Parent Cue: The Good Life Series

Right now, in our culture, students have a great opportunity to absorb a great amount of knowledge at their fingertips. They have the ability to ask Google or Siri for life advice, what a word means, or dive into deeper aspects of a subject they are learning at school. However, in the world of vast knowledge, a question arises. “What is the right WAY to use all this?” Even with all the knowledge in the world, the human race still needs direction on how to use it properly. How can we make right choices with all our knowledge? This only comes from God. It is called WISDOM.

The Good Life is a four-week series that focuses on the book of Proverbs. It covers the wisdom that can help middle schoolers take a step toward living the good life—God’s best life for them! Real wisdom is hard to come by, but so very important in directing students’ steps. Pointing them to the truth in the book of Proverbs will give them the foundational pieces of wisdom they can not only understand, but also begin to apply to their lives and faith.

THINK ABOUT THIS

“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
PROVERBS 16:9, NIV

DO THIS

 MORNING TIME


Take time to share what you personally think is the good life with your kid this week. Then, ask them to tell you what the good life looks like to them, too.

 MEAL TIME


Take turns sharing with each other about areas in your life where you could use some wisdom right now. Then, share some ideas about where you could find the wisdom you need.  

 DRIVE TIME


Ask your kid where they see you being the least patient with them. Listen to their response and try to exercise more patience the next time you find yourself in that specific situation with your kid.

 BED TIME


Watch the movie, Eighth Grade, to learn about what middle school is like these days. (Watch it without your kid as the content may not be age appropriate yet!) Take note of what middle schoolers are dealing with and talk to your kid about some of the things that stuck out to you from the film.

November Middle School Series

This Month’s Series is based on Micah 6:8

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us to wander through life without any directions. He has given us a set of expectations to show us clearly which paths will take us where we need to go. These expectations aren’t arbitrary rules imposed on us just to make our lives harder. Quite the opposite—God’s expectations exist to give our lives meaning and direction. One important thing to know about God’s expectations: they can’t be faked. They have to start with serious heart transformation that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ.

Act. Love. Walk.

Three signs that we are being transformed from the inside out by Jesus. Three signs to point your students squarely in the direction that God wants them to go.

Nov. 6 Week 1 – ACT JUSTLY

Nov. 13 Week 2 – LOVE MERCY

Nov. 20 Week 3 – ALL ACCESS BELIEVE WEEKEND LAUNCH

Our annual Thanksgiving service is Tuesday, November 26 at 6:30p in the Main Worship Center. If you would like to participate in the Thanksgiving Cook-off, bring your award-winning CHILI or PIE/DESSERT to the Branch at 6p.

Wednesday, Nov. 27 – NO FUSION HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Andy Mineo Featured Christian Rap Artist

Andy Mineo visits Bayside Community Church for the 12 youth conference.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Check out this Spotify Link

Who Sounds Like Who
DrakeLogicChance The RapperPost MaloneXXXTentacionWiz KhalifaMac MillerJ. ColeLil Nas X

Check out the Interlinc Article Here

At just 17, Andy Mineo had it all—money, power and respect. But while attending college in NYC, he finally faced the music—neither was the key to life.

Andy, formerly known as “C-Lite,” grew up in a single parent home in Syracuse, New York. Without any positive male figures around, at a young age, he struggled with profanity, submission to authority and physical aggression. With his conduct becoming uncontrollable, Andy was removed from the public school system and placed in behavioral modification centers. But change was on the horizon.

The summer before entering the 8th grade, Andy attended a Christian camp where his sister served as a counselor. While there, he heard the gospel preached clearly, cried out in desperation for Jesus to forgive him and experienced “some pretty unforgettable prayer sessions that really rocked [him].” Andy came home with a love in his heart for people that he once hated, and knew he was changed. But, he also came back to no home church, no community, no bible study and no mentors. So, as he rode his spiritual high into the ground and neglected to fan the flame that had begun, his relationship with God was compromised. His heart wasn’t set on pursuing Christ; instead, music and status had become his focus.

