What is it that drives you, motivates you, wakes you up in the morning?
What are your passions and goals in life?
To be successful?
To find happiness?
To be content?
To travel the world?
To make the world a better place?
What if within that pursuit you discover that happiness you’ve been searching for has been with you the whole time?
What if you got it all wrong, and had to start over?
Or would you simply settle?
I fear many people have given up on dreaming.
I fear many have simply settled for what they have, and bought the lie that the dream was too large, or too unrealistic.
What would it take for us to begin dreaming again?
I mean dreaming reality big…like when we were kids.
When there was no such thing as impossible.
When, if we dreamed it, it could truly happen.
No walls of “can’t” exist.
No prison bars of “You just don’t have the time or education” to hold you.
Could we begin to believe again?
Would we even know how?
Yes, Adulting is hard…but as we grow older the imagination of our youth becomes even harder to hold onto.
We need to redefine the impossible.
We must recapture the dream.
We should never just settle…
So we did a weekend of Messy Church recently, that consisted of 2 hour segments on the topic of the “I Am’s” of Jesus. I would recommend along with leaders at the stations, you have a time keeper to keep the stations and children moving. These Messy Church plans can be adapted and adjusted to meet your church’s needs and the demographics of your congregation. I will also add that you invite your older members and adults to participate and perhaps even become a child in a way to help the children stay engaged. (This can be a challenge, but it is very effective when done correctly)
Theme: “I am the vine”
Scripture Verse – John 15:1-11
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
The Fruit of the Spirit Song 5 Minutes
Instruct Kids and Teachers
1) Bobbing for apples 20 minutes Items Needed: 1 Large basin or feeding trough
4-10 bags of apples depending on the size.
Lots of water
This station is pretty self-explanatory, tell the kids this is a timed activity.
Kids are to put their hands behind their backs and, using only their teeth, pick an apple out of the basin. Use your phone/stop watch to time the kids to determine who has the fastest time in retrieving an apple. Have the kids try this a few times (of course replace “used” or gross apples with new ones), make sure everyone gets a chance to try this activity.
After everyone has taken a turn ask these questions:
What was the object of this game?
Did you think bobbing for apples was hard or easy?
Who here likes apples?
What kind of apple is your favorite? (types of apples include: Granny Smiths, Gala, Fuji, Honey Crisp, McIntosh, Golden Delicious…just to name a few)
Say: Apples are an amazing fruit that grows on trees.
Each apple grows from a tiny seed that can be found inside of these apples.
Apple trees grow from these seeds and can take up to 3 years to grow and produce new apples.
Apple Trees needs pruning from time to time in order for better fruit to develop.
Ask: What would happen on an apple farm if an apple tree didn’t produce apples?
(answer: it would be cut down and a new tree would be planted in its place)
Matthew 15 verse 4 says, “. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
God wants us to love Him and always keep His word in our hearts. If we do this, we will be able to witness to others through the way that we live our lives. And this is what it means to bear fruit!
Ask: What are ways that we can show God’s love towards others?
-At this time send the kids to the next station-
2) Vine Bracelet Craft 20 Minutes
the trick is using something called a braiding disc, or braiding loom. It’s just a round piece of cardboard with some slots in it, but it makes bracelet-weaving a lot easier compared to the bracelet-making method described in most books .
Ready? First up, you’ll need to gather your materials.
Friendship Bracelet (The whole kits are available at Michaels and other craft stores)
All you need is:
7 strands of yarn, each 2 feet long
1 piece of cardboard, e.g. breakfast cereal box
pair of scissors
Step 2: Make the Starting Knot
Line up the ends of your 7 strands of yarn, then tie a simple overhand knot like this. Make it so that there’s about 1″ (2cm) of loose ends poking out of the knot.
Step 3: Put the Yarn on the Braiding Disc
Poke the knotted end of the yarn bundle through the hole in the center of the braiding disc, like this:
Then clip one piece of yarn into each slot, except the top slot. Your braiding disc should look like this:
Step 4: Braid Your Friendship Bracelet
Braiding your bracelet with the disc is really easy. There are just two steps to learn and repeat.
Hold the disc so that the empty slot is at the top. Un-clip whichever yarn is in the bottom-right slot and clip it in to the top slot, like this:
Now the bottom right slot will be empty. So, rotate the whole disc so that the empty slot is at the top again, like this:
Now, just keep repeating Step A, Step B, Step A, Step B etc, and your bracelet will grow. It seems a bit like magic the first time but it really works!
As you continue, you’ll see your bracelet growing down through the hole in the center of your braiding disc, like this:
Step 5: Un-clip from Braiding Disc
Once the bracelet is long enough to go around your wrist, in-clip it from the braiding disc. It should look something like this:
(I used a bit too much yarn on this one, so the loose ends are quite long.)
Step 6: Tie Finishing Knots
Tie an overhand knot (just like in step 2) right at the point where the braiding ends. Then tie another overhand knot about 2/3″ (1.5cm) away. Trim the loose ends. The end of your bracelet should now look like this:
After the craft, or during SAY:
What would happen if one of these threads were taken out?
What would happen if one of these threads wasn’t included in the braid?
Would you notice? (Of course you would!)
Each thread is just as important as the next, without each piece doing its part in this bracelet, it cannot become what we want it to be.
Think about how God sees us.
He loves each and every one of us.
We are all different, with many different gifts and abilities.
A part from one another, we are all unique and beautiful…but what happens when we put all of us together like these threads? What happens when we all agree, and we have this thing called “Unity”? Is that a good thing?
Say: Just like these threads, when put together, we are so much stronger than when we are a part. Today in our scripture verse, God tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. This means that with God all things are possible, and when we are connected to Him, we are so much stronger! He wants for us to be connected to Him.
Ask: How can we stay connected with God?
(Praying, Reading the Bible, going to Church, hanging out with other Christians…)
So today, as a reminder of how we are to be connected with God, think about this every time you look at this bracelet or as you wear it. Remember that God loves you and has connect us together in an amazing way!
3) Vine Stomping Painting: 20 Minutes
Items Needed: Large Basin – enough for 1 or 2 kids to stand in.
Large Bottles of Paint – Purple, Green, Blue…etc
1 -2 large water basins for washing feet afterwards
Long roll of butcher block paper or construction sheet paper
Instructions: *this will get messy!**
One or two at a time (depending on the size of the basins of paint) have the kids take off their shoes and socks and place them to the side neat and tidy so they don’t lose them afterwards.
Roll out the butcher block paper ahead of time onto the floor – long enough so that every child can get their feet onto the long paper. Once the kids get into the paint basin, have them stomp down (but not so hard that they splatter paint out the basin, just enough for them to feel the paint between their toes). Once their feet are adequately covered in paint, have the kids carefully (CAREFULLY!!) Step out of the basin and right onto the Butcher block paper. Have them create grapes on the vine by only using their feet as the paint brush.
