Back to School for the Bible
by Steve Peralta
It's back to school season again, which means our children are heading to the classroom to learn how to read and write; how to do math; to explore science; and to study history. But as adults, do we ever stop learning?
Of course not! We continue to learn all of our lives. Athletes learn at practice. Employees learn on the job. Doctors learn at their practice. Everybody continues to learn.
As a Christian, I continue to learn. We refer to the Bible as the "Word of God," which implies that if we want to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God, we need to spend time reading the Bible. When the Apostle Paul writes to encourage Timothy, he reminds him that, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NRSV).
The Greek word translated as "inspired" implies breathing and spirit. The translator of Greek Hebrew scriptures used the same word to describe God breathing life into Adam's nostrils in Genesis. So, we study the Bible not just for knowledge, but to receive life into our souls. The goal of Bible study isn't just knowledge but to live the life God has called us to through Christ.
At Valencia United Methodist Church, we believe this study should be done alongside your brothers and sisters. We have a large collection of small groups where the study of God's word and community prayer combine to help us live out the life of faith. We include study of the Bible in our children's and youth programming. We also make sure that Sunday morning worship contains solid, Biblical teaching.
Pastor Steve Peralta of Valencia United Methodist Church. www.umcv.org
Values Worth Having
by Joe Campeau
We imprint our values on our kids, either intentionally or without realizing it, either accidentally or on purpose. A child learns through observation and mimicking what they see, through imitation of those they trust and hold dear.
What values are you encoding into your children?
If success is a parent's top priority, then a child will see success as the definition of who they should be. If, in today's climate of fear and mistrust, a child experiences their parents as afraid of their world, then fear will become central to their view of it as well. When parents struggle to prioritize their own lives, or try to maintain the fiction that one can "have it all" and never have to make choices, children will learn that life is about finding a little meaning in many things rather than ultimate meaning in a single thing.
At CLC our desire is to help parents grow values in their children. We want kids to experience following Jesus, and in so doing find family that will love and care for them, hold them close and never let them go, just as their Savior does. Those are values worth having. Jesus loves kids. So do we.
Pastor Joe Campeau is the senior pastor of Christ Lutheran Church. 259-0200
The Simple Guidance of the Holy Spirit
As faith-filled people, we must analyze and understand situations as they really are, both positively and negatively. If we are to succeed as believers, knowing why, along with all the factors that go into the success of growth with God, depends greatly on the following Scripture: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15.).
God's Word is simple to understand in many translations. In its simplicity, the guidance of the Holy Spirit allows one to be consumed by the presence of God. We are hearing the voice of direction, clarity and are submitting to the leadership of the Spirit. We become healthy through prayer, devotion and trust in our relationship with Our Creator as students not operating in our knowledge, but His.
Win One and Win One Woman are structured to meet the needs of the community, individuals and the whole family through fellowship, evangelism and support through life-altering situations like domestic violence, substance abuse, marriage, singleness and youth development and mentorship. Our approach to God is a spiritual experience that enhances an individual's positive outlook. This is achieved through discipleship, equipping and training - producing a duplicated love for others as God has unconditionally loved us.
Win 1 Church www.winnone.com