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 ThanksgivingNow, 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 ThanksgivingWhy 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 NovemberAs 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 ThanksgivingSo 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 HaveBeing 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 GodWe 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 YouDid 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 GodHow 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 SinsBut 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!
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 AboutHowever, 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 SinWhat 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 DestructionYes, 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 ChristWe 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 JesusNow, 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 BuriedFreedom 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 AnymoreDon’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 ChristHere 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!
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 HabitsHow 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 SucceedHere 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.
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 ValuesNo 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. CitizensThe 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 ValuesIt 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 MakeFrankly, 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 FamilyAt 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 MonthEvery 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 StatesSo, 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 StatesThere 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 FreedomThere 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 FreedomHere’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 StructureThe 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.
It’s June, and that means it’s time for kids, teens, and even adults to enjoy some great outdoor summer activities. The sun will shine, the birds will sing, and warm breezes will float across yards all throughout the New River Valley. It’s the perfect opportunity to get outside and appreciate God’s creation. Unfortunately, that will not happen with many teens and kids this summer. They will stay inside, watching some streaming service, scrolling on their smart phones, or playing video games for hours at a time. DigitalWellnessLab.org reports that 66 percent of kids between the ages of eight and 12 play video games for an average of two hours per day. Fifty-six percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 play video games for 2.5 hours per day. There are even some kids who play much more than that. But playing video games is not the lone culprit here. Playing outdoors seems to have become a lost art, surrendered to movies, social media platforms, and other time-consuming occupations.
This really is sad to think about, when there are so many great outdoor activities waiting for kids and teens all across our region. We’re not just talking about organized activities. There is a world of fun and imagination right outside every door. All it takes is that first step. We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to encourage all kids and teens to get outside this summer. This month, let’s discuss a few of the amazing activities to keep you busy in God’s great creation.
Choose Some Great, Healthy Outdoor Summer Activities!
Every parent and guardian will be all too familiar with these sentences: “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” Kids and teens alike will look out a window and say, “What do you want me to do out there?” But being outside is anything but boring! There are countless outdoor activities that anyone can participate in and enjoy. One idea is playing pickup sports. In the past, pickup games could be found on every block in every town. Whether it was a basketball game under a driveway hoop or a baseball game on a corner lot, kids and teens played from morning until night, stopping only for lunch. These days, however, sports tend to be more organized, league-driven, and specialized. Games in the neighbor’s yard are now few and far between. Pick up a bat, a ball, and a glove, and go find your friends! There is no need for coaches or a lined field. Playing pickup games is one great way to get some exercise and enjoy the warm weather.
Maybe you are not athletically inclined. This, however, doesn’t exclude you from enjoying some time outside this summer. There are so many things that you can do outdoors. Take a hike in the woods. Find a nature trail near you, and lose yourself in the beauty of an afternoon among the trees and flowers. Get out your bike, pump up those tires, and go for a long, relaxing ride. Study the wildlife and plant life in your own backyard, including bugs and birds. Buy guides at your local bookstore, and learn how to identify different animals, fish, trees, and flowers. Go for a swim. Go fishing. Even if you live in town, there is so much to do so close to you. You just have to truly look. Sometimes, it’s even worth it just to sit and watch a day pass by, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze. There is an entire world outside of your door if you just turn off your devices and look.
Getting Outside Helps You to Appreciate Creation, Use Your Imagination
In the Bible, Psalm 95:3-5 reads, “For the LORD is a great God, and a great king above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.” God is the Artist of all creation. One of the reasons He created the beautiful world around us is for our enjoyment. Getting outside will help you appreciate nature and what God made. It will also help you appreciate the majesty of God Himself. When you see big trees, rolling hills, and trickling streams, you see how great God is. Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” As kids and teens see how animals live and how plants and trees grow, they will see the Master and His plan in it all.
Another thing that outdoor activity will do is help minds grow and learn. When kids and teens turn off their video game consoles and put down their smart phones, they start instead to use their imaginations. Many adults look back fondly on childhood memories of playing in the woods or in a yard, making up games and creating adventures. This took imagination, and using an imagination will help a mind to expand. Kids can experience adventure, excitement, and fun every day. It’s all in where you search for it.
