Justin Graves Band Provides Fun Music For The Whole Family

JGB

I am so excited to introduce you to some friends of mine!  I met Justin, Michelle, and Gabi at a Kidmin Conference in Tennessee several years ago.  I was instantly drawn in by their infectious personalities, melodies, and love for the Lord!

Several months ago, Justin showed me some of the music they had been working on.  He also let me know that his family was expanding their ministry and had made a HUGE move recently.  As we talked, I felt strongly that I should share with my “blog family” all about Justin Graves Band and how YOU can be blessed by their ministry.

The Justin Graves band has a way of connecting with kids through fun, energetic music that teaches God’s Word.  When the JGB leads kids the first thing you MUST know about them is that is is NOT a performance.  They are interactive and intentional in the way they lead.  There is no show, nothing fancy…just true, honest praise and worship from the heart.  It is fun, real and filled with JOY!  Their hope is to encourage kids and families to be Strong and Courageous, always Trust in the Lord and tell them that they are a unique creation created by God for a purpose!

Check out this video below.  It will help you see the heart behind the ministry!  Then, head over to their website www.justingravesband.com and check out their music!  It’s perfect for church, home, or rides in the mini-van!  I hope you love JGB as much as I do.

“Fresh Prince Of Time Change” (parody of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”)

Fresh Prince Time Change

 

So many of you watched our other “Time Change Sunday” Parody Video (“Time Change Funk”) and asked, “Do you have more?” Well, yes we do!  Here is a great parody of the TV theme song, “Fresh Prince Of Time Change” by Will Smith.  This one stars one of my best friends, Shelby.  You’re gonna love this hilarious video that reminds everyone to Spring Forward on Time Change Sunday! Enjoy!

 

“Time Change Funk” (Parody of “Uptown Funk”)

TimeChangeFunk

Every year, our church does a great job at poking fun of Time Change Sunday (the day that clocks Spring an hour forward and for some reason people freak out because they are losing an hour of sleep).  To keep people from forgetting and ultimately being late for church that day, we create crazy videos to remind everyone.

The last few years, we have done parody songs and videos of the hottest pop songs of the day.  Well, this year is no different.  For your entertainment, here is a parody of “Uptown Funk” (Grammy award winner for Song of the Year 2015).  You’re gonna love it!

 

Can You Really Fall In Love With Reading The Bible?

Bible Dust

I didn’t always enjoy reading the Bible.  I know – it’s really BAD for a pastor to admit this.  Just to clarify, it’s not that I disliked the Bible.  It’s just that I saw it as more of something I NEEDED to do rather than something I WANTED to do.

We’ve all been there.  Our Western mindset causes us to make reading the Bible something to be achieved and knocked off the list.  We make a grand goal of “reading the Bible through in a year,” but barely get through the book of Numbers before we abandon that and skip to Proverbs.  We look at the best-selling book of all time and treat it like an owner’s manual rather than a treasure map (which it  most definitely is).

My good friend, Keith Ferrin, is one of the most passionate people I have ever met about the Bible!  I had the opportunity to interview Keith a short time ago.  I asked him how his journey into “falling in love with the Bible” began.  His story is inspiring.  I think you will be challenged by his commitment to God’s Word, but you will also say, “I can do that.”  It’s an incredible interview and VERY practical.  Keith’s goal is simple:  “To help you ENJOY the Bible.  If you enjoy it, you will read it more.  If you enjoy it, you will talk about it.  If you enjoy it, you will be more consistent in your time with God.  If you enjoy it, you will apply it!”

Keith has just launched something that I think you need to check out!  He has launched an 8-part video “Relational Bible Study” course.  It is such a revolutionary idea that many of you can benefit from.  You can check it out here!  Don’t delay!  This opportunity is only available for a few days!  The deadline to register for this incredible online course is Wednesday, September 30th!

A Church That’s Not Afraid To Talk About Racism In America

racism panel

This past weekend, my church (First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas) hosted a panel discussion on one of the hot button issues of our day: RACISM. What followed was an hour filled with open conversation, shocking statements, raw feelings, surprising confessions – ALL done with the most incredible grace, mercy, and love that only followers of Christ can do.

