VBS: How To Pray In the Days That Follow

When we speak truth to kids, we can rest assured that His Word will not return void. He will accomplish the work that He has set out to do in His time (Isaiah 55:11 paraphrased).  This reminder should be our prayer going forward.

  • That God will accomplish His work in the lives of all who were touched because of  His work at Vacation Bible School this year.

The way a kid sees God now is foundational and shapes their understanding of who God is for a lifetime. They need to see God in all his amazing power, holiness, grace, and never failing love.  We strived to do just that during our week together at VBS.  His light shone bright through all of those dedicated to the ministry.  God’s truth, power and love was poured out to the families who attended.

  • Pray they will know Him and seek community with those who know Him.

Here are a few snapshots of our week together.  We hope you will pray over these children and their families with us!

GP Kids Parenting – Importance of Play

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw

Most of us have probably heard that quote before. As adults, we can forget how important playtime is to kids. We live in a time of rushing and busyness: rushing to get from place to place and rushing our kids to grow up. Sometimes we forget to let our child just be a kid.

Take a few minutes and check out this month’s parenting class on playtime. We explore why play is so important for our kids. Later this month, we will dig deeper and explore creative ideas for kids and suggestions for parents.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/107774699/a835499b54

Conversations Through TV Shows and Movies

This month’s video is on prompting conversations through TV shows and movies!

Television shows and movies are just two media forms that kids watch. Beyond that, network and cable television, DVDs, and online streaming providers increase access to media for our kids. This is the world they live in, and it’s likely not going to magically disappear. Rather than fearing what they could be exposed to, commit to teaching and training your child in the why—why it’s important to learn what is okay to watch and what isn’t.

Bob Waliszewski, the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting, offers a few ideas for parents who wish to take a proactive approach to the media. Waliszewski suggests having an honest and ongoing discussion with your child about the importance of protecting their minds.

In that conversation, you can talk about how the Bible encourages people who follow Jesus to guard their minds and hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it” and Jesus taught in Matthew 15:19 that “out of the heart come evil thoughts . . .”

The goal is to raise children that will begin to sense that conviction in their souls when they aren’t with you—and make good and wise decisions on their own that carry into their teenage years and adulthood.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/206402355/002158ccb9

I’m praying for you and your family. We are in this together!

Cassandra DeWitt

Fun Ways To Study Scripture With Your Child

Raising our children to pursue a personal relationship with God is something every Christian parent wants, but statistics show that only five percent of teens study the Bible on their own on a daily basis. And, just over half of teens say they read or study their Bible away from church.

That said, I’m happy to tell you that YOU can influence your children to be one of the five percent who study their Bible every day. How? By getting creative, that’s how!

For ways to make studying scripture with your kids more fun, check out this months online parenting class. It will give you a good start towards making positive changes in your home in this area.

I hope you find this lesson helpful. You are always welcome to email me with any prayer requests your family may have. I truly enjoy serving your family.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/141593132/13f9137123

Sincerely,  Cassandra

Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety

Parents, either you’ve already experienced separation anxiety, you’re in the middle of it, or it’s on the horizon. To be honest, I’m in the middle of it with our two-year old. Can I hear an amen, Lord help us?!

What is Separation Anxiety? Pediatricians help us understand that separation anxiety is so tough on kids because they don’t understand object permanence. A child realizes Mom is gone, and what they think is, “Oh my gosh, MY MOM IS GONE,” like…forever gone.

https://contentpathway.s3.amazonaws.com/separation-anxiety-full.jpg

It’s why we play hide and seek or peekaboo with little ones. We want to reinforce the idea that even though you can’t see an object, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. The fear produced over this misunderstanding is what we call separation anxiety. It creates anxiety in our children, and much of the time, an anxiety in us as parents.

Take some time to check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with anxiety. Later in the month we’ll look at some practical tools for how to help your child conquer separation anxiety.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/95865874/650be0e74c

GP Kids Parenting: The Comparison Game

Being a parent is hard work and sometimes we wonder if we are doing a good job?  We hear about other families, other people’s kids and it can be easy for doubt to creep in.  Comparing ourselves to others is natural and depending on the situation can either make you feel like parent of the year or a total failure.

The last thing you want to hear about when you were up all night with your ten month old is how someone else’s two month old is sleeping through the night! Or how about running into that mom who is always perfectly put together when you can’t remember the last time you got a shower?

Comparisons can be harmful to our self esteem and our outlook on how we are managing.  It’s easy to fall into this trap. We have to realize that we all have good and bad days.  No one has completely mastered being a parent!

Take some time and check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with those moments we feel like we don’t measure up.  Later this month, you will receive some tools to help you when you are playing the comparison game through our email list here.

Here is the link to the video: https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/90162336/2b9dba9f43

Thanks,

Cassandra DeWitt

 

GP Kids Parenting: Technology

Maybe it was a Super Nintendo, Oregon Trail on the school computer, or immersing yourself in episodes of Full House, but our exposure to technology was vastly different from what our children experience today. They’re inundated with technology EVERYWHERE they turn.

