It’s the day before VBS, folks. My mind is occupied by thoughts of crafts. I will be eyeballs deep in kids, clay and paint this week. Our Vacation Bible School director says it every year. “It’s the Lord’s Vacation Bible School. If He wants it to go on, He will provide.” Every year He does provide for this little country church and this provision has been an example to me in my own personal life to trust for God’s provision. Our director’s words also remind me that He has ownership of HIS ministries in the church. He allows us in to participate and cooperate in what He is doing. He is working through us in amazing ways.
Would you pray for my church’s VBS? We are a small country church that has up to 50 kids attend VBS each summer. It’s an amazing experience to watch how God provides help and resources each year. I think He may even miraculously widen the space between the walls of our church during this time!
My church has been around for over 170 years having an influence on many families and children throughout that time. Since I’ve been there, it seems the Lord’s outreach for our church has been focused in much on children. One of our main ministries is a weekly Good News Club throughout the school year held at the local elementary school. Around 35 kids come together each week IN SCHOOL after school to hear about Jesus.
Our hope is that JESUS will save them from a drowning culture.
And that is a struggle for me as someone involved in these ministries and as a parent. To constantly remember that JESUS is ultimately the Rescuer…not the program or the club. He may utilize those things in a child’s life, but ultimately He is the Rescuer.
Do you struggle with that? Do you sometimes get so caught up in the form of schooling, the church, the youth group, the ministry programs, the parenting book…that you forget who is truly the one who rescues?
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” -Philippians 2:12-13
Yes-we must cooperate with the Lord in working out our own salvation and helping others with theirs. But it is God who works in us all the while. What a comfort that is to me as a parent. I can trust the the Lord works and He works in me and He works in others.
“But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” -Romans 8:10-11
Jesus gives life to our mortal bodies now and He will in the future. He works as we cooperate. I need to remember this especially as my children get older. By no means have I experienced parenting a teenager. My kids are only 6 and 9. But I have and do interact with teens through church and my children are starting to be exposed to worldly things much earlier than I ever expected. I’m beginning to think about the teenage years.
So when I was asked to read and give away a copy of Rescue: Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture, I said, “Yes!”
What I love about this book is that author, Candy Gibbs, gives parents so much hope. She provides insight from young adults who have recently traveled through the teenage years and are currently in college. I was blown away by the insight and answers this amazing group of young people offer. Along with these insights, Candy offers her own thoughts from her perspective and experience as a mother of three including two teenagers, and as the Executive Director of CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Amarillo, Texas. The scriptures provided in each chapter keep the insights grounded in God’s Word. I appreciate that the scriptures provided always pointed me back to Christ and reminded me once again that Christ and grace found in Him is at the center of our efforts in parenting. That it isn’t about my technique, but about His work in our lives.
As Candy says in her book, “Parenting through the teenage years can be a tumultuous time of swimming against society, but it can also be a time of great joy.”
If you are raising a teen, getting closer to raising a teen or working with teens, I highly recommend this book! Please enter the giveaway below!
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Linking up this week with the following inspiring and encouraging blogs. I highly recommend visiting any and all of them!