Reserve Your Christmas Tree by Nov. 17

Reserve Your Christmas Tree by Nov. 17

Reserve a beautiful, fresh-cut Christmas Tree and support our youth!

Merge Youth Ministries is selling fresh Fraser Fir Christmas trees with the proceeds helping to provide mission trip scholarships. The trees are delivered only 48 hours after they are cut. The trees range from 3 – 14 ft. You can reserve your tree via our online form until Nov. 17.

You can also order your trees in person on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. The youth will be selling trees 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Harnish Activities Center on Nov. 5 and in Courtyard and Magnolia Patio on Nov. 12.

Tree pick-up will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30 in the main parking lot. If you can help distribute trees on Nov. 30, contact Kathy.

Merge Mission Sunday

We will celebrate Missions Sunday by having some of our featured mission partners come and doing hands-on-activities with our students. We have a goal to make 100 hygiene kits together and are asking our small groups to split up the supply list and bring supplies for our time together Sunday.

6th Grade Girls – 600 total adhesive bandages
-¾ inch to 1 inch size
-Common household Band-Aids
6th Grade Boys – $1 bills – This will help to purchase toothpaste
7th Grade Girls – Combs; Comb needs to be sturdy and longer than 6 inches long
-No pocket combs or picks please
-Rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable with a minimum of 6 inches of teeth
7th Grade Boys – washcloths
8th Grade Girls – Metal nail file or nail clippers; No Emery Boards please
8th Grade Boys – bath size soaps; -3 oz. and larger sizes only
-No Ivory or Jergens soap due to moisture content
-Do not remove from original packaging
9th Grade – hand towels; 15 x 25 inches to 17 x 27 inches
-Kitchen, Cleaning and microfiber towels not acceptable
10th Grade – 1 Gallon size sealable plastic bags
11th & 12th Grades – Tooth brushes; Adult size only, Do not remove from original packaging

Thank you everyone! We will meet from 5:30-6 p.m. for dinner in the Magnolia Building. Please bring $5 and invite your friends to come and serve together!

 

Emily’s Youth Message – Their Safe Place

Emily’s Youth Message – Their Safe Place

There are so many places and environments your teen has to hold his or her emotions together, and their home is the one place they feel safe to let down their guard and release what may be pent up inside. For you as the parent, however, this is a test of faith and patience!

Be encouraged, however, and hang on to the promises in God’s Word that He loves your teen more than you do. He has a plan and a purpose for them, and though you might not be able to see it now, you can trust in the One who does. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

When you spend time with God and His Word, you’ll be able to better manage those times when you are at a loss for what to do with your teen. I know you want to fix the problem, but sometimes you’ll need to let them process their stress. Watch this week’s parenting class.

When you feel like you are at your wits end, and there is no easy solution for your teen’s frustration, it’s time to get on your knees. Prayer is the harder work, but it is the most effective. Find prayer warriors to “fight” the battle with you—ultimately, your teens are experiencing a spiritual battle, so you need to fight for them with spiritual weapons. Ask God for His wisdom to know how to pray. In the book of Psalms, it says, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven” (Psalm 107:28–30).

In these three verses, we are given some great encouragement. The Israelites “cried out to God,” and He “delivered them from their distress.” Stand in the gap through prayer, crying out to God for your teen’s distress—and ask Him to “hush” the raging waters in their life and make them “quiet.”

And, don’t be afraid to tell your teen you are praying for him/her. Saying something like, “I wish I could make things better for you. I don’t know what to do to help, but I want you to know I’m praying for you every day,” is a powerful way to let your teen know you love them.

I am praying for you and your family too! Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions or concerns. I’m here for you!

Emily’s Youth Message: Teaching Your Teen to Be a Good Example to Younger Siblings

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to establish a loving relationship, siblings just will not get along. However, you can expect teenagers to respond to their siblings with kindness. This is one of the hardest things to instill in teenagers—especially if they don’t have a good relationship with their younger brother or sister. Often, teenagers barely know a younger sibling exists—and if they do, they see them as pesky annoyances. How can you encourage a better relationship?

Sometimes giving a teenager a picture of what you are trying to communicate works better than simply telling them. Perhaps there is someone who is older that your teenager looks up to—whether it’s a sports figure, an older friend, or a youth group leader. Ask them how it would feel if that person suddenly launched off and called them “stupid,” or how they would feel if that person said, “You don’t know anything; you’re too young.”
Help your teenager to realize their younger siblings look up to them, just as they look up to older friends and leaders. When your teen is unkind to a younger sibling, their words have the potential of crushing their spirit. Encourage your teen in the role they play as an older and wiser brother or sister. They can fulfill that role well . . . or not. It’s their choice.

Ultimately, we all want our children to get along—with the hope that one day, as adults, they will like (or love!) each other. Though you may not see this relationship while they are under your roof, you can require behavior in the house that reflects what you are praying for. As your teenager matures into an adult, and as you patiently love them and encourage them to respond to siblings with kindness, you increase the possibility of a lifelong friendship.

Some homes have clear rules that say, “We are a family, and we will not say anything that doesn’t build one another up.” Here are a few other tips to encourage relationship between siblings:

1. Teach mutual respect. Do not allow an older teenager to insult a younger sibling. Words are powerful, and an older sibling has more influence on the younger sibling than you might realize.

2. Do not play favorites. Though one teenager might be compliant and the younger sibling the Tasmanian Devil, irreparable damage may occur if that more difficult teen knows you favor the other child over him or her. Recall how Jacob favored Joseph in the book of Genesis. The result? Eleven jealous siblings who eventually sold Joseph into Egyptian slavery!

3. Remind your older sibling of the potential they have to be a good role model for their younger brother or sister. Their words are powerful and, according to the Bible, will either breath life or death to another person (Proverbs 18:21). Encourage them to step up and be a strong influence in their sibling’s life.

I am with you in the journey, and am praying for you and your family.

Click here to watch this weeks parenting video.

Emily’s Youth Message – Their Safe Place

Teens are notorious for saving their raging fits for you and your home. Friendship issues, stress from school and hormones on hyper-drive can make your teen seem like they have transformed into a alien from another galaxy. No, your teen hasn’t been abducted! They are just trying to navigate their world that feels out of control.

There are so many places and environments your teen has to hold his or her emotions together, and their home is the one place they feel safe to let down their guard and release what may be pent up inside. For you as the parent, however, this is a test of faith and patience!

Be encouraged, however, and hang on to the promises in God’s Word that He loves your teen more than you do. He has a plan and a purpose for them, and though you might not be able to see it now, you can trust in the One who does. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

When you feel like you are at your wits end, and there is no easy solution for your teen’s frustration, it’s time to get on your knees. Prayer is the harder work, but it is the most effective.

Find prayer warriors to “fight” the battle with you—ultimately, your teens are experiencing a spiritual battle, so you need to fight for them with spiritual weapons. Ask God for His wisdom to know how to pray. In the book of Psalms, it says, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven” (1-7:28–30).

In these three verses, we are given some great encouragement. The Israelites “cried out to God,” and He “delivered them from their distress.” Stand in the gap through prayer, crying out to God for your teen’s distress—and ask Him to “hush” the raging waters in their life and make them “quiet.”

And, don’t be afraid to tell your teen you are praying for him/her. Saying something like, “I wish I could make things better for you. I don’t know what to do to help, but I want you to know I’m praying for you every day,” is a powerful way to let your teen know you love them.

Click here to check out this week’s online parenting class:

I am praying for you and your family too!

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