Religious Education in the Family (Book Summary and Quotes)

For one of my Seminary classes, I read the book Religious Education in the Family by Henry Frederick Cope. The book was written in 1917 but has a lot of insight for today’s families. Here’s my summary of the book and some of the quotes I highlighted.
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YMI Summit in California

In case you’re wondering what we were doing in California for the last two weeks, we were at the biennial YMI Summit. One of my responsibilities in the office now is to do most of the logistics for the Summit…so I was really working during our time out there in northern California (I promise).

I wrote up a report on it for the YMI website.

Here’s an excerpt:

YMI missionaries from around the globe gathered at Lassen Pines Christian Camp near Redding, California, for six days of meeting, training, fellowship, and strategic planning. The biennial Summit was the fifth time in the history of Youth Ministry International that the worldwide team met for such a gathering. Past summits have taken place in California, South Dakota, France, and Athens.

One of the highlights of the Summit is hearing the reports from various regions in which YMI is working. Each missionary tells of what God has done during the past two years in their family and ministry and shares about their hopes for the next two years. This year there were reports from Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, and Africa. We also heard from our Missionary Care representatives and the Adolescent Orphan Initiative directors. God is certainly doing wonderful things through the ministry of YMI around the world!

You can read more by clicking here.
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Spurgeon on Youth and Family Ministry

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a British preacher, well known for his communication skills both through his preaching and his writing. He converted to Christianity at the age of fifteen, and by the age of twenty-two, he was the most popular preacher in England. Many times he spoke to crowds of over 10,000, without amplification. He preached over thirty-six hundred sermons, and the “Prince of Preachers” is known to be one of the most influential Christian voices of the nineteenth century.

In doing research for a paper, I read some of his comments regarding family and the church.

Here’s what he had to say:
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A Report from Mexico

It was good to be back in Mexico! There were many reasons for my latest trip, but the main reason was to teach the final two courses of the Master’s in Youth Ministry at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. I was accompanied by Chris Davis, the executive director of globalLead, and we taught two courses: Youth Ministry Training Application and Professional Orientation to Youth Ministry.

Since our vision is to “train trainers,” or to hand over training to nationals when we leave, we have developed the course “Youth Ministry Training Application” to give our graduating students a head start to train others both formally and informally.

Read more about my trip on the YMI Website.

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Prayer Breaks Chains

I’ve had this picture in my Bible for a long time. One of my Cuban friends gave it to me while I was there a long time ago. It sits there for me to remember to pray for Cuba and others around the world.

The caption says, “Our prayers will break the chains.”

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My Cuban friends really believe in the power of prayer, and they should! The stories that they tell me about their parents, grandparents, and even their own lives are a testament to the power of prayer.

But the statement, “Prayer breaks chains,” isn’t just for them. It is for me and you, too.
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Reading List April 2016

I’m gearing up for the next intensive class in my doctoral program. The title of the course is Models of Student and Family Ministry. As usual, I have a lot of pre-course reading to do. I thought I’d share the list of readings with you. Nine are books and one is an article.

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I just finished one of the 10, and I’m hoping to read one of the assigned readings per week for the next nine weeks.

Here’s the list:

Hopefully I get through these next few weeks. I think I’ll be spending a lot of time in quiet places trying to get some reading done.

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Thoughts on Good Friday – 2016

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“Joyas de Dios” – A Great Joy

John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth” (3 Jn 4). Every once in a while I get a glimpse of something great that one of my former students is doing, and it reminds me that all of the sweat, tears, and other struggles are worth it.

Claudia is currently a senior in the youth ministry program at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. Not too long ago, she started a ministry with a few other seminary students that aims to reach out to young girls and help them as they journey through adolescence and young adulthood.

You can read more about her ministry in this article I wrote for the YMI newsletter.

For me, though, this ministry means a lot more than just what she and her team have accomplished. It means that somehow the culture we created at the Center for Youth Ministry at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary helped inspire her to do more than just the average ministry. She is striving for excellence in what she’s doing.

Her ministry (and the ministry of many other of my students and graduates) brings me great joy.

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The Best Part of Traveling to Cuba

This post was originally published in our ministry newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

The above photo is a view of Havana from the statue of Jesus that overlooks the harbor. It’s a spectacular view, but it’s not the best thing about traveling to Cuba. The best part of visiting Cuba is not the gorgeous view of the harbor or the vintage cars or even the delicious coffee. The best part of visiting Cuba is visiting the friends and collaborators in the ministry.

I had the enormous privilege of visiting Cuba from February 13-19. I traveled with Jeremy White, executive pastor of Springdale Community Church here in Louisville, and the purpose of the trip was to visit the three Centers for Youth Ministry that are teaching YMI curriculum in their Seminaries across the island.

It was so much fun to see many of my former students, connect with them again, hear the stories of what God is doing in their lives and how He is using them to reach and disciple youth and their families. I want to take a few minutes to introduce you to some of them.
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Longing for Home

Last week in Havana, my friend Jeremy and I were walking home from our usual breakfast spot, Cafe Fortuna, when we walked past a very cool old pink convertible. A young man walked out and asked if we wanted to take a taxi ride around Havana in the car. We were leaving for the airport, soon, we explained, as we declined his invitation.

He asked how we had enjoyed our trip. We responded about how great the weather was compared to the snow back in Kentucky. I said, “We’d rather be here than there,” referring to the weather. He quickly responded, “I’d much rather be there than here. Snow, rain, whatever. There is better than here.”

Earlier this week I was reading about our heavenly citizenship and how we long for our true home. This story of the young man in Havana reminds me of my longing for God’s Kingdom. No matter how blessed we feel here; no matter what temporary pleasures we experience here on earth, “There is always better than here.” May we always remember the blessings of belonging to God’s true Kingdom and seek to introduce others to the King.

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