Posts in English
July 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: Los Amigos oraron por Pedro

English Preschool: People Prayed for Peter

School Age: People Prayed for Peter

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

-Ayla Acero has a birthday on July 24.
-Sophia Barcenas participated in class.
-Steven Camargo participated in class.
-Annabelle Delavalle participated in class.
-Moises Delavalle participated in class.
-Vanessa Emokah participated in class.
-Charlotte Lowrance participated in class.
-Dwayne Osorto participated in class.
-The Preschool Class had good participation from Christian Gonzalez, Daniel Gomez, Samuel Henriquez, Guillermo Lameda, Samuel Marin, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, Angela Solorzano, and Samuel Valladares.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

August 11
Preschool Picnic

 August 25
Back to School Sunday


For Parents

My husband, Rich, lost his dad unexpectedly when he was eight. When father and son functions happened through the years, men from church and his friends’ dads always included him. Perhaps that’s why my husband has such a heart for Little League baseball and is known throughout our community as a caring coach.

When our next door neighbor and her husband divorced, Rich stepped in and invited her son to be a part of our son’s team.

He understood what it felt like to be a fatherless child.

He drove him to practices and games, and provided snacks and equipment as needed.

One day, Rich got the shocking news that his assistant coach had died suddenly. Rich’s first thought was about Chris’s eight-year-old son. “I wonder how Jacob is,” he said. Then he called Jacob’s mom. Ironically, she told him the first person Jacob asked her to call about his dad’s death was “Coach Rich.”

Sometimes we go through what we go through, to help others go through what we went through.

My husband, Rich, a fatherless child, reached out to spread hope to boys like him.

Get in the game of encouraging fatherless boys or girls. Become a big brother or big sister at a local organization. Invite a fatherless child to play sports or attend an activity with your children. Play catch or shoot baskets. One man I know escorts an extra girl to the annual Daddy/Daughter Dance at school because her dad lives in another state. The possibilities are endless!

Condensed from “Giving Hope to the Hopeless”  by Kathe Wunnenberg from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
July 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 Iglesia de Antioquía ayudó a otros

English Preschool: The Antioch Church Helped

School Age: The Antioch Church 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

-Caleb Bencomo has a birthday on July 16.
-Cashton Best participated in class.
-Gio Delisma was a good listener in class.
-Vanessa Emokah was a great learning partner.
-Nicole Leon was a great learning partner.
-Oliver Lowrance participated in class.
-Aiden Martinez participated in class.
-Sammy Pino taught the class a song.
-Edison Ramirez has a birthday on July 18.
-Logan Sensing sang in class with spirit.
-Weston Sensing sang in class with spirit.
-Dayleen Valdes participated in class.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class had good participation from Alfonso Corro, Gio Delisma, Vanessa Emokah, Isaiah Ferguson, Manuel Lameda, Aiden Martinez, and Sammy Pino.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

July 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic 

August 11
Preschool Picnic

 August 25
Back to School Sunday


For Parents

I was in the sixth grade when I heard it.

Growing up in church developed my passion for the Bible. I remember setting down my pipe cleaners as a toddler in the pew to listen to what the preacher had to say. I remember in Elementary school becoming interested in weekly Bible stories. But I did not hear it then. I remember during Middle School being distracted by changes in my body (and especially in the bodies of girls around me), but it was then that I first heard it. A challenge that would alter my world, even though I often fail at it. A new routine that would drastically reshape the way I fundamentally thought about, well, everything!

The challenge: spend time reading the Bible. Everyday.

I realize this is not novel. But it is profound!

I was raised in church my entire life, yet my first year of Youth Camp was when I heard this challenge loud and clear. It did not come from our camp speaker, who I’m sure was a gifted orator. It didn’t even come from my Youth Pastor, though I knew he loved me. It came from an intern I had never met. And I remember thinking, “This guy seems really nervous. I don’t think he speaks often.” Keep in mind, I had just finished the 6th grade. It wasn’t how he spoke, but what he spoke that changed my life. Does God really want me to read the Bible everyday?

Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.”

The psalmist is clear: there are two ways to live. The first, is the way of this wicked man. Verse one shows the person becoming more comfortable with living in sin. First, walking past it. Then, standing by it. Finally, sitting in it. Furthermore, there is a progression of the type of fellowship the person is enjoying with others who sin. From the wicked, to the willing sinners, to those who scoff at anyone who would try to do good. The first path, the path of the natural man, is to walk toward sin, get comfortable with sin, and then embrace sin as normative.

But there is a second way to live. Though, the psalmist does not describe this life in a way I would have expected. Rather than contrasting this life with actions that are admirable, rather than despicable, the psalmist focuses not on the works of their hands, but the desires of their heart. Rather than changing the behavior of the wicked, the psalmist contrasts the lifestyle with a change in joy through meditation.

Meditation. The word sounds like it belongs in a book about the occult. Do Christians meditate? Not by trying to clear your head. Rather, Christians meditate by filling their head with Scripture.

These are the very words of God. As we cling to them as a passionate lover clings to every word in a letter from their beloved.

As we meditate on God’s Word, we grow to delight in His law. This is a crucial factor missed by the majority of Bible-disengaged persons. Did you know the number one reason people read the Bible is to grow closer to God? Not surprising.

By contrast, people who do not read the Bible share a common view of the Bible that it is little more than a book of morality. It seems pretty boring to read an ethics book.

While the Bible has ethical implications for us, it is not a book to read purely for ethics. It is a story about a good God who has lovingly sent His son into this world to die in our place for our sin so that we might have a restored relationship with Him through faith in the risen Savior. We were all the wicked who embraced sin. Jesus alone is the righteous one. Yet, “God made Jesus who knew no sin to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Jesus”. — 2 Corinthians 5:21

What about you? Do you delight in God’s Word? Do you see it as a rule book? When did you begin to understand it to be about a relationship? Have you practiced filling your mind with (meditating on) Scripture? Who is someone in your life you could teach to read the Bible everyday?

It was a simple challenge. An unremarkable communicator. And a lifelong pursuit of being transformed by the Word of God.

Condensed from “The Challenge: Read the Bible Every Day”  by Michael McAfee and Lauren Green McAfee from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
July 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: Saulo hablaba de Jesús

English Preschool: Saul Told About Jesus

School Age: Saul’s Conversion

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

-Jacob Bergman answered Bible questions in class.
-Cody Carroll participated in class.
-Alfonso Corro answered Bible questions in class.
-Jonathan Delisma has a birthday today.
-Vanessa Emokah followed instructions in class.
-Scott Freer has a birthday on July 7.
-Vivian Garcia had a great attitude in class.
-Derek Gonzalez participated in class.
-Lyla Sensing participated in class.
-Weston Sensing participated in class.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

July 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic 

August 11
Preschool Picnic

 August 25
Back to School Sunday


For Parents

I hid under the covers for an extra ten minutes, not ready to face the day. The same familiar dread weighed on me like it did every morning — there’s too much to do, I’ll never make it, I should have gotten up an hour ago.

