Tuesday, February 28, 2012

SPLINK for the Week of February 26th

Feb. 26 - March 3
Follow the Leader

Play an old favorite, Follow the Leader.
Choose one person to be the leader and the others (join in, Mom and Dad) follow that person and do what he or she does. (March, skip, jump, swing arms, put hands on head, etc.)
Do you like being the follower or leader best? Why?
What would have happened if you had gone your own direction instead of following the leader? (You would have been left behind, you wouldn't be part of the game, you would be alone, etc.)
Why is it important to follow God? (We don't always know the right way to go; He knows what is best; He can be trusted, etc.)
Drawing in the Dark 

Items Needed: blindfold
White board and marker or paper and crayon
Slips of paper with a name of something to be drawn on each one (dog, refrigerator, bicycle, computer, elephant, house, etc.)
Draw pictures to illustrate that others can help us, if we only listen.
Choose two volunteers. Designate one to draw and the other to guide. Let the guide choose an item to be drawn while the other one is blindfolded. The guide must help the person drawing by giving him or her instructions on where to place the marker, what to do draw, etc. When finished take off the blindfold and see the creation. Take turns guiding and drawing.
What helped when you were drawing the picture? (The other person's instructions, having someone who could see what I was doing give me advice, etc.)
Would it have been harder if you didn't have someone helping you?(Yes)
How does God help us? (He gives us the Bible so we can know the right way; He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us; He gives us people [parents, teachers, etc.] to help us.)
God wants us to know the right way to go, but we must be willing to listen and do what our parents, teachers, and others in authority tell us.
Ten Commandment Toss
Items needed: a ball
Marker (write the numbers 1-10 around the ball or write numbers on small pieces of paper and tape them to it)
The entire family should know the Ten Commandments by now. Gather the family in a circle. Toss the ball to someone. He or she must say the commandment that matches the number that is on top of the ball. (If the number 5 is at the top of the ball, he must say commandment number 5—Honor your father and mother.)
We must first learn the commands of God, so we can know what to do. When we follow and keep His commands, God is pleased with His disciples.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New stuff!

Just a reminder that every Sunday I'll be updating the Home Connection ---> section with the newest download.  This great resource gives you ideas on how to reinforce at home what your kids have learned with me and my staff on Sunday.

Every Sunday I'll also be updating the Parents Page with a new parenting tip that I have found particularly helpful on my journey as a parent.  This week's tip deals with whether or not we should reward our children equally... some really thought provoking stuff!  Be sure to check it out!

Lastly, this week I'll be working to create two distinct areas under the Parents Page.  I will be separating this page into an Early Childhood and an Elementary section.

This will allow me to fine tune your available resources making it possible for you to quickly and easily download, read, and view information that is pertinent to you and the age of your child.

On this journey with you,

Pastor Beau

Friday, February 24, 2012

Comedy Clip Friday!

I love stand up comedy... there's just something about someone pointing out the obvious that makes me laugh!  The trouble is, it's hard to find good, clean comedy.

If you have yet to discover Tim Hawkins then you're in for a treat!

I first saw Tim Hawkins at Children's Pastor Conference a few years ago and thought he was hilarious!  If you like his stuff here are TONS more videos on YouTube.  And you can find out more about him here.

Some of my favorite bits of his are his song re-writes...

And his takes on kids and parenting (he has four kids of his own :)

Have fun and laugh a lot!

On the journey with you,

Pastor Beau

Thursday, February 23, 2012


There have been some subtle updates to this blog that I don't want you to miss:

  • On the right hand side of every page ---> you'll find a miniature version of the full-blown calendar.  This mini-calendar has been designed to show you at a glance what is coming up within the next several days.  For example, as I write this post I see that the Pastor Beau Store is THIS Sunday.  My hope is that this calendar will keep all of us informed of the goings on regarding family and children ministry at Redding First.
  • I've added a tab on the top navigation bar entitled Downloads.  This is an ever-expanding list of pertinent downloads for you, the parent.  Eventually you will be able to download permission slip forms, songs, cool memorization tools, and more!  Be sure to check back often to see what I've added!
  • Under the Parent tab I've started to feature a revolving Parent Tip for us.  Every week you'll find a particularly informative or insightful parenting tip that I feel is worth sharing.  Be sure to check in periodically to see what's new!
  • Also on the Parents page, under Recommended Blogs, is a list of blogs that I regularly visit.  These are wonderful resources for us that are thought provoking and at times challenging :)
  • The Home Connection section in the right hand sidebar ---> makes available to you every week easy and fun ways to reinforce at home what your kids are learning from me and my staff of Sundays.  These Home Connections are also an excellent way for you to point out God Moments that may occur during your week and relate them back to what we are currently learning.

