Fostering Secure Attachments

I often wonder what the world will be like 10-20 years from now. I do know that if major Family Life changes are not addressed the future will be very difficult. Children need strong attachment bonds in order to develop into healthy adults.

This is a message to all the parents on how to develop healthy attachments in your family:
1. Spend “one-on-one time” with each of your children. Enter into their world. Get to know what makes them special.
2. Children react differently to emotional issues. Help your children get in touch with their emotions by putting words to what they are experiencing.
3. Provide your children with an environment that is predictable and consistent.
4. Create a stable family life by balancing work with family time. Establish rituals and traditions.
5. Establish a self-care system for your spouse and you. Parent’s emotional state influences your children’s development.

Looking ahead, Grace Point will resume the weekly marriage and family classes on September 10th at 9 am in rooms A1 -2. In the fall, we will concentrate on the topic “Life Change: addressing all the issues that keep up from having meaningful relationships with God and others.”

Please contact Pastor Chuck for specifics.
215-858-0879
carnold@gracepointpa.org

Starving for Relationships

I grew up in Union City New Jersey in the 40’s and 50’s. My family lived in what was known as a “cold Water Flat.” We walked a half mile to school each day (no school buses). We had lots of friends and knew the parents and siblings of each of our friends. We did not have air conditioning, color TV’s, or any of the fancy gadgets that are part of our culture today. After school, we could be found outside playing a variety of sports and would only come home for supper. What we did have is a loving family and a very stable environment. Words such a divorce, depression, boredom etc. were never part of our vocabulary.

Today our children are struggling with so many issues. 40% of today’s children live in a home without a father present. This effects their relationships with others and God. One in three girls are sexually abused by the time they are 18 by someone they are supposed to be able to love and trust. The divorce rate is over 50%; combined with separations, over 70% of marriages have failed. Families are on the move; so, friendships come and go. 56% of children under the age of 6 have both parents working outside the home (19% in the 50’s). Alcoholic homes affect 26 million children.

All of the above dictates how children (especially teens) will function in today’s world. They learn to escape through the internet, drugs, alcohol, sex, and basically avoiding meaningful relationships.

Every child needs and deserves at least one person in their life who is crazy about them and can confirm their personal value and worth.

Looking ahead, Grace Point will resume the weekly marriage and family classes on September 10th at 0900 in rooms A1 -2.

In the fall, we will concentrate on the topic; “Life Change”: addressing all the issues that keep us from having meaningful relationships with God and others.

Your Husband Needs to be Cherished Too

When I meet with a couple for marriage or pre-marriage counseling I talk about the husband’s role in cherishing their spouse or future spouse. I also share with the wife or future wife the importance of valuing her husband. In today’s society, the issue of a wife cherishing her husband is rarely addressed.

A man is a person with feelings and a heart that can be broken. He is a person who experiences life much deeper than what we can see on the outside. Husbands long for their wives to connect with them at a deep level. Not only do they ask for respect but they want their wives to encourage their spirit. A wife embracing her husband is not just a matter of tolerating his behavior, but truly valuing the makeup of his personality and the positive things he has to offer.

As I talk to men I have learned about a few issues that they want their wives to know.

  1. Stop nagging
    It doesn’t matter what words are coming out of her mouth, most of the time a husband hears, “You are not good enough.” Proverbs 27:15 says, “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike.”
  2. Verbalize your appreciation
    Wise words build up. Learn ways to encourage your husband. James 3:3-5 reminds us of the power of the tongue.
  3. Connect with him emotionally
    Support him with your presence. Make him feel important. It’s not easy for a man to expose who he is underneath his tough exterior. He would be willing to do so if he can trust you to take care of his heart and not take advantage of it.

In September of 2016 Grace Point started a new ministry focusing on Marriage and Family issues. During the summer months, I will be putting together various seminars on the topics of marriage, relationships and family issues. These Sunday sessions will begin on September 10th at 9am.

If you have a specific topic you would like to see addressed, please contact me this summer. My email is: carnold@gracepointpa.org.

Have a wonderful summer with your family and friends!

