Mission Statement Making a difference in our community through Christian outreach in a fun and safe environment.

Purpose Statement Our primary purpose is to expand the knowledge of Christ among youth by setting a positive example and providing a safe place for recreation.

Vision Statement To be Washington's premier skatepark and recreational facility by providing each guest with a variety of activities in a friendly, affordable, Christian environment.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bible Session 11-26-12 - Strength - 12+ Age Group

Bible Session 11-26-12


by Jeremy Drew

Bible Drill

Psalm 29:11
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.
Mark 12:30
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
1 Corinthians 1:25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.


Stand holding your hands straight up over your head for as long as you can.  Winner takes the candy! J

Scripture for Discussion

Exodus 17
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[c] the throne of the Lord,[d] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Party - Monday - December 17th

Please mark it on your calendars and plan on coming to our annual Christmas Party on Monday, December 17th.  This is the last event for 2012, so you won't want to miss it.  Dinner, games, presents, dessert, and a great time for all.

Please shoot me an email (brett@madskates.com) or text me at (206-423-0813) to RSVP for this event.  Please include the number of adults and ages of children coming.  Parents, grandparents and siblings are welcome!

Bible Session (12+ age group) 11-19-2012

Jonah’s In the Water; Now What?
Review last 2 weeks:  Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to give them an ultimatum.  “Turn to God or be destroyed.”  Jonah disobeyed God and ran in the opposite direction.  There was a violent storm, and the boat he was on was about to be destroyed along with everyone on it.  The sailors determine Jonah is the reason for the storm, and eventually they throw him overboard.

Read:  Jonah 1:17 But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Question: Why do you think God provided a fish to swallow Jonah?  If God was going to stop the storm when Jonah was thrown overboard, why not just give him a piece of wood to float on?  Why the fish?

Question: Why was Jonah in the fish for three days and three nights?  What took him so long to get to the point of praying?

Read:  Jonah 2:1-9 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.  He said:
"In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. 
From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’
The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. 
But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.
Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the Lord.”

After three days and three nights, Jonah finally turns back to God. 

Question: Have you ever felt like Jonah did?  Like you were sinking deeper and deeper into a pit of despair, heartache, and pain.  Like only death would give you peace from the situation you were in? 

I know I have.  When we first moved back to America after living overseas, life was quite different here versus growing up in Africa.  Although I had suffered some serious abuse issues in Africa, it was my home from age 6 to almost age 12.  When we first moved back, I did not like America. I did not like the fact that we were poor. I struggled to make friends, and I suffered a ration of belittling comments at school.  I went to three different junior high schools in three years.  Even though I was a Christian, I had some serious thoughts about taking my own life.  Thankfully I never did.  Through God putting the right people in my life at the right time, I regained my focus and got redirected in the right direction.

Let’s look at someone else who was like Jonah and me, needed to be redirected.

Read: Matthew 14:22-31 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.  After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.  When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.  “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  “Lord, if it is you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”  “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

We sink when we take our eyes off Christ or in Jonah’s case when he tried to do things his own way instead of obeying God.  The great thing about our God is that he always takes us back, helps us out, picks us up… IF we ask him to!

Read: Jonah 2:10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

How God rescues us isn’t always pretty, but it works.  I’m thinking Jonah probably smelled pretty ripe at this point.  Fish stink doesn’t come off very easily.  I’m guessing it was a pretty good reminder of what he’d done and where he’d been for the last three days.  It’s also a good reminder to us that although God rescues us, there are often consequences that still have to be met.  For Jonah, he had to smell horrific for a while, and he still had the Ninevites to deal with.

Next week: Nineveh

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bible Session 6-11 Year Old Class 11-19-12

Lesson: "What Thankfulness Is All About"

Memory Verse: Psalm 9:52 Let us come before His presence with Thanksgiving.

Bible Session from Last Week - 11-12-12

Jonah: A Crisis at Sea
Review last week:  Jonah was told to go to Nineveh to give them an ultimatum.  “Turn to God or be destroyed.”  Jonah disobeyed God and ran in the opposite direction.

Read:  Jonah 1:4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.

