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A Godly Image

               It is the height of summer, and many people are choosing to spend some time outside with the 4th coming up. There will be fireworks, cookouts, family time, and lots of laughter. For some though, this can bring a different set of challenges. It is bathing suit, tank tops, and the season for dresses. This can leave some girls (and let’s face it, women too) struggling with their image. This is an important time to reinforce the image of God. Let’s unpack this and see what the Bible has to say about having a Godly image.

               First off, God created you and me! Genesis 1:26-27 puts it this way “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”. God created you and I which means that He gave me all these freckles and knows how many hairs are on your head! (Luke 1:27) He took the time to design you, to create you, to knit you together in your mothers’ womb. (Psalm 139:13) We need to unleash on our selves the power of how God sees us. The lens we look through is often colored by other people’s opinion of us and how the world sees us. This is not a true and valid image and so where do we turn? We turn to the Bible, to the knowledge that God creates good things.

               Second, we need to evaluate WHAT God sees when He looks at us. He is not looking at our outward appearance (Girl, you look so cute in that top!), He is looking inward. God seeks to examine our hearts. 1 Samuel 16:7 says it like this “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or the height of stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart”. This is a critical insight to how God sees us and wants us to see ourselves. He looks at our hearts to determine our love for our brothers and sisters. To see the beauty that lies within, to see the care we express for those around us. He does not care if we are sporting the latest kicks or what is considered high fashion. Today, you can make a choice to examine your heart to see yourself as He does. You can close your eyes and speak truth about the things He sees deep inside of you. Teach your children, especially your girls to do this. To learn to look in for the value of a person instead of their checkbook. Sometimes a person can be very attractive, and look put together until they open their mouths. Have you ever had that happen? What we hold in our hearts comes out of our mouths. When we choose to see ourselves as God sees us, it allows us to better understand the people He created. We are each unique and so we cannot use the same lens to view each other, UNLESS we are using God’s lens.

               Lastly, we need to understand HOW He made us. God literally spoke and it was created. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth” Psalm 33:6. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says not only did He make us beautiful in time, but nobody can also fathom the works that He has done. We aren’t going to be able to understand beauty in each person, that is why they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Every person on the face of the planet is beautiful in their on way. We can know that God made each of us special and unique. We each have talents and abilities that can set us apart and when paired with someone else we can accomplish great things! My talent is not necessarily how cute I may be on the outside, but in the talents we hold on the inside. The amazing thing is that God was able to speak all of it into existence. “For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen”. He created you and it wasn’t an accident.

Today I want you to lean back into the knowledge that He created you, all of you, and that He did a good work in you. You have the power to combat the lies that Satan tries to throw at us about our image. We can stand strong and steady in the understanding that God knows you, all of you, and He calls you his sons and daughters. Rejoice in His creations, that includes you!

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How do you invest?

There are a lot of things that we can invest in and there are different resources of ours that we can choose to invest. This can be a tricky area. How do you spend your time? Are there areas where you invest a little too much of your resources? How can we invest with a kingdom mindset?  Let’s use Matthew 6:21 as a plum line, “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also”.

               One thing that we can invest with is our money. This can be a touchy subject for many, but it is addressed in the Bible in many areas. It talks about having outstanding debts (Romans 13:8), the love of money (Psalm 37:16-17), and why to stay free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). It talks about how tithing is important and how much we should be tithing. God blesses us with a lot and He commands us to tithe and give offerings. Pro tip : Are you a senior who has a traditional IRA? Did you know by taking a “qualified charitable distribution” or QCD, your gift is applied towards your annual RMD requirement? (Curious as to what this all means? Check out our FB post or our website for more information on this) This way, you can support your favorite nonprofit and get a tax break! With our finances we can support the continuance of clubs and organizations, we can start the funding of scholarships, and we can jumpstart the future of the next generation. These times are tough, we get it, we feel it to. There are those that have an abundance to give, and out of that we are commanded to do so. An important thing to remember is that if you are in love with money, it will never be enough. Ecclesiastes 5:10 tells us as much. We must learn that contentment dwells in our hearts. Its ok to wear Walmart jeans, you don’t have to spend a quarter of your next paycheck on shoes. Keeping up with the Jones’ will always be an insurmountable task as there is always someone down the line a little bit richer, a house a little bit bigger. I think one verse we need to keep in mind is 1 Timothy 6:10, “ For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Sometimes it is not just one problem we have racked up running after money, its many. It’s the dishonesty, greed, pride, selfish behaviors that get us into trouble and become a pattern that led us down a dark trail. It chips away at us. Push someone over to get that promotion, lie to a customer to secure a deal, or omit details to your boss to sound better. These behaviors are all destructive and push us further and further from our Father.

               We can invest our time. When was the last time that you volunteered somewhere? Took the time out of your day to do something nice for someone? How many strangers have you smiled at recently to extend the love of Jesus? It’s simple things that we can do that can have such a resonating impact. We also forget that it starts with one person, one random act of kindness. Matthew 5:14 – 16 addresses the fact that we should do good works and why saying “You are a light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Studies have been done and have SHOWN that volunteering has a positive impact on the person who volunteers. It reduces depression, increases socialization, decreases loneliness, and gives you a sense of purpose. For those that suffer from chronic pain, it can reduce that too! Have you ever heard of the pay-it-forward chains that get started at restaurants? The record lasted for nearly 2 days!! Over 3,600 participated, but it had to start somewhere. This somewhere can be you! Over and over again in the Bible it talks about doing things for our neighbors, living in community and looking out for our brothers. These are important pieces of our Christian lives. By living in community, we have the opportunity to learn about our brothers and sisters. We get a chance to figure out what needs they may have, what things they may be good at, and how you can work together to get things accomplished. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him being the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”, 1 Peter 4:10 – 11. Doing things for our neighbors shows the love we have straight from the Father and sharing of the gifts God has blessed us with. It creates an atmosphere of engagements and exchanging of ideas. We can learn to appreciate each other this way, and through revelations we have, apply what we have learned to others.

               These are just a few ways that you can choose to invest. Will you make the decision today, to invest in your future and the future of those around you? Will you extend the love the Father has to those that haven’t heard it in a while, or ever before? How will you advise others to invest? If you would like to partner with us, please visit our website at https://cefgga.org/donate-2/ . Have a blessed weekend and a Happy Father’s Day!

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Teaching a Child to Pray

               Prayer is one of the cornerstones of the Christian beliefs. It allows us to share time with God, hear from Him, and to express to Him where we are in life. A prayer can hold vigil for a loved one who is suffering, a cry of hope for a friend who feels lost, and a way to find God amongst the messiness of life. As adults it can be hard to put into words how best to pray, which will make it that much harder to relay to a child. Below we hope you will be encouraged in ways you can help your child pray.

