Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mission Possible

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. – Luke 1:37

I looked up the meaning of impossible on dictionary.com and found this amazing explanation:

Impossible: (adjective) not possible

Why thank you. All jesting aside, here are some other words that define impossible; unable to be, unable to be performed, incapable of being true, not to be done with any degree of reason, utterly impracticable. And then…I saw this one, which really hit home for me,” hopelessly unsuitable or difficult.” Have you ever been in a situation you could describe with those words? Unable. Void of reason. Impracticable. Hopeless. I would venture to say we all have, I know I have. But there is good news!!! When it comes to God and his will for us, those words have no meaning! Last week we learned that we can have Joy because God always keeps his promises, and this week we’ll be learning we can have Joy because NOTHING is impossible with God.

Our story this week is one many of you are familiar with. It’s the story of the Angel Gabriel visiting Mary. He told Mary she had received special favor from the Lord, and that God was very pleased with her. But that’s not all Gabriel said. He told her “You are going to have a baby, a son. You must name him Jesus. He’ll be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God.” Say what?! That must have been Mary’s response. Actually, that’s almost what it was. Mary responded “HOW can this be?” She went on to tell the Angel that she wasn’t married yet, so how could she have a baby? I believe Gabriel might have smiled as he spoke next; “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you… Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age (remember her)… For nothing is impossible with God.” And Mary, in her amazing faith, said “may it happen to me just as you have said.” She knew and understood that anything was possible with God. And she, even though fearful and probably a little confused, could have Joy in knowing this! (Luke 1:26-38)

So as we head into this season and new year, let us not forget that lesson that Mary so quickly understood, to not look at our problem/situations as impossible. I was 19 when God taught me this lesson. Working a good paying job and….paying rent for a house that was much bigger than one should need at 19. Then one day, I lost my job. And as some of us know all too well, the bills didn’t stop coming. I was out of work for a little over 5 months with no savings and no income. And to this day I don’t understand it, but I never missed a bill or rent payment! It didn’t make sense to my small brain (and it still doesn’t), but it was living proof of Luke 1:37. Let us also heed Gabriel’s words….and Mary’s faith. When we put our complete trust in God, and truly believe he can do anything, we can take "impossible" out of our vocabulary and see that the possibilities are, in fact, endless! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Joy to the World!!

"Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!" – Philippians 4:4

YAY!! It's December now, which means, Christmas season if officially ON, and in full swing!! Joy to the world!! Hmm…wait a minute….Joy to the world? Joy? What is that? What is Joy? Is it just a feeling? Is it just an outward expression? Is it just a dish soap? Well, that's the Virtue we are going to be talking about this month in Cove Kids! Together, we are going to learn that Joy isn't just a feeling or expression (or an awesome dish soap). Feelings are circumstantial, but Joy is something much deeper than that. Joy is finding a way to be happy at ALL times, even when things don't go your way, a "Defiant Happiness" if you will. Knowing that no matter what, we have a God and Savior who loves us, protects us, fights for us, and works good in all things for us. So, even if things aren't going the way WE thought they should, or would like them to, we can have Joy in Christ.

This week in Cove Kids we are learning about the Joy that comes with knowing that God always keeps His promises! The Bible says "The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. – Psalms 145:13. The story this week takes place in Luke Chapter 1, and it's about a very godly couple named Zechariah and Elizabeth. One day, Zechariah got a visit from an angel of God, who promised him a son, who he was to name John. The thing was, Zechariah was an old man and his wife well along in her years when this happened, so he momentarily doubted God's promise. The Angel Gabriel assured Zechariah that this good news was straight from God and would surely come true at the proper time. But because of his brief moment of unbelief, he would not be able to speak until that day came. Well, as it turns out, God was faithful in his promise! Elizabeth gave birth to a boy, and they named him John. And he would later prepare the way for the Messiah, another promise God would keep, over 400 years in the making!

It's not always easy to have Joy. Sometimes when difficult circumstances come, it can be hard to have a defiant happiness. Especially when we have to wait, when things don't happen when we wish they would. When everyone else seems to have it together, and it seems like everything in your life is constantly falling apart, it can be tough to find Joy. BUT!!! We CAN have Joy, because we know that God always keeps his promises!!! "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ." – 2 Corinthians 1:20. And even though the wait for God's promises may seem long at times, "…wait, It's on its way. It will come right on time!" – Habakkuk 2:3.

Joy to the world!!! The Lord HAS come!!! :D

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Celebrate Your Uniqueness!

As we continue our study of uniqueness in Cove Kids this week, we're going to look at one really unique guy, John the Baptist. We don't know much about John except that he was Jesus' cousin. We learn about his birth, but then we pick-up the story when he is a grown man.

When John started his ministry, he did it in a unique way. Some people thought that the Messiah was going to come as a military leader. Since they thought this, they were looking perhaps for someone to come in with a lot of fanfare – with a parade entrance in a big city. But instead, God appointed John to go out into the wilderness and talk about Jesus' coming; a unique foretelling for a unique man, Jesus.

Even though John was a plain and simple kind of person, he must have been pretty interesting, because the Bible says people went out into the wilderness to hear him preach. And he must have been pretty convincing, because a lot of people repented – confessed their sins and promised to stop sinning – and were baptized.

That's how it is when we become the unique person God has made us and called us to be. We begin to exercise those special qualities and talents He has given us to do those special things that He has planned for us. It's a perfect fit when we let God use us in the unique way He planned for the unique task(s) He has for us to do.

Celebrate your uniqueness this week!

Blog by: Steve Hoye

(Small Group Leader)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Somebody!!!

Have you ever felt un-important or insignificant? Or maybe you think what you bring to the table isn't as good as everyone else. Or maybe…you don't even know WHAT you bring to the table. It's easy to look at other people's gifts, attributes, talents, etc…and feel like you're a nobody compared to them. They're fast, smarter, stronger, better looking, or whatever. However, this idea of "nobody's" is a lie. This week, continuing our Virtue of Uniqueness, we'll be talking about how EVERYBODY is a SOMEBODY. God did not waste His breath on anyone, but rather, He personally formed each of us to be who we are, someone who can and will make a difference in His Kingdom, no matter what our character is.

Our Bible story talks about Gideon, who considered himself un-worthy to do what God called him to do. "But Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family" (Judges 6:15). See, God had called Gideon to lead the nation of Israel out of oppression from the Midianites. But immediately Gideon tried to point out that he was a nobody, "But Lord…how can I….?" He then tried to explain his view on this, that His tribe was the weakest of the tribes, and the Gideon himself was the weakest of them. The weakest of the weak. In his eyes, the REAL biggest loser. But not in God's eyes. God knew, like always, what He was doing with Gideon. And even though God had sent Gideon an angel, Gideon was still uncertain of this "call from God." He asked the angel to accept his sacrifice, which the angle did. Still unsatisfied, Gideon asked God if He was really sure that "you will save Israel by my hands" to do two things for him. First, Gideon wanted God to make dew appear only on his fleece, and then, only on the ground but not on his fleece. God did so. Gideon was the certain that God WAS calling him to something great. Gideon (remember, the "weakest of the weak") then gathered 32,000 men. God then told Gideon to cut that number down, so after a few tests, the number was decreased to only 300!! He then split them into 3 teams of 100, and told them to lay low. He gave each team trumpets and jars with torches in them. At his signal they were to give a great shout, blow their trumpets, and smash their jars. And that's what they did. The Midianites were frightened, so frightened in fact, that they attacked each other, and fled in fear. Gideon had done it. He and his army had driven out the Midianites and ended their reign of terror. And it was all because of his unique willingness to follow God, even though he THOUGHT he was a nobody.