Ensure every child gets a chance to do this creative activity, once they have completed the painting, have each child wash their feet off in the other water basin and dry them with paper towels, perhaps have an extra adult help them in and out of the basins (both the paint and water basins)…to avoid anyone from slipping and falling.
Following the painting activity, have the kids sit down for just a few moments and ask these questions:
Ask: So what was your favorite part of this painting activity?
What was your least favorite part?
Who likes getting messy here?
Who can’t stand getting messy?
Say: So let me ask you about grapes, does anyone like to eat grapes or drink grape juice?
Did you know that a long time ago in order to make grape juice and wine people had to get into large basins like these and stomp the grapes with their feet until they made the grape juice? It must have been a sticky job, but in Jesus’ day grapes were used a lot.
The bible verse that we are learning about today is all about the vine and grapes…Jesus used this idea with those he spoke to in order for them to understand how important a life with God should be. Jesus said “I am the vine and you are the branches”
Ask: does that sound like they are connected?
How are the grapes connected to the vine?
(Branches from the vine connect the grapes, without these branches there will not be any fruit)
How do we stay connected to Jesus?
What do we do to stay close to Him?
4) Outdoor activity20 Minutes
Outdoor or Indoor. This game is a normal game of tag with an added twist. When “it” tags someone, the person becomes part of “it.” Then the two of them must run hand in hand and catch their next victim who will join them. Last one caught by the “Blob” is the winner! The purpose of this game is to get everyone connected. We are the branches and Jesus is the Vine. If we stay in Him, we’ll bear much fruit! Even though the winner is the last one standing, the intentions behind this game is to show that God wants us to be connected to His son always.
5) Devotional & Music 5-10 Minutes
(If time permits) Song: Fruit of the Spirit Video Item Needed: Lamp and extension cord
Ask: So what did you learn tonight?
Who is the Vine?
Who is the Branches?
What was your favorite Messy Church activity tonight?
I am sure that you all know the song, “This Little Light of Mine.” I want you to help me sing that song this evening. While we sing it, I’m going to hold this light up and let it shine all around. (Start to sing the song, but stop when you notice that the light isn’t shining.) I wonder what is wrong, my light isn’t shining. (Someone will probably notice that it isn’t plugged in.) Oh, here’s the problem, my light isn’t plugged in.
Now that we are plugged in, let’s try it again. (Sing) Oh, that was much better. The lamp was shining brightly, wasn’t it? It’s pretty hard for a light to shine when it isn’t connected to the power source, isn’t it? Well, actually, it isn’t just hard — it’s impossible!
In our Messy Church lesson today, Jesus told his disciples a story to teach them the importance of staying connected to him. Of course Jesus didn’t use a lamp to tell his story, because electricity hadn’t even been invented yet. Instead, Jesus used an example that his disciples would understand. He used the example of a vine. You know what a vine is, don’t you? It is a plant with a lot of branches growing out from it. The branches have fruit on them. If it is a grapevine, the branches should have grapes on them.
Have you ever seen a branch that has been broken off of a tree or a vine? What happens to it? That’s right, it withers up and dies. Can it ever have any fruit on it again? No, it isn’t any good for anything — except fire wood.
Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me, you will have much fruit, but apart from me, you can do nothing.” Jesus wants us to produce a lot of fruit. Good fruit like being kind, generous, and faithful. Most of all, he wants us to love others as he has loved us.
Can we do that on our own? No way. Just as the lamp must be plugged in before its light can shine, and just as the branches must be connected to the vine before they can produce fruit, you and I must stay connected to Jesus to produce the good fruit that God expects of us.
Close in Prayer
Theme: “I am the Good Shepherd”
Scripture Verse – John 10:7-11
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Introduction and Instruction:5minutes
Read the scripture with the children. Say: Today we are going to learn about Jesus the Good Shepherd and how we are to be His sheep who listen to Him and follow Him.
Dismiss to the first station together:
1) Sheep Collage craft20 minutes
Lead the kids through this simple of craft of creating sheep.
Help kids to cut out the sheep body outline, place cotton balls on the body, attach popsickle sticks to legs for support, and ensure all of the kids complete this project.
As you are creating the craft (or after)
Say: What kind of sound does a sheep make?
What kind of food do sheep eat?
Are sheep very smart animals? (The answer is no, they will often eat grass and wander around and often get lost if they aren’t watched closely).
What sort of things do sheep produce? (Wool – clothing, coats, socks…, and meat).
Say: Our scripture today tells us that the sheep hear Jesus’ voice and they will follow him, but they will not listen to the thief or the robber…why do you think that is?
Jesus can be trusted to lead us, because he loves us…just like the shepherd loves his sheep, to the point that he will lay down his life for them…Jesus did just that for us didn’t he? He died on the cross to save us from sin. As we go to the next station, I want you to think about Jesus who is the good shepherd who leads us.
2) Sheep cookies to frost & decorate20minutes Bring kids to the cookie table but encourage them not to eat or grab anything yet.
In this station we ended up using squares of graham crackers, cookie frosting, edible fondant eyes, and marshmallows to complete the ‘Sheep’ cookie creations. The other option is to make sugar cookies and create their designs with frosting, icing and other food decorating items.
Say: We just finished creating our own sheep by putting wool on it and you talked about Jesus being the good shepherd. What makes Jesus the good shepherd and not just the “okayist” shepherd? (He loves us, he died for us, He’s God’s one and only Son)…
Ask: What is your favorite flavored cookie? (Chocolate Chip, Sugar cookie, Gingerbread, shortbread, oatmeal raisin etc.)
What makes that cookie flavor your favorite?
Read:2 Corinthians 2:15 says; “For we are to God a sweet smell of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish…”
This world needs more of the sweetness of Christ! Ask: Do you know who can share this sweetness of Christ with others? Answer: You can! We all can! Say: When we share our things with others – the sweetness of Christ. When we tell others about Jesus – it is the sweetness of Christ. When we love other people even if they don’t love us back – that is the sweetness of Christ.
So as a reminder of how we are to be this sweetness of Christ for other people, we are going to decorate these sheep cookies with frosting and sprinkles…let’s get messy and creative!
3) Pin the wool tail on the sheep game20Minutes
Directions: Just like pin the tail on the donkey, we are going to pin the wool on the sheep.
Say: We need help to put the wool on the sheep, but of course, we have to do it blindfolded.
This can be a tricky game to play, but let’s give it a shot. (make sure you blindfold the kids tight enough so they cannot see, then spin them around a few times before allowing them to seek out the sheep with the wool in hand.
4) Outdoor activity
Barbarian Capture the flag:25 Minutes
Teams of 4 are competing against each other to get the other teams’ gold and to capture other team’s’ players, and put them in your jail.
Using two ropes, or red surveyor’s tape, divide the field into 4 sections. Each section has one prison area, which is marked off with either ducttape or surveyor’s tape. Each section also has a “gold depot” which is marked using hula-hoops or tape. Each team has their own color, which is a flag strip tucked into the front of each player’s pants. Every team gets an equal amount of “gold” to start the game, which is white socks, gold socks, and 1 gray work sock.
