A Note From Joy

Family Prayer Walking Guide

The weather finally feels like Fall, and Halloween will be here before we know it. Costumes…candy…sugar rush—oh my! What other day of the year are so many of your neighbors out and about? In preparation for Halloween night, we are inviting your family to prayer walk your neighborhood. You can use the prayer walking guide for ideas as you walk and pray as a family. 

Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors. This means those with whom we go to school and work, but it also means our actual neighbors. Let’s ask God to show us those who are lonely, those who are new to the neighborhood, those who need encouragement, and those who need to hear the good news about Jesus. We are called to be the light of world. So, go and shine bright where God has planted your family.

Click here to download the Family Prayer Walking Guide

A Note From Joy – April 2019

On Wednesday, April 10, we concluded our regular Wednesday night programming for the year! We had an awesome year together studying and connecting with God’s Word.

The Picture Smart Bible gave us a bird’s eye view of each book of the Bible. This year we studied the following divisions of the Bible: Old Testament—Law, History; New Testament—Gospels, History. Every week, we learned the highlights from each book—main characters, interesting stories, and how each book ties into the overall story of Scripture. The kids learned that the Bible definitely isn’t boring and it’s not too hard for them to understand. One of our goals on Wednesday nights was to encourage kids to memorize the books of the Bible because when you have even basic knowledge of where to find each book, it doesn’t feel as overwhelming to open the Bible to study it on your own.

In addition to memorizing the books of the Bible, we worked on learning one thing about God’s character from each book. For example, when we studied Genesis, we taught the kids the following phrase and a motion to help them remember it: “In Genesis, God is Creator.” God is certainly Creator all through Scripture but remembering that phrase helps the kids recall an important truth from Genesis.

Sometimes, the phrase and motion would help when studying books like Leviticus, which sometimes seem obscure and irrelevant. “In Leviticus, God is the Great High Priest.” This truth reminds us that the book of Leviticus is full of instructions from God to the priests about sacrifices. The struggle with the book of Leviticus is that kids don’t understand why that’s important to them. After all, we don’t offer sacrifices anymore. So, we were able to point kids to Hebrews 7:27 where we learn that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, and because of Him, we no longer make sacrifices for our sins. He took care of our sin once and for all.

We’ve included the videos of the kids doing the motions for all the books we studied this year! You will be encouraged watching so many children and adults hide God’s Word in their hearts! We pray that all of the seeds that were planted in children’s lives this year will grow to blossom an authentic faith.

A Note From Joy – March 2019

Spring is here and it is a race to the finish line! There are a lot of hurdles from March to May–testing, sporting events and concerts, end of year ceremonies and celebrations, and so much more! Families today are extremely busy. We’ve begun to wear busyness as a badge of honor. “How are you doing?” “Whew! I’m so busy!” 

When people ask how we are doing, we are hesitant to answer truthfully. If we are being honest, we are exhausted. We have something every night of the week. We miss eating dinner together as a family. Jesus offers good news for the weary. He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Nestled in the middle of our busy Spring schedules is Easter–a day carved out to celebrate our Risen Savior! Let me encourage you to set aside Easter weekend to rest as a family. I don’t know what rest looks like for you, but plan ahead, and take the time to celebrate Jesus!