I read a verse like this and wonder how anyone can say that God does not send difficulty our way in order to cause a change.  I think sometimes we really do need a slap upside the head in order to get our heads screwed on straight and for us to start listening to and obeying God.  What do you guys think?

Read:  Jonah 1:5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.  And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
                              But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.

Hit the panic button!  In a time of crisis, we naturally call for help from whatever god or person we believe can save us.  The sailors also used their boating skills to try to save themselves – get the dead weight off the boat, raise the height of the ship, and hopefully we won’t sink.

There are a couple of ways to look at this.
                1 – They called out to their gods, but did not believe their gods would actually save them. So, they did the work themselves attempting to save their own lives.
                2 – They called out to their gods, but they also did what they could while they waited for help.

There are many perspectives on what we are to do in a crisis, but for me, far too often it looks like this.

Crisis strikes! 
I cry out “God – Help!”
I think to myself, “This is taking too long.”
I try to fix it myself.

Usually this results in a bad ending as I did not wait for God to do his work, and I mucked up the whole thing creating more work for everyone involved.

In stark contrast to the sailors, Jonah goes below deck and falls asleep.  Again, the Bible does not offer us much information as to why he went below deck and fell asleep or how he was able to fall asleep.  Besides the potential sea sickness that could come upon you in a storm such as this, how on earth did he fall asleep in such a moment of crisis?  The entire ship along with all of its cargo and men was about to be buried at sea.

Again there are many guesses as to how and why Jonah fell asleep.  My personal thought is that he was exhausted from running from God.  Have you ever been so tired that you literally collapsed into bed and fell asleep?  You slept through dinner.  You slept through your mom calling you to dinner?  You slept until morning came.  This is how I picture Jonah – weakened emotionally and spiritually, he faces a massive storm that he knows is his fault.  He calls it quits, throws in the towel, goes below deck where he doesn’t have to watch anything happening and collapses into bed – laying down to sleep or die or come what may.  At this point, I doubt he really cared.

Read: Jonah 1:6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep?  Get up and call on your god!  Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”

I can picture the captain shouting “Wake up and lend a hand here.  You are the only one who has not cried out to your god.  We don’t want to die you idiot!  Wake up!”

Read: Jonah 1:7 Then the sailors said to each other “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.”  They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.

Casting lots is a lot like drawing straws except it held more power.  It was like saying whoever gets this short straw is responsible for what has happened here.  The short straw ends up in Jonah’s hands.

Read: Jonah 1:8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us?  What do you do?  Where do you come from?  What is your country?  From what people are you?”

They riddle him with questions.  Who are you?  What happened?  What’s your story?

Read: Jonah 1:9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”

Now he obviously told him more than just that, because in the next verse the Bible says he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. 

Read: Jonah 1:10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?”  (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

They were very scared at this point.  Now I find this interesting.  Not one of them was a follower of God, but they were afraid when Jonah said he worshipped the God who made the earth and sea.  Why do you think that was?

Read: Jonah 1:11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher.  So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

In verse 10, they basically said “Why did you do this to us?  What have you brought down upon our heads?”  In verse 11, they are looking for answers.  “What are we to do with you to save our lives?”  How would you like to be Jonah right now?

Read: Jonah 1:12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm.  I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”