               Monkey see, monkey do, right? Modeling how to pray is very important for your child. Many people are visual learners and for those that are, it is a priceless example. First, show them that finding a quiet place helps with hearing from God and being able to best express how you are feeling to God. Show them how to quiet their minds and hearts. Instruct them to get comfortable by sitting or kneeling. You can guide them in some simple steps for how to talk to God by using CHAT.  Confession, Honor, Ask and Thanks. These are important high lights to hit. To confess anything on our hearts that may be making it heavy; Honor Him by declaring how great He is; Ask if there is something you need help within your heart, mind, body, or environment, and then thank Him for His greatness, glory and faithfulness. It is important that at some point we develop these helpful habits, so it is better to start young. These words are a jumping off point to our deepest thoughts and desires. Things start to surface that maybe we could reflect on and change. This allows time for God to remind us of His promises and His love for us. Something that is beginning to lose ground, but I think is important is bowing your head and closing your eyes. If your head is bowed, at least if your eyes pop open for a second you won’t get distracted by the things that you see. The more we train ourselves with this posture, the easier it is to commit to. If you find it hard to quiet your mind, take a few minutes to prep by listening to some praise and worship music. This takes your mind and focuses it on Him, preparing your mind to focus on Him in prayer. Remind the child not to get caught up in saying the “perfect words”, that talking to God is just like having a regular conversation. Teach them “how to” not “what to” pray. It’s important to let their hearts speak to God, not just a checklist of things to pray for. These are all great ways to pray and practice some simple steps to help if you are unsure of what to say.

               When to say it, when to go to God is something that many people vary on. Not many are consistent with prayers to God, and so we need to explore a little of when to pray. Some people only pray at meals. This IS an important time to pray, to take time to thank Him for your day and His provisions. Also, when we are sick and hurting is an important time to pray too! God hears our cries for comfort and relief! It’s vital to not develop a habit of only praying when you need something or are in a desperate situation. God seeks to be with us every minute of each day, just let Him in! When you are proud of an accomplishment, when the teacher or boss gives you kudos, when you are overtaken by the beauty you see, these are all times to take a second, seek God, thank Him for the things He has done. He has never left your side and knows every spoken and unspoken need and desire. Teach them to take a moment out of their day when they are free to stop and pray. They can meditate on God and see how He transforms the rest of their day!

               Why is prayer so important? It can take a day that feels hopeless and pave a way to a solution. It allows you to take the bottled-up things you hide and bare all of yourself to someone who won’t walk away. It is an opportunity to allow God to love on you, to feel just a fraction of His care for you. It can start the day off right, in His presence which helps to elevate your day. It often happens that if you start your day with God, things will come and go but our patience and joy increase substantially.

               All of this to say, it’s important to pray. It is important to teach our children the value of prayer and how to go to God. Take a moment today to let Him know how much you love Him and take a moment to teach a child how to do the same. The value in prayer is that the power resides within us, we just have to unlock it! We can teach a child that anytime is a good prayer time, and that God is always there to listen!

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The Mark of a Mother

               Mom’s play a vital role in a child’s development. They help shape their character, beliefs and dreams for the future. It’s no secret that mother’s have a tough job. Most mothers have a job as well. There are times when they get burnt out, and that is understandable. Today, I am here to give you a bit of encouragement.

               When you look at the Bible, these are the lives of real people. The testimony these stories give comes from women from Jochebed all the way to Mary, mother of Jesus. These weave an interesting tapestry of women that have been at the bottom of the barrel of life, mothers who were at their end all the way to women who are the most revered. It doesn’t matter how long you may have held your child, how long you carried them in your womb, you are still a mother. Jochebed was faced with the tough choice, to keep Moses or give him away. The worry and sadness she must have felt, but our everlasting Father had a plan for him. The Bible talks about miscarriages too. Some mothers are mothers’ multiple times before one is brought into this world. Know that the Father sees you, He knows your pain and He wants to help take that away. He honors you as a mother, He cherishes the child you carried, and He will reunite you one day! He sees the woman who lost her child early in life. The void that nothing but the love of God can begin to fill. He sees those sleepless nights, the worry that creased your brow. He can take that hurt and turn it into something beautiful if you invite Him in. I think one of the most refreshing things to know as a mother is that God covers the areas where we lack. As a mother of multiple kids, one who turns 18 today, I have learned a lot. God sees our struggle with choices as we try to guide our children on the right path. He knows the times where we are concerned about the decisions our children are making. He also carries concern for each person, each of His children as we go astray and run from Him. He rejoices with us when we see our children succeed. He knows the depth of our joy as we watch them grow and achieve their dreams. He showed His faithfulness as Elizabeth believed in the future with a child in it. He showed His compassion to Naomi by providing loving daughters in law who honored her and looked after her. He provides joy for us in the moments when we hear our children’s laughter. He gives us a spirit of contentment when the day is over, and they are tucked into bed at night. He shows us a glimpse of the joy He has for us when we watch our kids score their first goal or advance in the school spelling bee. Know today, mother, that you are loved by the Lord Almighty and He seeks to bring you all the best there is in life. Proverbs 31:28 tells us “Her children will rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her”. We know that children are a gift from God, a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3) and therefore He is placing a reward in our hands ahead of time. To those that don’t get hugs as often, who hear “I love you” a bit less frequently, hang in there. They are trying to spread their wings and reinforce their independence. That doesn’t mean that they need you less, it just means they need to explore some more on their own. No matter how big they get though, they will forever be our children.

Thank you to all the moms out there! No matter how long you’ve been a mom, know that we see you and you rock! Here at CEF and working with kids we know that it can be hard some days. On those days, hold your memories and God close, He will get you though. We hope that you have a blessed Mother’s Day. A day where you can be celebrated and cherished!

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Racing Towards The Finish Line

                Here at CEF we are looking at the closing/ending of a few things. School is ending, clubs will be coming to an end for the season, and the Human Race is almost over. We are excited for all of the areas of opportunity we have had throughout this season and we look forward to all of the new things the next season will bring!

We had such a great time at the Human Race on Saturday! We were thrilled to see all of the people that came out to support their favorite nonprofits! We got to see tons of people and children, goats, radio stations, and even a blind man run the race! If you came out or gave, we would like to take a moment and thank you. The work we are able to do on a daily basis is a direct result of the giving and the volunteering that people do. We see you and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for caring about the souls of children all over the globe! We are happy to announce that they have extended the giving timeline to April 15th so if you haven’t had an opportunity to give, and you would like to please visit https://raceroster.com/events/2022/57595/the-human-race-2022/pledge/team/6 and partner with us to spread the Good News! We would also like to thank the Volunteer Center of the Triad for their hospitality and putting on such a great event. If you have a desire to serve in the community, they are a great place to start when looking. You can check them out on FB at https://www.facebook.com/volunteercentertriad .

