Meeting tonight (10/17) to include campfire basics

logcabinDue to the nice weather, we’ll be adjusting our schedule a bit tonight for a fall campfire program in the parking lot.

We’ll be making Banana Boats and learning how to use a flint and steel striker to light a fire without matches.

Come prepared for fun, snacks and some game time, too.

Allamuchy winter 2011 017

 

Advertisements

Reminder: No Meeting Tonight!

Reminder to club parents and youth – No club meeting (brigade for boys, pioneer club for girls) tonight due to Columbus Day holiday.

Will resume meeting next week.

Backup files 142

Battalion Meeting Tonight!

Rangers, Junior Rangers and Boys in grades 7-12 are welcome to come to our kickoff meeting tonight.

From 7 PM to 7:30 PM we will conduct a planning and organization workshop for our Monday night Stockade ministry.  We will discuss what’s been going well, what we can do better, and we’ll be introducing our new workbook materials which have just arrived from CSB Ministries.

su20event20kitFrom 7:30 to 9 PM we will cover the first session in our study called “Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood” which is a DVD and workbook program produced by Family Life Ministries.  Workbooks are essential to the study, and we have a very limited supply of workbooks for the first session.  Workbooks cost $12 each so please bring cash or a check, or you can purchase your own online at any number of suppliers (Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, et.al.)

Generally, the video session runs about 35 minutes and the remainder of time is engaged in group discussion about the video topic and questions from the workbook.  In between group meeting sessions, there are workbook exercises for individuals to complete.

Hope to see you tonight.  Lower Auditorium.

cropped-banner-2-for-2016.jpg

Sacrificial Love – Is there another kind?

Recently a colleague shared an article on parenting and perceived changes in society among younger generations.  I suppose “older” generations have always been harsh critics of “younger” generations, but there were several interesting points made in the article.

The article appears at “Stream.org” and is titled “Baby, you stole the life I wanted” (LINK)

The gist of the article (and I encourage you to read it for yourself) is summed up in this quote from the article;

…there’s a growing and largely ignored group of mothers all over the world who are confessing their regret over having children. Day after day, as they change diapers, drive to soccer practice, and help with college applications, they fantasize about a life unburdened by dependents and free from the needs of others. A do-over.

I can certainly identify with (and remember) the stressful times of dealing with our (anyone’s) first child — it’s all “new” and “unsure” and “no sleep” and “anxiety”.  Dads IMGP6811get to run to work in the morning, engage in adult conversation and then drag themselves home at night often to a mom who looks like she’s been mauled by lions.  Some dads muster the courage to grab the child/children and hustle them to the park for playtime and give mom a break, but some may grab a drink and head for the TV (leaving “mom” to finish making dinner without suffering an emotional breakdown).  Adding a second or third child adds to the stress of juggling schedules, school, extracurricular activities, etc.  Oh, and add “homeschooling” to the list.

Still, I think this article is driving at a different point.  Not only are some moms frustrated by the change in lifestyle, but some dwell on what might have been instead of having a family.  Here’s another quote to illustrate;

“I wonder if my accomplishments would be more spectacular,” says Ananya, a 38-year-old freelance writer and editor who divides her time between the United States and Singapore. “Would I have written my second or third book? Would I be able to travel to chase that elusive story? I feel motherhood has slowed me down so much. She envies friends not for their spontaneous vacations and naps, but for the time and space they have to think.

norman-rockwellreading to childrenI would imagine there are Dad’s who fall into this same analysis and it’s not fair to single out moms as the sole bad actors in the analysis.  Dads do get to pursue their career, but they could easily build up a silent resentment for not being able to take a job in China opening up a new sales division or having other younger, single men take key promotions especially if they’re perceived to be less experienced or qualified.

Perhaps it’s important to remember why, as individuals and now as a couple, the choices were made to commit to building a family.  There are joys to counter the frustrations, promises from God to offset the discomfort. Still, I like how the author states;

Love is a cross. It always has been, and always will be. The mystery of love is that it demands death — the death of self. Myself. Yourself. Love is only about the other. And when we love, we are released from the prison of resentment and the tyranny of insatiable wants. Love is the only freedom.

A society built around the individual, rather than the family, will petrify into unspeakable emptiness.

