Monday, November 25, 2013
Thanksgiving week tends to be a time in which we are wrapped up in football games, family get-togethers, and great food. In the busyness of the holiday season we can miss the “thanks” in Thanksgiving, especially in showing thankfulness to God. Every good thing we have comes from Jesus. Our very breath and life are a gift from God. As a result, gratitude should be our natural response to Jesus. Take time this week to share with others the gift that God has given you…the gift of salvation. Share your faith this season!
Read Psalm 100 together as a family.
Questions to ask…and to answer:
Why is it often easier to complain than to be thankful?
What do you most look forward to about Thanksgiving?
Something to talk about: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy.
Fun things coming up:
Monday, November 25, 2013: The Pace High School band is coming back from their regional finals and have finished first in the state! So tonight at 8:30pm, there is a homecoming for the band at Pace High to honor their achievement.
Middle School Christmas Party – Wednsday, December 11 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Rousseau Hall.
Middle School Lock-In – Dec. 31 to Jan. 1. ALL students must attend the Worship Service at 10:00pm then we’ll transition into the gym to kick off the New Year!– Chris
Monday, November 18, 2013
In the story of Joseph we find one of the strongest examples of family conflict within the Bible. The story holds nothing back. It is messy. We get to see the dirt of a godly family. Favoritism, hatred, and envy defined them. Yet, even in the midst of that kind of family dysfunction, God had a plan. The story of Joseph is a reminder that families who are experiencing conflict can find comfort that God works even through the darkest moments to create an ultimate good. The point, God is at work in the midst of conflict…even in the toughest family conflict!
Questions and things to think about with your child:
How do you react to a change in plans?
What kind of behavior tends to create conflict?
What do you think about this quote, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Charles Swindoll
Some fun things coming up:
7th grade only: Turkey Olympics! This Saturday, November 23 from 1:00pm till 4:00pm. Meet at the soccer fields on Olive’s campus.
Middle School Christmas Party – Wednesday, December 11 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in Rousseau Hall.– Chris
Monday, November 11, 2013
Making bad decisions leads to consequences. No one is immune. But how do you respond to someone while he or she is making bad decisions? At what point is it right to get involved? God uses peacemakers to draw people to Christ. While many followers of Christ are known more for what they are against than what they are for, peacemakers choose their battles well.
Points to ponder:
How do you step in to keep a bad situation from getting worse?
How do you respond when you hear, “mind your own business?”
What prevents us from stopping a “train wreck” in someone’s life?
Some fun things coming up:
Fusion this Wednesday: The Student choir is performing in Rousseau Hall!! Join us!
6th grade only: November 16. Hayride and cookout from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Hardy’s home.
7th grade only: Turkey Olympics! Saturday, November 23 from 1:00pm till 4:00pm. Meet at the soccer fields.– Chris
Monday, October 28, 2013
What a terrific weekend! The Fall Festival was fun and our 8th grade students did a tremendous job working several booths! And let’s not forget to mention…the weather has been awesome!! I would say that October and May are the best months to live in Pensacola☺. Would you agree?
What happens when you disagree with someone? Even on something as simple as an opinion on the best months for weather…with that said, disagreements can break relationships. They can result in division even if neither person is wrong. Sometimes the best option is to put aside our own interests and let the other person “win.” Read Genesis 13:1-18 and see how Abram resolved his conflict…the point is…I don’t have to get my way to solve a conflict.
Questions to ask your student and thoughts to ponder:
What is a conflict our family seems to have often?
How can we help each other work through conflict better as a family?
Thought: “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional.” – Max Lucado
Some fun things coming up:
For Parents: Next week, November 4th, in Passmore Hall, we are having another Parent Dinner. Families are invited! It is from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. We will be discussing our holiday schedule, our spring Bible Studies, and DNOW.
6th grade only: November 16. Hayride and cookout from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Come to SSCG at 9:30am for more details! Or call us at 475-1143.– Chris
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
From 1 Samuel 24: 1-15: at the heart of most conflict is the desire to get what I want or to have things my way. That sets the tone for conflict among siblings, spouses, entire nations, and in every relationship in between. As Jesus empowers us to deny ourselves and put others first, we can avoid unnecessary conflict.
The Point: Conflict can arise when I’m thinking only of myself.
Some discussion questions:
What’s something you refuse to share?
What tempts people to take matters into their own hands?
Have a conversation around this quote: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis.
Some fun things coming up:
8th grade only: Saturday, Oct. 26, from 3:00pm to 8:30pm. Meet at the church to begin Operation Christmas Child shopping. Bring $5. Returning to the church as well. Call us if you have any questions…475-1143.