Marriage Matters: Self-Worth vs. God-Worth

People wrestle with knowing, feeling, and accepting who they are. This goes back to the “fall of man” in Genesis.

The world’s definition of self-worth is based on performance and what you think about it. This basic concept leads to four FALSE BELIEFS:

  1. I must meet certain standards in order to feel OK about myself. (Fear of Failure)
  2. I must have the approval of others in order to feel OK about myself. (Fear of Rejection)
  3. Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve punishment. (Fear of Condemnation)
  4. I am what I am; I cannot change; I am hopeless. (Fear of Hopelessness)

God’s definition of self-worth is based on what God’s truth says, not performance or what others say. It is who we are in the context of our relationship with Christ.

“…the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

God’s solution to the fear of failure is the doctrine of justification. Because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, we are complete in Him and fully pleasing.

God’s solution to the fear of rejection is the doctrine of reconciliation. Because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, He has reconciled us back to the Father. He has bridged the gap and we are, therefore, approved by God.

God’s solution to the fear of condemnation is the doctrine of propitiation. At the cross, Jesus took all Satan’s accusations and decrees against us and nailed them to the cross. Because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, we are deeply loved and completely forgiven.

God’s solution to the fear of hopelessness is the doctrine of regeneration. Because of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, we have been made brand new and complete in Him. With Christ, we are able to make the changes necessary to live a life of faith and joy.

This Easter season ask God to help you write a new life story, while allowing Him to be the Author and Perfecter of your faith.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Marriage Matters: Welcome to Baseball Season

The last few days of 70-degree weather have been a blessing and also a reminder ]that not only is spring on the way but baseball season is upon us.

I have been following the game since 1950 when my Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series. To me baseball is more than a game. It’s a life time of memories; my grandfather introduced me to the game he loved. He was a Brooklyn Dodger fan and taught me all about the game. He died in February 1955 before he saw his Dodgers win the 55-world series. Today, I have the opportunity to build memories with my grandchildren as we attend the Trenton Thunder games. It’s so much more than baseball. It’s about spending time with them and letting them know how special they are.

Too many children today do not have these special moments of building life time memories.

During the month of March Grace Point will be offering three classes on exploring the world of the developing adolescent. These classes will take place on March 12, 19, and 26 at 9AM in Rooms A1-2.

Some of the topics that we will explore are:

  • An Inside Look at the American Teenager
  • Adolescent Developmental Influences
  • The Impact of Trauma on Adolescent Development
  • Factors that Contribute to Good Psychological Health
  • Parenting Adolescents

These classes are recommended for the parents of children aged nine and above, teachers, counselors, and anyone else who lives with or works with the adolescent.

You can contact Chuck Arnold (carnold@gracepointpa.org) for additional information.

Happy Valentine’s Day

I am sitting in my home office and writing up notes for the Marriage, Family and Relationships Classes. I ponder what it would be like if every person had at least one healthy relationship where they felt connected, loved, and supported.

What do you and I need from others to have a healthy and connected relationship?

May I suggest three key essential building blocks:

  1. Trust
  2. Emotional Availability
  3. Sensitive Responsiveness.

We are currently looking at the topic of “Safe Haven Marriages/Relationships.”

Come join us on Sunday mornings at 9am in Room A-1&2 as, together, we explore the foundational concepts of having a safe haven relationship. These classes will take place at 9am in Room A-1&2, February 12th and 26th.

On March 12th, 19th, and 26th we will explore the topic, “Entering the World of Adolescence.” These classes are designed to help parents, teachers, and family members understand the complex and ever-changing world of the adolescent.

In April and May, we will explore the topic of “Personalities and Relationships.”

*The Myers Briggs Personality profile will be available for individuals to complete prior to the first class in April. If you are interested in completing the Myers Briggs profile, contact or see Chuck Arnold (carnold@gracepointpa.org)

Happy New Year

Every year individuals make a list of changes that they want to make in the new year. By February most of the desired changes fade away. Failure to bring about change occurs because there is no significant foundation for the desired changes. Real change comes about when the person has a solid foundation to support the desired changes.

