Posts in English
April 19th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: ¡Jesús está vivo!

English Preschool: Jesus is Alive!

School Age: Crucifixion and Resurrection

This Sunday all the kids will be outside for our special activities at 9:45.

Then they will join the adults in our worship assembly. Look for our new Connection Bags which are designed to help our children connect with all that is happening in the worship assembly. Your child may use it during worship. Please repack it and return it at the end of the service.

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman brought a gift for Compassion International.
-Valentino Collado participation in class.
-Vidal Collado participated in class.
-Gian David de la Hoz participated in class.
-Jonathan Delisma participated in class.
-Charlotte Lowrance has a birthday on April 21.
-Oliver Lowrance taught the class a new song.
-Aiden Martinez participated in class.
-Luke Parsard participated in class and explained Palm Sunday to his classmates.
-Logan Sensing taught the class a new song.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International.
-The Preschool Class had good participation from Samuel Henriquez, Ashley Martinez, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, Angela Solorzano, and Samuel Valladares.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

April 21
Easter

May 5
Preschool Picnic

 May 12
Mother’s Day


For Parents

I love the whimsy and magic of Easter. I like hiding Easter baskets, picking out new dresses, and gathering a gaggle of kids for a good old egg hunt.

But as fun as these traditions are, they pale in comparison to rich traditions that bring to life the Gospel. As a mom, I treasure the Easter traditions that aren’t just fun or cute, but that remind my family of the power the Easter story — that Jesus took on flesh just to die for our sins and defeat the power of death forever.

Here are some of our very favorite Gospel-centered Easter traditions.

Explain it. This may sound incredibly obvious, but sometimes I miss the forest for the trees. As the Easter season approaches, take a few minutes to have a family conversation about what we are celebrating. Even very young children are capable of understanding that Jesus died… but He didn’t stay dead!

Go “dark” during Holy Week or Good Friday. To honor the solemnity of Holy Week, consider abstaining from social media, gaming, and TV from Palm Sunday to Easter. Replace this time with reading Scripture or an Easter devotional, watching a meaningful Easter movie, or just… (gasp) being silent, and reflecting. A twist on this is to go literally dark on Good Friday — to have no lights on in the home all day. This is a powerful reminder of the day’s somberness.

Celebrate a Seder feast with your family. This deeply symbolic meal is generally celebrated on the Thursday or Friday before Easter. Each food in the feast has a rich theological meaning that you can discuss as a family and even read a corresponding Scripture verse.

Use a set of Resurrection eggs for an egg hunt. An egg hunt is always fun. Inside each egg, your child will discover a part of the story.

Attend an Easter service. When your children join you in a worship service, they have the opportunity to see you encouraging the body of believers with your worship. That is a faith building exercise that can’t be duplicated any other way.

Make Resurrection rolls on Easter Sunday. After baking, these rolls have an empty hole inside, just like the empty grave!

If you are like me, your calendar is packed and your to-do list is long. And yet, celebrating rich, meaningful Easter traditions with our children is absolutely one of the best investments of our time. The days do seem so long for us parents, but the years are short. Make the best of them!

Condensed from “Gospel-Centered Easter Traditions For the Family”  by Jessica Smartt from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
April 12th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: La gente recibió a Jesús

English Preschool: People Welcomed Jesus

School Age: The Triumphal Entry

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Sophia Barcenas has a birthday today.
-Caleb Bergman participated in class and made connections to apply to his life.
-Cashton Best participated in class with a positive attitude.
-Alfonso Corro participated in class.
-Brenda Emokah did a great job singing and helping others.
-Dustin Padilla-Paz has a birthday on April 13.
-Maya Pino participated in class.
-Sammy Pino participated in class.
-Weston Sensing has a birthday today.
-Bishop Skinner participated in class.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

April 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic

April 21
Easter

May 5
Preschool Picnic

 May 12
Mother’s Day


For Parents

What is your response when your child is frustrated? Does your child’s frustration lead to your own frustration? Let’s say you’re in a hurry to get out the door to go somewhere and your child is having trouble getting ready, or they’re just not ready to go. How are you feeling? Are you becoming emotionally upset? How might you react to your child continuing to say, “I just can’t get this?” after you have spent 20 minutes trying to help her with a set of math problems? A new research study sheds some light on how the emotional state of a parent affects the emotional welfare of a child.

A research team in the department of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, conducted an experimental study involving school-age children and their parent facing a frustrating task together and found that when parents remain calm, they can help a frustrated child self-regulate. The study soon to be published, “Physiological Contagion in Parent-Child Dyads During an Emotional Challenge,” used electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring of both parent and child to measure their emotional state. Emotional contagion occurs when children unconsciously sense their parents’ emotions.

For the study, each parent/child pair entered a room where the child was given a challenging Lego puzzle to complete, and the parent was instructed to watch but not help their child. During the second part of the session, the pair were told they had five extra minutes to complete the puzzle, and the parent could help. The ECG data indicated the parent’s emotional state influenced the child’s emotional regulation but that the child’s emotional state did not affect the parent.

While this is a novel approach to looking at this aspect of the parent-child relationship and further studies will need to be conducted to verify and further understand this phenomenon, it’s useful to see how the functioning of the parent’s nervous system can connect with a child’s nervous system. This is sometimes referred to as attunement or co-regulation. The parent’s connecting with the child in the second phase helped their child to emotionally regulate, or to “calm down.”

From day one, how you as a parent respond to your child when they’re upset will shape their ability to self-regulate. If a parent tells a child who is crying to “stop crying,” “get over it,” or “it’s no big deal,” the child is likely to remain upset. Yelling at a child or telling him to go to his room until he calms down does nothing to help him learn to self-regulate or “control” his emotions and usually leads to repetition and even an escalation of over-reacting to frustrating circumstances.

Picking up a baby when their crying will lead to the baby to stop crying when she sees or hears her parent. Hugging and sharing empathy with a toddler and providing reassurance when they’re upset helps them to calm down. With older children, you can then encourage them to use words to express their feelings. When parents repeatedly ignore or respond negatively or punitively to a child when they’re emotionally upset, as the child develops, he or she will likely over-react to frustrating situations more frequently and more intensely.

When you’re confronted by a crying baby or an upset child, the first thing is for you to regroup and remain calm. Taking a few deep breaths helps most people. When you can respond calmly or neutrally, you will help your child because they’re unconsciously picking up on your calmness, which in turn will cause their nervous system to calm down. Your baby will feel secure. You will then use the moment to help an older child learn skills such as deep breathing, reframing (looking at the situation in a more positive light) as well as using words to convey their thoughts and feelings.

A parent may assume their child is choosing to cry, yell or stomp their feet rather than use words. What is more likely the case is the child hasn’t developed an adequate emotional vocabulary. A meltdown may be the perfect time to teach your child appropriate ways to state how they’re feeling. Once a child can tell you how they feel and why they’re feeling that way, you can help them learn to problem solve and/or become able to accept some situations even though they’d like them to be different. The more time parents spend helping their child develop coping skills, the less time they’ll spend responding to emotional outbursts.

This will then enable you to help them express their needs to others. It also opens up the opportunity to begin to help your child to attune to the needs of others. Listening to your child does not mean that you’ll give in or grant their every wish, but it does help them to feel accepted and more open to listening to you so you can teach them coping skills including emotional regulation, problem-solving as well as empathy and understanding of others.

Here are a few basic tips:

1. Take a few deep breaths and/or count silently to 10 if you’re feeling upset.

2. Look at your child and pay attention to any emotional cues including body language, tone of voice, and words if they’re using them.

3. Calmly validate their feelings by saying, “I see you’re (angry, mad, upset, disappointed, sad, etc.)”

4. Next, try to understand why they’re upset. If you’re not sure you might say, “Tell me what is making you …?” If they can’t tell you, state your observation by saying, “It looks to me like you are ___ because of ___? I understand how that could ___.

5. With younger children, this may be the time to say, “I’m sorry you are ___” and then redirect by saying, “Oh look at ____. I bet you can ____ with it.”

6. For older children, you may have to be assertive and say, I know that is making you feel ___ but ___ (explain or state the reason their desire is not realistic).

7. In some cases, problem-solving may be an appropriate approach.

8. Taking time to teach basic coping skills for toddlers and older children is definitely in order.

Condensed from “Calm Parents are Better Able to Help Children Handle Frustration” by Robert Myers, PhD from childdevelopmentinfo.com.

EnglishVanessa Pardo
April 5th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Jesús lavó los pies de los discípulos

English Preschool: Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet

School Age: Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Cashton Best had great participation in class.
-Brenda Emokah encouraged the class with her singing and answered questions about the lesson.
-Vivian Garcia has a birthday on April 9.
-Lucas Gonzalez has a birthday today.
-Will Lasater knew the Bible stories that were reviewed in class.
-Guillermo Lamada has a birthday today.
-Henry Lowrance answered questions about the lesson.
-Levi Parsard answered questions about the lesson.
-Maya Pino encouraged the class with her singing.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International.
-The Preschool Class had good participation from Daniel Gomez, Christian Gonzalez, Samuel Henriquez, Guillermo Lameda, Ashley Martinez, Katherine Ruiz, and Samantha Ruiz.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class had good participation from Oliver Lowrance, Aiden Martinez, Luke Parsard, and Sammy Pino.
-The 3rd-5th Grade Class had good participation from Jaeeiel Baez, Jedany Baez, Caleb Bergman, Steven Carmago, and Dayleen Valdes.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

April 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic

April 21
Easter


For Parents

When you’re making choices as a parent concerning your children and your family, it’s easy to choose whatever is most comfortable in the moment. But a friend of mine gave me a much better criterion for making these decisions. Ask yourself, “What pattern do I want to set for my family?”

