Celebrating Independence Day

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The R.O.C.K. Club Encourages You to Think About the Reason 

It’s July, and people all across the United States of America are thinking about celebrating Independence Day. They may watch the annual hot dog eating contest on television. Families probably will have a picnic with hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad. They will definitely enjoy some fireworks when the sun goes down.  But how many will give more than a quick thought to the true meaning of Independence Day? More importantly, will you take some time and consider the true meaning of Independence Day? Or will it just be another holiday for you? The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, wants to encourage you to think about freedoms during as you observe Independence Day!

Celebrate The Birthday of American Freedom 

In early 1776, the United States of America was the dream of patriots desiring freedom from King George III. They made steps to declare their independence as tensions between the colonists and England continued to grow. The Second Continental Congress tasked “the Committee of Five,” to draft the declaration of independence.  This group consisted of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.  They began work on June 11, 1776, giving the writing duties to Jefferson after discussing the content. The committee presented its finished document to Congress on June 28, 1776. On July 4, Congress voted for its approval of this Declaration of Independence, and the delegates signed it. At that moment, they all became traitors against the British crown, under penalty of death. 

Remember A Celebration of Freedom and Those Who Fought to Win It 

The conflict between the American colonies and the British continued until October 1781. At this point, British General Cornwallis surrendered after the siege of Yorktown, VA. The British finally recognized American independence. Both sides signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783, and the dream of the United States of America was realized.  Though the fighting began one year before the Declaration of Independence and lasted five years, they signed it on July 4, 1776. That is what we celebrate on Independence Day. We celebrate the birthday of the United States of America and remember those who fought hard to obtain our freedom. 

You Can Experience Freedom in Jesus 

This Independence Day, we will once again be grateful for the freedom we have in the United States of America. But there is another freedom, a greater freedom, that all of us can experience. It doesn’t matter if we are citizens of the United States of America or not. This freedom is open to every person. This is freedom from sin, from both guilt and penalty. Jesus won this freedom for us on the cross when he took our place in punishment.   All sin must be punished, just like a criminal in court. And every one of us is a sinner and deserves punishment. But Jesus loved you so much that He took your place and paid the price for you. Now, to have this freedom, you just have to come to Jesus and trust Him to save you. Pray and ask Him to be your Savior. And you, too, can experience freedom in Jesus. The Bible reads, in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”  For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us today at (540) 267-3000. Let us help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. We want you to personally experience the freedom found in Jesus and know Him when you are celebrating Independence Day! 

Discover Some Fun Summer Activities

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The R.O.C.K. Club Wants to Help You Make Your Summer Memorable 

School break is here (or soon will be), and that means it’s time for summer activities. There are some amazing, memorable, and fun things to do over the summer. However, many kids and teens will spend their summer watching hours of TV or streaming services, or playing video games. We understand that summer is a break from studying, tests, and school. And everyone deserves to kick back and relax once in a while. But there are so many activities to do during summer break, cool and interesting activities that will make summer memorable.   At The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we want to help you discover some amazing summer activities, maybe in your own backyard. This month, let’s take a look at how to have the fun summer to remember for a lifetime. 

Is Summer Designated as “Lazy Time”? 

Isn’t it the “right,” however, of every student, to be lazy for three months until school starts again? Isn’t it a rite of passage to wake up late, lay on the couch all day, and go back to bed? Not really. There is so much to do during the summer, but being lazy or procrastinating usually rules the time. Think about this, though: When you are older, will you fondly remember the time you streamed an entire series in one day? But you may ask, what else is there to do?  

Follow Your Imagination to Amazing Summer Activities  

There is an infinite amount of summer activities, and they are limited only by your imagination. Scrolling through the Internet or social media is a pastime for many during the summer. Be proactive, and search for destinations or activities in your own town or county. Visit a museum. See how many books you can read before school starts again. Discover programs at state parks, or just get outdoors and learn about nature for yourself.   Find out about camps, or even day camps, dedicated to any possible subject. Your church may sponsor a trip to a week-long youth camp. Look around for summer jobs to make some money and learn some new skills. The list is endless, and you may even discover a life-long interest or hobby this summer.

Get Proactive, and Make This a Memorable Summer 

The main focus is to be proactive, and not lazy. You may have an interest or aptitude in science, art, or history, but you don’t yet realize it. Summer is waiting for you. Will you experience it to its fullest? This is the time to discover and do. Determine that this summer you will find a new abundance of summer activities to enjoy. This summer can be the summer to do, see, and experience cool things. Make it memorable. For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us today at (540) 267-3000. Let us also help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. Have a great summer, and enjoy a bunch of cool summer activities! 

A Strong Finish to the School Year

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At The R.O.C.K. Club, We Want You to Finish with Hard Work

Every student, from kindergarten to college, should want a strong finish to the school year. A strong finish will carry their momentum through the summer months and into the next term. However, as thoughts of a coming break circulate in their minds, many students just want to finish. They allow themselves to burn out or just coast in neutral to the finish line. This is especially true for seniors, as the infamous “senioritis” settles into their systems.   In a race, successful runners work hardest with the finish line in sight. The same should be true for students. We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to help you with a strong finish to the school year. With that in mind this month, let’s look at the effort that will fuel your finish this term.

A Strong Finish to the School Year Depends on Focus and Effort 

So, how do you manage a strong finish to the school year? It’s all about effort and focus. One trend in today’s society that people love to discover is “life hacks.” However, there is no hack for hard work. Simply put, to have a strong finish, you have to keep pushing hard to the very end. There is an old saying: “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.”   This lesson is to not get ahead of yourself. This happens regularly, however, for many students at the end of the school year. As May flips the calendar, their effort and focus give way to thoughts of summer activities uninhibited by tests and homework. You have to push those thoughts to the background, and first finish your schoolwork. Dig deep, focus on the present, and give it your best effort. 

