Re-Effect Wrap Up: Part 4

This is the last of my Re-Effect wrap up posts and is full of information from the general session with speaker Amy Williams “Hope Dealer.”

Where is your hope?

We love hard because God loves hard.  Loving people is MESSY and HARD.

Just be a light in someone’s darkness.

How do we keep our own hope alive and vibrant?
1. Know who you are and who you are not.
Allow God to be God and to do the work.  Our responsibility is to walk life with people.
We get in God’s way – just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
Don’t presume that you know what God is doing in someone else’s life.
The job of the rooster is not to wake you up, he just announces that the sun has arrives.  He doesn’t do the job of the sun, he just makes a lot of noise to get everyone’s attention.
2. See people the way God sees them.
True community
The goal of changing people – if it is a healer to a patient – not a long term sustaining relationship.
Community is sitting with people in their mess and living with them through it.
When talking about a conversation with a young man on the gang-filled block where she lives he said, “We always have to go find a pastor, but you’re just here.”
3. Ask: What am I really putting my hope in?
If it is your obedience, your programming, your past successes, or our youth’s abilities to please us, then our hope is in the wrong things.
Psalm 39:7 “My only hope is in YOU.”

The glowstick – when does it do what it is created to do?
1. When it is broken
2. In the darkness


Be a light in the world to someone today!


Re-Effect Wrap up: Part 3

This post covers the notes for Dr. Krish Kandiah’s workshop called “No Child Left Behind.”

Scriptures about vulnerable children:
James 1:27
Are our churches practicing true religion that is pure and blameless?  Genuine worship is how we relate to the most vulnerable
Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift
Proverbs 31:8
Defend the cause/ be an Advocate
Psalm 82:3
the fatherless/orphan –> kids who are not under the care of a father

Why does God care so much about the marginalized? – they are normally forgotten by culture.  The poor are precious to God because of how they are treated by people.

When telling the story of a foster child entering his home and being labeled as a “biter” – we are more than the words used by others to describe us.

Every single child matters to God; we should care about them because we love God.

What are the contact points for you in your ministry with vulnerable children and what are the challenges?

Fit the programs around these vulnerable children.

They aren’t bad kids, bad things have happened to them.

Sometimes we don’t get to see the results of our investment in children.

Framework for dealing with vulnerable kids
1. Honor the child’s history
Don’t demonize the parent or their culture.
2. Be careful how you refer to the children.
Beware the term “orphan care”
3. Look out for signs of attachment disorder.
They learn that crying out doesn’t help for neglected children.
It is harder for them to  learn how to build meaningful and healthy relationships.
4. Be vigilant about child protection.
Within our church communities we have broken people struggling with sin.  Be aware of who is active in the child’s life.
5. Change the culture around the child.
Provide a growth moment over the processes.
6. Build an extended family.
Family is a greater motivator than a program.
The “aunts” and “uncles” of these children in the church are not the parents and should not act as such.
Segregated churches (young and old) – it is not the responsibility of the youth worker to fix this.
Encouraging mentor relationships between older members and younger members.
7. Partner with the caregivers.
Work together not against them.  Talk to them!
8. Be extra careful about social media.
9. Link with the wider church.
10. Leave the light on for them to return to the church?
How do we do this?  GRACE
Have an exit strategy in worse case scenarios.

Re-Effect Wrap Up: Part 2

This post will include the information gathered from the workshop titled “Discernment – An Essential Leadership Quality” taught by Colonel Hannelise Tvedt.


Discernment – the ability to see and understand people, things, and situations clearly and intelligently (Wisdom & Insight)

Discernment is developed:
by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
by discovering and reflecting on the unconscious at work
by getting to know yourself and getting to know Christ

It is our responsibility to understand ourselves and our reactions to better embrace mercy and empathy to others.

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self.” – Nietzsche

The importance of what we do and who we are for our children – at home and in the corps during the foundational years (birth to age 5)

So much of who we become is dependent upon family and caregivers.

We need to view others through the lends of where they came from.

Our responsibility is to UNDERSTAND not to CHANGE.

We are drive by unconscious motives.


William Booth – what happened to him as a child to develop him as a leader?
Father with money and job troubles
Favored his mother – developed his high view of women

The greatest test of character is in DOING.

“Our anxiety does not come from THINKING about the future, but from wanting to CONTROL it.”

