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Notes from Parenting Workshop Oct 2010

Parenting Workshop

(Mark & Beth Buckholz)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Session 1: Children up to 9 years old

Knowing your Children

  1. Knowing God
    1. Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
    2. With the right perspective of God, it’s easy to obey Him. Same goes with parenting. If we can imitate God in that way, our kids can follow us.
    3. As a father, Mark sets the tone for his house. As soon as he hits the door to the house, he makes the decision to be engaged in asking how his wife and kids’ day was and to give to them.
    4. Beth – when you discipline your children and they react with rebellion, ask yourself if you’re disciplining them too harshly. Evaluate your spirituality – how much are you spending time with God, praying and your relationship with your husband. Be united with one another. She asked her adult kids what they remembered the most growing up:

i. Family devotionals. Remembers that the Bible was always the standard. Remembered God’s grace (when he deserved a spanking, Mark bent him over his leg and spanked his own leg to teach him of God’s grace). Example of fasting, Bible studies in home, sharing in grocery store. Explained their faith in terms they could understand and live out.

ii. Discipline. Always praying before bed. When she had nightmares, she would pray to God to protect her.

  1. Knowing yourself
    1. Jean Loius @ ILC – dysfunction is the gift that keeps on giving. He hit on these areas where each one of us brings in baggage from how we were raised:

i. Dishonesty

ii. Favoritism

iii. Poor conflict resolution

iv. Sibling rivalry

    1. Reflect on my upbringing, what did I learn from my parents and how has it affected me? I need to figure it out. Brothers, if your wife comes from a challenging situation, you need to protect her (while still encouraging her to resolve her conflicts). Need to go up to bat for your wife and help communicate to her family how they make her feel.
    2. To create effective parenting, need to understand where we come from. Psalm 139:23-24 “23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
    3. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
    4. Instead of shooting to correct the problem, shoot for what’s right. Sin is about missing the mark. As parents, we need to have deep conversations.
    5. Christ built a family – he had 12 disciples for 3 years! He taught them about:

i. Servant leadership, not lording over others

ii. Mutual respect, not self-seeking

iii. Much prayer, not self-reliance

iv. Serving others, putting needs of others first

v. He laid down his life for others and called others to do the same

    1. Beth – questions to ask

i. Are we aware of how we parent? Do we ask others who are close to you? Get many perspectives.

ii. What are our strengths and our weaknesses – and how does that affect my parenting?

iii. Do I parent out of faith or fear?

iv. Get advice and help early. Early intervention is better

v. Do other kids like to be around you or not? How do I relate to other parents children?

vi. Do I help my children see God in everything? Early on, use Scriptures to speak of truth…sing with them, pray with them

vii. Do I take correction from my children? Do they see me change to be like Jesus or do I give excuses? (“Mommy, are you supposed to eat that on your diet?” “You didn’t share with that person…”)

viii. Are we teaching them early to make choices? (like which outfit to wear..)

    1. So, how do you help your kid become faithful?

i. There’s no magic bullet

ii. Your kids will learn faith when they see it inside of you

iii. Example of Abraham and Isaac – the faith that is willing to sacrifice his own son to put God first. Abraham believing God when He told him he’d become a dad at 90.

iv. Continue to lead at a high level, even though you’re not on staff (Mark & Beth shared about their experience). What’s your heart in serving? To look for and meet a need?

v. When facing a spiritual decision, ask yourself what impact that has on your kids?

vi. Faith is not comfortable and it’s not convenient. We live in a comfortable society and faith goes against the grain. Your kids will watch what you do, the decisions that you make, the lifestyle that you lead and they will imitate.

  1. Know your children
    1. How many of you have kids that are exactly alike? None of us!
    2. Beth – sharing

i. Help your kids love themselves and to have a good self-esteem. Start young.

ii. Discipline the first time behavior appears, nip it the beginning because it gets harder later. Example of when she caught her son in a lie and disciplined him until he confessed then followed up with much forgiveness.

iii. Use the opportunities to teach them about God’s grace and love. Example of Katherine stealing a piece of candy

iv. Consistent in discipline with the goal of having them change their heart.

1. Talk with them, use Scriptures to train them (memory, tell them, help them learn how to apply them), time out and (not often) spanking.

a. Get lots of advice about the specific type of discipline.

b. Don’t exacerbate your children. May need to seriously evaluate how to discipline if they were not raised wit just you (blended, adopted, foster, etc..). Book called “Holding Time”

2. Sibling rivalry - Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”

3. Whining – used to say how it hurts God’s ears when you whine, let’s be happy... Be positive in how you correct and use Scripture.

4. Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

5. Philippians 2:14 “Do everything without complaining or arguing”

    1. Weave Scriptures in your talk with your children (ex: Phil 2:14)
    2. Use God’s authority and not your own

i. God’s standard sets the reason and purpose for obedience

ii. Teach them - It’s not about mom & dad, it’s about you & God.

iii. When they ask “why?” tell them “because God wants you to”. But be careful not to beat them over the head.

iv. Faith – need to believe that He exists and that He rewards you. Need to paint not just what He doesn’t want you to do, but paint the promises of God.

v. The ultimate goal is to train your kid to make good choices.

vi. What’s the affective parenting style – authoritative or permissive?

1. Permissive! Kids will get resentful when you’re authoritative.

2. Need to constantly ask why your child is getting angry all the time – and ask them why.

vii. Focus on majoring in the majors

1. Proverbs 6:16-19 “16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

2. Focus in on the things that God hates – start here.

viii. If you want them to respect you, you need to treat them with respect.

1. Mark is a big man and he had to be very aware of how he intimidated his children (tone & body language). Example of slamming his fist, yelling, listening to them. Talk to your kids and ask them how they feel about you.

ix. Beth – sharing

1. Need to determine how the tone with affect the household. Starts 3rd/4th grade to ask them how they feel about you. Use family devotional time.

2. As they grow up, figure out ways that we can connect with them. Example of Mark coaching their son’s sports team.

3. Serving in kids kingdom is a great way to see how your kids interact with other kids

4. Do what they want to make them special (from time to time). Some want 1x1 time where others want to include friends.

a. Have a plan to carve out this time for 1x1 time

b. Divide the time between mom and dad if time is limited

5. They were the first to initiate with hosting their kids friends over. Later, they knew which families they were comfortable to allow their kids to sleepover and spend time in other households.

6. Dealt with bullying by teaching their son about forgiveness and resolution

7. Help them deal with difficult teachers and work with the teachers too to help challenge your children to grow

  1. Working as a team
    1. Importance of unity and getting on same page
    2. This means you have a united front with your kids

i. Have the tough conversations in private, never disagree in front of your kids

ii. If one of them came either mom & dad for a decision, they would stonewall them until Mark & Beth had a chance to talk first. If they didn’t have a chance and one made a decision, they supported one another (even if they didn’t always agree with approach).

iii. If no unity, kids can manipulate you, disrespect you and follow your example

    1. When they are babies, they are totally dependant on you. The goal when they are 18 is to be self-sufficient and ready to take on the world on their own. Between those years, give them gradual responsibility to make decisions.

i. Example: Son almost flunked out of 8th grade, they tried everything to help. Finally, Mark told his son that he is on his own. If you want to flunk out of 8th grade, be my guest. He made it through 8th grade and made straight A’s in 9th grade. His son told him that “he guess he grew up” when asked what made the difference. Teach them to take responsibility for their own actions!

ii. The same with responsibilities around the house, give them chore money to teach them how to buy things for themselves versus you buying everything for them

  1. Q&A
    1. What do you think about encouraging the older women to mentor the younger women in parenting?

i. Spend time in older women’s homes to watch their parenting

ii. Build relationships with other families. Be open to disciplining one another (couples) in parenting. Figure out what families (long-term) that you see your kids bonding with and stick with them like glue.

    1. How has financial challenges impacted your children?

i. Some Christmases they pulled a name out of a hat (one $25 gift each). Needed to be creative. This was one of the best Christmases that focused on family

ii. For vacations, did house swapping. Play board games, rent videos at library

iii. Financial Peace University – big fan of it

iv. Kids understand when money is tight

    1. How do you build agreement and unity in parenting?

i. Discussed behind closed doors. Had to be very specific in how to deal with certain situations.

ii. Back each other up when decisions were made, even if they id not agree. Sometimes go back to the kids to tell them that wasn’t the best decision and explain why – but be united.

iii. As we want to be Kingdom first in our family, place emphasis on this in your parenting and with your kids

    1. What do you do when your child says the “Bible is boring”?

i. Find things that are interested in reading – ex: Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul. Use that as a springboard to talk about spiritual truths, even though she didn’t want to read the Bible at that time. Meet them where they’re at.

ii. Miami church using a book for their teenagers that focus on teens doing great things.

iii. “As a door turns on its hinges, a sluggard turns in his bed” – when our kids are hard to get up in the morning. Make it fun to get them up and be creative.

iv. Family devotionals are where you ask them what’s going on and use Scriptures to apply to helping them. Just don’t be straight and dry, it’ll bore them to tears.

v. Do things with another family who has kids to have a family devotional. Learn from them!

