WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 is our OAKWOOD STUDENTS END OF SCHOOL BASH 4:30 to 7:30PM @ Student Pavilion
Chad preaches God’s Word through story telling, media, and visual experience. As a result, the Scripture is clearly presented in order for people of all ages to examine and apply Biblical truth to their everyday walks of life. As someone not simply called to speak, Chad believes in the importance of relationship and seeks to get to know people when he is away from the stage. Ultimately, Chad hopes to see people moved into a deeper relationship with Christ. In turn, they will live lives of action that impact their world.
Chad is originally from Chattanooga, TN. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he received a degree in Secondary Education. Following college, he attended Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX where he received a Masters of Divinity. After graduating seminary, God called Chad to a life of itinerant ministry.
Chad and his wife, Hope, live in Lake Jackson, TX with their sons (Shepherd,Charlie, and Alder) and daughter (Magnolia Bea). He is an avid reader and infrequent visitor to the gym. He serves as Teaching Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Clute, TX.
A few months ago, I settled in to watch the Netflix drama series “Anne with an E,” based on the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables. It was a nostalgic moment, bringing me back to a (much) earlier version of the same series where Aunt Marilla shares a quote with Anne saying, “the sun will go on rising and setting whether or not I pass geometry class.” I replayed those words in my head whenever anything difficult came my way.
What I didn’t know then—that I know now—is that a beloved childhood book was teaching me this:
The ability to bounce back.
Which is something I hope to teach my own kids.
That mistakes, setbacks, or difficulties would not overwhelm them or hold them back.
There is a ton of research and conversation happening about how to build resilience in kids. Without dumping a ton of research on you, I wanted to quickly share three game-changing questions you can use to build resilience in your kids.
1. What is happening?
First, ask: “What is happening?” When you do this, you’re giving your child an opportunity to share what they’re experiencing, which allows you to dial into it. When a child or teenager can regularly verbalize their struggles, challenges, and disappointments, they start to see setbacks as an accepted part of life that they’re not stuck in all alone.
When kids share with you what is happening in their world, you are a trusted presence in their life and this is huge. Having at least one caring adult who cares about what is happening is the key to resilience building. “Research tells us that it’s not rugged self-reliance, determination or inner strength that leads kids through adversity, but the reliable presence of at least one supportive relationship.” Keep being the caring adult they can come to.
2. What is true no matter what?
Guide them back to what is true. The American Psychological Association suggests trying “to identify areas of irrational thinking, such as a tendency to catastrophize difficulties or assume the world is out to get you, and adopt a more balanced and realistic thinking pattern.” Help to recenter them on what is true—like how much you love them, how brave and strong they are—and invite them to pause and take a deep breath. Help create a centering opportunity to remind them they are here and their body is working, that it will be okay.
This is where routines—such as dinner time, bath time, and bedtime—can be helpful too. When everything is hard and tears are plentiful, getting back into a routine helps to redirect kids to what is true no matter what.
There will be showers and chores and Tacos on Tuesday—even when life is hard, it keeps going.
3. What can I do?
A favorite phrase (it’s almost downright magical) is this: “What can I do to help?” When there are tears over unfinished book reports, a stressed-out teenager in the middle of exams, a toddler in the middle of a major meltdown, asking “what can I do to help?” is a reminder that no matter what happens, you’ve got their back. Even if all you can do is offer a hug, or help them find their school library book, offering your help is essential for building resilience. Research from the Mayo Clinic acknowledges that “being able to reach out to others for support is a key part of being resilient.” By offering to help, your kids are learning that they can reach out for support.
After you’ve asked, “What can I do?” redirect the question back to them to help your kid or teenager learn to problem-solve and see how capable they are in working towards solutions to their own problems. This helps develop the skills needed to respond to challenges. This is when you can decide together when it’s time to make a plan to handle that hard thing or consider other options that might be better in the long run.
When it comes to building resilience in your kids, these three questions can help.
But what is even more important to remember is that the common denominator is you. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University puts it this way: “The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.” When it comes to building resilience in your kids, what matters most is you.
MEANT FOR MORE VISION NIGHT WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30 7pm to 8:30pm @Tree of Life Church Our Youth Groups are combining to inspire and activate students to share the Gospel at their school. Check out Meant For More Here WE WILL ALL MEET AT TREE OF LIFE CHURCH FOR THE MEANT FOR MORE VISION NIGHT
MEANT FOR MORE VISION NIGHT WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30 7pm to 8:30pm @Tree of Life Church Our Youth Groups are combining to inspire and activate students to share the Gospel at their school. Check out Meant For More Here
The world events happening lead us to ask questions. Where is God in all of this? What does this mean today, and what does this mean for the future of our world?