Don't ever let yourself, or anyone else, think you're a nobody (Don't let ANYONE look down on you….. 1 Tim 4:12). Because, like Gideon (who really was the weakest of the weak), God has a designated purpose for you. And also like Gideon, we should be open to accepting the things God has called us to do, fearing not our short comings, and knowing that "I will be with you" (Judges 6:16), even if that something is "Immeasurably more than you ask or imagine" (Eph 3:20). And because God has a designated purpose for you, that makes you, like the now infamous Gideon, a SOMEBODY!! J

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I’m Unique!!!


 

"Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same." 1 Corinthians 12:4


 

Have you ever tried to loosen a screw with one of your car keys? Just the other day I witnessed someone trying to open the back of a video game with her keys, the whole time thinking to myself "I know there is a tool that is designed specifically for this." If you've ever looked in a mechanics tool box, you might notice something strange; numerous types of the same kind of tool. Different kinds of wrenches; metric, standard, open, box, line, all of different sizes. Different screw drivers; Phillips and flat heads with different number sizes. Different sets of pliers…the list goes on…and on….and on. It's enough to make one wonder "Why so many of the same thing? A wrench is a wrench isn't it?" Well the truth is, even though there are many similarities among tools, they are each unique. Each one designed slightly different than the others, each with the ability to do something unique. This idea of Uniqueness is what we are going to be diving into this November month in Cove Kids.

In our first week, we will be focusing on one very unique individual, who God created with an array of attributes, and whom God used to lead his people. This person was a warrior, a judge, a spiritual leader, and the leader of the nation of Israel. This person was pretty tough and had to be really smart, too. And HER name, was Deborah (didn't see that coming did you?). That's right, Deborah was a very unique person, but that's exactly WHY God choose to use her. She had all the qualities needed for this special task (Judges 4). The kids will be learning that we are all unique, there is not one of us that is exactly like another. God has lovingly created us all with different traits, strengths, weaknesses, gifts, talents, and abilities. And that God is going use us in specific ways for the greater purpose of building His kingdom!!

And just as it would be silly for a screw driver to be upset at or look down upon a hammer because of their differences, neither should we for our differences. Because really, it's not about the tools, but the one who is using them, and the greater task he is using them for. As we embrace our uniqueness, we should work together, not as single tools, but as a whole set, as the Church, and let God use us, like Deborah did, to rebuild and repair a broken world.

YOU ARE LOVED!

Have you ever thought “Does anyone REALLY love me?” Does anyone REALLY care for me?” For many who have lost a job, lost a home or a loved one these questions surface almost daily in their minds. Recently someone who lost a job related they didn’t leave their house for a month as they were sure no one wanted them, no one cared, their whole world fell apart.

For a preschooler, they too wonder who will take care of me if my parents are gone? They hear of friends whose parent have died, or parents who have divorced, or had to move because of job loss. It is so important to help your preschooler know God loves you. You are His child and even if earthly parents are not there, He will always be there to care for them.

To help your child know of God’s great love for them take a walk in the outdoors. Point out the flowers, and ask who feeds the flowers, who cloths them? God does!! He gives them rain to grow and clothes them in beautiful colors. Next point out a bird and ask who feeds the birds, who give them clothes to keep them warm? God provides the worms to feed them and feathers to keep them warm.

If God takes care of all the creatures on the earth, will He not take care of His children? God tells us to not worry about our life-what we will eat or drink or about what we will wear. He is our God, our provider and we are His children. He loves and cares for us!!

This is the month that we need to think about all that God has blessed us with. Help your child make a list of all that God has given to show He loves them (home, food, clothing, parents, friends, health, and most of all His only son Jesus).

The Bible Story for this weekend is from Matthew 6:25-34. God tells us not to worry, but to trust in Him! He tells us to” seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Help your child learn this month’s Bible memory verse “My God will meet all your needs.” Philippians 4:19 This is a great opportunity to talk about basic needs versus wants. Then ask how we can be a blessing to others by helping to meet their needs. God wants us to be part of His plan to meet the needs of all His children. If your child received a RICE BOWL, please talk about how they can help meet the needs of orphaned children who have so little to eat. Rice Bowls need to be returned to Cove Kids on November 13-14th weekend.
Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Articulate Your Faith!

If I were to tell you that Starbucks is giving away free venti frappaccino's tomorrow, what would you do? What if I told you the only way to receive your free drink was if you're wearing a red shirt? When you run to share the good news with your friends, would you leave that part out? Of course not!! You would articulate the fact that they need to wear a red shirt in order to relish the frothy drink for free!!! Boy how I wish Starbucks really was giving away free drinks! That would definitely be some great news to share! This weekend in grade school we're talking about articulating our faith, sharing it!!!

Everyone enjoys hearing good news! When we go a while without hearing any, doesn't life begin to feel drab? God's Word is chock-full of good news! The best being that Jesus saved us from eternal separation from God! While we were still sinners, God sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin, so that we can be in a freedom-filled relationship with the Father. Once we believe this, Christ's love compels us to articulate, communicate, and express this faith to those who don't yet know His rescuing love! That's exactly what Philip did (in Acts 8:26-40) with a total stranger…

God sent an angel to tell Philip to take a walk down the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza. So Philip went. On the road there was an Ethiopian man of high authority returning home in his chariot. The man was trying to read from the book of Isaiah, but didn't understand much. Philip was compelled by the Spirit of God to go near the chariot. He sat with the man and read the scriptures to him. The Ethiopian man asked who Isaiah was speaking about and Philip was able to articulate the wonderful truths of Jesus Christ! As they continued down the road they came to some water. The man said to Philip, "See here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" (v.36) Philip answered, "If you believe with all your heart, you may!" And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Halting the chariot, they went down to the water where Philip baptized the Ethiopian man as a symbol of his rebirth in Jesus Christ!

There are so many people in this world who go about life knowing of God, but never having a relationship with Him. Many of them would relish the free gift of Christ if someone would just share His love with them! John 1:1 says that Jesus is the Word. We have the Word, God's Word alive inside of us. We don't need to know all the answers. If we simply articulate our faith, the Word, God will do the rest—just like He did with Philip!

Lord, You are the Best News anyone could ever accept. Give us boldness in articulating our faith. Let Your love lead us to those who need to hear about you. Your name and renown is the desire of our hearts!




Wednesday, October 13, 2010

House of Refuge

Where is your house of refuge when you are in the midst of the storms of life? When you are in the turmoil of conflict, facing serious health issues, or attacked for your beliefs? These are the times that try our faith. Who can keep us safe? Is Jesus really able to calm the storms?

Most of us are not facing life threatening storms, but when David wrote many of his psalms he was on the run, fearful for his life, without a home. Yet he knew the power and unfailing faithfulness of the one true God. He wrote “Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge.” Psalms 16:1, and “For in the day of trouble, He will keep me safe.” Psalm 27:5

Much like David, in this weekend’s Bible story your preschool child will hear about Rahab a woman who put her faith and trust in the one true God. She risked her life to hide the Israelite spies who came to her city, because she believed in the power and faithfulness of their God. When the wicked city was attacked by the Israelites everything was destroyed, except Rehab’s house and her family. She could count on God to keep her and her family safe. God was her refuge!