Success is In Your Hands; Work Hard 

What is the catalyst, though, to this hard work and focus? What fuels the effort? What is the wood to the fire that will carry you to a strong finish to the school year? The answer is a view of the big picture. You are currently building the foundation for your future. What is school? It is much more than learning historical facts, or how to do algebra. While those are important, you also learn how to think and work. That will help you in every area of your life, no matter what path you choose.   With an eye on your future, instead of the instant gratification of summer activities, you will see how important it is to strongly finish. Success is in your hands. Determine in your heart and mind that you will focus and work hard.   For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us today at (540) 267-3000. We also want to help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. Working hard with focus can help you have a strong finish to the school year. 

Understanding the Easter Story

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Here at The R.O.C.K. Club, We Want You to Know Jesus 

Do you know the Easter story, the reason behind the holiday? It’s not about bunnies, chocolate, candy, and baskets. Those are definitely fun bonuses to the season’s activities. But they don’t represent the true meaning of Easter. So then, the question is: what is the holiday really about? Why do we celebrate Easter every spring? The true meaning behind the celebration is the resurrection of Jesus, God’s Son, winning victory over death.   He was crucified on a cross, bled, and died, but three days later, He rose from the grave. Here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we want you to understand the true meaning of the Easter holiday. So, this month, let’s take a deeper look at the Easter story.

Truly Understanding the Easter Story 

Even though Easter is about Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the story starts even before that. To truly understand the Easter story, you must first understand the truth that all people are sinners. In the Bible, Romans 3:23 reads, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Every one of us has done wrong things, and that sin separates us from a holy God. There was nothing we could ever do to make amends to God, and our punishment was death. In the Bible, Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death.”   But God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, as a substitute to take our punishment. Jesus paid for our sins on the cross when He died, and then He rose from the grave to give us victory over death. That is the Easter story. It’s a story of victory, a story of love, and a story of grace. It’s a story where God gave us what we didn’t deserve.

You Can Personally Have a Relationship with Jesus 

There’s one more thing to know about the Easter story: It’s about you. As we said above, all people are sinners, and deserve punishment for their sins. That includes you. But Jesus loves you so much that He gave you the greatest gift He could, the gift of Himself. He shed His blood and died for your sins. He paid the debt you owed. And now, to have eternal life and a real relationship with God, all you have to do is trust Jesus.   Ask Him for salvation. He offers eternal life to you as a gift. Will you accept His gift or reject it? The most important decision in life is what to do with Jesus. What will you do? For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us today at (540) 267-3000. Let us help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. We want you to personally experience the truth, love, and grace of the Easter story! 

Are You Hearing God’s Voice?

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We Here at The R.O.C.K. Club Want You to Follow God’s Leading 

Here’s something to seriously consider: Are you hearing God’s voice? There are many voices competing for our attention in our society. They come from many different places, and all get louder and louder, talking over each other. They all want you to listen to them. But there is only one voice that has your very best interests at heart.   That is God’s voice. He has the perfect plan for your life, the plan that will bring true joy and peace. He wants you to hear Him, listen to Him, and follow Him. But how can you truly know if you are hearing God’s voice? We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to help you to hear God’s voice in your life. 

Elijah Heard God’s ‘Still Small’ Voice 

First off, the Bible gives us an amazing example of someone hearing God’s voice in 1 Kings 19. The prophet Elijah had just won a great battle for God over wicked King Ahab in the previous chapter. After hearing what he had done, the evil Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him, and Elijah ran away. He was listening to the voices of fear and sadness. In the wilderness, he even said that he simply wanted to die.   However, God met him there. The Bible states that there was a great wind, but the voice of God wasn’t in the wind. There was also an earthquake and a fire, but God’s voice wasn’t in those epic events, either. God’s voice came as a “still small voice” to Elijah. Elijah had to be listening.   

You Can’t Hear God’s Voice Without Personally Knowing Him 

Just like to Elijah, God’s voice doesn’t come to us through bombastic means. God still speaks in a still small voice to those who are listening for him. There are some things to remember, however. First, you can’t hear God’s voice without personally knowing Him. There is a big difference between knowing Him and knowing about Him. The only way you can personally know God is through trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior.   Next, you must be in tune with Him. You can’t hear your favorite radio station if you don’t tune your radio to it. The same goes for God. You must know Him and be right with Him. You won’t hear an audible voice, but God will speak in your life. Lastly, God will never tell you anything that doesn’t match up with His Word, the Bible. God never contradicts Himself, so His plan for your life will match the Bible. Are you prepared for hearing God’s voice? He has great things ready for you. You just have to listen.  For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us today at (540) 267-3000. Let us help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. We are in your corner, and we want you to experience hearing God’s voice! 

Starting New in 2022

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The R.O.C.K. Club Wants to Help You Reboot the Right Way 

With every new year, the possibility of starting new shines again like the dawn of another day. The opportunities are endless; the new year is like a blank canvas. Your restart can be something as simple as getting organized to something much bigger, like a career change. But as the calendar turns from 2021 to 2022, the rest of your life stretches out to the horizon. Will you make the choice to change and reboot your life?  Many people make New Year’s resolutions every Jan. 1. And a majority of those people break those same resolutions on Jan. 2. Well, maybe not that quickly. But according to a Jan 28, 2020, New York Post article, the average person breaks their resolution by Feb. 1. That’s just 32 days. However, the article reported that 68 percent of the polled people gave up even sooner than that.

Support on Starting New in 2022 with The R.O.C.K. Club 

Here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we want to help you restart the right way. We care about you and desire to see you succeed with starting new this year. This month, let’s discuss starting new, whether you just want to add one good habit or change your lifestyle. First, let’s explore why we give up on our new directions so quickly. Then, we will look at a few tips to help you on your way to starting new. We may be geared toward educating children in the New River Valley, but we want to see the entire family succeed. 

Starting New: Why Do We Give Up So Quickly? 

So, we have to ask the obvious, elusive question: Why do we give up so quickly on starting new? We decide to change something for the better, and, one month later, we are back in the same rut. What happened between January and February? The truth is there are a myriad of reasons why we fail. It’s different for every person.    The wise choice, however, before you personally make a resolution is to do a little “soul-searching.” Take a truthful inventory of your personality, including your faults. Recognize any potential obstacles, and make a plan to overcome them. Don’t just jump into the new year with the unbothered declaration of “I’m doing this!” You will just find yourself in the same place on Jan. 1, 2023. 