If you think anyone chose to shy from the difficult facts, you couldn’t be more wrong.  Sit down, watch, and prepare to be challenged and encouraged.  God is at work in HIS Church!

Watch the entire video here:

video - racism panel

 

[VIDEO] The Two Most Important Words A Parent Can Say

Two most important words

Words have power!  They can either lift up or they can tear down!  They can either raise our child’s self-esteem or they can destroy it.

There are a LOT of words we use as a parent.  Five words I find myself uttering often are, “Go Clean Your Room, Now!”  Three words my kids need to hear every day are, “I Love You!”

But, did you know that there are TWO WORDS that, when strung together in a sentence, can create a powerful bond between parent and child?  In fact, these two words are SO powerful that those who refuse to say these two words place a huge divide between themselves and their children.

What are these two words?  In this video, I share these two words with you and how you can use them to spark incredible conversation – DEEP conversation – with your children.  Using these two words will create an atmosphere where real bonding and healing can take place.  I pray that you take the few minutes and watch this video.  It might save your family!

This is PART 4 of a 4-part video series.  In case you missed the first three, here you go:

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Every Conversation Is A Spiritual Conversation

spiritual conversations with our kids

 

In my twenty-three years as a kids’ pastor, I can’t tell you how many times a parent has walked up to me after church and asked, “My son was asking me questions about baptism last night.  Would you meet with him to explain what water baptism is all about?”  I’ve received countless emails that say something like, “My daughter asked me what it means to be saved.  I don’t want to confuse her, so can I set her up an appointment with you this week?  I’m sure you can explain it better than I can.”  Parents have asked me to talk to their kids about every conceivable spiritual question.

I’m happy to help, but when a parent asks ME to talk their kid about spiritual issues instead of them…my answer is always, “No.”  Now, before you decide I am the meanest Children’s Pastor on the planet, watch this video and you’ll understand where I am coming from.  In this video, I explain why I believe the primary sources of spiritual conversation for these kids should be their own parents.  Too often, parents and grandparents believe they aren’t qualified to impart spiritual wisdom to kids.

Take a few moments and watch what I share in this video.  I think it will cause you to have a seismic shift in your view of what “Spiritual Conversations” with your kids can look like.

This is the third in a series of videos taken from my new book, “Talk Now And Later:  How To Lead Kids In Life’s Tough Topics.”  If you missed the first two videos, you can find them here:

VIDEO #1:  “Are You A Proactive Or Reactive Parent?”

VIDEO #2:  “Don’t Miss The Cues”

My book releases on September 1, 2015.  For a limited time, you can purchase a pre-release autographed copy of the book HERE!

Don’t Miss The Cues (VIDEO)

dont miss the cues

 

Our kids WANT to talk.  Sometimes, the reason they don’t is because REAL conversation with Mom or Dad isn’t something that they do often.  But, it’s not always THEIR choice.   Too many parents don’t recognize the cues that their children give that are a clear declaration of, “I really want to talk.”

Many times our kids want to talk about things that haven’t crossed our minds. Instead of always being focused on the task in front of us or what’s on the radio while we’re driving, parents need to look for the open doors of conversation that their kids are presenting them dozens of times per day.  Parents need to be able to read their kids’ body language and tone of voice.

In this video, I share a personal story about my son and some insights on how you can always be ready when your child gives you the cue that “it’s time to talk.”  Believe me, you don’t want to miss those cues!

 

In case you missed Video #1 in this series, you can find it HERE!  It’s all about becoming a PROactive parent rather than a REactive parent!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT About My New Book

I have been working the last two years on my new book, Talk Now And Later: How To Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics.”  I firmly believe this book is going to be a GAME CHANGER for all Christian Parents!

Children today are being bombarded by messages that are contrary to what the Bible teaches. Parents (and grandparents who are now parenting their grandkids) feel completely overwhelmed as they try to navigate the difficult waters of conversation with their kids about very difficult topics.  That’s why I wrote this book!  To help parents and grandparents lead kids through topics like SEX, self-Image, death, bullying, divorce, and more.  You don’t have to GUESS how to communicate with your kids about these subjects.  I have taken my 23 years of Children’s Pastoring experience (and my experience as a father of two children) and put it in this book to help you.