  • Psalm 127:3 NASB – Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
  • Psalm 112:1-2 NASB – Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.
  • IMGP7151Psalm 127:3-6 NASB – Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
  • John 16:21 ESV – When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
  • Proverbs 17:6 ESV – Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
  • Psalm 139:13-16 ESV – For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Children are a blessing from God.  We choose to invest ourselves in them so that they can fulfill God’s purposes and plans.  A man (or woman) may have many plans in their heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that will be carried out (Proverbs 19:21) – we’d be wise to recognize this as inescapable for He created us to carry out His vision and plan for our lives — attempts to go our own way will inevitably be futile and less rewarding (eternally) than being submissive to His leadership.

  • IMGP6935Psalm 37:4 ESV – Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Psalm 37:5 ESV – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
  • Proverbs 16:1-3 ESV – The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
  • Matthew 6:21 ESV – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • Proverbs 16:9 ESV – The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
  • Matthew 6:33 ESV – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Commit your sacrificial love to God, your spouse, and your children.  Investing time to walk closer to God and really understand His plan for your life can only help bring context and relief.    If you are struggling, talk to your Pastor, Priest or Spiritual Advisor.  Seek out like-minded friends and certainly pray about your feelings and struggles.

Christian Service Brigade offers a magazine for parents called “Valor” – http://valormagazine.csbministries.org/  – its free, and you can view it online or subscribe to have it delivered by email.  You may find one or more articles that speak to current concerns in raising your son(s), and you can certainly reach out to the editor with suggestions for future articles of interest.

IMGP6812 (2)

Meeting Recap (10/3/16)

jeep-under-construction-1We had a couple new faces in the crowd this week, and continued out theme of “cars and trucks” through our activities and devotional.

Following our opening ceremony, the Junior Rangers organized teams for games and led the fun while monitoring for good sportsmanship.

Our activities included several word searches and crossword puzzles on the cars and trucks theme.  Boys were encouraged to work as teams, taking turns finding key words or solving riddles for crossword clues.  Junior Rangers stood close by to offer assistance and individualized encouragement so that no one became frustrated or felt isolated during the exercise.

Ranger Stephen offered the devotional discussion on “ENGINES”:  he took time to present open ended questions to the group, and draw from them their creative and fun answers.  While they typically presented the most obvious response, he was able to encourage them to think about a broader context and discover new connections.  As part of his program, he handed out select bible verses and asked volunteers to read a short set aloud.  Following each reading, he would ask the group how that set of verses helps to clarify our thinking and understanding of our own roles as specially created individuals.

Ranger Stephen provided a concise recap of that discussion, below:

Tripod TrebuchetWe’ve been talking about cars and trucks as of late, and they are driven by engines, however, in the world we also have search engines like google, siege engines like catapults, and locomotives like steam engines besides.

So what is an engine? An engine is something built to accomplish a particular task, something made with a purpose in mind.

Thinking about that, we can say that God made the world with a purpose in mind, so that can be seen as a form of engine. It is worth noting that it is an engine we are responsible for, as pointed out in Psalms 8, God has made mankind rulers over the works of his hands, this is also seen in Genesis 1:26-28. Beyond even that, the task of general stewardship of the world given, God has special purposes in mind for each one of us, making us all engines of a sort!

Now, there is something else that needs to be said about engines, engines require certain things (i.e. fuel, input of data, etc.) to run correctly:

  • a diesel engine needs diesel fuel, and
  • a basic calculator works with numbers,

However, if you were to substitute sugar-water for diesel fuel, the engine not only might not run, it might flat out destroy the diesel engine, and if you tried to use letters instead of numbers, the calculator wouldn’t understand the input and couldn’t provide it’s services to you.

So it is important that we learn to distinguish good fuel from bad, and proper operation from improper operation.