 Old Habits Can Be Hard to Change When Starting New 

As we already said, there are countless reasons why we fail with starting new in the new year. Even so, here are a few common issues that we may have to overcome: 

 We are entrenched in our old habits. 

There is a reason we call them “habits.” These actions are settled tendencies in our lives, and we perform them without even thinking. From chewing pencils to smoking cigarettes, these habits have entrenched themselves in our lives and personalities. It is always much easier to fall back into our old ways than to try to cut a new path. It is presently more comfortable for us, even though those old ways may be very harmful over time. 

 We really don’t want to restart. 

We can easily make bold proclamations. People do it every day, from your co-worker to politicians in Washington, D.C. As the old saying states, “Talk is cheap.” And another old saying declares that “actions speak louder than words.” Do you really want to restart? Or did you just make a “resolution” because that’s what you do when the new year comes? Before you ever change anything, you have to truly decide that you must change it. 

 We tend to procrastinate. 

Unfortunately, it’s human nature. We put things off until “tomorrow,” “next Monday,” “next month,” or “next year.” A few of us may be go-getters. But, more often than not, most of us have some tendency toward procrastination. When we decide to change, or we stumble in that pursuit, we look toward the next day with good intentions. However, the next day then becomes the next day, and our reboot soon slips out of mind. 

 We aim too high. 

Sure, we have big goals, but it is possible to aim too high. We set out to conquer Mount Everest on Jan. 1. When we haven’t yet climbed the foothills two weeks into the new year, we get discouraged. We let that discouragement and disappointment cause us to “postpone” or completely quit. Our restart then sputters to a standstill. 

 We lack support and accountability. 

Everyone needs someone. We need the support and encouragement of our family and friends. But, many times, when it comes to resolutions or restarts, we travel the “lone wolf” route. This is especially true with men. We try to reboot our lives without a support system, when an accountability partner or encouragement would be beneficial. 

Tips to Keep Moving Forward with Starting New 

We have explored some reasons why our restarts can falter. Next, let’s look at some tips to keep moving forward with starting new. Remember, though, your situation is unique. It is beneficial for you to complete a truthful personal inventory and understand your strengths and shortcomings. 

Build and rely on a tribe.

Reach out for help and support. Even with a “small” reboot, depend on the encouragement of others. Work together with somebody toward your goals. Find an accountability partner who can ask you the tough questions and expect truthful answers. 

 Make a plan.

Very few victories come without a plan. Decide what you want to do, and map your way to that goal. Simple decisions can be abstract; when the path to victory is concrete in writing, the unachievable becomes achievable. 

 Small steps

They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. You won’t accomplish your reboot in a day, either. Whether you want to organize your life or lose some weight, take it one achievable step at a time. Set an obtainable goal for yourself, hit it like a boss, and set another. 

 Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  

Stop procrastinating. You will never achieve what you want to do by waiting until next week. Schedule time into your day to work on your restart goals, and stick to that schedule.

Follow Jesus to the Restart of All Restarts 

There is one sure way to bring about change in your life. In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Jesus offers a restart to everyone. No matter who you are or what you have done, Jesus calls you to come to Him. 

 Why Do We Need Jesus? 

Why do we need Jesus, though? Do you remember that personal inventory we talked about before? If you were honest with yourself, you saw a lot of shortcomings and wrongdoings. It is true for all of us. The Bible calls it “sin.” And while God loves us, He is holy, which means He has no sin. In fact, He can’t be in the presence of sin. Our sinful actions have pushed us away from God, the relationship for which we were created. Not only that, but we face punishment for our sins, like a criminal in court. That punishment is physical death and spiritual death, separation from God for eternity in a place called Hell. There is nothing we could do ourselves to make amends to God, because our sin taints everything that we do. 

 Find Eternal Life Through Jesus for Starting New 

But God loves you so much that He made a way for you to justification and reconciliation. He gave His Son, Jesus, to take your place in punishment. Jesus shed His blood and died on a cross for your sins. He then resurrected from His grave three days later in victory over death. He paid your debt, and like in a court of law, there is no double jeopardy. There is no second punishment for the same crime.    Jesus now offers eternal life and a new restart to you. All that you have to do is believe in Him and ask Him to save you. In the Bible, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  

 Starting New in 2022 with a New Relationship with God 

You can have a relationship with God. It is possible through Jesus, and through Him alone. Pray and ask Jesus to forgive your sins and save you. It is not the exact words of the prayer that will save you; just mean it. Call out to Jesus. He waits and is listening. Do it now.    Changing your life is not a decision left for “tomorrow,” “next Monday,” or “the new year.” You may have followed your own way for years. Start new this year by following Jesus.  If you have decided to follow Jesus, contact us at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA. We want to help you in your new relationship with Jesus.   For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us now at (540) 267-3000. Let us help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. Meeting Jesus and deciding to follow Him is the best method of “starting new”! 

The Christmas Story

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Let’s Consider the Birth of Jesus

There once was a little child who, while in Sunday School, was asked to recount the Christmas story. He thought for a moment. Then, very earnestly, he said, “There was a boy who wanted a BB gun, but he shot his eye out.” His teacher, holding back a laugh, thanked him, but added, “I didn’t mean that Christmas story.” We all enjoy countless Christmas movies when this wonderful season arrives each year. We settle in with some hot chocolate and a warm blanket, as the Christmas tree glows and snow falls outside. It seems like everyone knows every one of these stories, even every line of dialogue, by heart. From a grouchy, old miser in Victorian London to a human raised by elves at the North Pole, these yuletide tales are well-known.

Are You Familiar with the True Christmas Story?

But do you know the Christmas story, the true Christmas story? Are you familiar with the real “reason for the season”? We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want everyone to understand the true story behind the holiday. We enjoy the Christmas season so much, with all of the lights, traditions, gifts, and warm feelings. But it’s all superficial if you miss the real meaning. This month, let’s consider the genuine purpose behind this season, the true Christmas story. Let’s consider the birth of Jesus Christ.

