What’s Up With Those Kids?

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What’s YOUR passion?  What makes you feel complete, satisfied, and fills you with joy?  God wants us to discover and pursue our own passion in His Kingdom.  The unique passion He’s given us.  Our passion will not be exactly the same as anyone else’s.  That’s what makes it so special and worth pursuing!  If you do find someone with a similar passion from God, enthusiastically get on the bandwagon by praying about your similar passionate pursuits for the Kingdom of God!!

As a teacher, my passion is teaching kids!  Big kids, little kids, my kid, your kids, a stranger’s kids, anyone’s kids!!  Doesn’t matter to me.  I can find something worth nurturing in any of them.

So let me speak about kids!  So I can speak from my heart.

I believe broken adults are just hurting kids who haven’t found the One who can fix them!!  So I ask you, why should we wait until the hurting kids become broken adults…why not encourage kids to know the One who can fix them as soon as possible?  Why not raise kids that can stand in the winds and storms of life?  Kids that can bend, but not break.  After going through Hurricane Charley in FL, I love what Proverbs 11:28 says,”…the righteous flourish like the palm tree.”  My palm trees are still standing after the storm, how about yours?  Right?

Let’s face it, kids can just stand there…and look so cute!  Right?  But, I don’t believe kids “should be seen and not heard.”  I believe if they have something to offer to the Kingdom of God, they should be heard.  If the confidence they receive in Christ is evident, they should be encouraged to speak up and speak out.  We should be looking for God-given gifts and talents in them.  Encouraging and inspiring them to use those gifts in the church.  We should  give them opportunities to rise up and lead in areas where the Holy Spirit has gifted them.

I haven’t been as excited about a ministry in my life, as I am about the kids/teens I work with in the Drama Ministry my & I direct at church!!  The Lord blesses me through their dedication, and their love of Christ.  God uses those kids to speak volumes for His Kingdom, and I’m just sitting back, and lovin’ it.  Okay, really my son and I are working really hard, but that’s beside the point!!  We see the results as we outreach into our community through praying behind the scenes, not just by me, but also thankfully by the kids themselves.

What you’re seeing is the foundation that their parents, church members, pastors  Sunday school teachers, etc., have built on year after year, and the impact that’s been made in their lives.  The Holy Spirit controls our direction, which is the only way it can be done.  If God’s not in it, we can’t do anything, and the kids know this.  Our prayer is to do our best for the Lord in this ministry, but more importantly, the kids pray that any message we act out in a drama, will change hearts for the Lord.

What did God give me to lead this ministry?

First, He gave me my son.  Here’s where I’m talking to you about being your children’s advocate…joining in, and enjoying them.  I love what my kid loves.  Love me, love my kid!  When he started loving snakes, I started loving snakes.  The Drama Team ministry started with the songs he loved, and I learned to love, and the acting out of the songs came, because he loves drama.  God literally chooses a song and gives my son and I and the other members the vision for acting out the song.  We can see the whole thing acted out in our minds.  We’ll all get together, listen to the music over and over, talk about it, brainstorm, tweak it, and practice ’til it’s perfect.  It’s a beautiful thing!!

Second, He gave me the confidence needed to be a leader.  At a conference, I heard the Lord ask, “Are you ready?”  I had been praying for some time to be a leader for the Lord, and I was thinking of a writing or speaking ministry, two other things I love to do.  So when I said, “Yes, I’m ready Lord!”  I felt His confidence and His anointing set in like never before.  “I need for you to step out and be a leader for Me,” He said.  For what, I didn’t know yet, at this point.  That’s why I’m encouraging you to step out in faith, too!!

Third, He gave me a vision.  At a meeting, after my son’s songs and dramas had been playing and playing in my mind, the sermon message was, “The sound from God you hear in your heart will come to pass within a year!”  Wow!  What a powerful message!  I didn’t care if anyone else heard the same sound in their heart that I did, because I heard it as clear as a bell:  “Our kids can do this,” I thought.  “I can ‘see’ it, they can minister by acting out these songs and messages for hurting people…for those who are broken and need to find the One who can fix them.  Our kids can be a mighty force in the Kingdom of God.”