                The end of the school year is quickly approaching! The final 9 weeks of the school year has begun, and people are looking forward to what the summer will bring. This ushers in the summer programming we have here at CEF. This is a time when we partner with churches and kids from 12 yrs old to college age to bring the Good News to children in the form of 5 Day Clubs. These clubs happen in churches and places that children can safely gather. They are 5 days of action packed Bible lessons, songs, memory verses and games that children can really get in to and learn valuable lessons. The children serving in the 5 Day Clubs learn valuable character qualities and how to properly present the Gospel as well as leading someone to Christ. These clubs usually last about 1 ½ hours per day. Are you part of a church that would like to host a 5 Day Club? Are you the parent of a child who would like to serve or participate? If so, please contact our office ( 336-645-8877 or cefgreatergso@gmail.com ) to be placed on a list for available opportunities.

                We are so thankful for the people who have joined us on this journey so far! We are also thankful for the people who will be joining us down the road for our next adventures that God is leading us into! If you are not on our mailing list but would like to be, please contact us at the office so we can make sure you get all the available updates. One last thing, registration is still open for the Good News Across the Web. This is an online Good News Club happening Sundays at 6pm on Zoom. Please visit https://form.jotform.com/220305354781148 to register!

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Pair & Share

Pair & Share

               Did you know that I know that there are things you can do better than me?….Interesting thought isn’t it? We so often react out of a place that’s so opposite of that, knowledge of things that we can do better than someone else. Did you also know you were made to need the help of others? We so often throw around “it takes a village to raise a child” without truly taking that to heart within our own lives. We may even be quick to identify when, in our eyes, someone needs that village. We are also like children at an adult age, there are things we are still learning and struggling with. These ideas are not separate, they are parallel! Not too long-ago families lived together. Even when they stopped that, they lived in the same community. It allowed them to be there for each other, at times to support each other in their strengths, and at other times to be the ones receiving the strength of others. This is how you pair and share. Taking the beauty and intricacies of your story and relaying them to someone else. This gives freedom from the bondage and shame while giving a living testimony to those around you. Often times, there is someone in your circle who needs to hear your story and receive the blessings of your gifts! Would you be willing to step out of your comfort zone and share today?

Divide & Destroy

               Our other option….cue Jaws music. When we take ourselves out of the equation, when we divide ourselves from others, when we refuse to accept the needs of our heart and minds for others it creates so much bad stuff inside of us.  The seclusion and lack of people gives room for false thoughts, critical analysis of ourselves and time to ruminate on the short comings in our lives.  It gives a jumping off point for us to become so torn up inside of our heads that we can’t accept help or know how to ask for it. It gives a foothold for negative self-talk and negative talk about the world. There is mostly a darkness and not much light to dispel that thought. This breeds hate, anger, anxiety, stress, insecurities, loneliness, lack of identity and the list goes on and on…it can destroy you! This leaks out into your relationships with those that are around you or come into contact with you. This squashes not only your dreams but, based on how we react, can do that to others too.

A Better Choice

               There is always a better choice. Not only does Jesus teach us the beauty of living in community, in paring & sharing, but He’s also there when it hurts to do so. He teaches us to have grace and mercy for those, when in their humanness just like us, make mistakes or hurt others. He puts so many awesome people in your life for many specific reasons. When someone stops to share their talents, they get a chance to watch His work flourish. You get to be blessed to share in a moment of joy in their lives.

               Which do YOU want to choose? Are you willing to open up? Are you willing to really LIVE in community? Are you willing to share your talents and knowledge? Are there some areas in your life that you could use some help? What are the talents God has blessed you with?

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God is STILL present!

                I admit to struggling sometimes with taking a look around the world and wondering if God still cares, if He is still here. We (CEFGGA) are facing some challenges, our families and friends are, people are dealing with war, there are prayers going up all over the world for things we can’t begin to fathom. So where do we find Him? How can we still see Him working? Life can be a roller coaster of ups and downs, but He is always there, ever present and working for you.

                The last few weeks have brought some interesting dilemmas, some opportunities for us to take the higher ground or fall flat on our face. The opportunity to pour love into a situation or anger and frustration. I think that is the beautiful thing about CEF, the way they love! It’s not a passive, small gesture…it’s running after you just like Jesus would! I have seen that, within different levels of CEF, the passion these people feel for children, YOUR children bring them to tears and shouts of triumph right alongside of these families that are served. They don’t seek to judge or condemn, they don’t wish to get caught up in drama, they seek to give love as pure as snow. We don’t talk with kids about certain subjects, those are left to the parents (sorry! Haha) and we don’t start naming sins to look down on or point a finger in your face. God made us all, perfectly imperfect! Through drawing closer to Jesus, it is up to HIM (NOT us) to identify those sins, those things they keep hidden and continue to work on. It is through a relationship with the Savior that true redemption and change can begin. I think sometimes that can be thrown back up at us “So you need us to change, huh?” with a sneer. We all need to change. If we are honest with ourselves and search our hearts, there are areas where we could ALL use some help and guidance. We exist to love those children (and families!) where they are and will be there to support and help them through the storms of life. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world! Such a simple children’s song but one that gets to the heart of the matter and the neat thing is we are ALL children of Christ. He is present in the love that is shown when we love on the least of those as well…the needy, the homeless, the hurting. We ALL have the power to make a difference in the world around us by showing that God is still present in our hearts.        

                Speaking of difference….we are excited to share that God is present in something new, in the way of a Good News Club Across the Web (GNAW). This will be an exciting and engaging experience that children all over the globe can have right in their living rooms! GNAW will begin March 27th at 6PM. This is a FREE club that EVERY child can take part in. There will be a Bible lesson, songs, games and exciting leaders! If this is something that you are interested in, please visit https://form.jotform.com/220305354781148 to register for this club. We would love to have you take part and invite your friends! We are excited to see all the different ways God can meet children, people, right where they are! Do you know some kids in your neighborhood that you would love to join? Contact us at cefgreatergso@gmail.com for a flyer that you can distribute! We are excited for all the new opportunities and ways we will see that God is present in this!

                His presence is here. Even if it is hard to feel, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Take some time to clear your mind and focus on God. Listen for that still, small voice! Let Him guide you into all the things that He has planned for your future. If you are still finding it hard to feel and see His presence, step outside. Go stand in the sun for a bit. Listen to the sound of God’s creation surrounding you. Take some time to do something nice for someone. Step out of your comfort zone and bless a homeless person. Oftentimes when we take the focus off of ourselves and put an effort into someone else’s life we can see 2 things. First, our life isn’t as bad as we thought, and second, God is moving in our lives even when we don’t see it. He IS still present.

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God Loves YOU!

God Loves YOU!