We’ll Tell You the Truth of the Christmas Story

According to an article from worldpopulationreview.com, 160 countries worldwide celebrate Christmas in one way or another. But those numberless celebrations all point back to one night more than 2,000 years ago. They point back to a little town outside of Jerusalem, to a seemingly insignificant stable, to a manger full of hay.

Joseph and Mary Made the Trip to Bethlehem

Rome ruled most of the world. The Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, had placed a tax on the entire empire. To obtain a correct count of people for the taxes, everyone had to return to the city where they were born. A young man named Joseph, who lived in Nazareth, packed up his belongings and, with his pregnant fiancée, Mary, began his journey. They traveled nearly 100 miles to reach the town of Bethlehem, outside of the capital of Jerusalem. Among the many, many travelers, there would have been seemingly nothing different about these two young people. But the whole of history centered on this trip to Bethlehem.

God Chose Mary to Give Birth to His Son

To understand the significance of this “insignificant” couple, let’s look back a few more months. An angel visited both Mary, who was still a virgin, and Joseph. This angel told them that God chose Mary to give birth to His Son, the promised Messiah of so many prophecies. As they traveled those long miles to Bethlehem, Mary drew closer and closer to labor. When they arrived in town, Joseph searched everywhere for a place to stay. But, with the many travelers like themselves, all they could find was a shabby stable behind a local inn. It was here where the hopes of the past and the confidence of the future would meet.

Born in a Stable, Only Visited by Shepherds

That very night, Mary gave birth to her son. They named him Jesus, in accordance to the words of the angel. In the Bible, Matthew 1:21 reads, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” This boy – God’s Son, the promised Messiah, the King of the Jews – was not born surrounded by the adornments of a palace.

Royal Town Criers Didn’t Announce the Birth of Jesus

Royal town criers didn’t announce His birth to the entire land. In fact, the only birth announcement that night came from a host of angels to mere shepherds in a field. Why is that? It is because Jesus came for everyone, not just the rich, the powerful, and the royal. His purpose was to save the entire world from a curse, the curse of sin.

The Christmas Story Includes You

So then, what is the significance of Jesus’ birth? Why is it vitally important to us, more than 2,000 years later? It is important because the Christmas story also includes you. Jesus came to save the world from their sins. John 3:16 in the Bible reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That includes you.

All Humans are Born Sinners

Our sins condemn us. All of us have done wrong things. And even though God loves you more than you can imagine, He is holy. This means that He cannot be in the presence of sin. Sin is anything that goes against God’s law. Just like a criminal in court, we deserve punishment for what we have done. That punishment, according to Romans 6:23, is death. This is not just physical death, but spiritual death, too. That means separation from God forever in a place called Hell. But God loved you so much that He made a way for you to have eternal life.

Know God’s Way to Heaven and Eternal Life

God cannot just forget or cancel our sins. There is no justice there, and God is a just God. They must be punished. He, however, made a way through His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born that night long ago with one purpose. That purpose was to be your substitute, to take your punishment. God offered a perfect replacement, to pay the debt for your sins. Jesus willingly became that replacement. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” What was that joy? His joy is spending eternity with you. Jesus loves you, and He died to pay for your sins. He took your sin debt, made it His own, and died on a cross, 33 years after being born in a stable. And since your debt is now paid in full, there are no rituals you have to perform, no good works to complete, or no church to belong to. Then, how do you obtain this eternal life? You just have to call out to Jesus to save you.

His Death on the Cross Will Give You Victory Over Death

When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave three days later, He finished all of the work, and gave you victory over death. He now holds eternal life for you as a gift. What do you do to get a gift? You just receive it. Realize that you are a sinner. Realize that your sin condemns you to death. Realize that there is nothing you can do to save yourself. And realize and believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins on the cross. Pray to Him, ask Him to save you, and you will have eternal life.

The Christmas Story Has the Happiest Ending of All

While gifts are a big part of many Christmas celebrations, the Christmas story is the tale of the greatest gift ever given to mankind. Jesus was born to die on the cross 33 years later for your sins. All Christmas movies have happy endings, but this true Christmas story has the happiest ending of all. You are a sinner, but Jesus died for your sins. Now, you can have eternal life by believing and asking Him to save you. If you want to know more about how you can have eternal life, please contact us at The R.O.C.K. Club. We are a Christ-centered childcare and educational organization in Radford, VA, serving the New River Valley. We want you to experience the freedom and victory that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. This Christmas, make the best decision you could ever make, and accept the greatest gift ever given. Trust Jesus Christ to save you today. For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us at (540) 267-3000. We want to help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This Christmas season, experience the lasting joy that comes through understanding the Christmas story.

A Heart of Thanksgiving

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The November Holiday is More than Just “Turkey Day”

What does it mean to have a heart of Thanksgiving? It’s a relevant question as November dawns on us. With this month’s arrival, our thoughts turn to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. However, recently, Thanksgiving has become more about a huge turkey dinner and football than gratitude. The University of Illinois Extension reports that, in the United States, people eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving. Many people now informally refer to the holiday as “Turkey Day.” Honestly, this is sad.

Food and Football Aren’t the Reason for Thanksgiving

Now, don’t get us wrong. We enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn, and the rest, as well as football, just as much as the next person. Those things, though, were never meant to be the point of the Thanksgiving holiday. We set Thanksgiving set aside for exactly what its name suggests: giving thanks. Gratitude is quickly becoming less and less of a virtue in our society, and some people are no longer thankful. This is not at all a good thing. This month, we here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to discuss what it means to have a heart of Thanksgiving. Let’s make thankfulness the primary reason for Thanksgiving once again.

