Parenting from the Word: Discipline = Discipleship

By Rob Moser, LPC

“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest. He will give delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17

First off, we love our church. That’s you. Yes, we love you! We have grown so much and are so excited to live and worship in a community that seeks to be conformed to the Word of God, which is Jesus Christ our Lord raised and revealed through the Holy Spirit. God has given us huge measures of faith through the teaching, the fellowship, and the prayers of all of you. This faith led us to the decision to foster more children with much assurance based on our experience of love, support, and nurture at Crossway Chapel. When asked to write a devotional on parenting, I was pretty quick to come up with the topic, “discipline,” where God has truly been “chiseling” us. (Thanks, Tom, for the great visual!) 

My wife, Mauri, and I have both been learning about God’s sovereignty over everything in our lives, including our children. I can say that yielding to God the fruitfulness, obedience, and salvation of my children has been the most difficult, yet freeing, experience of my life. Increasing in children from two to five in under a year led us to throw up our hands and cry out to him for strength, guidance, grace, and mercy. It is through this immense blessing and trial that we have learned to “trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and to lean not on our own understanding, and to acknowledge Him in all our ways and to trust that he will direct our (and their) paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (personalized)

Discipline is the one issue that, in our home, generates the greatest temptation to distrust God and His promises. Discipline is a daily battle against the flesh, theirs and our own. Currently in our home, we have a seven-year-old, a six-year-old, a five-year-old, a three-year-old, and a two-year-old. (I’m thinking we need a four-year-old as well to round it out, but I better consult with my wife first.) While we have not raised all five of these children from birth, we have raised our six and five-year-old from birth and we have been parenting the two-year-old since he was eleven months old. 

Over the last six years, my wife and I have consulted and used many resources in an effort to be more effective at parenting, such as: books, videos, articles, rules, tips, tricks, gimmicks, charts, candy, etc. etc. etc. . . . . Agh! With the multitude of options/suggestions available, our feelings of confusion and frustration oftentimes became compounded, leading to a belief that failure for us and our children was imminent. Our first reaction to this belief was usually anger, along with an attempt to control our children or the circumstance surrounding their behavior. Our temptation was to try and control our children through fear and anger, or by circumstantially modifying their behavior. 

Resources are good and I recommend them, provided they have some sound teaching and a biblical framework. They will educate and give you some greater perspective, yet they can only be supplemental to your obedience to the Word. After sifting through various resources, it was in the gospel and our own DISCIPLEship that we found the most fruitfulness in DISCIPLinE as parents. 

God has revealed to us the gospel through scripture to deliver us from our sins in parenting. After doing a study on Galatians last summer, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that He would accomplish the work that He started, and I was not to worry and fret over every step. He put to rest that my works would avail anything (i.e. flesh-based parenting). The principle scripture in this was Galatians 3:3 that states: “Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

This has led me to grasp that the Spirit will accomplish His work in me. My flesh, my works, my hands are not enough to cause change and growth. Another complimentary verse is 1 Corinthians 3:6: “I [Paul] planted, Appollos watered, but God gives the growth. So neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

Honestly, the entire third chapter of I Corinthians is a great encouragement to me as a parent as it helps me to see how immature I am in the flesh. I am to lay my foundations in Christ, and I may water or plant seeds in my children, but I am nothing more than a worker doing all in the Spirit of Christ. Only God causes a child’s growth by His sovereign will. Thanks be to Him! 

It seems that God is intent in getting us to a place of surrendering our children to Him through the Word. How do we surrender our children to the Word? We decide to accept that everything has been orchestrated or allowed by His hand, and He will accomplish the work He started no matter what happens. He can and will weave the threads of sin, sorrow, and anger into a tapestry of profound good for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). There is a deep and profound rest in this knowledge. My failings, my selfishness, my loss of temper, etc. will be used to accomplish His purposes. 

Practically, what I hope you will take away is to first, know that He is in charge and will accomplish His sovereign will in you and your children. Second, is that you, as a result of knowing you can rest in His sovereign will, will begin to love God’s Word more deeply. Your discipline in hearing, reading, praying, and understanding the gospel message will undoubtedly lead you to trust Him as well as accept His promises for you and your children. Your knowledge of the Word, your devotion to it, your teaching it to your children, your service and mercy to others, your patience and forbearance, as well as your firm yet consistent correction, will not return empty. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) 

I thank God for all of you. I pray that as you make a commitment to discipline both yourself and your children, your heart will find rest and delight through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Puerto Escondido!

By Casey Herring

In 2007, after teaching middle and high school students in a remote village in western Alaska for 5 years Casey Herring felt the Lord leading him into full time ministry. Casey had always had a passion for people, cultures, and education, but as he continued to draw into a closer relationship with God, he began to understand how God desired to use these interests as a way to serve Him in international missions.

In 2008 Casey moved overseas and begin ministering and teaching at Brasilia International School. While serving in Brazil, Casey met Meg Casciere and they quickly fell in love and got married. God brought Casey and Meg together and ignited a passion for serving others through educational ministry. 

