Halloween 2020 and COVID-19: What is changing this year?
on September 29th, 2020
In a year that's been plenty scary, this much is clear: Pandemic Halloween will be different than regular Halloween. Many traditional ways of celebrating are now considerably more frightful than usual, because now they bring the risk of spreading the coronavirus.Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines on how to celebrate Halloween safely. No big surpri...  Read More
Using Table Conversations to Disciple your Children
on September 29th, 2020
Recently I came across an article about the value of having family table conversations. It reminded me about a talk given by Freda Ricord at one of my first MOPS meetings. She encouraged MOPS moms (and dads) to take advantage of our time around the table to “feed our children’s bellies AND feed their souls.” Meaning, be intentional with the time you have when your kids are happily eating and bring...  Read More
Red Light, Green Light
on September 3rd, 2020
Have you ever played red light, green light with a group of kids? I love playing this game! During COVID-19 however, I feel like somebody keeps shouting “red light”, “red light”, “red light!”I’m ready to move, and I’m waiting for a green light. And then I hear the words “red light” again. Like many of you, trying to navigate this season has not only been hard, but also frustrating. We all need enc...  Read More
Address Rebellion with Love
on September 3rd, 2020
(From www.group.com; Parenting Christian Kids Newsletter) After a summer of “freedom” and relaxed rules, September’s return to school and schedules often poses a challenge for children. On top of that, 2020 has been filled with new restrictions and limits that are tough for everyone to comply with and comprehend.As the pandemic drags on, kids are likely to have more questions about why they need t...  Read More
on September 2nd, 2020
We just finished our first virtual VBS! We used a super fun program called Faith Labs @ Home. It's an at home VBS with five sessions - once you signed up you had access to all sessions. This allowed parents to work it into their schedule, instead of scheduling around it. West Side chose to implement it with one session each Monday in August but because parents had access to each session they didn’...  Read More
Devotions: Week of August 31
on August 31st, 2020
This week’s devotional readings close out our summer readings. We’ve journeyed with Eugene Peterson, Dallas Willard, NT Wright, the Desert Fathers, Brennan Manning, stories from the Bruderhof community, Anne Lamott, Annie Dillard and Henri Nouwen. Since this week ends in the Labor Day weekend, we finish the summer readings with reflections on work and Sabbath collected from various Christian autho...  Read More
Just Mercy
on August 28th, 2020
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan StevensonReview by Blythe MeigsBryan Stevenson has a strong faith and it comes through loud and clear in his writing.  At the end of the book he discusses the brokenness of his clients and the realization that we are all broken.  “I am more than broken.  In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing...  Read More
Devotions: Week of August 24
on August 24th, 2020
This week’s devotional readings pickup on wisdom from two of my favorite authors named Anne – Anne LaMott and Annie Dillard. As you work to set aside time for prayer and reflection, here are 2 comments from these authors that I love:“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” ― Anne Lamott “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ― A...  Read More
Generous Justice
on August 21st, 2020
Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us by Tim KellerReviewed by Blythe MeigsThis is a powerful book that speaks loud and clear how important justice is to God and how important it should be to His followers too.This is what the LORD Almighty says:  administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the immigrant or the poor.  Zechari...  Read More
Devotions: Week of August 17
on August 17th, 2020
This week’s devotional readings spend time with the various calls in the New Testament to live awake and alert.The source of the daily readings is N.T. (Tom) Wright’s book, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection and the Mission of the Church. If you are meeting with your small group this week, there is a YouTube discussion you may enjoy (you can see Durham where Pastor Laurie earne...  Read More
The Sun Does Shine
on August 14th, 2020
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray HintonReview by Blythe MeigsYou can read the short version of my book review in the next paragraph. I was asked to add a piece as to how it personally impacted me - that opens the floodgates to a lot more thoughts... read on if you dare.Spoiler alert:  Ray ended up being exonerated and freed after spending 28 years on dea...  Read More
Devotions: Week of August 10
on August 10th, 2020
This week’s devotional readings continue the reflections on prayer that we began with the parables from Luke 11 and 18 on this past Sunday.The source of the daily readings are from many sources alongside Andrew Murray.Devotions for the Week of August 10...  Read More