    1. When is it wise to talk to your kids about sex and addressing homosexuality (when they see it at school)?

i. Day 1 – especially with little girls (1st/2nd grade), focus on interaction between boys and girls

ii. Read children books on sexuality together (if they don’t feel comfortable talking about it). DPI book series – also talked about marriage (not sex yet) but helps kids start thinking about marrying a gody man/woman

iii. Book (cartoon) – “So it’s not the stork”

iv. Show your affection in front of your kids – place a positive emphasis, don’t be negative about sex.

v. Address homosexuality directly and explain what God says about it. Kids have to deal with same sex couples who are their friend’s parents, hearing older kids talk about it and hearing from it at school.

vi. Talk to your kids about your experiences growing up and your mistakes.

vii. Ask leading questions to ask their own questions about it

    1. Is it bad parenting not to spank?

i. No, it’s not bad parenting. The goal of any discipline is to create a change in heart and repent. This can be different based on what works for your child. For example, holding time may work better.

ii. Make sure there is a lot of encouragement, reconciliation and affirmation once there is a change of heart. Need to act like it never happened afterwards.

iii. Never discipline (any kind) out of anger. Revisit later after you pray.

iv. Carried a powpow with them wherever they went. Great tool. Would ask them if they needed a powpow.

v. Holding time – bonds you to the child, gives them a boundary. Know what the rules are in your state (ex: no tool in MA, only use of hand – which is worse)

vi. If you are going to spank, got to bring it. They need to feel it. Some kids, though, won’t react well to that and look you in the face and say “bring it more”. Need to find another technique.

    1. How do you teach your child to deal with another child who wants to fight them?

i. Teach them how to appropriately deal with bullying. Some schools have training to help parents.

ii. Teach them how to walk away and not to engage or give into it. Out of strength you walk away not out of weakness.

iii. It’s ok to talk to an adult to get help

iv. Need to know your child’s temperament

Session 2: Teens

  1. Kids need to see the love you have for each other in your marriage
    1. They will imitate this
    2. Ephesians 6:1-4 “, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
    3. Mark has enjoyed seeing his kids grow – from being kids having a relationship with to adults he has a relationship with
  2. Hypocrisy is the #1 thing that will push teens away
    1. They’ll hear it from the pulpit, but they need to see it in the home
    2. Faith that we show to them is critical in how we live it
  3. Beth – sharing
    1. Our relationship with God is so important. Need to have the time to pray for your kids (specifically) daily – about them and their dreams.
    2. Asked her kids what they learned growing up that helped them along the way during their preteen and teen years

i. Katherine – a great support system, she needed to know that we were with her emotionally, lots of words of affirmation, our physical presence in the things that she was involved with (ex: rooting in the stands during her volleyball games).

1. She didn’t think her parents lived hypocritical lives – even though she knows they weren’t perfect, but they shared their faith, they prayed, got open and repented.

2. Be careful not to force what you believe on your kids. Don’t stop telling the truth to them but don’t force it on them. She became a disciple at 16.

ii. Boys – allowed them to explore his faith, no topic was ever taboo (ex: reading the Koran, learning about other religions)

1. Don’t overreact when your teen shares things, especially sexual things. Let them talk.

2. Be careful to listen and ask questions like – What would you gain or lose from this decision? What are the pros and cons of this decision?

3. Don’t judge them for their decisions. Relate to their bad choices (tell them how you faced them in the past) and support them when they seek your input.

