Our Sunday Series is taking us through Key Verses in the Psalms that share truth to tackle faith’s ups and downs.
Each lesson gives your student the opportunity to study Scripture and apply it to their own life. Below are the passages we are studying and the main takeaway from each lesson.
Additionally, each lesson includes a memory verse, and we’d encourage you to learn these verses alongside your child.
|Sunday, Feb 21|
When I Want to Cry Psalm 80
THE TAKEAWAY It’s ok to grieve. Christ-followers cry out to God to remind ourselves of who he is and what his plan is.
|KEY VERSE “Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Psalm 80:3 (ESV)|
|Sunday Feb 28|
When I’m Happy Psalm 103
THE TAKEAWAY Joy in God’s grace and love for you is a praise you can always bring to him.
|KEY VERSE ““The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8 (ESV)|
|Sunday March 7|
When I Feel Wronged Psalm 79
THE TAKEAWAY We cry out to God in times of trouble, but we also leave justice and vengeance up to him.
|KEY VERSE “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 (ESV)|
|Sunday March 21|
When I’m Thankful Psalm 100
THE TAKEAWAY God delights when we give thanks, and he’s given us endless reasons to be thankful.
|KEY VERSE “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” Psalm 100:4 (ESV)|
After a JAM PACKED weekend with Worship, Challenging Teaching, Student Hangouts, Small Group Discussions, and Fellowship with the people of JESUS, we celebrate 19 decisions to follow Christ and 18 students that followed in believer’s baptism.
Whether you are jumping back in with us or joining us for the first time, we hope that these messages and worship songs bless you on your journey in following JESUS.
THINK ABOUT THIS
What is one of the most potentially awkward and uncomfortable conversations to have with your middle schooler? The one about sex, dating, and relationships! That’s why we’re spending four weeks talking about just that in our new series, Awkward. A conversation like this one may be awkward, but it’s so important! Some students may be curious about it while others may be uninterested. Some may be embarrassed while others may be experiencing some of these things for the first time. And some may have never thought about sex, dating, or relationships before. No matter where your middle schooler may be, it’s important to lay the foundation for healthy thoughts, habits, and behaviors around sex now so that they’ll have a better framework to make decisions as they grow.
Sunday, Feb 7 – Session One
What we do with our desires matters.
Wednesday, Feb 10 – Session Two
1 Corinthians 6:12; John 10:10
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
Sunday, Feb 14 – Session Three
How you treat others and yourself matters to God.
Wednesday, Feb 17 Session Four
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Focus on becoming love before looking for love.
Reach out to your kid’s Small Group Leader this week. Let them know that you appreciate their voice and presence in your middle schooler’s life. Empower them to be a safe person your kid can talk to about things like sex and dating. Thank them for being a trusted adult your kid can go to with difficult and potentially awkward topics.
If there’s one thing we all know and understand, it’s the feeling of an awkward moment or experience! So, challenge your family to come up with the ultimate awkward list. Together, think of as many moments or experiences as you can that could easily be labeled “awkward.” Whoever can come up with the most potential awkward moments is the winner of this awkward family challenge!
Find an easy way for your kid to talk to you about sex and dating. To do this, come up with a code word or phrase your middle schooler can say, write, or text to you to let you know they need to talk about something that’s potentially awkward for them. This will give them an easy way to come to you and give you a chance to mentally prepare before the conversation happens.
Conversations about sex have the potential to be . . . well, awkward! So do your best to plan ahead. Think about how you want to respond before the conversation happens. Prepare for the way you want to handle talks about or experiences with sex and dating in your house so that when the time comes, you can respond rather than react.
When you throw around ideas in a meeting to find a THEME something like… BELIEVE WEEKEND… other ideas swim through your head as well!
Don’t worry, we are not asking GOD to bring any SHE-BEARS to Believe Weekend. Our intention is to challenge students to BEAR FRUIT. A completely DIFFERENT MESSAGE than this one!
However, if you are a parent in sudden need of a quick lesson on RESPECT, this IS IN THE BIBLE.
‘He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord . And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.’ 2 Kings 2:23-25
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Okay, so the Verizon guy… wait the Sprint guy… whoever he is with, gave us a simple phrase that sticks out in my mind all the time. Our family totally changed services here in New Braunfels in order to HEAR ONE ANOTHER. From where we live currently to where we go out and about, we continuously found certain areas where our calls were dropped. Then, as we moved out of the “dead spot” we magically connected again. Needless to say, we made a move TO BE HEARD.
As we are looking at PRAYER or CONNECTING WITH GOD as a church, our Middle Schoolers are going back to the basics of what it means to connect with God.
That same question, “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?” seems to come up as we focus on prayer as well.
The BEST example we have is JESUS HIMSELF, as he preaches His first (and need I say LONGEST) sermon that cuts to our hearts, even today. In this Sermon, presented on a mountain, he directs His people to think about the “WHY” when it comes to prayer.
“Don’t be like the hypocrites, for they love standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full” (Matthew 6:5 NIV).
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then, your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6 NIV).
WHAT IS THE REWARD?
When we create a space and a place to CALL ON the Lord, we get more than an instant download code for 20% off on a flash sale. When we make time to focus on the person of JESUS and call out to HIM, we get more than three wishes for all our dreams to come true. Our REWARD is far greater than a “good day” or a material possession.
OUR REWARD IS A DEEP RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.
Isn’t that what our hearts truly call out for? I believe we are moved to choose a payment plan and upgrade to a new cell phone because we value the close relationships in our lives. We desire to connect with others on a deeper level, and we want to guarantee a secure connection.
How does the value with our Father translate to our daily lives?
I believe that an intentional TIME and PLACE builds a foundation for a deep encounter with the God of the Universe through Jesus Christ. How have you created an intentional time and place this week to connect? How have you seen the ultimate reward work out in your own daily walk with Jesus?
When our feelings get us down, God’s truth can pick us back up.
Warm Up: What am I feeling? Write different emotions onto sticky notes for your family members (one for each participant). Without looking at them have each participant place their emotion on their forehead. Ask family members to pair up and guess their “feelings” by acting them out to each other. Rotate around the room and encourage those participating to have fun by overdoing it on the emotional side.
Questions for Follow Up
- When have you felt overwhelmed or down by your emotions?
- How do your feelings tend to shape your day or week?
- How do you think God reacts to our emotions and big feelings?
The Video: Peabod is a hip-hop artist from Seattle, Washington that gets the whole overwhelmed feeling. While most of his music is meant to bring happiness and lightness to life, this song shares a little bit of a different vibe. Play Peabod’s music video for Big Feelings.
List any emotions depicted or experienced in the video while watching. Share your reactions to the video as a family.
In Lamentations, we find someone that can relate to the struggle of being overwhelmed with emotions and feelings that could ruin anyone’s day. Jeremiah shares some raw emotion about his feelings of hopelessness and loss as he reacts to his circumstances around him.
- What feelings and emotions do you see Jeremiah dealing with?
- How do these feelings relate to your own feelings?
- What is it like to feel so down, that you don’t have any hope?
The good news is that while Jeremiah was overwhelmed and hopeless at one moment, he changed his mindset to get him back up.
- How did Jeremiah change his mindset to give him hope?
- What truth about God do you find in these verses?
- What action do you need to take when you are feeling down?
- How can you find hope to get back up again?
Our emotions and feelings can change our outlook on life and get us down for a day, or even a week. However, God’s steadfast love and mercy can get us back up and give us hope no matter the circumstance. When your feelings get the best of you, change your mindset and begin focusing on who God is to get you back up again.
- What is one emotion you’ve felt overwhelmed by recently?
- What is one scripture you can find as a family that God can use to help you the next time you feel overwhelmed?
Listen to more PEABOD RIGHT HERE
Love: Week Four – Day Five
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? – Isaiah 43:18-19 (NRSV)
We are so close to Christmas Day! In just a few dozen hours we will all be gathered together ready to celebrate the birth of our Lord. What’s more, we will finally be able to open all the gifts underneath the Christmas tree.
When theologian and Pastor Samuel Wells was a young man, his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before she passed away, she managed to muster up enough energy to go out and buy him a special gift. She wrapped it in beautiful paper and tied it with a bow, but instead of giving him the gift she placed it in the closet for safekeeping. She told Samuel that his father would give him the gift on his eighteenth birthday, a birthday she would not live to see. For years, he dreamed of what might be in the box in the closet.
Sometime after her death, but before his birthday, their home was robbed. Someone broke in through a window and stole several items of value, but there was nothing more valuable than the beautifully wrapped box tucked away in the closet. Samuel never opened his mother’s gift.
Samuel was never able to enjoy his mother’s gift, but the gift of Christ is at our fingertips. We must not let it slip away. It is such a powerful gift that it transforms both our past and our future. As to our past, Jesus offers forgiveness and turns our grief into joy. As to our future, we receive the wonderful blessing of the Kingdom of God and eternal life.
The gift of Jesus is the most valuable gift of all. As we approach Christmas morning, I want to encourage you to be present for the present of Jesus. Do not allow this moment to pass you by. Isaiah reminds us to pay attention to the moment at hand and to notice the new gift God is offering us in Christ. Savor the celebration. Reflect on God’s love for you. Let your eyes be opened to the glory of God. That God would give us such a gift is truly a reason to rejoice.
Love: Week Four – Day Four
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. – Isaiah 43:2 (NRSV)
Lately, it seems as if everyone is obsessed with superheroes. There are new superhero movies out several times a year, and every streaming platform has their own show following the antics of a superhuman crusader. Maybe you follow Agents of Shield, The Boys, or The Umbrella Academy.
This verse from Isaiah reminds me of superheroes. It comes to us as a promise from God. It’s written as a bit of poetry and says that God will be with us in times of trial to prevent us from getting hurt. The way it is written, it sounds like whenever we are confronted by a challenge, God will allow us to breeze right through it like Wonder Woman or Superman. This verse reminds me of the age-old saying that God won’t give you more than you can handle. By the way, that saying isn’t actually in the Bible, and I have to disagree.
The focus of today’s passage is not God’s protection from harm. Rather, we are supposed to pay attention to the five little words, “I will be with you.” Here’s the thing: there will definitely be times in life when you feel like you’ve got more than you can handle. In the Bible, God gave people more than they could handle all the time, and, this year, everyone feels like they’ve got way more than they can handle. Instead, God promises that He will be with us when challenges come our way. He promised to walk through raging rivers and fierce flames by our side. With God we will survive. More than that, with God we will have salvation.
Despite what we see in TV and movies, there has only ever been one super human to walk the earth. That Hero’s origin story includes being born in a barn and sleeping in a manger. He was a lowly peasant who suffered just like us. But the whole world knows and celebrates His story more than any hero in history. Take time today and reflect on how Jesus has been a hero in your life.