April: Friendship

Come on out in April and join us for this very important virtue.

March 28: Judas

Last night, we finished up our series on Honesty and with us entering into the Easter season, we took a look at Judas. This was one of my favorite videos and I also thought that the video tied in very nicely to what we will be learning about next month: Friendship

Our main point yesterday was the following:

March 14: Esther

Last night, we had a great gathering of 50 individuals as together, we took a look at the story of Esther. ¬†The main aspect of the story that we focused on was Haman and his lie. He wanted to have the Jews killed and lied to make it happen. However, his plan “backfired”.

We want to invite you to come out next Sunday night as we continue on with the journey about honesty. Next week, we are going to take a look at:

Jesus and Zachaeus (Do Over)

March 7: Joseph

We had a great night on Sunday night as we took a look at Joseph and his brothers. His brothers really did not like him and they “spun” a web of lies to cover up what they had done.

We took our own “spin” on the web and had students try their hand had hitting a target via silly string. I cannot believe that we did not have the camera out for pictures or video but for those of us who were there, I am sure that we will remember it flying. Our contestants did a good job on hitting the target and the individuals holding the targets ūüôā

Remember, God does not like a lying tongue.

March: Honesty

On the one hand, honesty is simple.  It always involves a choice.
We choose to tell the truth or to lie. Honesty is ordinary, too.
Because every one of us, from Adam and Eve to you and I, chooses to be honest or dishonest on a daily basis.

On the other hand, honesty (and therefore¬†dishonesty) is complex and intriguing. ¬†You can be honest (or dishonest) in your words, actions, and attitudes. ¬†You can be honest (or dishonest) in what you don’t say or do, as well.¬†You can set out to lie, and¬†you can go along with someone else’s lie.
And then there are the multitudes of motives for two-faced, duplicitous, and deceptive dealings.

So simple, honesty, but not always easy! Else no one would weave him- or herself into a tangled web in the first place.

Which is why, come March, we’ll be talking about honesty and some of the very practical reasons God teaches and guides us to be honest:

March 7

When you’re not truthful, you hurt the people you should care about most.Joseph’s brothers practiced so many forms of deceit in that whole sell-your-brother-as-a-slave episode you’ll weave quite a web recounting them all. (Genesis 37; 45)

March 14

Lying to hurt someone else really hurts YOU. Haman’s perfidious plot backfired on him. (Esther 3-5; 7)

March 21
Truthfulness builds friendships; dishonesty tears them down. Jesus gave even wee, little, fraudulent Zacchaeus a do-over. (Luke 19)

March 28

You can lie so much you forget what matters. Treacherous Judas forgot, or deceived himself, about what matters most. (Matthew 26; 27)

We hope that you come out and join us in March as we take a look at Honesty at Sunday Night Live. Remember, you can come to dinner (downstairs) and then come upstairs for SNL. The doors open downstairs at 5:30 with the meal beginning at 5:45. Our doors open a little before 6:00 for fellowship and we kick off at 6:15.

February: Honor

Sunday Night Live

February = Honor

A Code of Honor

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise … When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”
Can you read that and not be awestruck that the King of kings and Lord of lords, who deserves glory over all others, would esteem us, even a little? Yet He does. David’s life, in fact, is chock-full of honor-related examples and principles. Think back to what you know about David, like:

(Feb. 7) … his encounter with Goliath. God said, “Those who honor me I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30, NIV). David honored God, and God honored David, even though he was the little brother, a mere boy, and overlooked at every turn.¬†Honor those who are overlooked.

(Feb. 14)… his friendship with Jonathan. God says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10, NIrV). David honored Jonathan, certainly; but think how remarkable it was that Jonathan (the heir apparent to the throne) should honor David (who would eventually become king) more than himself.¬†Honor others more than yourself.

(Feb. 21) … his turbulent and tragic relationship with his son Absalom. God says, “‘Honor your father and mother’–which is the first commandment with a promise–‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth'” (Ephesians 6:2-3, NIV). What a contrast Absalom is to Jonathan!¬†Honor those who are over you.

(Feb. 28) … his unself-conscious worship of God: “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this” (2 Samuel 6:21-22, NIV).¬†Honor God out LOUD.
So come February, we’re going to camp here, with David, Goliath, Jonathan, Absalom, and Michal, and examine some things God says about honor and what it looks like to live in honorable ways.

Now back to dragons and puddles. You may not have slain a dragon from the back of your trusty charger, but have you cheered the underdog or said thank you to the teenager taking your order at the drive-thru? You probably haven’t spread your cloak over a puddle for a lady, but have you held the door for one? You may not have bowed in deference to others at court or sworn loyalty to a king, but have you obeyed your parents without rolling your eyes or stood in heartfelt praise to honor THE King?

Step It Up: The Recap

In January, we took a look at “step it up”. We focused on 5 Faith Skills as we looked at the virtue of discipline. Below is an in-depth recap of what we took a look at in January:

Step It Up

Less is more. We’re fond of saying that around here. And much of the time, we’re more effective living by it. But sometimes MORE is more. Want a voluminous vocabulary? Read more. Want to nail the lines for your part in a sketch? Rehearse more. Want to master the “Cha Cha Slide” (like for January’s large group, grades 4-5)? Practice more. You get the drift. And just like you need to lift more if you want bigger biceps, you need to do some things more¬†if you want to know God better, like:

Read His Book. Can you think of a more foundational, first-step way to get to know Him? Plus, “God has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIrV). What better example of the importance of engaging in God’s Word than Jesus as a 12-year-old in the temple? (Which happens to be the Bible story for week 1.)

Remember His words. “By using Scripture, a man of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing” (2 Timothy 3:17, NIrV). Jesus showed us (particularly that time He was tempted in the wilderness) we not only need to (Step 1) read God’s Word, we need to (Step 2) memorize it, internalize it, and take it to heart so that we’ll be ready for whatever comes our way.

Talk to Him. “Don’t worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him” (Philippians 4:6, NIrV). To get to know someone and to strengthen your relationship with that person, you have to talk him or her, right? It’s the same way with God. You gotta talk to Him. This week (week 3) will help kids better understand Jesus’ answer when one of the disciples asked Him how to pray.

Talk about Him with your friends. “I pray that you will be active in sharing what you believe. Then you will completely understand every good thing we have in Christ” (Philemon 1:6, NIrV). Saying what you believe out loud helps solidify your beliefs. Could this be one reason Jesus asked the disciples, “But who do YOU say I am?” (The story for week 4.)

Make Him more important than anything. “Worship the Lord your God. He is the only one you should serve” (Deuteronomy 6:13a, NIrV). This week (week 5) we’ll be taking a look at what Jesus said about “the widow’s mite” and how it helps us to worship the only one we should serve.

These are all priorities and habits — disciplines — that can help us (A) get to know God better and (B) grow stronger. Kids need to understand that they don’t have to wait till they’re older to get to know God; God wants them to start now. He’s ready to help them, every step of the way, NOW. So this January, 252 Basics is designed to help kids see how discipline, which is doing what you need to do now so you can grow stronger, can help strengthen their relationship with God.

But that’s not all. Because SOMETIMES more IS more. So in addition to helping kids understand and experience discipline as a godly virtue, each week in January will also offer practical experiences in the¬†5 Faith Skills we think every kid should master:

1. Navigate the Bible (survey and locate)
2. Personalize Scripture (memorize and apply)
3. Dialogue with God (public and private)
4. Articulate faith (share and defend)
5. Worship with your life (praise and give)