The next EAGLE LAKE PROMO and BIG EVENT!

Eagle Lake Camp | Meridian Point Church

Hi MPC Families!

Just wanted to make you aware of two Eagle Lake opportunities we have coming up.

First, you have a chance to take additional money off of your camp tuition! Follow this link to read more.

Second, MPC is hosting an EAGLE LAKE BIG EVENT after our second service on April 29. There will be a hotdog lunch followed by Eagle Lake’s backyard fun (gaga ball, 9-square, obstacle course, etc.). There will information tables and MPC/Eagle Lake staff available to answer any questions on that day. We’d love for you to make it! Read more here…

We hope our MPC families will attend and invite others to come and take advantage of these great opportunities.

If you have any questions, please email Anastasia Stephan.

The New K-5th Grade Family Newsletter

ROCK Point Family Ministries family ministry assist parents student ministry
Dear Parents…

March Madness will begin soon, and though I know this refers to the NCAA, I kind of feel like it is a good caption for our family’s life in the month of March. (Okay from April – February too.) Making meals, keeping up the house, feeding the animals, paying the bills, taking kids to school, picking kids up from school, helping kids with their school, making sure the kids take a bath and brush their teeth (for the love!), loving on your spouse, trying to stay awake to spend time with kids and spouse outside of school work…

Then we add, don’t we? Sports, school activities, a work thing here, an extra family thing there – all this on top of an already full life. We begin to feel depleted and yet we know we need to offer more. In fact, we know that at the end of all the to-do’s, there’s The One who doesn’t always make the list.

That is why we have included DISCIPLESHIP ON THE WAY, REACH OUT, and the Parent Post-It within our new Ascent newsletter – On Point. R.O.C.K. Point Family Ministry desires to come alongside your family to help you and your children to Rely On Christ the King daily – to grow in your knowledge of Him and to deepen your relationship with Him. We know there is no one-size-fits-all way to do this specifically, but God did give us principles that can be used within any family, at any time, and in any place.

4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 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.”
~Deuteronomy 6

To really disciple someone in Christ and to really grow in your relationship personally with Christ, He needs to get into every area of your life. God doesn’t want to sit on a shelf or be restricted to certain times of the day or week. God doesn’t want someone with more knowledge or a better spiritual pedigree to disciple your children; he chose you. That is what the passage above states very clearly;

“Repeat them again and again to YOUR children.”

You are the best person to train your children to know God because He says you are. And despite what we are tempted to tell God, He doesn’t make mistakes.

In DISCIPLESHIP ON THE WAY, we want to give you some simple, practical ideas of how you can pass on God’s Word and encouragement while spending time with your children at home or on the go or as you’re sending them on their way.

In REACH OUT, we want to encourage families to serve together. When we serve together, our hearts become intertwined in ways that no other activity can produce. Living on mission is also a way for your kiddos to see The Word lived out. Your lives become the visual!

Parent Post-It is where we want to meet with you, the parents (be it biologically or spiritually or both). Parents need encouragement. We are raising eternal beings and some days it can seem like the blind leading the blind. And for all the access we have to community, we can still tend to seclude ourselves, leaving us alone with our doubts, struggles, anger, and shame, to name a few. Parenthood is no easy occupation but neither is it a job to just get through. You have a HIGH CALLING straight from God, and He has not left you alone to do it!

So, in the Parent Post-It, you will find a few words to hopefully encourage you in your own walk with Christ as well as in your relationship with your family.
Your Post-It for the month of March: HE CHOSE YOU! Remember this, Parents, when you doubt yourself and your abilities, the God of all wisdom and knowledge, chose you for your children. There is no one better to offer them Jesus than you!

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit…
~John 15:16

There is also an amazing account in Isaiah 45 where God takes someone who doesn’t even know Him to fulfill His promises. God equips us even when we don’t know it!