Through the fun small group activities, your child will discover “God Can Keep You Safe”. For a preschooler, it is important to know that in good times and scary times God is there protecting you. Perhaps you have a story to share with your preschooler about a time when you were afraid and you called on God to keep you safe. For me, it was when I was 6 years old and my older brother teased me about not looking over a high cliff we were on. I cautiously walked to the edge only to have the earth give way and I tumbled down trying to grab on to branches. In that moment I thought only God could save me. He did! I came to rest on a small patch of earth just a few feet from a 100’ drop off. I knew then that my God would keep me safe in any situation!

Our God is amazing! Whether it is life threatening situations or just the storms of everyday life He is there for us! What storm in life are you facing? You can have His peace and comfort as you trust in His refuge!

Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Friday, October 8, 2010

Give Me Your Eyes

"What if there's a bigger picture? What if I'm missing out? What if there's a greater purpose that I could be living right now? I don't wanna miss what matters, I wanna be reaching out! Show me the greater purpose so I can start living right now, outside my own little world." -Matthew West

So many times I zoom right past someone or something that I could have aided. Often times I don't even see that I had the opportunity because I wasn't thinking "outside of my own little world." Focused on ME, focused on what IIIIIII have to get done, on how people should be helping ME. (Please tell me I'm not the only one in the world who does this?) In Cove Kids, we're talking about a man who was "GOD-FOCUSED." And because He wasn't focusing on his "own little world," God was able to use Him in a mighty way.

Nehemiah was a leader with Initiative! What exactly does that word mean? Initiative is the ability to act and make decisions without the leading of other people. My definition of initiative would be: Immediately stepping out on faith to accomplish the mission at hand. This is exactly what Nehemiah did. He lived in Babylon and worked as the cupbearer to the Persian King. Having never visited Judah, but being from Jewish decent, Nehemiah sought reports concerning the city of Jerusalem. It had been 78 years since the Jews had returned to the city and the city walls we STILL in ruin. The city couldn't protect itself and the people were living in disgrace. When Nehemiah heard this, his heart was burdened for God's people. He immediately took initiative, risking His own life many times. Nehemiah demonstrated that when a leader with initiative is prompted by God to do something, they cannot stand still.

Nehemiah's eyes weren't focused inward, but upward. Where are your eyes focused? The prayer that I've been praying lately is one inspired by Brandon Heath: "Give me Your eyes for just one second. Give me Your eyes so I can see everything that I've been missing. Give me Your love for humanity. Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted, the ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten. Give me Your eyes so I can see." Nehemiah glimpsed Jerusalem through God's eyes initiating the restoration of the city. What has God burdened your heart for? What are you passionate about seeing come to restoration? I want to see God's Kingdom come. But not only do I want to see it, I want to partake in the coming of His majesty!

Lord, give us Your eyes so that we can take the initiative to step outside of our own little world, and into Your Kingdom. Let Your Kingdom come. On earth, just as it is in heaven. Amen!

Carole Loebs

3rd-5th Grade Coordinator
http://www.covechurch.org/

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who Can You Count On?

Life can be full of anxieties and lonely when you have no one who you can count on to help you! Perhaps you can remember a time when you thought who can I count on to help me in this time of trouble. For me, it was one late afternoon when I was in a hurry to get to a doctor’s appointment. I was already late as I pulled into the parking lot and dashed to the office door. It wasn’t till after the appointment when I reached in my purse to get my car keys that I realized something was wrong. I couldn’t find my keys. Maybe I dropped them on the way in. I searched the path to the doctor’s office. No keys. It was then that I looked into my car and saw my keys on the driver’s seat. Now what do I do? My husband was on a trip; my friends work out of town. I didn’t have any family that lived near by. I had a spare key at home, but it was a 3 mile hike and I couldn’t leave my car with the keys in full view. To top things off I was to go to my first Life Group meeting that evening. So I called the Life Group host and told her I would probably not make it as I had locked my car with my keys inside. Much to my surprise she said "Where are you?" and within a short time she came to pick me up take me to my home After getting my spare key, she drove my back to open my car. She was so kind and understanding! She didn’t even know me yet she made me feel like a close friend! I know God put her in my life to show me who I can count on-Him!

This weekend your preschool child will learn “God Can Save the Day” as they hear the Bible story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the Fiery Furnace. The story is from Daniel 3:10-30. In a continuation of last week’s message “I can always count on God”, this week the children will discover that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, much like Elijah trusted in God and knew that they could always count on Him. They didn’t bow down to the fake God of the King, so he threw them into a fiery furnace. God saved the day by sending an angel to protect them and they came out of the furnace without harm!

We may never face being thrown in a fiery furnace, but you may have had an experience where God saved the day for you. Please share your story with your child to help them realize God can always be counted on to help you. Life can be scary for a preschooler so your own story of God’s faithfulness will help them in times when they are afraid or in trouble. Ask you child to think of a time when they were scared or in trouble? Did they know that God was with them and He would help them?

Please help your child learn the Bible verse “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid” Deut. 31:6 Once they can say the memory verse they will receive a reward. The children are having a blast with the new small group activities and loved the “Super Hero” capes! We hope you are putting stars on your child’s Super Hero Challenge Sheet as they show you they are a “Do the Right Thing Hero”, “Sharing Hero”, “Brave Hero” or “Helpful Hero”. By the end of this month, your child will know that being the “Super Hero” that God wants them to be is much better than being a fantasy hero.

Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fantasy or Real Heroes

It is easy to understand the attraction to “Superman” or “Wonder Woman” for who wouldn’t want to be able to leap over tall buildings or vanquish bad guys. The movies create the fantasy that if only we had these “super powers” our life would be so much better.

Even adults are pulled into the fantasy world of the “Super Mom” who can effortlessly work a full time job, whip up a gourmet meal for 10 guests in a spotless home, while teaching her children advanced math, train for her next marathon run, and finish her second graduate degree. Sounds too good to be true, but for many moms they feel guilty and frustrated that they can’t be more like our society’s version of the self made “Super Mom”.

They have traded a fantasy hero for the real hero, the mom that God created to trust in Him for strength, not rely on her own self will to take control of life’s challenges! It is only through God that we are transformed from the ordinary into the majestic “He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body.” Philippians 3:21 Are you ready for God to use your life experiences for His purposes and be transformed into the majestic hero He created you to be?

Our young children also find it hard to separate fantasy from God’s truth, when it comes to “Super Heroes”. In the Cove Kids Preschool lesson for this weekend, your child will learn that “God is the One, True God”. He is not a pretend hero like Superman or Wonder Woman. Your child will learn about God’s awesome power and faithfulness in the story of Elijah and the Fire from Heaven. The story can be found in 1Kings 18:1-39.

In this Bible story, Elijah loved God and obeyed His commands; for he knew God was the biggest, strongest, one and only God. Elijah lived in a land where many people worshipped a fake god named Baal. Elijah trusted God and knew He could always count on God. He bravely challenged the Baal worshippers to ask their fake god Baal to bring down fire from heaven to burn up wood. Only the one true God could do that. Hundreds of Baal worshippers prayed and prayed but to no success. Elijah prayed and God was faithful in sending down fire that not only burned the wood but all the rocks around the fire pit.

Elijah was courageous to stand up to the King and many worshippers of Baal, for Elijah knew God’s word “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid.” Deuteronomy 31:6 This is the memory verse your child will learn throughout this month. To help your child learn this verse, they will receive a magnetic memory verse card to take home and practice.

Throughout this month your child will be in small fellowship groups learning through games, crafts, making snacks, and applying Bible truths. You may hear your child say “I was a Super Hero by helping, by sharing, by doing the right thing.” Parents will receive a colorful Super Hero Challenge Sheet which will help your child to learn real heroes are those who love God and love others. Each time you see your child being a Sharing Hero, Good Friend Hero, or Helping Hero please draw a star next to that hero picture. This will help your child apply the Bible truths that God loves us and He wants us to show love to others. Those who do this are the real heroes! We can trust in God’s power and strength! We know that we can always count on God!

Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

God Invites Me to Follow Him

When I say the words Silly Bands what comes to mind? For me it was running around trying to find these crazy shaped bands that went on the wrist. Of course every store was sold out of them at the time and they were no where to be found. They were flying off the shelf like hotcakes. My child just had to have them because everyone else did. It was the latest greatest thing. He was following a trend. Now where ever I go it seems like every store and gas station has them. Are they still as popular as they once were?

Raise your hand if you have ever followed the latest greatest tend? Maybe for you it was bell-bottoms or leg warmers or the denim jean jacket. Maybe a cool hairstyle? We all make decisions about what we will or will not follow.


This week we will learn that God provided us with salvation and

forgiveness through His Son Jesus. God wants us to follow Him through Jesus. Our bible story is from Joshua 24:1-18. Joshua made it clear to the Israelites that they had a choice to make. Joshua knew that God gives us a choice. We choose who or what we want to follow in life. We all have that same problem sin which separates us from God. God sent his one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins. It is up to us whether or not we take that next step to follow him. Unlike a trend or fad he will always be there for us and he will never fade away.


"But as for me and my family we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:1-18


By Tera Buskirk
K-2nd Grade Coordinator

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Patient Heart

As a child I remember how very difficult it was to wait patiently for my birthday, Christmas, our vacation, or even my turn to play a game. It seemed like an eternity to me.

Even today as an adult I am caught up in the “instantaneous” generation. I find myself impatient with my computer, my microwave, instant replays, and so on. Can you relate? Unfortunately with all the technological advances we seem to becoming more and more impatient with life. Then we wonder, why can’t our children just be patient?


In this weekend’s Bible lesson your child will learn “I Will Be Patient”. This is the last lesson in our series TEN HUT, which focuses on the life of David. Your child will learn that David wanted to thank God for all He had given him. David wanted to build a very special temple for God. God told David he would not build the temple. David would have to patiently wait until his son Solomon was born, as he would build the great temple. While David waited for Solomon to grow up, he gathered wood, stone, and other things to use in the building of the temple. Waiting patiently is the right thing to do even if it is difficult. This makes God very happy as it shows God we have faith and trust in His plans and His promises!

You can help your child to learn to be patient by sharing a story about how you waited patiently for something-trusting and believing in God’s promises! You can help your child to remember a time when they waited patiently for something.

When I begin to lose my patience with others I remember how patient God is with me. As His word says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3: 8-9

Our awesome God is so patient with us and He wants us to learn to be patient with others and with circumstances in our lives. We can help our children to be patient by modeling patience in our lives.

Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Promise Keeper

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." -2 Corinthians 1:20-22


It's one thing to make a promise, but it's another thing to KEEP one. God is flawless, and all of His promises are sure! He is not a liar, He doesn't forget His promises, and He loves to bless His children! When He makes a promise to us, He's telling us that it's going to happen… we just need to believe Him for it!

In looking towards the ending of the journey into the Promised Land, God's promise seemed unreal to the Israelites. There were huge giants living in the land. The people of Israel looked like grasshoppers compared to them! How were they going to take over this "promised land?" But God promised them victory, if they would believe Him for it. It's significant that those who BELIEVED God for His promise (Joshua & Caleb) delivered the rest of the people into the land.

We receive what we believe! What promises has God made to you? The Bible is chock full of them! Our God is the God who not only parted the sea, but created it. He's the one who thought up the idea of the sun, invented the cell, and so intricately fashioned our bodies together. He's the one who made the concept of relationship, and the Way (through Christ) to have it with Him! Our God is Great, and He can do far more than all we can imagine!!! All of His promises are a "YES!" Do you believe that today?

Talk to God this week about His promises. Thank Him for the ones you've seen Him fulfill in the past! In fact, write them down so you can look back on His faithfulness. He keeps His Word, from generation to generation. Commit to boldly believe God for all the wonderful promises He's made to you! Claim His truth for your life! Share one of God's promises with someone this week, and watch to see His word come into full fruition!

A Thankful Heart

The Thankful Heart


“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I must admit I sometimes don’t exhibit a thankful heart. I don’t think about all the blessings that God has given me. Not just material things, but the blessings of friends and family who encourage me and lift me up in difficult times. A recent illness in my family brought me closer to the brothers and sisters in Christ who prayed for our family. I thank God for their fellowship and for demonstrating God’s love to our family!


This weekend your preschooler will grow in their understanding of thanking God for who He is. He not only blesses us with food, clothing, shelter, but He puts in our lives others who love and care for us. Your child will learn the key verse “I Will Thank God!”, as they continue to learn about King David. David thanked God in songs and praises throughout his life in good times and bad.

David wrote in Psalms 100 “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgivings and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”

You can help your child to appreciate all that God has given by taking a walk and having you child point out things that God has made for us. (sunset, flowers, birds, water, air, plants, etc). Share with your child things that you thank God for (family, brothers & sisters in Christ, the Cove, pastors, God’s word, etc.) Can you thank God for the bad times as He helps you grow into the person who He can use for His Kingdom?


In all things we should thank God for His mercy, His love, for our salvation through His son Jesus Christ!!

Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Thursday, September 9, 2010

God Hears My Prayers

Is there anyone out there who loves dropped calls? Failed text messages? Emails that won’t send?  Well, I sure don’t. In fact, I rather DISLIKE when that happens. For two reasons: One, it shows my incompetence of electronics (I see you smiling), and Two, it means that whatever I was trying to communicate, didn’t get through. It can be very frustrating, or even worrisome, when we can’t communicate our point. It puts an uncertainty in us that shouldn’t be there: “am I being heard?”

The cool thing is when you are talking to God, that answer is always an emphatic “YES!!” There are many places in God’s Word that remind us of this. Here are just a few:

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
– Psalm 34:17

“I LOVE the Lord, because He has heard [and now hears] my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live.” – Psalm 116:1-2

“And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.” 1 John 5: 14-15

God always hears our prayers. Where ever. When ever. And as our story for this week shows, that was a good thing for Joshua.

Joshua had led the Israelites into the Promised Land. He had also, with God’s help, led them to victory over both Jericho and Ai now. News of this spread like wild fire, and soon a coalition of rulers formed against Joshua and his army. Now, there was one town, greater than Ai, called Gibeon. The Gibeonites feared Israel, but instead of fighting, they tricked the Israelites into signing a peace treaty with them. When the royal coalition of kings found out, they were, in a word……upset. So they gathered all of their men (that’s FIVE kingdoms worth for those playing at home), and headed towards Gibeon. When Gibeon was found out about this impending invasion, they sent word to…..guess who? That’s right, Joshua. Although, I’m sure, Joshua cringed at the news, he knew what he had to do. He had to be true to his word (an admirable trait). Joshua gathered all his fighting men and marched all night to help Gibeon. During the march Joshua heard God say to him: “Do not be afraid of them, for I have given them into your hands. Not one will withstand you.” That must have been a relief! When Joshua and the Israelites arrived in the morning, they took the other armies by surprise. The other kingdoms were thrown into confusion, and Joshua capitalized. But even after a whole day of fighting, not all of the armies were defeated yet. Fearing they might escape, Joshua asked God for something huge! He prayed for the Sun to STAND STILL where it was, so there would be more daylight hours to finish the battle. The only thing more absurd than his request, was God’s answer. God heard Joshua’s prayer….and granted it! The earth stopped rotating, and the daylight was extended far longer than usual. Joshua finished the battle in victory.