               I’m glad you took a second, with all that is going on in the world to pause here with me today. Do you know God loves you? Like a depths-which-cannot-be-understood kind of love for you. If you are blessed enough to become a parent, godparent, aunt, uncle, you will be able to understand a portion of it, but it goes much further than that. Today I want to talk about His love for you, His love for us, His love for each person walking this planet – friend or foe. So grab a bible or pull it up on your device and lets expose some truths we can take to heart today. I’ll be using the NIV.

               1 John 4:7-8 says “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” We all have the capacity to love, God is love, therefore God resides in each of us and we should tap into that with our interactions with others so that we can love them as Christ first loved us. We can easily read John 3:16 and be dismissive. God loved the world, that doesn’t necessarily mean me. 1 John 4:9-11 takes it a step further, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Here it clearly states not only the depth of His love for us (who would you be willing to sacrifice your child for?), but it also reiterates the importance of loving one another. Romans 8:37 – 39 puts it this way “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, either the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To make a defining statement like that in the face of all the author had lived is such a powerful statement. We are conquerors through Christ and we should walk forward each day in the love and light that He gives us. So maybe you are thinking “ok, great you threw some words that regular people spoke…but what about God directly saying it?” Isaiah 54:10 says it so beautifully “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you”. This is a promise straight from God that no matter how bad it gets that He will be with you, He will love you, and He will give you peace. Those shaking mountains are the obstacles you will face and the hills being removed are the times you will turn your back on Him. We all face those decisions and sometimes choose the wrong path but He will love you through it all! We know when you turn back around, choose God, He rejoices! “The Lord your God is with you, the Might Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17. Are you beginning to understand some of His love for you? Not only for you but your family too! “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9. What a beautiful promise to us, for us, for our children, and generations to come. No human love can have that much impact over that many generations. We must know the love of our Father, grow it in our hearts and sow that love back into the world to grow in our neighbors.

               I pray today that this message opened your eyes a little, opened your mind just a bit to the love that Jesus has for you. The depth and height of it, the endless bounds, the redeeming qualities that His love has. Take a chance, take a few minutes of your day inviting God into your heart and life. See all the great things He will do for you!! Can’t wait to talk to you next month!

*P.S. I recommend Good And Loved by Travis Greene featuring Steffany Gretzinger

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Not the finish line, but a checkpoint!

            Wow, what God is doing in the new year has been incredible! Guilford County Schools has opened their doors back up to outside groups! This means…all those clubs that got paused due to COVID? Well, they are in the works of getting established once again! Thank you God that we can say we were able to reach children in the 2021-2022 school year!

            That’s not all!! We are excited to announce the establishment of 5 new clubs!! Can you believe it? We gave the first fruits, all we had when we established those clubs and God has multiplied the investment by fulfilling the vision of getting into even more schools than before! We are partnering with New Bethel Baptist in High Point, Charity Baptist, Change The Nations Church and Lebanon in Greensboro to bring you these new clubs. Are you interested? Do you live near these churches and want to serve or have a child in elementary school? Please email us (cefgreatergso@gmail.com) and we will be happy to connect you with available services in your area! These clubs have either just started or will be coming in March. We have more schools that we are already looking at getting in to and are excited for all the new lives we will be able to touch.

            Want to get connected with us? We are excited to announce that we will be partnering with the Volunteer Center of The Triad for The Human Race to bring you the Children’s Area. This area will be children and family friendly where you can take a break, get some information, and gather some resources! Gates open at 9 AM and we will be there until it wraps up! Come on out, meet some of the people from the local chapter and get some resources for you to use and to minister to you! Would you like to walk for us? Would you like to sponsor a walker? Feel free to reach out to us (cefgreatergso@gmail.com or 336-645-8877) and we will get you signed up! We look forward to meeting so many people in the community and having some time of excitement and fun while fellowshipping!

            Looking towards summer we are ramping up our ideas and process for CYIA. Christian Youth In Action is a neat summer ministry program that allows 12 years to college age to work with children in 5 Day Clubs and other summer programming. This teaches our youth a sense of worth, championing the kingdom, and an eternal perspective of their future. These clubs are sponsored by CEF and local churches within the community. Are you a youth who has some free time this summer? Would you like to serve in with children? Are you looking for a part time job? Then reach out to us (cefgreatergso@gmail.com or 336-645-8877) and we would love to talk more about the opportunities and experiences you would get to take part in.

            Hopefully this blog leaves you with a sense of excitement and joy for all the ways that God is moving in our own back yard! He is establishing new footholds in our community that cannot be shaken! We are reaching out to our children to provide a lasting and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We look forward to bringing you news about new clubs, the new areas we are serving in, and ways that YOU can take part in all that we do. Until next week, have a blessed one!

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Getting It Right

               Child Evangelism Fellowship has a long history of getting it right, for 85 year actually. Their mission has always been to spread the Gospel far and wide to impact as many people as possible. This starts with evangelizing the children and in turn they evangelize to their parents and their friends. Children have an important role when it comes to reaching the next generations. They will grow up to be the leaders of society and so we must start young in the mission to help them to know God. We must work with them to foster a healthy working knowledge of Jesus Christ and live on mission no matter where they are.

               If you have been following the blog at all, you know we have covered a wide array of topics. These include giving, serving, parenting and Gospel advice. We seek to equip as many people as possible with the knowledge of who Jesus is so they can spread it far and wide. Our blog is just one of the many tools that we use to share information and help others, especially kids, in their walk with Christ. This is where YOU come in! We want to hear from you! What things would you like to read about? Is there anything you want us to dive further into? Needing knowledge on a specific program or resources for a particular age group? We are here to help! Seriously, send us a message on our website or email us at cefgreatergso@gmail.com . Please know that our desire is to better serve YOU! To reach out to you, educate you, and give you encouragement! All questions and comments will be reviewed, and we look forward to going over them in the coming weeks.

               We are excited to announce a new blog “featuring” series. These will be brought to you by experienced pastors and child care workers. Highlighting our K-5 range of topics such as authority, school, bullying and image. We will also explore a little bit of the older kids. What would you, as a parent, want to know as you enter middle and high school years? Hear from those who have experience with those ages and how to approach them. This blog series will begin happening soon, once a month, on the 3rd Friday of the month.

               We are happy to also announce another new series that will feature interviews with staff, volunteers and others that are involved in CEF and the Greater Greensboro Area. This will be a weekly blog as well, occurring on the 4th Friday of each month. These blogs will dive into who these people are, their hearts for this ministry and some of their future goals and ideas. We are looking forward to discovering more about the people that are the heart of this ministry and all they do for the children.

               We look forward to bringing you new and exciting things as they happen, “getting it right”, and bringing you fresh new looks from the inside of CEF. See you next week!