6th grade only: November 16. Hayride and cookout from 4:00-7:00pm. Come to SSCG at 9:30am for more details! Or call us at 475-1143.– Chris
Monday, October 7, 2013
Has anyone ever mistreated you in some form or fashion such as saying untrue things about you, cut you off in traffic (or the lunch line), or simply rolled your house with toilet paper? Most of us would have to admit that we feel the temptation to fight back and the pressure to get revenge. But God hates retaliation. James wrote to first century Christians who knew the pain of mistreatment and the pressure to get revenge. He teaches that the right response when you’ve been wronged is not to give in to the pressure to retaliate, but instead to let it go. The point is God wants us to trust Him rather than seek revenge.
Question to consider:
How do you deal with the desire to get someone back?
How can you focus on trusting Jesus rather than seeking revenge?
Some discussion: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” by Winston Churchill.
It’s approaching fast…The Fall Retreat!! Remember, be here at 5:30pm Friday and bring:
Bible, Sleeping bag or sheets/blanket, pillow
Bath & beach towels, Toiletries, Sunscreen
Swimsuit (girls: 1piece or tankini), casual clothes,
Light jacket/hoodie, a few dollars for drinks & snacks
And whatever you do, don’t bring:– Chris
Skate or surf boards, prank stuff, ipod, ipad (electronics of any kind – it’s a retreat from these!)
Monday, September 30, 2013
The Bible meets life: James chapter 4 begins with a powerful question, “What causes fights and quarrels among you?” Wow, great question…James says it's our self-centeredness, our prayerlessness lives, and our worldly desires. I would have to admit, this is true. Fighting seems to come naturally to us. Whether we’re in the midst of it or we just like to watch it, fighting gets our attention. James gives 5 ways to overcome fighting: 1. Humble yourself 2. Submit to God 3. Resist the Devil 4. Draw near to God 5. Purify your heart. These steps are easier said than done, but a must if we desire Godliness.
Things to discuss:
Have a conversation around this quote: “Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it” – Charles Swindoll
Why is conflict so natural for us?
How can I stop conflict before it arises?
How can I pray for you this week?
Friday through Sunday, October 11-13 is our Middle School Fall Retreat: BE [ ]. Our theme is from the book of James…BE [doers], BE [Impartial], BE [wise], BE [submissive], BE [Patient]. BE who God is called you to BE.– Chris
Monday, September 23, 2013
We all face the pressure of using our words to criticize, gossip, or verbally assault others. Words spoken carelessly, unwisely, hastily, and destructively can affect every aspect of our lives. As we follow Jesus, He will empower us to use our words in a positive way. The point is…our words should >DO reflect our relationship with Christ. James teaches in chapter 3 that what is in the heart of a person will come out in words. But, in verse 8 of chapter 3, James doesn’t say that the tongue cannot be tamed…it says that no person can tame it. Only the Holy Spirit can!
Things to discuss: What is something someone might have said to you that’s stuck with you for a long time?
Read ch.3:13-18 and talk about what our response should be when we hear criticism, gossip, or hatred.
What do you think about this saying, “Kind words do not cost much…yet they accomplish much.” – by Blaise Pascal
How can we encourage each other with words this week?
This Wednesday, September 25, is “Parent Night.” We would like to invite our parents to Fusion! We’ll have student versus parent games, worship, and even Reaction groups. During this time we will discuss the Fall Retreat!
Friday through Sunday, October 11-13 is our Middle School Fall Retreat: BE [ ]. Our theme is from the book of James…BE [doers], BE [Impartial], BE [wise], BE [submissive], BE [Patient]. BE who God is called you to BE. The cost is $60 and the deadline to register is September 29.– Chris
Monday, September 16, 2013
This week our students are in Chapter 2 of James, “My brothers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ don’t show favoritism.” Our culture tends to value people based on ethnicity, gender, wealth or ability. But God wants us to see people as He sees them – created in His image to glorify Him. We should treat others as Jesus did – with impartiality and fairness. Yet it's socially acceptable to tease others by their looks or bully those who are smaller or less fortunate…”By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Something to discuss:
Why do you think people are treated better based on how good they look? Is there ever a reason to treat one person better than another? What is a challenge you face regarding how you treat people?
Wednesday, Sept. 25 is “Parent Night”. We would like to invite our parents to Fusion! We’ll have student versus parent games, worship, and even Reaction groups☺
Friday through Sunday, October 11-13 is our Middle School Fall Retreat: BE [ ]. Our theme is from the book of James…BE [doers], BE [Impartial], BE [wise], BE [submissive], BE [Patient]. BE who God has called you to BE. The cost is $60 and the deadline to register is Sept. 29.– Chris
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Where the Bible meets life: Temptation is a reality for all of us. Even Jesus was tempted. We can’t avoid it, but we don’t have to give in to it. The Book of James (chapter 1) helps us understand that God does not tempt us, but he will provide a way to resist temptation. Because of the work Christ did on our behalf, we can see temptation for what it is and through Him we can overcome any temptation…
Some questions to ask your students:
According to James 1:13-15, what leads to temptation?