God hears all of our prayers and requests. Even the ones we don’t verbally say. He reads our body language, interprets our tears, and understands our sighs. And no, he doesn’t always answer us with a yes. I’m sure we can all think of a time when the answer was “NO.” Or even “wait!” But the majesty is this, that He always hears us, and always answers us with and in Love! (And let’s be honest, you can think of a time when He said no and you realized it was for the best, which is what He wants for us). We may not always be heard by those we text, call, or email, but we can KNOW that we’re ALWAYS heard when we pray to God. And that’s something to talk about : )

Nathan Zaso
Cove Kids

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What is Happiness? Preview of CKC Lesson # 5 for Preschool Children

"To the person who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge, and happiness,.." Ecc.2:26

Do you remember a time when you were a child that you dreamed of getting something that would make you happy? I remember telling my parents that "if I only had a Betsy Wetsy Doll" I would be so happy. Then my birthday came and I got my dream doll! Well, I was so happy, until I learned that it leaked all over my new dress and then later it stopped wetting altogether! I learned "happiness" was very short lived and dependent on the circumstances and my emotions. Throughout my life experiences I learned "my efforts to find happiness apart from God were meaningless" just as Solomon the wisest man discovered. But when we place our faith and trust in God we will find everlasting happiness.

In this weekend's Bible lesson your child will learn that David was happy in good times and bad times, because he knew God loved him. David's life reflected his love of God, his faith and trust in a God who would never leave nor forsake him. God blessed David with His power to accomplish much in good times and in trials. The Bible story in found in 2 Samuel 5:1-4 & 7:8-9 and Psalms 57:7-10. Throughout the Psalms David proclaimed God’s faithfulness and God’s blessings.

Your child will discover through crafts, games, and the Bible story that as children of God we can be happy no matter what our circumstances or emotions, because we know we have a God who loves us. Your child will learn that God so loved us that He sent His son, Jesus, to take our punishment for our sins. We are saved and blessed because of God's mercy and His love for us. The key verse your child will learn is "I Will Be Happy Because God Loves Me".


You can help your children to realize how "blessed with happiness" they are by asking them to share with you all the blessings God has given them ( wonderful parents to take care of them, a home, food, great outdoors, fun things to do with friends, a great church to learn about God, etc.) You also can share with your child some of the blessings God has given you!

Help them remember a bad time like an injury or sickness or moving or loss of someone; that even in the bad times God blessed them with good doctors to care for them, healing, new friends, or comfort for losses.

As parents we want to shield our children from the trials of life, but God wants us to teach our children that He is our hope, our joy in all circumstances! So by sharing with your child a time when you were able to go through a difficult time because you knew God loved you and would always be with you, you will help your child to grow in trust and faith in our eternal God.

In Christ's love,
Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

God Will Make A Way For Me To Follow Him!

Ever had a task that God asked you to do that seemed so big so enormous that you wondered how in the world am I going to do this HUGE task. This weekend in Grade School we are talking about the time when God asked the Israelites to do something that seemed impossible. The Bible story comes from Joshua, chapter 3 and 4. Joshua was to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and the Ark of the Covenant was to go ahead of them. This seemed like an impossible task. At that time the Jordan River was almost overflowing. God helped Joshua and the Israelites. As soon as the priest who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing and piled up far away. God performed a miracle and provided a way for them to follow Him. How awesome! Alone they could not have accomplished the task but with God it was possible. When God gives us a job to do, He will make sure we have a way to do it. He will provide us with what we need to follow him. He is our provider! We can always depend on Him to provide. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Tera Buskirk
K-2 Grade Coordinator
Cove Church

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

God helps me through others. God helps others through me.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 – "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed."

Raise your hand if you've ever been in need of help. Ok, hold on, let me count…….1, 2, 3……yep, that makes all of us. Life can throw us into some pretty sticky situations, especially the life of following Jesus, so it's no wonder that God loves to provide us help to overcome those situations. But wait. Stop. Think. Think about that time you needed help and God provided:

  • That time you were emotionally drained; were you suddenly riding a tidal wave of comfort?
  • Or that time your vehicle or refrigerator broke, did you just pray and it fixed itself?
  • Or here's one. Remember that time when you needed a little help financially? Did envelopes of cash just fall from the sky?

Well, maybe (I'm all for falling cash envelopes!). But more than likely God provided you help in the form of another person. A family member who comforted. A skilled professional who intervened. A friend (or stranger) who sacrificed. It's my belief that God gets a kick out of making us cross paths with each other at certain times, just so we can help or be helped. And sometimes (more often than we think), the people who help us, or whom we help, are the people we least expect. Such is the case with this week's lesson!

Joshua was now the leader of the nation of Israel. And God had told Joshua that he would lead them into the Promised Land. However, the Promised Land wasn't exactly vacant. It was already inhabited by people God didn't want there. The Lord told Joshua he would have victory over these people, so Joshua set out to conquer them. He sent two spies into the City of Jericho, which stood across the Jordan River in the Promised Land, to scout out information. When they got there, they met a woman named Rahab. Now Rahab was an unlikely ally for a couple of Israelites, but as we'll see, that's exactly what she was. Word spread to the King of Jericho that there were spies in the city AND they knew where they were staying……with Rahab. The King sent officials to Rahab's house to capture the spies. But when Rahab heard the officials coming, she quickly hid the two spies up on the roof. And when asked, she said they had left already and that if the officials chased quickly, they might catch them. What a pal!! After the officials left, Rahab told the spies that she KNEW the Lord was with them, and that they would conquer the land, and that everyone was afraid of them (good intel for them to know!). She had helped them with their mission. But in return she wanted to be sure that when they came to take over Jericho, she and ALL her family would be safe. The two Israelites agreed. God had taken two unlikely allies and used them to help each other overcome a sticky situation. (Joshua chapter 2).

I'm reminded of an article I read about our body's immune system. It said:

Designed with amazingly dynamic communication networks that pass information back and forth between hundreds of millions of cells, the human immune system strategically fights off microscopic invaders and remembers them each time they attack the body.

Isn't that kinda what we should be like? Always in constant communication, systematically helping each other fend off and overcome "infections" in the body of Christ? God uses others to help us, and He uses us to help others. I like the song by Sanctus Real called "We Need Each Other," and the bridge part that says "I Need you, you Need me, 'cause that's the way, it was meant to be. We Need each other." So true. And it's important that we remember this. Going back to that same article:

Without this defense system, none of us could survive, much less reach maturity. When the immune system becomes weak due to disease, immaturity, or deterioration, death is far more likely from infection or cancer. Medical intervention attempts to keep the immune system intact, but little help can be offered once it collapses.

When we forget to help each other, when this "defense system" God has set in place collapses, things deteriorate. When we forget to help each other, parts of the body (other people) become susceptible to the world's ways. Easily remedied symptoms become irreversible illnesses. God's primary system of spreading love, peace, and the Gospel of Grace is broken down when we forget to help others, or even, to allow ourselves to be helped by others……no matter who they are.

Nate Zaso
Grade School Intern



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"Ten Hut!"

