New Site!

Standard

Over the past year or more I have been working to prioritize things in my life better (and some for the first time). Through that, I have come to the realization that keeping up with several different blogs is too much.  I’m not in children’s ministry anymore, so trying to keep kidmin stuff separate from personal thoughts is not necessary any longer.  I have started a new site for all of my adventures and thoughts and ideas, and I’d love for you to join me there…

The new site is Rejoice with Me.  Simple as that, and as complicated all in the same breath.

Words

Standard

So in less than 24 hours I will be loading up with my 6 year old son and headed to Belize to help lead VBS and do whatever God has planned for us for the next 7 days.  I am praying that His Spirit is moving there already, and that when I come back, I continue to be as excited about spreading the gospel here, with my neighbors as I am in another country.  For a while now, I have prayed for God to break me.  Make me not want the mundane everyday routine, but to follow where He leads, and take advantage of opportunities He offers.

I would say that I’m not normally a worrisome person, but I’ll have to admit that I went into full Momma mode last night.  My son and I went over everything I could think of that he would need to know (even though we have been talking about this for a year).  How he has to stay with me, he’s going to have to keep up.  He’s got to follow directions.  What to do if we get separated.  What information is in his bag.  What to expect on the plane.  In the airport.  Etc., etc., etc….

But as I sit here this morning, reflecting on what God is doing in my life, I am more and more amazed by Him.  This past Sunday, our whole group was commissioned before heading out on the mission field.  We all gathered up at the stage, and while I couldn’t tell you who all was around us, I know of two friends who were there.  These two have become very close friends of mine over the past year, and I am forever grateful for the relationship I have with them.  As our student pastor began to pray over us, these 2 ladies began praying aloud.  I caught only glimpses of things that these three people said in the midst of my own prayer, but the thought occurred to me that this was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.  It was the words of believers crying out to God for protection, for boldness, and for whatever else was said.  The most beautiful sound.  What was even more beautiful to me was the fact that my God heard every bit of it.  He could distinguish each syllable that was spoken aloud and in silence.  I so often get caught in the trap of more than one of my kids trying to tell me or ask me something, and my mind cannot comprehend the chaos of utterances that echo from their mouths.  I must take the time and listen to each one individually in order to understand and comprehend what it is they are trying to tell me.  But thankfully, we don’t have to wait our turn with God.  He hears us all the time, no matter whether it is a groan (like I get from my almost 2 year old), or we speak with eloquence and grace like a dear lady in our office (I love to listen to her pray).

But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4

Please pray for our team.  We have a lot of people traveling together, and logistically it could be a nightmare.  But God has already shown that He is in control of all of this (as if we had to wonder).  There have been so many things already that have happened to prove that we are doing the work that God has set before us, and that Satan doesn’t like it.  But our God has prevailed, and His name will be made known among the nations.  He will be glorified!

New App From Yancy

Standard

RootsForTheJourney-COVER 2

My friend Yancy has a new album out.  This time it’s more geared for the adults (mom and dad).  In addition to that, she’s got a great, and I do mean GREAT app for the kids to go along with it!  I don’t know about your kids, but mine inhale anything that includes great music and my iPad! Best of all, its FREE! You can get it for the iPhone, iPad, or Android. This is a great resource for us as parents to teach Biblical truths in a fun and interactive way!

Here’s a little more info for you about this wonderful jewel!

When Yancy recorded her newest album Roots for the Journey she knew these songs were special. The music, organic, unplugged and simple was something that adults of all ages would be eager to listen to again and again. The message in the songs timeless because each song is centered on scriptures from God’s Word. Yancy spends most of her time doing family concerts and making music and worship resources that play in minivans and churches worldwide. So, how could she mix her audience that ranges from preteen all the way down to preschool (through the Little Praise Party series) with this new music she created?

So the idea/dream got a little bigger. What if she made an app to help parents teach their kids these Biblical truths? What if we could give parents tools to make these scriptures come alive to their children. Meet the Roots for the Journey App available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

The app provides family devotions, conversations, activities, prayers and more. Being an app, it isn’t just about being at home, in the living room and having spiritual time for a hour. You could do parts of the devotion on the go, in the car, during dinner or whenever your family is gathered together. There are multiple ways you can talk about and reinforce the truth of God’s Word. The song as you listen will help that message be tied to a melody that kids can latch onto and sing. Music is an amazing way to communicate. We remember songs from long ago. The same is true for your kids. So, having the music is a tool that will reinforce the lessons, conversations, activities and prayers. Most importantly we want to help families hide God’s word in their hearts. Psalm 119:11  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)

Yancy asked Children’s and Family Ministry friends from around the world to help her make these Biblical truths come alive. The app contributors are:

  • Sam Luce
  • Ryan and Beth Frank (K Magazine/Awana)
  • Gina McClain
  • Beth Guckenberger
  • Dave & Beci Wakerley (Hillsong)
  • Johnny Rogers (KidMo)
  • Jonathan Cliff
  • Jenny Funderburke
  • Jason Martin
  • Jen Galley
  • Sara Richards
  • Brian Dollar (High Voltage)

Amanda White from www.ohamanda.com did all the activities. You will love the way you can do simple activities to illustrate the truth of God’s Word to your kids.

An added bonus for parents are articles on parenting, from Yancy’s Dad and Children’s Ministry Pioneer, Jim Wideman and the founder of the Orange Conference, 252 and First Look Curriculums Reggie Joiner.

