Connection

Attitude: A Window in a Child’s Heart

Attitude: A Window in a Child’s Heart

Getting a job done is important, but what about when kids roll their eyes or mumble? Is a bad attitude inevitable? Sometimes parents excuse the attitude by saying, “At least he did what I asked.” Others use excuses like, “She’s tired,” or “He’s only eight” and ignore the attitudes they see. Unfortunately, attitudes don’t typically get better if unaddressed. They get worse. If the heart is in the wrong place, a crisis is just around the corner. Some parents mistakenly ignore attitudes because their children comply. Kids need to learn how to respond well to the challenges of life even...

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The Day My Co-Teacher Became My Mentor

The Day My Co-Teacher Became My Mentor

The dark storm clouds erupted as I pulled my rental car up to Gate A15 at the Orlando International Airport. Johanna Townsand, my seminar co-teacher, jumped into the passenger’s seat, dripping water from her trench coat. “Hey, friend,” she said, hugging me. “Are you ready for another great adventure?” We were part of a children’s ministry team that trained leaders throughout the U.S. every fall. Our grueling travel schedule gave us time for girl talk and had truly deepened our friendship. “Guess what I did last week?” I said, “I bought a house!” “Me, too!” said Johanna. “Well, mine is...

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Making Disciples Like Jesus Did

Making Disciples Like Jesus Did

When Jesus called His first disciples, He did not invite them to a special event or a workshop. Neither did He invite them to a series of classes held over several weeks or months. Instead, He invited them to live life with Him and with one another. That was how they were going to learn to be His followers. This is the biblical model of discipleship. Yet many churches and ministry leaders tend to make discipleship a lot more about the facts we know than the Person we know, more about what we do than about what God does while...

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Better Together

Better Together

When asked about changing the world, Mother Teresa said, "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." This strategy allowed one woman to impact nations on behalf of the poor. Unfortunately, when caring Christians decide community involvement is too heavy a stone to carry, we keep the gospel inside the church walls. But if we go into our communities to impact others in Jesus’ name, we cannot fail. After a year of pandemic isolation, community events are opening up like tulips in springtime. Churches are no longer confined to...

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Offering Approval

Offering Approval

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou (1928-2014) As our kids grow toward independence, we can find ourselves in choppy waters, sometimes feeling unsettled. Changes are not always easy. A child or teen can come home one day and we sense a shift that we can’t quite identify. They may be processing new ideas and values that seem exciting or confusing. Nurturing these changing relationships requires energy, time, and wisdom. We want to navigate these shifts as we sense them...

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