This week I want to discuss something I have been thinking a lot about the past year or so. The power of environment. How our surroundings affect us in ways we don’t even realize. How we let trivial things effect the important ones.
We are in the midst of a monumental time in Mt. Zion. So many people in our church have been working for the past year and a half to get to this point. It has been a logistical, spiritual and emotional taxing time for many of us, because we so want everything to be perfect.
I sense that we are really on the verge of something amazing Pastor Servello preached a great message this week challenging us about what really matters and what matters most to God.
I know that many people in our church especially initially were very excited as they should be, about our new kids wing, and how it would effect their own kids. I would be lying if I told you that doesn’t cross my mind often. I am so excited to see my son tell people where the “tubes” (3 year old for indoor playground) are going.
All that aside what has been dominating my thinking the year is how will this effect the lives of kids who have never been to church before. How will this effect families that would never have come through the doors of our church before. Often times it is environment that we create that opens the door for God bring transformation to the lives of those who need it most.
I have been thinking about this over and over. Let me know what you think.
Our mission is to “Create environments where lifechange can take place.”
Watched some of the Grammy Awards Sunday. I watched Ann Marie Calhoun play a ten second violin solo. She was amazing. I was captivated by her ability and energy. Here is a clip of here trying out for the “My Grammy Moment” Contest.
Valentine’s Day: February 14
One legend has it that Valentine’s Day originated to commemorate the anniversary of the death of St. Valentine, a Roman clergyman who was executed on Feb. 14, about 270 A.D., for secretly marrying couples in defiance of the emperor. According to another, the holiday began as a Roman fertility festival. Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther Howland, a native of Massachusetts, began to sell the nation’s first mass-produced valentine cards.
Top Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Household participation rates
Greeting Cards 65%
Date Night 44%
Gift Cards 29%
Other Gifts 17%
For more facts on Valentine’s Day click here.
How do you celebrate?
Here is a list of resources that have helped me the past year.
A grief observed C.S.Lewis
When we hurt Philip Yancey
Changes that Heal Henry Cloud
The problem of Pain C.S. Lewis
Second Guessing God
The Bible (Mainly Job and Psalms)
Also I would add that most funeral homes have great resources about talking with kids about death, how to deal with loss ect.
Lastly it’s not a resource that you can buy but being able to talk through stuff and receive prayer all within healthy community. We all need others and that need is never more evident than when you are hurting.
One of the harder moments in the tragic day I referred to yesterday was going with the father to tell the siblings that their brother had died. I went back to the house with the father I was with him when he told the 8 year old sister 10 and 3 year old brothers. It was so sad, I was very proud of the father he told them strait up what happened was compassionate and factual. I had never been faced with something like this before. I had no idea that this was the beginning of a journey. On the car ride to the house I began thinking how do you talk to kids about death? I think there is things we can do to prepare our kids because the sad fact of life is people we love at some point will die. Here is my list so far.
Pointers on talking to kids about death
1. Don’t LIE tell them the truth. It is so easy for us to make things up that may even sound plausible don’t do it. For example grandpa is “on vacation in florida”. Don’t do it.
2. Use moments to teach. When a pet dies use that opportunity to walk your child through the steps of healthy grief.
3. Pay close attention to what kids say and don’t say.
4. Don’t give pat answers because they are kids. If you don’t know say you don’t know. The 10 year old brother to the boy who died asked me this “God can do anything pray for my brother to come back to life. God can do it because he can do anything.”
5. Seek appropriate help from books and professionals
6. Use plain age appropriate language.