Let me give you a couple of examples of how we’ve used this: Camping with children is a hassle. There’s the packing and unpacking. The fact that little kids can’t do all that much that makes this form of recreation enjoyable (can’t hike very far, swim, bait their own fishing hook, etc.). And the fact that they roll around in the tent and make what is already an unpleasant night’s sleep more unpleasant. The trip is a blast for them, but for Mom and Dad? It’s more work than fun. Nevertheless, we’ve tried to go camping at least once a year just to set this pattern from the start: “The McKays spend time in the outdoors.”

Example #2: One of our two cars is a dented 2007 rattlebox of a Honda with over 120k miles on it. I wasn’t crazy about the car when we bought it a decade ago when I was in school, and I still have no love for it. I’d really like to replace it with a nice truck. But, I feel like keeping the car is an important symbol in our family; it sets the pattern: “We don’t replace something just for the heck of it; we use it up until it no longer functions.”

The patterns you set will of course depend on the values you want to uphold in your own family.

I know folks who took their babies and toddlers on international trips — even though toting along this extra “baggage” naturally created difficulties and made things less fun for Mom and Dad — because right from the start they wanted to set the pattern: “We’re a family that travels.” I know parents who take their kids to church even on vacation, no matter the location, to set the pattern: “Sundays are for worship.” I know those where the whole family goes for a run before opening Christmas presents, to set the pattern: “Stuff is nice, but the greatest gift is physical health.”

Asking yourself what pattern you want to set for your family is useful in helping you focus on the long term over the short. A decision can seemingly make the most sense in the moment, but not contribute to the overall trajectory you’d like to set your family on.

The first time your toddler has a meltdown at a restaurant, handing him your phone can seem like an inconsequential decision. But you might check yourself by asking, “What pattern do I want to set here?”: “We use our phones to soothe bad feelings and boredom,” or “We never use phones at the dinner table”?

When your kids are “helping” with chores or “helping” you cook, and doing the tasks slowly and wrongly, and even making more work for you than if you just did the job yourself, it’s easy to step in and take things over. But stop and think not just about the result you want right now, but the result you want a year, five years, ten years down the line. Is it more important to get the chore done quickly, or teach your kid how to be responsible and competent?

My aforementioned friend decided very early on that instead of letting his four kids watch television on Saturday mornings, they had to read books instead. While the rule was hard to enforce when the kids were young, they say, now when Mom and Dad wake up, they’re delighted to see all their children sitting and reading on the couch (and they allow themselves to wake up later, as they feel better about sleeping in knowing their kids aren’t zombied out in front of a screen!).

Asking yourself what pattern you’re setting with a certain decision can be useful for individual choices, but is particularly powerful for familial ones, because within the walls of your home, you’re creating a tiny, but bona fide culture. A culture with its own norms and traditions. A culture that will influence parental happiness, and your children’s lives, far more than the things you try to more proactively “lecture” about. It changes the calculus you use when trying to figure out whether some decision is worth it or not. What may seem like a small, insignificant choice when viewed as an isolated decision, may seem more important and worthwhile — and more motivating to follow through on — when viewed as a stepping stone for things to come, a piece of the scaffolding of your family’s culture, a building block for a pattern-in-progress.

Condensed from “What Pattern Are You Setting in Your Family”  by Brett and Kate McKay from artofmanliness.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
March 29th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Jesús y Zaqueo

English Preschool: Jesus and Zacchaeus

School Age: Jesus and Zacchaeus

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman has a birthday on April 1.
-Elias Osorto has a birthday on April 2.
-Lucas Rosales has a birthday on April 1.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International.
-The Preschool Class had good participation from Samuel Henriquez, Guillermo Lameda, Maya Pino, Katherine Ruiz and Samantha Ruiz.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class had good participation from Jacob Bergman, Alfonso Corro, Oliver Lowrance, and Sammy Pino
-The 3rd-5th Grade Class had good participation from Jassiel Baez, Jedany Baez, Caleb Bergman, Jonathan Delisma, and Dayleen Valdes.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

March 29
Noche de Alabanza

March 31
Area Wide Singing and Family Night

April 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic

April 21
Easter


For Parents

The flash of anger in my tween daughter’s eyes surprised me. We'd been camping, and I was helping her sister who had just burned her hand on hot ash when she angrily said that she had hurt herself the night before. When I asked her to let me finish helping her sister, her anger flared. “You always help her first! You don't care for me at all!” She rushed back to our cabin as I finished bandaging Aly’s hand.I walked back to the cabin, dreading the confrontation ahead. I could see how the next few minutes would play out: demands from me, mounting accusations from her. There had to be a better way to manage these cycles of anger. It was making all of us weary, especially Maddie.

Once a child is angry, it's easy for him to stay in a cycle of thoughts, emotions and physical responses that feed his rage. Here’s what the angry cycle looks like:

-An event creates distress that sets off the child's anger. This can be something another person says or does, or an unmet expectation.

-The pain triggers thoughts or memories that focus the child’s angry response on someone else. For example, he may think you don’t understand his life or that you care more about a sibling.

-These “trigger thoughts” lead to a negative emotional response. Your child feels frustrated, rejected, fearful or enraged.

-This causes a physical response, such as a flushed face, tense jaw, pounding heart and clenched fists. As anger takes control, it is difficult to think rationally.

-Finally, a behavioral response occurs. All these things evoke a fight, flight or freeze response.

We often try to lecture our children during their angry cycle, but they cannot think rationally. Our best efforts at correction will not get through during this highly emotional state; harsh discipline can make things worse.

This is true for all ages: An emotional, angry teen can't be any more rational than an emotional, angry toddler. When one of my children is angry, the angry cycle must stop before anything else can happen.

When I acknowledge anger in the moment, my kids see that I'm paying attention. And when I make myself available, they turn to me for help. They want to make good choices; they just need extra guidance, and are often grateful for my offer to help instead of sending them to their rooms or giving them consequences.

This works better than telling a child to calm down. Choosing the right words in your child's angry cycle can defuse the situation and lead to healthy resolution.

When a child gets angry, physical reactions are occurring in the body. According to a public health organization, "The body is flooded with stress hormones. The brain shunts blood away from the gut and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical exertion. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increase.”

We can help our kids understand what's happening inside their minds and bodies when negative thoughts are triggered so that they don't get caught up in the angry cycle, which can become a habit. We can teach children to recognize and stop their own angry cycles using the three R's: recognize, reflect and redirect.

To help a child recognize trigger thoughts, write a list of trigger thoughts on a piece of paper and review them regularly with your child. Some examples are: "She doesn't care," "This isn't fair," and "Nobody respects me."

If your child is unable to identify trigger thoughts, you can help by saying something like, "I've noticed that when you think I'm not listening to you, you get really angry with me." Try to observe patterns that your child doesn't yet recognize, and then help him.

Next, teach your child to check his thoughts. For example, when he is having an emotional response, encourage him to evaluate whether the thoughts in his mind are true. When a child learns to evaluate her thoughts in this way, she is better able to change them.

The next step is to replace the faulty thought with the truth as we read about in Philippians 4:8. Replacing negative thoughts with empowering ones requires some practice. Help your child focus on truth by listing counterstatements to the trigger thoughts you've written down. For example, "I know Mom loves me," "God is with me in all circumstances" and "I can set an example for others."

When our kids learn how to catch, check and change their trigger thoughts, they are better able to keep these negative thoughts from growing into bitter emotions and angry outbursts. As we help them redirect trigger thoughts to truthful thoughts, we equip them to stop the cycle of anger.

Condensed from “How to Stop Your Child’s Angry Cycle”  by Tricia Goyer from focusonthefamily.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
March 8th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: El buen samaritano

English Preschool: The Good Samaritan

School Age: The Good Samaritan

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Nicole Leon was a good helper.
-Aubrey Lopez was a good helper.
-Oliver Lowrance remembered to tell his family about the daily Bible reading plan.
-Samuel Henriquez did a great job on a class project.
-Levi Parsard has a birthday on March 12.
-Levi Parsard led songs for the class.
-Maya Pino was a great helper.
-Katherine Ruiz participated in class.
-Lyla Sensing led songs for the class.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International.
-Samuel Valladares did a great job on a class project.
-These students in the Preschool Class answered questions about the lesson: Henry Lowrance, Levi Parsard, Maya Pino, and Lyla Sensing.
-These students in the Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class worked as a team: Giovanni Delisma, Oliver Lowrance, Aiden Martinez, Luke Parsard, Logan Sensing, and Weston Sensing.
-These students in the 3rd-5th Grade Class read from the Bible: Jassiel Baez, Jedany Baez, Jonathan Delisma, and Dayleen Valdes.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

March 10
3rd-5th Grade Picnic
Spring Forward

 March 23
Bar-B-Que

 March 27
NO AWANA during Spring Break

March 29
Noche de Alabanza

March 31
Area Wide Singing and Family Night


For Parents

The tradition of Lent and fasting (or giving something up) is not traditional for most evangelical Christians, there is a growing interest among many believers to use these weeks before Easter to draw closer to Christ, remember His sacrifice, and ready our hearts to celebrate His Resurrection! In her popular book 40 Days of Decrease, Christian author Alicia Britt Chole invites us to consider Lent as a kickoff to a season of decrease, a different type of fast. 40 Days of Decrease invites you to thin your life to thicken your communion with God.