The R.O.C.K. Club Encourages You to Explore Your World
Our staff at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, cares about the kids and teenagers of the New River Valley. We understand that playing and spending time outside is a key part of their development. Our area of Southwestern Virginia has so much to offer, and we want them to experience it! We are a faith-based daycare and educational support service, offering a wide assortment of programs. Our goal is to help parents and guardians set their kids on the path to success. This is not just success in life, but spiritual success, too. We want them to do well in their scholastic endeavors and grow closer to God. But, as it is summer, students may think that the learning is over for three months. There is a whole world to learn about, right outside your home. Go find it.
For more information on the faith-based services we offer here at The R.O.C.K. Club, or to find out how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us at (540) 267-3000. Now that school’s out, go and enjoy some healthy outdoor summer activities!
No matter how your children and teenagers perform in school – whether their subjects come easy to them or not – test preparation is an important habit to cultivate. Study takes discipline. It takes time, and it takes a plan. Some students try to “fly by the seat of their pants.” This may work for them now, but what happens when they can’t get by with “just enough” anymore? Other students study hard, but they don’t study in the most efficient way. Even more so, just the thought of a test terrifies many students. The American Test Anxieties Association reports that tests and schoolwork are the main cause of stress for a wide majority of students. In fact, between 16 and 20 percent of students suffer from high test anxiety. No matter the student or the situation, encouraging and developing good study habits can only help them in the future.
Here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we care about the success of your students as much as you do. We offer faith-based daycare and tutoring programs for the New River Valley. We want your students to accomplish great things. Their education plays a major role in their accomplishments. With that in mind, this month, we want to discuss test preparation with you. We want to stress the importance of good study habits. We also want to offer you some practical ideas to make your students’ study time more productive.
Why Is Test Preparation So Important?
Hard work and discipline are vitally important to success, but unfortunately, they don’t come naturally. We must cultivate and nurture these traits in our own lives, as well as in the lives of our children and teenagers. We want to see them give it their all. But we are not the only ones. In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 9:10a reads, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” This thought includes schoolwork and tests. God wants your students to give it their all, too.
To do your best on a test and schoolwork, you have to prepare. Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, once famously said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Any person who has achieved success in life has disciplined themselves to prepare. A championship on the basketball court, baseball diamond, or football field was preceded by hours and hours of practice. The same is true for musical achievements. In fact, there is an old joke which says, “Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.” Business achievements? Preparation. An applauded speech? Preparation. It is only logical that scholastic success will follow the exact same principle. Prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more! It is so much better – and much less stressful – to enter a classroom for a test after studying the subject well. With that truth in mind, what are some good, productive, and efficient study habits?
Here Are Some Helpful, Practical Study Tips
To make the most of your or your student’s study time, here are a few practical tips to remember for test preparation:
- Start your study and preparation long before you know about a test. You may ask, “How is this even possible?” Successful students study over time; they don’t just “cram.” Also, take good notes in class. Pay special attention to any facts the teacher or professor may highlight in their lecture or write on the board. If you miss something, consult the teacher afterward. Keep those notes organized, read them, and re-read them again. This will also help guard against the stress of the nefarious “pop quiz.”
- Use good time management. Plan out how much time you need for each of your subjects. A detailed plan will help to check that overwhelming feeling of desperation and stress. Is it a small quiz or a mid-term? Is it a subject you know well or is it unfamiliar to you? Answering these questions can help you decide how much time to devote to the particular subject. Along with those thoughts, remember to take breaks. An all-night “cram” session will not help anyone. People can only fully concentrate for a certain amount of time. Break up those study hours.
- Split large topics apart. Some subjects can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when you study for a mid-term or a final. Breaking these subjects apart and studying those parts separately can reduce stress and help you to better retain the information. Just remember to take it step by step. You can’t climb Mount Everest with one giant leap.