Do you have any questions for me about how I face temptation?
What can I do to help you with the things that tempt you?
Discuss this quote by C.S. Lewis, “Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is.”
Read Proverbs 4:23-27 together.
Next Big Thing: Fall Retreat is October 11-13 at Blue Horizon in Panama City Beach. Cost is $60. Begin registering this week!– Chris
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
In the next five weeks, our students are concentrating on the book of James. James spurs us on to change our behavior, “be doers of the Word and not simply hearers” (James 1:22) And to begin, James asks us to joyfully trust in God through any trials…so, what does that look like?
Discuss with your students this quote by Tony Dungy, “You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach and response.”
It’s easier to discuss trials when you aren’t going through them, so ask, “What’s a struggle we’ve faced together as a family?” How has it made us stronger? James says that trails bring endurance. Endurance is something we all want, but are not willing to pursue. But knowing that going through trials strengthens our spiritual growth, we persist!
And if you’d like, ask, “Are you struggling with anything right now I can help you with?”
- 8th grade social Sat, Sept. 7, 11am-4pm (call for details)
- 6th grade social Sun, Sept. 8, 12:30-4:30pm (call for details)
- And last but not least, its Bring a Friend Sunday! Expect great things!
Monday, August 26, 2013
In the book of Philemon, Paul pleads with a fellow believer, Philemon, to receive Onesimus (Philemon’s runaway slave) back. But Paul asked that Philemon not take Onesimus back as a slave, but as a brother. This was countercultural because under Roman law, runaway slaves were punishable by death. But Onesimus, through Pual’s ministry, became a Christian and now Philemon has a crisis of belief…does his faith in the Lord counter-act the culture and does love win? The students are learning this week that faith in Jesus is inseparable from love for others. And sometimes its popular or culturally accepted to hold grudges, be mean, be unforgiving, be unkind, be crude towards others, but “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…” Why don’t we love others with that same passion?
Questions that you can ask your student:
How do you recognize the faith that someone else has in God?
How can others recognize your faith through your actions?
Why is love such an important part of faith?– Chris
Monday, August 19, 2013
What an exciting first week! We kicked things off with promotion Sunday at Church, and then started new classes at school on Monday. My prayer is that students will understand what it means to make disciples by the examples of their lives. Though these students are learning in the class rooms, they are teaching others about their faith by the way they live. This past Sunday we spent a lot of time getting to know one another, but the biblical truth we wanted the students to take away is this: teaching through the Word and by example is an essential aspect of our commission. Out of 1 Timothy 4:11-16 and Matt. 28:19-20.
Some questions you (as a parent) can ask:
What’s the first think that comes to mind when you hear the word teacher? What are some characteristics of an effective teacher? Would you call Jesus a “good teacher”? Why?
Read Matt. 28:19-20. What has Jesus called us to do in these verses? How does he tell us to do this? From 1 Timothy 4:11-16 what are some characteristics that Paul shared with Timothy about how to be an effective teacher?– Chris
Tuesday, June 5, 2013
Summer is here!! School is out and vacations are in. As you come and go, I want to give you a snap shot of our summer:
June 05 – Normal Wednesday night
June 09 – Camp meeting after the 11:00am service in Passmore
June 10-14 – VBS; No Wednesday night activities
June 19 – Beach worship; meet at church, leave at 6:00pm, return at 9:00pm
June 23 – FACE service begins at 5:30pm
June 26 – Dodge ball tourney from 6:00-7:30pm
July 1-6 – Centrifuge July 10 – Movie night 6:00-8:00pm
July 14-19 – SIFAT
July 24 – Soccer/Ultimate Frisbee Tourney 6:00-7:30pm
July 31 – Water day!! 6:00-8:00pm
August 07 – Four square Tourney 6:00-7:30pm
August 12 – Parent Meeting from 6:00-8:00pm in Passmore
August 14 – Talent show
For all the 5th grade students who are entering the 6th grade, you are invited to our Monday Madness: June 17, 24; July 8, 22, 29; and August 5. Also, for all the 8th grade students entering 9th grade, you are invited to all activities outside of normal Wednesday and Sunday activities. (Dual Citizenship)– Chris
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Thank you for your prayers! Evangelina and Kelly are doing great! After 38 and a half hours of labor, she was born on March 21 at 9:06pm, weighing 8lbs 8oz, and measuring 20 inches long. And for several weeks, Kelly and I have been in baby boot camp; experiencing the joys and sleeplessness of child rearing☺. Evangelina is now almost one month old…wow, we cannot believe how the days (and nights) go by slow, but the month has gone by fast. We can’t wait to introduce everyone to our daughter!
