There's this belief that everyone has issues that they're dealing with, and it needs to be noted that kids are included in this group as well. 64% of kids have experienced at least once Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in their short lives, and over 20% of kids have experienced 3 or more. Examples of an ACE include things like any form of abuse, parents that get a divorce, any form of neglect, a parent struggling with mental health, or an early death in the family. These struggles can have detrimental effects on these kids' physical, mental, and spiritual health. It's important to remember that kids aren't just kids. They have their own issues and struggles. You can read the rest of Walt Mueller's article here.
Mosaic MSC, the same group that wrote the song Tremble, released a couple of new songs called Matter and Rescue. Both songs emphasize humans' dependency on God and how lost we are without him. Rescue focuses on the troubles that God has rescued us from and His faithfulness throughout the hard times. Matter helps listeners remember that the struggle isn't what our focus should be on. Our focus should be on God, the one who is with us in the midst of our problems. Here is a link to their Youtube channel to check out the songs for yourself.
Dead Cow is a low prep game for medium to large groups where all you need is a space to spread out. One person will be chosen to play the farmer while every one that is left are the dead cows. The cows must lay down and play dead while the farmer's job is to revive them. The farmer does this by telling jokes making funny faces, etc., and if a cow smiles or laughs they are revived. When a cow revives, they become a farmer as well and will try to make the rest of the cows wake up too. This goes on until either every cow is revived or there is only one cow left. The only big rule is that the farmer(s) may not touch or tickle the cows. If you have a group of students with a good sense of humor or need a low activity, high-fun game this is a great go-to.
Have you ever been swimming in a pool or at the lake and tried to float on things that weren't really meant to be floated on? Toys, kid floats, even logs, and water guns are all fair game to try and catch your balance on. We have fun, rocking back and forth before we end up splashing into the water. It might work for a second and you might even be able to float for a while before you get uncomfortable, but you're going to end up in the water.
That's how we often treat the things in our lives, putting our hopes and energy into things that can't keep us afloat. That might be video games, relationships with friends, or sports, but none of these things can last forever. While these things aren't inherently bad, we need something else that's more sustainable. Jesus is our life-preserver, keeping our heads above water and being our refuge in the waves of life.
Isaiah 43:2a "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you."
Whenever we feel overwhelmed by life, whether that be because of our jobs or personal lives, God is there above it all. We are blessed with a Lord who carries us above the waves that are trying to pull us under, and He takes an active role in our lives. He is in the waves with us, and we can put our trust in Him, the Lord who walks on water.
Matthew 14:25-27 "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When he disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."