Our intention for this new way of communicating to our Ascent (K-5th grade) parents is that you will be informed well, equipped well, and inspired well. It is one of our greatest honors to serve your children on Sunday’s and it is one of our greatest hopes to serve your whole family the best we can.

 

**Be on the look out for upcoming instructions on how to subscribe to the On Point Newsletter.

Ready or Not, Christmas Is Upon Us

Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born…Christ the Lord. (Luke 2)

Ready or not Christmas is upon us! Much like it was a little over 2,000 years ago, ready or not, the Christ child was coming. I would like to think that more often than not, we are ready – eager even – for Jesus and this exciting time of year. There is so much fun to be had, so much love to be shared, so much wonder, grace, and joy to be remembered and lived all over again. And it means so much more when we enjoy it all together! (I can speak from a place of realization as I just hung up from talking to my Pawpaw and realized that once again we will not be together this Christmas, but I can also speak from a place of gratitude as I am thankful that, though far from my North Carolina-Alaska family, I am surrounded by my husband, children, friends, and MPC family! This year, like the last 15 Christmases, will still be full of all that makes Christmas Christmas! Most importantly, the reason for the season remains the same no matter where we are – “For unto (us) is born…Christ the Lord.”

This Christmas, R.O.C.K. Point Kids’ Ministry would like to invite you to be a part of two really great events…

Christmas Keepsakes: Nursery, Preschool, and K-2nd grade families come enjoy cookies, candy, and chocolate milk while you make a Christmas Keepsake with your children! Register online for this fun memory making event! (Please register again; the registration for the Fall Keepsake is no longer valid.)

Sunday mornings, R.O.C.K. Point Kids’ Ministries presents Christmas At The Movies for your K-5th graders! Join us as we talk through some of the Christmas classics and discover what eternal truths lie within them. We will enjoy movie clips, interactive Bible lessons, Christmas carols, crafts, and popcorn! Invite your friends and family and join us at 9 and 10:45 the next two Sundays.

Take time to ENJOY this time of year with your children; they are some of the best reminders we have of what Jesus brought to the world that night all those years ago…wonder, excitement, joy, belief, hope!

R.O.C.K. Point Ministries desires to come alongside parents to help kids learn to Rely On Christ the King daily. Check out our Family Ministries page for more information.

How We’re Wrapping Up The BIG Event

Wrapping Up With Operation Christmas Child | Meridian Point Church

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Scattering Seeds of Peace and Hope

As the daughter of a single mom, I was right in the middle of my mom’s struggle to provide my sister and I a place to live with working utilities – some that were still occasionally turned off – and food to eat. Birthdays and Christmas, times when gifts are usually given, were very simple. I used to wonder why we never really celebrated birthdays; looking back I know that a big part of that was the lack of funds.

At Christmas-time my mom would go down to the local tree stand and pick out one of the shortest trees (which was sometimes just given to her) and she would set it up on our coffee table. Then we would make homemade Christmas decorations to put on it. Gifts were usually small and few, but I know Mom did all she could just to give those – never receiving anything in return. Some years Mom would go to the local Salvation Army, tell them our situation, and they would wonderfully, graciously give her an opportunity to “shop” for our gifts. I never knew or cared. Christmas was just a magical time of year when we watched classic Christmas movies, listened to Christmas music by Brenda Lee, Elvis, Bing, and Frank, got together with all of our family, received new to us gifts, and dreamed big.

Though no Christmas Story from the book of Luke was read in our home, I had a knowledge of Jesus. I was in a few plays at the church my mom grew up in and I saw the nativities around. I knew there was more than Christmas lights, tinsel, stockings, and gifts found under the tree from Santa, but I really enjoyed how pretty it all was and how hopeful it made me feel. I think that is one of God’s sweetest secrets. Even if all we know is White Christmas and Rudolph and Santa Claus, the peace and hope that we feel point to Him, for He is the Prince of Peace and the Hope of the World.

