October 14, 2020 / 0 421
by Jim Killam | 6-minute read
One in four.
That is the number of American adults ages 18-24 who “seriously considered suicide” in the month before a national survey this summer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the alarming statistics from a survey done in late June. That’s not all. When asked about their emotional state in the month before the survey … Read More
by Jim Killam | 3-minute read
A full year before the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, national and district leaders of the Evangelical Free Church of America spent three days together in Montgomery, Alabama. Their central destinations were The Legacy Museum (sometimes called the Lynching Museum) and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
The leaders’ purpose: To confront racial terror, injustice, oppression and marginalization. Not just in our nation’s history, but in our present. In our churches. Read More
by Jim Killam | 4-minute read
Like any parents, Chris and Tona Johnson can be baffled by something one of their three boys did. And, like any parents, their first response might be: “Why did you do that? What were you thinking?”
A big insight for them came during a parenting conference by the organization Raising Boys & Girls. When kids do something crazy, they probably aren’t thinking. Their brains can’t yet make the connections that their parents’ brains can. Just understanding that, and knowing a different approach or two, has made a difference for Chris and Tona as parents.
A few years ago, Tona was one of several women from First Free who attended a conference in Franklin, Tenn. A breakout session on parenting by authors David Thomas and Sissy Goff caught their attention.
“We were like, wow, that’s life-changing,” Tona says. “I didn’t know any of that. How come no one’s told me all of that stuff?”
In anticipation of our Raise Up Parenting Conference Feb. 21-22, we spoke via email with David Thomas of Raising Boys & Girls. David and his colleague, Sissy Goff, will teach on topics related to at least two of their books: Are My Kids on Track? and Modern Parents, Vintage Values. Here’s our conversation with David:
Is there a kids’ age range you recommend for parents attending this conference?
We will be discussing kids from birth through adolescence. We’ll go back and forth throughout the conference, giving examples from toddlers to teens. We commonly have grandparents attend our conferences with their adult children, hoping to learn new things in caring for the kids they love. We are thrilled to have adults of all ages with us in this time.
What would be a realistic expectation for parents to bring to these two days?
Our hope is that we can learn and laugh together. Parenting is hard work, and though we’ll be talking about important ideas, we want to make the learning fun and engaging. We share visuals of the ideas we’re discussing to make the content even more relevant, alongside giving practical tips for implementing these ideas. We’ll discuss some important emotional, social and spiritual milestones we hope to see the kids we love progressing toward, but more importantly practical ideas for helping kids move toward these milestones.
The weather’s cold now. Darkness falls before dinner. No one’s too happy about that, but it does leave more time in the evenings to settle in with a good book. Here are recommendations from some of our church leaders. All of these books are available in The Scroll Resource Center.
The Spirit-Filled Life
Beloved pastor and author Charles F. Stanley turns his attention to the power, joy and meaning brought by the Holy Spirit. He also answers tough questions: who the Spirit is (and isn’t), how being filled with the Spirit works, and what the Bible teaches about spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues.
From Chapter One: “For too many believers the Christian life boils down to simply doing the best they can. There is no power or distinction that sets them apart from the way everyone else in the world exists. The good they do can be attributed to their own discipline, determination, and devotion to God, rather than His activity in their lives. … The real tragedy is that we have lost our ability to function in our society the way God originally intended.”Stanley then unpacks what the Spirit-filled life looks like, how to have it … and why so many Christians don’t.
This book is recommended as a complement to our current sermon series on the book of Acts.
Pastor Luke Uran says:
A new sermon series, focusing on the book of Acts, starts Sunday, Oct. 6. We spoke with Lead Pastor Luke Uran about this series, which will run through January 2020.
Why Acts? Why now?
As I was praying through the preaching calendar for the upcoming year, one of the books that kept coming to mind was Acts — the work that the Holy Spirit does through the early church, and the way that the church back then was truly a movement. It was growing and healthy and full of life. That’s not to say the church can’t be like that today. But I also look at the early church and think it looks very different than it does today.
Do you think today’s American church typically misses something in this book?
We tend to think, “That was the church then. Those kinds of things aren’t for the church now.” And yet the same Spirit that indwelled the church then indwells us now. The disciples preached, taught, healed and showed the love of God in schools, homes, marketplaces, roads, courtrooms, streets, hills and even on ships. Wherever God sent them, lives were changed. Now it’s our turn.
A few lesser-known places in and around Rockford where you can take a quiet walk in the woods this fall:
Atwood is 334 acres of forest, marsh and prairie along the Kishwaukee River near New Milford, with hiking and biking trails. The trail system eventually will grow to about 20 miles on both sides of the river. Atwood Park is also the site of the former Camp Grant artillery range.
Brian Wahl says:
“Atwood park holds a very special place in my heart. It’s a true hidden gem in the area. I’ve been hiking out there since I was in high school, and now I take my kids there. Not only are there great hiking trails and different ecosystems to explore, but there’s also great history there with the remnants of Camp Grant, and the CCC and of course the unique Birds of Prey exhibit. If you time your visit right, you may even be lucky enough to catch a feeding.”