“This is my command— Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!” –Joshua 1:9

I’m not even gonna lie, this past week I lived this verse out to the MAX! The few weeks leading up to our grade school summer camp, “X3 Hero Headquarters,” were pretty intense. As a young chick, with no previous experience trying to lead a camp of over one-hundred and fifty 1st-5th graders, and fifty-plus volunteers here’s what I was thinking: “Are you kidding me Lord?!? I think you’ve gotten me mixed up with someone else! I’m so not qualified to do this!” Those fears of feeling too young, unequipped, and unprepared quickly fogged up my “faith goggles” and I couldn’t see the truth for anything! God gave me a specific passage of scripture to cling to. He used it to speak to my heart saying “Don’t be scared, I have favor on you! I’m going to use you to lead all these people to the “promised land,” (the place where I dwell), so that my glory can be displayed! I’ve called you by name Carole Ann. I’m with you and for you!”

The first day of camp, during small group time, a third-grade girl made the decision to make Jesus the leader of her life. The second day two more children came to faith during their small group session. God was quick to begin displaying His glory. As Friday approached we wanted to be sure each child had the opportunity to meet Jesus. I’d been asking God for days what He wanted me to say during this time and never seemed to get an answer. Finally, very, very, early Friday morning God told me to get enough Lifesaver candies for all the children, and then just leave the rest up to Him. He reminded me that He would be with me and speak through me if I’d only be courageous in allowing Him to. That Friday morning 40 children asked Christ to be the leader of their lives!!! I’m so honored that God would use a wretch like me to lead an amazing group of volunteers, which He used in a phenomenal way, to prepare the hearts of the children to meet Him that Friday morning. When God calls us out to be “strong and courageous,” it’s for grand things! It’s for His glory to be displayed. We can see the evidence of that strewn all throughout life of Joshua...

This weekend we kick-off our new series “Ten Hut” where we’ll be following the new leader, Joshua, as he bravely guides the nation of Israel into the Promised Land! After Moses died Joshua was put in charge of leading the Israelites. Could you imagine being responsible for such a large group of people? …Kinda like the president, except Joshua had to lead his entire nation on foot into a land promised to them 40 years prior! I bet he was just a little tense! The cool thing is Joshua had a close relationship with Lord. God commanded him to be “strong and courageous!” Promising to never leave Joshua, God empowered him with the audacity to lead the people into the land flowing with milk and honey…

This weekend Cove kiddos will see that real courage comes from believing God. He’s called them by name to do great things so that His glory can be displayed! They need only to be strong, courageous, and know that the God who created the universe is right by their side—making His power perfect in their weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

No matter how much fear was present, God’s presence in Joshua’s life was greater! He stepped out in faith to lead the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. What does your “Promised Land” look like? God longs to bring you to it but first you must be strong and courageous. Believe that your God is with you and step out in faith today! Ten Hut!

Carole Loebs
3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Coordinator
cloebs@covechurch.org

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"The Promise Of Patience"

You need to keep on patiently doing God's will if you want Him to do for you all that He has promised. Hebrews 10:36 NIV

How many of you would agree that waiting is a hard thing to do? Whether you're wanting on lunch, a phone call, and airline flight, or prayer to be answered, do you find yourself becoming a little impatient? Have you ever noticed that the more you want something, the harder it seems the wait is?

I can remember shortly after we got married, I had my life all planned out. Down to when we were going to have our first child, then our second child. And when that did not work can I just say I got a little impatient and just didn't understand what God was waiting on. But God made it very clear that He had a plan for me, I just needed to trust Him. And now I am blessed with two, awesome boys. All in His amazing timing not mine.

This week in Cove Kids we will be finishing up our Plane Truth Series. The kids will learn that they need to be patient in waiting for God's promises.

This week our Bible story comes from Joshua 3-4.

After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the Israelites finally arrived at the banks of the Jordan River. Joshua gave instructions to the Israelites about crossing the Jordan River. "When you see the priests carrying the Ark of God; follow them. You have never been where we are going now, so they will guide you." The Lord told Joshua, "I will give you great honor, so that all Israel will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses." As they began crossing the Jordan, the water stopped flowing and the entire nation crossed on dry ground into the Promised Land. Joshua had twelve men go into the middle of the Jordan and build a monument of twelve stones. Joshua explained the purpose of the stones, "In the future, when your children ask why these stones are here and what they mean, you are to tell them that these stones are a reminder of this amazing miracle—that the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground! Tell them how the Lord our God kept it dry until we were all across! It is the same thing the Lord did forty years ago at the Red Sea! He did this so that all the nations of the earth will realize that Jehovah is the mighty God, and so that all of you will worship him."

The Israelites were pretty patient. Could you imagine wandering around the desert for a week? How about 40 years? Sometimes when we are in the mists of our problems or wants, it can feel like years. But the cool thing is God promised if we keep patient and do his will, great things will come our way.

Jeremiah 29:11 -" For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

My challenge for you this week is to remember that God has specific plans for our future, try to be patient and not jump into our timeline and wait for His perfect timeline.

Frances Jordan
Nursery Coordinator
fjordan@covechurch.org

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Journey to Salvation

Journey to Salvation

Even to this day I can vividly remember the pain of separation when I was sent to my room (for what seemed like an eternity for a small child), for disobeying my parents. I knew what I had done was wrong. I said I was sorry! So why did I have to be sent away from their presence, their love and comfort? It was during this time I learned an important lesson. Disobedience has a serious price- the lost of fellowship with the ones who love you.

As a child I could understand that I never wanted to be separated from the love of my parents, and more importantly I didn’t want to be separated from God’s love and fellowship. But when I disobeyed my parents, I also disobeyed God. God gave me my parents to tell me about God and His rules/commands. They helped me understand that God loves me unconditionally, but when I disobey Him I experience separation from Him (much like being sent to my room). Because God is love (1John 4:8) and He wants me to have eternal fellowship with Him, He gave His only Son to take my punishment for my sins. All I had to do is accept God’s free gift of salvation by believing in Jesus as my Savior.

In this week’s lesson the Journey to Salvation, your child will discover that we need to obey the laws of God in order to have a life that pleases Him and keeps us safe. Your child will learn that “All who trust in Jesus will have eternal life.” John 3:36.

In our Bible story, Moses trusted and obeyed God. He knew God loved Him and protected Him. He didn’t want to be separated from God, so he built a tent where God’s presence would come in the form of a pillar of clouds and where he could fellowship with God.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we do not need a tent to fellowship with God, all we have to do is believe in Jesus and ask Him to come into our heart! In this lesson, your child will discover that with "God in my heart, I know He will stay, so now I will always try to obey"!


Carolyn Hillegeist
Early Childhood Coordinator
The Cove Church

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Journey to Truth"

Ever played a game of charades? I love that game! The thrill of acting it out in hopes that someone could get the answer correct! Or better yet, the thrill of watching trying to guess the answer!

Life can feel like that sometimes. When we don’t have the answers but we play the guessing game of trying to get it right.

We feel so overwhelmed and we get so wrapped up in “getting on with it” or “moving to the next thing” that in those moments we seem to be “guessing” at what the answer is…..kind of like the game of charades! In our real life charades, the emotions are high – sometimes fearful yet sometimes it’s exciting – BUT are we acting on the “TRUTH”!? Are we thinking it through OR are we getting wrapped up in the busyness of the world that we overlook it?

This week in Cove Kids the kids will get to dive into that very thing! We are going to try to remove the guess work for our kids through the truth=The Bible.

We will pick back up with Moses and the Israelites as the next adventure unfolds. Moses is still on top of Mt. Sinai and the Israelites are restless. They decide that Moses isn’t returning and instruct Aaron to build them another “god”. The kids will see how Moses handles the situation and how there is only ONE TRUE GOD.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth.” John 14:6 NIV



Christy Edwards
Director of Children's Ministry
Statesville Campus
704-655-3000
CEdwards@covechurch.org
"To the whole world you might be just one person, but to one person you might be their whole world."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cove Kids - A Partnership with Families

Our ministry exists to REACH our friends for Jesus, to CONNECT with other believers, to HONOR his presence in our lives, to GROW in our relationship with Him, and to challenge the growing to DISCOVER their ministry.”


