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The Importance of Test Preparation

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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.

What is the True Meaning of Easter?

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.

What is the True Meaning of Love?

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.

Looking for New Beginnings for 2021?

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.

Jesus is the True Reason for Christmas

It is a Wonderful Time, But Please Remember the Real Focus

For many, the Christmas season is a special, almost magical, time. It’s exactly as countless people perennially sing in the old carol, “… the most wonderful time of the year.” Houses boast beautiful Christmas trees among a multitude of decorations, with a backdrop of white, fluffy snow falling outside their windows. Families traditionally sing carols together, while wrapping presents and baking delicious Christmas cookies. Kids (and parents, too!) enjoy reveling in tales of the characters associated with Christmas, such as Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman.

But somewhere along the way, many have forgotten, or even willfully abandoned, the real reason for Christmas: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” So reads the first verse of the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel in the Bible, and so begins the story of the first Christmas, the arrival of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

At its true core, Christmas is the celebration of the coming of the promised Messiah from God. Jesus was “made flesh and dwelt among us,” as the Bible also says in John 1:14. So as Christmas arrives once again this year, make Jesus Christ a priority in your celebrations and, most importantly, in your entire life.

But what exactly happened on that first Christmas?

Prophecy Proclaimed

Well, like any great story, we have to go back to the beginning … in this case, the very beginning of the world. The Bible says in Genesis 1:1 that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” At creation’s crescendo, after making the sun, the moon, the trees and plants, and animals, God spoke humans into existence, created in His image. Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, but they disobeyed God. Through that disobedience, sin entered into the world and separated Adam and Eve – and their offspring – from the Heavenly Father. But even as God pronounced judgment on man and nature, He also promised a coming Savior, a provision to pay the price for that sin and redeem mankind. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Throughout ensuing history, God continued to remind people in many ways that a Redeemer would come. He spoke through prophets for thousands of years. These Old Testament preachers would ask people to turn back to God and to watch for the coming Messiah. The Bible says in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

God even told man where the Messiah would be born and the very circumstances of His birth. The Bible says in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” And in Isaiah 7:14, the Bible says: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

There are hundreds of other prophecies throughout the Old Testament all pointing to the coming Redeemer, building to the very event. It was the centerpiece of all history, but it actually arrived with very little fanfare and celebration.

Prophecy Fulfilled

That day may have begun as any other day. A woman named Mary was working around her house. She was a young virgin anticipating her coming marriage to a young man named Joseph. But something much more special was about to happen to her. An angel visited her and gave her a message from God: “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luke 1:30-31) The angel also visited Joseph to give him God’s good news, too, that Mary was pregnant with the promised Messiah.

She was ready to give birth when that taxation decree we mentioned above came from Rome. The couple had to travel to Joseph’s hometown of Bethlehem to participate in this census. When they arrived, however, every inn throughout town was full. But one of the innkeepers allowed Joseph and Mary to stay in his stable with the animals. That night, the Bible says in Luke 2:6-7, “…the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

The Messiah came, but it wasn’t in a palace or a grand hotel. It was in a simple stable, in a trough full of hay for the sheep, goats, and cows. And while the angels celebrated in the skies over Bethlehem, humanity’s only other witnesses to the birth of the Savior were some simple shepherds who came and worshiped the promised Redeemer.

He Came to Die on the Cross

That baby, born long ago, was fully God and fully man, and He had one purpose in coming: To redeem all of mankind from our sins. You see, our sin has a price, and that price is death. It is not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which means separation from God for all of eternity. But Jesus Christ came to take our place in punishment as our substitute. He died on the cross to pay that price and rose again from the dead to give us victory over death. Think about it: God loved you so much that He sent His Son to die for you. The Bible says in John 3:16, “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 isn’t just a good man who only told people to love each other. He is the perfect Son of God, and he shed His blood and died for you. He provides everlasting life to anyone who trusts Him and asks Him in prayer to save them. That’s the Christmas story: The Son of God loved you so much that He came as a man to take your punishment for your sins and give you eternal life. That’s a reason for celebrating!

So as you celebrate this Christmas, with your tree, your Christmas cookies, your carols, and your presents, please don’t lose sight of the real “reason for the season”: Jesus Christ.

We wish everyone a very blessed and merry Christmas! The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, offers outstanding and 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.

What Does Thanksgiving Truly Mean?

God Wants Us To Have a Thankful Heart All of the Time

It’s now November, and with its arrival comes thoughts of Thanksgiving. To many people, that means a big turkey dinner, family and friends gathered around a table, and maybe, just maybe, some fleeting memories about seemingly ancient pictures of some pilgrims in big hats, some Native Americans, and a cornucopia.

