Happy Father’s Day?

Father's Day

I wish my dad had pushed me on the swing.

I wish he had taken the time to kick the soccer ball with me.

I wish he had hugged and kissed me.

I wish he had been there to protect me from abuse.

I wish my dad had been there when I received the prizes.

I wish he had been there at the soccer games to see me score a goal.

I would have felt supported had shown up at the orchestra performance.

I would have felt loved had he cheered me at the track and field competitions.

I wish he had been there help me do my homework.

I wish he had not thrown my clothes outside.

I wish he had not said some nasty things to me and my siblings.

I wish daddy had gone to church with me.

I wish he knew the pain I felt then, and the scars I carry now.

He was not perfect, I understand.  But he could have been better.

I wish he had given his life to Jesus.

I wish he had learned to be a father.

I wish he had kicked the smoking habit, and given up the alcohol.

Now the ball is in my court.

Though the memories hurt, I forgive him.

I can show him what he could have been.

I can be a father to my children.

I can be, to my children, all that I expected in my father.

Now the ball is in my court, to MAN UP, and me the FATHER God wants me to be.

Happy Father’s Day?

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What’s Your Song?

What’s Your Song?

AfricanChildrensChoir

Psalm 40:3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”

Psalm 71:3 says, “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you– I, whom you have redeemed.”

Psalm 95:1 says, “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”

Psalm 105:2 says, “Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.”

When I am having a bad day I listen to the song “Handimbochemi” which means I will not cry I trust that God has this under control.

When I am not feeling well I sing this song “Murapi Mukuru” which means God is the Great Physician.  My grandmother taught me to sing this song when I was about 10 years old.

When faced with doubts or temptations, I sing the song “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”  Again, it is a sentimental song my grandmother taught me many years ago.

Songs play a significant role in the lives of Africans.  In Africa …

  •  We sing when we are happy; we sing when we are sad.
  • We sing when everything is going well.
  • We sing when we are struggling
  • We sing as we walk to the bus stop, as we bid farewell to our loved ones.
  • We sing as we ride the bus to and from church camps.
  • We lift our voices anywhere, anytime.
  • We sing when the babies are born. The arrival of new life calls for a new song to the heavens.
  • We sing and dance when in worship. At church, all peoples unite in song, becoming one family of God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5EVrOroiMQ
  • We sing when somebody gets married. We bless the new couple through rhythmic songs.
  • We sing when someone dies. Consolation is expressed through poetic songs.
  • We sing quietly, in contemplation. Our words seemingly reaching out to touch the heart of God.
  • We sing in loud jubilation, as we exuberantly celebrate victories.
  • Slaves, soldiers, prisoners got strength through singing. Some of our most powerful, moving songs were written during war times, and during the slavery period.

Today in church music plays a significant role

 1.  When we sing we feel close to God. When we sing, we open our hearts to God.  Our emotions engage us with the very holy presence of God.  Our inner beings “hear, feel, and see” the glory of the invisible God.

  1. When we sing, we declare our praises to God. When we sing, we verbalize our adoration of God. We get to express our gratitude to Him.  Our singing becomes a form of communication with God.
  1. When we sing we affirm our faith. When we sing, we tell the world who God is.  When we sing, we testify of God’s goodness and mercy to the world.  Our singing becomes a form of preaching to the masses.
  1. When we sing we retain our knowledge of true theology. Most of our hymns and songs are steeped in deep theology.  By memorizing, reciting, and singing these Biblically sound songs, we essentially, retain and reproduce God’s Word.  Where we cannot take Bibles; where doubt is prevalent, theologically deep songs can sustain us. Where people are illiterate, or poverty prevents them from acquiring Bibles, songs teach and preserve our theology.
  1. When we sing, God does something miraculous and wonderful. Music has the effect of changing our moods, feelings, and perception. Are you feeling sour and blue? Sing a worship song.
  1. Songs have no boundaries. You can sing out loud.  You can listen to music and move along.  You can hum, whistle or just nod along.  You can sing in your heart.  Wherever you are, whenever, put your song on.  Go on, sing and watch God change you!

What song has God put in your heart?

What do the words say?  What is God saying through it?

How do you feel when you sing this song?

Youth Ministry Matters

Youth Sunday Pix

Parents:

Thank you for trusting us to care for your children.

We are blessed to serve them.

We have become partners with you, and the school teachers in shaping their growth.

Children:

Thank you for letting us spend countless afternoons with you.

Thank you for allowing us to speak into your lives.

It has been our privilege and honor to be part of your learning and growing experience.

Let’s do this again in September!

Staff and Volunteers:

Thank you for all you do for God, for The Salvation Army, and for the children and youth of the El Cajon Corps.

You all make our corps an active, serving Corps.  You embody the spirit of servanthood!

Thank you for allowing the youth and children to:

  • Draw out knowledge, wisdom and life lessons from your experienced minds.
  • Draw out compassion, passion, and love from your warm hearts.
  • Draw out tenacity, perseverance, and dedication from your unwavering resolve.

Vision:

We have a vision of continuing to develop a holistic children’s and youth ministry.  Challenging and at the same time feeding the mind, body, and spirit of the youth.

  1. Feed the Mind

We will continue to partner with parents and schools to assist with academics, check on homework, and challenge reading through our BOOST ministry. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  I believe each child deserves a good education.  It is a crime if adults do not step in to help educate our youth. These are our future doctors, nurses, firemen, dentists, politicians, pastors, etc. We owe our future educated citizens.  Our future desires informed voters.  Our future demands literate community members.

2. Feed the Body

We will continue to challenge their bodies through sports and games.  We will continue to provide healthy snacks and meals.  Their minds cannot pay attention in school when their stomachs are empty.  They cannot remain healthy when obesity invites illnesses.  A healthy mind is sustained by a healthy body.  How can a body be healthy when it is underfed?  In a 2-mile radius of the corps, there are almost 8,000 hungry children.  We can help our neighborhood, one child at a time. Each child deserves three nutritious meals a day.  Each child needs to walk, run around, and play for at least 30 minutes a day.

3. Feed the Spirit

We will be intentional in teaching the Gospel in all our children and youth ministry.  While it is beneficial to have a good mind, and a healthy body, it is by far, more important for one to have a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.  All our children and youth ministries are outreach opportunities. We will continue to pick up children, pray with them, and lead them to a personal relationship with their loving Savior, Jesus Christ.  We may stumble, we may fail at everything else.  But, I refuse to fail at this.  This is our goal, part of our mission to: Save Souls!