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Finally Tackling The Tension

               So we have talked a lot about the different things that can come up in tension for us and for our children. We have talked about how tension shows up in our lives. We have also seen biblical evidence of tension which gives us hope here, today. So what do we do now? Make sure that we stand solid on two methods of attacking it. Real world and spiritual.

               Did you know the command “Do not be afraid” is found in the Bible 365 times? Interesting that there is exactly the same number of days in a year. I do not think this is a coincidence. The command is not admonishing us for some lack of faith or not trying hard enough. It is a reminder for us each day that troubles may come but to not be afraid and rely on God. We must combat the things we fear with the biblical truth. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. He knows that sometimes we are just hurting inside. These are times when He holds us closer, and we can rest in that promise. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” So we can use the Word of God not only as a reference, a page by page ledger of promises, but also as a sword to guard us and attack the devil. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. Surround yourselves in Godly things, make your paths straight and upright, making known to those around you who’s child you are.

               I am sure you are thinking, how do you arm yourself in the “real world”? This comes with maturity and will propel you into growth, but you have to stick with it. Do a 30 day challenge and only listen to Christian music. Go through Amazon or Lifeway and find a good looking devotional and challenge yourself for 30 days to read it. Most things, after 30 days are much easier to adopt as a daily habit. Greeting God before you “greet your day” will put a biblical perspective on your day. It will allow God to communication with you, love on you, reassure you, settle things that are on your mind. This helps begin the day with a fresh mind set. Check what you are watching on TV and see if it is worth it to keep after 30 days. It is amazing the refreshing spirit that God can place on us when we meet Him on solid ground. It could be food that has become the thing we desire. It could mean going on a fast, the reset the balance. That balance is where we find solid ground. If we have something that we idolize more than God, it will set our life out of balance, make it harder to see God’s path and harder to hear His voice. I would encourage you to find a church, if you aren’t already in one. It is much easier to stray from the path if you aren’t hearing a message weekly, engaging with those at the campus and being accountable in the relationships that you have. They will help promote growth in your life in general and in your Christian walk. (And yes, sometimes it is painful, but sometimes our own limbs hurt and so will the body of Christ.)

               I encourage each of you to walk forward into all that God is calling you into, even if it is uncomfortable. Start living the Christian life and see how beautiful the blessings and rewards are! Until next week, stay blessed and stay safe!

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Red Light, Green Light, Yellow Light

               This is a game that children enjoy playing. With the yellow light you try to be sneaky with how far ahead you can get. With driving, do you slow down or speed up when you see that yellow light? Spiritually, does a yellow light mean wait on God or run on ahead? I think it means proceed with caution. The question is, how do we proceed with caution?

               Proverbs 3:1-8 (NLT) says it this way “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. “Let’s break this down because that can be a lot to take in. First things first, you have to learn the word of God so that you can have the word in you heart at all times. Don’t neglect to be loyal and kind to those around you. Take practical steps to incorporate God into your daily life through scripture, worship and even journaling for some. Switch it to K-Love, start your day with the One Year Bible, and pray about the things going on in your circle. Who you are is more important than what you do. If you allow God to take root, to really take hold of you, you will begin transforming into God’s image and therefore the goodness and mercy of God can flow out of you into your circle. Take your worries and your problems to God in petition. He listens to you and hears you. Even better, you can recruit friends to be a prayer circle! Tension will expose the cracks that are there, it is up to us to allow God into that process and repair it! You must be faithful where you are. If you are in tension, then buckling down and really surrounding yourself with the uplifting grace of God to lift you out of the valley. If it is on the mountain tops, it is remembering who got you there and praising God for His work in you and your circle. Who you are proceeds what you do. If you start with God, then out of that will flow God even in some of the most tumultuous times! Sometimes I am amazed by the supernatural extension of love, grace, mercy, and patience in some of the most frustrating and aggravating moments. If you depend on Him for this everlasting fountain, He will not fail you. He will guide you in the correct path, but we need to be faithful to walk in the light that He guides our feet with. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105. Walking in His light produces health and strength. His word is always true, and it says it right there! This means we can take these steps and relax in the knowledge that our heavenly Father will take care of us and give us what we need. He will do this for you and your family, your children. Just take a moment today and ask Him.

               Take a moment and think about the tension in your life. Do you need to throw up a yellow light and proceed with caution in areas? Take it to God, He is there for you. Surround yourself with His word and His promises. Surround yourself with those that can pray for you and with you. Tune in next week where we will be learning more about tension and how to make the best of it when it arises. 

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Traipsing Through 2022

“In life we can be surrounded by tension. We try to avoid it, fix it, and remove it. But what if the tension in life is actually key to life? Tension can create beautiful harmony. It keeps us from falling flat and tunes us to the heart of God. It’s time to embrace the truth about tension.”

              What is tension? Tension is defined as the state of being stretched tight or mental and emotional strain. What tensions are you feeling today? Are you stressed because of finances, being a perfect parent, finding your true love, or landing that big job? Are you waiting to see what new disasters may be brought on 2022? We are walking on eggshells as year after year, especially for the last couple of years, things generally have not been good as a nation. As parents, we are worn out, exhausted, from all the new barriers we face and the things we must educate our children about. I’m reminded of a meme that went viral claiming that suicide rates had gone up due to the pandemic. The truth is, the study found that suicide rates had decreased, probably due to the new ways (like text) that are available for outreach! The alarming part as a parent, is that the suicide rates shifted showing an increase in suicide rates among children. This can cause some tension. As a parent we want a picture-perfect childhood for our kids. This tension early on can cause one of two things, a closer walk with God or going in the other direction. Salvation isn’t a one and done type of thing, afterwards there is a journey with God. The road of sanctification. Sanctification is a theological word that describes our spiritual journey and growth. We can all admit that there are times when we have strayed from God since accepting Him into our hearts. During the tension as children, through these difficult times it is up to us as parents to work hard and continuously plant the seeds in them. Plant the word of God so that they have it as reference any time they need it. “But whatever I am not, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me – and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NLT). We must do work, do His work in our children, through the grace that He has poured out on us. We must as parents support our kids, love them through the process and let God do his work as well. There is a tension between what we must do and when God takes over. Paul was referencing both his works and His works, noting the difference between the two but that both must coincide with each other to create a balance. So what is our part in this, individually and as parents? Well, we must “stay away from every kind of evil. Now may the God peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22-24 (NLT). We aren’t perfect but we can make choices to stay on the right path. Change the radio station to Klove or Air1. This puts the word of God in their head on a daily basis as long as you are able to control it. Let’s be honest, a lot of children listen to junk when they aren’t around their parents. I’m sure that’s not Christian music being blasted when a teen is in a mood. If you don’t want to listen to that, try turning the radio off. I’ve had some wonderful, deep, and meaningful conversations with my children just riding down the road…as teenagers even! Another choice we can make is in what we watch. Don’t get me wrong, raising kids, I had my own tv shows I liked to watch. An occasional junk tv show might briefly pique my curiosity, but not around my kids. I’ll be honest, it was not always the most fun tv we could watch, but I was choosing not to expose them to the sexual nature and sailor mouths that are available on tv now.  Making choices to reinforce our sanctification and keeping ourselves holy will spill out into our children. Again, our sanctification is a journey, and so will theirs be. We must seek to support, love, and provide the Gospel. We are going to look more at tension in the coming weeks. Ways to identify the tension, challenge the tension, and turn it around for good! Stay safe and warm out there!

