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So yesterday at church our youth pastor got to be the one to start a three-week sermon series titled “Raising G-Rated Kids in an X-Rated World”.

I’m pretty sure it’s the title of a book or something.

Anyway.

It was interesting, and I got to hear it twice because I helped with screen. 🙂

I thought I would share some of the main points with you, and maybe add some of my thoughts as well.

YP started off his sermon by introducing the series, and then bringing up influential people. He asked the congregation to, throughout the sermon, be thinking of who they believe are/were the top 10 most influential people in history. And then he listed influential people—but not the top 10. That was saved for later!

Five thoughts from this lesson:

That our young people would develop a degree of confidence. (Not just who they are, but Whose they are.)
That our young people (and us) would develop a Christ-like character. (Right vs wrong; moral compass.)
That we would all adopt a sense of conviction. (The roots of our beliefs.)
That we would all become a people of compassion. (Seeing needs and doing something about them.)
That we would live a life of competence. (Knowing and using our gifts and talents and abilities.)

What kids need from caring adults:

1. What kids need is belief.
Psalm 127:35 (Note: It does not say TEST.)
Mark 9:36-37
The belief in the value of parenting. They need to know that you believe in yourself, and also that you believe in each other as their parents.

2. What kids need is presence (AKA time).
John 1:14
2 Tim. 1:14
Note: P-R-E-S-E-N-C-E. Not P-R-E-S-E-N-T-S.
YP said that your kids would much rather be with YOU than YOUR MONEY. Well, IF you are doing parenting right.
And YP also said that quantity time is better than quality time. Quantity time DEVELOPS INTO quality time.

He brought up sacrifices:
of person  
of career – Every extra minute you tag on at the office drains a minute you could spending with your family.
of the cell – No cell phones at the dinner table, or during family time in general. (What was ironic about this was while he was talking about this point, the guys in the media room with me had their phones out.)  
of focus – He brought up how the night before, while finishing his sermon on presence, he got an invite to go to a bonfire with some kids. He kept working, but after he’d thought about it, he decided to close the laptop and go.

3. What kids need is memories.
Deuteronomy 4:9

How do you create memories?

Make up traditions. (YP talked about Christmas. Second service, he had two other people give one of their traditions; one other about Christmas, and one about family movie night.)
Capture moments/memories. (Here he pulled his camera out of his pocket and snapped a photo of each side of the church.)
Prioritize vacations. (He talked about how every other summer his family would pack up and leave for two weeks.)
Create adventures. (It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, you always need adventure. My mind immediately went to the Bear Hunt our youth group went on a few summers ago while we were camping at a state park nearby.)
Write letters. (YP mentioned that he has boxes of letters. He doesn’t tend to save emails that way.)

It was really interesting. It was almost more for parents, but he tied in children and grandparents and leaders and even people who hate kids. He did a pretty good job of combining all the elements, and a few things struck me personally, so that was good.

He forgot to mention it (or I wasn’t paying attention), but he also had Proverbs 2:3-6 on the sermon note form, as well as GOD first, FAMILY second, CAREER third, then the rest.

I’m looking forward to the next weeks!! It should be interesting.

OH! And those Top 10 Influential People?

According to TIME magazine (I think) in the early 2000s (2000 or 2001?), the top 10 influential people in history were (in no particular order):

  1. Ghandi
  2. Buddha
  3. Tsai-Lun (the inventor of paper)
  4. Johanne Gutenberg (printing press)
  5. Albert Einstein
  6. the Apostle Paul
  7. Mohammed
  8. Isaac Newton
  9. Christopher Columbus
  10. Jesus Christ

Jesus was the last person YP listed because he did this thing where if you’d written one of these names down, you stood up. And you stayed standing, no matter if you didn’t have the next person written down. He wanted to try to get everyone in the sanctuary standing by the end. I guess he figured everyone would’ve written Jesus down, and saved Him for last? Whatever. By the end of him reading the list, everyone was standing.

~*~

I was at church from just before 8 until … around noon yesterday.

My best buddy K was there for the second service, playing flute! And her boyfriend showed up! Which was cool. 🙂 I spent a little time chatting with them before second service started, and then after service they went out to eat with her parents. And my parents hadn’t shown up for service, so I called and found out they were at the hospital.

I think my heart stopped.

And then Mom assured me that it was just Dad’s shoulder, and that the clinic couldn’t help them and that was why they were in the ER.

Still, I didn’t take it very well. I cried a little.

While still at church.

And nobody seemed to notice.

Am I that good at hiding it? Or are people just that oblivious?

Anyway, I came home for around an hour before Mom asked me to stay with Dad at the hospital while she went to watch our high school’s graduation ceremony. She figured he’d need a ride home before the ceremony was done, but no. When she called me, he was still in the room, having an ultrasound done on his shoulder/arm/wrist. The lady was just wrapping up the ultrasound, actually. So Mom came back to the hospital and I went home and fell asleep on the couch for three hours. I was still half-asleep when I realized they were finally home.

Dad’s been having really bad shoulder pain for the last few days—just can’t get any relief. They’ve figured out that it’s probably the fact that his brain is mis-interpreting the signals and telling him the pain is in his shoulder when really it’s in his abdomen. The nerve bundles by the diaphragm are super-close together so the brain gets confused? I dunno. Something like that.

And I didn’t realize it until yesterday, but his wrist is really sore and swollen. They think that that’s either an infection or gout. Which rang a bell for me because a few years ago he had psuedogout in his foot. Which was also very painful. The only realy difference that I know of between the two is that gout deals with uric acid and pseudogout deals with lactic acid, or a salt, as the website says.

We just can’t catch a break, can we? =\

But at least it’s not life-threatening (I hope) and should be fixed soonish!!

I’ve definitely been in the hospital too much for my liking this past month. And I’ve gotten a bit of a crash-course on medical terminology. Maybe I should change career paths… Eesh.

So now I have a little time to hang out until I have to go to work.

And then tomorrow night and Wednesday night I’ll be at church helping with VBS. (I was just asked yesterday to help with screen if at all possible, because nobody had been contacted. Told them which days I was free and they wrote me down.)

And Thursday night is J’s graduation-slash-goodbye party.

And Friday & Saturday I work again.

Pretty full week! And I’m kind of looking forward to it.

How much do you want to bet (not for real) that my helping with screen for two nights has something to do with music, and that I’m going to have cute little kiddy songs stuck in my head for months? 😀

(No, really. I don’t mind. I still remember songs from when I was little!! And I love that fact!)

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