Don’t confuse empathy (understanding) with sympathy (pity/sorry).

Telling a story about a young child crying on the playground:
A child of the same age sits down and cries with them
A child a little bit older runs and gets their own mom to help
A slightly older child runs and gets that child’s mother to help
So how are we helping those who are hurting?
Do we just sit down and cry with them? (Sympathy)
Do we run and get our own mother – do we use what works for us to make us
feel better to try to solve their problems?
Do we go and get their mother – do we find out what works for them and use
that to help?

You have to understand yourself to understand others.

Philippians 1:9-10 —> Love abounds!

Discernment by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit:
1. Receiving the Holy Spirit
How and When?
2. Releasing the Holy Spirit
Spiritual breakthrough – to work in and through your life
3.  Results of the Holy Spirit
How the Holy Spirit works through you to bring salvation power to others

“I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons.  And maybe we’ll never know most of them.  But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we came from, we can still choose where we go from there.”


Re-Effect Wrap Up- Part 1

This weekend The Salvation Army hosted the Re-Effect conference in Atlanta.  The purpose of this weekend was to equip local leaders with tools to impact those within our reach.  Here are some of my notes and takeaways from the general sessions and workshops.  This will be a series of posts so that they don’t get too long and unbearable.  It took me a whole weekend to compile this information – I don’t expect you to read through it all in one sitting!

General Session #1 – Captain Andy Miller

We need to practice hospitality.
Use the uniform as a TOOL – to stand out and bring people to Christ
Don’t just stay in your “Holy Huddle.”  (meaning: minister to those outside the walls of the church)
When growing what he thought were tadpoles but were actually mosquitos in his home- What we think is safe, cute, or cuddly can actually be something that wants to feed on us and bleed us.  That something is sin.

Breakout Session # 1 – Cultural Trends and Youth – Blake Lanier

When considering cultural trends: Where do they come from?
Statistics and the “fallacy of dramatic instance” (meaning: taking one story to mean that all kids are doing it)

Who are we talking about? Generally, those born after 1997 to the present.
At this age kids are moving from their family and caregivers as their primary influence to exposure to the wider culture.

Is your youth program relevant and effective?
Questions to ask yourself:
Why are we doing it?
What are they there for?
Are we trying to meet their needs?

Major Themes – “kids these days” are:
1. Self assured
They receive validation through social community.
2. Grounded & Realistic
They have moved from a “Harry Potter” sense of optimism to a “Hunger Games” mentality of everyone for themselves.
3. Thoughtful & Empowered
They are thinkers, dreamers, and entrepreneurs.

Spirituality & Development
Synthetic Conventional Faith – James Fowler
They piece their faith together like a patchwork quilt from various places.
Moralist Therapeutic Deism
1. God as the Creator and Observer
2. The goal of life is to be good, nice, and fair.
3.  You should feel good about yourself
4. God doesn’t need to be involved unless He is solving a problem
5. Good people go to heaven

Identity Development
Children in our programs are participating in personal branding through their choices and social media.
There are now multiple points of identity.  Kids can no longer be classified as “goth” or “preppy” but rather a combination of terms.
They broadcast who they are through social media.

The Impacts of Technology
Technology shrinks our world and brings us closer together.
Technology communicates.
Access to technology still reflects income and racial/ethnic patters.
There has been a critical shift from cultural consumption to cultural creation.
Are we giving the kids in our programs a voice?
Technology changes notions of authority and knowledge.
Technology reshapes social patterns and learning- impacts learning styles.
Technology creates a downshift in complexity of social interactions.
Media is used to meet basic human needs.
It is highly interactive, reliable, & fast – something we cannot be.

Psychological Struggles
There is an increase in anxiety and depression in this age group.
“Expectation that your world can be controlled increases distress when you find that you cannot.”
Increase in ADHD symptoms.
Rise of Addiction Potential

Our solutions are not immediately fixing things.

Are our programs meeting the needs of the changing generation or are they recreational or statistical?

Jump Start your “Best Year Ever”

Head on over to Living Well Spending Less and sign up for Ruth’s “Best Year Ever Mini-Course” to help you jump start your goals for the new year.  I completed the mini-course at the tail end of last year and it has definitely got me pumped up and ready to go to take control of my goals.  She has got some great tips and tricks on how to change your life instead of just simply making resolutions.  While you’re at it, scroll through the rest of her posts for some great reading.


