July 26, 2017

Dear Friends,

Some really good thoughts from Matt and his blog this week (remember, you can find his blog here.  Here’s his entry for this week:

A couple of years ago I was struck by my kids’ struggle to ask good questions and give good answers. I saw this in my own kids but also with other kids and young adults I was working with. Our culture does not promote critical thinking and inquisitiveness as much as it does success and infamy. As a result, my children and many others don’t know how to ask good questions that really get to the heart of what they are after nor are they equipped to handle answering such questions. With these observations, and with no previous experience from growing up or knowing any one to do this, I began questions at bed with my boys.

At bedtime each night, as my wife and I are putting our kids to bed, we have developed a bit of a routine. My wife usually puts the girls to bed except for one or 2 nights and week and I usually do the boys most nights. So when I started this, I simply told the boys they could ask me any question they could think of. We would take turns between them, one question per night. These questions have grown over two years and will continue to grow. What has been fantastic is the growing honesty and discovery we get to share every night. They get to ask the questions five nights a week and on the weekend I get to ask each of them a question. All our questions are all over the map. And they are meant to be so. I occasionally probe their questions to get them to think a little more, but usually the question asked is the question answered.

Sometimes the boys have very serious questions about life, death and faith. These questions are sometimes prompted by conversations and study we do together. Many times though, they are prompted by their experiences and the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and minds. Besides the weighty issues, the boys often ask about what my growing up time was like. How did I figure out what I was really interested in? When did I stop playing with toys? When did hair start growing on my body? What was the best and worst thing about being in middle school? What is my favorite childhood memory with my mom? These are all fun and sweet and poignant. What it has done is create opportunities to talk about real life and real faith on their level.

My questions attempt at getting them to think about the bigger picture. What is capturing their attention most these days? What do they think about our country? What do they love about the church? What is their favorite attribute of God and why? How do they see God changing them presently?

The great thing is it doesn’t take any preparation. It takes intentionality and honesty and a desire to invest and listen to your kids. This has been very fruitful in our family in helping us be honest and open. We still (all of us) have a long way to go and lots of room to grow. What God is doing through these conversations is something that I can’t fully grasp. What I am doing now is enjoying them and God’s faithful love to them and me in giving us these questions at bedtime.

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We had a fun night of pizza at the pool on Tuesday.  A great turnout and a great evening.

And then this morning, we had our final Kid’s Summer Fest event.  Seventeen kids made their own drive in car from cardboard boxes. Jen Gurney and the Donley women brought the supplies for decorating the cars, while Mary Ann Lepine and Liz Schultz took care of snacks and popcorn. Lots of other moms were there helping out as well.

The kids watched the Veggie Tales movie about Jonah and learned how everyone deserves a second chance – including the people of Nineveh and Jonah himself!  The kids sat in their “cars” and ate their popcorn and snacks while they watched the movie.

That’s it for Summer Kids Fest 2017.  Thanks to all who made it happen.  And how about a great big round of applause for Jen Gurney!

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But summer is not over yet!  We’ll wrap up the month of July this Sunday night from 6:30-7:30 with a church wide night of Prayer and Praise.

This will be a time for the whole church body to gather and to pray and seek the Lord together.  We’ll read the scriptures together and sing a few familiar, simple songs.  We will pray silently.  We will read prayers.  We will pray in small groups.  We will pray in larger groups.  We will pray all together. Our focus will be on praying for Christ to be exalted in and through us, and for His kingdom work to be made clear for us as we seek His face.

This will be a special evening as we come together to call upon the Lord.  I hope you’ll make this special evening a priority.

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And then next Sunday night, it’s the RCC night at the movies.  With the high school and college football season about to start up again, we’ll get together to watch the true story of how God brought a revival to a high school in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1970’s.  We’ll gather for ice cream at 6:45, and start the movie at 7:15.  Come out to see the movie Woodlawn.

It’s a great story as you can see when you click here:

Woodlawn Trailer

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Is it an appropriate movie for kids?  Here’s what Focus on the Family’s Plugged in movie review has to say about the content.

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Remember, there’s an upcoming new members class happening at church on Saturday, August 12.

We’re asking anyone who is interested in finding out more about what membership at Redeemer is all about to do a little homework ahead of our Saturday meeting.  We’ll have videos for you to watch and a few things for you to read before you come to the class.  That way, we can get you the information you need to make a membership decision without needing a whole series of meetings.  You do a little work ahead of time, meet one time on Saturday morning, and you’ll be done.

Find out how to sign up for the membership class and about the pre-work you need to do before the meeting when you scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.

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We’ll get an update this Sunday on the work we’re helping to make happen in Myanmar.  And we’ll hear from Henry Liann who will be preaching for us this Sunday.

See you in church!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Bob Lepine

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