Reluctantly, I reached for my phone on the bedside table.

11:30. How on earth could I have slept until 11:30? It seemed impossible. I was shuffling out of bed when it hit me. It was indeed 11:30. But it was 11:30 p.m. I slunk back into bed and laid awake, disoriented, doing my best to convince my body it was nighttime.

This was week one of our new bedtime.

It was doctor’s orders, after all. He had quizzed Jon on our sleep patterns and quickly determined that we failed. Our usual bedtime landed around 2:00 a.m., and then we’d be up and moving just a few hours later.

There was just so much to do. Going to bed felt irresponsible. If our eyes could stay open, so should our laptops.

The doctor didn’t agree. No, it was not irresponsible to go to bed earlier. In fact, he told us that not only was our current schedule irresponsible, it was also wildly unhealthy. Rude, I thought. But desperate times and all. So early to bed we went.

And here, one week in, it was going so-so.

There were a few problems. To start with, I didn’t want to go to bed early. I loved those late night hours because sometimes they were the only ones Jon and I spent together. I didn’t care if we were both glued to our screens — we were in the same room and I was happy. When Jon would pipe up and say, “We should go to bed,” I was instantly annoyed. But for the sake of his health, I’d pry myself out of my cozy white armchair and set my tea mug in the sink.

Another problem was the same thing that prompted me to wake up at 11:30 p.m. to start my day: our bodies weren’t used to such luxurious amounts of rest. We’d trudge upstairs around 9:30 or 10 like real adults (and by that I mean it made us feel old) to get in bed. It just seemed so wrong. Some nights I’d fall asleep only to wake up disoriented a few hours later. Other nights I’d lay awake for hours feeling frustrated.

But the real problem, and the one that proved to be the most difficult to overcome, was that it felt counterintuitive to give up productive hours in order to reduce stress. How would we be healthier, happier, and breezier when our to-dos piled up and our inboxes overflowed? What advice did this doctor have for managing the impending chaos when we stopped putting in so much effort? Didn’t he know that the world had problems to solve, we had causes to fight for, and there already wasn’t enough time to do all that needed to be done?

As Christians, we’re called to heal the world, care for the broken, love our family and neighbors, work to restore the earth, restore justice, and restore peace. We take it seriously.

And it’s a big job. What we often forget, though, is that we’re not called to do it all, and we’re not called to do it alone.

God doesn’t ask or need us to save the world; He’s got that covered — He asks us to come alongside His work, His movement, His efforts here.

We’re not asked to shoulder the burden of a broken world — we get to be a part of something beautiful and meaningful. We can do our part, and trust that an all-powerful God will hold the world in His perfect love.

In Luke 8, Jesus and the disciples set sail to spread the good news in a nearby city, and Jesus promptly falls asleep aboard the ship. A storm breaks out — Jesus keeps snoozing. When the disciples wake Him in a panic, Jesus is less than impressed. After telling the storm to knock it off, He turns to the disciples and asks, Where is your faith? — Luke 8:25

They didn’t need to be worried — it was under control.

The ship arrives safely and when Jesus steps ashore He is immediately greeted by a naked, demon-possessed man shouting at Him. After casting the demons into a herd of pigs He is then almost crushed by the clamoring crowd, heals a sick woman, and raises Jairus’s daughter from the dead. I guess it’s a good thing He got some rest, right?

Unfortunately, we’re often not like Jesus, but much more like the disciples.

We’re afraid of the wind and waves of life. We’re afraid we’ll never meet our goals, we’ll be knocked off course, fall short of our destination. So we panic and worry and scramble — all the while, Jesus rests soundly, knowing that God is in control.

When I picture the disciples frantic, scared for their lives, I know this is me lying in bed awake in a panic over all that is undone from the day, all that’s before me tomorrow. The storm is swirling and there is no way I’m going to sleep through it. The Bible tells us to cast our cares on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), but my middle-of-the-night prayers are less casting my cares and more clinging to them. As if my worrying alone will help everything be all right.

Yet Psalm 46 paints a bold picture of our God. He is “our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He is here, with us, watching over this earth (Psalm 46:5). He breaks weapons and makes wars cease (Psalm 46:9). And He says to each of us, Be still, and know that I am God. — Psalm 46:10

It requires faith to close your laptop and go to bed when you’re giving your all to a project you believe in. It takes faith to drop some activities to guarantee a solid night’s sleep when you’re not sure what the repercussions will be. It takes faith to snuggle into the covers while the outside world whirs and spirals and creaks and groans.

Let’s choose to have faith, and get the rest our bodies and souls so desperately need. Let’s follow Jesus’s example, sleeping soundly in spite of the raging storm, because we know God is in control. And let’s be still, because we know that He is God.

Condensed from “Sleeping in the Storm”  by Jen Wise from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
June 28th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

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

Spanish Preschool: Saulo hablaba de Jesús

English Preschool: Saul Told About Jesus

School Age: Saul’s Conversion

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 participated in class and was willing to share.
-Joshua Crawley has a birthday on June 29.
-Elijah Davis has a birthday on July 2.
-Brenda Emokah listened in class.
-Daniel Gomez participated in class.
-Samuel Henriquez participated in class.
-Guillermo Lameda participated in class.
-Destiny Madruga has a birthday today.
-Katherine Ruiz has a birthday on June 30.
-Olivia Suarez showed kindness to someone who was feeling left out.
-In the Kindergarten to 5th Grade Class these kids said the memory verse: Jacob Bergman, Alfonso Corro, Gio Delisma, Vanessa Emokah, Machi Holsendorff, and Manuel Lameda.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

July 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic 

August 11
Preschool Picnic

 August 25
Back to School Sunday


For Parents

My husband had invited a couple of guys over to eat and hang out. We were all standing around the kitchen eating, while the conversation drifted over to the Ten Commandments. Now, keep in mind, there were three pastors and one pastor’s wife. We were trying to name what all ten commandments were, and all four of us were stumped. I got about six of them, and the guys did better with eights and nines. But no one could nail all ten. Adultery, murder, idolatry… hmmm… what was it? After a good couple of minutes, it came to us. Oh! Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy!

The Sabbath. For the life of us, none could remember the Sabbath.

We can’t seem to wrap our heads around just stopping to simply be with each other. We obviously haven’t placed a high enough value on this thing God wrote with His own finger on a stone tablet.

