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Children's Ministry International, Inc.

Reaching Children for Christ!

 

70th Birthday Reflections

What should we think of as we ponder our “Golden Years”?

Brad Winsted, Director of Children’s Ministry International since 1997 wrote this brief article in The Aquila Report on his 70th Birthday Party celebration.

Brad and MargaretaBrad and his wife, Margareta

I believe five main truths must be in place to make the remainder of our lives truly productive for the Kingdom of God.  A child should be able to comprehend and prayerfully believe the answers to life’s key questions: origin, meaning, conduct, response to evil (internal and external) and destiny.

I just celebrated my 70th birthday. My 8 children and 13 grandchildren were there and watched a DVD slide show of my 70 years on earth. I concluded with a short reflection of “the periods or ages” of one’s life in a consideration of Psalm 90:12, 17b, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…And establish the work of our hands for us, yes establish the work of our hands.”

Here is a brief synopsis of my thoughts:

As one reflects on his life at the 70th year point, I am reminded of what is called the “Third Age” or Golden Years.  In our society, this is the age of retirement, leisure, rest and relaxation. Now one can walk aimlessly on the seashore for weeks (months or years) at a time, collecting seashells or chasing a little white ball playing golf. But is this biblical?  Nowhere in the Bible is “recreational retirement” mentioned for a Christian to spend his or her last decades on earth. So, what should we think of as we ponder our “Golden Years”?

First, we should look at the first two ages or expanded periods of our lives. The first age is “Preparation Time”.  Some people would say this is the student period as we build the foundation where the rest of our lives will be built upon. We learn mainly from our parents, relatives, teachers, coaches, church elders/teachers and peers on what is beneficial.

I believe five main truths must be in place to make the remainder of our lives truly productive for the Kingdom of God. A child should be able to comprehend and prayerfully believe the answers to life’s key questions: origin, meaning, conduct, response to evil (internal and external) and destiny.

This is one of the reasons I am in the Children’s Catechism business, for these essential questions are answered. First question: our origin is answered in “Who made you?” Answer: “God.” We are not random masses of atoms developed over time without meaning. God has made us uniquely (Psalm 139:13-16).

The second question: purpose or why are we here? The Catechism question: “Why did God make us and all things?” Answer: “For His own glory.” Our purpose is to glorify God in who we are, think, say and do (I Cor 10:31).

The third key question concerns conduct or how we should live (ethics and morals). The fourth question of the Children’s Catechism answers this: We glorify God by loving Him and doing what He commands. The moral law of God shows us how to live holy lives.

The fourth question deals with what is wrong with us and the world is succinctly answered by a single word: “sin.” It contaminates us, our relationships our actions and the responses to our actions. As a child we need to know this, we are all sinners in need of a Savior and God has provided this Savior in Christ.

The final big question that should be answered in this “Preparation Period” is one of destiny. What is our future? What lies ahead for every individual? As Christians, we know that Christ has gone ahead of us to prepare a place in heaven for all his followers (John 14:1-7).

If these five questions are logically believed and modeled by key people in the “Preparation Age” then the foundation has been laid for the next two periods of our lives.  If not, then we will spend the rest of our lives in trying to find the answers often in destructive places; or gloom and desperation will force us to escape into drugs, depression or other “palliative devices” of numbness.

Photo of me (in Moravian/Czech outfit) and my eight children, four in-law husbands/1 wife and 13 grandchildren (babies to 14 years old) at the 70th celebration of my Turning 70.If we leave the “Preparation Age” with these truths firmly cemented in our hearts we are ready for the “Building Years.” During these years we perfect skills, build a career, a marriage, a family, a ministry —all to the glory of God as he leads us. We literally build on the truths of the five key questions already learned and believed.

And now the final Age: the “Third Age or “Golden Years.” For me, I do not have a formal 8 to 5 job awaiting me every day. God has granted me time to train others, to mentor, to serve without the fear of poverty. My children have grown and left home. I am available to assist them, advise them as an adult to an adult. Now I can travel doing seminars on teaching children, in order to share the gifts God has given me over the years. (The photo above shows me in a Moravian/Czech outfit and my eight children, four in-law husbands,1 In-law wife, and 13 grandchildren (infants to 14 years old) at the 70th celebration of my Turning 70).

My challenge to you is not to waste this “Golden Age” given to selfish, recreational pursuits; being available to serve in whatever capacity God has given you. Perhaps your health condition will allow you to only pray-then pray. Build a list of those in need of prayer. Such a list is probably provided by your church-get it and pray through it. There are so many activities and are available for you.

Remember the exhortation of Psalm 90: 12, 17b, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…And establish the work of our hands, yes establish the work of our hands.”

Brad Winsted is the Director of Children’s Ministry International, a non-profit that develops, translates and distributes reformed materials to children. His eight children (six girls and two boys) are now grown and four of them are married. Brad remarried five years ago after his first wife Fawn, died of cancer. He and his wife Margareta have 13 grandchildren and live in Marietta, GA; they attend Midway PCA in Powder Springs, Ga.

Bible Building Blocks of the Faith Curriculum Series

The materials, CMI has developed and placed into 14 visual series, take a building block approach of foundational and systematic questions and answers to teach children the basics of Christianity. Each series contains five to eight lessons. Although each series can stand alone; when taken together the child is taught each basic doctrine of the Bible as it is outlined in the "Catechism for Young Children" of the Westminster Confession of Faith.

The questions and answer approach to a subject has been a proven and effective way to transmit truths for centuries. Each lesson contains flannel board visuals of foundational and systematic questions, memory verses, and Bible lessons supplemented by a Series Theme Song, Scripture Songs, Review Games and Creative Expression (craft). 

To see all 14 series click here.

Bible Building Blocks of the  Faith PowerPoint® Presentation slideshow is also available.

Bible Building Blocks of the Faith - Spanish Version. is also available

 

Brad Winsted, CMI Director

 

Welcome to CMI

Children's Ministry International (CMI) is reaching children for Christ by providing non-consumable, non-dated, non-graded resources for:

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The colorful lessons were written for children ages 4-12 to help them to grasp important Biblical truths.  This material is multi-age, non-dated, and reusable.

 

Bible Building Blocks of the Faith

Each Series Pack includes:

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The textbooks contain 5 - 7 lessons on a particular theme.  These lessons are divided into Questions with answers, Memory Verses, and Bible Lessons.  There is a Theme Song, Scripture Songs, Review Games, and Creative Expression/Crafts, as well.

Additional Teaching MaterialsAdditional Materials to help you teach each Series include:

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Home-Schoolers can use a Textbook and Coloring Books instead of visuals for big savings!

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CMI is committed to bringing training to any church or group regardless of size, location, or denomination. During the training, teachers are equipped to explain the gospel message to unsaved children and challenge saved children to walk more boldly in the Spirit. In addition, teachers are instructed in how to assemble and use the flannel board visual aids for more effective teaching. See more information about Seminars.

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Many children's and teacher's lives have been transformed through the teaching of the CMI curricula.  This change is evident as they gain a desire to live in obedience to the Lord.

This is just a part of the CMI story.  The full story of how God has changed the lives of children and their teachers who have responded to Him will not be known until Jesus returns.

CMI produces Reformed educational material for children related and relevant to the Westminster Confession Catechisms; Reformed Sunday School materials, children's catechisms; Vacation Bible School; Children's Church; Christian Holiday Celebrations; Advent materials; home devotions; shorter Catechism; Reformation Day celebrations; and Christian Character Building curriculum.

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