Does that mean we just hand them an iPod, unlimited Netflix and YouTube access, and an unmonitored TV and allow them to handle technology however they deem fit? This month, in our video below, we want to help you as a parent understand the pros and cons of technology and how to manage it in a way that sets your child up for success through a Biblical worldview.

The follow-up to this blog will be an email through our GP Kids list titled “GP Kids Parenting – My Child’s Mobile Device.” Sign up for those emails here.

Check out this 5 minute video!

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/86560654/63bc8c27e1

GP Kids Parenting: Bullying

This is a big day as we start our online parenting class. At least once a month, we will be offering a Christ-centered, online parenting class/resource.  We want to partner with you and support you in your efforts to raise fully committed followers of Jesus Christ!  These “classes” will be usually five minutes or less, and we hope they will encourage you as parents and families!

We’re jumping right into a topic that you’ve probably already experienced with your child or know is on the horizon-bullying.

If you stop long enough to think about bullying you might have flashbacks to something you’ve experienced. It’s one thing for us as adults to remember those difficult encounters, but another one entirely to think about someone picking on our own kid.

When our child experiences bullying, we’re ready for the gloves to come off because, let’s face it, nobody messes with MY child! We also know fighting our children’s battles doesn’t help them in the long run. They need to experience difficulty, so how do we figure out when to step in and when to let them handle it?

Check out this incredible video that will help equip you to begin the dialogue with your child about bullying.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/73132864

GP Kids – Important Tel Hai Camp Info

Dear Families and Friends of Grace Point,i-bdvmq8z-l

I am writing today to share with you about Tel Hai Adventure Camp week.  Over the past 11+ years that I have been at Grace Point, Tel Hai has been a highlight of ministry for GP Kids.  This away-camp week for students 8-11 years old began as a thriving opportunity for our families to send their children to a Christian camp.

Similar to many ministry endeavors, the week has had high points and low points throughout the time Grace Point has led it.  At its start, about 14 years ago, we had nearly 50 kids from Grace Point and our local area that would attend.  The week served not only our students, but local children from Honey Brooke who wished to attend, so it became an outreach opportunity as well.  Over the years, while I have led the camp, I have taken time each year to pray over and evaluate the program.  This year, when our Tel Hai leadership team (comprised of both Grace Point and Crossing Community Church leaders) evaluated the program, it became clear that God was indeed directing us to reconsider leading this program.  After much prayer, I brought these considerations to both the staff and elders and decided, with their feedback, that we would not move forward with offering and leading Tel Hai Adventure Camp as a Grace Point sponsored ministry.

i-cgp8m3b-lHere are some factors that brought us to this decision. Of the 130 kids who attended Tel Hai Adventure Camp week this year, only 8 of them were from Grace Point.  Another few students were from Crossing Community Church, but the majority of the children were from the local area of Honey Brooke, PA.  While I loved the opportunity to outreach to the Honey Brooke area, it became clear to me that continuing relationships with those students we did reach was difficult due to our removed location in Newtown, PA.  And despite our efforts over a number of years, we have not seen the number of GP children increase. In a nutshell,  the amount of time, energy, effort and finances it takes to make this one week happen were a cost outweighing the gain.

I realize this ministry has become very dear to the heart of the many leaders and students who have been a part of it, and I assure you much prayer and deliberation has gone into this decision.  I, myself, am sad to close this door.  However, I am, at the same time, excited at what we will see God do in children’s ministry at Grace Point with more time and energy to invest here.

You may be asking yourself, what’s next then?  What could we offer by way of the camp experience some students will miss?  These are important questions I want to answer for you.  Our efforts will be poured back into the overall ministry of GP Kids at Grace Point.  It is my prayer to see the freed up time, leadership and finances used to further the ministry within our program here where the impact can be greater and lasting. Beyond that, I have begun researching other camp experiences that Grace Point would recommend for families.  We will not look to lead a week of camp as we did with Tel Hai, but we do want to offer options and opportunities that may serve you well.  To check out some camp opportunities and further updates, please use this link: https://gracepointonline.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/elementary-and-family-camp-ideas.pdf.

I care deeply about your family and any questions you might have.  Please email me questions at cdewitt@gracepointpa.org.

In love and prayer, Cassandra DeWitt

Family Advent Opportunity

2016-advent-guide_from_village-church-1What is advent? Google search says, “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.

For us as believers, it is even more significant. It is the celebration of the arrival of God’s Son, Jesus, the most notable person there is and has ever been.

In the weeks and days that precede Christmas, Advent, we can set aside time to pause and reflect on the birth of Jesus. As families, we want to encourage you to take a little time to consider what you want this season to be for your family. Making a plan for the time you want to set aside is key to sticking to the plan. So, go ahead, pick a time. Great. (thumbs up!)

Now that that’s done, we have something that could be a help as materials for that special family time. Click here. This link will take you to a five-week Advent Devotional Guide. You can print it out, or use it online. The materials give you a way to prepare for your devotion time, a family portion to help you facilitate your time with questions and ideas, as well as, songs to go along with the Advent celebration. While the family portion is geared more towards preschool and elementary aged children, consider having older children use the “Personal-Study” to work through in place of reading the family commentary and then talk about what you have learned together after you have finished.

We hope you and your family will join us as we focus on Jesus’ birth over the coming weeks.