I was thinking recently about the busy early days of our ministry. Were we concerned then about stopping to enjoy what’s here and now? Were we concerned then about keeping the Sabbath?

I got my answer while looking at old photos. We were so caught up working and meeting all the needs, we had neglected to take any breaks and had stopped doing most of the things we loved. I’d never seen us looking so pale and unhealthy. We took on the burden of adult life, of a new family of churches, of parenthood, and had subconsciously felt guilty about even the thought of making time for enjoying the things that were wired into us.

. Play, surfing, beach time, exercise, activities just for the sake of fun. We thought we were being super holy, that self-denial of anything trivial like the beach would somehow rack up points with God and Jesus. We couldn’t have been more wrong.Sabbath is a commandment. Rest, togetherness, celebration, fun.

We have been biblically mandated to take a load off, to let God take over for a day. Blessings, presence, food, reflection, all have been prescribed to us — a people who would rather overdo it, who would try and take the credit. It’s crazy that party time with God and loved ones happens to be a biblical mandate.

Sabbath looks different for everyone. For some, it’s dinner with friends and a day of no obligations, maybe a nap or a family movie. For others it’s playing hard, enjoying life-giving activities. It’s clearing some margin. It’s making time and space to be with each other. It’s freely enjoying God’s gifts of food, rest, and recreation. But the heart of the matter is the same. It’s leaving our work and striving for God to worry about for a day, knowing that it’s not we who hold the earth in the balance, but Him. It’s trading the unhealthy illusion of control and the addiction of distraction for the beneficial gift of presence. It’s giving up the hustle and having confidence God will take care of things while we take a break.

Our decision to go off the grid served us well because it brought us into the right here, right now — ushered us into a lifestyle of Sabbath. It gave us space from the noise, gave us the luxury of distraction-free living. It had a way of scrubbing off the film that had grown over the heart of real life so that we could see each other up close. It gave us our breath back so that we could run our race with focus, and it was a chance to push the reset button and figure out what we wanted most out of life. When we talk about fewer choices and opting out, it can feel like deprivation. But it’s just the opposite: it’s abundance. It gives rather than takes.

How is God ushering you into Sabbath? Where might He be calling you to unplug? Is it turning your phone off one day a week? Is it daily making time for quiet, for family? Is it putting email in its place or only working during specific time slots or maybe turning off your wifi during certain hours? Perhaps it’s more of a heart issue, trusting God to take care of all life’s busy worries, or getting a clear view on how much connectivity is spiritually and emotionally healthy.

Because there’s a lot of other things to say yes to, a lot in this beautiful world to see.

Condensed from “Sabbath…What’s That?”  by Kate Merrick from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
June 21st, 2019
sunset-church-kids-corner-weekly.jpg

Sunday Bible Class

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

Spanish Preschool: Felipe y el etíope

English Preschool: Philip and the Ethiopian

School Age: Philip and the Ethiopian

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 participated in class.
-Jedany Baez participated in class.
-Sophia Barcenas participated in class.
-Jacob Bergman was helpful in class.
-Alfonso Corro participated in class.
-Annabelle Delavalle has a birthday today.
-Brenda Emokah participated in class.
-Faith Jerezano had a birthday on June 17.
-Aubrey Lopez participated in class.
-Wesley Lopez participated in class.
-Maya Pino participated in class.
-Robert Skinner has a birthday on June 25.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

July 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic 

August 11
Preschool Picnic

 August 25
Back to School Sunday


For Parents

Summer is FINALLY upon us. Welcome to the smell of driveway campfires and fresh cut lawn. Before you know it, you may even be hearing ice cream trucks playing that one song over and over and over and over.

My family enjoys doing certain things every year, but only recently have I considered the idea of a "summer bucket list." This involves sitting down together and writing up a list of all the things you hope to do before school kicks back in. Between the nice weather and the extended sunshine, it only makes sense.

The key is to refer to your list all summer. Perhaps use a dry erase board and circle items as you do them, or write the tasks on slips of paper that you randomly pull out of an envelope every few days.

What would be on your list? Here are 50 summer bucket list ideas for families, listed from cheap to expensive:

1. Go for a family bike ride down a local trail.

2. Camp out in the living room to play board games on a rainy day.

3. Set up a blanket or tent in your backyard on a clear night and stare at the stars together.

4. Visit someplace local that's free and beautiful, like a state park or nature preserve.

5. Run through a sprinkler.

6. Stay in your pajamas all day and eat breakfast food for dinner.

7. Search for geocaching in your area.

8. Meet up with friends at a splash pad.

9. Play freeze tag.

10. Cut the lawn of a local friend, but don't get found out about it.

11. Host a neighborhood campfire in your driveway and make s'mores.

12. Play a recreational game of soccer at a park, and recruit the other kids/families to join in.

13. Borrow a video projector and host an outdoor movie night on the side of your house.

14.Read every book your local library has from a favorite author.

15. Catch fireflies in a jar.

16. Hike into the woods for a couple hours.

17. Turn off all your electronics for one whole day as a family.

18. Buy a cup of lemonade at a kid's stand.

19. Light sparklers and watch fireworks.

20. Fly a kite.

21. Collect seashells.

22. Dress up and film your own movie.

23. Burn a hole in a leaf using a magnifying glass and the sun.

24. Listen to old songs and new ones to decide which one is "the song of this summer".

25. Sketch out a family portrait on your driveway using sidewalk chalk.

26. Brew sun tea.

27. Consume a whole water melon together in one sitting.

28. Supply the neighborhood kids with some homemade popsicles.

29. Create your own snow cones.

30. Chase down an ice cream truck and buy something sweet.

31. Try fishing, even if you don't know how to fish.

32. Bake brownies or cookies for your church or a community group.

33. Hang a bird feeder.

34. Volunteer to serve with a ministry or organization that serves the poor.

35. Set up a scavenger hunt for your kids and their friends, including offering some cool prizes.

36. Pick berries at a farm.

37. Hit a deli on the way to the beach to order monster sandwiches for lunch.

38. Have a water balloon fight.

39. Make homemade ice cream.

40. Go to a drive-in theater.

41. Ride horses together.

42. Sample every pizza place in your town.

43. Sail on a boat.

44. Ride on a jet ski.

45. Find a mini-golf course that everyone can do well on and play a round.

46. Shop at a farmer's market together to buy food to make an entire meal out of.

47. Drive out to visit a new zoo.

48. Attend a sporting event.

49. Spend the day at a nearby amusement park.

50. Take part in a mission experience.

Any of these can be done completely as a family or as a one-on-one time with each of your kids. The goal is to be present all summer long.

There's also a matter of making sure you don't get so recreational that you lose sight of good consistencies. It's easy during summer to turn God into recreation and recreation into God. So in the midst of it all, remember that these are not activities meant to be an end into themselves or alternatives to church but an on-ramp into Jesus-centered connections. Imagine what that could look like!

