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November 12, 2013, 9:41 AM

Make People Feel Valuable Part II

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be examining how we can champion the people in our lives and pull the best out of them.  Today, we’ll be exploring the most foundational aspect of nurturing potential.

Nugget:  IMAGE IS EVERYTHING (Genesis 1:27, 31)

Pretty shallow, Dr. C.  How do we look, dress?  Isn't that what society tells us to focus on—the externals?  You're valuable if you are good looking, dress well, have the latest technology, etc. And, yet we have eating disorders, people who lack self-confidence, and feel like they never measure up as they compare themselves with others.  We live in a culture that is a mile wide and inch deep and you say, “Image is everything, really?” 

Ok, everybody. Stand down. J

What I like about God is He wastes no time.  He establishes the ground rules right off the bat. Genesis 1 shows us the awesomeness of our Creator God, who made all things seen and unseen.  And God is not sheepish about His abilities--He said His work is good.  In Genesis 2, we see that the cherry on top of the Sundae is you and me--God created us for relationship with Him and with one another, and when He made us, He said it was "very good."  God is proud of His workmanship.  He doesn't make mistakes and he doesn't make trash.

Satan's goal from the beginning has been to cause us to doubt God's goodness & His place in our lives.  He wants us to forget our heritage, to forget who our Daddy is, so that we live life alone without His resources & love. Satan wants to beat us down, to frustrate us, to get us to give up.  BUT God…God wants to build us up, to fulfill us, to grow us up.  God wants us to know…

Our value and dignity comes from being made in His image; our life and fulfillment comes from being rightly-related to Him.

Practically Speaking:

  • Communicate “God’s image is everything” to everyone in your sphere of influence. 
  • Praise and celebrate character traits--the things that you and I can grow and develop. 
  • Praise effort and perseverance--Even with skills, gifts, and talents, I focus more not on the ability, but the development of the ability--i.e. persistence, diligence, and sacrifice.
  • Focus on treating people right and with dignity because we are all made in God's image and called to reflect Him.

 

Shaping hearts and minds,

Dr. Chris Royael

Superintendent

 




November 4, 2013, 1:42 PM

Make People Feel Valuable Part I

Do you remember when you were in elementary school playing ball in the school yard during PE?  That was so much fun. I was the king of kick ball--I could kick the ball a mile. The most dreaded part of PE was when you had to choose teams.  You wanted to go high in the draft, be a first round pick. Nobody wanted to be the last person chosen? That was the person nobody wanted, but somebody had to take.  Ladies, for you it might have been the prom and you're hoping and praying that someone, anyone, ok as long as they have a pulse, asked you to go.

Deep down everyone has an innate desire to be wanted, needed, to feel valued. We want to know that we have something to offer and bring to the table. 

But, when we feel rejected and not valued, it messes with our confidence, our self-worth, and our productivity. We become easy targets for the enemy to wreak havoc in our lives. The minds games begin.  "Nobody wants me.  Nobody cares. Doesn't make a difference if I show up or not--I'm not needed."

  • So we pick up our toys and turn inward--I'm not playing anymore. When people withdraw because of hurt, rejection, or offense we all lose. We miss out on the opportunity to grow together and be enriched by what we have to offer each other.

 

  • Sometimes people go the other extreme ("I'll show them--whose needed, whose important") and they try to find their significance and worth the wrong way--through inappropriate relationships, burying themselves in work, substance abuse.  Either way, we lose when people are not valued.

Without God's love anchoring us, it too easy to live defeated & devalued lives, to feel alone, unlovable, worthless.  Every day we come into contact with people at work, at the store, at school who have no idea of the infinite value they have as children of God, no idea of the purpose and plan God has for them, the gifts He has placed within them, and the important role God has for them.

Jesus wants us to let all people everywhere know that they are valuable and important to God.  At Faith Academy, we've grown as a school family because people know that we strive to Shape Hearts and Minds with the love of God.  We are a place where the broken-hearted are being healed, the hurt are being restored, and God's grace is winning.  They know there is a place on the team for them. My joy is to see students really discover themselves as they discover how awesome their God truly is and how much He loves them.

When we love right & value people we make the Invisible God visible. 

We show by our actions that that God loves all people, is for them, and wants to do great things in them and through them. We all like to be around people who make us feel good about ourselves, fill our lives with hope, and instill confidence within us.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to talk about how we can make our children feel valuable by championing them just like God champions us. 

Shaping hearts and minds,

Dr. Chris

 




October 28, 2013, 11:05 AM

Elevate, not Exasperate Part II

Last week we looked at Ephesians 6:4 and discussed ways in which we may unintentionally exasperate our children.  Frustration sets in when expectations, some realistic and some not so realistic, are unmet.  We all want what is best for our children—a vibrant relationship with the Lord, good health, solid character, and the disciplines that will lead them into God’s best for them.

One of the fastest ways to exasperate a child is to micromanage every move, correct each misstep, and point out all the areas he/she needs to improve. Children who are exasperated disconnect.  Frustration, rebelling, withdrawing, and "losing heart" are the unwanted fruits of exasperation.

But, God has not called us to exasperate, but to elevate, to “bring them up.”

 

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Eph., 6:4, NIV).

God entrusts our children to us so we can nurture them to maturity—intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. Our goal is to help them find and fulfill God's design for their lives and to teach them about the character of Christ. We usually think of training and instruction as words, but words can end up exasperating our kids.