Start of Game:
When whistle blows, teams begin the attack. Another team can only catch you if you are in their section; likewise, you can only catch others in your own section (if you are “green” and you run into the “red” section, then you run across to the “yellow section, red can no longer capture you, but yellow now can). When you capture another team member, take their flag and report to the middle of the field to the scorekeeper, then return flag to the person in your prison.
In addition to capturing opposing team players, you are also trying to get their “gold”, without getting caught. You can only take 1 gold piece at a time, and if you are caught inside an opposition section, you must return gold to that team (no throwing gold into your own section).
What Happens When Caught:
Having your flag removed by another team player inside their section gets you caught. When this happens, you report to their prison area and can only get out of prison if a teammate tags you out, without getting caught themselves. If your teammate gets caught trying to free you, they must join you in the jail area. Once you successfully get tagged out, you and your teammate get a free passage back to your section. NOTE (the game coordinator may call “jailbreak” and free everyone in jail in all the sections at any given time, usually when there is a lop-sided number of players in prison).
How the Game is Won:
The game is won by accumulating points for every prisoner your teammates catch, and for each piece of “gold” left at the end of the game. You can run out of gold during the course of the game, but still get points by capturing prisoners and trying to grab other gold from enemy sections. The team with the most accumulated total points at the end is the winner.
White Socks- 3000 points each
Gold Socks- 5000 points each
Gray Socks- 10,000 points each
Prisoners- 1000 each player
Large, open playing area
2 Ropes (100+ feet each is ideal)
4 different colored flags, one for each section
White, yellow, gray socks
Bean bag fill for each sock
Scorers pad and pen
Duct tape and/or hula-hoops
Red surveyors or caution tape
The purpose of this game is to reveal the intentions behind the thief’s motives – all he wants is to steal what belongs to God. This is a great way to show that. I think the youth will enjoy this a lot.
5) Build a sheep pen10 Minutes Minute to win it block game – build the tallest “sheep pen” as quickly as possible within the 60 second time constraint. The person with the fastest time and tallest sheep pen wins a prize.
6) Devotional / Music10-15 Minutes
Ask: So what did we learn today?
Who is the good shepherd?
Who are the sheep?
Why is it important to listen to Jesus and follow Him?
BIBLE VERSE: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV
Talk about shepherds and sheep. Explain to the children how sheep are not very bright, and they need a shepherd to take care of them, to bring them to green grass and pure water to drink. A good shepherd makes sure the sheep are happy and safe.
1. What will a good shepherd do for his or her sheep?
Jesus tells us that He is our Good Shepherd. What does this mean to you?
Today our Bible story is from the book of John. Jesus is talking about Heaven with the Pharisees and how He is the only way to get to Heaven. Jesus decided to use an example to help them understand. He compared Himself to a good shepherd and all of us to sheep. However, the Pharisees probably still didn’t understand. Let’s read the story, and find out what Jesus is saying to us.
Read John 10:11-15 (The Good Shepherd and His Sheep)
What does a shepherd take care of? (Sheep.)
Does a good shepherd lay down (or give) his life for the sheep? (Yes.)
What do you think this means? (The good shepherd would risk his or her own life to protect the sheep.)
What does a hired hand do when he or she sees the wolf coming? (Runs the other way leaving the sheep behind.)
What happens to a flock of sheep if there is no shepherd? (They may be attacked by a wolf and get scattered.)
In our Bible story, does the good shepherd know his sheep? (Yes.)
Do the sheep know the good shepherd? (Yes.)
How are we like sheep? (Allow for answers.)
Do we have a good shepherd? (Yes.) Who is our Good Shepherd? (Jesus.)Close in a song (optional) and a word of prayer.
If we end early, a video will be put on for the kids to enjoy, or we will play the above outdoor game again.
Saturday Evening PM
Theme: “I Am the Light of the world”
Scripture Verse – John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Introduction & Instruction time: 5 Min
Reiterate the weekend theme again, ask what the children have learned by recapping the sessions.
Then introduce today’s theme and sing a song or two (optional).
1) Stained glass mosaic craft 20 Min
Using a card stock frame, kids are to layer the bright tissue paper across the middle of the frame using glue or tape in order to make the faux stained glass. Encourage the children to use as many colors as possible or if there are some really creative/artistic students, have them design a dove, cross or other symbol within their stained glass frame.
As the craft is taking place engage the students in this conversation piece: Ask: What is your favorite color in this stained glass craft and why?
Which would you rather experience, complete darkness or a sunny day?
Is anyone scared of the dark?
What scares you about the darkness?
Why does having a night light or flashlight help?
(See where you are going, safety at night…)
Say: When stained glass was first put into churches, it was during a time when most people couldn’t read and only rich people owned books because they were very expensive. So people would come to church and look up at these amazing stained glass windows, and it wasn’t only that they were beautiful to look at, but each window told a story. There were shapes and colors that made up the image of Jesus on the cross…and then next to it would be another window with Jesus standing at the open tomb…and all of these windows could be seen because the light was shining through them.
In our scripture verse today, Jesus tells the listeners, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus was telling the listener and even us today that the true light of Heaven comes only through Him…when we choose to follow Jesus, and when we choose to let His light shine in our lives, we have His eternal light in us that will never be extinguished. His light will guide us each step of the way. So as you look at your stained glass creation, may it remind you of the Light of Jesus, and may it help you to walk in His light!
2) Star creation craft 20 Min
Kids will glue/tape popsicle sticks together to make a star:
After securely gluing or taping the sticks into a star shape, kids will paint, bedazzle and design their stars. Glow in the dark tape will also be available, but use this sparingly. Ask the kids to name different stars and constellations.
(Star example: Northern Star, Sirius, Vega… Constellation Names: Milky Way, Andromeda, Aries, Aquarius…etc.)
Ask: Can somebody tell me how many stars are in the sky? Answer: In the Milky Way alone there are over 250 Billion Stars… Say: That’s like saying how many grains of sand is on a sandy beach or on the ocean floor. That is a really, really HUGE number!
It is amazing to think that God created the Heavens and the Earth and He created all of the stars including the 250 Billion Stars just in the Milky Way Galaxy!! And even with so many amazing things in our universe, God shines His light on us because we are extremely special to Him! Out in space there are places that are very, very dark, but we are in a place in the Universe that is just right for creation and for all kinds of life. We have a great big fire ball in the sky called what? (Answer: the Sun) that is out in the day time, and a moon at night.
Also the stars in the sky have been used for thousands of years to give travelers and explorers direction on this earth. Isn’t this an amazing thing that God has created? May this star that you just created remind you of the light of God and the fact that He guides us with His light. Also may we recognize just how big our universe is and how much God comes to our tiny corner of the world and shines for us. Because He loves us!
