Thursday, October 30, 2008

NEXT Parent connection

Here is last night's topic and suggestions for this week:

Grapple Question:
Can’t You Just Leave Me Alone?

Kids Learn:
They Can’t Do It Alone

Dig Into the Bible:
Matthew 26:36-46

Junior highers want to be accepted, but sometimes they just want to be left alone. When kids need help, they typically won’t ask for it. Everyone, including Jesus, needs someone around for support, encouragement, or to just be present. Even Jesus needed support and encouragement as he went through his final days on earth. This week is a tough one. If you try anything, your kids might just push you away. However, if you don’t, they may feel abandoned. Schedule one hour this week to spend some one-on-one time with your junior higher. Be sure to make it clear that you are there if he or she needs anything.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Ikon October 26

Hey Parents,
Last night we continued our "Devotion Promotion" series. as you can probably guess the topic has been devotion. rather than just talking about it at Ikon we have actually been spending most of our time in small groups doing a devotional exercise called Lectio Divina. here is an explanation:

This ancient method helps us move from simply reading the Bible to absorbing it and letting it affect us. As one author said, “This is a book that reads us even as we read it.”

In order to do that, we will take these simple steps.

Open and Clear
Together keep a brief silence. Make sure your body is in a relaxed position. Light a candle. Use a picture, crucifix, or icon to focus your attention. Imagine your heart opening like a flower to the warmth of the sun. Above all, clear your mind of the distractions inside and around you. Get ready to listen.

Read and Observe
The passage is read and the group observes a brief period of silence for reflection.
All participants are then invited to mark in their Bibles and then share briefly a word or phrase from the reading which caught their attention or which speaks to them in some way at this time in their lives.

Read and Think
The passage is then read a second time, slowly and deliberately. Again, a brief period of silent reflection follows. All participants are invited to tell about how the word or phrase they spoke of has had an impact on them, how it relates to their lives, or a question it raises. This is the time for discussion and sharing.

Three rules govern this time of sharing:
1) Sharing of insights by all participants is encouraged.
2) Debating points of interpretation is discouraged.
3) Respecting the offerings of each individual is important.

Read and Pray
The passage is read a third time, and a brief silence is again kept for reflection.
All participants are invited to speak a prayer which grows out of their reflection of the words or phrases they chose. The prayers should be simple and heart-felt.

Go and Live.
Having experienced an encounter with God’s Word, we now leave enriched, energized and prepared to live in a new way. Carry the words and experience with you.

We have given a daily reading assignment from the book of Ephesians and each week each group selects one of the previous weeks readings for their Lectio. The kids have really done well with this. a lot of great reflection and discussion has come from it.

Make sure to pray for your kids as they continue to try to grow in their relationship with Christ through their personal devotion.

Have a great week!



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Next Wednesday October 22 Parent Connection

Grapple Question:
Is God a Wimp?

Kids Learn:
They Get a Do Over With Jesus

Dig Into the Bible:
Genesis 2:8-17; 3:1-6; Romans 5:18

"Sin and evil are rampant in the world, and it doesn’t appear that God is doing anything about it. In fact, if God is so great, why didn’t he just create humans without the capacity to sin?" Junior highers need to know that God loves us and wants us to love him in return. True love requires true freedom to choose. If God controlled our hearts, we could never freely offer them to him. This week, help kids tackle these questions. Explain to your kids how your desire for their love is similar to God’s desire for our love and how that can’t be forced or controlled.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Next Parent Connection

Grapple Question:
Can I Do Anything I Want?

Kids Learn:
They Want to Honor Jesus

Dig Into the Bible:
John 8:1-11; Romans 6:15-18

"If being good doesn’t get you into heaven, they why be good?" This question may be the next logical step your kids take. Most junior highers have figured out the American way. "If you want to succeed, you must put forth a solid effort; nothing is free. Doing good works takes effort, and if you’ve already received the fruits of your labor, then there’s no need for further labor." For those who follow Jesus, faith is evident in good works. This week try extra hard to be an example to your kids. Remind them that doing good works won’t get them into heaven; however, when they do good things for others, people will see that the Holy Spirit lives inside their hearts.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Corn Maze

So the weather was looking pretty iffy on the way up to the corn maze yesterday, but by the time we got there the rain had stopped and it never returned. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. i guess the threat of bad weather kept others away. everyone had a great time hanging out by the fire and exploring the maze.

Next week week at 24t7 we will be starting a new series on devotion. Beth Minier will be leading the night as Pastor Mielke and i will be in Sacramento for the National Youth Workers convention. We will be gone from Thursday to Monday. Please keep Beth in your prayers as she prepares for this Sunday. Also pray that Pastor Mielke and i will be inspired and encouraged at this convention and for safe travels.

Have a great week!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Next Wednesday October 1

Hey Next parents,
Here is your weekly grapple connection:

Grapple Question:
What if I Really Mess Up?

Kids Learn:
Jesus Died for Them

Dig Into the Bible:
2 Samuel 12:7-14; John 21:15-19

Everyone sins. It’s a fact of life. Sometimes, though, junior highers think they’ve really done it—so much so that they come to the conclusion that even God couldn’t forgive them for this doozy. This week guide your kids into understanding that God will forgive them for anything they do. Share a time in your life when you really messed up, and talk about how you are assured that God has forgiven you. Help kids realize that Jesus died for the sins of everyone, no matter how severe they might think the sins are.

Have a great weekend!