While in middle school, he began recording in his mom’s house and was buying new pieces of equipment with birthday money. Eventually, he started selling studio time out of his closet; before long, he was a sophomore in high school running a full-fledged business out of his mother’s basement making $25/hr recording and producing hundreds of artists in Upstate New York. He had also started a rap group with a few friends that led to a deal with Syracuse University’s Marshall Street Records, which gave them the opportunity to open up for the major acts that performed at SU. As a solo MC, Andy became well known in the underground freestyle rap scene for winning battle competitions during high school and his freshman year in college. Adding to his resume, he also excelled in athletics—thriving in football, basketball and lacrosse throughout high school.

With the financial success of his recording studio, his rap group/solo underground career taking off and athletic prowess, Andy had local fame, money and street credibility. Unfortunately, all of the success and recognition only led him away from God and towards greater sin. Headed for the big lights of New York City to attend college, stardom and rebellion seemed inevitable. But while taking a piano class his freshman year, Andy met Alex Medina (producer of “Background,” “The invasion (Hero)” and many other Reach tracks) who invited him to check out T.R.U.C.E. (an urban ministry that focused on evangelism via performing arts). He soon got connected with others, was discipled and the Lord began to deal with him more deeply concerning sin patterns in his life. After hearing Da Truth’s “Price Tag” song, he vowed to shut down his recording studio and never use his gifts to help record music that did not honor God. He lost all his business and income, but he found his new identity in Christ.

Armed with a new purpose, Andy spent several months traveling with T.R.U.C.E. and sharing the Gospel in some of the most poverty-stricken and drug-infested neighborhoods in the U.S. He went on to release Sin is Wack Vol. 1, which caught the attention of Lecrae and many others. To his credit, he has since been featured on Rehab, Flame’s Captured, Tedashii’s Blacklight, Ambassador’s Stop the Funeral and many other notable projects. While his introduction to a larger audience came through his vocals on Lecrae’s “Background,” and he continues to pen melodic choruses, rapping remains his passion and focus for future projects.

Entering a new season in his life, Andy decided to drop his stage name, C-Lite, in favor of his birth name; it symbolizes his aim to live out everything off stage that he pours out through his art on stage. He recently graduated from City College of New York and currently serves on the board as a leader of a new church plant in Washington Heights. He is also leading weekly small groups and men’s groups at his apartment, traveling on the weekends to minister and working on his highly anticipated debut album. Once divided in his ambitions, Andy has resolved to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, strength and mind—no compromise.

What is your Mission?

Our Identity Series focused on a great Application this past Wednesday. Three elements can help us shape and understand our personal Mission connected to the life calling given to us as we follow Jesus Christ.

Mission Failed: The truth is that when we are NOT built up in the TRUTH that God created us and said we are “very good,” the TRUTH that we are created as “His Masterpiece,” in order to do good works, or the TRUTH that in His book are written “all the days of our life,” we may find ourselves living a life feeling like we have already failed the mission. Our fear of failure keeps us from moving forward. We take ourselves out of the game and really don’t pursue the coach to ask for play time. We find our lives filled up with distractions and might think that this pursuit of Christ is just a set of rules we tip toe around and hope we don’t get caught, get struck down, or get out of line.

I have to leave my passion: The risk factor of following Jesus seems to be coupled with a subtraction of what we enjoy. We end up thinking “If I dedicate all I am to Jesus, I will probably have to stop playing my team sport, stop spending time on that activity I enjoy, or spend all my time following around that Pastor that seems to not work much.” The TRUTH is that God wants to meet us where we are, shine through us, and use us as His vessels to be ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.

BURDEN + PASSION + VISION: With the three elements of Mission combined, we find that we can join together beyond the walls of the church to care for our BURDEN, while pursuing our PASSIONS that God created us to live, all wrapped in the VISION that our Father has for us as we live here on Earth. The freedom from feeling like a failure and the pursuit of the MISSION gives us the ability to rise from living a defeated life in Christ to find a personal calling that lines us up with our hearts desire for life and satisfaction.

