Where the team goes, the Church is.
When the world moves so quickly around you, it can be easy to feel lost, overwhelmed or alone. School, work, family, and life can be a lot to juggle, but we have the good news! Being a part of Jesus’ team means you are never alone.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am with them.” Matthew 18:20
In context, this verse is saying that if two or more agree, than it be done. Refer back to this verse when you are feeling down, having a bad day or just need to be reminded of the power of Christ.
Where there are two or three believers, Christ is with them. This means that whether you are surrounded by your friends, your family, your fellow church-goers, or even your team, you stand firm together as a Church. There is no need for a building, a choir or a massive congregation. No matter where you are and what may be going on around you, you have the complete ability to relish in and share Christ’s love.
When we consider that if two or three agree, and it be done, this becomes a very powerful passage. This makes the littlest of tasks, suching as waking up and taking on the day, easier when you have those around you to pray it be good and in God’s will.
This is so important to remember the next time you feel scared, nervous or unprepared. Nothing is stronger than the support you have from God and those who follow Him. With every step, He is with you and the Church is there to encourage you. The Church IS your team and your family. You got this.
The Best You
As individuals, we all have our good and bad days. As a family, we have our good and bad days too. However, the bad days seem just a little easier when you have the support and encouragement from people you love.
Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. That’s okay. Take those extra few minutes of your morning to just lay there and allow yourself to fully wake up before you take on your day!
If you need a little extra push, here are a few ways to self-motivate:
1. Prepare the night before – Whether it’s preparing school lunches or your outfit for work, you will feel less overwhelmed in the morning and more ready for your day when you organize things the night before.
2. Think of motivation as a mindset – What you’re doing doesn’t actually change, but the way you see and think about it does.
3. Set realistic goals and go the extra mile to achieve them– Setting goals is great for motivating us to do something. However, when you set a goal it’s important to be realistic with yourself with what you can achieve in a given amount of time.
"Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~James 1:2-4 A
Being supportive of your spouse is one of the many beauties in a relationship. It’s both rewarding and difficult. It allows you to encourage your partner’s dreams and aspirations and offer to help get them there.
One way to support your partner is to rid them of expectations. You are not perfect and neither is your partner. Communicate what you want and how you feel rather than assume that they will know or understand otherwise. They will fail, as will you, but remember that you are both on the same team. Take care of each other, and above all, have faith in one another.
It’s time to refresh as a new season begins.
The weather is warming up and flowers are beginning to bloom, that means it’s about that time to put away leftover holiday decorations and sweaters, for some extra closet room. As we wind down from Spring Break and enter the start of the spring season,there is much to declutter in all areas of our life. Just as we tend to the mess in our home, sometimes our mental space can need just as much attention!
This is the time to assess what works and what doesn’t work, kinda like that outfit we’ve had in our closest for the past 9 months that we haven’t touched once. It may be time to just let it go.
The Art of Letting Go
Face it, letting go isn’t easy. Whether it’s letting go of people, habits, or those worn out shoes you’ve been meaning to toss out for months, we must be ready and willing to embrace a new chapter in our lives. It starts with removing things from your life that don’t uplift you or help you grow. Accept that you have outgrown this item, person, or situation.
Once someone or something has served its purpose in your life there is no longer a need to hold on to it. When it’s all over and done, your mind will feel just as refreshed as your home.
Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a drag. When you incorporate something you like to do into your routine, whether it’s listening to your favorite music, dancing while you clean, or treating yourself and the kids to some ice cream after all of your hard work, a sweet and well deserved reward and makes this yearly task a little more bearable. You have to do it anyway, so might as well make it something you can enjoy.
Strength in Falling
Falling to your knees doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s not a sign of weakness, but preparation for strength. When life gets tough and you lose the will to stand, fall to your knees. Fall to your knees and let it all come down. Let pain and heartache leave your body just as quickly as it came. Fall to your knees and pray.
Through tears and prayer you let God know of all your troubles and your sorrows, not to smite him, but to let it be known and heard by someone other than yourself, by someone bigger than yourself.
Sometimes we’re afraid of being weak, but even the strongest people have fallen to their knees. When we try to take care of our families, children, or spouses, and neglect our own well-being, things can begin to feel overwhelming. We may feel more irritable, anxious, or just unhappy.
