154: Legacy at Little League

About 60 million children and teenagers participate in youth sports in America.

Community is often built at the ball field, so how can followers of Jesus leave a legacy at little league?

How can we be a blessing and pass on the goodness of God to the next generation as we participate?

Recently, Aaron Lutz sat down with two area little league coaches, Michael Graves and Aaron Chester, to talk about coaching from a Christian worldview.

151: Christians in the Workplace – Conviction, Compromise, and Caring for Others

Our faith impacts everything, including our work and family, but what does this actually look like?

How can our faith intersect with who we are and what we do all week long?

In this episode, Lance Lawson sits down with David and Emily Lantz to discuss the perils of busyness, faith in the workplace, and where we find our identity.

 

150: Mommy Wars — Stay at Home or Work Outside the Home?

Our faith impacts everything, including our work and family, but what does this actually look like? How can our faith intersect with who we are and what we do all week long?

Stay at home or work outside the home?

In this episode, Rachel Chester sits down with Allison Swenson and Donya Lawson to talk about how mom’s working inside or outside the home can cause judgement, guilt, or rigidity.

How to Disciple Your Kids Over the Summer

I imagine that some of you may have had a first reaction just like mine:

Disciple my kids?
In the summer?
Who has time for that?

I definitely get it. We have five kids in our family, ranging in age from 8 to 16, and let me tell you, summer is busy at my house. With camps, sports, and vacations, the days and weeks can fly by. And before you know it, school is here again.

So, is it possible to see any spiritual growth in the midst of all the busyness?

After all, this is the time when our normal routines have been abandoned, and most of us aren’t going to spend hours each day reading the Bible as a family.

But what can we do?

How can we redeem this break and put it to work for the good of our children?

Here are four quick ideas:

1. Soak up some Scripture.
Maybe you’ll read the Jesus Storybook Bible together in the evenings. If you have teens, you could find a short Bible study to discuss each week over Starbucks drinks. My family loves to road-trip, and one of our favorite things is to turn on an episode (or five) of our church’s podcast for kids, Who’s in the Bible? It’s a great way to laugh and learn together.

2. Partner with Clear Creek.
I know, I know. You’re out of town more. I totally get it. But when you are in town, make being here a priority! Your kids are building friendships and developing a community of Christ-followers that will carry them through future challenges in their faith and fill those gaps that parents can’t. Ask them what they learned in Children’s Ministry. Send them to Student Ministry events. Even if it’s just kickball, those relationships really matter.

3. Pray with a purpose.
Take this opportunity to build some habits of intercessory prayer. You may typically pray together at dinnertime or bedtime, but I know it’s easy for those prayers to be focused on our families — how each child’s day has gone or the events of the week. This summer, look for ways to pray for people or groups who might not be on the radar of our normal routines. Each week, choose together! Maybe this week you’ll pray for each of our pastors by name; next week pray for Top 5 friends. Another week you might pray for local ministry organizations or nations where our partners are planting churches. Be creative! The goal is simply to reflect God’s heart and values as we come to him in prayer.

4. Model Christlikeness.
So often we think of discipleship in terms of information and habits. And those are important. But we’ve all heard it: more is caught than taught. Your kids are watching you! So take time to show love to a neighbor. Be kind to your spouse. Be patient with that relative at the family reunion (you know the one). And when you screw up, apologize. It’s not really about being a perfect example; only Jesus can do that. But when your kids see you sin, your repentance points them to the gospel. And when your kids see you suffer, your faith points them to Christ.

That’s what this is all about! Whether we’re reading the Bible, connecting at church, praying for others, or obeying God’s commands, our heart is simply to show them Jesus. Let’s do it together!

141: Talk to Your Kids About Sex

This generation of kids is inundated with images, pressure, and misinformation about sex.

They need guidance, honesty and truth – but having those conversations is intimidating, to say the least.

How can we talk to our kids about sex biblically and lovingly?

