Today was our second day in St. Louis. We spent the morning putting together kits for new Moms. We decorated gift bags filled with baby wipes, lotion, shampoo, Dreft detergent, and a tiny wash cloth. Each kit cost $10 and we raised enough money for 110 kits. During Team Time, we talked about the book we read last night, “The Streets are Free” because it talked about a kids and a community coming together to make a playground.
Our devotion was a game where each one of us had to find a baggie hidden in the house. The baggies had words for our mission verse that we had to put together. Our verse is “Your Word is a lamp before my feet and a light for my journey” Psalm 119:105.
Then we went to Cherokee street and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. There were tacos and ice cream but sadly we did not get ice cream. We walked to Bridge Bread. Bridge Bread is a bakery where they sell yummy cinnamon rolls and breads. The bakers are people that were homeless and didn’t have hope in their future. One baker’s story that really touched me was that thought he would be living the rest of his life in an air conditioning unit on top of a hotel. He now has a job and a place to live. We took mini cinni’s and water bottles up and down Cherokee street giving them out for free. Some people were really excited and some thought they had to pay. When we told them they were free, they were really surprised. We passed out minis and water and picked up trash at their community park called Love Bank. That was a lot like the park from our book.
After Cherokee Street, we went back to Rutger House and then went to the City Museum. The City Museum was a really fun place. It had all these super fun slides and they had an outdoor climbing playground that I was too scared to go up high on but lots of the other kids did. They had caves and tunnels you could go through and explore and it was really fun. I loved climbing with my friends – not just the girls but with the boys as well. We ate pizza and chocolate chip cookies and soda or water. After exploring the caves more, we went back to the Rutger House.
After devotion and team time, we were all super tired and went to bed.
*A group of 3rd graders with their parents are taking part in a 4 day mission trip to St. Louis. Below is a quick recap of their first day!*
Day 1 – April 21, 2017
We left on our 3rd grade mission trip to St. Louis this morning in two big vans – boys in one van and girls in another. We stopped at a park in Columbia, Missouri to eat and play. When we got to St. Louis, we went to Kingdom House (http://www.kingdomhouse.org/) and played games with kids that were part of their after school program. Today was Fun Friday which meant instead of homework, they played games with us. We played get to know each other games and tag games. We ate dinner with them. It was ham sandwiches, raw broccoli with ranch dressing, sliced peaches and milk. We made some new friends and had a lot of fun.
After dinner, we took a tour of Kingdom House. We saw classrooms that are used for preschool, after school programs, and adult classes like nutrition and cooking. We visited a store where people can shop for clothes and shoes. Everything is $1.00. After that, we went to their food market and pantry. At the market, they can buy food for a low price, and at the pantry, they can get free food. Then we headed back across the street to Rutger House where we staying. It is a very nice house and we are happy we have a comfortable place to sleep. After team time and devotions, we all read a book with our grownup, “The Streets are Free” and then went to bed to get a good night’s sleep before a busy day tomorrow!
My husband, Chris, is the Associate Pastor at Resurrection West. A couple of years ago, the campus pastor, Jason Gant, preached on the Parable of the Lost Sheep and as part of his sermon, he included a live sheep. My husband was the person chosen to hang out with the sheep and lead her on and off the stage during Jason’s sermon. I had such fun watching Chris as he gently talked to the sheep, petted her and walked calmly beside and in front of her.
Caring for animals is a responsibility God has given to each of us. God placed people at the head of all creation and asked us to be stewards of all He had made. With spring around the corner, now is a great time to help your kids learn about animals and how to care for them. Enjoy two or three activities below and help your family care for all of God’s creatures!
*If you have a pet, invite your child to feed and water him/her and take your pet on walks together.
*Offer to pet sit in a friend’s home.
*Visit a farm or zoo. Learn about how the staff and volunteers care for the animals.
*Check out a book or two from the library and learn about different kinds of animals.
*Create a bird feeder or bird bath and enjoy watching and listening to the birds.
*Volunteer at an animal shelter.
*Learn about endangered animals and how you can help protect them.
Have fun as a family caring for God’s world!