‘Twas the Week After Christmas – an Ode to the Salvation Army Officer

‘Twas the week after Christmas when all through the Corps
The wreaths have been taken from every door.

The bells have stopped dinging, donging, and ringing,
And the songsters have quieted their carols sweet singing.

The warehouses are scrubbed and locked up tight
As the Officer settles down for a few silent nights.

The presents have all been distributed with care
And if you’re looking for bell ringers, they are no longer there.

The funds have been counted and deposited for use
for hungry families in need of a helpful boost.

All through the year the kettles’ donations
will give hope to the hurting across this great nation.

The red shield, a symbol of light in the dark
shines all year long, making its mark.

Donors have been thanked for service and giving,
Soldiers have made this season uplifting

The busy season is done, time to rest for a bit.
Submit all your stats, that’s all the peace that you get!

Twas the Week After Christmas2

Quick & Easy Teacher Gift with Printable Tags


If you’ve waited until the last minute and need something quick and easy to put together for your child’s teacher then look no further!  This gift includes lotion from Bath & Body Works (that I got when they were 4 for $20 – and sometimes they have even better sales than that!) and a homemade sugar hand scrub in none other than a baby food container (thanks goes to my 4.5 month old for polishing off just enough pureed veggies for each of his daycare teachers!)

To make the sugar hand scrub:  Add a cup of regular white sugar and some squirts of Dawn with Olay and stir until desired consistency.


This concoction with slough off all the dead and dry skin from your hands and make them feel absolutely amazing.  It’s about $4 a bottle and can make A LOT of scrub!

Toss this mixture into some clean baby food containers, mason jar, plastic container, etc. and seal.


I used red ribbon to tie the pieces together so they would be easier to transport and distribute and added the gift tag which you can print below.


Teacher Gift Tag Printable – PDF with 6 tags per page

teacher gift tag printable

Childcare teachers work hard and deserve a little pampering now and then.  These ladies take such good care of my most precious blessing and I hope these gifts help them to have a Merry Christmas!



8 ways to use tissue paper so it won’t end up in the trash

Tissue paper

Christmas is upon us!  And that means are floors and trashcans will soon be overflowing with wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper.  If you are like my mom, you will gently fold all of the tissue paper and store it somewhere for the next gift-giving event.  If you’re like my husband, you will find the nearest trashcan and try to basketball toss each piece in.

As I sat stuffing bows upon bows for storage I thought about other things we can use tissue paper for other than sprucing up a gift bag.  Try out some of the ideas below with your leftover tissue paper!


1. Stuff your bows!  
Make sure your decorations stay beautiful and fluffed for next year.  Rip pieces, ball it up, and stuff it in each loop to keep bows looking great season after season.wp-1450816691302.jpg

2.Make spring flowers to cure the winter blues!

These quick and easy flowers will make you forget about the groundhog, snowfall, and early nights and bring spring right into your home early!
Hey let’s make stuff shows you how.

3. Update a boring clipboard.
This craft will make returning to the office after vacation a little more bearable.modpodgeclipboard1a
Inner Child Fun shows you how it’s done.

4. Make a creative New Year’s Eve Party decoration.
Out with the old, in with the new…year.  Put together a piece that will wow your party guests.tissue-paper-party-sign-that-you-can-make-yourself-diy
Sugar Bee Crafts gives a great DIY.

5. Stained Glass Craft
This one is good for when your kids are cooped up inside for too long-and you get cheap decorations for your windows once all the Christmas decorations are pulled down.  The awesome thing about this craft is that you can do it for any season, holiday, or whatever your imagination can come up with!StainedGlassWinterWindows
Kinder Craze has a great tutorial here.

6.  Wrap ornaments or other fragile decorations.
This will help keep your treasures safe until next year.

7. Play with your baby!
Babies love things that crinkle and make noise, and even more so when they are the ones controlling it.  If you’ve got a little one at home, try this out.Simple-Baby-Play
Find the why-to and how-to at Mama OT

8. Sensory Bin
Another good idea for kids you may be ready to send back to school.  Cut tissue paper into small pieces and throw them in a container.  Having children sort by color or pattern should give you enough time to catch your breath!
The Resourceful Mama shows how this will help your child’s development and create a fun learning activity.

If you use any of these creative ideas, let me know by posting pictures or sharing stories on the Hallelujah Breakdown Facebook page!