As Chole writes, “Our focus is uncluttering our hearts from the stuff that weighs us down and blocks our, and others’ view of Jesus. Because much of the reason we’re here on earth is to see Jesus and have others see Him through us.” Be blessed by this exclusive excerpt…

*

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” – John the Baptist (John 3:30 NKJV)

Decrease is a spiritual necessity. John the Baptist was the first among Jesus’ followers to grasp its counter-cultural power. John’s understanding of “less is more” was spiritually profound. Gabriel had announced John’s life-calling to Zechariah before John was even conceived: John was the one who, “in the spirit and power of Elijah . . . [would] make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).

In many ways, John lived a Lenten lifestyle 365 days a year. His diet was narrow, his possessions were minimal, and his focus was eternal. But decrease for John was less about assets and more about attention. His longing was to draw his generation’s attention and allegiance to the Messiah. From John’s perspective, the true value of people seeing him was that people would then be positioned to see through him and gaze at Jesus. By willingly decreasing, John increased others’ view of the Savior.

Attention is not innately evil. It becomes evil when used as a self-serving end instead of a God-serving means. Those who steward attention as means and not end stand tall and serve strong, knowing that all gifts come from God and can therefore draw attention to God.

John decreased so others could see the Lamb. John decreased so others could follow the One who preceded and surpassed him (John 1:30). John decreased so that the Messiah would be revealed in John’s lifetime. May our decrease likewise increase our generation’s view of Jesus.

Condensed from “Lent: He Must Increase, I Must Decrease”  by Alicia Britt Chole from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
March 1st, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Cuatro amigos que ayudaron

English Preschool: Four Friends Helped

School Age: Four Friends Helped

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Cody Carroll showed kindness in class.
-Brenda Emokah showed kindness to a younger classmate.
-Sofia Gonzalez participated in class.
-Samuel Valladares showed kindness in class.
-In the Preschool Class there was good participation from Brenda Emokah, Guillermo Lameda, Henry Lowrance, Samuel Marin, Katherine Moran, Samantha Moran, Levi Parsard, Maya Pino, Lyla Sensing, Angela Solorzano, and Samuel Valladares.
-In the Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class there was good participation from Jacob Bergman, Vanessa Emokah, Aubrey Lopez, Oliver Lowrance, Luke Parsard, Logan Sensing, and Weston Sensing.
-In the 3rd-5th Grade Class Jassiel Baez, Jedany Baez, and Caleb Bergman read from the Bible.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

March 10
3rd-5th Grade Picnic
Spring Forward

 March 23
Bar-B-Que

 March 27
NO AWANA during Spring Break

March 29
Noche de Alabanza

March 31
Area Wide Singing and Family Night


For Parents

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:17-19

Most Christians understand God’s love on a grand scale. Growing up, we learned from John 3:16 that “God so loved the world” — and He does. He loves all people and He demonstrated that love by sending Jesus to die for us (Romans 5:8).

For many of us it’s easier to comprehend and accept this grand-scale love than it is to grasp the fact that He loves us as individuals. He loves you. He loves me.

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” says the Sunday school song you may have learned growing up. But have you ever let that really soak in?

It’s an age-old exercise, but sometimes it helps just to take a verse like John 3:16 and personalize it. Put your name in place of the broader terms like “the world.” Try it now, preferably out loud, and include verse 17 at the same time:

For God so loved [my name] that He gave His one and only Son, that [if I believe in him, then I] shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn [me], but to save [me] through Him.

Think about that. The eternal, almighty, all-knowing Author of the universe loved you and me enough to sacrifice His very own Son in order to pay the penalty we owed for our sin and to open the door of Heaven to us. We are truly loved in ways that go beyond words! Or, as today’s passage puts it, in a way that “surpasses knowledge.”

In fact, let’s take those verses and personalize them as well:

I pray that [I], being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that [I] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:17-19

Moment of Truth:

God is not just the Creator of the universe; He’s the One who lovingly knit you together in your mother’s womb. He’s not just the Redeemer of humankind; He’s the lover of your soul who came in the person of Christ to pay your ransom and adopt you into His family. “Yes, Jesus loves [your name]!”

Condensed from “God’s Personal Love”  by Lee Strobel from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
February 15th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Ester decide ser valiente

English Preschool: Esther Chose Courage

School Age: Esther Chose Courage

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman participated in class.
-Brenda Emokah was a great helper in class.
-Wesley Lopez has a birthday on February 18.
-Henry Lowrance showed kindness during a conflict.
-Nelly Martinez participated in class.
-Maya Pino was a great helper in class.
-Lyla Sensing taught the class a new song.
-The Preschool Class had great participation from: Ayla Acero, Daniel Gomez, Christian Gonzanez, Guillermo Lameda, Samuel Marin, Ashley Martinez, Katherine Moran, Samanthan Moran, and Samuel Valladares.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

March 10
3rd-5th Grade Picnic


For Parents

My daughter was in second grade when she decided that she hated her hair.

Anyone can see that her hair is beautiful; in fact, strangers have often stopped us on the street to tell us so. She has gorgeous light brown ringlets with blonde highlights that frame her face. It’s the kind of hair that grown women pay money for. But no matter how many compliments she received, she still wanted to have straight hair like everyone else. She disliked her hair so much that she would often cry when she looked in the mirror.

It broke my heart to see her compare herself to others and feel this way.

At a young age, kids start to compare themselves and place their value and worth in how they measure up to their peers.

Kids often compare:

What they look like – “I wish I was taller, or shorter, or skinnier.”

How smart they are – “I wish I had better grades.”

Their athleticism – “I wish it was as easy for me as it for him to play basketball, or dance as gracefully as her”

What they own – “Must be nice to have the new iPhone.”

Comparison is rarely healthy, and most of the time leaves us feeling discouraged and insecure. Moreover, it robs our kids of joy and prevents them from embracing who God created them to be.

As parents, we can help our children avoid the trap of comparison when we:

Share with them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) They are children of God and are loved. God’s love for them has nothing to do with what they accomplish, what they look like, or how well they perform.

Show them how to speak to themselves. The Bible says to “take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) Taking every thought captive means that when they have a negative thought, they have a choice to entertain that thought or stop it in its tracks and replace it with God’s truth. Not just once or twice but every time those thoughts creep into their mind.

Practice gratitude. We can model for our children intentionally appreciating what we have and who we are. An excellent practice is to read scriptures on thankfulness and write down 2-3 things that we are grateful for in a journal each day and have our kids do the same.

Refuse to compare. Our kids will pick up our behaviors and adopt them as their own. So let’s not compare our families to other families or ourselves to other parents, and we definitely don’t want to compare our children to others.

It took almost a whole school year before my daughter stopped wishing she looked different. Over and over again, I reminded her that God knew what He was doing when He created her and that He and we love her just the way she is. Her heart did not change overnight, but gradually she let go of comparing herself to others and embraced her curly hair.

Condensed from “How to Help Your Kids Crush Comparison”  by Kimberly Amici from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
February 8th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Esdras lee la Palabra de Dios

English Preschool:Ezra Read God’s Word

School Age: Ezra Read God’s Word

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Jassiel Baez read from the Bible in class.
-Jedany Baez read from the Bible in class.
-Steven Camargo has a birthday on February 12.
-Elijah Davis brought his Bible to class.
-Jonathan Delisma read from the Bible in class.
-Brenda Emokah was a great helper in class.
-Daniel Gomez participated in class.
-Christian Gonzalez participated in class.
-Guillermo Lamada participated in class.
-Levi Parsard participated in class.
-Luke Parsard participated in class.
-William Rodriguez has a birthday on February 12.
-Logan Sensing sang a new song for the class.
-Lyla Sensing answered questions in class.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

February 10
Preschool Picnic

March 10
3rd-5th Grade Picnic


For Parents

My Brother’s Keeper

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” — Genesis 4:9

Once you become a child of God, you are responsible for your brother. Who is this “brother” exactly? It’s your neighbor, your friend, your colleague, a stranger, anyone you come into contact with. Deuteronomy 22:1-2 tells us:

You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray, and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until your brother seeks it; then you shall restore it to him.

When I was a young man learning about farming, I was taught that if you see an animal walking down the road, you don’t just look the other way. You stop and take the animal back to its owner. If you don’t know who the owner is, then you look after the animal until its owner can be found.