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CEF Materials

  I know we have bragged to you and hinted to you about these great CEF materials that we have and utilize throughout parts of our ministry. Common references to tracts and gospel tools can leave some people scratching their head. Today I figured I would take some time and highlight a few of our CEF tried and true materials. Some of them have been around and stood the test of time. Other materials are new productions as we strive to keep up with the times and current issues.

              Our curriculum has been around for a long time. We have series based around certain topics like Salvation, Beginnings, Reigning and Sovereignty. These all have different lessons included in the lesson series such as God : The Creator King, Jesus : God Who Saves, Jesus : God of Power and Glory, and Jesus : God Who Cares For People. These lessons are presented each week and there are plans for parties included in the lesson series curriculum. These lessons include a Gospel presentation, Wonder Time, music, memory verse, small group suggestions, and so much more! The lessons are broken down into smaller digestible chunks for the leaders. This makes it more effective for the leaders and a smoother presentation for the children.

              The word tracts may leave some scratching their head or some waving you away. You may be used to those outdated little flyers that are unappealing, but these are so much better! CEF tracts touch on real world issues and current titles. One of their most recent publications talks about the recent pandemic and how that relates to Jesus. We have tracts for “seasoned Christians”, such as a Mini Bible Guide you can put in your bible that gives references to certain topics. We have seasonal topics and Spanish titles as well!

              CEF Press has put out a few outstanding devotionals! These range from What a God, Let’s Talk about God, Standing for God, and a few others. We even have titles in Spanish! These devotional booklets seek to talk to children, on their level, about Jesus and making good choices. This includes 60 days of a short Bible passage and a short devotional on a variety of topics aimed at creating a deeper relationship with God. These are all newer publications from CEF.

              These are just a few of the tools that we are equipped with. If you are interested in any, please contact our local office at 336-645-8877. We look forward to sharing more on these tools in the future!

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2022 And Covid

Well, with a new year comes all sorts of things; new hopes, new ideas, new dreams, and new adventures. People make New Year’s Resolutions hoping and dreaming of change. Some people choose to fast, giving up something or creating new paths for growth. Right now there are many people starting down this road of adventure.   We see this not only happen in individuals, but also in churches and nonprofits.   Church attendance and nonprofit involvement increases for a period of time, but isn’t sustainable throughout the year. In some cases we see decline or the fall of some churches as they can not keep up with the times and tithing can’t keep the lights on. We see this in our labor shortages. With the influx of wages comes new people setting out for new jobs with higher rates, leaving behind the “grunt work” unfilled as wait times for products and customer service all lag behind. Our finances all hit some ups and downs the last couple of years when people were out of work due to the shut down and essential workers were burned out from being overworked. The stimulus payments left some people with savings while some burned a hole in their pocket. The last few years have really left us waiting on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. What disasters could 2022 bring? We enter 2022 with a new wave of the coronavirus sweeping the nation. Children scared and worried, who will save us from danger? Is the coronavirus the worst danger we are facing or is there a more dangerous problem?

              When everyone around us speaks about the danger of the coronavirus, it is natural to feel afraid. Everything for the last few years has just been getting worse, to the point of separating us from our friends and family. We also have a lot of questions and not knowing the answers can cause us fear. Has God stopped loving us? Is God angry with us? Did I get sick because I am bad? Is this the end of the world? It is never wrong to ask questions, BUT we should always go to the Bible to get our answers. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world” – ALL of the world, and all means ALL! All the people no matter what language, race, gender, poverty level, or side of town you grew up on. God loves every one of us because He created us. Even though the coronavirus separates us from the people we love, sin is much worse because it separates us from God! When you disobey your parents, hit your sibling, lie, steal, or even think about doing something wrong, it is a sin. Everyone has sinned. The Bible says, “No one is righteous”. Sin separates you from being with God in Heaven someday and being His friend right now.

              There is a solution!! Doctors are working to create vaccines and medicine to help fight the virus. It isn’t your fault if you get the virus, but you were born with the sin problem. God has already given us the only cure for our sin and that is Jesus Christ. When Jesus lived on earth He was human, with a human body and emotions and thoughts. While on earth He cured many diseases, performed miracles, and taught about the heart of God. In the end, the reason He came to earth was to make a way for us to be forgiven of our sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross, where He bled and died for our sin. He died, was buried and came alive again on the third day. He is now in Heaven preparing a place for believers. You can clean your hands with soap and water, sanitizer too, to try to help stop the virus. You can know for sure that Jesus cleans you from sin when you believe (trust) in Him. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved”, Acts 16:31. Doctors give lots of advice so people can stay healthy. God also gives advice in His Word, the Bible. When you believe in Jesus, you should get to know Him better. You can do this by reading and obeying the Bible. You can talk to God in prayer anytime about your thoughts, feelings, people you love, school, and so many things! He hears you and He loves you. Remember, do not be afraid, take everything to Him, and He is with you always even though you can’t see Him.

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2022, Oh The Wonderful Things We’ll Do!

So many people are looking to make New Years resolutions in the hopes that they can change something about themselves. Some things are small, like to be nicer or spend more time with family. Some things are a bit more challenging like losing weight or setting aside money for savings. I think that is the wonderful thing about Child Evangelism Fellowship. Our mission is the same but so applicable from year to year. The idea of reaching Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day is a lofty one. A vision that has gotten us through almost 85 years of struggles and joy. Here are a few key programs that help us reach the generations of children that God wants to pour out His love on.

               CYIA, or Christian Youth In Action, is a program for high schoolers and middle schoolers who seek to share the Gospel in tangible ways. The program walks through the Gospel, teaching them who Jesus is. The curriculum also teaches them how to share the Gospel and walks them through how to help someone with their profession of faith in Jesus Christ. CYIA camp is offered for those that would like to attend. They can also be active within a local Good News Club and other CEF events in the community. Most come from the local churches.

               GNC, or Good News Clubs, are clubs that take place typically in local schools but also can be found in local YMCAs and other places where children safely gather and is geared for elementary children. There is a Bible lesson, Gospel Presentation, an invitation and other fun activities, games and songs. These are also staffed by volunteers of local churches and are a safe place where children can learn about Jesus and be in community with other believers. This is a safe place for all children to feel the love of the Lord and to plant the seed of who He is.

