All posts written by Jared Kennedy

Eleven Reasons I’m Thankful for My Dad

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This weekend gives us an opportunity to be publicly and privately thankful for our dads. Here are eleven reasons that I’m really grateful for mine.

1. My dad sung the gospel to me. He didn’t just tell me the gospel. He sang hymns to me while he rocked me in a rocking chair as a toddler, and he sang along with the Statler Brothers, Steve Green, Michael Card, and the Promise Keepers while spinning LPs and driving in the car.

2. On September 14, 1991, my dad (and mom) took my brother and I to see our second place Atlanta Braves play the first place LA Dodgers. Without any shame, my dad started the “Darr-ull” chant to mock the Dodgers’ Darryl Strawberry. Darryl had gone 4-5 the day before, but on that Saturday evening after a long rain delay, Darryl went 0-5, and the Braves went on to victory–reclaiming first place. I was a little embarrassed at my dad’s taunting at first until pretty much the entire stadium joined him. I’m certain that at some point I’ll shamelessly embarrass my daughters the same way.

3. My dad taught me to say, “Roll Tide!” And he let my brother and I stay up to watch the 1993 Sugar Bowl National Championship game versus Miami. Plays from that championship game and my dad’s reactions are etched in my memory forever.

4. When I was in middle school, my dad taught a youth bible study on the life of Joshua and Caleb from the book of Numbers.  God gave Joshua and Caleb strength, courage, and faith to stand on God’s promises even when there were giants in the land. And Caleb kept fighting when he was old. That Bible study showed me just how manly the Bible is.

5. My dad taught me theology. He taught me doctrinal truths that I still believe–that churches should be led by a plurality of elders and that God is sovereign in electing particular people to salvation. The local churches we attended growing up didn’t teach or practice those truths but my dad taught them to me nevertheless. Dad has shown me that it’s okay to disagree about such things and still cooperate / be an active member in a local church that isn’t perfect. He shows me what it means to make the gospel the matter of first importance.

6. My dad taught me to to catch a football and shoot a backwards layup. And he told me his own personal sports stories to encourage me. The football story involved heading out into the street to catch a pass during a pick-up game in his neighborhood as a kid. Dad caught the pass and flipped over an oncoming motorcycle in the process. (I’d like to think that he held on to the ball.)

7. My dad laughs. A lot.

8. My dad was my high school Algebra 1 teacher. I got a B instead of an A in that class because I turned in a notebook late. Dad wouldn’t let me turn it in at home. He has a strong sense of justice. He told me, “It wouldn’t be fair to the other kids.” I’m so thankful for a dad who stood on principles and taught me that the world doesn’t revolve around me.

9. When I was a teenager, my dad taught me the Greek alphabet, and he showed me how to do a word study with Strong’s Concordance and Gerhard Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (a reference set I later stole from him). I learned to love studying the Bible by watching him take out his Greek New Testament to prepare for Sunday School.

10. My dad confessed his sins to me. There have been times he’s come to me and been honest about his sins even now that I’ve left home and live far away. I’m grateful for the way he’s modeled vulnerability and humility.

11. My dad shows affection for my mom publicly. People would comment to them about it at church sometimes when I was a teenager. If they were hinting at something, my dad wasn’t taking those hints. And I was never actually embarrassed about that. It was just mom and dad.

My dad is not perfect, but he’s modeled the way for me to live as a Christian, a husband, and a father in so many ways. I’m thankful. Take time this week to tell your dad how thankful you are and then invite your dad to church this Sunday. Happy Father’s Day!

VBS Testimony from Roy Jackson

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On Wednesday of the 2013 VBS, Mr. Roy Jackson, our Bible Story leader for the week, shared about Saul’s conversion from Acts 9 with the Elementary kids. He asked the kids if they could share a Damascus Road experience from their lives. One boy said, “I was in church one day not particularly listening or thinking about what was being said, when all of a sudden I felt like listening to the person being baptized who said he had tried lots of religions and only Christianity had satisfied him.” What a great reminder of how our testimonies influence the testimony of the next generation.

This year’s Vacation Bible School: PROOF Pirates sets sail on July 14th at all Sojourn campuses. Locations and times are listed below.

VBS is an event for kids, ages 4 through those who have completed grade 5, to learn from the Bible and participate in art, music, and games. This year, kids will learn that God’s grace is great enough to save scallawags like you and me.

To sign up to serve, click here!

To register, click on one of the links below: 

Midtown Campus (Click Here!)
1207 S. Shelby Street, 40203
July 14-18: 9am until Noon

East Campus (Click Here!)
8509 Westport Road, 40242
July 14-17 (four days): 9am until Noon

J-town Campus (Click Here!)
11412 Taylorsville Road, 40299
July 14-18: 9am until Noon

New Albany Campus (Click Here!)
2023 Ekin Ave., 47150
July 14-18: 6pm until 9pm

 

God Has Mercy on Israel (at Home for June 8th)

sojournkids at homeThis week’s SojournKids Bible lesson was “God Has Mercy on Israel” (Exodus 33-34).  Use the questions below to review it with your kids. You can also review the weekly North Star Catechism (below).

READ: Exodus 33-34 or Story 37 in The Gospel Story Bible

ASK: What did God tell Israel to do when they sinned? He told them to sacrifice an animal.

ASK: Why did the animal have to be killed? The animal was taking the punishment that the sinner deserved.

ASK: Who takes the punishment for our sin? Jesus does! Jesus is our substitute.

Check out the daily devotionals that correspond with this week’s lesson in the book, Long Story Short by Marty Machowski, pages 187-191

This week’s North Star catechism question is…

59. Does God change us a little? No. The Holy Spirit changes our whole life.

Luke 2:52 –And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Download this week’s SojournKids at Home here.

 

Revival under the Sons of Korah (Kids in Community for June 8th)

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Download the free Revival series devotional here!

Applying God’s Word with your Kids in your Community Group

  • Read Psalm 85:1-7 together.
  • Has anyone ever been sunburned? How do we get sunburn? (Simply by being exposed to the sun. It’s not something we can create, but we must be in the right place)
  • When we learn more about God and his love for us, how will we want to respond?
  • Invite a child to pray, then conclude by thanking God for Jesus who took God’s anger for us, and ask God to revive our hearts.

Family Devotions at Home

  • Read Psalm 85 together.
  • Pretend there’s an earthquake. The house is shaking. There’s a crack in the ground swallowing the city, and it’s coming your way. But it stops right at your feet and you live! How would you feel?
  • Read the story of the sons of Korah in Numbers 16 and 26:10-11. 
  • Why should we respond in worship like the Sons of Korah? Parents: Share one reason why you love worshiping God.
  • Worship God as you pray together.

Here’s how you can donate supplies for VBS!

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We’re collecting supplies for VBS week! There are already donation points at several Sojourn campuses.

Sojourn Midtown: Sign in with your Facebook profile and fill out what you can bring from our donations list here. Then, beginning on Father’s Day, look for the donations center near the Nursery check-in and leave your donations for Midtown VBS!

Sojourn East: Sign up here to bring supplies for Sojourn East!

jtown supply donations 3jtown registration 2Sojourn J-town: Look for one of these VBS displays in the atrium or the SojournKids hallway. Grab a golden coin, gather the listed supply item or dollar amount equivalent, and then follow the dotted line to drop your supplies in the treasure chest.