3) Game: The Light of the World 25 Min
Scripture : Matthew 5:14
YOU WILL NEED: A bag with slips of paper that tell something to do. Samples are on the last
Choose a volunteer—This volunteer will reach in the bag and pull out a slip of paper. The slip of
paper will instruct the student what to do. This student will be the “Light,” showing everyone else what to do. The “Light” may not speak (unless the instructions say so) but should lead everyone in accomplishing what is written. Once you, as the station leader, sees that the instructions have been followed, tell everyone to give him a hand, then point to someone else and say, “Be the Light.” They’ll come forward and thus the game continues. If a student doesn’t want to lead, don’t make them, but let everyone who wants to go have that opportunity.
After the game: Ask:
What was hard about being the Light?
What was fun about being the Light?
Did anyone feel embarrassed about being the Light?
Was anyone concerned about looking silly or foolish?
Read Matthew 5:14 – “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
How does this verse remind you of our game? (Both of them talk about the light; everyone
can see a city on a mountain, and everyone could see us doing the instructions.)
What does Jesus mean when He says, “You are the light”? (That we should live in such a
way that our lives are like a light that guides other people to God; and shine, or show them, His
life and love.
When you’re at school, why is it sometimes hard to be a light? (I don’t always want to do the
right thing; some people think you’re weird if you’re a Christian; I might be embarrassed? I’m
afraid I would look silly; my friends want to do wrong things.)
SAY: It can be hard to be a light. But when we shine Jesus’ love to our friends, we’re doing the
best thing we can, which is showing someone about Jesus. By being a light Jesus isn’t asking
you to do silly things, like what we did in our game. Jesus wants you to bring hope, courage,
and joy to people. He wants you to follow God’s Word and tell everyone that Jesus saves us. SAY: It’s both easy and fun to tell other people about Jesus. It’s as simple as saying, “Jesus
loves you,” or “Jesus will take care of you.” You can shine Jesus’ light to anyone you know
by your words and by how you live.
How can you shine your light so others can see Jesus in you?
What do you think would be some things people do on a playground or in sports
that show they are following the light? What are things people might do when
they are living in darkness?
What would happen if you stood up for someone being picked on in the
playground? How would that person feel? How would the bully feel? How would
you feel? How would Jesus feel?
What would stop you from telling a friend, “Jesus will take care of you,” the next
time they are afraid or upset? How do you think they might respond?
When you see someone at school get hurt, do you ever think about praying for
them? When you hear someone at school say a cuss word, do you ever think
about asking them not to use that kind of language around you?
Is there anything in your life that you do that Jesus wouldn’t like? Does that feel
like darkness? Who can tell more about how it feels when you feel guilty for
something? How can Jesus’ light that guides you help?
5) Camp Fire and S’Mores time. 15 – 25 Min
6) Devotional/ Music 10 -15 Min
Around the camp fire have the kids sit around the pavilion tables. Ask: What was your favorite part of the tonight’s Messy Church?
Theme: Reflecting the light of Christ
Song: This little light of mine..
Object: A mirror and a flashlight
Read Scripture: There was a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light: he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. John 1: 6-9 (NIV)
Say: Have you ever sat outside on a bright sunny day and used a mirror to reflect the sun’s light? If one of you will take this flashlight and shine it on me I will show you what I mean. You see, as the light shines on me, I hold up my mirror and I can reflect the light to shine on you. I am not the light, I am just letting my mirror reflect the light to shine on you.
Say: If I am going to reflect the light on you, there are a couple of things that are very important: I must keep my mirror facing toward the light. If I turn away from the light, I cannot reflect the light. I must make sure that nothing comes between the light and me. If that happens, I cannot reflect the light. The Bible tells us that “There was a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light: he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” Who do you think the true light is that the Bible said was coming into the world? That is right! It was Jesus. Jesus is the light of the world. In our focus verse today, Jesus even declared to the listeners “I am the Light of the world…”
So, if we accept Jesus as our light then you and I need to be like John. The Bible says that we are to let our light shine, but we need to remember that “Our Light” is Jesus. We are not the light, we are just mirrors that reflect His light. If we are going to reflect the light of Jesus, we must remember a couple of things:
We must keep our faces turned toward Jesus.
We must not let anything come between us and Jesus.
When we remember those two things, we will reflect His light to the entire world.
Pray: (something to this effect) Dear Jesus, we want to reflect your light in the world. Help us to keep our faces turned toward you and help us to keep anything from coming between us and you. Amen.
Theme: “I Am the way”
Scripture Verse – John 14:6
Intro to today’s Messy Church (DYS or Assigned Officers will lead this) 5 Min
Today we are going to begin our Messy Church with a scripture verse of John 14:6
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Suggested Themed Music Videos you could play at the beginning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueMQV2Ax-MM
So in just a few minutes we are going to begin by heading to our first station, but first I want us to say our scripture verse together out loud, let’s read it together:
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Are you ready for Messy Church today?
Let’s open with a word of prayer and then we will go off to our first station.
Pray and Dismiss
Pitcher of Water
Directions: Pour the water into the bowl.
Then rub the needle on the magnet about 10 -15 times
Place the small cork piece into the water, then place the needle on top of the floating cork.
As you do this, explain to the children that the needle, having picked up some of the magnetic attraction from the magnet is now starting to face magnetic north. So it spins until it points north and south. Tell the kids: Now, the Bible is a lot like this in our lives too. When we read about Jesus and what He did while on earth we begin to know more about God, and when we begin to know more about God, we begin to live for Him and we start to point others toward Him through our Godly examples.
Ask: What does it looks to live for God?
(get some of the kids to answer).
Why does it matter if we live for God or we don’t live for God?
Read: Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Matthew 16:24-26 Message Version)
Jesus wants us to point others to God while we follow Him.
If we don’t listen and we don’t care about other people, they may not see God through our lives. So today, I pray that God will give you a love for others in your heart. Let God lead you, and may your words and your actions point others to God.
Let the kids take turns in re-trying this experiment while comparing it to the compass to make sure it is pointing to magnetic North.
2)outdoor game 25 Min
Blind fold obstacle course:
Create an obstacle course (a playground works GREAT) and get your students or leaders to go in pairs. One from each pair is blindfolded, and the other will lead him or her through the obstacle course by using only their voice.
The purpose of this game is to help the person who’s blindfolded navigate the course by only hearing the voice that’s directing them
We’ll need two large trash cans, two long tables, and four chairs at the field near Ramsdale
Circle up the kids and ask them about the game – Ask:
How did you feel when you were blindfolded?
Did you trust the person who was leading you through the obstacle course?
How many things did you run into?
Does it help to have someone there who is looking out for you and helping you?
How confident are you that you could have made it through the obstacle course on your own?
Sometimes life is a lot like this obstacle course.
We often do not know how things are going to go in the future, or even in the next hour. We have to trust that God knows what He is doing. Trusting God can seem like a scary thing at times, especially when we have some big decisions to make in life. But do you know what? God promises to never leave us or forsake us. So sometimes, during this obstacle course we may have doubted the person who was leading us, and maybe we even tripped or ran into something because they didn’t lead us very well…But God isn’t like that. He loves us very much and He will lead us through the good and the bad times. So as we think about Jesus being the way, truth and life today, remember the God leads us and wants what is best for our lives.