The History of Thanksgiving

Why is there a holiday dedicated to being thankful and having gratitude? Let’s take a look at the history of Thanksgiving. The original colonists in New England held frequent thanksgivings. These were days in which the colonists would dedicate to prayer and praising God for His help in different situations. The event called “The First Thanksgiving,” though, was held in October 1621. That’s when the Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in the Plymouth colony. This Thanksgiving lasted for three days. The Wampanoag people, who had helped the Pilgrims, also attended this celebration.

Lincoln Set Thanksgiving for the Last Thursday of November

As an American holiday, President George Washington declared a Thanksgiving day in 1789. This continued yearly, however, until President Thomas Jefferson chose not to celebrate the day. The American people would then occasionally celebrate a Thanksgiving until 1863. That year, President Abraham Lincoln decreed a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” He set it for the last Thursday of November. President Lincoln wanted to, and wanted Americans to, praise and thank God, even in the middle of the turbulent Civil War. In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant made Thanksgiving a federal holiday. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the celebration date to the fourth Thursday in November. An act of Congress in 1942 then permanently set that as the date.

Having a Heart of Thanksgiving

So now we know the “how,” but what about the “why”? Why is it important to have a heart of Thanksgiving? Why should people show gratitude? We really need to be thankful to others for what they do for us. Thankfulness is a sign of strong character. It is also a realization that we can’t do everything on our own. It’s a reminder of our state of dependence. No matter how much we imagine that we are individuals who need no one, we really do depend on others. We need to be grateful for the help they give us. This is the key to a heart of Thanksgiving.

Always Be Grateful for What You Have

Being ungrateful is also an early step on the slippery slope to corruption and wickedness. In the Bible, Romans 1 outlines the fall of man away from God and into degradation. Romans 1:21 reads, “… neither were thankful…” as one of the downward steps. When we stand in pride and arrogance and refuse to show gratitude, we take another step down a dangerous road. In fact, God commands us to have a heart of Thanksgiving. Colossians 3:15 in the Bible states, “ … and be ye thankful.” There is no “maybe” or “if you feel like it” in that statement. God wants you to be thankful, no matter what your situation may be. There are always blessings in our lives; we just have to be willing to see them.

More Specifically, We Should Have a Heart of Thanksgiving to God

We should have a heart of Thanksgiving toward people around us, but more importantly, we always should have a heart of Thanksgiving toward God. When you consider what God has done for you, it should produce gratitude toward Him. “Well,” you may ask, “what has God done for me?” OK, breathe in. Now, breathe out. Do you know what that is? That’s life, and you have it because of God. In the Bible, Psalm 100:3 states, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” God created the world, everything that is in it, and you. He gives us life, and that should be enough to have a heart of thankfulness toward Him. The next Bible verse, Psalm 100:4, states, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

God is Thankful for You

Did you know that God is thankful for you? In the Bible, Zephaniah 3:17 reads, “… he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” God loves you, and He is thankful for you. Can you imagine that? The God who created the universe cares about you and is thankful that you are here. It may be hard for you to comprehend that, but it is true. He loves you, and for that, you should have a heart of Thanksgiving toward Him.

The R.O.C.K. Club Wants You to Have a Relationship with God

How do we know that God loves us? He told us in His book, the Bible. And not only did He tell us, He showed us by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. In the Bible, Romans 5:8 reads, “But God commendeth (or displayed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The truth is that while God loves us, He couldn’t have a relationship with us because of our sin. God is holy, which means without sin, and our sin pushed us away from Him. And there is nothing we could ever do to make amends to Him, because our sin taints even our good works. Sin, exactly like a crime in our court system, must be punished. That punishment was death, according to Romans 6:23 in the Bible. This is not just physical death, but spiritual death, too. That means separation from God forever in a place called Hell.

Be Thankful Jesus Died on the Cross for Your Sins

But God loved you so much that He sent Jesus to die in your place and pay off that debt. Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose again to give you victory over death. He paid the price. Now, all you must do is believe and ask Him to save you. Through Jesus, you can have eternal life. That sounds like something we can all be thankful for! We here at The R.O.C.K. Club want you to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Please call us today, and we can show you how you can know for certain that you have eternal life. For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us today at (540) 267-3000. We also want to help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. Don’t forget this Thanksgiving, and every day, to establish a heart of Thanksgiving!

Dead and Buried?

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Is that monster dead and buried, or will he come back in the movie’s sequel? That’s always the question when someone watches a scary movie. Horror movie fans love the thrill of the scare and the uncertainty of whether or not the danger is really over. As October rolls around on our calendars, people will be thinking more about Halloween and scary movies. Soon, monsters, skeletons, and ghosts will decorate houses throughout many neighborhoods. Those same monsters, skeletons, and ghosts will be on many TV screens, too. And little monsters, skeletons, and ghosts will be on the prowl for candy up and down their streets. In fact, the Huffington Post reports that the average American eats 24 pounds of candy per year, and most of it happens right around Halloween. All of the make-believe surrounding Halloween makes it the favorite holiday for many people.

Sin is the Real-Life Monster You Should Worry About

However, there is a real-life monster that everyone has to worry about, though few really do. That monster is sin. It is destructive, it is alarming and ghastly, and it is deadly. Many people think about sin as a cute, little pet, something to be played with and enjoyed. It is not. It is an ugly, hulking, and terrifying monster that will inevitably destroy you. There is, however, also some good news. That monster is dead and buried, and doesn’t have to return anymore. This month, we here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to discuss sin with you. We all can find freedom from its tangled webs and dark claws through Jesus Christ.

Born as the Servants of Sin

What is sin? Let’s first answer that question. Sin is anything that spurns God’s law. In other words, it is the wrong actions that we do. We are sinners by birth, as each of us descends from Adam and Eve. They first disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, and they pass that sin nature down to us. In the Bible, Romans 5:12 reads, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” There may be someone reading this that will exclaim, “I won’t be accountable for someone else’s sin.” But if we are true to ourselves, we know that we are not only sinners by birth, but also sinners by action. We have all committed wrong actions, and because of that, we stand guilty before God.

