Category Archives: Identity

The Power of Story

1149105_81890812

By Patrick Showers, Associate Elementary Pastor

Woodland Hills Church

The Power of Story

“Once upon a time” … or “in a galaxy far far away” may be familiar tag lines of popular stories, which are very entertaining, but they don’t compare to the power of another kind of story.

A few years back, my wife and I prayerfully decided we wanted more children.  At this point, we already had three young daughters.  I really wanted to have a son but felt confident the genetic jackpot would land on female this next round.   I wasn’t sure I could handle being outnumbered 5 to 1. God placed a desire on our hearts to adopt, and we went from there.  We discovered our desire to adopt an African-American boy was well received.  Several months of paperwork and waiting followed, and then suddenly we got a call.  We drove through the night and arrived in Nashville.  The baby and birth mom were still at the hospital.  As soon as we saw this little one, we fell in love.  After spending some time with his birth mom, a bond began to form.  The following day we headed home.

My son loves to hear this story, especially the part about us falling in love with him and later when his sisters went gaga over him.  It reminds him of who he is and that he is part of our family.  His story merged with our story that day.  My wife has done a wonderful job of creating scrapbooks with photos from each year of our family’s existence.  The kids love to go through and talk about those times.

The power of our story is rooted in reminding us of our value, our importance, and our identity.  My children love to hear their birth stories as a milestone of their being part of our family.  God’s story is powerful in the same way.  The fall of man, the birth of Jesus, his death, and his resurrection all highlight his amazing love, but also our immeasurable value to the Father.  Sharing the God’s whole story during Easter is a great way to help kids merge their stories with his.

Another powerful story is our testimony.  Sharing how we became Christ followers, how our trajectory was diverted and our story merged fully with God’s gives our children insight into our hearts and a glimpse of being a part of a much bigger family – God’s family.  In a way, our testimony is our adoption story.  God adopted us, and when we embraced him as our Father, we became his children.

I encourage you to share stories during this Easter weekend.

  • Tell the story of each child’s birth or adoption (be sure to share what you felt)
  • Tell God’s whole story – the need for a savior, for a price to be paid, and his victory as well as what it means to us.
  • Tell your faith story and let your children know why you decided to follow Christ.
  • Talk about your faith story as your birth story/adoption story and how you are a child of God’s now.

The power of these stories is their ability to remind us of our identity, our value, and connect us.  Let your stories be told, retold, and continuing to be told a milestone.

You Are Enough

1013334_48782073

By Paula Bowlby, Associate Early Childhood Pastor

Woodland Hills Church

Lately, I have been asking myself, how do my words and actions build up others in a positive way, in an honest way and in a Kingdom way. In this instance, when I think about the Kingdom I look at it in two ways: 1. How does God see me and others? 2. How can I help others see themselves as God sees them?

I stumbled upon a graphic on Facebook several months back and I saved it. I keep going back to it to see how I implement some of the ideas those around me.    http://www.dyslexicadvantage.org/?s=66+positive+things+to+say+to+your+child

66 Positive things to say to your child is the title but upon taking a closer look, I saw God speaking to me and you in these words. As a child of God, we are seen by God and loved by God in ways that we can only imagine. Imagine yourself talking to God. He is saying all these words to you.

  • Your words are meaningful
  • I love being your parent
  • You are important
  • Your opinions matter
  • You make me happy
  • I trust you
  • I forgive you
  • You can try again tomorrow
  • I could never stop loving you
  • You are enough
  • I love you

As you build your children and others up, remind them that God feels this way about them. Sometimes as parents and friends, we need to hear the words first. Jesus says to you: I love you, you can try again tomorrow, you are enough.