- Find a routine that works for you. Everybody is unique. What works for some people may not work for others. Don’t necessarily look at the study habits of the top student in your class and try to mimic them. Some of their habits may work for you, but some may hinder you, too. Find what works for you. Is there a time of day when you are more successful with your test preparation? Is your house noisy? Do you need to find a quiet place, free from distractions? Look for patterns in your study time that seem to bring out the best in you, and use that information to form a plan.
- Don’t procrastinate. Nothing good ever comes from waiting until the last possible minute. You put it off, you put it off, you put it off, and then comes the stress. You cram all night. You didn’t get a good night’s sleep. You’re drowning in information. This is not the ideal way to take a test. It’s a fact of life; some people are “go-getters,” and some people are procrastinators. If you are in the latter group, you don’t have to stay that way. Discover methods to help you do better and not put off work. Maybe, you need to organize better. Maybe, you just have to discipline yourself. Beat that bad habit of procrastination.
- Study together. You may have a friend who is better than you at math. You may be better in U.S. history. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Combine your knowledge, and help each other to better understand your school subjects. Study for your tests together. But make sure to discipline yourself to actually study. The temptation will be real to just hang out and relax.
Come to The R.O.C.K. Club for Exceptional Tutoring Services
If your child needs more help with their study habits and test preparation, visit us today at The R.O.C.K. Club. We are a faith-based daycare and educational support program in Radford, VA, serving Virginia’s New River Valley. We offer a tutoring program to help children in first through sixth grades with their homework, study skills and organization, individual learning assistance, and support in different school subjects. As we stated before, we want to see your student succeed at life, as well as their education. That is why we are proud to provide faith-based services, such as tutoring. Has study time frustrated you? Let our expert staff at The R.O.C.K. Club help you.
For more information on the benefits of faith-based tutoring services, or to discover how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call The R.O.C.K. Club today at (540) 267-3000. We can help your student to achieve their full potential, including test preparation.
It’s So Much More Than the Easter Bunny and Candy
The Easter season is here again, but do you know the true meaning of Easter? Many people celebrate the holiday with candy, Easter baskets, bright pastel colors, presents, bunnies, and chicks. In fact, TheStreet.com reports that the National Confectioners Association estimates that people purchase more than 120 million pounds of candy each Easter! While there is nothing wrong with any of those things (especially the candy), it’s very important for everybody to understand the true celebration behind Easter. The holiday is so much more than the Easter Bunny or Easter baskets. It’s a celebration of life, of eternal life freely offered to everyone, no matter what their background, race, ethnicity, or even the country they live in. It’s the story of Jesus Christ, and what He did for you. It’s a love story. This month, we here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to tell you the story of Easter and help you understand its true meaning.
Jesus Christ is The True Meaning of Easter
This love story behind the Easter holiday begins thousands of years ago. It involves a hill outside of Jerusalem called Calvary, but that’s not where it starts. It involves a garden named Gethsemane, but it doesn’t begin there, either. It involves a manger in a small town called Bethlehem, but it doesn’t even start there. It begins in another garden, one called Eden, where God Himself placed the first created man and woman, Adam and Eve. God loved Adam and Eve very much, but they disobeyed Him. The Bible states in Romans 5:12, “For by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” That “one man” was Adam. Again, God loved them very much, but He is also a holy and just God. Holiness means perfection, without sin. So in the name of true justice and true holiness, God had to punish them for their sin. As Adam’s descendants, we are also sinners, both by birth and by action. That punishment of death also passed down to us. But God also came up with a plan to redeem all of us from that sin. He would send a perfect sacrifice to be the substitute for us and pay the debt we owed. In the Bible, John 3:16 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’s right: God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, from Heaven to die for us, because He loved us so much. And Jesus Christ loved us so much that He willingly came to die. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2a, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” This was Jesus Christ’s purpose, to shed His blood and die for our sins so that we could be redeemed and reconciled to God. He was born as a human, to a virgin in a stable and placed in a manger, thousands of years later in a small town called Bethlehem. He lived here for 33 years, preaching and performing miracles everywhere He went. One of His disciples, Judas, betrayed Him in the garden of Gethsemane to those in power who wanted to get rid of Him. And on an old, rugged cross on a hill called Calvary, they crucified Jesus Christ. He shed His blood, and He died to pay your debt in your place. They buried Him and walked away.