Then I was reminded of my friend Sean Baulch and a timely podcast post by Kevin East that gave me insight to what God might be up to. So here is a post for you to grab on to as we pray through this current circumstance of events and a reminder of who we are called to be in Christ.
We are also pleasantly reminded of what Paul speaks to in 2 Corinthians chapter five:
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1. Ask God to redeem this situation by drawing many people to Himself. May Ukrainians and Russians discover that Jesus is the only true source of peace, safety, comfort, truth and freedom.
2. Pray that Ukrainians ultimately would hope not in governments, elections or diplomacy, but in Jesus Christ.
3. Ask God to deliver Ukraine from evil. May He have mercy and heal this land. May He give Ukraine peace and the chance to develop as a nation that values truth, justice and freedom, all rooted in the goodness of God.
4. Pray for a culture in which political disagreements don’t lead to hatred or violence.
5. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia can spill over into personal conflict within families, especially when family members live on opposite sides of the border and are influenced by different sides of the “information war.” Pray for unity and a love for one another that supersedes the problems between the countries.
6. Ask God to bless soldiers’ wives and children with peace and safety while their husbands and fathers are gone.
7. Pray for the various world leaders involved in diplomacy over Ukraine.
8. Pray that the evangelical church will remain united, even as it faces difficult questions, such as how involved believers ought to be in politics or in armed conflict.
9. In the past few years, the Ukrainian evangelical church has become much more passionate about sending its own cross-cultural workers to reach the lost. Pray that this conflict will not dissuade Ukrainians from taking the gospel message to Russia and to other lands.
10. Pray for Christians in the military. This is a challenging time; ask God to guide them as their faith is being tested in new ways.
11. Fears stemming from the conflict come up frequently in conversation. Pray that missionaries and other believers will have many opportunities to explain to their neighbors and friends the reason for the hope within them, even in this time of trial.
I remember getting “the talk” from my stepdad when I was 12 years old. I could tell by his efforts and timing that it was thrown together at the last minute. He fumbled and stumbled his way through the 30-minute awkward conversation and in the end, we were both relieved when it was finally over.
Fast forward thirtyish years and I now find myself in the same position with my eleven-year-old son. And even though I’ve consumed as much information as possible in preparation for “the talk,” I still fear having it. The lyrics from Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” best describe my feelings on the matter. “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his sweater already: Mom’s spaghetti.” Yup, that was me. My fear of “the talk” not only stemmed from my own forgettable experience with my stepdad, but also because I wanted to make sure that with my son I said the right things, in the right way, at the right time.
Well, I recently had the chance to interview Dr. Jim Burns about “the talk” on a podcast I host, and I came to learn that my whole viewpoint on the matter was flawed. Here’s what I learned:
There are no right things.
Jim said that anytime you talk to your kid about sex, you may walk away feeling like there were things you didn’t say that you wish you would have said, or things you said that you wish you had said better. You won’t always get it right, or even know what to say and that’s okay.
He recommended to always finish the conversation with room to pick it back up again later by simply saying, “Can we talk about this another time?”
There is no right way.
Do I have “the talk” with my kid while driving around in the car? Or do I have “the talk” with them in their bedroom? Is this a 30-minute conversation? Or is this an all-day retreat? Is this a morning conversation before breakfast? Or is the evening more effective? Do we sit down from each other and have a formal conversation? Or do we have it while doing something informal together?
These are the questions I asked myself. And like me, you can overthink these all day long. Jim’s advice was to simply use the rhythm of your day to start conversations about sex.
There is also no right time.
The talk can take place intentionally by you scheduling time with your child and saying, “What kind of things have you heard about sex?”
Or, it can take place unintentionally when your child one day randomly asks you a question about sex or puberty because the topic came up at school, or on the bus, or at a friend’s house and you respond by saying something calmly like, “I’m so glad you asked me” (while internally freaking out).
Jim’s advice: It’s important to start the conversation while your kids are young. You don’t have to tell them everything in that moment, or in one talk. This should be many talks—over time—but start young. And that right there was my biggest take-away from my time with Jim.
“The talk” is not a one-time talk. And, it’s not a lecture. Instead, it’s a conversation. It’s a dialogue that hopefully continues through the phases.
Depending on the phase, your kid may be uncomfortable talking about sex and puberty with you, but they need to know you care enough about them and their body that you will push through the awkwardness to have the conversations.
Believe Weekend is one week away, and we are excited to have guest speaker, Ashley Bohnic with us for the main sessions!!!
Ashley Bohinc serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the Executive Director of Carry 117, a ministry in Ethiopia which focuses on orphan prevention and family preservation by empowering women. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating onstage, developing leaders, working with students, and engaging in world missions. Additionally, in her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures, or sorting through her massive collection of army green vests and jackets.