Notice, I didn’t tell you that God gave me the gift of music for this ministry.  I have no musical background.  He didn’t give me any background in drama or dance, either.  What He gave me was my son, confidence to lead in the Holy Spirit, the ministry vision from the Lord, and my 26-year public school teaching career based on encouraging children.  It seemed to be enough of a resume for the Lord!!  Amen!!

When our children’s pastor mentioned that she had been praying about ministries that could be used in Children’s Church, that’s the resume I gave her!!  And off we went!

Who was the first person to believe in you?  Think about that.  (In my case, it was my Aunt Margaret.  My Uncle Angelo was my Pastor, and she was my Sunday school teacher.)  Can you see the power of that influence of someone believing in you?  God puts certain children in our care, or in our charge, so we can believe in them!

I was shy as a child and afraid of people outside my church.  How can you witness like that?  The reason my son’s not shy, is that I told him being shy is a waste of time, very self-centered, especially when it comes to spiritual things.  Be bold!  We have something valuable to say!  Be a person who believes in and encourages a child early in their life.  Don’t let hurts set in, it only leads to broken adults, and broken adults lead very broken lives.  There’s no need for that since we know the One who can fix them.

If we look briefly at some children from the Bible, we can see how they started out:

Moses  (Exodus 2:2) KJV  “His mother saw ‘that he was a goodly child.’”   CEV-says, “beautiful.”

(Exodus 2:6) KJV  “The daughter of Pharaoh had ‘compassion’ on him because he was crying.”  CEV-says, “she felt ‘sorry’ for him.”

(Exodus 2:11) KJV  “When Moses was grown, he went out to his brethren, and looked on their burdens.”   CEV-says, “Moses went out to where his own people were hard at work.”

Is there a correlation between what Moses’ natural mother thought about him, how his adopted mother felt about him, and the character of the grownup Moses?  Yes!

Let’s talk about this!  My son looked like an “alien” when he was born. Really!  He was a 3 lbs. 4 oz. preemie, so tiny!  But, because of all we went through to have him, I thought he was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen in my whole life.  My husband did, too!  Everyone should feel this way about a child God has given them.

Joseph (Genesis 37:3) KJV  “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…” CEV-says, “Jacob loved Joseph more than he did any of his other sons…”

(Genesis 37:10)   KJV  “…his Father rebuked him.”   CEV says, “…his father became angry with him…”

Can you love a child and still rebuke him and be angry with him?  Yes!

Let’s talk about this!  My son’s “terrible-two-temper-tantrums” were horrendous from the age of two and a half to around 3 years old, I battled his sometimes 45 minute temper tantrums, perhaps 2-3 times a day.  I found out that I was more stubborn than he was.  Amen!!  And, I love and adore him!!

Samuel (I Samuel 1:10) KJV  Hannah was “in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.”  CEV says, “Hannah was brokenhearted and was crying as she prayed.”

(I Samuel 3:1,4)   KJV  “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord…that the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.”   CEV says, “Samuel served the Lord…and the Lord called out his name and he answered, ‘Here I am’!”

Can the child you fervently prayed for, answer the call to serve the Almighty God?  Yes!

Let’s talk about this!  I prayed so long for my son, first my way, then God’s way.  Originally told God I only wanted a girl, but God was not in the mood to do things my way!  My precious son was immersed in so much prayer in the 10 years it took us to have him, I knew he was a gift from the Lord and that he would be used by the Lord, and used mightily!!

Esther (Esther 2:7) JKV  Mordecai “brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father or mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.”   CEV says, “Mordecai had a very beautiful cousin named Esther, whose Hebrew name was Hadassah.  He had raised her as his own daughter, after her father and mother died.”

(Esther 4:14)   KJV  “…and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  CEV says, “…It could be that you were made queen for a time like this!”

Does this mean that raising children properly is more important to God than just birthing them and letting them raise themselves?  Yes!