The sole driving force behind this blog is to provide you with constantly renewed resources that help equip and empower you to begin taking steps toward embracing your God-given role as the Primary Soul Shaper of your children.

Really, all it takes are small, consistent steps in the right direction... a few consistently dedicated minutes a week can begin to change the dynamic of your family and strengthen your relationship with your wonderful children.

God has called us, as parents, to be His champions to our children.  God has called me to help you do just that!

On the journey with you,

Pastor Beau

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SPLINK for the Week of February 19th

February 19-25
Your kids are knee deep in learning the 10 Commandments.  I've had a lot of you ask for me to post the cards that I have used in the past to help the kids memorize the 10 Commandments.  Well, here they are!

Hint:  if you use these cards for yourself, you too will know all 10 Commandments in no time!  Try it, I think you'll be surprised how easy using these cards makes remembering the commandments in order.

Below you'll find 3 easy activities to do with your kids to reinforce what they have learned on Sunday.

Why? Because!

Items Needed: slips of paper or index cards
Two small bowls to hold the slips of paper
Play WhyBecause!
Give each person two slips of paper and a pencil. Ask them to write a question on one that starts with Why? (Why is milk white? Why do I have to go to bed at 8?) Then on the other slip, write a Because answer. (Because it's not green; because you turn into a monster at 9.) Keep the Why questions separate from the Because answers and put them in two separate bowls.
Mix up the questions in each bowl. Let one person choose a Why question and read it aloud. Then ask another person to randomly choose a Because answer and read it. (Hopefully, they will not pick one that actually answers the question.)  Read all the questions and answers.
This was a silly game of questions and answers, but there are many questions we don't always know the answers to. There are questions we may like to ask God. God doesn't always answer our questions, but we can know that He is wise AND good. God is in charge and He will do what is best for us when we love and obey Him (Romans 8:28).


Ask each family member to draw a picture. When all are finished, praise each person's "handiwork”-–work of their hands.
How would you feel if I grabbed your picture and tried to tear it up? (I would be angry; I would tell you to leave it alone, etc.)
Just as your picture belongs to you and you have the right to say what happens to it, the world belongs to God and He has the right to rule over it. Psalm 19:1 says that the skies are God's handiwork. He made the sun, moon, and stars. He created the entire world and has the right to rule over it (Psalm 24:1). God is the ultimate authority who is wise and good. He makes good rules, but He gives us a choice to say yes or no. God wants us to say yes and do what He has asked.
In this week's lesson, Balak, the rich and powerful king of Moab tried to persuade Balaam to curse God's people, the Israelites. God told Balaam NOT to curse His people. God even used a donkey to talk to Balaam. Even though the king tried to bribe Balaam, he would not curse God's people. God is in charge and can use whatever He chooses to teach us and help us submit to His authority.

Better Than an Umbrella

Item Needed: umbrella
Use an umbrella to illustrate God's authority over us.
Open the umbrella and ask: Why do we use an umbrella? (To protect our clothes from getting wet, to keep us dry, etc.)
Just as an umbrella protects us from the rain, God's commands are designed to protect us from the bad consequences of wrong behavior. When we break God's commands, we step out from under His protection and expose ourselves to more trouble.

Pick one of the commandments and ask: How does keeping this commandment protect us? For example: How does honoring your mom and your dad protect you?(If you do what they tell you to do, you will be safe; if you obey, you won't be punished; if you speak good about them and honor them, others will respect you; you will protected from guilt and a bad reputation, etc.)
Keep reviewing the Ten Commandments. Write each number from 1-10 on a slip of paper and put them in a bag. Take turns drawing out a number. Say the commandment that matches that number. (5—Honor your mom and your dad.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Those were (are) the days...

I'm just going to say it... I think I was born in the wrong decade.  I should have been born in 1915.