Condensed from “50 Summer Bucket List Ideas for Families”  by Tony Myles from mylifetree.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
June 14th, 2019
sunset-church-kids-corner-weekly.jpg

Sunday Bible Class

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

Spanish Preschool: La iglesia escogió ayudantes

English Preschool: The Church Chose Helpers

School Age: Stephen

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 participated in class.
-Alfonso Corro participated in class.
-Gio Delisma read his Bible to find answers to questions.
-Dwayne Osorto has a birthday on June 15.
-Lucas Solorzano participated in class.
-Angela Solorzano participated in class.
-Diego Trujillo has a birthday on June 16.
-The Preschool Class had good participation from Brenda Emokah, Daniel Gomez, Christian Gonzalez, Samuel Henriquez, Guillermo Lameda, Samuel Marin, Levi Parsard, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, Lyla Sensing, Olivia Suarez, and Samuel Valladares.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

July 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic 

August 11
Preschool Picnic

 August 25
Back to School Sunday


For Parents

When my dad was 2 years old his father abandoned the family. My dad’s single mom did they best she could, but they were extremely poor. To help support the family, my father started working when he was 6 years old. He had two jobs. Every day he and his older brother, Harry, would get up at 3:00 a.m. and work on a bread truck. Then they delivered newspapers before school.

When Dad became a man, he had a decision to make. Would he follow in his father’s footsteps or break the cycle? You can imagine how happy I am that my dad wanted to be a cycle breaker. The legacy of some men is how far they go, but my dad’s legacy can only be understood by looking at how far he came.

The impact of a father is undeniable. I am who I am today largely because my dad decided not to be the man his father was. I will always be so grateful. But my father had a problem. He never felt the scratch of his father’s whiskers. He never heard the soothing sound of his father’s voice reading him a bedtime story. He never had his father tousle his hair or wrestle him to the ground. He never tossed a ball with his dad in the backyard. He never smelled his father’s work clothes. He never heard a car door slam at the end of the day, signaling that his father was about to reenter the family orbit. He never heard his father say, “Son, I’m proud of you.” What it meant to be a father was completely un-exampled to him. As a result, he had to guess at how to be a father to my three brothers and me.

He had no training, no instruction, no discipleship. He was never invited to attend a parenting class or read a book about parenting. He didn’t have a men’s group or a couples’ group where he could get advice about how to handle my running away from home, having encounters with law enforcement for drinking too much, and always getting into fights.

As a result, I ended up with a huge chip on my shoulder. And I dared anyone to try to knock it off. By the middle of my senior year, I was so far off the rails that I quit high school. My dad wasn’t going to let me hang around the house, so he drove me to the US Army enlistment office. Which turned out to be a great move. The Army was good for me. I knew my dad loved me. However, it was the Army, through its discipline, that knocked the folly out of me.

Had the Army not dispensed the discipline that my father was not trained to give me, that chip on my shoulder could easily have ruined my life. Proverbs 19:3 tells us, A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord.

Of course, there are a lot of angry men out there who still have those chips on their shoulders. Their hearts are full of rage. If you are one of those men, I would encourage you to not judge your father more harshly than he deserves. Most dads really want the best for their children, even those not equipped to give it. Sure, they made mistakes. You’ll make them too with your children. Forgive your father.

With that said, every Christian father wants his children to grow up to love God and to love others.

Here is some basic training on how to father your children in a way that will really make a difference for them.

The challenging mission of a Christian father is to provide enough structure to drive out folly, while never letting your children have any reason to doubt that you unconditionally love and accept them.

When our own children were young, my wife and I attended a seminar where we heard a simple, practical formula for correcting folly: “Yes, I love you, and no, you can’t have your own way.”

Virtually every parenting error you can think of will be the result of getting one or both statements out of kilter:

The Authoritarian Father: “No, I don’t love you, and no, you can’t have your own way.”

The Permissive Father: “Yes, I love you, and yes, you can have your own way.”

The Disconnected Father: “No, I don’t love you, and yes, you can have your own way.”

The Encouraging Father: “Yes, I love you, and no, you can’t have your own way.”

“Yes, I love you, and no, you can’t have your own way” is the big idea that can guide you to the right balance of structure and discipline you will need to drive out folly, while at the same time making sure your children never doubt your love.

Condensed from “A Dad Who Really Makes a Difference”  by Patrick Morley from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
June 7th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

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

Spanish Preschool: Comó comenzó la iglesia

English Preschool: The Church Began

School Age: The Holy Spirit Empowers Witnesses

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

-Jonathan Delisma was excited to be in class.
-Gio Delisma answered questions in class.
-Brenda Emokah participated in class.
-Samuel Marin has a birthday on June 13.
-Marissa Navarro has a birthday on June 11.
-Maya Pino was helpful in class.
-Keaton Sensing has a birthday today.
-The Preschool Class had good participation from Ayla Acero, Daniel Gomez, Samuel Henriquez, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, Angela Solorzano, Diego Trujillo, and Samuel Valladares.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

June 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic 

June 12
Summer Bible Club Begins

June 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic


For Parents

I once saw a television interview with Mariah Carey, one of the most successful artists in the history of pop music, in which she said that if she hears a thousand words of praise and one word of criticism, that one criticism will eliminate the thousand praises in her mind. Can you identify with this dilemma? I certainly can.

Praise and approval slip through our fingers like sand. Shaming and criticism, on the other hand, stick to us like Velcro and can feel impossible to shake off, no matter how hard we try.

The serpent that tempted Adam and Eve is the same deceiver of us — whispering constantly in our ears, “Did God actually say…?” (Genesis 3:1). Has God really said you are forgiven, blameless in His sight, and forever loved? Surely not! We both know you are guilty, shameful, and worthless! The serpent hisses these lies to our hearts constantly.

This is why nineteenth-century minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne said that for every one look we take at ourselves, we should take ten looks at Christ. Our chronic tendency to crank up the volume on the serpent’s voice of accusation and bondage and to dial down the volume on the Father’s voice of pardon and freedom makes this practice of taking ten looks at Christ into an essential, daily endeavor. If we are ever to move past our habitual, primal patterns of posing, self-defending, and hiding, then we must learn and embrace some new patterns of mind and heart. For this to be possible, we are going to need help from each other.

One practical way we can hear the Father’s voice more clearly is to practice what Scripture calls “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) with each other. We must, as writer Ann Voskamp once said, “only speak words that make souls stronger.”

As the beloved, blood-bought daughters and sons of God, we must use our words to call out the best in each other versus punishing each other for the worst. To speak the truth in love is to offer encouragement, to put courage into a soul.

One of our primary resources for doing so consists in the carefully chosen, life-giving words that God has already declared over us all.

If all of our Christian communities and churches were sold out to this one simple practice — to only speak words that make souls stronger — I wonder how many spiritually disengaged people would start wanting to engage. I wonder how many religious skeptics would want to start investigating Christianity instead of keeping their distance from its claims and its followers. Do you wonder the same?

It has been said that the best “outreach” we can offer is to become the kind of community that we would want to be part of and the kind of community that is difficult to find anywhere else. This might actually be Christians’ best opportunity in the current cultural moment, where everyone seems to be on a hair trigger, always looking for something or someone to be offended by. I wonder if this simple, age-old, cost-free, compelling initiative is the key to turning a regular faith into an irresistible one. What if all it took for us to become the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth” and the “city on a hill” to our friends, neighbors, and colleagues was to choose kindness over criticism toward one another, giving the benefit of the doubt over assuming the worst in one another, building each other up instead of tearing each other down. What kind of difference — if we committed ourselves to this — do you think it would make?

Do you remember that silly saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”? I think Mariah Carey was a lot more honest than this in her interview when she admitted how much criticism stings. While sticks and stones may indeed break our bones, words can also wound us deeply and crush our spirits. Anyone who has received bad news, been shamed or criticized, or been the brunt of a mean joke or gossip understands this. Millions of men and women are in therapy because of wounds inflicted on them by words spoken to them either by others or by their own hearts.

Here are just few examples: You are worthless. You are ugly. You will never amount to much. You disappoint me. Why can’t you be more like your brother? You are too fat. You are too thin. I want a divorce. You should be ashamed of yourself. I hate you. I wish you were never born.

However, words not only have the power to crush spirits; they also have a mighty power to lift spirits, to bring strength to the weary, to give hope to the hopeless, to put courage back in, to make souls stronger. Words like these:

You matter.

You are the image of God.

You are loved at your best, and you are loved at your worst.

You are uniquely gifted.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are God’s child, the bride of Jesus, the vessel of the Holy Spirit, and an heir of the kingdom.

I see potential in you.

I value you.

I need you.

I respect you.

Will you forgive me? I forgive you.

I like you.

I love you.

These are the kinds of words that lift a heart and bring healing to a soul. They can free the chameleon from hiding in fear. These life-giving words can provide courage for the performer and poseur in each of us to come out of hiding, step into the light, and tell our true story — our blemishes, struggles, and sin, as well as the beauty, goodness, and mercy of God that we experience in the midst of them.

Condensed from “Life-Giving Words”  by Scott Sauls from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
May 31st, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

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

Spanish Preschool: Pedro y Juan predicanban

English Preschool: Peter and John Preached

School Age: The Ascension

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

-Aubrey Lopez participated in class.
-Luke Parsard participated in class.
-Lyla Sensing has a birthday on June 2.
-The preschool class had great participation from Brenda Emokah, Samuel Henirquez,  Wes Lopez, Maya Pino, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, Lyla Sensing, and Samuel Valladares. And Brenda Emokah, Henry Lowrance, Maya Pino, Lyla Sensing, and Angela Solorzano led prayers in class.
-In the Kindergarten-2nd Grade class Gio Delisma, Oliver Lowrance, Luke Parsard, and Lucas Solorzano did a great job following instructions for a game.
-The 3rd-5th Grade class had great participation from Jonathan Delisma, Brandon Hartman, Dustin Padilla Paz, and Dayleen Valdes.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

June 1
Ministry Leaders Meeting

 June 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic 

June 12
Summer Bible Club Begins

June 14
K-2nd Grade Picnic


For Parents

Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. — Proverbs 14:26

No one can teach your child like you can. No nanny, Bible school teacher, aunt, or uncle has your authority. What a phenomenal privilege is yours.

God Himself is a father. What parental emotion has He not felt? Are you separated from your child? So was God. Is someone mistreating your child? They mocked and bullied His. Is someone taking advantage of your child? The Son of God was set up by false testimony and betrayed by a greedy follower. Are you forced to watch while your child suffers? God watched His Son on the cross.

In addition, we are God’s children, suffering in a world of sin that wreaks havoc on our bodies, twists our minds, and severs our relationships. Does God shrug His shoulders and say, “Oh well, that’s life”? Of course not. Why would He go to all the trouble of introducing Himself to the world with the title of Father? Curator, Manager, and Overseer are colder titles of indifference.

God’s role is not a job. It’s a relationship. He chose a relationship title you can identify with. Now you understand His heart when His children are in pain.

So whatever emotions you feel about your child, God feels about your child. Maybe more. I know that’s hard to believe, but God has known your child longer than you have. He hurt for your child before he was born. You’re not alone.

Your Father weeps right by your side.

God is your child’s Father too. Just as you’ll do everything to help your child during his pain, so will God.

“When I think about someone wiping away my tears, I think about Dad. His hands were callused and tough, his fingers short and stubby. And when my father wiped away a tear, he seemed to wipe it away forever. There was something in his touch that took away more than the drop of hurt from my cheek. It also took away my fear.” —The Applause of Heaven

Condensed from “God Is Your Child’s Father Too”  by Max Lucado from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
May 24th, 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 oró por sus discípulos

English Preschool: Jesus Prayed for His Disciples

School Age: The Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray

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 in class.
-Jonathan Delisma lead a prayer in class.
-Sophia Gonzalez had a birthday on May 22.
-Samuel Henriquez participated in the lesson.
-Henry Lowrance answered questions about the lesson.
-Nelly Martinez Deras has a birthday on May 27.
-Nelly Martinez Deras participated in class.
-Levi Parsard helped a classmate with a project.
-Maya Pino did a great job sharing and helping in class.
-Robert Skinner participated in class.
-Isabella Solorzano had a birthday on May 20.
-Olivia Suarez helped a friend who was sad.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International.
-The preschool class had good participation from Samuel Henriquez, Ashley Martinez, Katherin Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, and Angela Solorzano.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

May 29
Last Night of Awana

June 1
Ministry Leaders Meeting

 June 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic 

June 12
Summer Bible Club Begins


For Parents

My kids had Bibles — real, unillustrated ones with lots of small words on lots of thin pages — long before they learned to read. They were always kid friendly versions. We would sit down together in the evening or at bedtime, and I would read interesting passages, usually from Genesis or one of the gospels.

It can be hard for littles to engage with the Bible, especially when they’re used to fancy Bible storybooks with short, action-packed stories. The real Bible isn’t much like that at all.

This is not a criticism of Bible storybooks; I think they have a very valuable place in teaching our children about Biblical truths and people. But at some point, we have to turn our kids on to the real Word of God. How to do that in a modern, animated age when many of our kids are more used to seeing videos than books can be a real challenge.