Sins is Determined to Drag Us to Destruction

Yes, we are guilty and already condemned to punishment for our sins, which is physical and spiritual death. Justice, just like in our judicial system, demands a consequence. We, however, are also servants to that sin. We can’t release ourselves from its iron grip. Nothing we can ever do will shake the hold that sin has on us. It determines to drag us to destruction. Our sinful nature taints every good work or religious ritual we try to do to make amends to God. Only one thing can free us; we need an Emancipator.

Find the Life and Freedom in Jesus Christ

We could never make amends to God for all of our sins, but here is the good news. God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to take your punishment for you. Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt you could never pay. In the Bible, Romans 5:6 states, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” He willingly became your substitute and took your punishment.

You Can Have Eternal Life and Freedom from Sin Through Jesus

Now, you can have eternal life and freedom from sin through Jesus. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He offers you life and freedom as a gift. There are no rituals and no works to perform. You just have to trust Jesus and ask Him to save you. And He will emancipate you from the deadly grasp of sin. In the Bible, John 8:36 states, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

Romans 6: Our Old Sin Nature is Dead and Buried

Freedom in Jesus is a wonderful thing. He not only liberates you from your past sinful nature, but that ravaging monster is now dead and buried. Romans 6:6 reads, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We have a new nature that God creates through Jesus’ work. Romans 6:11 reads, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We no longer must follow sinful urges and desires. Jesus has freed us from those chains.

Sin Holds No Sovereignty Anymore

Don’t get us wrong, though. As a Christian, you will not live a perfect life. Our old sinful nature, or our flesh, will rear its ugly head every now and again. It’s just like that Halloween movie monster who refuses to stay dead and returns for the sequel. In fact, we fight the flesh every day. Those old temptations will come around again and again. But this time, something has changed. When you know Jesus, sin can’t hold you anymore. We don’t have to follow our old master. We can choose to sin, but we are not held down by sin. Romans 6:12 states, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof.” You can tell sin goodbye. It is a fact, however, that you will stumble and fall. But God is a forgiving Father. The Bible reads in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The R.O.C.K. Club Wants You to Find Freedom in Jesus Christ

Here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we want you to find the freedom and the life available in Jesus. We are a Christ-centered childcare and educational organization, serving the entire New River Valley. We care about you. Our staff would love to show you how you can know that you are going to Heaven through Jesus. He died on the cross and rose again for you. You can experience that salvation. Call us today. We would love to talk to you about Jesus and help you get started on your Christian journey. You don’t have to be a servant of sin any longer. Encounter the freedom that comes with a true relationship with God. For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us now at (540) 267-3000. Let us help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus. Don’t think you have to serve sin any longer. In Jesus, that old sin nature truly is dead and buried!

Developing a Good Homework Routine and Habits

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It should be every student’s goal to establish their own perfect homework routine and habits. However, homework seems to always be the last thing they want to do. It takes away from time with friends, activities, and video games, right? The plain truth, though, is homework is not going away. An article on the Education Week website referenced a 2007 study from the National Center for Education Statistics. The study found that, on average, high school students spent around seven hours a week on homework. In the 14 years since, it’s not a stretch to claim that there has been an increase in that average time. And there is a seemingly inerrant amount of stress associated with homework, both for the student and the parents. As the new school year begins, and homework with it, we here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to help you approach your study time with your perfect homework routine and habits. This month, let’s discuss your study time.

Why is Homework Important, Though?

When children and teenagers want to better themselves at playing baseball, what do they do? They play catch in their backyard. They go to the batting cage and swing at pitch after pitch. When children want to get better at ballet, what do they do? They perform the dance moves over and over again. They stretch and build their muscles. Those learning to play an instrument are the same. They listen to the accompanying music repeatedly and find their rhythm. What do we call this? Well, there is an old joke that says, “Excuse me. How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice.” When someone wants to get better at their sport, their musical ability, or their activity, they practice. We get it, however. Baseball, ballet, and many other activities can be fun. Kids, however, usually aren’t that excited about homework. But homework is very important, because homework is practice for their brain. When children and teenagers listen to their teachers in school, that is learning. Homework, then, is practice in that particular subject. They learn the basics of mathematics in class. They then do division problems again and again at home to better understand the concept. The student learns the grammatical parts of a sentence in school. They then diagram those sentences at home to improve their knowledge. Simply put, homework is brain practice, to help students master their subjects.

Discover Your Perfect Homework Routine and Habits

How then can children and teenagers perform better on their homework and eliminate some of that inherent stress? This comes with establishing a good homework routine and habits. There is, however, no “one-size-fits-all” answer for what the habits and routine should be. Every kid is different, and every kid needs a unique plan on how to be successful at their homework. Siblings may not even successfully study in the same fashion. So, as you work toward discovering your perfect homework routine and habits, don’t just adopt what works best for someone else. Find out what works for you.

Here are a Few Study Suggestions…

Set a specific time for homework: Different times work for different children. Some work better as soon as they get home from school. Others may need some time to unwind from their day. Some may want to get everything done before dinner. Others may do well right before bedtime, because of practice or lessons. This all depends on the particular child or teenager. However, once you establish a routine time, stick with it. Build that good habit. Keep a homework journal: Don’t leave any assignments to chance. You may think you will remember, but it’s much better to have it in writing. A homework journal will also help you organize your assignments and know exactly what is coming and when it is due. If a science project is due at the same time as an English essay, you can see the time conflict early and plan ahead to resolve it. This will also help you to not wait until the last minute or discover a nasty surprise the night before class. Seeing when assignments are due can also help you work ahead on something big if you see that you have a light night of homework. Find your “happy place”: Good time management is only one aspect of an effective homework routine and habits. Location is just as important. Look for a quiet place in your house where disturbances will not find you. That, sometimes, is easier said than done. In that case, find as quiet a place as you can. It is hard to fully concentrate on homework when constant noise, questions, or annoyances pull you away from your study. Eliminate all distractions: We live in a modern world, with many modern conveniences. Many of those conveniences, however, can be time thieves when it comes to concentration and work. One of the major culprits is your smartphone. It’s very easy to pick up that phone and read your texts, scroll through different social media platforms, and play games. Soon, “just a second” becomes minutes, and minutes become hours. And, unfortunately, your homework is still not done. Consider this, too: Eliminating distractions may also include earbuds and music. This, however, depends on the particular student. Some work better with music, and some don’t. Make a judgment call in this area.

Keep Going, and Build That Good Homework Routine and Habits!

Remember, this is not a comprehensive list to build the perfect homework routine and habits. These suggestions can help you get started, though. The main concept to remember is to stay vigilant and keep going. You may notice other time thieves or distractions specific to your situation. Eliminate them, too! What works and doesn’t work for others won’t necessarily pertain to you. Find that homework routine and habits, and stick to them! If your homework time is haphazardly scattered and random, that will add to your stress and hinder your study success. Homework may be a pain to you, but you have to do it. Have a good attitude about it, recognize that homework is practice for your brain, and work hard. Start off this school year on the right foot. Establish a good homework routine and habits, and keep going!

The R.O.C.K. Club Wants to See Your Students Succeed

Here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, our staff wants to see your students succeed as much as you do. We dedicate ourselves to supporting families all across Virginia’s New River Valley with Christ-centered childcare and educational programs. From pre-school programs to tutoring for students up to sixth grade, our professional and caring team will reinforce the importance of homework and education, while teaching the children about Jesus and the Bible. Whether you live in Radford, Dublin, Pulaski, or anywhere else in the New River Valley, we are here for you. For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational services, call us at (540) 267-3000. We can also help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Contact us today! Start your school year on a good note by establishing your perfect homework routine and habits.

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  In days gone by, many grasped the importance of Biblical values in their lives. In our modern society, however, the Bible has diminished in many people’s perspectives. They just don’t feel it is essential to them. According to LifewayResearch.com, Americans have a positive view of the Bible. Many say the scriptures have moral lessons for today, but more than half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible. Here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we want everyone to understand how vital Biblical literacy is. The Bible is more than just an old book. It is God’s Word, and it is still the key to a life worth living. This month, we want to discuss the importance of teaching Biblical values.

The Importance of Teaching Biblical Values

No one should ever ignore or minimize the importance of teaching Biblical values to our children. The Bible is the prime resource for the next generation to find wisdom, honor, and integrity. There is nothing wrong with reading, studying, and learning from other good books. But, as the great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.” Simply put, the Bible is God’s Word. It is God’s Word to you, personally. And it holds wisdom and direction for every situation you will ever face in your life. The Bible teaches character. It will show somebody how to live ethically, and how to maintain that uprightness throughout their life. As we mentioned last month, the Bible states in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The Bible is the true roadmap for every person’s life. It will help you establish yourself. In Proverbs 24, the third verse reads, “Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established.” It will even help you get back on the right path when you’ve stumbled. Psalm 119:9 states, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” In a culture and a society that changes like the ocean tides, we all need a solid foundation to stand on. We need a foundation that will hold steady like a boulder. That foundation is Jesus and the Bible. First Corinthians 3:11 states, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” That is why we must recognize the importance of teaching Biblical values to our children.

The Bible Helps Us to Be Good U.S. Citizens

The Bible will not only teach you character and integrity. It will help you to be a good citizen of the United States. In fact, this was an idea that the Founding Fathers had counted on. Founding father John Adams, our second President, once said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” He also stated, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” The Bible teaches us to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. It also teaches us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27). That command from Jesus can only help the United States. Can you imagine what our country would look like if we all lived this out? President Theodore Roosevelt understood that Biblical literacy was key for U.S. citizens. “It is necessary for the welfare of the nation that men’s lives be based on the principles of the Bible,” he said. “No man, educated or uneducated, can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.”

The Importance of Living Biblical Values

It is not enough just to teach Biblical values to our children; we must live out Biblical values every day. The word “hypocrisy” means to claim to have standards that our actual lives don’t reflect. It is the height of hypocrisy to encourage the importance of teaching Biblical values while not living them. Children do hear what you say, but they also see what you do. Watching you ignore the Bible in your own life will stress to them that it really isn’t that important. If you want your children to live Biblically, you have to live Biblically. How then do you live Biblically? You first have to know what the Bible says. This comes by reading and studying it for yourself every day. How did you pass that hard mathematics test when you were still in school? You studied, studied, and studied more. You then knew the subject matter and were able to use it. The same principle applies here. Study, study, and study more. Attend a good, Bible-believing church, and learn from the sermons, too. You can then take this knowledge and act on it. This is what God wants you to do. James 1:22 states, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Live the Bible. It will guide you through all of life’s troubles and help you help the next generation, as well.

The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make

Frankly, however, you can’t successfully teach the Bible or live the Bible without personally knowing the Author. This is the first step to understanding God’s Word. Above all else, the Bible teaches us how we can have eternal life and a relationship with God. First John 5:13 states, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” We can’t have a relationship with God on our own. It’s impossible. Every person is a sinner, not only by birth, but by action, too. If you are honest with yourself, you know this is true. God is a holy God, which means He can’t tolerate sin. So, even though He created us and loves us, our sinful actions have separated us from Him. There is nothing we can do to make amends with Him, because our sinful nature stains even our good works. We then must suffer punishment because of our actions. That punishment is death: physical death and spiritual death, which is separation from God forever in a place called Hell. However, God loved you so much that He sent Jesus to be your substitute and take your punishment Himself. Romans 5:8 reads, “But God commendeth (or showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus died on the cross for you, and He rose again three days later to win victory over death for you. He offers eternal life as a gift. All you have to do is trust Him and ask Him for it. This is the most important lesson that the Bible teaches us.

Our Team at The R.O.C.K. Club Can Help You and Your Family

At The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we firmly believe in the importance of teaching Biblical values. We dedicate ourselves to helping families all across Virginia’s New River Valley with Christ-centered child care and educational programs. Our caring, professional staff offers a pre-school program, a before-school program, an after-school program, a summer program, and tutoring. We design every one of our programs to emphasize Jesus and the Bible while encouraging and bolstering kids’ educational achievements. We make the Bible our guide, and we believe you should, too. Everyone should understand the importance of teaching Biblical values, and we want to help. No matter where you live in the New River Valley, let us support you as you teach and live the Bible. Do you want more information on our Christ-centered educational services? Call The R.O.C.K. Club today at (540) 267-3000. We can also talk to you about how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Give it some thought, and discover the importance of Biblical values.