But the story doesn’t end there. It’s actually just beginning. Three days later, His disciples found Jesus Christ’s tomb empty and the massive stone that blocked the entrance rolled away. At first, they thought someone had stolen His body, but He appeared to them to show them that He had risen from the dead! How was this possible? It was possible because He is the Son of God! By rising from the dead, He gives us all victory over death. He died to pay the price for our sins, and He rose to give us eternal life. In the Bible, 1 Peter 1:3 states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” This is what we celebrate on Easter! This is its true meaning. We have a risen Savior that offers eternal life to all of us, no matter who you are, where you live, or what you do or have done.
We Pray that You Trust the Risen Savior During This Easter Season
Beyond the meaning of Easter, this is the true significance of the holiday: the truth that you can have eternal life. Jesus Christ didn’t just die for others. He died for you. He rose again from the dead for you. He offers you eternal life and a home in Heaven as a free gift. You may ask, “How do I get this eternal life?” You must first realize a few things. You must realize that you are a sinner. If you are honest with yourself, you know that this is true. You must realize that as a sinner, you can’t have a relationship with a holy God. You are subject to the punishment of death. This is not just physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God for all of eternity in a place called Hell. You must also realize that there is nothing you can ever do to reconcile yourself with God again. In the Bible, Isaiah 64:6a states, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” But Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, and all you have to do is believe in Him and call out to Him in prayer to save you. Romans 10:13 reads, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you have done this, please call us at The R.O.C.K. Club today! We love you, and we would love to pray for you and help you grow as a Christian.
Call Us at The R.O.C.K. Club Today
The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, offers outstanding, faith-based educational programs for families all throughout Virginia’s New River Valley. We provide daycare and early childhood programs, as well as tutoring for first- through sixth-grade students. We are at 1820 2nd Street, in the west end of Radford. Call us, or stop by for a tour of our facility. Check out our slate of programs. We would also love to discuss Jesus Christ and the true meaning of Easter with you!
For more information on how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us now at (540) 267-3000. We can’t wait to talk to you about the true meaning of Easter.
Daycare and Preschool Programs are Necessary and Valuable
Many parents weigh the benefits of faith-based daycare for their children. It’s never too early to start learning. Children truly are like sponges, taking in everything around them and learning something every day with every new experience. With this in mind, daycare and preschool programs can be very beneficial to many children. They can give them a head start on their education and help them considerably in their development. Daycare and early childhood programs are also a matter of necessity for many throughout the United States, and even right here in Virginia’s New River Valley. As parents work, they need a reliable, safe place for their young children to be.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 54 percent of U.S. children were in some variation of a full-day preschool program. This report was in 2018, the last year for which information was available. Another article on CNBC.com focused on United States parents with children younger than five years old. Parents spend a total of $42 billion per year for early child care and education options, such as daycare and preschool.
There is such an emphasis on, interest in, and a need across the board for early childhood development programs. The important questions then become “what options are available?” and “what factors are important to you?” Here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we fully believe in providing faith-based daycare and preschool. These are programs designed to help children grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually. Here are some of the reasons you should choose us for your children’s daycare and preschool education.
A Faith-Based Daycare, Building on the Foundation of Jesus Christ
In the Bible, Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:24-25: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
Foundations are very important. Jesus wants us to realize this in these Bible verses. What foundations are you laying in the lives of your children? What foundations do you want to lay? You know, God emphasizes one solid foundation for every life, a foundation that will hold no matter what happens. The Bible states in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” A life built on Jesus will always stand strong.
We understand that it is every parent’s job to spiritually lead their children, but we want to be a blessing and some help to them, and to you. Here at the R.O.C.K. Club, we will help you build your child’s foundation on Jesus Christ. We believe that a faith-based daycare is very important for that reason. The earlier that children learn about and get to know Jesus, the stronger their faith in Him will be throughout their entire lives.
We incorporate the truths of the Bible into everything we do. Our staff loves God, and we want His best for your children and your entire family. This is why we are a faith-based daycare and preschool program.
