"You forget a lot of things"
"You forget things a lot" was the encouragement I received from Lauren - our CVCYouth director of events and female discipleship. She's right - I do forget things a lot. I use a ton of technology to help me remember things and make sure that I am getting all of the things done that I need to. Here's the thing though - I don't forget things on purpose. The effects of the Fall on our mind are numerous. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they didn't forget things. But ever since that moment in time, all humans have been born with a defect known as forgetfulness.
Sometimes our forgetfulness is remedied as easily as running back out to the store to pick up the item or 2 that we forgot. There are times, however, when the ramifications are far more severe. I find that one of the most potentially dangerous areas of life in which I am forgetful is in the spiritual life of my family. Just like many of you, the Valenti family has plenty on our calendar. As I write this, I am sitting outside of Logan's drum lesson. We get into these habits or rhythms of life that can be so hectic that we forget to be intentional with our kids. We are so focused on not forgetting where they need to be next, or who has homework that we forget how important it is to both integrate the teaching of a Christian life into our "going" and we forget to stop and be intentional about it. The next thing you know, September is over and you can't remember when the last time was that you had a meaningful spiritual conversation with your son or daughter.
The people of Israel had this same problem - when things were going smoothly for them they often forgot God. In his grace, God removed blessing from them in order that their memory might be jogged and that they might turn back to him. The devil uses busyness to distract us and to make us forgetful. Forgetful concerning the things of primary importance in our own lives and in the lives of our kids.
So, we've turned the calendar page into October. In what ways have you, perhaps, already forgotten to be purposeful about the spiritual growth of your children? I'm here to come down on you - I'm right there with you, friends. I write this blog post because I feel the forgetfulness in Joe Valenti and that causes me to assume that you might be in the same place - running around the so many events and activities that you simply forget how important the spiritual life of your kids is and how little time you have with them.
What is one step you could take this week to step back and be more intentional
with your son or daughter's spiritual growth?
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children" - Deuteronomy 4:9
Don't forget -- Parent Equip is happening this Sunday!
CVCYouth is proud and excited to announce a new ministry for parents – hosted by parents.
Parent Equip will be hosted by Sola and Felicia Oshunniyi, Duane and Holly Myatt, and Larry and Thea Domzalski. These three couples have 13 kids between them – several with kids of their own – all the way down to 9th grade. You won’t want to miss their experience and wisdom coupled with the excellent curriculum from Doug and Cathy Fields –
Intentional Parenting: 10 Ways to be an Exceptions Parent in a Quick Fix World.
We have designed Parent Equip with you in mind. That means, you don’t have to buy a book, the time commitment is low, you don’t have homework or reading to do, and each session stands on its own so that if you miss one – no big deal – just show up next time!
We had a special treat in Collide this week, we heard from Aaron Ford, who is a recent graduate from CVCYouth. He has a heart for the word of God and is gifted in teaching, so he tackled the next question for us.
All of us are well acquainted with rules, they are a normal part of our world. Our middle school students also have an easy time relating with the concept of rules. They were asked what rules they have at home and here were some of their responses:
No phone after 8pm.
Don’t hang things on the fan.
If you make a mess, you have to clean it up.
Each student recognized they don't have a perfect track record when it comes to obedience.
Aaron helped us understand that the law serves two purposes for us:
1. It shows us how to live a perfect life.
2. It shows us that we can’t live a perfect life.
It reveals a need in us. The law is not our source of salvation, instead it reveals how much we need a savior. When the Israelites were first given the law in Exodus 20:1-3, they are reminded of how God delivered them from Egypt, he then told them how they should live. Similarly in the New Testament we are saved “…while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8). If we attempt to uphold and fulfill God’s law, we will always fall short. This is the good news of the gospel, Jesus lived the perfect life we could not live and died the death we should have died, so we could enjoy the joy of eternal life, offered to us freely. He loved us first, and he provided a way for salvation. We can respond to the grace that we received and display our love for him by living in complete devotion to him and obeying what he says.
In Matthew 20:34-40, Jesus answers the Pharisee’s question of which commandment is the most important with this, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” This not only a summary of the commandments, but it captures the essence of them all, and it is how we can live in obedience.
The middle school students took time in LifeGroups to work through what it means to love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength. We want to encourage you to help them think through what that looks like for them. What is a really practical way they can love God with ALL of their heart? With ALL of their soul? With ALL of their mind? With ALL of their strength?
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Nick Cole was with us for Impact, continuing our series “Pressure Points” in the book of James. Nick is a local business owner who attends CVC and was a guest speaker for Impact last year and came back for more! It was awesome to have the chance to hear his perspective on James 3:1-12 and be invited in to some of his own personal story.
James is a book that is packed full of practical wisdom for life. He speaks very directly to believers about what a life of faith should look like. And usually the things he is talking about are pretty hard to swallow. This section did not disappoint. He addresses the subject of taming the tongue.
James speaks severely about our tongue; he doesn’t have anything positive things to say. He refers to it in the following ways, “a world of unrighteousness”, “set on fire by hell”, and “restless evil, full of deadly poison”. He says that it is small but mighty, and says that no man is able to tame the tongue. And what comes from your mouth is a reflection of what is in your heart. Nick made the argument that James is most concerned with the state of our heart.
He’s not interested in you learning how to talk better,
he’s concerned with your heart.
We are invited again and again to receive from the heart of God, through the Word of God and let it change you from the inside out.
Born to be Brave is an event for fathers and sons that will be hosted at CVC on November 5th! Check out the video or click the link below for more information.