This past Sunday Barry taught out of Mark 4. The chapter begins with the parable of ‘The Farmer and the Seed.’ When I think back to those PEACEful and HOPEful Christmas seasons, I fully believe it was the simple tree with homemade decorations, second-hand gifts from Salvation Army, family time, those few Christmas plays, nativities, and Christmas music and movies that were scattered seeds in my life. God has used all of it to show me how He was active in my life even then – when I didn’t know Him. They all taught me to HOPE, and years later when someone introduced me to Jesus, it was easy to BELIEVE.

What’s Been Going On With The BIG Event

This year’s Big Event theme has been WONDERFUL…MARVELOUS…THE BIG EVENT! Your children walked through the life of Jesus during the first three months, and they will finish up by hearing and receiving The Great Commission, which goes along with their Memory Verse: “I will give thanks and praise the Lord, with all my heart; I will tell aloud all Your wonders and marvelous deeds.” (Psalm 9:1) It has been such a fun and exciting experience to watch your kids act out the lessons, connect over yummy snacks, have fun playing games, and ENJOY worshiping and dancing alongside each other!

The Outreach

During our Big Events, your children have had the opportunity to bring in items for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry through Samaritan’s Purse. They have done an AMAZING job! I have a HUGE stack of items in our Kids’ Building! At our last Big Event, we will be packing shoeboxes with all of the donated items. So, in the two weeks before November 10, we would 1) love for kids to still bring in items and/or 2) bring in donations to help cover the cost of mailing the shoeboxes. Samaritan’s Purse suggests a donation of $9 per box, but any amount will help! If we receive more donations than the number of boxes we are mailing out, the extra will still go to Operation Christmas Child as not all who send in boxes are able to send in the $9. We will be collecting items in baskets in the Kids’ Building the next two Sundays. If you would like to make a donation you can either A) write out an amount to Samaritan’s Purse with Operation Christmas Child in the memo and hand it to Anastasia Stephan or B) write out an amount to Meridian Point Church with Operation Christmas Child in the memo.

Wrapping Up

As your children wrap up this series of Big Events by packing simple shoeboxes for kids who may not receive any other Christmas gifts, they are taking some of their first steps in The Great Commission – they are scattering seed! They are giving some child HOPE, just like I was given all those years ago by the generosity of others. They may not know it, the kids receiving these boxes may not realize it, but Jesus, Who makes all things new and is able to produce a HUGE HARVEST in each and every life, knows. I personally look forward to watching each pair of little hands place items in these boxes, knowing that they are being the very hands of Christ.

“I will give thanks and praise the Lord, with all my heart; I will tell aloud all Your wonders and marvelous deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)

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Renew My Heart Getaway (A Local Conference for Moms)

Renew My Heart Event

“Every mom needs a break now and then. You need a weekend away just for you. A time to be refreshed, revived, and renewed–to fellowship, and to share hearts and lives, with other wholehearted mothers like you. Since 1998, Sally has offered a two-day hotel getaway as a ray of light in the gray of winter for thousands of Christian moms in eight states.

Sally Clarkson has faithfully championed the mission and ministry of biblical motherhood for over two decades. You will be inspired, encouraged, and renewed by her talks. Her theme this year is Hope Changes Everything ~ Think Different. Live Different. Make a Difference. The new Renew My Heart Getaway is a personal time of heartfelt messages, personal fellowship, inspirational worship, a luncheon together, book tables, and more. So follow the light this winter. Come to a Renew My Heart Getaway and find the hope that will make you and your home different.”

~Quote from http://sallyclarkson.com/events/

10 years ago Nathan and I moved here with our three little boys – three months to three years old. We were once again in a place far away from family and friends. I knew I was good at delivering babies, but I was still working on the mommy-ing part. I wanted desperately to love my husband and children well, to know how to nurture and disciple little lives, and to know well His grace and love as I stumbled along. A friend slipped me a website address one day, and I never would have thought that 10 years later I would still be sitting at the feet of such a great mentor AND have the opportunity to slip my own emails to other mommas.