Children Interacting with Other Children
Another great benefit of early childhood programs, such as daycare and preschool, is how they can help develop social skills in children. As young children interact with other children in a daycare setting, they can learn to foster those vital connections that will guide them later in life and help them to be well-rounded people. They learn about friendship, they learn about good communication, and they learn to think about others.
Here at the R.O.C.K. Club, we can help teach your children how to share. We can help them learn how to tell others “please” and “thank you” and use good manners. We can help them learn how to connect with the other children around them in a healthy, loving manner. The Bible states in Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” God wants us to love each other and treat each other with respect and kindness. As children interact more deeply with other children, that can only cultivate and encourage that love even more.
We Help to Prepare Them for the Structure of a Classroom
There’s more beyond laying a foundation for a deeper relationship with Jesus and developing necessary social skills, love, and respect. A daycare program such as we have here at the R.O.C.K. Club will help to provide structure for your children. They can acquaint themselves with a classroom setting and a schedule. Participating in our routine day after day will prepare them for the rigors and structure of a school classroom. This will greatly lessen the “culture shock” they may experience upon entering kindergarten. Think of it as wading into the shallow end of a pool before diving into the deep end.
We can help your children to learn when it is an appropriate time to talk and when it is an appropriate time to listen. We can also guide them to respect those in authority over them, such as their teachers. Our staff teaches them many other useful lessons for the educational journey ahead. We even begin to instill in them the basics of their education through fun, songs, lessons, and activities. Our goal for your children is kindergarten readiness in each classroom.
You Can Trust the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA
There is a well-known chorus that says it all: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.” This is a truth straight from the Bible. Matthew 19:14 states, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” God loves your children and wants what is best for them. We love them and want that, too. It is our privilege and honor here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, to offer exceptional, educational, faith-based daycare and early childhood programs for families all across Virginia’s New River Valley.
We have designed our preschool program to meet all of the needs of children ages three to five. Our curriculum, centered on Jesus Christ, includes developmentally appropriate activities to prepare your children for life. Our daily activities include Bible lessons, literacy activities, indoor and outdoor playtime, morning and afternoon snacks, and much more. Every member of our staff has successfully passed the proper background checks, and we require them to complete 16 hours of continuing education courses every year. They all are caring, reliable, and concerned about your children’s spiritual growth, just as much as their academic and social growth. We know that a close relationship with Jesus is the most important thing anyone can have in their life, and we look forward to helping you foster that in your children.
We are at 1820 2nd Street, in the west end of Radford, VA. We would love to discuss how we can help you. Call us, or stop by for a tour of our facility. Check out our slate of programs. We also offer tutoring sessions for first- through sixth-grade students. Here at the R.O.C.K. Club, we simply care about children.
To find out how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us today at (540) 267-3000 for more information on the benefits of faith-based daycare.
Is It a Question Without an Answer?
What is the true meaning of love? That’s the question of the ages, right? Philosophers, academics, musicians, poets, and even everyday people have pondered the true meaning of love for centuries upon centuries. They have written countless books about it, they’ve debated it to exhaustion, and they’ve sung endless songs about it. Some people sadly have given up on the concept of “love” altogether. But with all of the reasoning, debate, theorizing, and even disillusionment, nobody has ever settled on a true answer, have they?
It’s now February, and with the coming of Valentine’s Day, some people’s thoughts again come back around to that age-old question and its seemingly elusive solution. But what if we told you that we know the answer? Not only do we know the answer, but we are confident that it is really the one, true meaning of love. Interested? Curious? Desperate for the answer? This month, let’s reason together about the true meaning of love. Actually, the answer to the question “what is love?” is very simple …but very deep.
You Can’t Define Love Without God
In pursuit of the true meaning of love, we first must adjust our initial question. To find the right answer, we have to realize that the question shouldn’t be “what is love?” The correct question to ask really is “who is love?” When we ask this question, we find the answer in the truth of the Bible. 1 John 4:8b simply tells us, “… for God is love.” We simply can’t define love without God because God is love. God designed true love, and so, God defines true love. This is the reason that the world experiences so much trouble in discovering the true meaning of love. It is because many people have rejected God in their lives. They are trying to solve the problem while ignoring the real solution. Again, you can’t define love without God.