3) Devotional / Music (20 Minutes) 20 Min
What was your favorite station today?
Which station did you not like and why?
Can anyone tell me what our theme for today has been?
Recap Scripture Verse (or if time allows, have one or a few of the kids stand and read it for the group)
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(Suggested Text or can be adapted)
A map and a portable GPS (Even a phone with a map app on the screen)
There was a time when a person going on a trip wouldn’t think of beginning their journey without a road map. (Hold up the map for the children to see.) The map was very helpful to the traveler in finding the way to where they were going. Today we seldom ever use a road map. Do you know why? Most of us who own a car also have a GPS in our car. (Hold up the GPS.) How does the GPS work? When you are ready to go somewhere, you type in the address where you want to go and the GPS connects to a satellite up above the earth and computes the path to your destination. As soon as you start driving, a map appears on the screen and a voice from the GPS gives you turn by turn directions. “Turn right on Main Street in one mile, turn right in one half mile, turn right in 150 feet, turn right.” What happens if you miss your turn? The GPS says, “Recalculating” and immediately computes a new route to get you back on the right path to your destination.
When we are trying to follow Jesus in our daily life, it would be nice to have a GPS to lead us in the right direction, wouldn’t it? It would be nice to have something to keep us on the right path and keep us from getting lost…something that would help us get back on the right track when we made a wrong decision.
That is the way Jesus’ disciples must have felt when Jesus told them that he was going to leave them. Jesus said to them, “I am going to prepare a place for you and when everything is ready, I will come and get you so that you will always be with me. You know the way to where I am going.”
One of the disciples whose name was Thomas answered Jesus, “No, we don’t, Lord. We don’t even know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Another disciple named Philip joined in, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.”
“Philip,” Jesus answered, “Have you been with me all this time and you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show you the Father? Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Anyone who believes in me will do the same things I have done.”
That was all the disciples needed to know to get them on the right path to the Father.
So, how do you and I find our way to the place where Jesus has gone to be with the Father? We have not seen Jesus as Thomas and Philip had, but we can follow the teachings that he has given to us in the Bible — God’s Holy Word. That is our GPS and it will keep us on the right path!
Heavenly Father, we thank you for sending your Son to provide the way to eternal life. Thank you for your Holy Word which will keep us on the right path in our journey through life. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
What is it?
This little cube is a filtering device for your home that allows you to protect your family from inappropriate sites and content on the internet.
A couple years ago, I looked around, as my children were growing older, and noticed that there was very little by way of family filters for the whole house available to the public. I even asked a tech friend of mine for some help, and the ways to tweak my router (which is provided by the company we use for internet) were very complicated and truly beyond my “networking” skills…trust me, I tried.
Then I saw this new device that began as a kickstarter and eventually was picked up by the Disney corporation – A.K.A – Disney Circle.
We’ve had our Circle for about a month and I would like to do a review on it for you.
Ease Of Use:
This device sells for $99, and we bought ours at Target, but I believe most major retailers will have this device for sale. Basically we took this sleek looking box home, opened it and once we plugged it in, it was a easy to set up. Have your internet router’s password available, walk through the app (which you install on your mobile device or cell phone) and once it connects the real magic and ease of mind can begin.
The app is easy to navigate and you can add then add your entire family to the “Circle”. Once you add your family, you can then assign specific devices (which are visible to the network) to each person. So, for example if your son has a google tablet, it will show up within the local devices and you can assign that tablet to your son on the circle.
The Filtering Software:
If you are worried what your children might watch on Youtube or even apps on their Apple or Android devices, here is some ease of mind. You can assign the filter level of each child based upon their age. All of the apps available on an app store can be filtered because this Disney Circle interfaces with the home router. Even if your child is on their Xbox or Playstation console, it must still get its information from your home router, and Disney Circle will filter out the inappropriate content that you do not want your children to have access to. I recently let one of my teenage boys use my Ipad, so since the Ipad is assigned to my profile, I adjusted my filter to “Teen”…when I went on my phone to access one of the streaming apps I use to watch tv, I was stopped, and I realized I had been filtered via the Disney Circle – it does really work! This device, in my opinion, is totally worth the $99 I paid for it!
This device gives parents peace of mind when their children use the internet and/or various electronic devices throughout their homes. No longer is finding a family friendly, easy to use filter a hard thing to do – I completely recommend this device for your home!
Other Perks to Disney Circle:
1) You can set a bed time for each profile/person in your home. When the clock strikes that hour, the internet turns off for those assigned devices to that profile/child.
2) Does your child spend too much time on devices? Then set time limits! Once the time limit has been met, the internet will also turn off.
3) Pause the Internet in the entire house by hitting the “Pause” button on your device loaded with the Disney Circle App.
4) There is no work around, once the Disney Circle has been paired to your home router!
One of my kids tried to unplug the Circle and just use the router, and it wouldn’t work.
5) “Insights” – You can view all of the content your child views by using your Circle app. You are the House Admin (and your spouse can be as well). View the time your children spend on specific apps or site. Learn what they enjoy doing, also start to see just how much time they spend in a day on these devices.
One word of caution, and this should be obvious, but here goes:
Do not load the Disney App onto devices your children will be using, this is the only “Work around” to the filtering software. The one(s) who has the app loaded can control what is fed to all the devices. So parents, you load the App, and you will ensure you children are protected in your home from unwanted, inappropriate content.
Should you buy Disney Circle?
That’s entirely up to you, but we love ours and as our kids are getting older, it gives us peace of mind that they will not be subjected to pornography or other harmful content because of this little device and what it does.
This isn’t some infomercial, or advertisement. Pastors, business people and tired families all need to find a place to rest, recuperate and relax. We all need a holiday, a vacation from the hustle and bustle of the world around us. A place to reconnect with our spouses, our children and with that good book you’ve been meaning to finish.
We found that place this week while on vacation. We had never been to North Carolina and so we wanted to see the Smokey Mountains and had heard about Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. They have filmed movies here like Firestarter, Last of the Mohicans and Dirty Dancing.
We booked this cabin – Serenity Falls and let me just say “wow“! The drive coming to the cabin was long and curvy. There were some interesting views in the mountains, some unique people, yet after driving up the steep drive to the cabin and unloading our belongings we could finally step back and see the majestic views all around us. This is a secluded piece of heaven. It is quiet, serene and ideal for large families or for a couple looking to get away.
As a pastor, ministry to others is important, yet if I never find the time to get away and recharge I will burn out and be useless to those I have been called to serve and love. If you’re a pastor or in the ministry or just a person in need of some peace and quiet why don’t you check out Serenity Falls. It is so worth it! They have all of the modern features a home could have and more. It’s tranquil, and you will find rest here! The really nice thing is that you are minutes away from Lake Lure and Chimney Rock which are really interesting scenic places to visit. There is also the massive Biltmore Estate which is a historic estate chalk full of leisurely activities and tours.