4. When your parenting with the truth, believe that your kids will see through the lies

  1. Need to figure out how to get the talking and open. Maybe playing games with them, doing tasks together or going shopping (for the girls).
    1. Need to have input from them to figure out what’s going on in their lives
    2. If this is a challenge for you, talk to your teen leader or other parents that do this well
  2. Knowing yourselves – see Session 1 notes
  3. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – Being transformed
    1. The greatest things you can share with your kids are your mistakes and how God has helped you. Of course, age appropriate and they eventually got the whole story as they were older.
    2. To be transformed, need to create a new vision. What is the vision for your family? For your kids? What would you like to see?

i. Christ’s 12 disciples were his family – see Session 1 notes

ii. You would not believe what teens can do if given the opportunity. Example of teen conference in Boston

iii. If you don’t challenge your kids and give them a vision for their lives, then they’re going to get it somewhere else

iv. Big mistake is to get detached during their teen years. Teens don’t have a clue! They are totally insecure, trying to figure things out and working through their relationships. They need to have you be their rock – to support them, not crush them

  1. Understanding your teen
    1. From book (Phil Arsenault) - Kids who thrive during their adolescence usually have parents who care enough who understand them and stay involved
    2. Changes as a teen

i. How much do we remember what it was like for us as a teen?

ii. Puberty – time bomb that triggers a growth frenzy that transforms the body in a couple of years.

1. The difference between kids during puberty can appear to be 6 years, even though same age. Hormones…constant source of problem for them as well.

2. They look at the Hollywood body, get so dissatisfied and drive them to dangerous behavior (steroid use, bulimia, diets…)

iii. Mark didn’t deal with his teen years since he was high daily

iv. Development of the brain

1. Boys not fully developed until age 25, no throttle for control on them!

2. There’s a reason why they’re going through phase of stupidity. As a parent, you need to step in to help them.

3. Note on pornography

a. Neurological pathways developed when brain intakes soft/hard porn

b. This is a serious battle with boys. Survey during campus conference showed that 80% had seen some sort of pornographic image within the last 2 months – these are disciples!

c. Smartphones and sexting – this is a reality that our kids are facing on a daily basis

4. Intellect

a. As teens, they start thinking conceptually (from concrete things)

b. The last thing that your teen wants to do is memorize the 66 books of the Bible. They want to know how this related to them today

c. Mark 4:33 “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.”

d. John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.”

v. Emotions

1. Proverbs 19:22 “What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

2. They ask themselves “What kind of person do I have to be for someone to love me?” If they don’t find it at home, they’ll look for it somewhere – even in the wrong places.

3. What is lacking at home that drives them elsewhere?

vi. Acceptance

1. What kind of person that I have to be for others to accept me?

2. Look beyond the risky behavior and see that the root is that they want to be accepted

3. Example of drug dealer saying “he’s there and you’re not” to a pastor in a Boston interview. Stay involved with your kids

    1. One of the greatest questions you can ask your kids once they get off the bus is “How was your day?” and then follow up with “Did anything go wrong today?”
    2. Our kids are getting immersed with influencers (ie, coaches, mentors, teachers, television, social networking, smartphones, etc…)
    3. Given all that….What is your plan?
    4. Your parenting needs to change as your child gets older

i. From baby to fully functional adult – there process in between is gradual in giving them more responsibility and ability to make decisions. Hopefully by the time they are 18, they are that fully functional adult.

ii. Don’t overreact when your child makes a mistake – see Session 1 notes

1. Example of son almost flunking 8th grade – “you’re on your own!” (after trying everything to help him)

2. Help them take responsibility as they mature and let them grow up. Let them make decisions, fall on their face and bounce back.

iii. You need to be a reflective parent as opposed to a reactive one. A reflective parent focuses on who their child is and how their parenting affects their child. A reactive parent focuses on child’s response without taking into account how the parenting plays a part.

iv. Move from disciplining your child to training your teen. Help them to understand – by sharing from your life, explaining how the Scriptures apply and listening to them.

1. Listen to them

2. Give them a safe place to get open with their sin

3. Give them the security of knowing you love them

v. Control your face, emotions, body language when you listen to them – don’t overreact!

vi. Use a proverb to solve a relational issue with your kids and their friends. Share these nuggets with them.

vii. As they got older, the situations got more complex

1. Had to think

2. get advice, discerning them with the Scriptures

3. befriended those that could help, knew their kids and could be a source of great advice

viii. Beth – sharing

1. Go after their hearts first not their sin.

a. Mark 7:21-23 “For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "

b. They can’t become disciples without first becoming sinners.

2. Example of learning that they weren’t doing well in school after a parent/teacher conference. She had to pray through being hurt and deceived, while focusing on their sin and not her embarrassment. She shared with them at how she was hurt. Mark sat them down and told them that they crossed over from light to darkness – helping them understand where they stood before God and that they were accountable for their own sin.