School is winding down for the year and for many parents, they can’t believe how fast the years have gone by. Once your child was fascinated with dolls or Legos, but they are now in middle school and are fascinated with Facebook, Instagram or other boys and girls. You’re trying to place parental control on what they watch and explore on the internet. In the middle school ministry, we want to partner with parents as we teach students their call to be set apart by God, set apart for God and set apart to know God. In that, we are teaching them that everything we do is sacred. There is no difference between what they do on the internet or school and what they do at church. Whether they are a ball player, a musician, or a stellar student, they are all called to be disciples…the bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God…so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”– Chris
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Any day Kelly and I are expecting our baby! Little Evangelina Grace will be here soon!! We look forward to meeting her☺ Thank you for your gifts and especially for your prayers. As the time grows closer many of you have asked to keep you updated. To do so, we are updating via Facebook and Twitter. Our updates will be on Facebook under FusionOBC and on Twitter under Fusion1836.
March 23 – 6th grade students are going to Mobile (Planet Gymnastics)
March 24 – FUGE and SIFAT registration deposits are due. $100 for FUGE and $75 for SIFAT
March 31 – Easter! NO Connection Groups
April 3 – Pensacola Missions Night– Chris
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Wow, Disciple Now weekend was awesome! Thank you to everyone who made this weekend a success (when I say success, I mean that students were changed, lives were changed)… Thank you to Sandy Fones, Trent King and Jonathan Espy for the teamwork. The hard work and long hours they put into preparing and executing the weekend has no limit. You guys are awesome! Thank you to Kara Rebitch for leading our banquet decoration. The ROC looked so good you couldn’t recognize it! Thank you to Kelly Goolsby for leading our serving team. They served over 350 guests in 2 hours, amazing! Thank you to Tom Savage and the Ma-Jazz-tics for our music during the banquet. We loved it!
Thank you to all of our host homes for housing the students for the weekend; 26 homes and nothing damaged (that I’ve heard). Thank you to the bible study leaders as they poured life into our students. God’s word, the word of life, was studied and lived out. Thank you to Amick Cutler and the band for the worship. As one leader put it, “they are anointed.” Thank you Addison Shock and the SIFAT team for being here, it was “beautiful.”
Thank you to the countless others that made this happen: Jamie Settle (videographer), Pastor and Leo (for being awesome sports), Allen Farr (for the great lighting and sound crew), Cheryl Tidwell (for organizing the houses), Eddy Bledsoe (for the stage design), Housekeeping (for cleaning up, setting up, and putting up with us) and last, but not least, the students (for signing up). There are so many more that I have not mentioned, but know, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!– Chris
Thursday, January 31, 2013
What is dNow? dNow is a shortened way of saying Disciple Now. It is a weekend where students (6th – 12th grade) get together as fellow believers and grow deeper in God’s Word through small group Bible study and fellowship with one another. It’s a quick spiritual growth spurt in the life of your child…a shot in the arm of Christian fun…a week long camp balled up in a weekend! Can you imagine the excitement?
This year’s theme is “Belonging”. Our emphasis is belonging to the Kingdom of Heaven. We discuss questions such as, what does it mean to belong? Our main passage of scripture will be Matt. 22: 1-14 – The Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet. The logo reflects the banquet table. We are all invited! The left side of the table represents us coming as we are, “sinners”, dirty, unclean. God then gives us what we need as he clothes us in Christ. The right side of the table represents our newness is Christ. Many are invited, but few choose to accept therefore few are chosen (Matt. 22:14). We, as Christians, belong. We belong to God, we belong to the Kingdom…”Belonging”
Registration ends FEB. 10! Cost is $65. If you have any questions, call 475-1143.– Chris
Friday, January 11, 2013
I’ve been challenged by our small group Bible study (BAM) to write out my testimony, describing my life before meeting Jesus, how God drew me to Jesus, and how I’ve changed. Then I must post it somewhere…here goes:
Before knowing Christ, I was a very selfish boy. I grew up in a Christian home where I knew right from wrong and good from bad, but I did not fully grasp my need for a savior. I only thought about myself and not at all about God and eternity. One day my friend John invited me to a youth summer camp (I was 13 years old). The camp pastor, the entire week, preached on eternity…and where we would spend it if we did not truly know Jesus. I was scared straight to the Savior’s arms. I did not understand completely at the time, but looking back, I can see God orchestrating everything. I began reading and asking questions, seeking God. I began to see others in a different light and loving in a different way. My youth pastor took me under his wing and began discipling this self-centered boy into a God-fearing young man. Through middle school and high school I did all I could to love God and love others.
(Alright Seth, Owen and Mike…I’ll see you Sunday with your testimony written :)
Last minute thought: DNOW is coming fast! Get registered today! Go by Sandy’s office and pick up an envelope. Cost is $65 and the dates are Feb. 22-24. It’s where you “Belong!”– Chris