A Christian is someone who has come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ initiated by His grace and established through our faith in Him as our savior, but you probably knew that already. You’ve heard all the "church things" at one point of another. The Gospel. John 3:16. The Great Commission. Roman’s Road. Blah, blah, blah. I’m betting at some point —you, like me — felt that "I get it" feeling, and you were ready to move on to the greater spiritual depths of God.
All my friends can attest to the fact that I LOVE movies. I love the art, the experience, the community built around watching them. I love it all! Movies have a way of ensnaring all of our senses and evoking deep feelings without us even having to leave our seat. I love movies because I love stories. Movies have the ability to bring you into a story like almost no other medium. Everybody has a story. Who we are, where we’ve been, what we’ve done, every one of us has a unique experience that makes us who we are. The Bible is the story of God’s work from creation to the end of time, but I also think it is like a really cool movie. There’s danger, war, love, sacrifice, joy, triumph, and everything in between.
There’s a heated debate raging out there right now. Well, there’s many of them, but I’m talking about two phrases you’ve probably heard being thrown around. “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter.” (If you haven’t heard either of those, open literally any social media platform and read for about thirty seconds… you’ll find one or the other.) I’m not here to tell you what you should be saying around the dinner table, that’s between you and Jesus, but I do hope to bring up a couple questions about what our kids are learning about the world we live in.
I’m so excited to let you all know that on May 15, 2020, I officially tied the knot with Ms. Lelia Stracener! Because of our current global situation, we chose to reschedule our wedding ceremony later in the year, but that didn’t stop us from getting hitched! We had a small ceremony with only our families present, and it was such a sweet time of worship and celebration. I’m a married man!
Mr. Andrew here, writing from the relative comfort of my home keeping socially (but not soul-cially) distant from you! I want to recognize and celebrate some of the amazing work our AsburyKids leaders are doing to stay connected with their small group kids in the midst of COVID-19. Many are using this opportunity to reflect on how Jesus is working in this time and the importance of remaining connected to one another. A few small group leaders even elected to host their small group kids in a Zoom meeting. Can you imagine twelve fourth-graders on the phone at the same time? Not only is this a sacrifice of time and resources, it takes serious planning and creativity. To our leaders who have chosen to lean in during this time, thank you! We are so grateful for our volunteer leaders who are impacting the lives of kids and families at Asbury.
ALL of your children are home with you. We know how difficult it is for your whole family’s schedule to be upended and your whole world shrunk down to your house. We hope all the kids are getting alone perfectly… but let’s be realistic. Close quarters means fidgeting, fights, and frustrations between kids AND parents. We know that many parents feel guilty when “screen time” is used to help mitigate these behaviors at home. Sometimes it is just easier to put on a movie than force the kids to focus on something educational! We want to encourage you that quarantine might be the perfect time to make a change in your perspective on “screen time.” Some houses are strict on screens and some aren’t, but we can all better engage with what our kids are seeing on their screens.
I want to highlight our volunteers and the amazing work you all are doing! I spoke with a volunteer the other day about her experience leading a fifth grade small group, and she highlighted just how impactful her time with her small group has been. She told me about how the small group has been a place where her girls, though they don’t go to school together and have very different interests, are able to share the real things happening in their lives. From divorce and death to dance and gymnastics, AsburyKids is a place where kids can be open with what they are dealing with and it is because of you, the volunteers that give of your yourselves and your time (and often your sanity!). Be encouraged that the relationships you are building with kids of every age are impacting their life for Christ!