Let’s talk about this!  If God places a child in your care, He means for you, the adult, to raise them.  Kids do not raise themselves.  Seek the Lord’s guidance, be confident, pray for wisdom, give them back to the Lord to use in His Kingdom, and then encourage them every step of the way.

David (I Samuel 16:11,12) KJV  “…There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep…Now he was ruddy {of a lively, reddish flesh color}, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look at…Arise, anoint him: for this is he…And the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.”   CEV says, “…My youngest son David is out taking care of the sheep…He was a healthy, good-looking boy with a sparkle in his eyes…He’s the one!  …at that moment, the spirit of the Lord took control of David and stayed with him from then on.”

Can even your youngest child allow the Holy Spirit to control his life?  Yes!

Let’s talk about this!  There’s really no other way.  As our friend’s kids are entering their pre-teen and teen years, I’m starting to hear stories of problems and issues between the parents and the kids, or issues of drugs, etc.  The world is too enticing to a child, to be controlled by anything else beside the Holy Spirit.  Nothing else can guide them into all truth.

Are there examples of “unruly” kids in the Bible?  Plenty!  Many “did evil in the sight of the Lord.”  But, we’re here to talk about our kids, and to see that they don’t grow up hurting and broken.  Both our natural kids, and those God has placed in our care.

Raising a child with no faith is just cruel.  What can we do to raise balanced children…those who are less likely to hold onto hurts, and then to continue carrying those hurts into becoming broken adults?

Pray for a good sense of humor!  You’ll need it!

Widen your circle of influence over as many kids as you can…with care and love.

Be real with them!  Be sincere!  Pour out your life, pour out your passion. Pour your love of Christ out on them.

Show a genuine interest in what they’re interested in.  Ask, “What’s up with you?”  “What’s going on in your life?”  “So, how ya been?”  Get into their lives.

Extend your compassion to all kids, not just your own.  Encourage them, lift them up, and lighten their load.  Direct them.  Point them to Jesus!

Here’s an Acrostic Poem to help you remember:  LEAD, BY POINTING TO JESUS

L ift them up

E ncourage them

A ccept them, and then give advice

D irect their focus to the Lord and to spiritual things

Be there for them and be their advocate (Over the years, I have volunteered my son for so many things, he’s begging me to stop!!)

Y es!  (This is your answer whenever possible, or give an alternative)

P ray, pray, pray!

O bey the Lord’s plan for THEM (You have to ask God to reveal this to you!)

I nvestigate Godly options with them

N ever give up trying to connect with them

T rain them (Like with a puppy…over and over and over again!) and teach them God’s ways

I nitiate conversation, so they can talk about themselves and their relationship to the Lord

N o!  (Say this whenever needed and mean it, or don’t say it!!)

G o wherever necessary to follow God’s plans for this child

T alk about anything with them, in a matter-of-fact way

O ffer assistance, then step back and let them try it themselves

J oin in their fun

E njoy them!

S erve the Lord gladly, then show them how it’s done

U nderstand their hurts

S implify their lives, make it easy for them to find God (If something’s not an option, don’t give them a choice)

So, what’s God’s vision?  To encourage and inspire kids, teens, and young adults to be all God wants them to be in His Kingdom.  To encourage the church to give them the tools needed to equip them to overflow with God’s love.  To use their Holy Spirit overflow to help others meet the One who can fix all hurts and areas of brokenness.  There’s no limit to what God will do to see His Kingdom grow!  Parents and church, we need to prepare them to reach out with their faith to help others.  Please encourage each other, sometimes we’re guilty of not seeing our own potential!  If God shows you potential in someone, tell them, so God’s plan can be fulfilled.  So, we can see clearly…“What’s Up With Those Kids!”

Take time to ask yourself what YOUR passion is.  If you don’t know, ask the Lord to reveal it to you.  Then be patient and obey each step He shows you.  If you’re one of those broken adults (or you’re praying with and helping someone who’s broken), and the brokenness is from past hurts as a child, let’s pray that the Lord will finally heal those areas once and for all, through the Power of His Holy Spirit.   That way, we won’t need to revisit those hurts again and you can be free to pursue the passion the Lord’s given you.

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