Rachel Chester discussing the importance of having these conversations with Lance Lawson, our Director of marriage and family ministries and Crystal Bruning, mother of 3 and a leader in student ministry.

140: Why Doesn’t My Kid Believe? — Youth and the Deconstruction of Faith

In our most recent series, Reclaiming [Your] Faith, we’ve been talking about what the Bible has to say about diversity, intellectualism, justice and sexuality.

For some, how they’ve seen those who follow Jesus respond to these issues has caused them to question, deconstruct, and even deconvert from Christianity.

On this episode, Ryan Lehtinen sat down with Kyle Mikulan to discuss what it means for someone to deconstruct their faith and how you can walk with someone who is going through that process.

137: Fertility Struggles and Motherhood

We love to celebrate and support moms on Mother’s Day, but this day can also be difficult.

For many, struggles with fertility are painful, prolonged, and so often lonely.

On this episode, Rachel talks with Bethany Lutz about her journey through infertility and motherhood–her anger, loneliness, and finally joy–and how God and his people carried her through.

 

Check out Aaron Lutz speak on this as well here:

The Travis & Cari Hicks Orphan Care Story

“God has gifted us each 24 hours in a day and we have a choice in how we spend it.

We knew going in to this that our schedules stay pretty packed, but what are they packed with? Are we aiming to glorify God with all of the time He has given us?

He made it clear to us that if we could make time for all of the other great things in our life, we could surely make time to care for the orphan – for HIS orphans.” – The Hicks

 

 

A Simple and Powerful Prayer for Your Child

I remember learning about an approach to prayer years ago when my son was a toddler, and I’m grateful for the way it shaped me as a young father. The advice was simple and practical – use Ephesians 3:14-19 as a way to pray for those you love.

My son is a teenager now and I continue to pray this way for him and my other children. Using these few verses from the Scriptures to direct my prayers has not only helped me pray clearly and consistently for my kids, it has formed the deepest hopes and dreams I hold for them in my heart. I expect to ask God for these things in my kids’ lives for the rest of my life.

Ephesians 3:14-19 says, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Wrapped up in these five verses are three powerful things I ask God to do in each of my kids’ hearts.

Lord, please give my child faith in Christ

I strive to teach my kids about who Jesus is and what he has done, but try as I may, I cannot create faith in their hearts. I know God has to be the one to give them the grace of his presence and roots of faith, so I make verses 16 and 17 my request to God saying, “Lord, grant my son strength through your Holy Spirit so that Christ would dwell in his heart through faith.”

Father, please show my child how much you love them

I have spent a lot of time considering the richness of verses 18 and 19 in my own heart. This is the most impassioned prayer I regularly bring to God, “Father, please open my daughter’s heart and mind to the depths of your love. Help her know, without question, that she is loved by you. Give her security and identity rooted in your unquestionable love. Help me love her like you do.”

I often add in a confession of my own faults and shortcomings as a father and ask God to answer this prayer in spite of me. My kids need to know the nature of their true father and I ask God to help me be more like him.

Lord, please fill my child with your presence

This passage has God’s presence as bookends. Paul tells his reader that he bows his knees to ask that God gives them strength and power through the Holy Spirit in their inmost being, and he finishes hoping his reader is filled with all the fullness of God.

I make these words my request saying, “Lord, whatever my son faces today, be ever present to shape his experience, thoughts, and actions. Fill him with your Spirit and give him strength and wisdom to live differently — to live for you.”

I have many hopes for my kids but none more important than these. Consistently asking God to give and grow faith, to expand their knowledge of his love, and to make them aware of his presence each day has shaped the way I parent and the heart I have for each of them.

116: Have Yourself a Merry Blended Christmas

During the holidays, there is so much fun and celebration, but there are also difficult things that people must work through. One challenge for many is found in the complexity and accompanying emotions of a blended family. On this episode, Ryan Lehtinen talks with Brad and Amy Thompson about their experience of having a blended family and navigating the Christmas season.

Resources:

Clear Creek Classes (new classes starting in 2022)