Yancy started off making a lullaby record based on scriptures that she wanted to pass on to her son. Through the recording process she realized the Bible is true whether you’re an infant or a grown up these songs have more potential then to just be lullabies. The musical audience grew larger and broader. “When I meet people in my life that are facing big mountains, fears or need answers I’ve been able to use these songs as a way to help strengthen their faith and help them meditate on what God’s Word says.” says Yancy. The story deepened with the resources provided in the app. “I want to help communicate, underline and reinforce the hope these scriptures provide us. I want to help a child deepen their faith and trust in God while on their journey of life.” Will you be a part of the story? Will you allow God’s Word to be the roots you need for your journey?

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.(NIV)

  • Learn more about the app from Yancy here and about the album here.

Want to download the album?  I thought you might🙂  You can get it on iTunes or on Yancy’s website.  Use the promo code yancylovesme for free shipping!

 

Learn more about Yancy atwww.YancynotNancy.com

5 Things You Need to Know About VBS

Standard

ImageWe are super excited about this year’s EPIC VBS!  Here are some things that you need to know:

1. We will have 1 EPIC event this year.  Our VBS will be held at night only from 6:30- 8:45

2. We will be hosting VBS June 9-13 (Sunday – Thursday)

3. If you are one of the first 100 kids to register (completed 5K-5th grade), you’ll receive a really cool gift!  

4. We are very excited to get parents involved with our Fanfare Finale this year.  You WON’T want to miss this!  

5. There are many amazing opportunities for your whole family to serve at VBS this year.  For more information on this, check out ewestwood.org/vbs.

Resting in Him

Standard

A couple of weeks ago I had gotten to one of those points where I felt like I couldn’t get it all done. My husband had changed shifts at work and it had thrown our whole routine off. I needed a reset button. I took a week off of work so that I could get things at home back in order. I had to get my systems back in place for our new normal so that we could still function and have a few clean clothes to wear and some food to eat. While I would like to say that that week off allowed me the time to get my house in spotless condition, all of my laundry is done, and meals are ready for the next month, that would be a huge lie. Life kept on going, and kids had to be at school and MDO. I definitely made some progress, but I learned something more important during that week.

I had the chance to get to some rest. Not the luxurious just got a massage type rest, but I intentionally slowed down even if just for a week and rested. I spent more time with my kids, my husband, and most importantly with God. It was fabulous. While I had other intentions for my time off, the results were even better.

It has made me realize even in the hustle and bustle of life after my week off that I have to be intentional about how I spend my time.  Now that we have started ball season, that adds that much more to the schedule.  However, it is most important to spend that time with God and my family.  I have to say, behavior has been better, and I feel like I’ve had more patience (not 100% of the time) with my kids.

What have you learned in times of rest?

Jim Wideman: infuse

Standard

We all have more to learn in life. It’s seldom that we get the chance to sit down with experts in our field and soak up everything that pours out of their heart and mind. I have been blessed to be a part of an opportunity such as this. Jim Wideman has been pouring into children’s ministers for a long time. He has challenged me, shown me where I needed improvement, and has offered wisdom in my life for the past 6 months. I am looking forward to another 6 months in the Fall to grow and stretch my abilities through infuse. This program is definitely a catalyst for making us better people, better Christians, and better children’s ministers. So why should you look into infuse?

1. It will be a great time to examine your heart and your methods.

Bro. Jim gets to the heart of issues that we deal with in the church, and shows you how to put systems in place that will help you work smarter, not harder.

2. It will stretch you.

One of the things I have learned and realized during this 6 months, is that this is God’s ministry, not mine. He has me in this place at this time for a reason, and because of that I am not limited to my own abilities and strengths. By leaning on God’s power and strength, the unimaginable can happen. It may be unfamiliar and unchartered territory, but if God has gone ahead of me then nothing is new to Him.

3. Personal attention.

By participating in infuse, I have had Bro. Jim’s personal attention. If I have a question he will answer it. I have also gained a new family of others doing the same thing I’m doing who are all at different eras in their ministries. They are there for me cheering me on and helping me be the best I can be. It would take a lifetime of networking to build a contact list like that!

There are only a few spots left for this years group. Definitely go and check it out. You can do that by clicking here

Being Intentional Pt. 2

Standard

Yesterday, I talked about how God had led me to being more intentional with my time this year.  You can read how the plays out in myself, my marriage, and my family here.

Today, I want to talk about what this looks like in ministry.

This past December we had the chance to share with our church family what the purpose behind our budget was.  That it wasn’t just a number, but that there was a vision to go along with it.  It was during this time that I prayed and studied what we have done in the past.  I got really excited as I thought about the future of the children’s ministry at our church.

My first thought was the time that we have with kids at church is so limited.  According to Reggie Joiner, we only get an average of 40 hours a YEAR with kids at church.  Parents get around 3000!  There’s no way we can disciple the kids that come through just by having them come to church on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, and expect them to get what they need in that time.  It was going to have to be a partnership between us and parents.

I have completely reevaluated every event that we have done in the past.  They have been great and definitely served a purpose, but everything has gone on the table this year.  My hope and prayer is that we allow families to take ownership of discipling their children.  I want the focus to be shifted from the thought that we are discipling our children by taking them to church to I disciple my child and the church is my partner in that journey.

We are trying out the first of our new and improved family night events this month.  I’ll have to blog about it when it’s all said and done, but thanks to Sam Luce for the idea.