Here are a couple of pictures of Serenity Falls that I took (there are also some on the website which I hyper-linked here), I can’t say enough how nice a time we had here resting and relaxing…we could seriously stay a lot longer!
It is a common scenario: An Officer family moves into an inner-city or even rural appointment and finds little to no adult role models that they can trust to instruct their children. In a similar situation a married couple joins the Army corps to serve and to help but also finds little by way of adult, spiritually mature, role models to guide their children while at the corps.
Yes, it is a parent’s job to train their children up (Prov 22:6) but are we lacking strong, spiritually mature leaders within our corps today to assist in this? Is it detrimental to children of Officers as well as families coming into corps who encounter this problem? Where have all of the godly Local Officers and Saintly Sunday School/Corps Cadet teachers gone? Admittedly many of them have been promoted to glory after decades of faithful service…but the question remains why aren’t others stepping up to lead? Where have all the saints gone in our corps?
I have heard from a number of faithful local officers as well as Corps & Divisional Officers who share this sentiment. What are doing wrong? Why are we losing so many pillars only to have no one to take their place?
Edification of our Youth:
We mustn’t neglect this portion of our ministry! As an Army, we are losing young people in droves as they become young adults because there is little keeping them at our corps. This is one of the biggest threats facing our modern Army world. Who will step up to lead them? Who will hold them to godly standards? How can we stave off such a tremendous loss?
We need strong local officers! We need discipled leaders! We cannot settle for warm bodies in Sunday School classes solely because they “show up”. This is an epic crisis. It might not be felt currently in some of the larger metro corps where leadership is in abundance, but drive a few miles away to one of the younger supporting corps or further out into some of the rural communities and this crisis will become more and more evident.
An extension of this crisis begins to reveal itself in local officers, who arespiritually mature, who are there to help serve, who have children at the corps and are beginning to question if, perhaps, it is time to find another ministry to belong to because the edification of the youth (and specifically their children) is sadly vacant due to the lack of leaders.
Are we doing something wrong?
Have we lost a step?
Can we recover from this?
It is certainly not my intention to criticize or direct any blame without attempting to offer some kind of solution or corrective steps. I will be the first to admit that I do not have all of the answers here, but I do want to begin asking these very important questions. What I do know is that if something isn’t done to help local officer families and Officer families, a large portion of the next generation will be lost to the Army…and it has already begun.
We have territorial and even divisional events to send our children to, but coming home to a corps that lacks the kind of leaders our children are seeing at the divisional or territorial level can be debilitating and discouraging. It is rather telling of the quality of leaders we may have when we have to employ our teenagers to teach a class because none of the adults are equipped or mature enough to handle this responsibility.
Solution #1 Discipleship, Discipleship, Discipleship!
For years we have done our corps a disservice by not adequately discipling our adults and youth properly. Jesus instructed and lived out model discipleship to His followers. Officers and currently leaders need to continually think of who will replace them when they are gone…who will follow in their footsteps? Who will carry on the legacy? Who can WE train up? We must invest our time in those who need to grow and have the potential to become leaders so that future generations will have someone to look up to and emulate within the corps setting.
Solution #2 Divisional and Territorial Support
A few years ago the Eastern Michigan Division created a program called “The Ambassadors Program”. What this program did was take young adults and send them out into corps that needed young leaders and role models within their youth programs. They helped conduct lessons, tutored young people during after school, played sports with them in gymnasiums, in essence they became mobile young adult disciples and role models. We need more mobile young adult discipleship programs that are sent out into these frontline ministries and rural corps to help with the mission! We need to consider such opportunities as a two-fold solution. (1) The young people being sent (Ambassador or Disciple what ever you call it) are learning how to become strong(er) leaders of our Army by actively participating in ministry as a divisional missionary! They learn through hands-on training and it is a trial by fire. (2) The youth that these Ambassadors/Disciples are instructing and taking under their wing begin to see active and loving leaders who are committed to the Lord and have a passion for what they do! This is the kinds of role models our young people in problematic corps (where leadership is vacant) need.
There are probably many more solutions out there to help with this crisis. My hope is that in writing this and sharing my frustration and fear others will begin to offer ideas and share further solutions. We are losing our youth in the Army. We can probably all share in the blame. Beyond the “blame game”, however, we need to get up, we need to mobilize and begin developing leadership networks to help properly instruct our youth once again so that we do not lose another generation and their parents who are currently testing the waters of other ministries.
Something else for the Army world to ponder today.
“…Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” –Ephesians 6:4
I’ve always been curious of this word “exasperate”…what does it mean? Here are some synonyms –
agitate, annoy, enrage, rile, inflame, aggravate, “drive up a wall”, disturb…
You get the point.
Questions to consider:
I think it only fitting this week that we look at the healthy attributes of a father. How can we be better parents, teachers and leaders of the children that we’ve been given? What do we want our children to remember us by?
It is crucial that we instruct, lead and love our children on godly principles and holy living. Does it always work? No. Will we make mistakes along the way? You bet we will. Does that mean that we don’t try despite our propensity for mistakes? Absolutely not!
4 Steps to Godly Parenting:
1. Honesty with Self:
First we must tackle honesty within our conversation today. Be honest with yourself, you’re not perfect. You were not perfect growing up, and you’re not perfect now. That isn’t an excuse to nottry, or to abdicate your responsibilities as parents. Just understand that sometimes the expectations that we put on our children stem from our own shortcomings and inadequacies in ourselves. We long to push our children harder and we set the bar higher because we look back at our own life and wished we had made other decisions or worked harder at specific moments in our past.
Be honest with yourself. You are the parent of a precious life, and when we push too hard out of personal unfulfilled dreams and goals, we will exasperate our child(ren). Take a long hard look at your expectations for your child. Goals aren’t bad to have, but if you find yourself pushing your child in a direction that resembles your own shortcomings and disappointments just to live vicariously through them perhaps you must stop and realign your motives and intentions! Godly parenting wants to impress Godly principles, but doesn’t try to force children into molds that do not fit their personalities and temperaments.
2. Beware of the Anger trap:
I find myself struggling with this one. It is one thing to appropriately discipline children, it is another to lose your temper and rage at them. Be careful how your discipline your child. Children model themselves after their parents. If you resemble a grumbling bear all of the time your children will eventually resemble this too. If you rage, scream and shout your child will rage, scream and shout because this is a learned trait. Similarly to growing up with an alcoholic parent, a child who grows up with a raging parent will be inclined to resemble that upbringing. This isn’t absolute, but the propensity for modeled behavior such as anger can be passed on from generation to generation.
Discipline, but don’t allow your anger to rage and fume and create a fire within your children. These flames can burn long after they have left home.