SO WHAT IS YOUR MISSION? Taking a look at the image above, what three elements lead to a MISSION for your life? What would it look like if you decided to give up the fear of failure and sign on to a MISSION given to you from GOD? Jesus sent out the disciples in Matthew 10 to preach that “The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.” What if you could join in with the Kingdom of Heaven and make an impact for eternity? I know that in my personal life, when I come back to these elements in my life, I feel the wind in my sails. I walk away from an event, a ministry, a serve project, or my family and think, “I could do that for the rest of my life.”

God Bless You!

Pastor B

Fall Festival @ Oakwood 6 to 8 October 31

As our Church Intentionally Engages our Community, we aim to create a safe place on Halloween with LOTS OF CANDY and LOTS OF FUN!

We need as many Oakwood Middle School Students helping us in the Student Pavilion as we can get! This year we are throwing a GLOW PARTY with candy, games stations, black light paint, and FUN!

We have Setup at 4pm, the Festival starts at 6pm, and clean up at 8pm. We are Happy to sign for Serve Hours for community service as well!

Please Email Tiffany.Lenz@oakwoodnb.com if your Middle School student is available to help in the Student Pavilion for Fall Festival.

Sign Up For All Other Fall Festival Activities Here

Can Science Help Point to the Existence of God?

Scientific Evidences of the Existence of God

Hey Parents,

This Series has created a safe place for our Middle Schoolers to ask BIG QUESTIONS and think about how Science and Faith can actually work together, rather than being AT ODDS with one another.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

At Odds is a three-week series designed to navigate the relationship between two important subjects: science and faith. 

A conversation like this is so important at this point in your middle schooler’s development. They’re just now learning to think for themselves and ask deeper questions, and this series will help them exercise both of those skills regarding science and faith.

 DRIVE TIME:


Your kids are learning that asking questions about God can actually grow their faith. So this week, make a point to share a question you’ve had about God with your middle schooler. Talk to them about how that specific question actually strengthened your relationship with Him, even if you didn’t find the answer!

Does Science and Faith have to be At Odds?

READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY LEE STROBEL HERE

Lee Strobel makes the case for the existence of an intelligent designer.

A former atheist, Lee Strobel is now a well-known apologist for the Christian faith. He is also a popular public speaker and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of more than 20 books including The Case for Christ,The Case for Faith and his newest release, The Case for Miracles. Educated at the University of Missouri and Yale Law School, Lee worked …More by Lee Strobel

THE ISSUE: Does current scientific data support the theory that the universe was created with intelligent design?

WHAT SKEPTICS SAY: Belief in an intelligent designer is a religious theory that has no basis in science. Scientific data supports evolutionary theory, and everyone knows it.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).

THE DESIGN HYPOTHESIS

“A big, fundamental question, like belief in God (or disbelief), is not settled by a single argument,” said physicist-turned-theologian John Polkinghorne in Quarks, Chaos, and Christianity. “It’s too complicated for that. What one has to do is to consider lots of different issues and see whether or not the answers one gets add up to a total picture that makes sense.”

That’s the approach I took in my investigation. I probed six different scientific disciplines to see whether they point toward or away from the existence of an intelligent designer.

When I opened my mind to the possibility of an explanation beyond naturalism, the theory denying any supernatural existence in the universe, I found that the design hypothesis — that says there is a purposeful, intelligent, created order to the universe — most clearly accounted for the evidence of science. Consider some of the facts from my investigation:

The Evidence of Cosmology

Thanks to scientific discoveries of the last 50 years, the ancient kalam cosmological argument has taken on a powerful and persuasive new force. As described by William Lane Craig, the argument is simple yet elegant: First, whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Second, the universe had a beginning. Based on the data, virtually all cosmologists now agree the universe began in the Big Bang at some specific point in the past. Craig stressed that even alternate theories for the origin of the universe require a beginning.

The conclusion then follows from the two premises: Therefore, the universe has a cause. Even once-agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow conceded the essential elements of Christianity and modern cosmology are the same: “The chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”

The Evidence of Physics

One of the most striking discoveries of modern science has been that the laws and constants of physics unexpectedly conspire in an extraordinary way to make the universe habitable for life. For instance, said physicist-philosopher Robin Collins, gravity is fine-tuned to one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion.