3. About bartering and questioning – during these years, they are building and forming their own convictions. Pray for wisdom on how to respond

ix. Use God’s authority and not yours. Point them back to God’s commands.

1. Make sure there is no hypocrisy and disconnect in what you say and what they see in you

2. Don’t beat them over the heads with Scriptures. Ultimate goal is to train them how to make good choices – because you’re not always going to be there!

3. Permissive versus authoritative parenting – permissive is the better of the two

a. Authoritative gets them to do what you want but they don’t develop their own convictions as to why.

b. Beth’s example of grilling John on his decisions “I absolutely trust you (John) but I’m trying to figure out if I trust where you’re going”

4. Teach them how to get great advice

a. From teen leaders

b. From parents that they trust (other than you)

5. If you want them to respect you, you must treat them with respect

a. Disrespect comes out in our tone, actions, lack of actions, body language

b. Find out how they think of you and your relationship with them

c. Mark gave his son a keyword to say when he felt his tone got intimidating (Dad, your ‘tone’) and he would back off in his approach (not overbearing)

d. Example of just closing their doors when their rooms were messy. Need to major in the majors, not the minors.

e. Let your teens be who they really are! Sharing about their son with long hair and earrings – but he’s a spiritual man of God. Don’t lose them over the minor stuff.

x. Beth – sharing.

1. Proverbs 17:6 “Children's children are a crown to the aged,

2. and parents are the pride of their children.”

a. Do your children like you? Love you? Respect you?

b. Do I welcome people into my home?

3. Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.”

a. When we violate godly principles, we lose the trust and respect of our kids

b. We need to confess when we blow it and get their input as we change

c. If we want our kids to do the right thing, we must model it for them

d. Your influence is only as strong as your relationship with them.

i. Matthew 19:14-15 “Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

ii. Are we that mirror to kids (that our kids hang with) as Jesus drew in the children?

4. Celebrate the things that your kids appreciate

a. If you’re feeling disconnected with your teen, is there a creative way to spend time with them. Example of Katherine’s birthday – driving her to friends around the state to spend time and Beth got to bond with her.

5. If you’re not unified in your parenting, then you will undermine your ability to parent by the degree that you’re disunified.

a. When a decision was made by one spouse, never disagree in front of the kids. Go back in private to agree on a different approach and then be united in addressing them again.

6. Book for boys – “Raising Teenage Boys” by Busey. With freedom comes responsibility. For example, get to use the car but it needs to be filed up and cleaned up when you bring it back.

  1. Parenting out of faith, not out of fear
    1. Passage in John – perfect love casts out fear
    2. If you parent from fear, you project a lack of trust and love
  2. Q&A
    1. Jimmy - see library. Dobson’s “A strong-willed child”, “Sacred Parenting”, “Parenting by the book” by John Rosemund
    2. How can we encourage a reluctant participator (shy son) to take risks and get out of comfort zone?

i. Talk with him to find out what he’s thinking and feeling

ii. Find out who his friends are and get them to do the things he’s interested to do.

iii. Start small in taking risks

iv. Do something a little risky with them

    1. How can we help our kids be spiritual and help them (to study Bible)?

i. Buckholz boys bonded with friends in preteen camp and within next year, the entire group became disciples. Good peer pressure

ii. The boys had great relationships with those who studied with them (other brothers in the congregation)

iii. Parents involvement in the teen ministry is important and getting the parents involved in every level (logistics, rides, homes for devos) – along with the teen leaders who are closer to their age. Take this tag team approach.

iv. The preteen years are the crossover years. Most kids make the decisions during that time. Parents should ask camp counselors (cabin leaders) what they saw in their kid.

v. Katherine studied later. Her relationships with girls in school were as close as or perhaps closer than those in the church. She had to count the cost. Beth read books with her “Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul” when she didn’t want to read the Bible. She was much more private in her faith and Beth had to respect that.

    1. Dealing with problems with attitudes during chores?

i. Teach your kids that if they do want greater freedom, they need to fulfill their responsibilities.

ii. Help around the house should be a norm. They stopped doing their laundry at 9th grade. Taught them how to clean and cook.

iii. Have some expectation for them to contribute to the common family areas, they are responsible solely for their own room.

