Before leaving for Pittsburgh on Monday night, one of Brooke’s elementary school friends stopped by to see her off. She brought some copies of photos she collected over the years. I had the chance to look at them at lunch time today. Pictures of her and her friends in school and on field trips. Some photos showed parties and adventures. All of them displayed smiles. Cheryl and I watched all three of our children grow up, and we are so proud of them.
We were privileged to raise such terrific children. It is something that we cannot redo, and it is something we cannot undo. The impact we made on our children lasts a lifetime. I think of all the parents of young children that attend Blainsport. If I can say anything of importance to you, it is, “Make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
What are the values that you want to pass along to your kids? Is your faith important? If so, how will you intentionally pass that faith onto them? Do you model a stable, growing walk with Jesus? Are you emphasizing the importance of unwavering faith, unselfish service, and standing for the truth?
Today, I read in Luke 9:46–48 that children are important to the Lord. They are impressionable; they are teachable. Children must have a prominent place in the ministry of the church. Jesus said, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48, ESV).
As a church, we want to make the most of the opportunity we have to “receive” children. It is our desire to partner with parents in teaching the truths of Scripture to every child that enters our fellowship. It is not a necessary duty; it is an awesome privilege we have to serve God.
As summer comes to an end, we will restart a bunch of children’s activities. Reign Forest launches “Lunch Room,” a study about friendship. I know for Cheryl and me, we wanted our kids to develop healthy, lifelong friendships. I’m sure you want the same for your children. J4C, a program for middle schoolers will begin a new study with a huge group. J4C has been a huge success, helping kids stay connected after graduating from children’s ministries and before youth group. If your children are at that stage, be sure to connect with Sheldon and Lisa. Wednesday nights will have KFC for elementary school-aged kids. And of course on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM we have Sunday School classes for all ages.
I’m excited about this new season at Blainsport! I hope you will plug in!
At this moment, I’m sitting at my desk, awaiting the solar eclipse and thinking about the change in seasons. Autumn does not officially start until September 22; still, it feels like fall. Later today, Cheryl and I will travel with our youngest to Pittsburgh, where she will begin her studies in biology at Pitt. Yesterday, we celebrated our son’s twenty-first birthday, and in November, our eldest son gets married. For Cheryl and me, it feels like the season is changing now.
Today, in my daily reading from the Bible, I found myself in Luke 3. In this passage, we see the changing of a season. During the intertestamental period (between the Old and New Testaments), the Jews believed that God no longer spoke directly to them, there are no prophets after Malachi. In other words, there was a season of silence on God’s behalf. Now, in the New Testament, John the Baptist delivers a powerful message from God to the people. We read in Luke 3:3, “Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.” The seasons were changing. God was going to show humankind His great mercy and grace. Amazingly, God still speaks that message today!
John makes this appeal to the crowd of people, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8). In other versions, the same passage is translated, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” Is there a better indicator than fruit to demonstrate the changing season?
What sort of fruit is evident in your life? No matter what season of life we find ourselves, I think we ought to be continually asking that question. What is the tangible result of following Jesus in your life? Through this passage, I hear God whispering to me, “Don’t waste this season.” How can I produce results in my life that reflect God working on me? Those present in the crowd to whom John the Baptist spoke asked Him “what shall we do?” (see Luke 3:10, 12, 14). Can we ask God along with the crowd “what shall we do?” For me, I want to embrace this season of change. I’m going to ride it for all its worth so that I can arrive exactly where God wants me.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.