This is our purpose, our vision for Cove Kids. Helping children grow in their relationship with God is a biblical partnership that involves the family and the church. The church was never intended to be a substitute for the home. So how can the church come along side our families, families, like Sarah and I, families like many of you? Right now Cove Kids is taking children and students on a path of discovery thru our weekend services, special events, and activities. We want to come along side you…our parents…on this path of discovery as well.

What I mean by this is we want to equip you with the tools to have those intentional faith talks with your kids. We can encourage our parents to take advantage of those God moments that happen day to day. So that our kids are not just hearing it at church but they are hearing it at home too. Could you imagine all of our parents using teachable moments around the dinner table, on the playground, at the soccer field, in the car…you name it!!! Talk about making an impact on a generation…

As a church, our goal is to encourage and equip parents to become the primary spiritual influence to their children. We want to be the coach and the cheerleader to families, with the mindset, that we are allowing opportunities for life change with parents AND their kids.

Let us be the coach by providing training, tips, and practical resources for families ( Parent Classes, Family Events, Books, Take-Home Handouts, Email Blasts, Blogs, etc…). Stay tuned to The Cove’s website www.covechurch.org/events for class opportunities and for family events coming up. Also stay tuned to our Cove Kids Blog to keep informed with all the awesome things happening in Cove Kids every week.

Let us be the cheerleader by supporting you and being there for you along the way. We love praying!!! If there is something you would like us to pray for check out our website http://www.covechurch.org/prayerrequests or if you ever have any questions email us at covekids@covechurch.org

My son Trevor is going to spend an eternity with our savior because of the partnership my family has with CoveKids, hundreds of other children and students have come to know Jesus, and hundreds of parents have come to know Christ at The Cove Church. If it stopped right there this would be considered a success story!!! But I believe it in my heart this is just the beginning!!! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to play a small part in the spiritual formation of your children.

I am excited about the opportunity to see life change…so what do you say we make it happen? Together…

Serving the greatest families ever,

Brett Gray
Pastor of Family Ministries
The Cove Church

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

When we worship God, we show our love for Him!

When I say the word worship what first comes to mind? For me, I first think singing. Back in Cove Kids we always ask the kids why do we sing? Why do we do praise and worship? When we worship God, we show our love for Him. God loves to see us dancing and praising Him. We not only worship God through singing and praying, but we worship Him through our actions. Romans 12:1 says to be a living sacrifice. That means that we put aside our own desires and plans and put energy into what God wants us to do. He wants us to follow and obey Him. We show our love for God in everything we have and everything we do. We need to have an attitude of worship by putting God first in our lives being that living sacrifice. Our bible story is from Exodus 35-40

One day the Israelites were camped at the bottom of Mount Sinai. God told Moses to build a tabernacle, which means, “tent”. It was to be a central place for the Israelites to pray and worship God. God gave Moses specific instructions for building the tabernacle. The tabernacle was surrounded by a curtain-like fence. When the Israelites walked through the door of the curtain fence, there was a large courtyard. Inside the court there was an altar, a basin and a tent containing two compartments. The two compartments of the tent were called the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. The Holy Place included three items: a gold lamp stand that burned oil, a wood table with 12 loaves of bread, and a wood and gold altar. The Most Holy Place contained only the Ark of the Covenant. The tabernacle took an entire year to build. This was a place where people learned about God, and it was a place to worship Him. (Source: Exodus 35-40)

The Israelites needed a place to worship God and focus on Him. Today we have churches where we gather together to hear God’s word. Church is a great place to worship God but remember we can worship Him anywhere. Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to Him. Romans 12:2 CEV
We can worship God through our actions. We need to follow and obey Him. As you go about your day this week have an attitude of worship by putting God first.

Have a great week and see you in CKC!

Tera Buskirk
K-2 Grade Coordinator
Cove Church

Thursday, July 1, 2010

To Obey is to Love

"So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left." –Deuteronomy 5:32

There's an old hymn that I just love called "Trust & Obey." The first verse says, "When we walk with the Lord, in the light of His word, what a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

Obeying? Commands? Nobody likes to be bossed around. Fortunately, God isn't a God who looks down from heaven pointing His finger, barking orders, and making us feel trapped. No way! God is all-loving and His commands aren't meant to be burdensome. In fact they're meant to lift our burdens! The second verse of that hymn states "We never can prove the delights of His love until all on the altar we lay; for the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows are for them who will trust and obey." Until we surrender, we're unable to see God for who He truly is—The Delighter! God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). His love isn't self-seeking but self-less. Remember, He's the One who created us so He knows what we long for.

After hundreds of years, the Israelites were finally free from slavery in Egypt and were headed for the Promised Land; but they needed to know God's direction for their daily life. Moses led the Israelites to Mount Sinai where God gave them direction in the form of the Ten Commandments. The first four commands talk about how we should love God. The next six talk about how we should love others. When we take a look at God's direction for our lives it is summed up in two areas:love God and love others.

This weekend the children will see that obedience to God displays our love for Him (John 14:15), sows blessings (Galatians 6:9), and brings our life dreams to fruition (Jeremiah 29:11). His commands are not difficult but it's only through a relationship with Jesus Christ that they are reachable, and understandable (Matthew 11:29-30). With Jesus living in us, we're able to truly love God and love others.

What is your attitude towards God? Are you willing to obey? Do you truly believe that He has your best interests in mind? The last verse of that old hymn says, "Then, in fellowship sweet, we will sit at His feet or we'll walk by His side in the way; What He says, we will do; where He sends, we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey. Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

Monday, June 28, 2010

X3: Xtreme Summer Camp is right around the corner!


video

July 26th through July 30th, 2010
8:30am – 4:30pm
Mooresville Campus
Registration Fee: $130 (Register by 7/11)

It’s back! X3 Camp is going vertical this year! We’ve got non-stop action, rocking worship, incredible friendships and an awesome field trip all packed into the best week of the summer. Come be a part of the madness as we learn to live our lives for God! X3: Xtreme Summer Camp will be hosted at our Mooresville Campus. If you live in Statesville, daily transportation from Statesville High School to the Mooresville Campus is included.

This camp is for kids currently enrolled in first through fifth grades in the 2009-2010 school year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Becoming a D6 Parent

Like it says in Deuteronomy 6, as parents we are challenged to be that primary spiritual influence in our child(s) life. Every child will go on a journey of discovery that is personal to them. They will change directions, speed up, and slow down as they navigate thru life. We have a great opportunity to guide our children on this journey. We can be that GPS system for our kids.

Becoming a D6 Parent is a responsibility we should take very seriously.  Below are 3 simple tips I hope may help with the spiritual formation. Whether your son or daughter is an infant or young adult it is never too late to start or start over!!


Family Devotions – Invest in your child through intentional family devotions. Family Devo’s are an awesome way to get the family connected and should be intentional times set aside each week for conversations with your child. These conversations could be with a Bible or with a devotional book. The goal is to consistently making time to dive into God’s Word. While your child may not engage in much conversation(my sons have no attention span!!), they will remember the things you begin teaching them. Consistency is the key!!!

Capturing God Moments – God Moments will begin to happen as your child goes thru life. As they grow older, kids will communicate in many different ways. God Moments, simply put, are informal moments where God is working in a child’s life.

