Alert!!! Alert!!! The storm is coming!
In the midst of Hurricane Harvey, we rush to fill up our cars with fuel, we rush to fill up our grocery baskets with dry goods, and we rush to batten down the hatches as winds rage and rains fall.
In the midst of all this rushing around, I was brought back to the imagery that Jesus portrayed in Matthew chapter 7.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Matthew 7:24-27 ESV
How can we THINK TWICE about all this chaos to prepare for the storm?
The truth is that the rushing winds, the falling rains, and the flood waters impact us all, the wise and the foolish.
However, the wise have been practicing Godly Wisdom, building on the foundation of the words of Jesus, and taking those truths into their daily lives.
We have already seen devestation as the eye of the storm has navigated from the coast to the southern Texas region. Those who decided to prepare a firm foundation still take a hit, but remain useful and even a shelter for others that were pummeled by the storm.
Father, help us to see your vision and walk in your wisdom, so that when the storms come, we can be a witness and shelter to others for your Glory.
Schedule for the night:
7pm Registration, T-Shirt, & Pizza @ Student Pavilion
8:00pm Sean Emory Illusionist
9:30pm Ice Breaker Games
10:30 Charter Buses Arrive & Clean Up Student Pavilion
11:00 Transport to Blazer Tag!!!
12am Check In
3am Late Late Shift volunteer check in
6am Transport back to Oakwood
7am Pick up Time @ Oakwood
ABOUT THE ARTIST – GAWVI
Here is a post about GAWVI
Who Sounds Like Who
Justin Bieber Drake Chainsmokers
Sitting at the keys in a theater in downtown Miami, GAWVI, the producer, DJ, and Dove Award winning songwriter crystallizes his reasons for doing creative work to just a few words: “My passion is to motivate and inspire, to urge people to tap into the potential inside them.” He’s playing a few notes, enjoying the lull of a quiet venue before it fills with thousands of screaming fans and supporters. Truth is, it wasn’t always like this. He wasn’t always rocking packed out shows, but he did know it would someday be his reality. Some might call it confidence in one’s ability, but GAWVI understands it as having a firm grasp on the greater purpose for which he was created.
Gabriel Alberto Azucena (born September 23, 1988), who goes by the stage name Gawvi, formerly G-Styles, is an American Christian hip hop artist and music producer for Reach Records. His career commenced in 2008, doing production work for Lecrae and Trip Lee, who continue to be his most consistent collaborators. In early 2016, he was officially signed to Reach Records.
He started his music production career in 2008, most notably working with Lecrae and Trip Lee. His career led to him acquiring a recording contract with Reach Records as both an artist and in-house record producer. He won a GMA Dove Award at the 46th GMA Dove Awards in the category of Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year, for his production work on Anomaly by Lecrae. In 2016, Gawvi released 2 EP’s: Lost In Hue and Holding Hue.
After years of maneuvering behind the scenes and masterminding a host of albums and Billboard charting singles, GAWVI is set to venture out as a solo artist. Energized by his travels and his experiences as a husband and new father, he’s ready to add to his story via a batch of genre-defying material. “I’m excited to share this new music with the world,” he says. “My first solo album is going to be like nothing we’ve ever released under the Reach imprint. We’re about to really surprise people.” GAWVI is embracing the moment while also looking toward tomorrow. “The future is now,” he says as someone calls to him from backstage. Indeed, the future is now
“Read their mind” is just our way of saying, a parent should seek to understand what’s changing mentally and physically about their kids. Kids and teenagers don’t think like adults. So it’s the role of a parent is to translate what you want in a way they can understand. When you know how they think—they will hear what you say and know what to do.
Preschoolers think like an artist.
Artists experience the world through activities that stimulate the five senses. Preschoolers blend reality with imagination and learn through participation. A baby’s brain has more neurons than at any other time in life, and those neurons are forming two million synapses every second. In this phase, they are mildly aware of everything in their environment, and they take it all in at an unfathomable pace. Preschoolers learn experientially, through their senses, from someone who responds to them. In their world, there is no real distinction between what is real and what is imaginary. Like artists, they learn best when they can make it with their hands. This is why movement, music, and art are critical for learning in this phase.
Elementary-age kids think like a scientist.
Scientists understand the world through concrete evidence they can test repeatedly. Elementary-age kids discover how things work through repetition and clear application. Brain research suggests that during the elementary years (ages 4-10 or 11), kids learn information quickly and easily. But just because kids in this phase are eager to learn, it doesn’t mean they learn like adults. They’re still mostly concrete thinkers. They need repetition and clear application. Like a scientist, they learn best when they can observe something in their present environment. The more frequently a new concept can be connected to everyday experience, the better.
Middle schoolers think like an engineer.
Engineers solve problems by connecting concepts so they work together. Middle schoolers personalize abstract concepts by connecting ideas. Like their physical bodies, there is a “growth spurt” in the brain of a middle schooler. The brain overproduces neurons and synapses similar to the growing brain of a toddler. This period of rapid growth accounts for a middle schooler’s ability to think more abstractly, to understand multiple perspectives, and to think critically about themselves and others. It also means that instructions need to be simple and clear if you hope to be heard. Like an engineer, they learn best when they personalize an idea by connecting pieces of information. That’s why puzzles, patterns, and codes can be helpful for learning in this phase.
High schoolers think like a philosopher.
Philosophers seek to understand what is unseen and what cannot be measured. High schoolers want to discover meaning and learn best by processing out loud. A high schooler loses approximately one percent of the gray matter of their brain every year through a process called “pruning.” Pruning allows the brain to prioritize information to become flexible and efficient. With this new efficiency comes an increase in analytical thinking. But, the limbic system (risk-taking) is developing at a faster rate than the prefrontal cortex (regulating behavior). So risk and personal experience still govern behavior. Like a philosopher, they learn best through open debate, multiple perspectives, and applied reasoning. That’s why self-expression and community are essential for learning in this phase.
Just remember, when you understand the way a kid’s mind is changing, you stand a far better chance of identifying clues that help you know what they are thinking, conveying a message they can understand and laying a foundation for learning in the future.
New Resources from The Phase Project
If you want more on parenting through each phase of a kids life, we have some exciting new resources for you coming in July! We have developed a series of 18 guides to help you navigate each year you have with your kids to give help you discover what’s changing about your kid over the next 52 weeks, six things your kid needs most, and four conversations to have in each phase.
Great week at Middle School Camp!
We Saw 8 students give their lives to Jesus. We served communities damaged by a recent Tornado, shared the love of Jesus with children and the elderly, and learned about the heart of a Servant Leader.
THINK ABOUT THIS
By Reggie Joiner
Who I am is determined by a combination of things like:
My past experiences
My significant relationships
My personal interests
My spiritual beliefs
My personality traits
My physical characteristics
My natural talents
Each one of these things plays a role in shaping your child’s identity. Sure, there may be a host of people who have things in common with your child in each of these areas, but no one has the same combinations as your individual son or daughter. So, as parents, these issues become a way for us to think about the uniqueness of each of our children, and to help them begin a healthy journey toward understanding who they are. Here are a few suggestions to create an atmosphere in your home that celebrates the value of uniqueness.
Reinforce the Idea of Uniqueness Verbally
How often do you actually say something that encourages a sense of uniqueness in your children? It may seem strange but when my kids were younger, I would say things like, “Sarah, I just want you to know that you are my favorite second-born daughter.” She would reply with a sigh, “Dad, I’m your only second-born daughter!” I would smile and say, “Exactly.” There are a number of ways you can be intentional about saying things to your kids that add to their sense of uniqueness. Be specific. For example instead of saying, “You are a good writer,” you might say something like, “I can tell by your writing that you think in a very detailed way.”
Capture Significant Memories
Your past really does influence your understanding of who you are. Memory is a powerful force. There are significant moments that should be highlighted through photography, symbols, journals, etc. An author friend of mine recently talked about how he decided to collect things to decorate his home that actually reminded him of specific defining moments in his past. It makes sense when you remember that your past experiences are part of what makes your story unique.
Share Family Stories to give a Sense of their Unique Heritage
When my kids were younger, I heard a psychologist talk about how critical it was for children to hear stories about their parents and grandparents. He explained how it helped them contextualize their lives, and find a sense of connection and identity from the bigger story of their family. There are a number of ways to collect family stories. One way is to start a tradition on family holidays to have relatives tell stories about you and your parents from their perspective. It gives your children a unique view of you and themselves they would not otherwise have.
Expose them to Different Cultures and People Groups
If you live in the country, visit the city. If you live in the city, visit the country. Develop relationships with neighbors or associates who come from different ethnic backgrounds. Eat in a restaurant where the owners are from another culture and speak a different language. Ask them creative questions to find out something interesting about their culture. Watch documentaries together that broaden their understanding of how other people live. Teach them to respect the diversity around them.
Experiment with a Variety of Activities
Again, one of the most important things you can do as a parent is to continue to help your kids discover their strengths and passion. It’s okay for your kids to try out a number of things before they find the things they love to do and what that are naturally good at doing. When they are young, let them experience different kinds of camps, play different sports, and experiment with art and music to discover their passions. I know parents who have let their older kids spend the day with different friends at work so they can get a better understanding of a variety of occupations. Remember, you are helping them narrow their focus to the few things that they will ultimately invest their life.
What other ideas do you have to teach kids about uniqueness?
Get connected to a wider community of parents at TheParentCue.org.
There isn’t a more difficult time in life to navigate differences and embrace uniqueness than in middle school. During this time, it can sometimes be hard to see that the things that make us unique are hints at what we can excel at. Especially if we ‘re constantly being teased or pressured to conform to what the popular group deems as “normal.”
One thing we can all do to help our teenagers embrace their uniqueness is to model the way. We can show them what it looks like to embrace the unique characteristics about themselves.
Think about your unique characteristics. How have you recognized, used, talked about, and celebrated them? How difficult was it for you in middle school to embrace these unique qualities? Were you bullied, teased, or ashamed of them? What changed that?
This week, share the answers to these questions with your teenager.
Maybe in the car you say . . .
•Hey, did I ever tell you what middle school was like for me?
•Hey, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a bad habit of __________ about myself. So I’ve decided instead of ____________, I am going to change the way I talk about it. I need your help!
•Hey, remind me when we get home to show you a [picture, figurine, trophy, etc.] that I received when I as in middle school.
One of the best gifts you can give your teenager is to normalize their feelings around their unique qualities. This conversation can be the first step towards creating an atmosphere in your home that celebrates the value of uniqueness.