was a special conference. But I can put my phone down. I can go to church and listen to sermons throughout my day (like when I’m prepping supper or relaxing at the very end of the day), I can listen to Christian music, I can read the Word, I can talk to my boys about Jesus’ great love, I can pray with my friends for the unreached, I can love my neighbour and I can give generously.

 
If the women don’t find you handsome, at least they should find you humbly following Jesus.
 
Check out “I Can Only Imagine” Air1 or LHAC on Spotify

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Next Year

I haven’t heard anyone really talking about New Years Resolutions this year, have you? Have you made one?

Many people look forward to a new year and a new start – that’s fantastic. But others have tried that before and know that they’ve been in line to return their treadmill before their 30 days run out.  I havn’t made a New Years resolution, but I still want to be intentional with the beginning of 2019. This year, I choose to be intentional and enjoy the good old days right here in front of me. I want to live in the moment right here. So what does that look like? Crossing off the things on my bucket list? Trying something I’ve never done before? For me, to live in the moment is to spend every day following Jesus. Many people wonder, “what is God’s will for my life.” I believe his will is for us to follow Jesus, make disciples, and worship God every day. 

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
 
Who knows, maybe Next Year I’ll have a resolution, but in 2019 I will be intentional as I read my Bible each day and desire to spend time with God. I will be intentional to read a book of faith with my children and pray each day. I will be intentional to love and care for the people around me. I will fail, and I will trust in God wherever 2019 takes me. Christmas was over 2 weeks ago, but we can keep the spirit of Christmas alive when we follow the Holy Spirit each day.
 
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
 
Check out this new song from The Hunter Brothers from Shaunavon, SK called Next Year
 

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Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Christmas is coming and many people make a point to attend church worship services and the Christmas Eve Candlelight service. 

There are many challenges people face at Christmas, but one practical thing is “What do I do with my kids?” At Lawson Heights Alliance, we invite our children into the worship for the first two songs every Sunday, and at Christmas and Christmas Eve, they get to join us for the whole service. Here are some tips that help:

  1. Start with your attitude and pray – you can do it! Remember the goal is to Worship God and Connect with others.
  2. Discuss expectations with you kids. I know that sounds like it’s asking a lot, but many children can help create realistic expectations. “When the pastor asks us to stand, what would be the respectful thing to do? Why do we stand?” “When the pastor is speaking, what are things we can do?”
  3. Get a drink and visit the restroom before entering the sanctuary – this may require you to be early. Bring some snacks and a colouring book.
  4. Help them fill out KidZone sermon notes or Activity Packs that are provided at the KZ table.
  5. Read the passage in their Bible. No one is going to judge you for reading the Bible to your children in a whisper during the service. 
  6. Sit near the front – seriously. There will be fewer distractions in front of your kids and they can see better.
  7. If your child wiggles or doesn’t sing, realize many adults do the same when it’s not their favourite song either.
  8. Explain anything that is unfamiliar, like songs and words they don’t understand. Say things like “Do you know what this song is about? Our God is so awesome, that he is the source of all wisdom, power and love!” “Do you know why we light advent candles – because we’re so excited that the celebration of Jesus’ birth is coming” “Do you know why we do this? Me neither, lets ask a friend after the service”
  9. Sing Christian songs at home with your kids and play them on Spotify or Youtube.
  10. Don’t reward them for what can be “normal” behaviours like listening and not being disruptive. A simple “thank you” and “well done” can go a long way.
  11. Oh yeah, there is no such thing as “Normal” and no kids are perfect! Some weeks will be a disaster, but some weeks will actually be worshipful and you’ll likely hear your kids talking about the sermon or singing the songs at home. 
  12. Be consistent with attendance and expectations, it will enable them to get into a groove – and worship God!
 

If you’ve tried all these things and they’re still restless, just remember that they are kids, have patience, relax. Real Christians are not judging you based on how well your children behave during a service. We are glad you are able to join us and we don’t mind a few disruptions. We love you. We need you. You can do it!


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