Now don't get me wrong... I LOVE technology and all of that, but deep down, at my very core, I long for a simpler existence.

I'm always surprised at how I feel when I unplug from today's technological wonders.

Last night as I finished reading my second book in one week I was reminded of how amazingly awesome reading is... I mean seriously, intellectually I know reading is great but my attention tends to get pulled in so many different directions I tell myself I have no time to read... which of course is not true.

This got me thinking of all the great books I've read and one jumped out at me as a very influential book from my childhood.

When I was growing up my mother would take my brother and me to the library.  I would immediately go to the Arts and Crafts or Science section and sit in awe of all the cool things hidden between the pages of the books on those shelves.

One such book that I continually looked for (and still do to this day :) was The Great American Depression Book of Fun.  I LOVE this book! It's chocked full of ideas on how to make toys from everyday items found around your house.  You'll learn how to make fighting kites (complete with flour torpedoes!), slide whistles, spinning tops (the first Beyblades), and my personal favorite... RUBBER BAND GUNS!

I can't tell you how many hours I spent as a child reading the stories of how kids during the Great Depression had "a good-time romp through the hard times", imagining myself as a kid during the '30's.  The drawings in this book made me want to try everything out... and I'm sure I did!

I can remember my buddy Dylan and I spending days shaping, sanding, fine-tuning, and practicing our aim with the rubber band guns my dad helped us make.  In fact, as I reflect on this now, those were some of the best times I can remember.

With today's video game, 3D TV, internet, download instantly, spoon-fed, media rich way of life, I'd like to challenge you parents to take a step or two back from technology and unplug your family for a weekend.

Sure, you'll have some gnashing of teeth, some "what are we going to do" and "I can't live without my DS" but, I think you'll discover the joys of a simpler life, if only for a day or two.

Here are some suggestions on what to do:
  • Find a copy of The Great American Depression Book of Fun and see how people had fun with next to nothing.
  • Bring out those old board games
  • Read a book together
  • Find your family picture albums and reminisce
  • Make some origami jumping frogs and have a race
  • Teach your kids how to play a new card game
  • Go on a walk in the park and count how many different animals/bugs you see
  • Learn a new game called Ghoulash (it's like battleship but cooler :).  Here's another maze for you!
  • Do a puzzle
  • Make a model
  • Go to the local 'zoo' (on our case, that means PetCo :) and look at all the cool animals that God has created... my current favorite is the way cute Bearded Dragon!
  • Write a story as a family and illustrate it
And hey, spending some quality time together as a family without any distractions can only strengthen your relationships, right?

Try it, I think you'll be surprised at what you discover!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I learned in Kid's Church...

Last night in Kid's DNA (our Wednesday night study for kids) we talked about sharing the Good News.

As I was preparing for class I was reminded of a youth event I attended when I was in high school.  It was called SEMP, which stands for Student Evangelical Mission Project.  This giant event was held in Santa Cruz and hundreds of teens from all over came together to learn how to share the Good News with others.

I remember being really excited at the prospect of gaining new tools in sharing my faith.  But when it was all said and done I was left wanting.  Something was missing.

Years later I put my finger on it:  I left that event thinking that I had to change people into Christians by using a special catchy phrase, or kitschy, clever acronym.  I was given some tools, but not the whole toolbox.

Yes, we are commanded  to share the Good News that sin can be forgiven, we are to share that Jesus died for us, we are to share the hope that can be found in Him... but it's not our job to convict them of their sin.  It's not our responsibility to change people's hearts.  It's not our job to save them.

John 16:8 makes it very clear that that job belongs to God... and God alone.

John tells us in this verse that the Holy Spirit will convict people of sin (the wrong they are doing) of godliness or righteousness (reminding them of the proper thing they SHOULD be doing) and of judgment (the consequences for them continuing down a destructive path).

This was something I was not told as SEMP.  I came away from that event with an unbelievable burden that I had to force, cajole, debate, outwit, out quote, or guilt people into being a Christian.  And that is simply not the case.

Our responsibility as followers of Christ is to pray for them.  To love them.  To speak the truth in love. To tell them what God has done in our lives.  Our responsibility in NOT to convict them... that's the Holy Spirit's job, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't need our help.

So, what's the take home for us as parents?