We must model what a fully-devoted life looks like and share this with our kids:

  • Not just the what, but the why
  • Not just the why, but the how of our faith.

Life isn’t always easy.  One of the best lessons we can teach our kids is:

Easy doesn’t necessarily = Good   &    Hard doesn’t necessarily = Bad.

Some of the best things we will ever do in life will be hard.  We should teach our kids that strong character will help them through tough times to stray true to Christ and His plan for their lives. That’s why we need to allow the Holy Spirit to develop godly character in our lives.  Jesus is our standard. The choices our kids make and the consequences they face are opportunities to talk to them about the character of Jesus. We must focus on the internal—what is going on inside the child—rather than external behavior.

When we do this we are teaching our kids "survival skills," as opposed to spending most of our efforts ensuring their survival. Too often, we attempt to ensure survival by rescuing, nagging or micromanaging, and we end up with children unprepared to face the world without us.  The illustration of the caterpillar and the cocoon testifies to this truth.  The caterpillar must work its way out of the cocoon to become the butterfly.

As parents, let’s redefine what it means to train and instruct our kids about the character of Christ.

Shaping hearts and minds,

Dr. Chris




October 21, 2013, 9:36 AM

Elevate, not Exasperate Part I

Sometimes kids say the darndest things.  Sometimes our kids do the darndest things too.  Frustration. Disappointment.  Embarrassment.  Even anger can be a natural response on our part. What were they thinking? Why can’t they get their act together? What’s so hard about _________ (you fill in the blank)?  Your blood pressure can boil especially if your child struggles in area that you never did, i.e., organization, punctuality, etc.

The Bible says in the Message version that “Children are God’s best gift.”  Sometimes it doesn’t always feel that way.  Frustration sets in when expectations, some realistic and some not so realistic, are not met.  We all want what is best for our children—a vibrant relationship with the Lord, good health, solid character, and the disciplines that will lead them into God’s best for them. We know that choices have consequences and decisions lead to destinations.

As we “train them up in the way they should go,” we must be careful to elevate, not exasperate our kids.  The key issue is how do we love our kids and lead them through their choices to a place of maturity?   In other words, how do we nurture their hearts and minds so they can follow Christ, make wise choices, and learn to use hindsight in a foresight position?

In life, it is best to deal with situations as they are not as you would like them to be. Take an honest look at your children and identify what are their strengths and areas they need to grow in.  See these issues as opportunities to grow, not to grumble about. Your child must know that you are for them not against them.  The Bible tells us:

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4, NIV).

This verse immediately follows the passage instructing children to honor and obey their parents (Eph 6:1-2), and it helps us see how to make it easier for our children to obey us and grow in maturity. The key is to avoid exasperating them.

The Greek word translated "exasperate" means to provoke to anger or to enrage. And, the fastest way to exasperate a child is to micromanage every move, correct each misstep, and point out all the areas he needs to improve. Kids who are nagged and lectured soon become frustrated and often respond by rebelling, withdrawing, or "losing heart." We are so inclined to over-correct, we often end up fighting about small things that aren't important. We may win the argument, but lose the war as we find our kids disconnecting from us.

Instead, try walking beside your kids. Show them the benefits that come from living under God’s influence and lovingly allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. This is a far better way to create an environment in which a child can understand and embrace God's design for his/her life.

Pick your battles and avoid exasperating your kids. Next week, we’ll look at the second half of Ephesians 6:4.

 

Shaping hearts and minds,

Dr. Chris

 




October 14, 2013, 8:42 AM

Growing Champions Part V

Nugget:  Work your spiritual core.    

This will be our final installment on Growing Champions: Parenting on Purpose.  Over the last several weeks, we’ve seen the importance of intentionally leaning into our children to teach and train them in the “what,” the “why” and the “how” of the faith so that God can bring to fruition the great plans He has for their lives. We’ve also learned that effective discipleship is life-oriented. Therefore, if we want our children to follow God, we must make God a part of our everyday experiences. Our goal should be to prepare our children to think and act Christianly so they will be equipped to engage with culture and society. Throughout this process of preparation, we must leave a “faith trail” for our kids to walk in as we model what a fully-devoted life looks like in action.  Today we will focus on us, the parents.  Jesus said it best:

 “Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”   Luke 6:40

 Every athlete knows the importance of having a strong core.  It's where you get your power and strength from. Your core is the central & foundational part; the non-negotiables of who you are.  In essence, it is the “real” you.  Everything we do flows out of who we are.

 Without a solid core there is no compass, no consistency, & no credibility. Like a car with no tread, you spiritual life will be all over the road.  The “faith trail” you are leaving will be fuzzy, lack clarity and coherence.  Confusion will be the end result.

 So how can we strengthen our core?  We strengthen our core by doing core exercises.

 Core Exercises—Bible reading, prayer, connecting, serving, giving, sharing

 Think of it this way.Exercising your spiritual core with the exercises above will place you in God’s greenhouse. In the greenhouse, everything thrives and grows regardless of the climate outside.It can be freezing cold or scorching hot, but in God’s greenhouse the environment is “just right” for spiritual growth and maturation.

One of the great life lessons is when we come to terms with the truth that What we live by we impart.  What We permit we promote.  That's why we need to develop our core so we can shape the hearts and minds of the next generation.

Shaping hearts and minds,

Dr. Chris


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