I would love for as many moms as possible to join myself and other ladies from MPC this January 27-28 at a Sally conference! Contact Anastasia Stephan or Melanie McDade for more details.

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A R.O.C.K. Point Legacy

A couple weeks ago, I was preparing to teach our kindergarten thru fifth graders about how God is Provider. The accounts of Abraham and Sarah and Isaac show this attribute of God over and over again.  That day we would be discussing how God would ask Abraham to give up the very “thing” He had finally provided after about a hundred years – his son Isaac.  Some lessons are easier to teach than others. Visuals and relevant examples make a lesson come alive to kids and adults alike but they aren’t always easy to find.

That day we had a table set up as our altar. I had one child come and set up some wooden sticks as these would have been needed to set fire to the sacrifice. As I continued to talk about what happened next – when Abraham began tying up his own son – I wrapped a jump rope around my shaking hands. My hand wasn’t the only thing trembling at that moment, my voice couldn’t hide the emotions that were welling up within me.

As I taught of trusting God in the midst of great sacrifice, a flood of remembrance of the many times I’ve had to hand over what meant the most to me to God came rushing in. From small wants to great dreams, from tangibles to the out of reach, from ideas to actual people – no matter what it was, the handing over has rarely been easy. Some things you would be like, “Really, Anastasia, so NOT a big deal!” Others you may relate to and understand quite well.

I asked the kids that morning who the most important person in their life was to them. Then I asked them to think about how it would feel if God asked them to give that person to Him. A few of those kiddos knew all too well what that was like – HARD! To have to entrust our most important person(s) into the hands of God (for some literally and for others figuratively) and walk away, seems almost impossible. We can feel the tightness in our chests, the sickness in our stomachs, the pain, the sorrow, sometimes the anger. It just seems too much.

I came to one of my favorite points in that whole Bible account – Abraham’s obedience.

“Boys and girls, did Abraham whine to God?  Argue with Him?”

“No.”

“What did he do?”

“OBEYED!”

As much as we’d like to read that Abraham whined, argued, bargained, or delayed his obedience, we don’t. What we do read is that God asked the unimaginable of him and he got up and did it. Now, I can’t help but think that, just like my hands began shaking as I remembered some of my own sacrifices, Abraham’s hands may have been shaking as they were held high above Isaac with a knife, ready to do just what God had commanded. When God asks us to do something out of our comfort zone or asks us to give something or someone that we feel surely we can’t live without, do you tremble?

When Jesus submitted to what God had asked Him to do, when His arms were stretched out and his hands were held up by nails, I believe He also shook. From physiological reasons, sure, but possibly also from the weight of a world of sin. All the destruction, devastation, and deceit of darkness pressing down on the Light of the World. It was a trembling that would seem to succumb to death, but three days later the quaking would raise Christ’s very body and darkness would once more know that it could not overcome the Light. Sin would be defeated and we would have hope and salvation and, finally, a way into the very presence of God again. All this because Jesus would obey and sacrifice His life for a world that meant everything to Him…and all that because Abraham would obey and be willing to sacrifice a life that meant the world to him.

I’m so thankful for that morning with our ROCK Point kiddos. This may be an account many of them have heard over and over again and for some it may have been brand new, but His Word is alive and active – He continues to be at work in our lives and for our lives. I want to be a part of sharing His Word and living His Word…before The Church in hopes to encourage those in their walk with Christ…before the world in hopes to make His love for them known.

Just like Abraham’s story pointed to The Greatest Story ever told – Christ’s sacrifice for us – our own sacrifices, our stories, are meant to point to Him.  We Rely On Christ the King daily so that the world may know Him and His great love. This is the legacy we strive weekly to pass on to our MPC kiddos with the hopes that they will take His Word into their homes and schools, onto their fields and courts, and out into every place God leads them.

This week I will prepare a lesson on how God is Faithful…the trembling has begun.