How many of us would have taken that route?  How many of us might have tried an easier way out or tried to blame someone else or even God?  Were these the words of man committed to God and his plan or were these the words of a man who had given up?
Read: Jonah 1:13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land.  But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.
Again, they decide to rely on themselves and try to row to safety.  No luck!  Instead the storm gets worse!  Do you think God might be trying to make a point here?  Pretty often we end up in a situation where instead of just confessing it is our fault, like Jonah did, we try to shift the focus or blame elsewhere.  Then we try to “row” our way out of the problem when in fact, we should have just done what needed to be done in God’s eyes to correct the situation.
Why didn’t they just throw Jonah overboard?
Read: Jonah 1:14 Then they cried to the Lord, “O Lord, please do not let us die for taking this man’s life.  Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, O Lord, have done as you pleased.”
Ah!  There’s the answer.  They were afraid of God.  They knew throwing Jonah overboard was going to kill him.  In the open sea during a storm, his chances of survival were zero.  They also knew that killing was wrong.  They were afraid of the consequences of killing God’s man.
Read: Jonah 1:15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.
One way to tell you’ve made the right decision in the middle of a crisis is peace.  They finally decide to throw him overboard, and instantly the sea is calm.
Read: Jonah 1:16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him.
Seeing the sea become completely calm after nearly losing their lives changed their perspective on God forever.  I get the feeling that before throwing Jonah into the sea, they were simply afraid of God, because their lives were on the line.  At this point they are running scared of just about anything and everything in a state of panic trying to make sense of what is going on.  Jonah is thrown into the sea and the storm stops.  The Bible doesn’t say they cheered and hooped and hollered.  It says “The men greatly feared the Lord.”  Then they changed their lives.  They made sacrifices to the Lord and made vows to him.
In Jonah’s life and at his best behavior, he many never have reached the men on the boat.  When he is at his weakest moment, that’s when God uses him to change the lives of the sailors. 
If you are in the middle of a storm, struggling with your faith or walking through a difficult situation, try to remember that this particular circumstance, this moment in time may not be all about you.  God might be changing the life of someone near you or maybe an entire boatload of people around you.  Keep your eyes on the Lord and obeying his commands.
Next week: Jonah’s in the water: now what?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bible Session 12+ Age Group - 11-5-12

Is America Your Nineveh?

I have been reading through the book of Jonah and reading several studies on the book as well.  As I have been reading the book of Jonah over and over again, I am struck with new insights into this book as well as in my own life.

Read:  Jonah 1:1-3

What is God’s command to Jonah?
                Go to Nineveh and preach against it.

Why did God command this?
                Nineveh was very far from God and had become very wicked.  God was going to destroy Nineveh if they did not turn to Him.

A little history:

·         Jonah lived in Gath-hepher.

·         Nineveh is the capital of Assyria, and is a very powerful and well-fortified city.

·         It is also a city plagued with a focus on idol-worship.

·         In fact, the Ninevites worshipped the fish goddess Nanshe and Dagon the half man/half fish god.

·         A prophet’s job is to deliver a message from God.

·         Jonah’s job is to tell Nineveh they are going to be destroyed.

·         This is the only time in the Bible when a prophet is told to go to a foreign nation to bring God’s message to a people.  This is the only time Israel is directed to pursue the Gentiles.   Prophets typically brought messages to those they lived in or around.
So God has commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh.  What was Jonah’s response?
                He ran away!  Not only did he run away from God, but he physically ran in the opposite direction!  (I showed a map.  Look it up.  It's pretty funny how far in the opposite direction he runs.)  He gets on a boat and heads toward Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

Note: Jonah is the only prophet in the Old Testament to refuse to follow God’s command.  He is the only one who disobeys a direct instruction from God. 

Can you run away from God?  Can you hide where He cannot find you?  NO!

Even though Jonah tried to escape God and God’s directive, he was never out of God’s sight.

Bible Drill: Psalm 139:7-8
                Where can I go from your Spirit?
                Where can I flee from your presence?
                If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
                If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

I read in a Bible study that God had given Jonah the assignment of the ten tribes of northern Israel, but the focus of this book of the Bible is the prophecy he was to deliver to Nineveh which he does not deliver and downright disobeys God.  This book gives us a much bigger picture of how God works with imperfect people.  He gave Jonah a big job to do, but Jonah was the man in the field, the man assigned to the mission, the man God would go with wherever he needed to go. 

Jonah is God’s prophet but he runs.  Why?  Was he feeling insecurity?  Was he afraid that God would ultimately save the Ninevites and thereby discredit the prophecy he was about to deliver regarding the destruction of Nineveh?  Did he simply harbor hatred for such a despicable group of people that he did not want to deliver a message that could save them?  Was he sincerely afraid of these Ninevites and fear took hold of him? 

We do not know for sure, but what we do know is that for a moment, he took his eyes off of God and he ran!

Is there a command that has God given to you?
Are you obeying that command or are you running from it?
Is America your Ninevah?  Has God commanded you to stand up for Christ in the face of adversity?
Are you being like Jonah?  Are you running from God’s command for you in your life?