In the same way, when you see somebody in trouble, as a Christian you must stop and help. When you see a parking attendant trying her best, or a waiter doing his job well, make sure that you reward each one generously. Why? Because you are your brother’s keeper.

We need to take care of each other, knowing that God will take care of us.

You can never invest too much into somebody else’s life. God will always honor you for that.

PRAYER: God, please show me who my neighbors are, and how You want me to help them. Amen.

*

A Burden Halved

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24

Samuel Johnson supposedly said, “A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair,” and that is very true.

A dear friend of mine used to farm across the fence from me. We would encourage one another in the early mornings while the staff were coming to work. Often it would still be dark. He’d always tell me to take time out to smell the roses.

A good friend will also always tell you the truth. A flatterer — someone who tells you what you want to hear — isn’t necessarily a good friend. A good friend will tell you when the price of gas is going up, when your taillight isn’t working, or when there’s damp in your bathroom. A true friend will bring around a meal when you’re sick, fetch your kids from soccer practice, and encourage you when you’re down. This is because a friend cares about you and wants the best for you.

One year when I was battling to get our crop in because our tractor had broken down, another neighbor brought his tractors over to our farm and helped us get the crop in on time. He wanted nothing in return, just the simple pleasure of helping me. What an invaluable friend.

Spend time developing friendships — first with the Lord Jesus, then with those He has placed around you. Remember, a burden shared is a burden halved. Work on your friendships just as much as you work on your vegetable garden, your home, or your occupation.

PRAYER: God, thank You for the friends and neighbors You’ve placed in my life. Show me how to be a better friend today. Amen.

Condensed from “Friends are Gifts from God”  by Angus Buchan from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
February 1st, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life. The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Josías lee la Palabra de Dios 

English Preschool: Josiah Read God’s Word

School Age: Josiah Read God’s Word

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman read from the Bible in class.
-Jacob Bergman was a great class helper.
-Cody Carroll helped clean the class.
-Gio Delisma was a great class helper.
-Jonathan Delisma read from the Bible in class.
-Vanessa Emokah helped her classmates.
-Christian Gonzalez participated in class.
-Samuel Henriquez sang a new song in class and helped clean.
-Nicole Leon helped her classmates.
-Guillermo Lameda participated in class.
-Andre Levia read from the Bible in class.
-Henry Lowrance cooperated in class.
-Nelly Martinez helped her classmates.
-Maya Pino worked diligently on a class project and helped clean.
-Lyla Sensing worked diligently on a class project.
-Weston Sensing helped his classmates.
-Angela Solorzano worked diligently on a class project.
-Samuel Valladares participated in class.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

February 3
Ministry Fair

February 10
Preschool Picnic


For Parents

I wait for the Lord to help me. I trust His word. — Psalm 130:5

The seahorse (or Hippocampus, if you want to be scientific!) is a tiny fish that lives in the oceans.

It’s called a seahorse because its head looks like the head of — you guessed it — a tiny horse. This unusual creature often swims with another seahorse, and they link their tails to stay together. It also swims “standing up” and tries to blend in with nearby plants so it doesn’t get eaten.

Because of its body shape, the seahorse isn’t a very good swimmer. So rather than go out hunting for food, seahorses use their tails like anchors, holding on to a piece of sea grass or coral. They then wait for food — plankton and tiny crustaceans — to drift by so they can suck it up with their long snouts.

With its poor swimming and its tendency to stay in one spot, the seahorse isn’t going to win any races. But God has given it everything it needs: a way to get food, someone to swim through life with, and something to hold on to. God promises the same to you. The Bible says,

God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need. — Philippians 4:19

God provides you with food and shelter, Jesus to swim through life with, and the promises of His Word to hold on to. Like the seahorse, you may sometimes have to hold on and wait for God to deliver His promises — but He always will, and at just the perfect time.

Help me, Lord, to wait for Your perfect timing. And while I wait, teach me to live the way You want me to. I will follow You!

Seahorses are one of the few animals for which the male bears the young for the female. A female seahorse lays her eggs — sometimes hundreds of them — in a pouch on the male seahorse’s tummy. The pouch is very much like a kangaroo’s pouch. The eggs stay in the pouch until they hatch about 45 days later. A baby seahorse is only about the size of a jelly bean and must start finding its own food as soon as it’s born.

Condensed from “See the Seahorse”  by Louie Giglio from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
January 25th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life. The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: José perdona a sus hermanos

English Preschool: Joseph Forgave His Brothers

School Age: Joseph Forgave His Brothers

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman participated in class.
-Jacob Bergman helped set up the classroom.
-Vanessa Emokah made a new friend in class.
-Brandon Hartman has a birthday on January 28.
-Nicole Leon made a new friend in class.
-Aubrey Lopez has a birthday on January 30 and she made a new friend in class.
-Oliver Lowrance helped set up the classroom.
-Natalie Osorto has a birthday today.
-Maya Pino was a great listener and a leader in a class project.
-Lyla Sensing sang a new song for the class.
-Angela Solorzano worked until she accomplished a challenging project.
-In the Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class Jacob Bergman, Oliver Lowrance, Aiden Martinez, Sammy Pino, Logan Sensing, and Weston Sensing made up some great new verses to a song.
-In the 3rd-5th Grade Class Jassiel Baez, Jedany Baez, Caleb Bergman, Elias-Ivan Hernandez, and Dayleen Valdes read from the book of Genesis.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

 January 25
Noche de Alabanza

 January 26
Chili Cookoff

February 3
Ministry Fair

February 10
Preschool Picnic


For Parents

This idea that God can use children to teach us, that we have an opportunity to gain spiritual insight from those we are called to raise and teach, comes from our Lord himself, who in this regard was something of a revolutionary.

In the first century, children enjoyed little esteem and virtually no respect. While families appreciated their own children, society merely tolerated them. The very language of the day reveals this first-century prejudice. One Greek word for child (pais or paidion) also can mean “servant” or “slave.” Yet another (nepios) carries connotations of inexperience, foolishness, and helplessness. Greek philosophers regularly chided a stupid or foolish man by calling him “nepios.” Indeed, even biblical writers admonished Christians to “stop thinking like children [paidia]” (1 Corinthians 14:20).

Imagine, then, the people’s astonishment when Jesus brings a troublesome, noisy child and places him in front of the crowd (Matthew 18:1-9). With His hand on the lad’s shoulder, Jesus has the audacity to suggest that this small tyke provides an example to be followed.

Even the boy himself had to feel great surprise! Young children couldn’t wait to reach adulthood. They eagerly looked forward to shedding their lowly station.

But Jesus said, “No, you’re missing it entirely. Unless you humble yourself like one of these, you’ll never enter the kingdom of God.” He means, “Look at them now, learn from them now, and aspire to become like them.”

Then Jesus does it yet again, just after He clears the temple of the money changers (see Matthew 21:12–16). Jesus not only chases off the thieves, but He heals the blind and the lame as well. The kids start shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

The chief priests and teachers of the law were furious and demanded of him, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”

“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

What went on here? The religious leaders scoffed at Jesus: “Rein in these ignorant, foolish, and lowly children who treat you like the Messiah. You might be able to fool them, but we see right through you!” Jesus shrewdly turned the tables, in essence saying, “You were fooled, but not the ‘ignorant’ children!”

Jesus seemed to delight in the fact that “inexperienced, simple” children had an understanding superior to the trained adults.

Speaking to the crowds in Galilee, Jesus declared, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure” (Matthew 11:25–26).

We find the genius of children, spiritually speaking, in their helpless state. The Bible, as well as Christian spirituality, has consistently held pride as the greatest spiritual failing known to humankind. The message of the gospel scandalizes the proud: it insists that we admit we are fallen, helpless, and in need of someone to pay the price on our behalf and then to imbue us with a foreign power so that we can live life the way it was meant to be lived. An infant incarnates this truth perfectly.

The process of parenting is one of the most spiritually formative journeys a man and a woman can ever undertake. Unless we are stone-cold spiritually – virtually spiritual corpses – the journey of caring for, raising, training, and loving children will mark us indelibly and powerfully. We cannot be the same people we once were; we will be forever changed, eternally altered. Spiritually speaking, we need to raise children every bit as much as they need us to raise them.

Condensed from “Jesus Said, ‘Become Like Little Children’”  by Gary L. Thomas from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
January 18th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life. The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: José trabaja para Faraón

English Preschool: Joseph Worked for Pharaoh

School Age: Joseph Worked for Pharaoh

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman participated in class.
-Jacob Bergman has a birthday today.
-Cashton Best was a great helper.
-Jonathan Delisma participated in class.
-Henry Lowrance sang a new song in class.
-Phaedra Nchi has a birthday on January 19.
-Levi Parsard answered questions in class.
-Maya Pino answered questions in class.
-Logan Sensing has a birthday on January 23.
-Angela Solorzano led a song during class.
-Samuel Valladares did a great job with the class project.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

 January 25
Noche de Alabanza

 January 26
Chili Cookoff

February 3
Ministry Fair

February 10
Preschool Picnic


For Parents

I was at Target the other day. (Seriously, 80% of my stories start this way.)

Anyway, I was at Target waiting while the checker ran to pick something up for me.

