BY LAURA CHRISTIE
The view of the world will quickly throw you into the shadows, looking at yourself as not measuring up. You gasp at the labels your work performance review can place on you. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, if you fail or appear to miss the mark you instantly feel like you are on the edge. The truth is that you could be. The world will remove us from our roles or pull us away from our jobs at times. The assessment of the world will have you believing that your value only comes from these evaluations.
BY CARA MILLER
Most of us wish we had more money—to spend, to save or to invest. Being intentional with our money isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, as Christians, we are called to be good stewards of the resources God has provided. This means giving back a portion of our income to His ministry, but it also means that we should honor God in all other financial decisions as well. In turn, we will become more financially secure.
The process of budgeting and figuring out places to reduce spending varies from one family to the next. However, there are some broad principles that might help you be more effective in your financial decision-making.
BY JOSH QUINN
Northview Church is on a spiritual journey called Kingdom Come. It’ll focus the entire church on one topic for six weeks. Everyone—from kids to adults—is on the same page, learning about the same topics and growing in similar ways.
To take the message one step further, we encourage families to engage in family table talks during the spiritual growth campaign. Follow this six-week Northview Blog series to guide you in your dinner conversation. It’ll make a long-lasting difference in your family’s spiritual relationship!
This week’s Kingdom Come message was about receiving blessings from God. Young children don’t have trouble receiving such blessings. My daughter soaks up praise like a sponge. Sadly, a beautiful thing is lost along life’s road. It’s difficult to pinpoint just exactly when you lost the gift of receiving. I imagine it is slow erosion. If you have young children, encourage them to turn this trend around, stay ahead of the curve, and welcome God’s best for them. This week, take time to learn about what makes your child tick. What do your children have a hard time believing? If you have teenagers, chances are they already struggle with this question. So work with them and help them learn the truth God has for them. Now, just as we did last week, set aside three times for family meals and have these conversations with your family. Dinner Conversation – Night 1
- Ask your children, “What makes you feel better when you are angry, sad or grumpy?”
- Don’t let them use video games or TV as an answer. If your children are struggling with how to answer, give them some of the following options:
i. Being by yourself? ii. Hanging out with friends? iii. Being held by mommy and daddy or someone who loves you? iv. Drawing? v. Hugs? vi. Going outside? vii. Looking at animals? viii. Talking about your feelings? ix. Writing?
- As your children answer, listen to what they say and why. Next time your child has had a rough day, remember how they answered. Suggest they go do that activity to refresh.
- If you have teenagers, it may require a little extra effort to receive their answer. It is important they start to understand who they are and how to handle conflicting emotions and deal with them properly. Don’t let them sleep. Teenagers always choose sleep.
- Next, ask: “What would you do if we could do anything for a whole weekend?”
- Listen to their answers. Start to consider possible vacations and activities your kids will love. Later, it will encourage them to know you remembered.
Dinner Conversation – Night 2
- Sit down for good meal and ready yourself for meaningful conversation.
- Tonight we will go through a conversation on fear, inadequacy and rejection.
- Ask your children to think about the following things. Then ask, “Which one do you think of the most?”
i. Not having enough (Fear) ii. Messing up stuff (Inadequacy) iii. People not liking them (Rejection) NOTE: Some very young kids may not have these issues. That is okay.
- If your child worries about not having enough, take a look at these Scriptures:
i. Matthew 6:25-34. God tells how He cares for the flowers of the field and birds of the air and how much He loves you. Remind your children of this. ii. This is a great time to talk about needs and wants. Remind them that God gives them everything they need and He does it for his glory. He doesn’t grant wishes, He brings glory to Earth. Sorry, unicorn pony… you will have to wait.
- If your child fears messing up stuff, take a look at these Scriptures:
i. My personal favorite thought about messing up comes from Isaiah 64:6, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags;” The moral of the story is they will mess up. That is okay. God still loves them. He extends grace for mistakes. He can turn mistakes into something that glorifies Him. Did that sound like something from Scripture? It was: Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ii. Remind them God loves us, not because we deserve it, but because of who He is and what He sent Jesus to do for us. We are loved because of who God is, not what we have done. (Remind them of unconditional love from Week 1.)
- Your overachiever will struggle with this. Remind them that while doing their best is important to God, His love does not hinge on their achievements.
- If your child is concerned about people not liking them, read these Scriptures together:
i. Jeremiah 1:4-5 reminds us that God made us in our mother’s womb. Simply paraphrase that God made us at birth and knows us. God makes everything glorious.
- As they get older they will forget this. Everything in our world reminds them that they are not perfect and they need fixed.
- For teenagers, remind them that “glorious” is not on the outside; it is on the inside. Samuel 16:7b
- Remind them that God loves them, and that He made them the way He needed them to be.
Dinner Conversation – Night 3 You are basically doing the family challenge, but here is a little more help. Make tonight an event. Plan on making more than a meal. Warning to fathers: Mentally prepare, as crafting may take place. Pick a family favorite that is easy. Pizza night, taco night, McDonald’s carry out, whatever you guys love. Before dinner, watch the really short three-minute video talked about in the Kingdom Come personal guide. Eat dinner and talk about what amazing things God has done for His people. Create the artistic collage after dinner. When you are done, hang it somewhere to remind your family of the ways God delivers for you and His people. Families with Teenagers
- Yes, the video is lame for anyone over 11 years old.
- If your family knows the Bible, talk about all the miracles God performed for the people over the years.
- Talk about ways God has come through in your family.
- Parents, do some research. Find really cool stuff God is doing now.
- A few years ago, God split a storm around a Christian concert.
- Voice of the Martyrs is a great publication that talks about the struggles of Christians around the world, and has some amazing miracle stories as well. Need a website? Go here: http://www.persecution.com/
- After you are fueled with some good God stuff, eat dinner and discuss.
- If the conversation goes somewhere that leaves you without an answer, do research as a family. Why it is that way?
- Next step? Create the collage. Encourage everyone to contribute a certain amount. Yes, they might gripe, but in 10 years they will remember it and they will thank you for reminding them of God’s provision.