Independence Day Arrives Again This Month

Every citizen of the United States of America should truly understand the importance of freedom. It is a blessing to live in the United States. We may not be a perfect country, but we should remember that, above all, we are free. This month brings with it the arrival of Independence Day. We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to discuss the importance of understanding our freedom.

What is Independence Day?

July 4th is Independence Day. How many people across the United States, though, will focus on its true meaning during its festivities? For that matter, what is Independence Day? What event does it celebrate? Is it just a day off work, to eat hot dogs and hamburgers, to swim, and to launch fireworks? No. Independence Day commemorates a pivotal day in United States history; the day we officially declared ourselves free from English rule. When the 13 original American colonies sought to claim their independence from England, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia formed a “Committee of Five.” This committee, assembled on June 11, 1776, drafted a declaration of independence. Members of the committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. They collaborated on a general outline of the declaration and elected Jefferson to write the document. After Jefferson returned his draft to Congress, the entire gathering of representatives edited it. Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which is now set aside as our Independence Day. This event also fanned the flames of the Revolutionary War, which lasted until 1783. Adams, who would serve as our second President, actually initiated our Independence Day celebrations in a letter to his wife, Abigail. He felt that we should commemorate our freedom in a most bombastic fashion. “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more,” he wrote.

The Principles of Freedom in the United States

So, what exactly do we celebrate on Independence Day? Is it just a remembrance of a centuries-old event? It is so much more than that. We celebrate the freedom afforded to us every day of our lives, freedom that we may take for granted. As Americans, we occupy a special position in regard to most of the world and history. We don’t answer to a powerful king or an emperor. Nor do we sit under the iron-fisted rule of a tyrant. We, the people, hold the power in the United States. In America, the citizens elect presidents, representatives, and senators at a national level. We elect representatives, senators, and governors at the state level. We elect local officials. These people are not elected to lord over us; we elect them to represent us, to represent our interests and our will. We are a free people. To be a good citizen of the United States of America, you should not only understand how our freedom works; you should also act upon it. One way to do this is to vote. United States citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote in our elections. We must educate ourselves on which candidates stand for what we believe in and vote for them. The United States Census Bureau reports that in the 2020 general election, 67 percent of all United States citizens of voting age voted. This was up five percentage points from the 2016 general election.

The Price of Freedom in the United States

There is, however, an old, very true saying that states that “freedom isn’t free.” The high cost is the blood of men and women of all races and ethnicities who have willingly laid down their lives for our freedom. President Abraham Lincoln called this “the last full measure of devotion,” sacrifices that have spanned from the Revolutionary War to today. Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson lauded the “spirit, that made those heroes dare to die, and leave their children free.” Even more than understanding the principles of freedom in the United States, we must truly understand the price of that freedom. Understanding and appreciation comes from education. School and study can educate someone on the intricacies of our government. However, fully understanding the importance of freedom begins at home. We believe that the family is the most important resource for teaching the principles of freedom. Parents, grandparents, and guardians can teach children how to be good citizens of the United States. They can also teach how valuable freedom is. We are not alone in believing this, either. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

The Principles of Spiritual Freedom

There is another freedom afforded to everyone, whether they live in the United States or not. This is spiritual freedom. It is freely available to every person, no matter their country, wealth, geopolitical situation, race, or class. Individual freedom is a wonderful thing, but it is nothing in comparison to spiritual freedom. What does it mean, though, to be spiritually free? You must understand that everyone, including you, was born into chains. “What do you mean? I was born free in the United States,” you may say. That is true, but everybody was born into spiritual bondage to sin. In the Bible, Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Sin, simply, is the things we do wrong. And, as God is a just God, there must be a punishment for our wrongdoing. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23a, “For the wages of sin is death…” This is not only physical death, but spiritual death. That means separation from God forever in a place called Hell. This is what we deserve for our sin. But God is also a loving God. He made a way for all of us, no matter where you live or what you do, to experience spiritual freedom.

The Price of Spiritual Freedom

Here’s something to consider: True justice demands that justice be done. So, punishment must happen for a wrongdoing. And honestly, there is nothing we can do to make amends to God for our sins. Even our good works are still tainted by our sinful nature. But God again loves us so much that He made a way to spiritual freedom. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus came to be your substitute, to take your punishment for you. That was the high cost of spiritual freedom. Jesus willingly laid down His life for you. He then rose from the grave three days later to claim victory over death for you. In the Bible, Romans 5:6-8 states, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” What do we need to do to obtain this spiritual freedom from sin, get eternal life, and have a true relationship with God? We just need to believe in Jesus and ask Him to save us. And He will. Through Jesus, and Him alone, you can find spiritual freedom. The Bible states in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And it is even more important for the family to teach the principles of spiritual freedom, showing the love of Jesus and raising their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

Our Staff Strives to Support the Family Structure

The R.O.C.K. Club believes in the importance of freedom and of family. We offer Christian child care, educational help, and tutoring for children in Radford, Dublin, Christiansburg, and across Virginia’s New River Valley. Our united aim at The R.O.C.K. Club is to support the family structure across all of our programs. The family is one of the foundations of our great nation and, even more importantly, the first institution established by God. In the Bible, Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Our staff is here to help you teach your children how to follow Jesus. We also want to help you teach them to be good citizens of the United States of America. We pride ourselves on providing loving, supportive Christ-centered care. Every member of our staff loves your children and wants to see them succeed. Contact us today to discuss everything we can do for you and your family. Here at The R.O.C.K. Club, we offer faith-based educational services to families throughout the New River Valley. For information on these services, or to find out how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us at (540) 267-3000. Don’t forget to celebrate – not just on Independence Day, but every day – the importance of freedom.