Act of Approach – He Is Working


Sovereign, Infinite Filler of Souls,

Help me now to always be in submission to you God,

to be dependent upon You,

found on the path where You do walk

and where your Holy Spirit moves,

warning me of my wandering ways

and of growing insensitive to your love.

You do not move men like stones are moved,

rather you indwell them with life

not to give us permission to move without You

but in submission to You, the one who moves first.

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference

between what I have received and what I deserve;

between the state I am in now and my past state of despair;

between the heaven that I am bound for, and the hell I merit.

Who could have caused this great difference in me but you O God!

for I was no more willing to receive Christ than any other man.

I could not have taken the first step toward you,

had you not first loved me;

nor would I have even been willing,

had you not first made me able.

O that such a crown would fit the head of such a sinner like me!

such a glorious position for one as unfruitful as myself!

such joys so wondrous for a rebel so wretched!

Infinite wisdom designs the means and ends of salvation,

established and built on divine purchase and spiritual freedom.

Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell.

But the free gift of grace on the gates of heaven.

I know that much of my suffering is the result of my own sinning,

but in heaven both will no longer exist.

Permit me by your grace to set foot on that eternal shore,

and to be done with my sailing in this life;

may the powerful winds of your mercy blow me safely into that glorious harbor.

May your steadfast love draw me ever nearer to you;

purify me from my selfishness,

teach me to die to this world,

and make me ready for my departure for my eternal home.

Secure me, Lord, by your grace as I sail across this stormy sea.


– Translation from The Mover, Valley of Vision, p.12

5 Things Your Preteen Can Understand About the Bible

bible-983104_960_720Last month, the Barna Group reviled the results of their 2016 Teen State of the Bible research. If you have a few extra moments, I’d recommend reading over the full results. There are many positive responses that can encourage us, but here are a few that may renew our resolve to help kids understand the Bible.

  • Half of teens say the Bible contains factual/historical errors.
  • About 1 in 3 teens say the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life.
  • Only 47 percent of teens say the Bible is a source of hope.

That’s a simplified look at the minds of teens when it comes to the Bible. Now, let’s look at what a preteen mind can comprehend about the Bible. (These come from Lifeway’s Levels of Biblical Learning, something that our leaders are being equipped with as they reach our kids.)

  • The truths in the Bible are without error and will last forever.
  • The Bible is God’s message about Himself and God’s plan for salvation.
  • The Bible is the only inspired, written Word of God.
  • The Bible teaches that salvation through Jesus is God’s gift of forgiveness.
  • The Bible teaches how to live a Christian life by following Jesus.

Parents, help your preteens understand these concepts. Make Bible reading a special time in your home!

Quick Thought: Jesus is More Than a Noun

english-english_dictionaries_and_thesaurus_booksWhen looking for inspiration for upcoming blog posts, I came across a blog topic generator. You insert a few nouns you want to write about, and it would give you the titles of potential blog posts. I gave it a shot and typed Jesus as the noun to use. The results were a little humorous.

5 Tools Everyone In The Jesus Industry Should Be Using

10 Signs You Should Invest In Jesus

What Will Jesus Be Like In 100 Years?

10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Jesus

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Jesus

7 Things About Jesus Your Boss Wants To Know

It’s a silly example, but how often do we treat Jesus as just another noun…like a person from the past, a place you occasionally visit, or a thing to be studied and put back down.  Jesus is more than that. In fact, He is the creator of all people, places, and things (Colossians 1:16). Jesus is our peace that reconciles us to God. If you want to know more information about going from Jesus as a noun to Jesus as your savior, click here.


3 Ways to Start Talking With Your Family About Christianity

I read an interesting fact the other day in Children’s Ministry Magazine. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans say they rarely or never talk about religion, even with their own families.

It’s my hope that parents take the spiritual leader role and Proverbs 22:6 to heart.

Talking with your children about God and our faith isn’t hard! Here are some simple tips and tricks to get you started…

1) Be Learner-Based. We love being learner-based around here. Part of that means knowing which ways are kids learn best. Sometimes you can get a deeper discussion time in by using things like music or art. Ask kids to draw you a picture of what they learned in Sunday school instead of just asking. Review the songs we sang at church and see if kids can tell you why Jason felt led to include those in the service. Even a game of basketball can turn into a discussion of how we’re all one body working together.

2) Know What Kids Can Understand. LifeWay has an amazing resource that can help you next time you talk with your kids. It’s called the Levels of Biblical Learning. It puts kids into six different levels based on age, and can help you know what they can comprehend in 10 different faith-based areas. Use this to help guide your conversations to a level your children can really understand.

3) Family Devotionals. Faith conversations can happen anytime and in any place. Always be on the look out for those moments. But, you can also be intentional and plan family devotional times. There are some good ones out there, including Long Story Short and an audio based one that you play in your car that you can find in our library!


Note: This is the fifth in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

STATION 5:  Asking for Peace

Read: Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 6:11, Matthew 21:22; John 16:24; and James 1:6–8

In the midst of your job, your school, your family responsibilities, and even taking care of yourself, you are here with burdens and needs for which only God can provide. More than likely, there is a situation in your life that is preventing you from feeling daily peace. Perhaps it is choosing a major or deciding what you will do after college.  It might be related to your relationships, your family, your job, your finances, or numerous other circumstances. Regardless of the situation, God can provide peace for you.

Have you asked God to calm that storm? Have you boldly asked your Father for wisdom in these situations? As a child of God, you should feel no hesitation or shame in asking your Father for what you need. By asking God to provide for that need, He can also grant boldness for you.

Think of a request for peace that you want to ask of God:

I’m asking God to provide peace for____________________________________________________.

Now, simply pray. Start by expressing to God what is on your heart. Remember these words from Matthew 7:8:

“Everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will opened.” 

Through prayer, you enter into the presence of the One for whom nothing is impossible, and He alone can supply all your needs. Trust in Him right now to provide for every need you may have.


Note: This is the fourth in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.


STATION 4:  Peace Through encountering God’s presence

One of the biggest detractors from peace in our lives is fear. Every one of us has some sort of fear or worry that creeps in our life each day. It might distract us from our work; it might keep us up at night. You may have fear related to your kids. You may have fear related to your health or your well-being. You may have fear that you will never accomplish your dreams. Whatever the cause or whatever the situation, fear has the power to take away our peace, our happiness, and our hope.

Fear might cause us to have a negative and false view of ourselves, especially when we compare ourselves to the “perfect people” around us.  Ultimately, fear causes us to lose sight of the overwhelming, perfect, and constant presence of God at work in our lives.

Read the following passages:

Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 30:18-21, Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10

In Scripture, Jesus directly says 21 times to “not be afraid” or “fear not” or “have courage” or “take heart.” God knows the concerns of your heart and He is battling them on your behalf.

Below is an eye chart. Can you read all of the letters on the chart?




Now, read the list of worries below. Count how many of the following are known to worry you:


  • Safety of Kids
  • Not reaching my goals
  • Being appreciated
  • The future
  • Job security
  • Acceptance
  • Not making a difference
  • Making the right decision
  • Exhaustion
  • Money
  • The future


Try looking at the eye chart again, but this time, take a step back for each worry you had. Did the poster look as clear as it did when you were up close?


Each of these worries represents a fear that we all may have at some point in our lives. This eye exam is a reflection of our lives.

The point in this eye exam is more of a test of faith than a test of our eyes. When we look at life through the lenses of fear, our view becomes distorted and not filled with peace.  You must constantly strive to view life through God’s spiritual, corrective lenses so you can see clearly and realistically.  You have the freedom to choose not to focus on your fears, but to focus on God. The steadfast peace of God’s presence is stronger than any fears or challenges that are holding you back.

Read Psalm 121 this week as you continue to focus on the peace of God’s presence casting out your daily fears.


Note: This is the third in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.


STATION 3: Peace Through Trusting God’s Purpose

Grab a sheet of paper and write out some of the labels of responsibility you have in life. (Ex. kids minister, mom, boss, pastor, brother, child of God, etc.)


Looking at each of the titles that you carry on a daily basis, do you consider yourself to have peace about where you are in life?

Think back to a few years ago. Were any of these titles part of your goals and dreams?

Many books, sermons, and discussions have taken place around “finding the purpose for your life” and finding “God’s calling for your life.” While these are meant to be motivational, we often end up stressed about our current circumstances and our future callings. Our God promises us that He will never leave or forsake us. He can provide peace about the purpose for your life.

Read the following passages:

Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 26:3, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 85:8

Some of you are here right now questioning about whether or not you are where you are supposed to be. It is not a bad thing to question where God has you right now, but you must ultimately trust His plan above all else. If you want to have absolutely peace about your life’s calling, you must first have absolutely trust in God’s purpose.

Take some time to pray about where God is leading you in your current situation in life, both personally and professionally or maybe even at school. He may be calling you to make a change, or He could be calling you to stay right where you are. He alone can reveal His purpose and provide the peace to make a decision.

After you pray, write down a few thoughts or phrases related to your goals and where you feel that God is leading you right now on the sheet of paper you used earlier. Now the challenge is to cut a hole big enough in the paper to fit yourself through.

Is there any way? This is like our life when we try to force things or plans that are not aligned with God’s purpose. They just don’t fit!

Now, try cutting the paper like this. We must trust God to mold us and change us so that our thoughts and goals match with His. When we are trusting God’s purpose, we can have the peace that we will always be right where God wants us to be.


Note: This is the second in a five part series on devotionals for adults from CentriKid camps. See part one for more information.

STATION 2:  Peace Through God’s Word

Where do you find “the truth?” Do you find truth in what your peers say about you, with what you read on social media, or possibly even your own thoughts? Each day, we are faced with hundreds of statements and beliefs all claiming to be the truth.

With so many different distractors clawing for your attention, the truth could be difficult to discern. As a follower of Christ and child of God, you must always seek to find peace in the unchanging Word of God.  It is vital that we set apart time to read, meditate on, and internalize God’s Word to learn more about what He wants to teach us in order to find the truth each day.

Read the following passages:

Psalm 119:105, Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, Hebrews 4:12, Psalm 119:162

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Let us imagine that the pictures of soil above are symbols of a life full of the Word of God, and a life absent of the truth of God’s Word.  Some pictures show us what it is like our lives when we set our focus in finding truth in infallible Word of God. The pictures with dry sand is like our lives when we allow the things of this world to fill our lives with stress, filth, and lies.

James 1:21 says, “Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.”

Imagine a seed. Ask yourself in which soil you desire to have your life rooted. Do you want your life to be planted in the enriching life-giving soil of being rooted in God’s Word, or in dry, barren soil absent of the ultimate truth of God?  Which picture represents where you’re at and where you want to be?

Pray and ask God to give you the desire and opportunity to daily read His Word, meditate on His Word, and internalize His Word.

Summer Camp 2016 Recap for Adults (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, our kids attended CentriKid summer camp, and it was a blast! You can see pictures and a recap of what we did in my previous blog post. Each day, we discovered more about the unseen power of the armor of God and learned how we can be bold with our visible faith.

Like last year, I wanted to share with you some of what we covered in our adult gatherings. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting parts of devotionals from those adult gatherings we had at camp. This way, you can experience just a taste of the great Bible content CentriKid has to offer for adult believers. (Note: If you want to experience the craziness of camp, including OMC, let me know and we’ll sign you up as a chaperone for next year!)


STATION 1:  Peace Through Jesus

Begin by reading Romans 5:8-11.

In this passage, we see that by nature, we have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our sin has separated us from having a relationship with God, but because of His great love for us, he proved that he loved us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross while we were still sinners. A relationship with Jesus Christ brings ultimate spiritual peace between our sinful nature and the perfect Heavenly Father. All other peace is secondary to the ultimate peace through Jesus.

Grab a sheet of paper, or open up a blank word document on your computer. Spend some time in reflection of your life by writing down as much as you can about the topics in each section.

1) What was your life like before Jesus? Where was your focus?

2) What do you remember about becoming a Christian? Do you remember how you felt?

Go ahead and answer those questions before continuing.



Ephesians 2:14a says, “For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.”

More than likely, you have experienced tension and hostility related to your spiritual life.  Despite our shortcomings and sin, God never stopped loving us. In fact, He desires to be with us and provided peace through His son Jesus. We must continually focus on the peace that Jesus Christ has brought between our sin and the love of God.

In the story of the woman and the well, Jesus tells the woman that he is the living water.

John 4: 25-26 says, “The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will explain everything to us. “ I am He,” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”

Like the woman at the well, we often spend our life looking to the future hoping that Jesus will one day fix thing. However, Jesus has already provided ultimate peace for us through his sacrifice, and He is pursuing you right now. You don’t have to be “ready” or “spiritually mature” to experience the peace of Jesus, you just must choose to follow Him freely. Because of the saving grace of Jesus, we are not called to remain stagnant in our faith, but to rest in the peace of having a relationship with Jesus. Because of this peace, we should intentionally set our sights on a life glorifying Him each day.

With the peace of your relationship with Jesus in mind, spend some time in prayer asking God where He is directing your future. Is He leading you to step up in your faith? Is He simply asking you to focus more of your time and energy on Him?

Go ahead and spend time in prayer now.


After you pray, add one more question to answer to your paper or word document:

3) How would you describe your life today? Is it calm, busy, or some other descriptor? Is that a reflection of the current status of your relationship with God?

Write down your thoughts now.


Finally, we’ll end this part with this…Where do you sense God is leading your relationship with Him? The question is not whether or not God wants to be with you. Instead, the question is, do you want to be in the ultimate peace of Jesus’s love?

CentriKid Camp 2016

We’re back from camp! This summer, we studied the passage of Ephesians 6:10-20 and learned how the armor of God is powerful and real, although it is unseen. Using the idea of airplanes, we learned that God is with us during life’s turbulent times.

The theme of the week was called Unseen. Each day at Timber Creek, we focused on an aspect of the armor of God. The beginning of our week was designed to help campers discover and understand elements of our faith that are unseen. Mid-week we made a shift to discussing how to make our faith visible with boldness as the things of God are not meant to remain unseen.

Here’s a look at what we did:

Day 1: Unseen Strength: Campers learned that we have sinned and it is that sin in our lives that makes us weak. However, we can be made strong through Christ and the power that He gives to each of His followers.

Day 2: Unseen Truth: We know that we are strong in the Lord because of the Truth that he has shown us through His word. By looking at Jesus in the wilderness, we were able to see the power in the Gospel truth.

Day 3: Unseen Peace: As a follower of Christ, we must have Peace to know that God is always in control. Campers learned the story of Paul in jail and how even in that time he was able to share the Gospel with his jailer.

Day 4: Visible Faith: When we trust God, we obey Him with Faith. Faith is the connection between our truth and our actions. When our lives are rooted in Christ, we are able to produce strong faith.

Day 5: Visible Boldness: When the Gospel of Christ is a part of our lives, we are able to carry it with boldness to our family, friends, and anyone who we meet. We looked at how some of the disciples carried the good news of Jesus to people and the power that the message had on those people.

Thank you all who helped us get to camp, both financially and through prayers. We had a great time as you will see here!

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