Here is the basic message of the book:

  1. Parents need to understand that it is far better to be PROactive in having conversations about these tough topics than to simply be REactive when a crisis hits their family.
  2. The way to pave the way for those BIG conversations in the future is to have many many small conversations as your child grows (about these tough topics), giving them a little at a time and building the foundation for meaningful conversation later.
  3. Parents must have their radar on all the time, looking for open doors and cues that their children will give them that “now is the time to enter through the door and have a small, meaningful conversation.”  Seize that moment!
  4. Parents should realize that EVERY conversation can be a Spiritual conversation.  God can use every conversation to shape their child’s future.

I am so honored that Dr. Michelle Anthony wrote the Foreword for my book.  She is the best-selling author of “Spiritual Parenting” and “Becoming A Spiritually Healthy Family.”  I am very excited about this book becoming a resource for every Christian parent.

The book officially releases to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Retailers on September 1st. However, YOU get a chance to get it RIGHT NOW!  For a limited time, you can get an autographed copy of the book for only $15!  PLUS, you’ll receive it within the next couple of weeks…WAY before the rest of the world!

Want to download a FREE chapter of the book?  Click here!

You can order your copy HERE and have it before anyone else!

So, get your copy of “Talk Now And Later” today and start learning how to lead the kids in your life in meaningful spiritual conversations about life’s toughest topics.  You’ll be glad you did.  I can’t wait to hear the stories of what God is going to do as you “Talk Now AND Later!”

Here’s a quick video to tell you more:

 

“Selfies” Are Sinful! Here’s Why…

OK, perhaps I am overstating it JUST a bit!  🙂  But, the “selfie” culture on Social Media is very telling.

Much of the time (not ALL, so no hate mail OK?), these selfies are simply a means of saying, “Look at me!  I want attention!”  Everywhere you look on Social Media people are taking pictures of themselves doing the most mundane things in the most elaborate poses – as if the rest of us really want to see this.  “Check out my new shoes!”  “My hair is ON POINT today!”  “Look at these abs, baby!”  It’s all about me, me, me!  It’s all about self, self, self!

Our society suffers from a “ME-First” mentality.  It’s the reason – when you are coming up on a stoplight – that you change lanes just to get further ahead of the car in front of you. You are GOING to get ahead of them.  Or when a car begins to pass you on the road, you speed up.  You will NOT allow them to get in that coveted position!  Talk about a ME-First world!

It’s the reason you get angry when someone else in the restaurant gets their food before you when you CLEARLY sat down before they did.

And, the ULTIMATE example of a ME-First mentality?  Black Friday!  This is where you can see the disgraceful sight of people pushing, elbowing, and biting so they can be the one to save $10 on bed sheets for Christmas.

It’s the reason you check how many friends you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter and Instagram in comparison to someone else.  If you have more, you are higher up on the social ladder.  You are sitting in the seat of honor.  Some of you even have the app “Followers Plus” that tells you how you rate against others.  It gives you the ability to see your “fame value” and your “acclaim value” to see if you really are as popular as you feel.

So, what does Jesus say about elevating yourself above others?  What does Jesus say you should do INSTEAD of trying to live with a “ME-First” mentality?  Jesus says…

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11

Jesus seems to be saying, “Don’t wait for other people, circumstances, or even God to humble you. CHOOSE to humble yourself.”

You must CHOOSE to put others first.  You must CHOOSE to put yourself in the lowest position – not because you were forced to be last. Not because you’re having a pity party because everyone else got the breaks.  But, because you CHOSE to humble yourself.

So, how do you choose to humble yourself?  How do you actively humble yourself on a daily basis so you never have to go through the pain of BEING humbled?

I shared a message with our congregation on this very topic.  In it, I share some insights from The Bible that will help you in this process of choosing to HUMBLE YOURSELF!  I hope it is a blessing to you: