Watch This Video!

This video is from WestJet Airlines a regional airline serving North America.  I promise you’ll love it! It’s a great story of how they decided to be Santa to a whole bunch of customers who were flying from one part of Canada to another.  As soon as I watched this, after I stopped crying Christmas joy tears that is, was to realize how this video could be a great tool for parents to use with the their kids to have a conversation about God!

I urge you to watch it with your kids, and talk about the coming Christmas holiday.  This could give you another sly chance to hear about what your kids want for Christmas, but the real beauty can happen when you intentionally turn the conversation to the amazing gift God has given to us in Christ Jesus.  Ask them: Did those people do anything to make them deserve those gifts? They may answer yes, they bought a ticket, or they may answer no, they just walked up to the box.  Teach them that there was nothing we did to deserve our gift either.  Romans 5:8 is a great verse to use here: For God demonstrates His love for us, in while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Help your kids believe in the power of the gift of God for their life.  Use this as an intentional way to teach the true meaning of Christmas.  God bless you all!  Merry Christmas!

Advertisements

Winning Isn’t Everything

Urban Basketball Action Photographic Print by Kevin RadfordThe way we raise our kids to handle competition often doesn’t get enough play in our homes.  Competition is an aspect of development that we need to help our kids have a healthy approach to because sooner or later they will be placed in a situation in which they will be forced to compete.  Athletic pursuits can be really helpful for this.

Sports and competition is fun and valuable for teaching kids about life in the real world.  There’s something that comes from being a part of a team effort in some sport that can have a huge influence on the way our kids develop.  Being a part of football and baseball teams have benefitted me, encouraging me to remember the team dynamic.   

But sports and competition can often be a toxic presence in your household.  Too often, we’ve heard of parents going toe to toe with another parent over something that happened in a junior hockey game, or seen that parent who has “encouraged” their son or daughter during the game to the point that they were unable to perform at all.  Unfortunately, I’ve come to close to that in the times that I’ve coached my own kids.  

Parents, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into the emotional feeling that our kids must succeed and that their team must win.  The fact is, losing helps teach too.  We can’t relive our childhood playing whatever sport that they’re now involved in.  We had our shot, and now we need to let our kids have theirs without riding them too hard to succeed on the field of play.  This mentality isn’t just reserved for sports though.  Music lessons, dance and even scouting can lead us to this negative influence.  

It’s fine to hope our kids score a goal, hit a home run, or make a basket.  It’s great to require them to practice their scales, exercise and keep going when they want to quit.  But it’s not okay to yell, ride or otherwise place uncomfortable pressure on them to succeed in the way you define success.  

Winning isn’t everything, and the harder you push your kids in an inappropriate way, the less likely they are to even want to participate in the first place.  

Instead of focusing on every missed shot, or achievement, stress fundamental principles of the activity they’re in and stress effort and persistence.  Lovingly encourage them to go for it, and demonstrate your love and pride whether they go 4-4 with a homerun, or 0-4 with four strikeouts.

What Happens In Vegas, Stays in Vegas?

 

I think that the marketing team for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor’s Bureau have done an amazing job of creating a mindset in many of the people who visit their city that is summed up by the slogan, “What Happens In Vegas, Stays in Vegas”.  Even though, we certainly know that our bad choices do tend to follow us, many people are depicted in their commercials embracing this slogan, which I think only encourages visitors to go ahead and engage in activities they normally would not otherwise engage.

I think this mindset of compartmentalizing our lives is very dangerous, especially for parents and their kids.   Sometimes we tend to separate school from home, home from church, work from home as if they’re totally disconnected from one another.  Too often, I think we see the effects of this thinking by how parents and their kids act differently at church than we do at school, home or work.  We kind of allow ourselves to “play church”.   I did this as a child and teen, and have to work constantly today to maintain a growing relationship with God.  I know some of you can relate to my experience, right?  We know all the answers to questions about the Bible, and we are assured of our relationship with Jesus, but too often, we take a Vegas-like attitude that comes out like, “what happens at church, stays at church”.   This leads to taking the things we’ve learned or been challenged with at church and put them in the closet of our mind, where it never impacts our actions and decision making.

How do we fix this?  Really, just making a mental decision to keeping your spiritual senses turned on is the first and best step.   Learning to do this may take some time, but it can be accomplished by doing more personal Bible reading and prayer time.  Consistency in our devotional lives will keep God and His plans for us in the forefront of our minds, helping us to remember the things we learn at church.  This same approach will work with your kids as well, and you may recall that God places the responsibility for helping kids grow in their faith on Godly moms and dads.

As parents, we must realize that to help our kids become spiritual champions, we must take that same journey toward becoming a spiritual champion in our own right, otherwise, we’ll never be able to lead our children to become what God intended.