Into the Unknown

14 10 2012

Series Overview

We all only get one trip through life.  The question that many of us face is how do we make sure that we choose the best path through life when we have never done it before?  How do we navigate the unknown?  Every student is on a path, and we want them to choose the right one.  However, the truth about all paths is that your intended destination does not decide where you will go.  Instead, the direction you choose now will determine where you go.  Many students, and adults too, go through life without an understanding of this principle.  Direction, not intention, determines your destination.  Our students are choosing their paths right now, and we want them to choose the right one.  We want them to know that not only have to be intentional about the path that they choose, but they also need to seek good advice as they choose their path.  We want all of our students to be prepared as they go off “into the unknown.”

Week 1 (October 14, 2012)

This week, we are talking about the importance of wisdom.  Students do not think about wisdom very often, but they are putting some form of wisdom into practice every day.  Students are making decisions now that will impact their future, but they often fail to realize the importance of choosing the right path now.  Proverbs is all about wisdom, and it clearly shows that the wise path is reached through wise decisions.  While we would like for our destination to dictate our journey, that is not the case.  Our path is dictated by the decisions that we make, and the direction that we choose to go.  A careful plan can be spoiled if you don’t set out in the right direction from the start.  We want our students to have the best path through life, but in order for that to happen they need to start making wise decisions now.  We want our students to know that their path now will determine their destination later.

Talk to your student about the importance of making wise decisions. Ask your student if they know of a time in their life where a decision in the past helped to determine their future.

Week 2 (October 28, 2012)

Seek good advice. It is a very simple statement that can have a profound impact.  We know that our students are making decision every day. Decisions that will determine the direction and quality of their life now and into the future.  Our students are not making these decisions alone.  They are influenced by a wide range of people.  We want our students to seek out good advice, and we want them to know where they can go to receive wise counsel.  Life is hard, but it is much easier when you have people in your corner who have more life experience.  We want each of our students to look for a mentor.  A person they know they can go to get healthy advice.  Decisions in life are hard, but they are made easier when we seek good advice.

Talk to your student about who you go to when you need advice. Ask your student who they can go to when they need advice.

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Parts

16 09 2012

Series Overview

We often try to stop behaviors or habits, without fixing the things that cause them. Doctors never tell someone who has suffered a heart attack to stop having heart attacks. Instead, they give instructions to change diets, exercise routines and other lifestyle activities, in order to ease pressure on the heart. In the same way, we have to adjust our lives to allow our bodies to be all that God intends for them to be. The things we look at, listen to, and allow into our lives affect not only our physical health, but also our spiritual health. So, for the next 4 weeks, we are going to start to look at the whole self and not just see ourselves as a collection of “parts.”

Week 1 (September 16, 2012)

It has happened to all of us: We have all been caught off guard by an emotion. Perhaps you were watching a movie and, out of nowhere, you started to tear up.  Maybe someone said something innocent to you and you just snapped and yelled something back. Have you ever felt your heart break by just watching a commercial? What about sitting in church and just feeling disconnected or out of whack? All of these situations suggest that there is some connection between our emotional health and our spiritual health. In the poetic language of Proverbs, we are told that our “heart” is something to be guarded, for it is the center of life.  Well, today we want to start our series called “Parts” by exploring our students’ emotional health. We want to know how their hearts are doing, and we want to encourage our students to pay attention to their hearts.

Talk to your student about the connection between our emotional health and our spiritual health. Ask your student about the last time they felt compassion?

Week 2 (September 23, 2012)

This week, we are focusing on how important our eyes are to our souls. The Bible says that our eyes are the light to our souls. Just like a light in a dark room, God wants to bring His light to every part of our lives. Darkness symbolizes sin and separation from God. If we continue to allow our eyes to be fixed on things apart from God, darkness will continue to fill up our souls (mind/will/emotions).  God wants us to “fix our eyes on him.” He wants us to allow our souls (mind/will/emotions) to be filled up with things that encourage our relationship with him. We must be careful what we look at in order to protect our souls from sin and darkness. We want our students to know that what they look at will change them, and that from now on they need to begin guarding their eyes.

Talk to your student about how you guard what you look at. Ask your student if they think they are negative consequences to some of the things that we see.

Week 3 (September 30, 2012)

One of the most powerful gifts that God has given us is the ability to communicate. However, our mouths can be one of our most dangerous and harmful weapons. The Bible talks about the tongue being a double-edged sword.  The idea of the tongue as a sword refers to the ability to both protect and destroy. One of the most difficult areas for us to use self-control as teenagers is our use of words. With the same mouth that we use to worship our God and pray, we curse and hurt other people. We have to grasp the incredible opportunity and responsibility we have to use our words. God wants us to use them to build others up. He blesses us with the ability to communicate and even gives us the words He wants people to hear. It is our responsibility to train ourselves to use our words in ways that are healing and helpful.  We want our students to begin to choose to build others up rather than tearing them down.

Talk to your student about a time where you chose to build someone up with words rather than tear them down.  Ask your student how they can build someone up this week.

Week 4 (October 7, 2012)

There is an old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” As clichéd as that might sound, it’s absolutely true.  As much as we would all love to prove our others wrong about the music we listen to, the truth is that what we hear and the people we listen to affect us. It also affects what our futures will look like. This week, we are looking at the ear. We all get and give advice on a daily basis. Our decisions are greatly affected by whose advice we listen to. If we listen to the wrong people, we will more than likely end up with regrets and possibly be in danger.  We must also be on guard against ourselves. Sometimes, others know more about situations than we do. We must be careful to surround ourselves with people who have our best interests in mind. We must also be willing to listen and follow through with what they advise us to do.

Talk to your student about a time in your life where you listened to bad advice. Ask your student which of their friends they usually go to for advice.