3. Show up.
Your child’s interests may not always be the same as yours. They may find a love for art or sports that perhaps you never had. Invest in your child. Spend time encouraging healthy interests. Show up to events that your child will be participating in. Also, actively find additional helps within your child’s likes. If they enjoy sports, sign them up for that soccer team in the summer. If they enjoy art, sign them up for a community art class. Take the time to show up as the guide for your child. Invest your time and encourage them in their interests. A parent who shows up and invests in their child’s interests displays to that child that they matter and they are worthwhile and valuable.
4. Share the Word and Pray.
You don’t have to do this rigidly, but “devotion” time with the family is important. Carve out intentional spiritual teaching moments with your child. Don’t make a big show of it, but let it be a part of who you are as a person and as a parent. Don’t teach from a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality either. The Word of God is vital to godly living, practice what you preach and teach through your example. You don’t have to purchase curriculum to teach your child about God. Read a passage of scripture at night after dinner or perhaps pray before bedtime. Living as a godly example to your child has to begin with a daily dose of personal time with the Lord as well. Are we spending our time in the Word of God? Do we pray diligently for our families? From this stems our desire to spiritually instruct our children in the principles of Godly living.
These are just a few suggestions to aid us as parents who long to raise our child up right. Take time to pray for your child. Ask God for guidance and wisdom as you teach and love your family.
Reminiscing; a song written by Graeham Goble of the Little River Band in 1978. While this song received ample air play on many radio stations during the late 70’s and early 80’s, it has unfortunately faded into relative obscurity. After all, the song is about ‘looking back’, and in todays hurried culture most people seem intent on ‘living in the moment.’ Yet this lively and upbeat piece of music still affects me today as I skim through my state of the art Ipod. The song delves into the writer’s memories of a time period, seemingly removed from today’s progressive pace of life. He writes romantically of his pursuit of that one special lady whom he wishes to ‘build his world around’. He croons nostalgically of the joy which he and his love experienced as they danced across the floor to Glenn Miller’s band which was ‘better than before.’ He then tells us of their present condition, when he intones “older times we’re missing, spending the hours, reminiscing.”
Reminiscing…..thinking about the past with an intense yearning to re-live those days which excite your memory. When those memories are shared, they can ignite a much needed spark in a relationship which may have waned over the years. Many things can cause romance to lose its spark; too much time spent at work, the numerous events involving our children as they grow and mature, wasted hours in front of the television, exhaustion from little sleep. All of these challenges whittle away at the precious commodity of time, and in doing so tend to cause an imbalance in even the best of relationships.
The ultimate question is for the couple who wants to both maintain and strengthen their marriage. Is there a way to rekindle that spark which initially set your romance aflame? Or are we going to choose to be bound by those self-made schedules which in turn allow us little to no time to creatively explore our partnership with our wives/husbands?
The singer of reminiscing reminds us of a simple, yet poignant point. He reminds us of the way in which their romance started, singing “That’s the way it began, we were hand in hand.” To be hand in hand with your partner in life, and in ministry. To be united in love, under God, and with His desire that your love be expressed to one another. To make sure that the love you have for your partner remains fresh and alive, and does not become stagnant.
Is this an easy task? Not at all. It requires an effort by both partners; an effort to step beyond the status quo, and into the potential of re-discovery. It also takes commitment to achieve this, commitment to one another, which in turn will hopefully flow into romance. Further, it demands dedication; to not give up despite the hardships which you may discover as you seek that time together. To keep trying, keep seeking, keep that spark alive. Hopefully, it was there on your wedding day. Prayerfully, it is still there. We just need to re-discover it……and if it takes “reminiscing” to do so, then so be it! Let God’s love, which is ever new, and ever exciting, lead you into a greater commitment to your partner. Let your marriage be one filled with excitement, as God created marriage to be!
I was criticized yesterday for writing specifically about Miley Cyrus and not even mentioning Robin Thicke, who also displayed deplorable acts on stage recently during the VMA’s that left many heads shaking…it was most definitely not a PG rated performance on national television. I haven’t intentionally given him a pass by any means. Let me just say this directly: Robin you are no better than your female counter parts…in fact you may be worse. Your womanizing ways are impressing upon young men around the world and in effect saying that it’s okay to objectify women and act like a dog on and off stage. Your persona exploits women and sexualizes them as mere objects instead of people. This whole ‘sexual shock pop’ is undoubtedly about making money. But again the message you’re sending to guys out there is that this is how women wish to be treated. You’re selling sex to make money, it’s not a new ploy, but it truly is a bottom-feeding business.
In 2012 over 25% (http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/famsoc1.asp) of all American kids were being brought up in a single family household…why do I mention this? Because only 1% of that statistics represents single fathers, the rest are single mothers trying to bring up their children as best they can. Some were unwed while others because of Divorce, but there is a growing demographic of young men out there that thinks it’s okay to sleep around, get women pregnant and then bail. Why would that be? Some of it can be directly attributed to guys like you who prance on performing stages and sing about the next women you’re going to sleep with. Bill Cosby, actor and Doctor of Education even rails against this issue within the African American community…but it’s not just an African American issue, it’s a cultural issue.
This country has lost its Gentlemen, men who respect women. Men who know how to treat a woman. This country needs less Robin Thickes’ and more guy willing to man-up, step up and take responsibility. The crude remarks, the condescending humor, the sexist attitudes…it isn’t improving matters, it’s making them worse. Robin, have some common decency…although I doubt anyone will read this, It’s solely my opinion…and since it’s still a free country I will share that with you.
Some have suggested that we pray for you and others in the entertainment industry. I do. I really do. I don’t say it like someone does in a casual conversation as they walk down the hallway, ‘well I’ll pray for you’, I really will pray for you. I will pray for Miley too. I cannot imagine the stress artists like you are under to perform…that doesn’t take you off the hook for acting like a dog, but I can’t imagine. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers for any of you. And as someone rightly said, it’s the parents job to teach their children how to live. I for one am focused first and foremost on my kids. I’m concerned how this whole media circus effects kids, but my kids won’t be subjected to this garbage. I plan on raising my kids better than that. But I know that there are kids out there who don’t have parents who either know better or who care what they watch, read and listen to. I’m concerned about those kids too. They’re vulnerable. They’re susceptible to these lies that you’re selling. It’s like a drug to the mind, ear candy that holds no nutrition to grow and mature with.
For the Guys:
Guys, don’t look up to Dogs like this. I don’t wish to be mean to either Miley or Robin here…but their actions make them dogs on stage. Don’t be a dog. Treat women with respect that they deserve. They aren’t objects. They aren’t pieces of meat on display. Don’t buy the lie that musciains like Mr. Thicke are selling. We need more gentleman in this world. We need guys who will step up and be role models, who will set a good example for others to follow. Who won’t be led by their lusts. Who will think with their brains instead of their pants. It doesn’t take much to be dude or a dog…but it takes guts to be a gentleman. Be modest. It takes brains to act like a man…a real man. Show some respect, and step up.