Here are 8 ways to help children engage with the Bible

1. Read it to them. I mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating. Find some juicy parts of the Bible, and read them aloud, cuddled together in a comfy chair or in bed. Read the Bible to them even if they can read by themselves, but don’t read too long if think they may get bored. I started my kids with one chapter, and we built up from there, sometimes going longer at their request. Good stories to start with are the same ones in their Bible storybooks: Jesus, Joseph, Jericho, Jonah, Daniel – or your daughters may be more drawn to their favorite female heroes of the Bible! If you don’t know where to find these in the real Bible, just Google them.

2. Read with feeling. Maybe this goes without saying, but the way we read makes a huge difference. We can make the Bible exciting! Read with lots of feeling and emotion. After all, this is the Word of God. It’s big and important and every word is true!

3. Discuss as you read. We can also ask thoughtful questions like what do you think he looked like? and how would you have felt if that was you? and what would you have done in his position? Help your children to understand what’s happening in the story.

4. Connect it to real life. Sometimes kids get the idea that the Bible happened long ago and it’s no longer relevant to today. Bible storybooks can give our kids the idea that it’s a fictional story. We can dispel these myths by relating our discussions to life with questions like what does this story mean to us today? what would this situation look like in our lives? and do our best to come up with analogies that relate it back. Some stories are easier to imagine today than others, but what about Joseph? He was sold as a slave (still happens), put in jail (lots of jails today), and ended up being the ruler of a country during a time of famine (lots of famines in the world).

5. Get creative. Without all the glossy pictures of a Bible storybook, your child may have trouble with mental pictures of the stories. Discussing it will go a long way but coming up with experiential lessons will also help. You can recreate the stories with puppets, act them out with handmade costumes, and taste foods mentioned in the Bible!

6. Let them read from their own Bible. As I mentioned, my girls had real, unillustrated Bibles from the time they were small. It’s important for your children to get excited about carrying their own “big boy” or “big girl” Bible with them to church, and to be excited about reading from it. There are many full-text Bibles with fun covers available.

7. Memorize short verses together. My family has a memorization habit that I welcome you to check out. Basically, we memorize verses, very short ones at first, every night at the dinner table. It’s a low-key practice; we just repeat a few verses together, from memory if we can or by reading if we can’t. If you pick verses from the stories you’re reading to your kids at night, they will be tickled when you get to them in the story. Memorizing will bring it all together.

8. Let her see you reading & studying the Bible. This is so important. We may cherish our quiet time when the kids aren’t around, and that is perfectly understandable, but we parents need to make sure to let our kids see us reading as well. Setting a good example may well be the best thing we can do to encourage them to read it on their own.

By using these simple strategies, you will have our children reading (or at least listening) to the Bible in no time!

Condensed from “How to Help Your Child Engage with the Bible”  by Tara Ziegmont from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
May 17th, 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 oró en el huerto

English Preschool: Jesus Prayed in the Garden

School Age: Jesus Prayed in the Garden

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 helped set up for class.
-Brenda Emokah led the class in a song.
-Vanessa Emokah helped a classmate.
-Aubrey Lopez helped a classmate.
-Henry Lowrance led the class in a song.
-Levi Parsard worked on a matching game in class.
-Luke Parsard made some helpful comments in class.
-Maya Pino worked on a matching game in class.
-Angela Solorzano led the class in a song.
-Dayleen Valdes brought a gift for Compassion International and read from the Bible in class and helped translate for a visitor.
-Samuel Valladares worked on a matching game in class.
-In the Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class these kids shared nicely: Jacob Bergman, Derek Gonzalez, Luke Parsard, and Sammy Pino.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

May 29
Last Night of Awana

June 1
Ministry Leaders Meeting

 June 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic 

June 12
Summer Bible Club Begins


For Parents

Parents’ love for their children can make them do peculiar things. Like staying up until 1 a.m. gluing glitter on a second-grade class project. Or driving 40 miles to deliver a single soccer cleat. Or, perhaps, bribing their teenagers’ way into a fancy college. But one of the weirdest things parents do is love their children more than their partners.

Before you call child services, let me be clear: Of course you have to love your kids. Of course you have to put their needs first. But doing so is also a no-brainer. Children, with their urgent and often tricky-to-ascertain needs, easily attract devotion. Spouses don’t need to be fed and dressed or have their tears dried and are nowhere near as cute. Loving your kids is like going to school–you don’t really have a choice. Loving your spouse is like going to college–it’s up to you to show up and participate.

So why do the harder work for the less adorable, more capable being in your life?

One reason, actually, is for the kids. Research strongly suggests that children whose parents love each other are much happier and more secure than those raised in a loveless environment. They have a model of not just what a relationship looks like but also of how people should treat each other.

Diary studies, in which parents log their day’s activities each evening, have shown that mishandled tensions between a couple tend to spill over into parents’ interactions with their kids, especially for fathers.

Children whose parents are often hostile to each other blame themselves for the fighting and do worse at school, other research has found. In fact, a 2014 survey of 40,000 U.K. households revealed that adolescents were happiest overall when their mothers were happy with their relationships with their male partners. And this is for parents who stay together; the outcomes for kids of divorce–even in the days of conscious uncoupling–are, generally, darker. One of the best things you can do for your kids is love the heck out of your spouse.

If we ever knew this, we have forgotten. When Pew Research asked young people in 2010 whether kids or a good marriage was more important for a happy life, kids won by a margin three times as big as when researchers asked the previous generation in 1997. But betting all your joy on offspring is a treacherously short-term strategy. Cuddly toddlers turn into teenagers, who greet any public display of warmth with revulsion, suspicion or sullenness. Then they leave. Grown children do not want to be the object of all your affection or the main repository for all your dreams, just as you never really wanted to hear their full toddler recaps of PAW Patrol. If you’ve done your job as parents, one day your home is mostly going to hold you, your partner and devices for sending your kids messages that they then ignore.

Parents can get so invested in the enterprise of child rearing, especially in these anxious helicoptery times, that it moves from a task they’re undertaking as a team to the sole point of the team’s existence. Some therapists say this is what’s behind the doubling of the divorce rate among folks over 50 and tripling among those over 65 in the past 25 years: it’s an empty-nest split.

Gerontologist Karl Pillemer of Cornell University, who interviewed 700 couples for his 2015 book 30 Lessons for Loving, says one of his biggest discoveries was how dangerous “the middle-aged blur” of kids and activities and work was to people’s relationships. “It was amazing how few of them could remember a time they had spent alone with their partner–it was what they’d given up,” he told me. “Over and over again people come back to consciousness at 50 or 55 and can’t go to a restaurant and have a conversation.”