But Thanksgiving is more than just filling yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, and other delicious dishes and falling asleep on the couch. It is so much more than “Turkey Day,” and sadly, many miss its purpose and its significance by a wide margin. Throughout its rich history, the Thanksgiving celebration was set apart as a day where people solely focused on giving thanks to God for His many blessings in their lives. Simply put, Thanksgiving is about being truly thankful.

But honestly, God doesn’t set just one day aside for us to be thankful. He wants us to be thankful every day, all year long. Whether we are having a “good day” or a “bad day,” a “good year” or a “bad year,” we should always give thanks. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

How is that possible, though? It’s very easy to be thankful when things are going good for someone, when they are healthy, when their bank account is full, and when they are happy. But how can someone give thanks when it seems that life itself is falling down around them?

Thankfulness is a Choice

Thankfulness, even in bad times, is possible because thanksgiving is a choice we make. It’s an attitude we consciously adopt every day in our lives. It’s not a feeling we have; it’s a decision we make.

To that statement, you may reply, “No. I’m just not built like that. That’s not a part of my personality. I’ve never really been like that.” That’s really not your in-born personality, though; it’s actually because you’ve made a choice to be that way. Every single day, we have a choice to be thankful or ungrateful, as we embrace either the positives or the negatives in our lives. That certainly can be a hard choice, though. Some circumstances can be extenuating, heavy, and awful, and we are definitely not minimizing emotional or mental health issues.

But even in the middle of a storm, we can all choose to be thankful. It’s all about changing your mind and deciding to be thankful, even despite the circumstances of a day or a month or a year. The Bible says in Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” There are no modifiers in that verse. Always “let the peace of God rule in your hearts” and “be ye thankful,” not only if you are having a good day, not only if the car starts, not only if your boss doesn’t yell at you. “Let” and “be,” no matter what.

What If There’s Nothing to Be Thankful For?

We’re sure some, if not many, people would ask, “What if I have nothing to be thankful for?” Some may even ask, “How can I be thankful in the middle of this pandemic, with everything going on in the United States and around the world?”

The answer to those questions is, “There is always something to be thankful for.” Did you wake up this morning? Were you able to take a breath? Do you still have your health? Do you have a roof over your head and food on your table? There are always things for which you can be grateful when you start looking.

That someone would even consider those questions reveals a speed bump in their thought process. There is an old hymn that says, “Count your blessings. Name them one by one.” How has God blessed you today? Are you dwelling on thoughts of those blessings or on the negatives of your circumstances? The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Change your thinking.

We Can’t Consistently Be Thankful on Our Own, Though

Seems like a daunting task, right? To choose a grateful attitude every day? To be thankful, even when things are going bad? We’ll let you in on a little secret: It is daunting. In fact, it’s impossible. You will fail. But the Bible says in Mark 10:27, “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

Once we decide that we want to be thankful, we need to rely on God for His help and His strength to have that attitude of thanksgiving. When you pray, ask God to make you grateful. It’s a basic fact of life: No matter what we choose to do, we need God’s strength to do it. And our Heavenly Father wants to give us that strength. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:30-31, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Simply, God wants you to be thankful, and He wants to give you that attitude and the power to maintain it. You just have to choose to take the first step toward consistent thanksgiving. And as you consciously choose daily to embrace a pattern of thankful thinking through God’s strength, it will become easier and easier.

But to tap into God’s strength, you first must have a relationship with God. How can you have a relationship with Him? The Bible says in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Jesus is the key to creating a true relationship with God. Jesus died on the cross to take the due punishment for the sins of the entire world, including yours. He rose again to conquer death, and He offers eternal life to anyone who trusts Him and calls out to Him to be saved. He opens the door to God, to Heaven, and to all the benefits of having that relationship with Him, including His strength.

Sounds like something to be very thankful for, right?

We are thankful for you! The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, offers outstanding and compassionate Christian child care and tutoring. Call us today at (540) 267-3000.

Kids and Teens Face Dangers and Pitfalls Every Day

We face many dangers, strongholds, and pitfalls in our lives every day. The Bible warns us in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” But as much temptation and danger as we face, our kids and our teens may face even more. Not everything is good for your children. Because we care about your kids and your teens, we at the R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to talk to you about being aware of the potential dangers in their lives. This will definitely not be a comprehensive list, but it can give you some ideas of where to look and what to look for. Continue reading “Dear Parents, Grandparents, and Guardians: Be Careful”