               5 Day Clubs are exactly that, they are 5-day long clubs for approximately 1 and ½ hours in length that take place wherever children can safely gather aimed towards elementary aged children. These clubs operate like a Vacation Bible School. They offer Bible lessons, songs, games, and fun activities. All of this while learning about God from volunteers who love to show how God loves each of us. These clubs offer all the benefits of a once weekly club spread out into a week long club for children. It does include the opportunity to confess their need for Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Savior.

               These are just a few ways that 85 years of experience and excellence can spawn a love for Jesus in generations going forward. We look forward to all of the ways that we can partner with YOU and your church to impact children all over Guilford and Rockingham Counties! If you are interested, please let us know by visiting https://cefgga.org/contact-us/ ! We pray for many blessings for you and your family this upcoming year! See you next year!

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New Great News!

Well hello there! It’s so good to be back on a normal schedule again! With Thanksgiving and then #GivingTuesday, things have been a little different than normal. Please know that we are praying for you this holiday season, prayers of wisdom about the reason for the season and prayers of endurance through what could be for some, a rough holiday season. We are so glad that you take a little part of you time to spend with us by reading our blog! Today we wanted to talk about some exciting news!!! God is on the move!

               Guilford County School District has been shut down to all outside groups for a long time now. We have been holding good numbers and percentages for a while. Guilford County has continued loosening their protocols and safety guidelines for the schools. I was attending my daughter’s concert last night and they said it had been over 700 days since their last concert. Their next concert had been scheduled for the day that schools shut down. They even did a nod to those days by performing the pieces they were scheduled to perform. It just shows you the resilience of these children, the tough times they have had to endure, and a jump start into brighter things that lay ahead.

               And then there was this email…a vague sentence that some caught, “GCS would be renewing their facilities use contracts in January”. Wow! What a huge step! But was this the open door for us? After some clarification and double checking…YES!! Guilford County Schools are going to allow us back in! Now it is just a matter of meeting with principals and churches, getting volunteers lined up and some training for the new people. Not only do we look forward to beginning our clubs again in the already established 6 schools, we look forward to working with some new schools. We have a few that are ready to go and was just waiting on this decision to step into what God is planning for these children. We will keep you posted on new opportunities as they arise!

               So what does this mean for you? Well, there are a couple of things that could apply. Do you have an hour to 2 a week free that you could spend working with children in a Good News Club? Do you have time to gather snacks and get them prepared and dropped of to a GNC? Do you want to take the next step in volunteering for a GNC? Head on over to our website at https://cefgga.org/2017/10/16/goodnewsclubopportunities/ and fill out some information to let us know! Do you have time during the summer to participate in a 5 Day Club? What about prayer? Are you a strong prayer warrior? Visit us at https://cefgga.org/fueled-by-prayer/ to join our prayer team! Could you donate? Even $10 a month would support a club’s curriculum. Head  over to https://cefgga.org/donate-2/ to donate. We look forward to sharing new updates and going over these different opportunities to partner with us! We will return after Christmas but before the new year. Please have a blessed Christmas and know that we will be praying for you!

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#GivingTuesday

Wow! It feels like we were just talking about schools opening back up and here we are with Thanksgiving behind us which means that #GivingTuesday is tomorrow! We often seek to be good stewards of our money and what we donate money to. We also tend to hold onto money for a burger or coffee instead of joyfully giving to God what belongs to Him. Hold on, before you close the window, please give me a few minutes and hear my heart. Giving is never easy, it takes away what we see as resources coming into our home and spends it in ways that we don’t necessarily get to participate in. A non-profit is not going to invite you to the store with them to purchase office supplies, but we can peel back the layers and show you how your money is used and how we can multiply it for God’s kingdom.

                Child Evangelism Fellowship’s goal is to reach every child, every nation, every day with the Gospel. We stand steady on the Word of God and use it to teach children about who God is. (For more on how it works, see last week’s blog – Why Do We NEED Good News Clubs?). When you donate to CEF, you are directly getting the Gospel into children’s hands and hearts in your neighborhood & in Guilford and Rockingham Counties! We multiply your money by partnering with others to launch additional programs and take advantage of additional resources made available to us. Through generous donations we will be passing out hundreds of Christmas Gift Bags to children this year alone! These will include books such as Do You Wonder Why (past blog on that as well!), tracts telling them of God’s love for them, DVDs and so much more! These bags will give children a direct look into how much God loves them, how they can be saved, how they can talk to God, and great and sound biblical principles. These bags also include links to additional resources, QR codes with videos to watch, and a card to join our Mailbox Club. The Mailbox Club is a way for children to learn God’s word and to have fun doing so no matter where they are located! We also take time to pass out these bags and literature during special events and outreach in the community.

                Good News Clubs take money to start and maintain. Thankfully all volunteer training is free! There is costs incurred when we rent space from the school or another venue. When you have multiple clubs going, this cost can add up quickly. Depending on the number of students in a club, we might need a lot of the CEF curriculum and materials to be able to effectively present the Bible lesson and the Gospel. This is another area where we typically partner with churches to cover the cost of materials and the space needed. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could cover the cost of Good News Clubs on a regular basis and imagine the number of Good News Clubs that could be supported by a single church if those burdens were taken from them. CEF, Greater Greensboro, we are always looking for ways to engage our community, Guilford, and Rockingham Counties. There are some new areas that we would like to step into in the upcoming year, but it will take help, YOUR help, and the amount we get will determine how fast we are able to explore these opportunities.

                So maybe you don’t have disposable income like some. Isn’t it funny that we may not think of ourselves as rich, but we live in a society where there are enough people with extra funds that a term like “disposable income” is coined? How much can you give? Will you take lunch one extra day a week and give that $5 to CEF? Will you add some flavored creamer to your home coffee instead of stopping at Starbucks for a 3rd time this week? Or maybe you are like some that have extra income, would you step out in faith and do a monthly offering to help propel us to our goals even faster? What would your children say, and what would they give up to have a Good News Club in their school? Take time to set up your donation today ahead of #GivingTuesday at https://my.eftplus.com/App/Form/f05a7680-93a3-4c80-8a8b-554664515219 , or text Give to 336-559-4001 . You will not regret it as lives are changed when kids put their trust in Jesus Christ! You may not be the one sharing the Gospel, but your donations are making it possible for someone else to share!

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Why do we NEED Good News Clubs?

                Sometimes I often wonder about that thin line. The line between a want and need. Do I really need another cheeseburger? But I really want that pair of shoes! How bad do I really need to pay these things this month? I know one area where I do not question the difference between want and need. That is when it comes to Good News Clubs. Good News Clubs provide many essentials for a thriving child, and we will dive more into how that looks and in what practical way it is beneficial to have a GNC.