You will hear me say this over and over... God has called you, by virtue of being a parent, to be His example to your children. YOU are the primary spiritual leader in your childrens' lives.

With this in mind, as you interact with your children in the normal ebb and flow of the day I encourage you to be mindful of how you are showing them, by your actions and words, how to be witness for Christ to others.

Your children are constantly watching you and how you relate to others.  They are taking notes and applying what they learn from you to their own lives.  They look to you for leadership in how to love others, how to pray for others, how to speak the truth in love, and how to tell others what God has done and is doing in your life.

So lead well.

On the journey with you,

Pastor Beau

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

SPLINK for the Week of February 12th

Every week I'll be posting the newest and slightly modified SPLINK (Students and Parents LINK) for you and your family.

This excellent resource reinforces what your kids have learned on Sunday by giving you 3 different activities to do with them throughout the week that all relate back to the lesson.

I know that many of us are busy and feel that we can't possibly squeeze one more thing into our busy, hectic schedules.  I want to challenge us to begin to carve out a specific time each week devoted solely to the spiritual growth of our children.  SPLINK is an easy, pre-planned way for us to begin.

So, go ahead!  Be courageous and strong!  Lead the way for your children to discover who God is and His great and wonderful plan that He has for each one of them!  I am confident you'll find that as you help lead your children on their journey with Jesus you will discover that your relationship with them and God will grow exponentially.

On the Journey with you,

PS:  Even though I'll be posting a modified version of SPLINK here every week, I suggest that you sign up to have SPLINK sent directly to your inbox.  Use it as an easy way to be reminded every week :)

February 12-18
Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt

Items Needed: clues (below)
Treat—candy, cookies, or small prizes
Celebrate Valentine's Day with a treasure hunt. 
Print the clues below (or make up your own) and hide them all, except the first one. Give the kids the first clue to start the hunt. Wrap a small gift for each child or put a box filled with goodies for them to find at the end. (You may have to adapt these a little for your house.)

Clue 1: Look on the bookcase to find what you must do. 
              If you do this, you will get your next clue.
Clue 2: Say “I love you” three times as quickly as can be; 
              Then look behind the TV if your clue you want to see.
Clue 3: Roses are red, violets are blue; 
              Go to the guest room to find your next clue.
Clue 4: Kiss each person on the forehead. 
              Then go look under your parent’s bed.
Clue 5: I wonder where the next clue will hide;
               Maybe in the place where the clothes are dried.
Clue 6: Say something nice to each person in the
              Then go to the place where we keep the broom.
Clue 7: Good things come to those who look;
               A clue can be found in a favorite book.
Clue 8: Concerning clues, if you want to find more. 
               Go to your dresser and count down four.
Clue 9: Turn around now and give each person a hug; 
              Then go to the bathroom and look under the rug.
Clue 10: If you want to find Clue Number 10, 
              Look in the room where people come in.
Clue 11: This hunt is fun; we think it’s really neat. 
              Look on the bottom of what you put on your feet.
Clue 12: You’re close to the treasure, you’re almost a 
               Look under the table where we eat dinner.
Clue 13:  Unlock the door and go down the stair.
               There’s a treasure hidden to show that we care.
When you obeyed what the clue said, you eventually found a treat! It is always good to obey!
What Makes You Feel Loved?
What makes you feel loved?
(Listen carefully and you may get good insight to your child's heart.)
Read John 14:15 (If you love me, you will keep my commandments.)
When we love God, we obey His commandments; we do what He has told us to do.
First John 3:23 says that we should love one another.  How? We should love with good deeds and truth . . . not just with words (1 John 3:18).
Draw names (keeping it a secret) and do something for the person whose name you drew that would make him or her feel loved.

Ten Commandments Memory Game

Review the Ten Commandments:

1.  Keep God first in your life.
2.  Worship only God.
3.  Respect God's name and keep it holy.
4.  Remember Sunday and keep it special.
5.  Respect and honor your parents.
6.  Don't murder.
7.  Honor and keep your marriage vows.
8.  Don't take what is not yours.
9.  Always tell the truth.
10.  Be happy with what God has given you... don't want what others have.
Make and play a memory game. Write each commandment twice (with a pencil so it won't show through on other side). Write them on red paper hearts if you want to be festive! Turn them all over, scramble them up, and take turns choosing two to see if you can find a match. The one with the most matches wins!