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
By Amie Littrell
Childhood is magical. A child experiences something brand new for the first time every day, every week, or every month – slides, airplanes, cake, bonfire, snow, giraffe, starry sky, roller coasters, losing teeth – life is so exciting! The newness and excitement of life that children carry around with them can be incredibly contagious – but it can also be ignored.
When was the last time you looked in awe-filled wonder at the sky? Or tried a new ice-cream flavor? Or noticed someone’s laughter that was unique – a laughing style you’d never heard before! As adults, many of us get so busy with our worries, our work, our responsibilities, and our images that we quit noticing things all around us. Day after day of this kind of lifestyle leaves many of us drained of wonder, imagination, excitement, yes, and even joy.
Most parents think often about what they want to teach their children. Jesus told his disciples, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, CEB) Today, think for a moment about what you can learn from your children. Get off your phone and notice your children. Truly notice them. Watch the ways in which they play and interact with their world. Share their sense of wonder. Don’t get too busy taking care of business that you forget to enjoy your children! Listen to what they say. Play with them while you still can! Let time stand still and don’t be in a rush. Soak in the moments together as they come.
Dr. Edward M. Hallowell says that simply enjoying children is one of the best pieces of parenting advice that he has. “Let [children] activate those parts of you that had already started to go dead before they were born and let those parts of you energize your work, your friendships, your spiritual life, every part of your life that there is.” (Edward M. Hallowell, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, Random House Publishing Group, 2002.) So take a break today and have some fun. Let your child help you to rediscover the small joys of life.
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
When our girls were younger, our family used to venture out in the cold to ice skate at Crown Center. One time, as I was making my way around the rink, I observed some connections between ice skating and life.
- Old and young need each other.
- We all fall down sometimes.
- When we do fall down, it is important to get back up and try again!
- A helping hand makes the adventure a little easier.
- Sometimes we just need a break.
- Laughing at ourselves makes everything much more fun.
- Taking a risk opens the doors for new learning!
- Encouragement means a lot!
- Time outside can renew our minds, bodies and spirits.
- Dress in layers and make sure to always have shoes that fit. (We get less blisters that way.)
Which of these does your family resonate most with right now? Which one might you explore further? What might you add to the list?
God reveals spiritual truths to us through everyday moments. Our role is to pay attention with all of our senses to discover God and God’s leading.
Encourage your family’s faith development by acknowledging God’s presence in everything you do. Be reminded that God is always with us and always wanting to show Himself! Pray and ask God to help you seek Him always. And have fun!
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
I recently attended a church event designed for children and families. I enjoyed seeing the many children learning and serving together alongside their parents, grandparents and friends. At one point, I happened to walk by a table where an eight or nine-year old boy was serving with his grandma.
I overheard him say, “Grandma, thanks so much for bringing me here. I really like this place and I really like doing this!” (They were creating crafts for kids in a residential treatment center.) I lingered a bit longer and listened in to a brief conversation about how he wanted to invite his friends next year. He and his grandma enthusiastically agreed they would and they moved on to the next activity.
A little while later, I saw Grandma standing by herself. I decided I would let her know I had overheard their conversation and encourage her in the time and effort she was investing in her grandson. I said, “I heard what your grandson said to you earlier about being here and how he thanked you for bring him here. Good job, Grandma.” And I patted her on the shoulder.
She smiled and shook her head and expressed gratitude for my comment. I thought about how often I encourage children and how that compares to how often I encourage the adults in their lives. I thought of friends, neighbors, colleagues and even those I see in the grocery store whose names I don’t know. I know how much it has lifted my spirits when someone has noticed my attempts at loving and caring for my own kids and I decided I would work more intentionally to notice and acknowledge the positive efforts of others.
Would you join me in encouraging your fellow parents along this challenging and blessed journey of raising kids? Can we come together and support and lift each other and each other’s children up no matter what the circumstances may be? God has given us numerous verses in the Bible about encouraging one another, and not only will it bless the other person, but it will bless us, too.
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
As I share these ideas for faith building, remember you don’t have to do everything! You know what works best for your kids and your families. Here in KiDS COR, we want to offer you several choices so you can choose what makes sense for your family.