So what is the love of God? How can we understand it? When we discuss the concept of love, we are slightly at a loss with the English language. There are many different kinds of love, such as romantic love, familial love, the love of friends, and more. However, we only have the word “love” to encompass them all. In the Greek language, there are different words to define different concepts of love. For example, the word “eros” means romantic love, and the word “philia” means deep friendship or brotherly love. The Greek word “agape” defines the love of God. It means the greatest, deepest love of all. This is an unconditional, unending love for everyone, including you. In fact, God’s love is so deep and so unconditional that nothing will ever cause Him to stop loving you. The Bible states in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
But love is more than words, right? True love reveals itself through actions. So how did God reveal His great love for us? Let’s go back to the Bible. Jesus tells us this in John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” God loves you so much that He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you. 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.” As well, 1 John 4:10 tells us, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” God loves you so much that He gave up His Son for you. Jesus loves you so much that He willingly came to die for you, “… for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). That truly is the greatest love.
So faced with such a great display of love toward us, how do we show our love for Jesus? We show it through our actions; more specifically, by obeying Him. 1 John 5:3 tells us, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
All Other Love is an Extension of God’s Love
What about our love toward other people? How do we love our spouses? Our parents? Our children? Our friends? Since God is love, it is His definition of love that must govern all other love and relationships in our lives. As Christians, we try to live by Jesus’ example. So He calls us to love everybody the way He did – sacrificially and not just in our words, but in actions. 1 John 3:18 states, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” This exemplifies how husbands love their wives, how wives love their husbands, how siblings love each other, how parents love their children, and how friends love each other. Will we love perfectly? Not at all. We are not perfect people, just forgiven. But every day, we can try to follow God’s wisdom in Philippians 2:3, “…let each esteem other better than themselves.”
You know, it’s relatively easy to love somebody, though, when they love you back. But what does God say about loving those who don’t love you, even those who may viciously hate you? Certainly, Jesus doesn’t expect us to love them, right? Again, let’s see what the Bible says. In Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus tells us, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Jesus even wants us to love our enemies. Easier said than done, right? But we are to love them because God loves them. We need to see them the way that God sees them. He sees them just like He sees us, people He loves, so much so that He sent Jesus to shed His blood and die for them, too.
We Love You, and We Want You to Experience the Love of Jesus
Maybe this concept of God’s love is new to you. Maybe you’ve never considered that God defines love and has the deepest, purest, and greatest love for you. Here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, we love you, and we want you to experience the greatest love of all, a love that will change your life. We want you to experience the love of Jesus.
It is true that God loves you, but your sins separate you from Him, not just now, but forever. Sadly, there is nothing you can do yourself to repair that relationship with Him, because of those same sins. But Jesus loves you so much that He came here from Heaven, took your sins as His own, and died on the cross to fully pay the sin debt you owed. Through that, Jesus now offers eternal life to you as a gift. All you have to do to receive it is trust Him alone and ask Him to save you. Then you can experience the great love of Jesus Christ, too!
The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, offers excellent, compassionate Christian child care and tutoring. Call us today at (540) 267-3000 for more information on our services. Discover how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and the true meaning of love.
Make This Year the Year That You Start to Live Your Life for Jesus
Are you looking for new beginnings for 2021? This past year has presented new – and sometimes very difficult – challenges for everyone, and many people may be very excited to see the calendar flip to an entirely new year. This can be their chance to write a new chapter in their story, despite whatever has occurred throughout the United States and the world. They may have personal goals for themselves, like losing weight. They may have professional goals for their business or financial success. Whatever they aim for, many people will start 2021 by making resolutions. To make a “resolution” means that they resolve to do something: something different, something new, something to improve their lives. Sadly, many of those resolutions, for many reasons, will fall flat and fade away after a couple of days or a couple of weeks.
One new beginning for this new year, though, that is very possible – and that everyone should aim for – is to come closer to Jesus Christ and live the way that God wants them to live. In fact, that is our prayer here at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA. We pray that people all across the New River Valley will make decisions to live for Jesus Christ in 2021 and follow through with them.