I was just standing there with my crazy crew: one baby strapped to my chest, another buckled in the cart, toddler sitting in the basket of the cart. Everyone was getting a little fidgety and bored. Mom included.

Another customer in line said my least favorite phrase, but most often heard when out with all these small children. “Wow! You’ve got your hands full.”

And because I’m awkward and weird, I just said. “Yeah. I guess.”

Then she said my second least favorite phrase. “You are Super Mom.”

No. Just stop.

Please stop calling me “Super Mom.”

It’s not encouraging. It’s weird. You don’t know me.

All you know is that I have a lot of small children which just means I know how to procreate.

Plus, pretty much every mom I know immediately dismisses the “super mom” compliment as soon as it’s issued.

We know our faults and failing-- and you, dear stranger, do not. You don’t know us at all.

So just stop calling me “Super Mom.”

Even my mom friends say it. We drop this “Super Mom” compliment on each other, but in a way that really sounds like we're saying, “You are way more capable than me and just plain better.”

No. I’m not.

I’m not more capable or better at ANYTHING just because I have twins. Or because I have three kids. Or because they are all under three.

This has nothing to do with how well I’m doing this mothering thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a compliment. I know there are things I’m great at and I know there are areas in which I am an utter disaster.

But that’s the point. There is no “Super Mom.” We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all rely on God to fill in the gaps.

You know what I’d like to hear instead?

“Keep it up!”

Keep up the good work. Fight the good fight. Keep going. Persevere.

What that woman who called me “Super Mom” didn’t see was my sweat stains under the baby carrier or how hard I was biting my tongue with my toddler or the number of deep, cleansing breaths I had to take as I forced my infant to stay SEATED in that DARN CART!

“Keep it up!” would have been quite welcome.

I had just done battle in the aisles of my local Target, and I had the pit stains to prove it.

Don’t call me “Super Mom.”

I’m just a sinner giving it my best effort. Compliment that, and maybe you’ll give me the energy to keep it up.

Condensed from “Stop Calling Me Supermom” by Marie Osborne from mylifetree.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
January 11th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life. The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: José interpreta sueños 

English Preschool: Joseph Interpreted Dreams

School Age: Joseph Interpreted Dreams

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Jassiel Baez remembered the lesson from last week.
-Jedany Baez remembered the lesson from last week.
-Caleb Bergman read Scripture in class.
-Jacob Bergman used his Bible in class.
-Brenda Emokah was a great listener.
-Jaxson Farley was brave in class.
-Levi Parsard was a great listener and answered questions about the story.
-Luke Parsard made great comments about God. 
-Marcos Rosales has a birthday on January 16.
-Lyla Sensing helped with a project in class.
-Bishop Skinner has a birthday on January 16.
-Isabella Solorzano participated in class.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International. 
-In the Kindergarten-2ndGrade Class Alfonso Corro, Isabella Solorzano and Lucas Solorzano played nicely together. Oliver Lowrance, Logan Sensing, and Weston Sensing led songs in class. Gio Delisma and Vanessa Emokah read about God.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

January13
K-2ndGrade Picnic

 January 25
Noche de Alabanza

 January 26
Chili Cookoff


For Parents

Jesus was a master question asker. In John chapter 5 he asked a seemingly peculiar question when he arrived at a pool of water in Jerusalem.

Legend had it that, periodically, an angel would agitate the water and the first one in would be healed. The pool attracted a great number of people who were desperate for hope.

Jesus approached a man who had suffered what appears to be some sort of paralysis for 38 years. The text says he had been there “a long time”. And Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to get well?”

Why would you ask a man who has suffered for 38 years if he wants to be well?

It not only seems like a peculiar question, it seems insensitive; maybe even rude.

Have you ever had something in your house cease to work properly? Like a drawer in the kitchen that sticks? And the only way to open the drawer now is to lift up on the handle, pull it to the right and give it a little jerk. And that just becomes the way you open that drawer. At first, it’s frustrating. Then it’s merely annoying. And eventually, you don’t even think about it at all. It’s just the way you open that drawer. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s not what the builder of that drawer had in mind. It’s not how the drawer was designed. Have you realized we’re not just talking about a drawer? Maybe Jesus’ question wasn’t so crazy after all.

Do you want to get well?

Even more peculiar than the question was the man’s response. There seems to be only one right answer to this question: “Yes I want to be well.” But that’s not what the man said. Instead, he explained to Jesus why getting well wasn’t possible for him. He had no one to help him into the pool. When the water was stirred, someone else always got there first. He had tried and failed so many times. “Yes” was just not an option for him. He had lost hope.

Sometimes we lose hope that things can or ever will be different. That our addiction can ever be conquered. That we will ever be able to control our anger. That fear will always dominate our lives. That our wounded heart will never be whole. That we will ever be able to trust again. We begin to believe that the way things are is the way things will always be.

Think about the irony of our story. Jesus, God with skin on, stood before the man and asked him if he wanted to be well. And all the man could see was how impossible it was for him to get into the pool first. He needed to re-imagine hope in light of Jesus. Jesus ignored his explanation and told the man to

Get up, pick up your mat and walk. — John 5:8

He told him to do what the man had been unable to do for most of his life. And, for the first time in thirty-eight years, the man shifted his weight over his legs and stood to his feet.

The word translated “get up” is a word regularly used in the New Testament to describe resurrection. This story is a demonstration of what God is up to in the world. It’s His Kingdom breaking out on earth in the form of new life, new creation.

Maybe you need to re-imagine hope for yourself or for someone you love, in light of Jesus. He is, after all, the God of new beginnings. He is the One who can breathe new life into the dead parts of our souls. No matter how tangled the web of our lives has become, no matter how broken, no matter how lost; He is the One who invites us to bring our pain, our failure, our disappointment… all of it to Him. He invites us to trust Him. We demonstrate that trust through our obedience. Jesus told the man to “Get up”. The man could have continued to make excuses, explaining again why that’s not possible for him. But instead, he obeyed by getting up, picking up his mat and walking. Similarly, obedience is our response to hope; it’s how we participate in new beginnings.

As we look ahead to a new year, may we live hope-filled lives; placing our hope in the One who knows everything about us and loves us anyway. And may that hope flesh itself out in a life of obedience. Here’s to a new year and here’s to new beginnings.

Condensed from “Hope for a New Year”by Rob Cowles from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
December 21st, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: El Nacimiento de Jesús

English Preschool: Jesus Was Born

School Age: Jesus Was Born

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman brought a contribution for Compassion International.
-Abner Jose Cruz Mendoza has a birthday on December 21.
-Vidal Collado has a birthday on January 9.
-Moises Delavalle has a birthday on January 8.
-Levi Parsard answered questions about the Bible story.
-Alejandra Ramirez has a birthday on January 3.
-Lyla Sensing memorized a Bible verse.
-Victoria Trujillo has a birthday on December 30.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a contribution for Compassion International.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

December 23
Bilingual Christmas Eve Celebration

 December 26
NO AWANA

 January 2
New Year’s Celebration
(NO AWANA)

 January 13
K-2nd Grade Picnic


For Parents

One of the first things our son, Christian, did when he started college was to find a church he could call home. That made this mom’s heart very happy. A couple of weeks before Christmas, he asked Barry and me to join him for the Sunday service that featured the children’s nativity play. It was priceless! Joseph fell off the stage and two shepherds kept dropping their sheep, but it was all those little voices raised together in praise that brought tears to my eyes.

There is something precious about children who love their Lord.

That’s why I love the story about a group of children erupting in spontaneous praise of Jesus. Matthew 21:15 says,

The children [were] shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David.’

The Scriptures go on to explain that the chief priests and teachers of the law weren’t at all happy when they heard those words. They took their complaint to Jesus Himself with, it seems, the expectation that He should put a stop to it. Jesus’ response was beautiful:

Have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’? — Matthew 21:16

These children knew something important: one way we enter into the presence of God is through the gates of praise.

Praise clears away the clutter from our daily lives and prepares our hearts to meet God.

It reminds us of all the ways He has met our needs in the past, and it strengthens our faith for the days ahead. When we praise God, we take our rightful place in the great chorus of creation — a chorus that praises Him without ceasing, right alongside the cherubim and seraphim in the very courts of Heaven.

There will be times when praising God is the last thing you feel like doing, but give it a try anyway. Start with a whisper if that’s all you can manage. Read a psalm aloud if you can’t find any words of your own.

However small the offering seems — and even if it’s mixed with tears — enter His courts with praise.

Praise is a pathway into the presence of God.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. — Psalm 100:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. — Psalm 29:2

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. — Psalm 95:6–7

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. — Psalm 96:4

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. — Psalm 96:8

Condensed from “Through the Gates of Praise” by Sheila Walsh from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
December 14th, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: María visita a Elisabet

English Preschool: Mary Visited Elizabeth

School Age: Mary Visited Elizabeth

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Cashton Best showed kindness to a classmate.
-Cody Carroll came to class with a happy attitude.
-Gian David De La Hoz lead a prayer in class.
-Jonathan Delisma participated in class and lead a prayer
-Isaiah Ferguson participated in class.
-Samuel Henriquez participated in class.
-Ashley Martinez participated in class.
-Levi Parsard participated in class.
-Maya Pino has a birthday on December 16.
-Lyla Sensing participated in class.
-Angela Solorzano showed kindness to a classmate.
-Samuel Valladares participated in class.
-The 3rd-5th Grade Class practiced Christmas songs with Caleb Bergman, Gian David De La Hoz, and Jonathan Delisma leading the class.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

December 23
Bilingual Christmas Eve Celebration

 December 26
NO AWANA

 January 2
New Year’s Celebration
(NO AWANA)

 January 13
K-2nd Grade Picnic


For Parents

Several years ago, during December, we took a family trip to New York City. Getting to show Caroline the city at Christmastime will go down as one of my favorite memories ever, especially our visit to Santa Claus at Macy’s on 34th Street. Watching her face light up as she told him what she wanted and Santa taking the extra time to discuss the Percy Jackson books she loved made it one of those magical moments I’ll cherish always. It was one of those rare times when real life surprises you with so much joy.

And I guess that’s part of why I couldn’t stop the tears when we made it back to our hotel later that afternoon and turned on the news and discovered what had occurred earlier that day at Sandy Hook Elementary. Because while I was watching Caroline and my niece, Sarah, experience the very best of childhood magic and wonder, a school of precious littles, just 60 miles away, was experiencing horror beyond comprehension.

Honestly, even all these years later, it’s too much. Too much sadness, too much agony, too much hurt to comprehend.

I hear bad and scary stories about kids and tend to mentally list all the reasons they could never happen to Caroline. I pay attention. I don’t leave her home alone. I don’t let her walk down the block without watching to make sure she arrives safely at her destination. I make sure I know everyone she encounters during a day.

But what happened that day at Sandy Hook shattered any illusion I had of being in control. Those parents dropped their babies off for a day at school. A day that should have been filled with learning to identify verbs in a sentence or adding numbers or eating paste like every other elementary school kid. And the unfathomable happened.

I don’t have any answers because I don’t think we’ll understand this stuff here on earth. But here’s what I do know:

I know that this is not our home.

I know that the God in Heaven is good and faithful and true even when nothing makes sense. And I know that we live in a fallen world filled with sorrow and tragedy and madmen capable of terrible things.

I know that there is no better time than Christmas to remember that God sent His Son into the world to save us all from darkness and sin and certain death. And I know that two thousand years ago, the a Baby’s cry was the holy roar letting evil forever know that weeping may last for a night but joy will come in the morning.

One of the parts of the Christmas story often swept under the rug is the mass murder of innocent children at the hands of a crazed King Herod that caused Joseph and Mary to flee with Jesus to Egypt. There’s no way to make that look pretty. No way to dress that up as part of the manger scene with wise men and shepherds and maybe a cow for good measure.

Yet it’s there, in all its ugliness. It’s easier to deal with because of time and distance. It’s part of long-ago history. Pictures of those precious faces aren’t strewn all over Facebook, but those babies in Jesus’ time whose lives were cut tragically short left behind parents filled with unimaginable grief.

The truth is that our world is filled with darkness and always has been. Satan comes to steal and kill and destroy. And what feels more destructive and violent than the loss of innocent lives that embody the very tenderness of God, filled with so much light and promise and possibility and freckles scattered across their sweet faces?

I know that we are called to be a light in a dark world. And as much as events like Sandy Hook make me want to wrap my entire family in bubble wrap and spend the rest of our days within the walls of our home, we are called to spread the love of Christ and to share that hope and redemption and peace and purpose beyond what we can imagine available right now. Jesus came to earth in the form of a helpless Baby, but He won’t come back that way.

He’ll come as a conqueror. And evil will be vanquished forever.

Condensed from “Our True Home” by Melanie Shankle from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
December 7th, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life. The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Ángeles hablaron con María y con José

English Preschool: Angels Spoke to Mary and Joseph

School Age: Angels Spoke to Mary and Joseph

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Luca Acero has a birthday on December 9. 
-Caleb Bergman participated in role play for the lesson.
-Cashton Best was a good helper in class.
-Valentino Collado has a birthday on December 11.
-Jonathan Delisma participated in role play for the lesson.
-Brenda Emokah was a great helper in class.
-Nicole Leon answered questions in class.
-Henry Lowrance recited a Bible verse.
-Oliver Lowrance helped with the chairs in the classroom.
-Maya Pino was a great helper in class.
-Levi Parsard answered questions in class.
-Sammy Pino answered questions in class.
-We were happy to have Dayleen Valdes back in class and she brought a gift for Compassion International.
-The Preschool Classes had great participation from Cody Carroll, Brenda Emokah, Guillermos Lameda, WesleyLopez, Samuel Henriquez, Levi Parsard, Maya Pino, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz,and LylaSensing.
-The Kindergarten-2ndGrade Class had these students who were able to find different books in the Bible: Jacob Bergman, Gio Delisma,and AidenMartinez.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

December 8
Breakfast with Santa

 December 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic

December 23
Bilingual Christmas Eve Celebration

 December 26
NO AWANA

 January 2
New Year’s Celebration
(NO AWANA)

 January 13
K-2nd Grade Picnic


For Parents

Mindfulness. It’s not always something busy parents are noted for around this time of year. After all, someone needs to remember to defrost the turkey, send the invites, deck the halls, and make sure every kid gets to practice on time. 

A 16th century priest named Ignatius introduced a form of prayer that would help those in his care to remain focused on their identity and purpose in God. The prayer has taken a few different forms over time, but this simple practice of walking through the steps of contemplation, thankfulness, and surrender has guided many over time to realign their hearts and minds.

I think Ignatius’ message reminds us that distractions are not new, but we don’t have to allow them to take us away. When we develop some intentional practices of prayer and refocus our hearts during busy seasons, we are more able to recognize God at work in all the moments around us.

My favorite form of the prayer of Examen centers on five easy reflections. Here the five simple practices paired with reflections from the our team to help you refocus on what’s important during the season.

1. Ask God for the light.The practice begins by reminding ourselves that everything—our plans, our failures, our very breath—is centered on God at work, creating and inspiring in us. Consider these timeless words: “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Isaiah 11:1-2

God has promised that same Spirit—the one which rested on Christ in life and raised him from the dead—will live in us too. 

When you are feeling the weight of your to-do list, remind yourself of the work to which you were called. Was it to find perfectly color-coordinated Christmas cards? No. It was to reach out and help those God has placed in your life to feel known and loved. In those moments when details feel like they’re taking over, stop. Ask God to take back control. And proclaim the Gospel through your words and actions.

2. Give thanks.If busyness is the first hazard of the holiday season, comparison lies in wait right behind it. Developing a daily practice of gratitude helps us to reclaim those moments when we feel that our best intentions have fallen flat, and celebrate the fleeting gifts that are truly from God alone. Ground yourself by giving thanks for what you’ve got. 

3. Review the day.In this season we create so many important events and crafted moments. But with the promise of magical memories also comes the potential for disappointment. Our margin for grace can become thin when others don’t show up with their share of holiday spirit. Resist the urge to feel like you’ve been robbed of something. Instead, form a new tradition for yourself. Take a moment to review the day for what it has been, and for what it hasn’t been, seeing it without judgment. Give thanks for the beauty of relationship, and ask for an extra helping of grace.   

4. Face your shortcomings.For many of us a little soul-searching will uncover the hard truth that a large amount of disappointment we experience during the holidays is rooted in disappointment with ourselves. The most direct way to deal with that reality is to face it head on. The story of the birth of Christ is the beginning of a story of life-changing, heart-transforming, peace-bearing hope. That’s good news for all of us, in all of our frailty. Give your faults over to God, and watch what he does with them.

5. Look toward the day to come.If yesterday didn’t turn out quite the way you’d planned, you can always try a different approach today. 

-Get to know someone new. 

-Reach out to someone who’s feeling left out. 

-Gather the people you love and ask questions you’ve always wanted to ask. 

-Reconnect with someone who’s been away for a while.

-Set goals that will help you be more mindful for the future.  

As we plan, parent, and participate in the wonder and mystery of this season, may we be fully present to the transforming work God is doing in and around us.

Condensed from “5 practices to help you prioritize peace in the busiest time of year”by Rachel Dodd from fulleryouthinstitute.org.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
November 30th, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Personas que hablaron de Jesús

English Preschool: People Told About Jesus

School Age: Prophets Told About Jesus

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman led a prayer and a song in class.
-Cashton Best helped with a project in class.
-Steven Carmago had good class participation.
-Cody Carroll helped with a project in class.
-Jonathan Delisma was helpful to some younger students in class.
-Isaiah Ferguson has a birthday on December 5.
-Marcos Hernandez has a birthday on December 6.
-Samuel Hernandez has a birthday on December 6.
-Charlotte Lowrance helped with a project in class.
-Maya Pino was a good role model and sang nicely in class.
-Bishop Skinner head good class participation.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

December 8
Breakfast with Santa

 December 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic

December 23
Bilingual Christmas Eve Celebration

 December 26
NO AWANA

 January 2
New Year’s Celebration
(NO AWANA)

 January 13
K-2nd Grade Picnic


For Parents

Serving others is not always easy. Since my earliest years, my father has lead a humanitarian organization called Samaritan’s Purse. One of the many great things that this group does is help with disaster response in the United States and around the world.

At any given time they have volunteers in the middle of areas that have been impacted by tornadoes, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes. They are putting tarps on roofs or pulling sewage-soaked carpet out of water-logged basements. They’re clearing downed trees or sifting through the ashes of a fire-consumed home.

It is hard, draining, backbreaking work. You wouldn’t know it, however, by looking at the faces of the volunteers. As you witness their countenances of joy, you can’t help but be impressed by their hearts of service.

This observation is not lost on the homeowners either. In many cases they are at their lowest points, having had everything they own in the world ripped from them in the disaster. They don’t know how they’re going to get through it, and then an army of strangers shows up to handle the work for them. And they’re smiling too!

As you can imagine, the homeowners are often curious why these volunteers leave the comfort of their homes to serve others, and it makes an incredible impact when they share that they’re helping in the name of Jesus. Time and time again homeowners have been open to having conversations about Christ simply because His followers cared enough to serve.

You don’t need to travel to Louisiana after a hurricane to make the same impact.

If you look around your neighborhood, you will see countless opportunities for exemplifying the love of Jesus.

As you do, keep a few things in mind.

First, remember to be humble. You shouldn’t be serving others for your own glory. In Matthew 6, Jesus explicitly warns against boasting about your work. Rather, humbly allow yourself to be used and trust that God is working through you.

Second, be sincere and genuine. If you’re trying to serve others with strings attached, you are doing it for the wrong reasons and may do more harm than good. Love and serve others unconditionally, and with a sincere heart.

Third, be consistent. While any amount of service is good, pray that God would give you the heart of a servant and provide opportunities for you to serve others. Your consistency will not only show others that your heart is truly in the right place, but it will also offer additional opportunities to share Christ’s love with those who need to hear it.

Finally, as we’re instructed in 1 Peter 3:15,

Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.

Don’t be surprised if the Holy Spirit uses your heart of service to lead people to Him.

What are one or two ways that you can show the love of Jesus to others by serving them?

Condensed from “Serving and Sharing” by William F. Graham from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
November 16th, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Ezequías amaba a Dios

English Preschool: Hezekiah Loved God

School Age: Hezekiah and the People Worshipped

Classes will only meet at 9:45 this week so that all ages may participate in our Bilingual Blessed to Be a Blessing service.

The week’s Activity Page will be in a quiet bag that has been designed to help them engage with the message. Please have them look inside for a note with some ideas on how to use the items in the bag.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman participated in class.
-Aiken Bodie has a birthday on November 24.
-Angel Corro has a birthday on November 18.
-Henry Lowrance participated in class.
-Aiden Martinez has a birthday on November 28.
-Aiden Martinez brought a friend to class.
-Dustin Padilla Paz translated for his classmates.
-Levi Parsard participated in class.
-Luke Parsard led songs in class.
-Sammy Pino led songs in class.
-Olivia Suarez has a birthday on November 19.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a contribution for Compassion International.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

November 18
Blessed to Be a Blessing

November 21
No AWANA

December 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic


For Parents

Out of the blue, my daughter, who shares a room with her brother, is scared of the dark. For real? Or does she really just want to keep playing and reading in her bed when its lights out?

She's been around for five years and has never said she was scared of going to bed. Until now.

Last night she didn't want to turn off the hall light because she declared she was afraid. We insisted, so she ran down our ever so short hallway with her eyes closed. My husband kindly quipped that if her eyes were closed she would be in the dark any way.

Do you give your child a nightlight when they say they are scared of the dark or do you make them work through the fear?

I'm new. My kids are young and most of the time we're totally winging it because we have no earthly idea what we're doing. So our approaches lack consistency and are sometimes ditched halfway through the process because we realize they make no sense and need some serious verbal editing.

I do what comes naturally, I try to talk her off the ledge like she's 25 versus 5. This just in: That actually does not work.

Then I realize she's a child and tell her that she is the light in the dark and there is nothing to be fear. "God is n you and all around you- you are the light."

She's looking for something else and we have yet to come up with the solution.

However, I think she has the solution. She wants to keep the hall light on all night and then she won't be afraid. That band-aid is going to cost me with the utility company plus, I don't want that light shining on me all night long.

Get the child a night light! Can I not just understand where she is coming from and not make it some clinical, psychological thing? Like if I get her a night light now, will she be sleeping with a distraction the rest of her days?

I remember being scared of the dark when I was little and running down my grandparents hallway. I could feel the boogie man behind me and I ran faster. I have no clue how I overcame that fear.

Sometimes in the stillness of the dark, I still get a little freaked and tell myself that I am the light, God is there, yada yada yada. I 've also learned to thank the fear instead of push it down, but seriously, how do you explain this to a child? Getting from A to Z is going to take some soul-searching and remembering what it felt like to be in her shoes.

When I was a child, I was simply seeking the peace and comfort that I felt in my mother's womb. It was so cozy in there and I was always with someone. Then we get born and have to face the reality that we are our own beings and that can feel super lonely, scary and like we are in the dark. That can be something to grapple with on this journey and it might take longer than a minute to work it out.

My generation of people are the most professionally counseled people ever. We want to talk about it, delve in and wallow in the imperfections of our parents and therefore over parent our own children. We simply don't like for our kids to feel discomfort and try to make it all better all of the time. They call this phenomena, helicopter parenting. I am certainly not a helicopter parent. I don't hover...physically. But I might be an emotional hover craft.

Am I uncomfortable with my sweet girl's discomfort and trying to make it all better fast so we can just be in peace?

I hate band-aids. I like to get to the root and make it go away as quickly as possible. After all, most things can be taken care of instantly with the touch of a screen, a Google search and a like of page on Facebook.

But what if there is power in this being a journey and not the click of the 'pay now' button?

Can I be still and peaceful as my child learns her way in this world? Can I her a new night light so she can sleep peace?

Sometimes I just need to let go of what I think is acceptable and seek to understand where this child is coming from. Age five seems like it never happened for me, but when I remember that she is five, not 55, shining a little light for her isn't such a big deal.

I guess offering my child peace, a nightlight, and the chance to revisit the warmth of the womb on occasion isn't so bad.

Condensed from Sleep in Peace with a Side of Grace” by Andrea Ridder from mylifetree.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
November 9th, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Joás y el pueblo trajeron sus ofrendas

English Preschool: Joash and the People Gave Offerings

School Age: Joash and the People Gave Offerings

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Daniel Gomez had a birthday on October 27.
-Dylan Lopez had a birthday on October 23.
-Marvin Lopez had a birthday on October 30.
-Savannah Lowrance had a birthday on November 4.
-Phoebe Nchi had a birthday on October 20.
-Luke Parsard had a birthday on November 7.
-Samantha Ruiz has a birthday on November 15.
-The Preschool Class had great participation from Brenda Emokah, Wesley Lopez, Levi Parsard, Maya Pino and Samuel Valladares.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade class had great participation from Jacob Bergman, Alfonso Corro, Gio Delisma, Vanessa Emokah, Nicole Leon, Aubrey Lopez, Oliver Lowrance, Luke Parsard, Sammy Pino, Angely Reyes, and Jaylen Rose.
-The 3rd-5th Grade Class had great participation from Caleb Bergman, Jonathan Delisma, Anabelle Delvalle, Moises Delvalle, Marissa Navarro, Dustin Padilla, Bishop Skinner, and Dayleen Valdes.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

November 9-11
Hurricane Relief Trip

November 11
Preschool Picnic 

November 18
Blessed to Be a Blessing

November 21
No AWANA

December 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic


For Parents

My youngest daughter and I have the best talks on the way home from school each day. It’s just the two of us. I hear about her day, and she hears about mine. As we drove recently, I was dwelling on a decision that I regretted. I don’t actually remember what it was, because all I remember is what Autumn said next. She said “You know what you always say, Mom – You can’t change the past. It’s done. So, just learn from it and move on.”

I have a love/hate relationship with my children remembering what I tell them.

I did take her advice, but it took me a few seconds to get over the feeling of having my advice thrown back at me. She was right, and her advice was timely. Still, sometimes you don’t want to hear it, especially if it’s tough to apply. But, moving on is an idea that is Biblical. Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14: “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul had his mistakes. I have mine. We should not dwell on the past, but instead press on to the goal.

Sometimes it’s easier to forget our own mistakes than it is someone else’s.

We have another phrase that comes up often at our house – one that I turned around on myself recently: Who are you pleasing?

Sometimes the kids are arguing, or one of them is hung up on something that keeps them from moving ahead.

When they refuse to get over something, I ask them “Who are you pleasing right now – God or Satan?” No one likes to answer this one. Including me. Because we know the answer.

The truth is that our actions and thoughts do please only one or the other. My thoughts are either in line with what God wants, or they aren’t. When they aren’t, Satan wins that battle. I really don’t want Satan to win anything in my life.

