Theme: Night Light – See through the dark!
John 16:33b: “In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world.”(NIrV)
Hope: believing that something good can come out of something bad.
March Editor’s Notes
By: Dan Scott
Recently, we moved into a new house. We love it, but a new place means a new floor plan, unfamiliar noises, and really just unfamiliar everything. One night after we’d just moved in, the girls were upstairs in their rooms, the boys were in the basement, and my wife and I were in the living room. Outside there was quite a storm brewing. And suddenly the sky lit up followed by loud booming thunder. And that’s when the lights went out.
We heard squeals and screams coming from all over the house. I scrambled through boxes and drawers to find a flashlight, a candle, anything that could help us find each other in this new unfamiliar space we found ourselves. Finally, I found my phone and turned on that tiny LED flashlight on the back. And in a moment, everything was okay. Sure, we still were without power. We still didn’t quite know where everything was. But we had light, and everything seems better when you have a little light.
The kids just needed to know we were still there. That we’d be able to find them. They’d be able to get to us. That small light gave them hope that everything would be okay. That’s hope. The belief that although it was dark and difficult to see, everything is going to be okay. All it took was a small light that pierced through the darkness of that night.
Our life is going to feel like that sometimes, like our life just doesn’t make sense. Our world will be dark and confusing and downright scary. For our kids, this might be difficult to understand.But here’s thing, just like that light pierced through the darkness of my home, we get to speak into the hearts of these kids and remind them that even in the dark, God is still in control. God still loves them. And God will faithfully carry them through the darkness into His marvelous light.
Unfortunately, even for our kids, this happens more than we’d like.
Maybe someone we care about dies.
Or they get bad news from a doctor.
A parent loses a job.
Someone gets divorced.
Kids find themselves trying to make their way through the dark, when all they might need is a little light. That’s why we’re taking the whole month to talk about hope. It’s important to help kids know what to do when life throws them a curveball—when their picture doesn’t pan out the way they think it will—to let them know that life will get messy at some point. But no matter how confusing, God still has a plan. He is powerful enough to make something good come out of something bad.
We start our month on hope in John 11. Here we discover a moment when Jesus brought hope to two sisters who thought all hope was lost. When Lazarus died, his sisters were devastated. But Jesus used the opportunity to point people to God. Jesus was stronger than even death itself and raised Lazarus back to life four days after he was dead. Through this story, we want kids to remember that whatever happens, they can remember how powerful God is.
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember how powerful God is.
Next, we’ll look at several passages throughout John 14-16. We get the chance to eavesdrop on the last conversations Jesus had with His disciples before He was arrested. At the Last Supper, Jesus takes one last chance to encourage His disciples with the promise of heaven, the Holy Spirit, and that He will always be with them. Through this moment in Jesus’ life, we pray kids will realize that whatever happens, they can remember what Jesus promised. It’s such a comfort to know that God is always with us and wants to be with us forever.
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember what Jesus promised
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate how Jesus was worshipped as He rode into Jerusalem. Yet, as we’ll see through passages in John 18-19, less than a week later, Jesus went to the cross for us. It was painful, but He endured all of it for us. We know that now, but when Jesus died, His disciples must have thought it was over—that everything they had hoped for would never come true. But, God wasn’t finished yet. Just like the disciples didn’t yet know the end of the story, sometimes our kids can’t see how there story will turn out. We pray that as they go through those times, they’ll remember God is always at work.
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember God is still at work.
Then, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate that we can have hope because Jesus is alive! In John 20:1-18, we’ll find out that all the promises that Jesus made are true. Everything that Jesus said and did lead to this moment. He paid the price for our sin on the cross and came back to life making it possible for us to be with God forever! This is something to celebrate! We want all the kids to leave believing that whatever happens, they can know that God loves them.
Here’s the reality: No one knows at what point your kids may be going through a dark time that doesn’t make sense. But as a leader or a parent, you have an opportunity to lay a foundation so that whatever happens in their life they can have hope.
Bottom Line: Whatever happens, remember God loves you.
Taken from Orange 252 Basics
From Mrs. Barnes
Jim Fay from Love and Logic writes, sometimes it feels good to have some quick responses for those times when our kids try to take us on bird walks. A bird walk is a way for them to change the subject or control the conversation.
I hope you enjoy these. You might like to listen to the audio version of this tip to capture the tone of voice and/or delivery. It’s also fun to watch your child’s reaction as you sidestep their attempts to win an argument.
Child: “It’s too hard. I can’t do it.”
Answer: “Oh, really. What do you think I think about that?”
Child: “But I don’t need my coat!”
Answer: “Won’t it be fun to find out?”
Child: “You never_________.” Or “You always_________.”
Answer: “I bet it looks that way. Tell me more.”
Child: “You’re clueless!”
Answer: “A clueless parent has got to be such a burden.” Or “Having clueless parents must be such a drag.”
Answer: “Thanks, pal.” (Turn and walk away.)
Child: “You just don’t get it!” (Translation: “I’m so unique and special that rules and limits should not apply to me.” Kids also use this when they don’t want, or are afraid, to tell us what we don’t get.)
Answer: “I guess I can be a little slow at times. Maybe you could explain it in a different way.”
Child: “Those grades are not my fault. The teacher just doesn’t like me.”
Answer: “It must feel awful to get grades like that. Is there any way we can help?”
Child: “I don’t have to put up with this. I’m going to live with Dad!”
Answer: “Not to worry. I’d rather have you here, but I’ll love you wherever you live.”
Reminder: These responses are never intended to be flippant remarks that discount the child’s feelings. They absolutely must be said with compassion and understanding. If an adult uses these responses to try to get the better of a child, the problem will only become worse. The parent’s own attitude at these times is crucial to success.
To learn more about Love and Logic, call, email, or stop by to talk to Stacey Barnes, Counselor
A note from Mrs. Barnes…
Love and Logic says, “When we provide empathy before consequences our kids are forced to think about their poor decisions rather than our anger. That’s what really makes learning happen!” Love and Logic is a “how-to” approach to parenting. The five principles of Love and Logic are:
- Empathy before consequences
- Shared thinking
- Shared control within limits
- Shared dignity
To find out how to give a good dose of empathy before giving consequences to your children, or to learn more about Love and Logic, stop by, e-mail or call Stacey Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-833-1200.