I was driving my sons, Trevor and Travis to school several months ago and there was a window of time as the sun was rising over the trees. It was one of the most amazing color schemes I had ever seen! I got the boys attention and told them to check out the sky. They both looked up and said “AWESOME!!!”. Trevor then said “That’s a pretty cool gift God just gave us…thanks God…” That was so cool to hear Trevor say that. What was just another drive to school, turned into an opportunity to talk about what God created with my sons.

As a parent, you can capture these moments and point your child toward Christ.

Create a Family Road Map – In a previous post “Becoming a D6 family”, You are creating a household that honors God. What is your family DNA? To me this simply means, families should consider creating a family road map. Each family should feel compelled to find their core values, Family goals, and an identity specific to them. And don’t be afraid to let other people know about it.
As I said before as a family, we are always battling the busyness of life, and we don’t always get it right. But like Dori says in the movie “Finding Nemo”… Just keep swimming!!!

Brett Gray
Pastor of Children / Student Ministries
The Cove Church

"Come Get Your Manna!!!"

"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:19

We're in our third week of "The Plane Truth" in Cove Kids, and first things first--before embarking on a journey an airplane needs to be filled up with fuel! It's the energy source that gets the airplane to take flight, stay in the air, and descend safely to its destination. God is our Provider, the fuel that empowers us to get through each day, the fuel that ignites us to soar to higher places. If we don't stop off first thing in the morning to "fuel-up" we're gonna be on empty, dragging through the day with all kinds of grumbling. Kind of like the Israelites...

Last week we left the children of Israel safely on the other side of the Red Sea. Now they're roaming in the desert complaining to Moses about how they would rather be back in Egypt than wandering there (Exodus 16). Back in Egypt they had plenty of food, but in the desert they were dragging through each day in hunger. God spoke to Moses with specific directions saying, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each morning and gather enough for that day..." The "bread from heaven" (called "manna") was to be used up that same day otherwise it would rot. Moses told the people that when they complain they're taking for granted all that God's done for them. He freed them from captivity in Egypt, He hears their every need, and He is Jehovah-Jireh--The Provider. Moses explained that God would provide for them. Every night God sent quail meat for them to eat, and each morning He rained down their "daily bread," manna.

Our prayer this week is that each child will know God as "Jehovah-Jireh"--our Provider. When we're complaining about things, we've forgotten the truth that God has promised to meet all our needs. Matthew 6:26 says, "Look at the birds of the air; they don't sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Our of all His creation, God values us the most, and He is faithful to provide us with everything we need.

It's SO AWESOME that God would lay out "daily bread" for the Israelites in order to cultivate an everyday relationship with them. Guess what? He does if for us too!!! Before we rise each day God has rained down manna for us. It's served up fresh in the morning in our quiet time with Him. God's provided His Word (our map) and His Voice (our compass) to fuel us with direction and security for the day. In that alone time with Him, our souls are filled with Truth! He reminds us of who He is, who He's created us to be, and He equips us for the journey of that day. If we forget to gather our manna then we're left feeling empty and hungry the rest of the day. In John 6:35 Jesus declared, "I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and He who believes in me will never thirst." Take the time each morning this week to gather your manna. Jesus is waiting to fuel you with His power and in that time you'll see His name, "Provider," rings true!!! "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you!" (Matthew 6:33)

Check out Matthew 6:11 as a family today, and jot down the top 5 things God has provided for you. Give Him thanks!!!


Carole Loebs
3rd, 4th, 5th Grade Coordinator
The Cove Church

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Becoming a D6 Family

It was Easter of last year when I was handed a communication card after one of our services. I looked at this card and I noticed my then seven year old son Trevor’s name was on the card. I saw that little box checked when someone had accepted Christ. As a father, I was so proud and excited!!! I found Trevor and I just about tackled him. My wife, Sarah and I were both blown away and so happy.


I started to ask him questions about what happened and how did he feel and just like every typical 7yr old, after the third question, this is the response I get…“Daddy… I’m bored…can I go play the Wii?"

On that day…something really awesome happened…there was a heart change moment, because from that moment on Trevor has been our little prayer warrior. He makes sure we pray when we have a family meal, he makes sure nobody goes to bed without us all praying as a family…seriously…if Sarah and I are both home, Trevor will make sure we are all upstairs to pray together.

Fast forward a little more to Thanksgiving…Sarah and I started to notice my younger son Travis who at age five is starting to get curious. Starting to ask questions…But he also has the attention span of a “Gnat”!!!….I am not sure where he gets that from... Curious, but no attention span? That is NOT a good combination. Travis will hear something from Trevor or at church and boy it sticks...he doesn’t forget much. The question for us was, does he understand what he is hearing.

Which got Sarah and I were talking… Sarah said to me “If there was just a class I could take to help me with what to say to the boys…because I just don’t feel confident that I am going to say the right thing.”

So me being the “PASTOR” :)…DADADADAAAH!!! I said well let me help you with that problem :)…

But I soon realized that when it came to my Boys I was just as intimidated…I didn’t want to mess this up…I wasn’t sure I had all the right answers or how was I going to explain it in a way that they will understand. Well, it just so happens that in a previous devotion I had read Deuteronomy 6. There was a particular set of scriptures that came to mind. I want to share it with you…

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (New Living Translation)


“4Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

As I read this again…it hit me…like a ton of bricks…Let’s take a closer look at this scripture together…I want to unpack this for you…
“Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”

This scripture begins with a connecting point. An undeniable understanding that there is one God and he is God alone. This is the first step of Faith!!! It is the most foundational truth to pass on to the next generation.

“And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.”

The second phase of this scripture tells us as adults and parents to love God with everything we got!! Commit ourselves first to God’s ways…

Authenticity is the key here... God is asking people to first have these commands on their hearts…

Sarah and I both love God with all we have, but because of the busyness of life there are times were the Vertical Element with God is not always where it should be…If Sarah and I are not consistently working on growing closer to Him…how are we going to be able to do the same thing with Trevor and Travis.

We realized that we need to the primary spiritual leaders for our boys. And that starts with our own relationship with God.

“Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”

God gives us direction. Now that were committed we have the unique opportunity to share with our kids. With God in first place we should take every opportunity we can to share Gods love. God gives mothers and fathers the unique gift and incredible responsibility of telling their children all about God and the Teachings of Jesus

“Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

You are creating a household that honors God. What is your family DNA? To me this simply means, families should consider creating a family road map. Each family should feel compelled to find their core values, Family goals, and an identity specific to them. And don’t be afraid to let other people know about it. Our house is a revolving door of neighborhood kids and we love it!! But each of them know what our family is all about they tend to act a little different when they step into our home.

I think I can speak for the majority of parents out there when I say; we all want the responsibility of introducing spiritual truth into the life of our children. In our culture, As Parents, many times we feel that our best chance is to bring our children to church. But God’s Word directs parents to take the spiritual training of their children pretty serious. Now Trevor and Travis spend hours at church, maybe more than many because that is the perks of dad being on staff, but they are home with Sarah and me ten times as many hours. God has laid the ground work for Parents to be the primary influence.

I thought I might share with you on how we became a Deuteronomy 6 “D6” family. We are in no way the perfect family and we battle the busyness of life everyday with work and family, but my hope and prayer is that these words will encourage you and that God’s Word will challenge you.

Stay tuned for my next post “Becoming a D6 Parent”. I was hoping to share with you some practical steps that helped Sarah and I walk alongside our sons on their own spiritual journeys.


Brett Gray
Pastor of Children/Student Ministries
The Cove Church