Those little battles bring to mind this passage: “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.”  Hebrews 12:14-16

That root of bitterness is one that I have to pull out again and again in my own heart. I get my feelings hurt – and I dwell on it. I feel unappreciated – and I dwell on it. If I’m not careful, I become bitter. And that bitterness defiles me. It grows and chokes out the good that God wants to be inside me. And when I do that, Satan wins that battle in my heart. (Ephesians 6:12)

I am quick to remind Autumn of this when her brother throws a basketball and it hits her in the face. But when I’m irritated at my husband for not telling me he would be late for dinner, that’s another story. I want to hang on to my irritation, which makes me bitter, which keeps me from being fruitful.

We need to remember who the enemy is: Satan. When we spend our time focused on our own hurts and the mistakes of others, he wins. I don’t want to be like Esau who gave up something amazing because he couldn’t see past right now.

So, this week I’m trying to take my own advice. I’m trying to not dwell on my past mistakes or those of others. My heart is the battle ground. I am asking myself often who my thoughts are pleasing, and trying to root out the ones that please Satan. And as I turn my advice on myself this week, I have gained another morsel of motherly wisdom to share with my children…

“Be careful when you give advice. You never know when it will get thrown back at you!”

Condensed from “You know what you always say, Mom…” by Susan Ling from childrenoftruth.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
November 2nd, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Salomón y el templo

English Preschool: Solomon and the Temple

School Age: Solomon and the Temple

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-Samuel Marin participated in class.
-Maya Pino was very helpful in class.
-The Preschool Class had great participation from Cody Carroll, Wesley Lopez, Maya Pino, Keaton Sensing, and Lyla Sensing.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade class had great participation from Vanessa Emokah, Manuel Lameda, Nicole Leon, Angely Reyes, Logan Sensing, and Robert Skinner.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

November 11
Preschool Picnic 

November 18
Blessed to Be a Blessing

December 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic


For Parents

When my wife and I found out we were going to be parents, we immediately knew we needed wisdom. There was a couple with grown kids we asked to meet with to ask questions. Little did we know but a number of other couples had asked them for the same thing. They ended up hosting all of us for dinner to discuss parenthood. Some of the things they said were so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it myself.

Whether you are a new father or a seasoned veteran, we all need help. There’s nothing more beneficial than sharing wisdom, ideas, and best practices. So here, in all humility, are 10 random parenting ideas that perhaps you never thought of.

1. Keep it simple. We tend to overdo the rulemaking. Keep the rules to a number you can actually enforce. That way you will be consistent and the kids will know what to expect. Also, be able to bring it all back to one or two big picture ideas for your kids to move toward.

2. Don’t go it alone. We’re not talking about a “12-Step” program for dads (although it’s not such a bad idea) but more of a support and encouragement of other dads in the same boat. Our All Pro Dad’s Day program is perfect for this.

3. Ramp up the routine and the predictability. Children thrive on predictability. When they know what to expect (and you know what to expect), a lot of the stress evaporates.

4. Have kids take turns being “in charge” of chores for a day. (They make the assignments and you have to work too). Seriously, what’s a day with the shoe on the other foot? You’ll learn something, they’ll learn something; it’s a win-win.

5. Try “Family Game Night.” Again, make this routine. Board games and card games help reinforce the idea that “there’s a bigger plan.” Everyone’s on the same page; problem-solving skills are enhanced. It sounds old school, we know, but there’s a lot in old school we could all use right about now.

6. Apologize when you’re wrong. As parents, we should constantly model appropriate behavior and interaction. It’s called family leadership. When we’re wrong, which will happen quite a bit, we need to own it. If we don’t, they never will.

7. Let kids help make the rules. A family is not a democracy. But, a family is a place where we teach, we all learn, and problem-solving is practiced. Studies clearly demonstrate greater “buy-in” from children who have a hand in developing rules and consequences.

8. Try a day without rules. Well, maybe one rule: They still need to stay safe. Take a weekend and let them choose everything: meals (even if it’s candy), activities (you must join in), their bedtime (or lack of one), etc. They may see the value of all of your rules the next day.

9. It’s not all about the kids. Strong families are built around strong marriages. Ultimately, the most important element of family life is the relationship between mom and dad. That’s job one. Your kids will be happier. Even if you are no longer together, the way you treat each other will affect them.

10. Babysitting reciprocity. Find other families that are in the same season of life. Consistent date nights with babysitters can get expensive. Take turns babysitting one another’s kids to keep date night affordable. Obviously, choose carefully. I recommend having medical information and consents in place ahead of time. There may come a time when you need it.

Condensed from 10 Parenting Ideas You (Probably) Never Thought Of by Mark Merrill from markmerrill.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
October 26th, 2018
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Sunday Bible Class

Our curriculum is Bible Studies for Life.  The lessons scheduled for this week are:

Spanish Preschool: Rut, Boaz y Obed

English Preschool: Ruth, Boaz and Obed

School Age: Ruth, Boaz and Obed

Please take the time to look at the Activity Pages that your children bring home.  You will find the Bible story, suggested Scripture reading for the week, and instructions for how to download the Bible Studies for Life app.

We love seeing your children in Bible class.  The more frequently they come, the more likely they are to build stronger relationships with the other children and with the teachers.  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

Recognition

-The Preschool Class had great participation from Wes Lopez, Levi Parsard, Lyla Sensing, Angela Solorzano, and Samuel Valladares.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade class had great participation from Sophia Barcenas, Alfonso Corro, Joshua Crawley, Gio Delisma, Isaiah Ferguson, Manuel Lamada, Nicole Leon, Aubrey Lopez, Alyson Osejo, Luke Parsard, Angely Reyes, Robert Skinner, Isabella Solorzano, and Lucas Solorzano.
-The 3rd-5th Grade Class had great participation from Caleb Bergman, Jonathan Delisma, Moises Delavalle, and Dustin Padilla Paz.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club

October 28
Fall Festival

October 31
No Awana

November 11
Preschool Picnic 

November 18
Blessed to Be a Blessing


For Parents

Our lives have gotten so cluttered with things we think we “should” do, we can’t figure out what we were meant to do. Setting boundaries in our lives is the only way to ensure we stay healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. Jesus Himself set boundaries around His time. One of my favorite stories is in Mark 4:35-40. Jesus and his disciples got caught in a storm to take a break from the crowds. The Disciples woke him with fear that they were going to drown. Here’s what is so great to me about this passage: Jesus sees that there is work to be done. He sees the crowd. He knows people need to be healed, demons need to be cast out, and lessons need to be taught. But He still tells His disciples to get in the boat, and once there, He falls asleep. Yes, the needs of the people are urgent, and their requests for healing must have been compelling, but Jesus knows that He needs to stop and rest.

If even Jesus needs to stop and rest in the midst of a chaotic world, with all of the important things He has to do, don’t you think we need rest, too? I think we need to follow His example and set boundaries on our time, in order to do live lives full of what we were meant to do.

As a friend often says to me, “You don’t burn out doing the right things. You burn out because of what you don’t do.” We can say no to nonessentials to do lots of great things in our lives. We can work all day and all night doing what God calls us to. But without adding in time to connect with Him and others regularly, we will burn out even on good activities.

1. Add in time to stay connected to God through prayer and Scripture.

One of the best reminders I have of the importance of spending time with God is found in Matthew 14. John the Baptist has just been beheaded, and Jesus wants to be alone, so He goes to a private place to grieve. The crowds hear that He is there and follow Him. He has compassion on them and heals the sick. Then He performs the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Then he tells the disciples to leave by boat while he goes to a mountainside to pray…alone.

Once again we see Jesus leave the crowd, with work still to be done, to take care of what is important. He knows He needs to connect to His Father, to pour out His heart to Him, to rest in the comfort of His arms as He grieves the loss of John the Baptist. He doesn’t rush around to fix everything for everyone. We too must add into our lives what is important to the well-being of our souls.

I knew I had to learn to become a morning person and get up to pray and have quiet time before the kids woke up and the hurricane of morning activity in the household started. So I began to wake up earlier every day to pray and read my Bible. When I stay connected to God and prioritize that time, I am more likely to spend the rest of my day focused on the important instead of the urgent. There’s no right or wrong way to spend time alone with God each day.

2. Add in time to connect with others.

We have to be intentional about connecting with others. It’s easy to allow our work, even our work for the Lord, to keep us from connecting with those we love.

Throughout the Gospels, we see that Jesus spent time with those He loved. He spent weeks on end traveling with His disciples. They did ministry and performed miracles together. But Jesus also went to weddings. He visited His mother and brothers. He hung out with His great friend Lazarus and Lazarus’s sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus was understood the importance of spending time with those He loved and He modeled it throughout His time on earth.

3. Add in time to take care of yourself.

Just as you would make an appointment to go to the doctor, make appointments during the week to exercise, to read that book you have been putting off, to take a bubble bath, or even just to lie on your bed and stare at the ceiling. You have permission to take care of you because the world needs what only you can bring to it. Your colleagues, your family, they need you to be who you were created to be, and you were not created to be overstressed and overbusy.

Are you doing things today that are urgent? Or important? When we put every choice through that filter, we are able to prioritize how to spend our time instead of living a life of crazy busy. We have to start breaking busy before the busy breaks us.

Condensed from Breaking Busy: Jesus Needed Rest and So Do You by Alli Worthington from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo