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Resting at the Summit

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I had a tradition when attending Liberty University to take one weekend each semester to climb up to the “Bald Spot” - a cleared overlook on the backside of campus which allowed you to see the entire city of Lynchburg. It was breathtaking to see the rolling hills in the background which overtook the noise of the cars going in and out of the shops below.

        I needed this time to get alone. Not just to take in the beautiful landscape or to avoid studying for an exam. It was important to refocus on the right priorities. Did I place people, things, or even goals that were competing with the space that Christ deserved within my life? Was I giving Him my praise and lifting up His name? I needed this time of regular refreshing in my life as I proclaimed, like the Psalmist, “You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.” (Psalm 128: 28).

I would invite you to take some time within the next month to get alone with God. Open up His Word and ask Him to simply allow you to see Him more clearly. As well, I want you to go ahead and mark Sunday, September 8th in your calendar for Refresh Sunday. This will be a time when we as a Church will come together and focus on how we may Worship Him in Spirit and Truth, be committed to Small Group Ministry, and invested in the various ministries here at New Covenant.

Posted by Joe Butler with

"20" Days of Summer

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School is out, the lakefront is busy, and streets are full. Summer has officially begun! This is the time when we start to make plans, pull out our hiking shoes, and grab the beach towel. We have to make every moment count as we know that we have a short window to get all of our summer plans in!

         As I was reflecting on the “20 weekend days” I would have this summer with my kids, I stopped to consider what memories we would create, what new skills I would want to teach them, and what adventures lie ahead. I know growing up that these summer days were the ones that seemed to stand out the most. Then I began to wonder, how can I use the same time, these 20 days, to point them to Christ in a way that I have never had before. To take time to enjoy God’s Creation and talk about his magnificent handiwork. To grab a chair around the campfire and sing praises to our Lord. To call up a fellow Christian brother and sister and have an impromptu party in the backyard. 

We have 20 wonderful, God-given weekend days this summer. Let’s use them!

 “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

 Extra Extra!  Excerpt from Kids Ministry 101 (Summer 2019)

10 Ideas for Fun Family Devotions

1. Load up a kiddie pool with pillows and blankets. Then instruct the whole family to pile in for the day's Bible story.

2. Write a memory verse on paper and cut it into parts. Place each part in a different balloon.  Take turns popping balloons and put the pieces of paper int he right order as you work on memorizing the verse. 

3. Read a Bible story.  Then soak a large sponge in water.  Stand in a circle outside and take turns tossing the sponge to one another.  Whoever catches the sponge must tell a part of the Bible story before passing to the next person. 

4. Pretend you're camping.  Build a real or fake campfire and take turns reading or telling favorite Bible stories. 

5.  Download an audiobook or podcast that tells a Bible story.  Before pressing play assign each family member a Bible character. As you listen to the story, each character should act out their part. 

6.  Go to your local library or bookstore and let your kids select their own books about faith. 

7. After reading Scripture, assign each person a scene to paint or color.  When you put your scenes together, you'll have a full comic strip. 

8.  Sing worship music as a family.  Stream a popular Christian song or make up your own tune based on a verse you're memorizing together.  No musical ability necessary. 

9.  Find a LifeWay Kids Bible Story video on YouTube or Vimeo and watch the video together.  Then talk about the impact it has on your daily lives. 

10.  Let your kids plan the family devotion time.  Give them time to prepare and provide any supplies they need, but make sure you let them lead the whole time together. 

Posted by Joe Butler with

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