The bible on the whole is great for that, but Proverbs is a very dense collection of suggestions to work with:

  • Proverbs 3:5-8 reminds us first that we will not understand everything that happens in life, but God has his reasons if we will trust him. Further, his rules will, to stretch the analogy, keep the driveshaft aligned, and finally, even in less profound issues, we don’t know everything, but turning away from evil will be refreshment.
  • Proverbs 3:27-31 Suggests that we should not withhold good from others when we can give it, be it encouragement, service, or physical support. Moreover, this passage warns us against seeking conflict where none has been called for and to choose role models with care.
  • Proverbs 10:17 points out that instruction, from trustworthy sources, is meant for your good, and introduces the concept of a “reproof.” When a younger sibling reaches for a hot pot, you would warn them, you would tell them not to touch it, you would be reproving them. It’s not a very scary word or concept, it is simply to warn sternly.
  • Proverbs 12:25 introduces a simple example of both good and bad fuel directly, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” We probably won’t always resist anxiety, but it is something to remember.
  • Proverbs 12:26 notes that those who are righteous, those with good fuel, is a trustworthy guide to his neighbor, and then warns that the wicked, those with bad fuel, will lead them astray.
  • Proverbs 13:12 talks about a few issues we can’t always control, “hope deferred,” the forestalling of that desired, can weigh you down, and in some cases weigh heavily, and a longing fulfilled, a true longing, is almost never fulfilled purely on your own sole efforts, expectations can be adjusted slightly, but such adjustments will require a lot of time, and if care is not taken to have the right mind about things before such delays appear, they can be a weighty matter to deal with indeed.

Obviously, there is much more that can be said on the subject, but for now, this is what I have to provide based on what I was able to read in preparation for tonight’s discussion.

REMINDER – NO MEETING ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 10th DUE TO COLUMBUS DAY HOLIDAY.

2012-6x6-truck

Questions from Parents…

The church secretary let me know that there were some questions from parents to address.

  • Uniforms?  We haven’t done uniforms at our stockade group in years.  The adults are considering a move back to uniform shirts.  If your child has a uniform shirt and wants to wear it, that’s GREAT!
    • We have unit specific patches that can be applied to a dark green T-Shirt t99-VB002-603o make an unofficial (and inexpensive) uniform shirt.  As your boy grows, you can move the patch to a fresh T-Shirt.
    • If you already have a stockade shirt, our unit number is 1803 and the unit number patches are available in two places:
      • check with an adult leader to see if we have some stashed in our unit closet, OR
      • they can be ordered for a nominal cost through http://store.csbministries.org/
  • Do we engage in Monthly Activities (i.e. field trips, etc.)
    • At the moment, we don’t have adequate adult supervision to coordinate monthly activities.
      • We need more dads for planning and execution, but we’re open to scheduling for the Spring if there’s interest and support
      • We don’t have a church van or bus so transportation has been a factor in the past.  For instance, we had to cancel our trip to West Point for an ice hockey game last year due to bad weather, etc.
      • There is a regional pinewood derby planned for March of 2017 in Randolph, NJ (about an hour’s drive west on Route 80 and Route 10.)
  • Can dads serve as chaperones or leaders?  YES.
    • We would welcome dads to serve as chaperones and helpers in the ministry – we just need them to complete a volunteer application and background check through NVEFC.
    • Contact our leaders or the church secretary (contact us page) for further details.

IMG_20140913_100326028

Battalion Meetings (grades 7-12)

ALTERNATING FRIDAY NIGHT PROGRAM LAUNCHES OCTOBER 7th:
This year, we are trying an experiment by relaunching a modified Battalion program for boys in grades 7-12.  This program will meet on alternating Friday nights from 7 to 9 PM in the lower auditorium: 
  • First 30 minutes reserved for planning for Monday night meetings (arrive by 7), and
  • the second block of time (arrive by 7:30), is for a video, workbook and discussion based bible study called “Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood” (Preview videos:
The bible study is suitable for teens thru all adult ages, and I’d encourage Battalion cadets / Junior Rangers to invite their dad to attend if possible (not a requirement, but they may find it highly engaging to walk through the program side-by-side with their sons) Our church will require each adult to fill out a youth volunteer application and submit to a background check (but it’s pretty painless!)
The schedule for Friday Night meetings is:
  • October 7
  • October 21
  • November 4
  • November 18
  • December 2

The Stepping Up series is 10 segments long, this group of five meeting nights carries us halfway through the program, allowing us to finish it in the Spring.

There is a cost for the workbook – I’m shopping around the internet to find the lowest possible price now, and will send an update (It’s likely to be about $6-$7).  I’m not planning refreshments on Fridays at this time, but would be open to bringing coffee/juice/tea with an offering basket to offset costs, etc.  If we want to do something more, we’ll discuss at the first meeting and perhaps someone can take charge of that part of the meeting planning, etc.

imgp5622