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Hello, DGYM Parents!

Spring Break is winding down which means the final stretch of this school year is upon us. I hope that you and your family had a nice break and are ready to push through to the summer. It'll be here before we know it! Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and I hope that all of you will join us for an uplifting time of worship and fellowship in the morning. If you're really daring you can join me at our annual Sunrise Service at 7:00am. We'll gather around the fire pit in the Prayer Garden for a time of song, scripture, and communion as the sun peaks up over Canfield. Then stick around for a delicious FREE breakfast in the Small Auditorium at 8:00 and Bible classes for all ages at 9:00. Our regular worship gathering will still take place at 10:15am, Come help us celebrate the risen Savior!

PARENT INPUT NEEDED!
I am looking at taking another one of our Whirlwind Road Trips this summer, but I first need to see if any of our teens are interested in taking the voyage. What we would do is get on the road on Friday, June 8th, as soon as the last day of school is out and drive all weekend in order to get to Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas, where we would spend the week at their amazing camp called Encounter. The camp registration itself is around $300 (although I might be able to pull some strings to get a discount, but no guarantees), plus participants would need another $100 or so to help with gas, food, and other fun excursions on the way home. The plan would be to get back home on Wednesday night, June 20th (so we could rest up a little for Uplift at Prince's Pine which would start the following Sunday). Phew!

This trip is for current Freshmen through graduating Seniors only. Think about it, pray about, talk to your kid about it, and let me know by the end of April if you think this is something you'd like for your child to do. Of course, if we have tons of teens want to go then I may need some other adult chaperons and drivers to join us too.

Thank you so much to David and Angela Gutierrez for hosting our SNL Devo in March, and to Tabby Cutler and Sandra Welch for joining us at the Hayden Cinema for The Greatest Showman. Below you will find a list of our youth ministry activities for the month of April. As always, if you have any questions or concerns feel free to give me a call, text, or email... I'm pretty easy to find. May the Lord bless you with wisdom and patience as you lead your children this month!

Jeff

"So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up." (Galatians 6:9)


Three Ways I've Adapted to Survive Parenting by Jonathan McKee

Effective parenting requires a hefty learning curve. Today's parents must observe and adapt to survive. This past year has provided plenty of these life-lessons, giving my wife and I the opportunity to test-drive three parenting practices truly helping us better connect with our daughter.

Three Practices Helping Us Connect with Our Teen:

1. The fine art of shutting up

One of the best practices I've learned this year is simply shutting up. It's amazing what you can learn when you just sit back like a fly on the wall, noticing your kids and listening. Try this when you drive a car full of your kids' friends. Shut up... and they'll forget you're there. You'll learn a lot about your son or daughter's world that you never knew.

Better yet, try this at the dinner table if you want to get your teenager talking. Ask a question... then just clam it. My youngest never answers the first question. I have to wait it out. Eventually she'll kill the silence. Most kids love being heard-they're just never given the opportunity. But this requires proximity. You can't listen to them if they aren't there. That's where I learned this next practice...

2. Saying "yes"

Say yes to any opportunity to connect with your kid.

This year I've tried something. It doesn't matter if I'm in the middle of doing yard work, taxes... I slide it all aside and take the time to connect with my kid.

I reflect back on countless times as a young parent where my kids would ask me: "Dad, do you wanna play video games?" or "Wanna play Barbies?" So many times I was too busy. (Can you hear Cat's in the Cradle playing in the background?) How I wish I could go back in time and change my response. Now I look for any opportunity to be in the same room as my kids, and that includes...

3. Providing the house to "hang"

"Dad, can Megan spend the night... on a school night?"
"Absolutely."

The question is simple. Would I rather my daughter be at someone else's house, or have her here? This year we've not only committed time, but also money, to this practice.

"This Sunday night we're all thinking of going somewhere to watch movies."
"Bring them all over here. I'll buy pizza."

This year has provided plenty of opportunities... costly opportunities.

"Dad, next Wednesday is senior cut day, so I want to bail school and go to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with my friends, but two of them can only go if a parent goes."

"I'll take you. Let me email your school and excuse you." (Call me crazy, but I did it (it helps that she's getting a 4.2 grade point average and it's the last month of school). Any opportunity to be with her.)

Opportunities like this give me the chance to rehearse all three of these practices. I said yes and got to spend the day with my daughter and her friends in Santa Cruz. I shut up most of the drive and listened a lot. The same group spent the night at my house the next week and I made them all breakfast. They know our door is open to them any time.

Is your door open?

Adapting and learning as a parent has opened the door to numerous new opportunities to connect with my daughter this year. Does that mean I have this parenting thing perfected? Hardly. But I am learning from my mistakes and gaining more insight each day. These little life lessons are providing me with new opportunities to build into my kids regularly.


April Activities

TNT Group
Our Tuesday Night Teen Group is back after taking a hiatus for Spring Break. All 6th-12th graders are encouraged to join us from 6:00 to 7:30pm in the Youth Barn for this time of fellowship, worship, and study. The flow of each night usually consists of 20-25 minutes just hanging out (video games, foosball, food) then we spend about 15-20 minutes with some kind of group activity or game. After that we spend around 15-20 in worship and singing to God followed by 20-30 minutes of Bible study, discussion, and prayer. This is a relaxed environment perfect for any teen to bring their friends.

Highway Cleanup
It's time once again for us to clean up our adopted highway mile. All teens AND parents are needed to help with this service project. We'll meet in the church lobby at 9:00am to get our bags and safety vests and break up into teams. Then we'll head out to different sections of Highway 95 between Sears and Walmart. Bring some gloves and a servant's attitude. Thanks to Bill Roush for heading up this important project. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to give him a call.

SNL Devo
Make plans to join us for our monthly Sunday Night Live Devotional from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Sunday, April 15th. We've had to bump the date up from our usual time at the end of the month so that our hosts can actually host. This month we will be meeting in the home of Craig and Debbie Hengge for some great food, fun, and fellowship. All 6th-12th graders and their parents are encouraged to join us!

Hang Time
Some of our teens have been begging for it, so now it's back! The Youth Barn will be open from the time school gets out until 5:00pm on most Wednesday for games, snacks, and just a fun time of fellowship. It's also a great place to bring your friends so they can get to know Jeff and the rest of the youth group.

CCS Auction
Everyone is invited to come out and help support our Coeur d'Alene Christian School on Friday evening, April 20th. There will be dinner available for purchase and all kinds of goodies to bid on. It's always a fun-filled evening and it's for a great cause.

DGYM Movie Day
All teens and parents are welcome to join us for an afternoon at the movies on Saturday, April 28th. We will be eating lunch together then heading to the Riverstone Regal Cinema to watch Avengers: Infinity War. Times and details will be announced at a later date, however, tickets will be purchased in advance so make sure you sign up on the Youth Bulletin Board before Wednesday, April 25th.

5th Sunday Singing
Everyone is encouraged to join us for a wonderful evening of fellowship and praise. We will be leaving the Youth Barn at 1:00pm to drive down to the Lewiston Church of Christ in Lewiston, Idaho. There will be a time of fellowship and eating together then any of our young men will have the opportunity to lead a song or two. Jeff will also have a block of time to teach some of our new songs from past Uplift camp sessions. Your help in introducing these songs will be a great blessing.

COMING SOON
Xenos Youth Rally : May 4-6
Relay for Life : May 19

SUMMER DATES
Uplift : June 24th - 30th
BSC Mission Trip - Missoula : July 7th-12th
Bible Sports Camp : July 16th - 18th
All Teen Camp : July 29th - August 4th
Preteen Camp : August 5th - 11th

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