The vision for Global Education Ministries was born in October of 2010 when God pressed upon the hearts of Casey and Meg His desire for them to open a school in Mexico and use education as a tool for sharing the gospel. After more than two years of prayer and work, GEM opened its first school in August 2013, in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Casey and Meg, as well as a team from Crossway, moved to Puerto Escondido and continue to serve at the school.

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Our ministry continues to develop and our school continues to grow! This first school year, we have 36 students from grades Pre-K through 4th The Lord has really shown us favor and we are so humbled and grateful by the positive response we have gotten throughout the community. We have over 70 students on the waiting list for the 2014-2015 school year. We have also started an English language institute called “Real Talk” (headed up by Jason Faircloth) that is available to parents at the school, as well as the rest of the Puerto community. God has really blessed our ministry, not only with the students, but also with their parents as well. We have started a weekly lifegroup on Thursday nights and have invited many of our parents to come.

Last semester, several families who don’t know the Lord, were faithful to come almost every week and asked great questions and showed that they are really seeking. The Lord has been so good to allow us to develop some really close relationships with the families through the school, and we continue to pray that the Lord would use these relationships in significant ways for HIS glory!

Our desire is to show love, care, and compassion to everyone we have the privilege of serving. We do this in several ways. First, we strive to create new educational opportunities for those who may not have access to good schools. GEM has opened and will continue to open schools throughout the world that are affordable, accessible, and provide a new opportunity for those previously denied quality education. In doing this we meet very real and important physical needs. 

The greatest, and most important way in which we show love to those we serve is by sharing the gospel. We believe there is no greater act of love toward another than to share the good news of what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We are able to do this with our students each and every day in the classroom. A majority of them come from non-Christian homes, and it is such a joy and blessing to be able to share the good news of Jesus and all He has done for us each day.

Prayer Requests :

  • That the school would be a tool that reaches the lost community of Puerto with the Gospel

  • That we could be a part of strengthening the local church for the expansion of God’s kingdom

  • That we would continue to trust completely in the Lord to bring about the right teachers, the funds needed, etc. to keep the school running 

  • We are most looking forward to the Lord growing our influence here in Mexico for His purposes and His glory! We hope and pray that the Lord would use our ministry and lives to draw many people to Himself and that they would see their need for a Savior, turn to Him for salvation, and surrender their lives completely to Him!

 

CCM: Crossway's Campus Ministry

By Rachel Gracy

Crossway’s Campus Ministry (CCM) at UNCW is thriving and growing, by the grace of God. Currently, the ministry is represented by 30-40 members, with the potential to reach the lives of students all over campus. As a ministry with growing members and resources, we are able to provide events throughout the week to connect students with God and each other.

On Mondays, we meet up to call out to the Lord as a collective at our weekly Prayer Team meetings. Wednesdays, we host our weekly Large Group Meetings, including worship, a message, and discussion. Every Friday, Crossway Campus Ministry offers the students the chance to fellowship at our TGIF events. We end our week meeting up for church on Sundays at Crossway Chapel, and we share a meal together after service, which we call “Post Game.”

There is a lot going on besides these official weekly events. Our men’s and women’s small group Bible studies also meet throughout the week to dive into the Word together. These small groups are where the true growth is happening for each student. God is visibly drawing people near to Himself and saving them through these small groups and the entire ministry as a whole. 

The newest addition to CCM is the worship at our weekly Large Group Meetings. God has blessed the ministry with musicians that have a heart for worship. The Crossway Band invites all members to their practices and uses that time to practice and worship the Lord. These practices are also often held outdoors on campus as an opportunity to reach out and make connections with other students. 

As much as we love each other, we know God has placed us on this campus during this specific time for a reason. By the grace of God, we try to be a ministry that is outwardly focused, constantly reaching out to the students on campus around us. When we become inwardly focused, we tend to forget the reason we are on campus: to shine and share Jesus. 

This is why all of our official events described above are designed for new students. TGIF is designed to invite new friends and introduce them to the ministry in a non-threatening way. Some examples of TGIF are Putt Putt golf, capture the flag, game nights on campus, scavenger hunts, etc. God has used these fellowship events in so many ways, and we are extremely grateful for that. 

God is definitely at work on this campus, and we are grateful that Crossway can be a part of that. We always appreciate prayers! Some current praises and prayer requests for the ministry include:

- Praise: We praise God that we have a place on campus that we can go to pray to Him, worship Him, and interact with friends who love Him. 

- Prayer: that we might be unified and that God would protect us from Satan’s attempts to divide us.

- Praise: The fact that we have a worship band now! Our Large Group Meetings have a completely new vibe! He has ordained it all for His glory!

- Prayer: For boldness in sharing our faith on campus. 

- Prayer: For the hearts of the students all over campus, especially the ones we are reaching out to. May God soften their hearts and open their eyes to their need for a Savior. 

- Prayer: Growth! All members of CCM desperately need Jesus. Please be praying that God will continue to grow us and shape us to be more like Him.