It’s an old saying, but it’s a true saying: God’s way is the best way. It’s the best way for everyone to live. It’s where they will find true joy and true peace, no matter what is going on in their own lives or in the world around them. Many of those resolutions we’ve already mentioned fail because we attempt to complete them in our own limited strength and wisdom. But when we decide to live for Jesus, we can always be successful. Our success here comes when we fully rely on God for His strength and wisdom to follow through. In the Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” But it all must begin with our personal decision to follow Jesus, no matter what. In Daniel 1:8, Daniel “purposed in his heart” to follow God. God blessed Daniel’s decision, and He will bless your decision for Him, too.
Get Rid of Bad Habits, Sins, and Time Wasters
One thing that God wants us to do in our lives is to rid ourselves of bad habits and sinful thoughts and actions. These “strongholds” will only cause destruction and sorrow for us, while pulling us away from Jesus. This is a good place to start for a new beginning in the new year. The Bible states in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
First of all, how do we identify these sins, bad habits, and strongholds in our lives? Don’t just trust your heart to tell you what is right and wrong. We can rationalize anything and everything. God’s Word tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” You will need God’s help. He is the Supreme Judge of right and wrong, and He wants to help you. When you ask Him to show you what is wrong in your life, He will.
As God identifies these habits and sins for us, we then need to purpose in our hearts to walk away from them. But that’s easier said than done, right? Some addictions, bad habits, and sins have tight grips. This is where we need God’s strength. If God helps you identify the sin in your life, He will certainly help you get rid of it. He loves you and wants the best for you. How many people have, with good intentions, determined to clean up their lives, only to fall back into the same traps again and again? Maybe you are one of them. Jesus can give you His strength to conquer these habits, sins, and strongholds in your life. All you have to do is trust Him and lean on Him.
Another area in your life that you should examine as you think about a new beginning in the new year is “time wasters.” These are things that aren’t necessarily sins or bad habits, but in excess, they can waste our time and hinder our walk with Jesus. These can be things such television, streaming platforms, video games, iPhones, and social media. Are you spending hours upon hours scrolling through your preferred social media platform or playing a video game console? These “time wasters” can be detrimental to our relationship with Jesus, as well as our relationships with family and friends. You can ask God for help in this area, too. The Bible tells in Hebrews 12:1 to “… lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Incorporating Good Habits to Fill the Void
One way to ensure our success when removing sins, strongholds, and bad habits from our lives is to fill the void they leave with good, godly habits. Jesus wants us to do this. If we don’t fill that empty space with something else, we will be more likely to return to what we just left. Some things we can do to help us avoid falling back into the same traps while fostering our relationship with Jesus Christ are reading and studying the Bible more, praying more, and finding, regularly attending, and getting involved in a good church.
The same principle applies as we try to limit the “time wasters” in our lives. Fill the void with good habits. Put down the remote control or iPhone, and pick up a good book. Spend more time outside enjoying God’s creation. Take up a hobby that exercises both your brain and your skill. Find something that will make you grow as a person, not just tread water.
Remember, this may not be easy, but it will be worth it. This will take much more than just a choice; it will take some discipline on your part. But God wants you to grow as a Christian and as a person, and as we said before, you will find true joy and true peace when you follow God’s plan for your life. Remember what the Bible states in Philippians 3:13-14, “… this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
This Year, Make the Best Decision of All
Remember this one thing above all, however: You can only accomplish everything we have previously discussed by first having a relationship with Jesus Christ. How is that possible? This is the most important fact you will ever read: In yourself, your sins separate you from God, but Jesus loved you so much that He came from Heaven, took your sins as His own, and paid the debt you owed for them by shedding His blood and dying on the cross. He then rose from the dead three days later to give you victory over death. He now offers eternal life and a relationship with God to anyone who will trust Him and ask Him to save them, including you. As you think about new beginnings in this new year, make the best decision you could ever make. Trust Jesus to be your Savior. Talk about new beginnings for 2021!
We pray everyone has a blessed new year! The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, offers exceptional, compassionate Christian child care and tutoring. For more information, or to find out how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us today at (540) 267-3000.