The only way to prevent this sad metamorphosis is to remember that the kids are not the reason you got together; they’re a very absorbing project you have undertaken with each other, like a three-dimensional, moving jigsaw puzzle that talks back and leaves its underwear in the bathroom. You don’t want to focus on it so much that you can no longer figure out each other.

Condensed from “Why You Shouldn’t Love Your Kids More Than Your Spouse”  by Belinda Luscombe from time.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
May 10th, 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 dio gracias por comida

English Preschool: Jesus Gave Thanks for Food

School Age: Jesus Gave Thanks for Food

This Sunday all the kids 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.

Also, please look for the Children’s Bulletin which has questions designed to engage with the sermon.

We look forward to worshipping with everyone on Sunday!

Recognition

-Caleb Bergman helped his classmates understand what to do.
-Brenda Emokah led a song.
-Maya Pino was helpful in cleaning the classroom.
-Lyla Sensing led a song.
-In the Preschool Class these kids were focused learners: Brenda Emokah, Jaxson Farley, Wesley Lopez, Charlotte Lowrance, Henry Lowrance, Maya Pino, Lyla Sensing, and Angela Solorzano.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

May 12
Mother’s Day 

May 29
Last Night of Awana

June 1
Ministry Leaders Meeting

 June 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic 

June 12
Summer Bible Club Begins


For Parents

A while back a friend of mine got a dog to help her adjust to the empty nest of the school year, with her last child going off to elementary school. To say a few things changed when Marley arrived is an understatement.

Here’s a series of Facebook posts that followed in the days after Marley’s arrival:

“Welcome to the family! We rescued Marley yesterday, and the kids could not be happier!”

“Seriously… Was last night like the coldest night of the year? Seems cruel for my first night of dog walking!”

“Crate training day 1: Me 0 Marley 1.”

“Trying to get used to the fact that I am now being followed 24/7.”

The last comment makes me laugh. It seems my friend has found a lifetime buddy and will not lack companionship during the day while her kids are at school.

Just like sweet little Marley hates to be separated from his new mom, God hates to be separated from us. He desires for us to abide in Him. When we abide in Him, He abides with us.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

The definition of abide is to remain; continue; staying. This indicates continuing action.

So how do we do that? And how do we teach our kids to abide in Him?

Don’t worry, this scripture does not suggest that we should always be on our knees praying or at church every day. After all, we have jobs to do, families to take care of, and school to attend. Instead, we can build simple practices into our day that keep us connected to our Heavenly Father.

Here are just a few ways we can abide in Christ, and show our kids how to remain in Him too

1.Take 5 to 10 minutes a day to read your Bible and a devotional for yourself, and one that is age-appropriate with our children. If your kids are between 4 – 8 years, I suggest you check out The Purpose Driven Life 100 Illustrated Devotions for Children by Rick Warren. Adapted from the #1 international bestseller, The Purpose Driven Life, it helps little ones grow confident of their value in God

2.Choose a challenging life circumstance where you need God’s help and find scripture on that topic. Memorize the verse and pray it specifically for this situation. Parents can make it easy for children by writing the scripture on a card so they can take it with them wherever they go.

3.Pray regularly. We don’t have to wait for dinner or bedtime to offer up thanks and share troubles with God. He is just as approachable and accessible as a good friend.

4.Write in a journal, and as your kids get older, they can start one too. They can record their responses to the scripture verses they read, make a list of the things they are thankful for, and keep track of ways God has answered their prayers.

Consistency is the key to cultivate any relationship, especially the way we abide in God. It’s that consistency that opens up the line of communication between us and our Father in Heaven. This makes a way for God to reaffirm our value in Him.

I rarely see Facebook updates about my friend’s dog anymore. My friend is accustomed to the fact that she will never again be alone in her house. And you are never alone either. God is always with God you.

Condensed from “Moms, You Are Never Alone: Abiding in Christ”  by Kimberly Amici from faithgateway.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
May 3rd, 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 enseño sobre la oración

English Preschool: Jesus Taught About Prayer

School Age: Jesus Taught About Prayer

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

-Giandavid De La Hoz has a birthday on May 5.
-Derek Gonzalez has a birthday on May 8.
-Dayleen Valdes has a birthday on May 7.
-The Preschool Class had great participation from Brenda Emokah, Daniel Gomez, Samuel Henriquez, Levi Parsard, Maya Pino, Katherine Ruiz, Samantha Ruiz, Lyla Sensing, Angela Solorzano, and Samuel Valladares.
-The Kindergarten-2nd Grade Class had great participation from Jacob Bergman, Giovanni Delisma, Vanessa Emokah, Derek Gonzalez, Aubrey Lopez, Oliver Lowrance, Aiden Martinez, Sarah Martinez, Luke Parsard, Sammy Pino, Logan Sensing, Weston Sensing, and Ava Soliman.
-The 3rd-6th Grade Class had great participation from Caleb Bergman, Valentino Collado, Vidal Collado, Jonathan Delisma, Moises Delavalle, and Dustin Padilla-Paz.

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

May 5
Preschool Picnic 

May 12
Mother’s Day 

May 29
Last Night of Awana

June 1
Ministry Leaders Meeting

 June 9
3rd-5th Grade Picnic 

June 12
Summer Bible Club Begins


For Parents

My husband loves to tell the story of speaking with a World War II veteran almost 20 years ago. Mark was working at Oppenheimer Funds, advising and serving clients with their mutual funds. He got a call one day from a man in his 80s who, Mark quickly found out, had well over a million dollars in his account.

Would you like to know the secret to his financial success?

He put away $25 per month starting from the age of 18. That’s it. Nothing aggressive. No getting rich quick. Just small, slow, steady deposits each and every month.

It reminds me of what my Crossfit coach says during seemingly insurmountable workouts: Chip away at it. Just chip away.

It’s the principle of how you eat an elephant: one bite at a time.

It’s the “daily drip of obedience” that my friend’s mentor admonished him to pursue.

We humans are drawn to get rich quick schemes, to lose 10 pounds by this weekend diets, to the express lane. Like moths to a flame, we love instant gratification, magic formulas, and silver bullets. But we know silver bullets are rare. We know the truth is that real growth comes in one small, right decision after another.

And so it is with bringing up children in the Lord.

Late Easter afternoon I received a photo by text from a friend. It was of one of my teenage daughters leading a Sunday school class of toddlers through the twelve Resurrection Eggs. My friend said the kids were captivated, as she told the story of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection using the eggs and the little figures they each contain.

I immediately texted another photo back to my friend. It was of me about eight years ago doing the same thing: teaching the resurrection story to some young children, using the same eggs at our church in Okinawa.