Friday, February 10, 2012


Even though you can't really SEE anything in this video (my wife's phone doesn't really shoot night shots well)...  just listen... oh yeah... turn up your speakers.

Wow!  So our little pond out back apparently hatched a TON of frogs... a least that's what it sounds like... these guys are L.O.U.D!

I never really thought about it, but if these 10 or so frogs in my backyard are this loud... how loud was it when God sent the Egyptians the plague of frogs?  Exodus 8:1–7

TOO LOUD I BET... sorry, I was yelling... I can't hear myself over these crazy frogs...


I'd like to bring your attention to a very cool blog written by a college buddy of mine, Chris Yeager.

I think his tagline says it all, "Fatherhood is not a job.  It is a blessing from God for men to lead the next generation into a life with Christ."

Dadvotionals is the kind of blog that speaks to me as a father on so many levels.  The honest transparency with which Chris writes regarding his personal triumphs and failures as a father allows me to identify and sympathize with him on a personal level while being Biblically and practically encouraged.

Because of this, I've named his site my Featured Blog for the month of February.

Be sure to click on over and check out the rest of his blog!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's up to you...

Hey Moms and Dads, take a moment to read this:
There’s a lot of talk about kids and television. Ten years ago the average kid swallowed a daily TV dosage of three hours and 47 minutes. You may also know the total reached four hours and 29 minutes of daily viewing by 2009. 
Eye-popping numbers? Yes. But if that’s all you know, then you know less than half the story!
“Media” is a lot more than just television. Add two and a half hours of music/audio; then another hour and a half on the computer; now tally the one hour and 13 minutes of video gaming; factor in 38 minutes of print and (on average) 25 minutes of movie watching. It all begins to add up.

All told the grand total for exposure is ten hours and 45 minutes of media – that’s each and every day of your child’s life. (Source: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation “M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds”) 
Okay, nice. Now you know. So what? Mix in eight to ten hours of sleep and we’re talking around four hours left over for stuff like learning the values children need in order to deal with ten plus hours of God knows what. 
Well, God does know. But the question is, do you? 
So let’s talk about monitoring; what can we do to keep an eye on media in our children’s lives? 
  (taken directly from 10 Ways to Monitor Media in Your Child's Life on www.allprodad.com)

As you will discover, this is a little soapbox of mine :)

If our main job as Christian parents is to raise our children to love God with all their hearts, souls, and minds and to love others as themselves, then most of what we let our kids hear, see, and  mentally ingest is absolutely contrary to this.

This Top 10 List from www.allprodad.com is full of wisdom, truth and insight.

Read it, compare it to your own situation, make adjustments as necessary.

Remember, YOU are the parent.  Live into that!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Home Connection

To the right of this post you'll see some links under the heading The Home Connection.

This is a great resource for you, the parent, to reinforce  throughout the week what your children are learning with me and my staff on Sundays.

Each week I'll be posting the newest Home Connection for you to download and print out.  Inside you'll find:

  • A weekly Bible passage to read together as a family
  • Suggestions to help you pray together as a family
  • Suggested activities to do to put your faith in action
My family and I will be making the use of this resource a weekly priority, my hope is that your family will as well!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Oh, MANNAcotti...

Who is this guy?  Nope, it's not John Travolta... it's Keith Green!  :)

Keith Green is one of my heroes.

I have never heard another singer with a more convicting voice of sincerity than this guy... and I listen to a LOT of music.

Every time I listen, I mean really sit and listen, I end up with tears in my eyes.  Keith Green was a man who let God work through him in a powerful, powerful way.

Growing up, Keith was played in my house often.  In fact, it was hearing Keith Green tickle the ivories like he did that made me want to do the same.  He could rock, he could funk, he could ballad.  In short, he was

Games and stuff...

<-----  1,000,000 points if you can tell me what video game this is from?

I know.  Too easy.  (I'll get you next time, Gadget! Next. Time.)

I think you'll see as this blog progresses that (and here comes a confession)
I am helplessly and unashamedly RETRO.

I fully embrace and have come to grips with the fact that it is no longer 1984... but that doesn't mean I have to stop liking all things old.

If your kids are with me for any length of time you'll begin to hear them dropping words like "cassette tape"