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July Kid's Happenings

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Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

This is the scripture that keeps ringing in my head following VBS.  For those of you that know me, you are probably giggling inside.  Giggling because you know all too well that it is very hard for ME to be still.  I too was struggling with this running through my brain.  Why is God telling me to be still?  Let’s go back a couple of months ago.  I was just wrapping up Upward and then wrapping up AWANA and then preparing for VBS and then… I’m sure you are starting to see the pattern.  You see, I don’t stay still.  I am constantly going into the next big event and thinking into the future instead of resting in what God has been doing in our church and our lives.  “Be still April!  And Know that I am God.  Be still and know that I am doing great things.  Be still and see all the great things I am allowing you to be a part of.”  So, I am doing just that.  Lol, sort of… I am spending the week following VBS on a staycation (vacation at home).  I am of course catching up on all the “mom” tasks that have been neglected the past couple of weeks, but I am also spending quiet time thinking about all the AMAZING things God has been doing in our Children’s Ministry.  The more that I rest in His words and all He is doing I can’t help but realize that we (meaning our church) have so many beautiful children that don’t need to be looking into the future for the next Big event.  They need to be still and know that He is their God, He is their everything.  Here are a few VBS stats for you to take to heart.  Of the 200 children that attended VBS this year, 10 of them from our church asked Jesus to come into their precious little hearts.  Eleven other children, that either do not attend church or have a different church home, did just the same.  This isn’t something our church or myself should take lightly.  We have to nurture them and help them to understand that the path they have chosen isn’t going to be easy and God willing, will be a lot different life from what they once knew.  This isn’t something that we as a church can do at the next big event.  We have to be raising them up on a more consistent basis.  As adults, we have to WANT to teach our children more about Gods greatness.  Yes, we have to feed ourselves, but we can’t neglect the children of the same biblical teachings.  So, as I have been staying “still”.  I have been convicted by His word in asking our church family to please pour into our children more so than ever before.  They are thirsty for knowing more about our Great and Awesome God.  Our Children’s Ministry is growing in numbers every Sunday, yet our volunteer base stays the same.  We need more of our church family to stand up and lead our children in more than just a Big event kind of way.  We need leaders that will teach them weekly and want to dedicate themselves to knowing more about each individual child, their family and their spiritual well being.  We need leaders that will “BE STILL” for our children and not consider it an interruption to Sunday mornings of sleeping in, watching a game, or hanging out with friends. Be Still and dedicate your Sunday morning to pouring into the future of The Church.  If this message spoke to you in a way that God has been speaking to me then I ask that you please rest in it and act on it.  I love my church family and most of all I love our kids.

Thank you for the opportunity to love on your kids.

 April Sharp

Posted by April Sharp with

July Spare Change

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Don’t Give Up on Prayer

I have always incorporated prayer into my spiritual life.  As a Christian I know it’s very important; but let’s be honest, prayer has become sort of a “lost art” for many Christians today.  The modern church has become so self-sufficient that while we pray, prayer is not really that important.  It has become relegated to a few moments each morning or before a meal.  We are so busy that we don’t take time to pray properly.  Deep down I believe that there are many Christians that really don’t think prayer works.  They don’t get the desired results within their allotted timing so they have all but given up on it. 

I am here to say that we need to recommit to prayer.  I believe that prayer needs to be the most important thing we do all day. The famous reformation theologian, Martin Luther, once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”  We must make prayer the most important thing we do all day; however, I believe that in spite of our lack of discipline with prayer that the tide is changing in the church.  If not for the simple fact that the world is changing and we find ourselves not being able to control things any longer.  We also find ourselves dealing with governments and movements that now have more influence in the culture than we do.  When this happens, Christians are driven to prayer.  We have nowhere else to turn but to turn to the Almighty Heavenly Father.  This type of desperation needs to mark our prayer lives.  Here are three way to recommit to prayer:

  1. Become Disciplined

Prayer is a discipline that is learned.  You don’t become a Christian and automatically have a fully developed prayer life.  It takes years to grow in your walk and prayer life.  Prayer is like any other thing that requires discipline— it takes time and commitment.  If you want to get fit you have to take time to work out.  If you want to have an effective
prayer life then you have to “work out” in prayer.  One thing that helps is to have a prayer list or journal.  Really it’s just a place to write down things to pray about.  I have a list of permanent requests and a list of temporary requests that are crossed off and added too on a regular basis.  There is no secret to a deep prayer life…it takes time and
commitment.

  1. Become Desperately Stubborn

One of the key factors in people that have strong prayer lives is a feeling of stubborn desperation.  They don’t give up on a prayer need easily.  Prayer is used in our lives as a means of expressing trust and faith in God.  I believe God wants to know that we really trust Him.  The more we pray about something according to God’s will the more faith we are exhibiting.  Now it is key to remember that we pray according to God’s will, this means to not pray for a pile of cash or a new sports car.  However, it is okay to ask God to help you meet your financial commitments or to use your resources wisely.  It is also okay to pray about reliable transportation.  These are perfectly acceptable requests.  We also need to look past our own needs and pray for the world around us.  We must go the Lord, desperately seeking His divine intervention in our lives.  We must acknowledge that we are helpless and need Him to work as only He can.  In this we understand that God does not always work in the way we want or in our timing.  He is not a cosmic Santa Claus.  This means that sometimes we have to pray for days, weeks, or even years before He moves.  We also have to accept His solutions even when they don’t match our expectations.  However, if we are truly expressing faith through prayer I don’t think we will ever be disappointed in God’s answers, He usually does much more than we expect.

  1. Don’t Give Up

This may seem redundant but I want to drive home the point.  We cannot give up on prayer.  Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing”.  He also says in Philippians 4:6 that we need to bring everything before God in prayer.  Jesus calls us in Mark 11:24 to ask in prayer and believe that God will work, and you know what—He will!  This is just a sampling of verses that tell us to pray continually about everything going on in our lives.  This is just a simple reminder to not give up.  If your prayer life has been light over the last little bit then recommit to prayer.  Don’t give up on prayer, God is waiting to move.  He is just looking for faith-driven people to cry out in desperation to their loving Heavenly Father.

 

 

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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