The foundations for change include:

  1. Motivating godly lifestyle changes. A person’s relationship with God gives them a special identity and a particular purpose for living. Ephesians 4:1
  2. Specifying what needs to change from the inside out. Ephesians 4:22-24
  3. Pursuing accountability from supportive relationships. Hebrews 10:24-25

In October of 2016 Grace Point started a Marriage, Family, and Relationships ministry. The purpose of this ministry is to bring about the desired changes that will strengthen marriages, families, and relationships overall, using the foundations listed above.

Starting Sunday, January 15, we will address the topic of “Safe Haven Marriage.” Together we will explore the foundational concepts of having a safe haven marriage. These classes will take place at 9am in room A-1 on January 15, 22, 29, February 12 and 26.

In March, we will explore the topic “Entering the World of Adolescence.”

In April and May, we will explore the topic of Personalities and Relationships. The Myers Briggs Personality profile will be available for individuals to complete prior to the first class in April.

As we enter 2017 may we work together to bring about godly changes in our marriages, families, and relationships.

Marriage Matters – Seven Habits

I love the Christmas season. It gives me a time to slow down and reflect on the many blessings that God has provided for me during the past year. It also gives me a time to take a look forward and see how God will use me in the coming year.

As I reflect on 2016 at Grace Point, we have seen many changes, new staff members, new direction for our programs. In October we began a new ministry entitled Marriage and Family Ministry.

In October we took a look at the topic of relationships and all the variables that come into play. In November we explored the topic “Building a Marriage that Lasts.” In December we will explore the topic; “The Seven Habits of a Healthy Marriage.”

Come join us on December 18th at 9:00am in Room A1 as, together, we explore this important topic.

December’s response question: What is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition?

Marriage Matters – Building Healthy Marriages

As we enter the month of November each year it serves as a time of personal reflection. I look forward to Thanksgiving; spending time with the family and thanking God for the blessings of life. I also use this time of reflection to both look back and look forward. I look at where I have been and what I would like to accomplish in the future.

Reflecting on our Grace Point Care Ministry, we now have a Marriage, Family and Relationships ministry. We had 37 couples attend the Great Date Night. Looking forward we will continue to build the care ministry. Please consider joining us for one of the three dates in November for our next class.

On each of the following dates, November 13, 20, and 27, we will be looking at the subject: Building Healthy Marriages

In considering this topic, I see three foundational principles to explore.

  1. Marriage is not about your happiness or getting your needs met through another person. Practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice, patience, understanding, and forgiveness are the fundamentals of a great marriage.
  2. During courtship, opposites attract. After marriage, opposites can repel each other. Differences are God’s gift to you to create new capacities in your life. Different isn’t wrong. It’s just different.
  3. Love isn’t a feeling. Love is a commitment. You can’t begin a marriage without a commitment. You can’t sustain one without it either. A marriage that goes the distance is hard work. If you want something easy and has immediate gratification, then go shopping or play a video game.

Come join us at 9:00AM on November 13th, 20th, or 27th in rooms A1-2.

Please share your thoughts on the following question: What does Thanksgiving mean to you?

Marriage Matters – New Marriage & Family Ministry

October is here. This means the World Series is coming. As I look back on my childhood I remember the connection with my grandfather and how he brought the game of baseball to life for me. Now I can pass this heritage along to my grandchildren. They love to attend the Trenton Thunder games with me.

October also means the start of a marriage and family Ministry at Grace Point. We want Grace Point’s marriage and family ministry to allow you to grow in your family relationships while allowing you to build life-time memories.

To get us off to a great start, Grace Point will have a fun night on October 22 called the Great Date Night with Mark Cable. Check out the information on our website.

On Sunday October 23 we will begin our Marriage and Family classes at 9:00AM. These classes will be offered on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sundays of each month through May 2017. Each month we’ll present a topic on a marriage or family issue.

Come out on October 23 to learn about the specifics of the Marriage and Family ministry.

Also, each month I will write-up an article that will present thoughts about a Marriage or Family issue. At the end of each article I will ask a question for you to respond to. For example; this month’s question is: What is your favorite family childhood memory?