No one likes to feel like they can’t handle the things that life throws at them. We’d like to know that we can do things all on our own. Well guess what? Sometimes you can’t do it all on your own. This beautiful life can get really hard and become too much of a load for one person to carry. The good thing is that you don’t have to be strong all by yourself. You have a Father in heaven to lift the weight up off your shoulders. Allow him to guide you through the darkness because without it you wouldn’t know light.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)
It’s okay to fall to your knees. Say a prayer, sing your heart out, or cry your eyes out, but let God hear you. Don’t be ashamed when you are weak, it only means that when you get up off the ground you will be stronger than you were before.
Finding Light in the Dark
The additional hour of sunshine added to our day serves as the perfect reminder to shed some light on our blessings in even our darkest hours.
When we only focus on every task on our calendar that we still need to complete, next month’s bills, or other things that cause us stress, it’s easy to neglect the good things that happen to us. Regardless of how small, the good things are just as important. Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, so when you’re feeling down, take a few minutes to pause and reflect on the little things throughout your day that worked out.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
When we practice being mindful we’re able to catch ourselves in the act of self-doubt. Be mindful that you are an imperfect. Whatever you are going through you will overcome. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan, but they always work out the way He plans.
Making an Impact: Taking Shots
It has always been a passion and objective in our lives to continuously strive to not only
better ourselves, but also better the lives of others. This mission represents a great
responsibility and a very serious commitment to our community. With wanting to
influence the lives of others comes the duty of letting others influence ours.
It starts in our home; we influence our children and hope they grow up to be better
versions of us. They then go to school and share the values, which we have built and
reinforce well before they came into our lives. As they keep growing, lessons come our
way and new values are built. The existing ones get stronger and so on. We learn from
We go to church; taking the time to go listen to the Lord and be a part of our community
is imperative. People all around us teach us how to be better individuals. By sharing their
stories they show us the importance of thinking of others before giving priority to
materialistic and unimportant worries of life.
One of our favorite quotes is,
“Success isn't just about what you accomplish in your life; it's about what you inspire
others to do,” – Unknown.
Part of our mission is also taking shots. This includes believing in people and the good in
the world. God has taught us the path of compassion and selflessness that we not only
want to travel, but also want to share with people.
We hope that every day we inspire and influence someone for the better. Most
importantly we pray that every day we have people come into our lives to inspire us as
Any parent knows that raising children is full of highs and lows. In our experience, one of the most rewarding parts of being a parent has been watching the lessons we try over and over again to teach our children finally sink in. As frustrating as it can be to try to teach a child a new skill, nothing compares to the feeling of watching them master it. But have you ever thought about what would happen if the roles were reversed?
Our children are growing up in a different world than the one in which we did. They are learning to use new technology from the time they enter preschool and are learning about the systems and societies in which they live in new and innovative ways. They seem to have no problem figuring out how to use smartphones or tablets, and some of the games they are playing are preparing them for things like coding. Chances are, we could learn a thing or two from them.
This week, try asking your kids to teach you something they have learned this year. Whether it is how to use a particular app on their tablet, do a drill they learned at a sports practice, or play a game they made up with their friends, giving children the opportunity to be the teacher for a change will help build confidence and will make them feel proud of whatever skill they are able to teach mom or dad. You will probably be impressed by the things they can do that you may not have even realized. It will also be a chance to spend quality time as a family in a new way that will make your children feel accomplished.Seeing what they can teach you may be even more fulfilling than seeing them grasp the things you try to teach them. Even though you may have to swallow your pride and come to grips with your age, you will be surprised by what you learn and how much fun you have learning it from your own children.
Is anyone else having a hard time believing that its already May? If you’re like us, you probably feel like there is so much to do - help the kids with those last few projects, coordinate end of the year parties for school and sports teams, maybe even plan a summer vacation - yet so little time to do it. With summer just around the corner, there is another “to do” many people’s minds - losing weight. We hear a lot of “I need to get my summer body,” or “I need to lose X amount of weight before summer.” People hit the gym or start extreme diets when they realize how little time they have before pool season or a beach vacation. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to take steps toward living a healthier life, it is important to examine your reasons for doing so.
We believe that wanting to exercise and eat healthy should be the result of loving your body, not hating it. Making healthy choices is a way to invest in you! If you go into this kind of lifestyle change with the attitude that working out and modifying your diet are forms of punishment, you set yourself up to fail. Positivity is key! Here are a few tips for creating a positive mindset about developing healthier habits
Health and fitness shouldn’t be something you turn to only when you want to look a certain way. Our self-worth should not be based on how we compare to the athletes we watch on tv or the models we see in magazines anyway! God created us in his image and that is alone makes us beautiful and valuable. Think about living a healthier lifestyle as a way to responsibly steward the body He has given you so that it can be used for His glory!
As parents, we always find ourselves stressing the importance of working hard in school. Even though our children are young, it is so exciting to see them learn a new concept or master a new skill. The math, science, reading, writing and history they are learning is truly going to be the basis of the rest of their education and we cannot wait to see them learn and grow in the future. However, some of the most important things children are going to learn can’t be taught in a classroom. We think that the social skills our children develop early on are just as important as what they are read from their textbooks, but are perhaps even harder to teach and to master; that is why we see such value in encouraging children to play sports.
Through sports, kids learn skills they will take with them for the rest of their lives. They learn the value and importance of physical fitness and begin to find what kinds of exercises they like. They learn how to work through pain. They also discover that success doesn’t come without hard work; they realize that they have to practice to be good enough to win. When they do win, they feel a sense of accomplishment. Most coaches or organizations teach children how to win graciously. And how to be a good sport when they lose. Losing also teaches kids that sometimes things are not going to go their way, no matter how hard they worked. They learn to channel disappointment into motivation; even the best athletes have a bad race or a game that doesn’t go their way, so they must use these setbacks as motivation to work even harder to do better next time. Sports also teach kids the importance of teamwork and the relationships between childhood teammates often turn into lifelong friendships. Through sports, kids often learn how to prioritize and plan a schedule. Even if the parents are the ones doing the planning and organizing, kids see that if they want to be a part of a team, they have to commit their time to being at practice and at games, even if that means sacrificing other things they want to do.
Even if your child is never the MVP or decides that he or she wants to pursue other interests, trying a new sport is almost always a beneficial endeavor. Nothing teaches these important life lessons quite like being involved in sports. We encourage any parent to look for a team or organization for their child or children to participate in. Who knows, the adults might learn a thing or two as well!
This week we will celebrate Good Friday and Easter, commemorating the most important moment in the Christian faith; the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even when we look past the Easter eggs, family dinners, and other worldly distractions of the holiday, it is still easy to forget the true weight of why we are celebrating.
Most of us know the gist of the story; Jesus died on a cross and a few days later, when his friends went to visit his grave, he was nowhere to be found. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate his resurrection and his sacrifice. We think of Christ as noble and selfless. We are thankful for all he has done and sing his praises in church. But once we leave, the impact of the Easter story often fades into the back of our minds.
There is another part of the Easter story that is perhaps less well-known. Matthew 27 tells the story of the actions and events leading up to Christ’s death. In those days, it was tradition for the governor to come before the masses and let them essentially vote on one prisoner to be released. Pilate asked the crowd if they would prefer he release Barabbas, a notorious criminal – think the equivalent of a serial killer today – or Jesus, the innocent “King of the Jews,” whom even Pilate said “had done no evil.” The crowd shouted their vote and it was unanimous: Barabbas should get to be released. Jesus would be crucified.
Perhaps your first thought when reading that story is “that doesn’t seem fair!” If such injustice happened in our own lifetime, we would probably be outraged, in disbelief. But do we have that same sense of disbelief, confusion, or outrage when we think of Christ dying for our own sins? We often forget to take it personally. We lose sight of the direct impact Jesus’s death has on our own individual lives. It is easy to remember that he is our Lord, but how often do we forget that for believers, he is our savior - and the true weight of what that means. Perhaps it is because we forget that we need to be saved. Romans 5 says “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” If we’re honest, it is tempting to consider ourselves those “good people” that perhaps one would even dare to die for. No matter what you are guilty of, how seemingly big or small your crimes, the Bible tells us in Romans 5:10 that “none is righteous, no, not even one.” We are all Barabbas – how blessed we are to have a loving God who willingly died in our place so that we may live freely.
This Easter season, as we celebrate what Christ did for us, let’s rejoice in the fact that we get another chance. Ask God to give you an awe and reverence for Christ’s grace and love that lasts past Easter Sunday. Because of His sacrifice, those who put their trust in Him can have eternal life!
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