                Good News Clubs provide an education. This education may be in the form of learning practical things, such as new words and larger words, or even an education in how to deal with others. We all know there is that “one person” that aggravates the group or has behavioral issues. A Good News Club is a great place for that child to find help as well as a safe place for all children to learn how to interact with others who are different from them. Bible verses, song, and a Bible lesson are all part of the Good News Club experience. Research has shown the importance of music and movement in the developmental stages.  The lessons provide real stories about God and man, stories of redemption and faith, stories of healing after heartache. They provide an education about right vs wrong, how to own up to your mistakes, and how to get back on the right path when you stray.

                Good News Clubs provide a safe place of community for a child. Each child needs to connect to other children. As adults we fill this when we desire to have friends in our lives. In a group setting, a child can learn from other children who are facing things that they are facing as well. They can find a community of acceptance and stability in the adults that interact with the children. These adults that spend their time volunteering often adopt the school, taking care of needs and filling voids that would otherwise be overlooked. They often take care of the overlooked child as well, providing a safe space and even at times, filling basic needs for the family. They provide friendships for these children that last well past high school. There are opportunities to continue to be a part of Good News Clubs and Child Evangelism Fellowship through middle school and into high school years. Being able to stick together with other children who are all heading in the same direction helps to stabilize children and provide a more supportive atmosphere. It takes a village to raise a child and we will help provide that village to children in our Good News Clubs and those schools.

                Good and sound Biblical lessons and principles are taught in Good News Clubs, all straight from the Bible. There is no fudging or straying from the truth of God’s word. The volunteers have all been trained to teach using a method designed by CEF, using the Bible and CEF produced curriculum. These are written by CEF who has been around teaching sound biblical principals for 84 years. This teaching method and sound Biblical based curriculum have been used for approximately 84 years. Each Bible lesson is combined with a presentation of the Gospel. Through the Good News Clubs kids will understand who God is, how Jesus gave His life to show how much He loves them, and because of His sacrifice on the cross our sins can be forgiven, which allows them to live in heaven with Him for eternity!

Join us next week, same day, for more ways YOU can help children with the Gospel!

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Do You Wonder Why Part 2

So, what do we need to remember? God loves us and wants good things in our lives. He doesn’t enjoy seeing us in pain or sad. He wants to make us whole again and be with Him one day. He wants to comfort us and take all of our anxieties, be by our side as we go through this journey. 1 Peter 5:7. Sin separates us from God. God’s way to take care of the sin problem was to send His son, Jesus, to take the punishment that you and I deserve. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 states that Jesus died for our sins and God brought him back to life again after 3 days. Plenty of people saw Jesus after he died, before He went to heaven to be with God, so we know this is true. In John 1:12 we are told that if we believe this completely, and ask to be forgiven, then we will become God’s child.

So, what’s next? You can pray a simple prayer and put your faith and trust in Jesus today. You can talk to Him anytime. You can talk to Him right now if you would like. You can use words like these “Dear God, I know I’ve sinned and I’m sorry, I know Jesus is your son who died for me and came to life again. I receive Jesus as my savior. Thank you for making me your child, in Jesus’ name, Amen. “

What happens when we do this? Once we have done this our sins are forgiven and we are one of God’s children. God will be there to comfort us and help heal us from the hurt we are feeling now. He will never leave us or give up on us. Someday we will go to heaven and live with God where there is no suffering, pain, or death. We can talk to Him anytime. He is there to listen to us and be a helper to us! That is what prayer is, talking to God. We can even tell Him things we do not want to tell anyone else.

So, does this mean bad things won’t happen anymore? No, bad things will still happen in this world because people are given a choice in what they do. The good news is that we won’t be alone. God will be there for us to help us. It tells us in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us. The Bible goes on to say that God is our helper, and we don’t need to be afraid. God loves us so much He gave us His word in the Bible. It has many passages about different things we go through and feel so we can get His help in our tough times such as Psalm 145:18. God is our creator and friend, and we can turn to Him anytime. Join us next week, the same day and time for more from Child Evangelism Fellowship!

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Do You Wonder Why, Part 1

Kids can ask some tough questions. If we google “tough questions from kids” we will be able to dive into some of the most common fears that children have. Fears such as, will we die, why is there pain, why are there bad people, etc. These can often trigger its own negative response in a parent such as their own fears, shutting down, or avoiding the questions. Equipping ourselves ahead of time with truth and knowledge will help us get through some of these concerns. So, what are those questions and where do we find the truth to combat the fears?

Terrible things often happen in our world. They may affect many people including our own family. 

Have things in your life made you afraid, scared or angry?   It is natural to have feelings of helplessness or anger occasionally and feelings of sadness where you just want to cry.  Crying sometimes makes you feel better.  Jesus experienced some of these feelings and wept.  He is sad when terrible things happen to us because He loves us and He weeps as a result of it, John 11:32-36 and Luke 19:41.

Another question could be, “Does He even care about me?”  Ps 139:13 tells us “He knitted me together in my mother’s womb”.  He cares so much that He even knows how many hairs we have on our head, Luke 12:7.  His love for us lasts forever, no matter what our thoughts or feelings are, Jeremiah 31:3.  We may wonder why so many bad things happen in the world, like disasters and floods, fighting and death. These things were not in God’s plan when He created the world that was perfect in every way, Genesis 1:25.

Where did things go wrong, you might ask?  It started when Adam and Eve chose to ignore God and instead chose to do what they wanted to instead. Disobeying God is called sin. Every person is born with a sinful nature.  This sometimes comes out when kids spread rumors or bully each other, sometimes it is stealing from others or lying. 

How do we combat this?  We must start with a sound mind that focuses on God and His Word, the Bible, Timothy 1:7. Our mind often propels forward the desires of our heart. Once our mind is sound, we can work on our hearts and loving those around us, Mark 12:31.

Searching for more answers? Join us next week on Friday when we continue this message!

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New “Good News”

Let me tell you about my Jesus and all the ways He is working. Child Evangelism Fellowship is so excited that kids are back in school again! Not only is this an exciting time of year normally, but let’s be honest….normal hasn’t happened in a while and kids crave that! Reopening of schools allows us the change to rebuild those relationships with kids, YOUR kids, and a chance to learn new faces! Good News Clubs bring the gospel and hope to many children throughout the world (ALL but ONE country!) and more importantly, here in our own back yard. Rockingham County is up and running with 3 Good News Clubs starting this fall and more of them to come! Guilford County has currently elected not to open their schools to any outside groups at this time. This does NOT mean that we aren’t getting creative with ideas on how to reach our community. Please pray about this….(and more to come)…we KNOW God is working! We are excited for all that God is doing with the children and looking forward to all the open doors this creates between schools and churches. Check back with us each week to see all the things we are stepping into, how your donations are being used, and tips to answering some of life’s toughest questions.