The cosmological constant, which represents the energy density of space, is as precise as throwing a dart from space and hitting a bull’s-eye just a trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter on Earth. One expert said there are more than 30 physical or cosmological parameters that require precise calibration in order to produce a universe that can sustain life.

The Evidence of Astronomy

Similar to the fine-tuning of physics, Earth’s position in the universe and its intricately choreographed geological and chemical processes work together with exquisite efficiency to create a safe place for humans to live.

For example, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez and science philosopher Jay Wesley Richards said it would take a star with the highly unusual properties of our sun — the right mass, the right light, the right age, the right distance, the right orbit, the right galaxy, the right location — to nurture living organisms on a circling planet. Numerous factors make our solar system and our location in the universe just right for a habitable environment.

What’s more, the exceptional conditions that make life possible also happen to make our planet strangely well-suited for viewing and analyzing the universe and our environment. All of this suggests our planet may be rare, if not unique, and that the Creator wanted us to be able to explore the cosmos.

“If the universe had not been made with the most exacting precision, we could never have come into existence,” said Harvard-educated astrophysicist John A. O’Keefe of NASA. “It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.”

The Evidence of Biochemistry

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Biochemist Michael Behe has demonstrated exactly that through his description of “irreducibly complex” molecular machines.

These complicated, microscopic contraptions, such as cilia and bacterial flagella, are extremely unlikely to have been built piece-by-piece through Darwinian processes, because they had to be fully present in order to function. Other examples include the incredible system of transporting proteins within cells and the intricate process of blood clotting.

More than just a devastating challenge to Darwinism, these amazing biological systems which far exceed the capacity of human technology point toward a transcendent Creator. “My conclusion,” said Behe, “can be summed up in a single word: design. I say that based on science. I believe that irreducibly complex systems are strong evidence of a purposeful, intentional design by an intelligent agent.”

The Evidence of Biological Information

The six feet of DNA coiled inside every one of our body’s one hundred trillion cells contain a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made. Cambridge-educated Stephen Meyer demonstrated that no hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means.

On the contrary, he said that whenever we find a sequential arrangement that’s complex and corresponds to an independent pattern or function such as books and computer code, this kind of information is always the product of intelligence.

“Information is the hallmark of a mind,” Meyer said. “And purely from the evidence of genetics and biology, we can infer the existence of a mind that’s far greater than our own — a conscious, purposeful, rational, intelligent designer who’s amazingly creative.”

The Evidence of Consciousness

Many scientists are concluding that the laws of chemistry and physics cannot explain our experience of consciousness. Professor J.P. Moreland defined consciousness as our introspection, sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs and free choices that make us alive and aware. The “soul” contains our consciousness and animates our body.

According to a researcher who showed that consciousness can continue after a person’s brain has stopped functioning, current scientific findings “would support the view that ‘mind,’ ‘consciousness,’ or the ‘soul’ is a separate entity from the brain.”

As Moreland said, “You can’t get something from nothing.” If the universe began with dead matter having no conscious, “how, then, do you get something totally different — consciousness, living, thinking, feeling, believing creatures — from materials that don’t have that?” But if everything started with the mind of God, he said, “we don’t have a problem with explaining the origin of our mind.”

Science and Faith Don’t have to be AT ODDS with one another.

6th Grade Retreat 2018 Slideshow

A snapshot of our 6th Grade Retreat 2018

Sign Up Here for 2019 6th Grade Retreat

We partner with Camp Eagle for the 6th Grade Retreat to provide an interactive weekend jam packed with talk sessions and small group break outs geared toward their age group. Located near Rocksprings, TX, the Camp gives us a place to enjoy God’s Creation and build community as we talk about our steps to Know Jesus, Grow in our relationship with Him, and Show the love of Jesus to others.

6th Grade Retreat Nov. 1-2, 2019

6th Grade Retreat @ Camp Eage

We partner with Camp Eagle for the 6th Grade Retreat to provide an interactive weekend jam packed with talk sessions and small group break outs geared toward their age group. Located near Rocksprings, TX, the Camp gives us a place to enjoy God’s Creation and build community as we talk about our steps to Know Jesus, Grow in our relationship with Him, and Show the love of Jesus to others.

Sign Up Here