This week, try one or more of these ideas:
*Prayer—Prayer is how we relate to God and we can do it in a number of ways. Prayer is talking, listening, being still, moving, creating, praising, and so much more! The book of Psalms is filled with prayers and can be found right in the middle of your Bible. Read some aloud (Psalm 150 is a great one for kids!). Have regular times of prayer as a family—maybe at mealtime, on the road and at bedtime. Pray for yourselves, others and the world. Remember those who are lonely or sick. Share joys and concerns. Spend time with God in prayer each day as a family.
*Celebrations!—God loves parties! On birthdays, celebrate the birthday person as a gift from God. Tell him or her how special he or she is to you and to God. Create a special plate, cloth or banner celebrating the person. Celebrate a regular day—enjoy a picnic in God’s creation, play games, spend time with friend and thank God for all your blessings. On Easter and Christmas, focus on the faith meanings of these holidays in fun, creative ways!
*Worship –At Resurrection, worship is for everyone. Whether worship is in TreeHouse Park, Bible Theater, the Student Center, the sanctuary or elsewhere, coming together to now, love and serve God through worship is critical to faith development. Make sure your entire family worships God regularly. You will be glad you did—and so will God!
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
Last week, I shared a few activities for your family to try as you grow in faith together. This week, choose another activity—you may even want to share the choices with your kids and see which one they are particularly drawn to!
*Bible reading—Place a Bible on a table in your home. Make sure it is age-appropriate for kids so they feel comfortable using it! Choose a Scripture or a story to read once each day. Consider acting it out, drawing pictures about it or creating the characters out of clay. Thank God for the Bible and for its meaning for all your lives.
*Art center—Gather miscellaneous art supplies, place them in tubs and make them available for your kids. Read the creation story from Genesis. Celebrate that God is a creator! Talk about how creativity is a gift from God for us, too. Use the art supplies to imagine, explore, discover and create! Display your creations in your home. Use them as a reminder of God’s creation and creativity. Thank God for creation!
*Watch television—Yes! Really! Choose a specific movie or television show to watch as a family. Discuss how the characters displayed Christ-like qualities such as love, peace, patience, kindness and self-control. How did the characters display qualities that were not Christ-like such as rudeness, selfishness, complaining, or whining? Discuss how each person can grow to have more Christ-like qualities in their lives. Pray and ask God to help that happen.
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
As we enter 2017, consider placing family faith formation as a top priority in your home!
Begin by using one or more of the ideas below to grow in your faith as a family.
*Eat meals together as often as possible. Prepare dinner together or ask family members to set the table while a parent cooks. Pray together before eating. Share stories about your day. Laugh together. Share the table with friends occasionally.
*Create memories through special days and vacations as possible. Remember that family fun does not have to be expensive. A day fishing, hiking, or discovering a new museum or park can be transforming for your family. A day spent together away from home can offer important time for problem-solving, conflict-resolution and compromise. Pray for safe travels. If you are on a long trip, attend church while you are away. Give thanks to God for all your new discoveries and experiences. Thank God for the time with your family.
*Serve others. Watch for needs of a neighbor, spend time in a nursing home, recycle, prepare lunch for Habitat for Humanity workers, or care for animals. How can you match up your family’s God-given abilities and gifts with other ways to serve in church or in your community? Discuss how you are serving God as you serve others. Invite others to join you!
By Pastor Lisa Holliday
Happy New Year! As your family starts off this new season, consider sharing together in the following faith building activity.
You will need a Bible, a large empty bowl and several of one small item to toss into the bowl such as buttons, coins, pebbles or tokens.
Remind your family that during this month of January, people often set goals they would like to achieve in the coming year. Invite them to play a game and imagine that the large bowl represents 2017—a new year ready to be filled with new experiences, activities and people. Let them know the game is to toss every small item into the bowl from three feet away.
After every person tries to get every single object in the bowl ask, “Were you able to achieve your goal every time?” (Most likely not.)
Share with your family that God has a special goal for each of to strive for every day and every year, then read Philippians 3:12-14 aloud. Let your family know that Paul was one of the greatest people to ever follow Jesus and yet he didn’t feel as if he ever reached the goal of becoming all God called him to be.
No one can achieve perfection, and yet God desires for each of us to be faithful. God wants each of us to continue to follow him and continue to try to know, love and serve Him the best we can. Discuss ways each of you can work towards the goal of following Jesus this year. Pray and ask God to help you.