Every Easter since my first daughter was born, I have used the Resurrection Eggs on Easter morning to tell my own children, as well as the children of our church, the story of Jesus. Each time I go through the story it only takes about ten minutes. There’s nothing fancy—no video or song or take-home craft. Just some eggs, some figures, some Bible knowledge, and a young, listening audience.

Apparently, my daughter has been listening, because without prompting from me or anyone else, she grabbed the eggs and did exactly what she has seen me do every Easter of her life. My small, steady investment paid off.

This story is a simple one, but it’s one of many, now that my girls are all twelve and above, Mark and I keep witnessing the dividends of our small, but repetitive, investments. It has been in their outspoken refutation of a secular TV show, and their conversations with one another about what modesty is and what it isn’t, and their robust conversation in the car about how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament laws (all three of these things transpired in the last week).

You must believe me when I tell you that we have never done a whole lot in the way of spiritual formation with our kids. I can tell you honestly that is has just been one small bite every day. We’ve chipped away, unimpressively, at their spiritual growth.

Our routines have usually consisted of the following:

-asking the girls to keep some kind of Bible reading plan that they maintain on their own

-watching 10 minutes of global news together about four times a week and discussing it from a Biblical worldview

-me reading a chapter a day (about 4/7 days a week) from some kind of spiritual formation book out loud

-praying together about 4/7 mornings a week for our family’s needs, missionaries, unreached people, our neighbors, and others

-eating most dinners together, praying as a family at dinner, and discussing my husband’s sermon or what’s going on in the world or in their own lives

-attending church (and serving) together every Sunday no matter what

-Mark reading them a story before bed (about 4/7 times a week), praying with them, and often striking up a deep conversation about once a week

These few and simple tasks add up to mere minutes a day. They are routine and rythymic, but they are not deep or impressive in any way. And, as you can see, none of them happens every day. We aim for general consistency, but know that perfection is not at all realistic.

And I’m seeing now that these small things make an impact. These seemingly insignificant habits have formed some significant things in my daughters: some solid theology, an ability to critique pop culture and media, a capacity to apply a biblical worldview to the news, an awareness of Bible stories and the so-what behind them, an understanding of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, and a desire to teach the Bible to younger children.

God, in his mercy, has seen fit to impress one little truth upon another in their lives. Our tiny, but frequent (not perfect! not even daily!) investments are paying off. This is not to say—at all—that my girls have arrived. It is not to claim that they’ve made it to Christian maturity. There are still so many ways I look forward to seeing them grow. This is only to say that God has been faithful to us, in spite of our weak offerings, our imperfect skill, our laziness, our quick-get-this-done mentality at times. 

Like the millionaire on Mark’s phone call, setting aside a little something on a consistent basis has added up over time. Be encouraged. Your children are listening. Your children are absorbing. Your small monthly payment is going to pay off in a big way in the decades to come.

Don’t believe the hype—you don’t need a silver bullet, a glossy kids program, a magical summer camp (though those can be sweet added bonuses). You just need a commitment to put in small amounts of time, consistently over time, and God will take care of the rest.

And then you’ll likely find yourself on the phone one day with a younger parent asking you how you became a millionaire in the spiritual formation of your kids. You will be able to tell them then that it was nothing fancy. You just protected and deposited a small amount each month, you chipped away at it, you took one bite at a time.  

Condensed from “Chip Away at Your Children’s Spiritual Growth”  by Jen Oshman from jenoshman.com.  

April 26th, 2019
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Sunday Bible Class

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

Spanish Preschool: Desayuno con Jesús

English Preschool: Breakfast with Jesus

School Age: Thomas Believed

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

-Jedany Baez has a birthday on April 28.

-Teachers recognized these students for excellent participation in our Easter activities: Jacob Bergman, Cody Carroll, Derek Gonzalez, Henry Lowrance, and Oliver Lowrance. 

Mark Your Calendar

Sundays
Bible Class

Wednesdays
Awana Club 

April 26
Noche de Alabanza 

May 5
Preschool Picnic 

May 12
Mother’s Day 

May 29
Last Night of Awana


For Parents

When I was a youth pastor, most of the students I worked with could not tell me what their fathers did for a living. If they were lucky, they could tell me the name of the company their dad worked for. In rare instances, they knew the general field or job title their dad had. Why is this? Our kids are not paying that much attention to what we do for work outside the home. They care far more about what takes place in the home and in family relationships. You would be hard pressed to find a kid who would not trade a dad with a high-powered executive position who is never home for a dad with a blue-collar job who loves his wife as Christ loves the church and who gives the best of his time and his heart to his family. Our kids will remember who we are at home far more than what we accomplish in our work and activities outside our home.

Can you remember specific things your parents taught you when you were growing up? I am not talking about general principles but about direct quotes. If I gave you a blank sheet of paper, how many direct quotes do you think you could come up with from your mother or father? I think that most of us would be able to come up with a few corny sayings, a couple of jokes, and maybe a snippet of wisdom or two.

. But what if I asked you to write down as much as you could about who your parents were—their character traits, strengths, and weaknesses? You could fill page after page! Why? Because your heart was deeply impressed by experiencing the character of your parents, and you will remember those things for the rest of your life.

Our kids are impacted by who we are, not only by what we say. In Deuteronomy 6, we see that God wants us to talk with our kids often about spiritual things. The message here is not in contrast to that teaching but complimentary of it. If you seek to have a God-filled daily life, you will be talking about spiritual things! A godly lifestyle, prayer, and Scriptures will be woven through your daily routines, and your children will observe this. When your children are fifty years old, they may not be able to remember a lot of specific things you said, but if they are asked to describe your character, they will say, “My mom and dad were always talking about the things of God. He was on the forefront of their minds, and that spilled over into everything we did.” We pray that our children will say that about us and the life that they experienced in our home.

When a child hears the love of God through prayer, Scripture and spiritual conversation and at the same time experiences the love of God through parents who demonstrate grace and love, that child has a great foundation his or her relationship with God. I recently had a conversation with an eighty-year-old woman at a Visionary Parenting Conference. She shared how her father prayed and read the Bible every morning at breakfast while she was growing up. Wow! What a blessing that was to her. Later, she shared with me how she also felt incredibly unloved by her parents. She told me how she remembers her father regularly shaming her, “How could Jesus ever love you when you misbehave like that?” Honestly, it is miracle of God that this woman continued to walk with Jesus once she left that home. God help us give our children not just the truth from your Word but the daily experience of your love!

Condensed from “Impressing a Child’s Heart”  by Rob Rienow from visionaryfam.com.  

EnglishVanessa Pardo
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…

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“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
sunset-church-kids-corner-weekly.jpg

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
sunset-church-kids-corner-weekly.jpg

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