For the Girls:
Don’t just fall for the first guy you see. Don’t be pressured to be someone you’re not or pressured into sexual activity prematurely. Be modest. Don’t buy the lie about what you should wear or how skinny you need to be. Or have any kind of body image issue because of what the entertainment industry is telling you. Don’t be swayed by the dogs of this world. Have some self-respect for yourself, some self-confidence…you are an important creation of God! You were created individually unique so don’t let some guy tell you who you are or how you should act or live.
Step up to the plate. Filter what your kids are watching. Filter what your kids are listening to. Have conversations about this stuff. Be a parent, not a friend. They are your kids, raise them right! Proverbs 22:6 says: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
It was initially called ‘Miley…you make me sick’ and I changed it to ‘Miley…please stop’. Let me clarify, I’m not sick about people in general I’m sick of the actions of people. Male or female, either and both. I see celebrities and musicians who have so much potential and yet they settle for this ‘shock’ garbage…and it makes me sick. I’m a parent of four kids, they’re my kids and my responsibility to raise and I won’t subject them to this junk. I spoke rather harshly yesterday, I recognize that…it’s not place to judge but I am passionate about this for two reasons, 1) my kids and what media is trying to sell them, & 2) other kids, guys and girls who either don’t know better or have parents who don’t care enough or know enough to teach them right. My issue isn’t solely with these two individuals that I named but, they are just at the forefront right now…the poster children, so to speak.
I don’t mean to be rude or hurtful today, that’s not my intention. What I mean by that is this: Miley Cyrus…please stop! I think it’s safe to say that there are so many fathers out there shaking their heads in disgust. Is this what we want our daughters to become? You started out as a Disney star…kids looked up to you. I taught Sunday school and there were little girls who wore your Hannah Montana t-shirts. They wanted to not only meet you, they wanted to be you.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not healthy to want to be someone else, but when you’re on a public stage in this world, people will listen to you. People, specifically kids, will want to look up to you as a role model…and right now the life you’re modeling on stage makes me sick. It not only comes across as a desperate ploy to maintain a certain status and lifestyle, but it also comes across as extremely derogatory to the entire female gender. I don’t mean to sound hurtful, but your actions will have consequences and those consequences, like a ripple effect on a pond will impact the lives of many young impressionable girls in our world.
I know some could argue; “it’s her life let her live it the way she wants to“…rightly so, but at the same time how you conduct yourself and act on a stage like you did recently at the VMA’s is deplorable, and simply lacks musical substance and craves for any kind of public attention.
In this over-sexualized world in which we live, we need less Miley sex-shock rock and more female role models who have more respective for themselves and for their bodies. We need women who will show young impressionable girls how to conduct themselves in public and have respect for themselves. How to make decisions based on not what guys view them as physically but what will nurture and help them grow. As a father who has a daughter in my house, I want more female role models who will display at least some measure of modesty. As a father who has a daughter in my house, you certainly don’t meet those requirements of the type of female role model I ever want my daughter to look up to.
Here’s some advice, stop trying to be someone you’re not. Stop shocking the world with your antics…it’s the same tired old routine tried by many, many starlets and artists and it never ends well. Look around you, it may be your life but there are people watching and looking up to you. Find some self-respect.
-Just a thought.
Now I like this woman…she totally makes a valid point:
I admit it, I’m in a bad mood. I’ve just grabbed my soap box and I plan to stand on it for a moment or two. I have a confession to make. I hate child stars and child actors. But let me clarify. It’s not specifically the person I hate, it’s what these networks which are cash cows hell bent on their endless cravings of greed have done to them. I hate the system. I hate the build up of these children, as the television, movie and music industries exploit and seemingly pimp out these young stars and bleed them dry of their lives. These industries commercialize and exploit young children and their families. Brainwashing happens…not like it’s done in the espionage world but these kids are taught at a young age that appearance is everything. They are told in so many words “don’t get fat”, “look your best”, and you’ll make us money. Parents and the child stars are sucked into these lifestyles and the industry works these children to either an early grave from drugs or suicide or until they grow up, grow old, get in trouble with the law and lose their ‘shine’.
Far too many of these ‘pop tart’ stars are milled out every year as the ‘next big thing’ and our children are subjected to these standards of acceptance and perception of perfection. I’m sick and tire of it. I can’t tell how much it grinds on me to see former child stars like Miley Cyrus and Lindsey Lohan flop around on music videos flaunting their half naked selves in order to break the ‘childhood star perceptions. I can’t tell you how much it annoys me that some of these stars who have lost the lime light claw and scratch for any sort of media attention even to the extremes of partying, rehab and arrests.
It is a sad, vicious cycle of self deprecation, egotistical flaunts and greed. What makes it even worse is that our children look up to these stars. They’re in some ways peers to our children. Turn on the t.v. and they are there, front and center. Perhaps it’s time to turn off the television. To stop supporting these networks that pimp out child stars upon the public stage.
I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the latest childhood star who was found dead. When will these networks be held responsible for the monsters that they have created? When will we reach a point where people will wake up and discover the acting lifestyle with its glitz and glamour has a dark and twisted underbelly?
I’m almost ready to come down from my soapbox…almost. But look at the victims of these industries for a moment with me, and this is just a tip of the iceberg:
Corey Haim: (December 23, 1971 – March 10, 2010)
80’s child actor who starred in many box office hits but struggled with drug addiction and the pressures of performing successfully. Though his death was ruled accidental overdoes he fought his demons of Hollywood.
River Phoenix (August 23, 1970 – October 31, 1993) He died on a sidewalk outside a nightclub of a drug overdose. He also starred in movie hits as a child actor and ironically enough was even a spokesperson for an anti-drug campaign shortly before his death.
Heath Ledger: (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) Heath was a child star from Australia who started off on television and became world famous actor. He wasn’t much of a chronic but drug user but struggled with sickness and sleeplessness and overdosed on medications.
Cory Monteith (May 11, 1982 – July 13, 2013)
Star of t.v.’s hit show ‘Glee’, Cory Died after failing to stay in rehab and overdosed on drugs.
Amy Winehouse: (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011)
Jonathan Brandis (April 13, 1976 – November 12, 2003)
Child star in movies such as Sidekicks, Neverending Story and tv shows like Seaquest. He discovered acting to be very difficult as an adult, dealt with bouts of depression and heavy drinking. Gone too soon, died of at his own hand -suicide.
Dana Plato (November 7, 1964 – May 8, 1999)
Lee Thomas Young
(February 1, 1984 – August 18, 2013) -Suicide.
There so many more that could be listed here. Some died from drug and alcohol overdoses, others vehicular accidents, and still others suicide and murder.
I recognize there are many choices that people make. I recognize that not every child actor ends up this way. But seriously the statistics of drug overdose or suicide are so much higher with former child stars than any other demographic. What does this teach our children, what does this teach us of our culture today? We live in a very fickle world where beauty and popularity lasts mere moments and then it’s gone. Do we allow culture to teach our kids, do we allow it to replace us as the parent or the teacher or the guardian? We are our children’s parents, our child’s role models, we are their instructors in this life. Step up and act like it.
Ok…now I’m stepping off of my soapbox for a while.