    1. What do you do when you find out your teen is looking at pornography on the Internet?

i. Father needs to set the tone in dealing with repentance in this area. Mark asks his kids about this. Keep each other honest – but this is more mature and farther along.

ii. First need to ask. Ask the question if they surfed the web, what have them seen and explain to them how it’s addicting and it messes you up. Explain about impact to future relationships with women and how this is like adultery to them – how it can ruin relationships. Tell them why this is wrong and the consequences.

iii. Share about the damage it has on marriage and how it sets you up for failure in false expectations of sex

iv. Take steps to control the web at home

1. key loggers – logs everywhere they go and send you the list of sites where they’ve been

2. block sites

v. Be delicate in this conversation with younger kids

vi. Definitely ask your daughter – especially around their thoughts of their body image and self-esteem. Reinforce how God has created them to be exactly who they are supposed to be.

Faith is Finishing What They Started

Hebrews 11:39-40

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

I chose this topic for my quiet time as I generally find it challenging to finish what I start, no matter the task. I am convicted right now in wanting to change this part of my character. Even completing my thoughts for this quiet time has been difficult as I have found myself distracted and pulled in every which direction. I recently finished out my last school year as a teacher where I had been for 6 years. I just recently completed my 21st year as a disciple. I am now in the process of moving all my belongings to Maine after living in Massachusetts for 50 years. Many times along the way I have grown weary in doing these things (right now I am physically exhausted from packing). However, when I look to God's word I am reminded of what the ancients were commended for. In reading Hebrews 11, I am especially drawn to the character of Noah. He was in the shipbuilding mode for 120 years. He would have had plenty of opportunities to give up and not finish what he started. He lived amongst a wicked generation, not to mention living 500 miles from the nearest large body of water. There seemingly wasn't a lot of support on Noah's side, yet he persisted in this mammoth project until it was completed. If Noah had not completed the ark what would have happened? He and his family would have been wiped away from the earth's surface and we would not be witness to a man who obeyed God's call and who did give way to fear or ridicule. I believe that the key to finishing what is started is imitating the kind of faith Noah had. He did everything just as God had commanded. Genesis 6:3.

Q: What is it that you have started and are tempted not to finish?

Please write down things that you hope will happen. Read Proverbs 13:12

Q: What will your response be to God if that which you hope for does not happen? Think about all that you hope for.

Q: Do you hope for things of this life or for the greater things to come?

A great cloud of witnesses surrounds us they are all watching us on the mission team to find out if we are going to finish what they started to do by faith. I believe we will and God certainly has us here in Maine because he believes we can finish what they started by faith. Faith is finishing what they started and ultimately God will be the last to speak and say: “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Faith Is Fearing The Right Things

Hebrews 11:23

By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.

Exodus 2:1-­10

Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.

Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"

"Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."

  • Moses’ parents were not afraid of the king even though they were risking their lives.
  • God showed them that Moses was no ordinary child.
  • How do you think Moses’ parents felt when they had to hide him for three months?
  • Revering to Exodus 2:10, how do you think Moses’ parents felt raising him knowing they would have to bring him to Pharaoh’s daughter?
  • What are some things in your life do you fear losing?
  • What are some things that you’ve loved that you had to let go of?
  • How do you react when you have worldly fear versus fear of God?
  • Do you fear the right things and people?
  • The key to being spiritual is fearing the right things:
    • What right things have you feared?
    • What wrongs things have you feared?

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Worship Services

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Join us in worship every Sunday at one of our two service locations: New Britain or Bloomfield. It will be the best 90 minutes of your week!

Greater Hartford Church of Christ Building (1417 Stanley Street, New Britain)
  • Sunday worship services 10am
  • Wednesday midweek service 7pm
    • 1st Wednesday of the month: Men only.
    • 2nd & 4th Wed: Singles meet at building; marrieds by small groups in homes.
    • 3rd Wed: Women only.
    • 5th Wed: Full congregational service.

Join us in worship every Sunday at one of our two service locations: New Britain or Bloomfield. It will be the best 90 minutes of your week!

Hope Seventh Day Adventist Church Building (1052 Blue Hills Avenue, Bloomfield)
  • Sunday worship service 9:30am
  • Tuesday midweek services 7pm.
    • 1st Tuesday of the month: Full congregational service.
    • 2nd Tuesday: Men only.
    • 3rd Tuesday: Women only.
    • 4th Tuesday: Meet by small groups in homes.