Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Connection 01.05.2012

Happy New Year!
Family Connection
“The commandments I give you today must be in your hearts. Make sure your children learn them. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you go to bed. And speak about them when you get up.”-Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIrV)
Have you ever heard the phrase, “do as I say, not as I do”? Maybe you even had your parents say something similar to you when you were a child. If so, how did that work for you? If you are like me, it didn’t work out very well at all. The reality is values are caught more than they are taught; and that is exactly what God was talking about in the above passage.

As a dad, I realize that I am responsible for teaching my own children how to live for God. I can do this by preaching at them (trust me, this doesn’t really work) or I can live out my faith in front of them (this is far more effective). But do you know what? This isn’t only true for me; it is also true for any of us who have children in our lives we are responsible for.

Did you know that Sun Valley Kids (the children’s ministry of Sun Valley Community Church) exists to equip and encourage parents to train up their children in the ways of the Lord so they can become fully devoted followers of Jesus and to see children grow from knowledge about God into a growing relationship with Him through a personal commitment to Jesus Christ? We are here to teach children about the Lord but we want to be a resource for parents as they teach their own children how to learn to live for God now and follow Him for life.

This week I encourage you to start small and talk with the children in your lives about spiritual/faith matters at least three times this week. Maybe you could talk about what you learned from the weekend message or from your own Bible reading. Maybe you can ask your child/children what they are learning. Maybe you read the above passage to them and talk about ways you can live this out together. I would love to hear back from you to see how you put some new things into practice this week.

I am glad to be here and part of the spiritual development of your children!

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Family Connection 08.09.2011

Family Connection


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden in light.”-Matthew 11:28-30
When my boys were younger and they wanted to help me with projects around the house my motto was “Half the work in twice the time.” I loved having them help me so I could teach them how to do things, and I loved just being with them, but I really didn’t expect them to be able to do too much; after all they were just little boys. I would also love watching them help their Mom take out the groceries from the car when they would get home. They wanted to help but often the bags they were trying to lift were a bit too much for them. Either Jen or I would grab one handle of the bag and take most of the weight so they could feel like they were helping when we were really bearing the burden for them. They thought they could more than they could; but Jen and I knew better.
There have been many times in my life when I realize I am trying to lift a burden that is just too tough for me. As a pastor, I hurt along with the people who submit prayer requests each week or the children whose parents are going through a divorce or with the couples who are struggling in their marriages. I hurt for them, I do my best to walk alongside them but I realize I cannot carry their burdens for them; that is something only Jesus can do.
What about you? What burdens are you trying to carry that you have no business carrying by yourself? What things does Jesus want you to lay down at His feet? What are you doing about that? If we cannot learn how to give our burdens to Jesus, we will constantly be bogged down with things that don’t belong to us and will be ineffective in our walk with Christ.
How open are you with the children in your lives? Do you share with them your struggles as you strive to follow Jesus? I would encourage you to do so. As followers of Jesus Christ, we make daily decisions on whether or not we will follow Him. Sometimes those decisions are easier than others but they are always opportunities for us to teach the children in our lives how to follow Jesus. Instead of trying to carry the burdens by yourself, talk to the children in your lives and ask them to pray for you. You don’t need to be too specific with them if there are issues they won’t understand but you can model laying burdens down for them when you ask them to pray for you. The great news is that Jesus can, and wants to handle your burdens; won’t you let Him?
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Connection 07.28.2011

Family Connection


“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘ABBA, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”-Romans 8:15-17
At the end of the book The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis, the main character Shasta finds out that he is not the orphaned boy he thought he was but is the oldest son of the King of Archenland and heir to the throne. Shasta had spent his entire life being raised by an abusive fisherman as little more than a slave. When Shasta gets to Archenland he expects to be dismissed but instead is embraced by the King, his real father, and treated like royalty. In an instant, Shasta goes from an orphaned slave to the son of the King and heir to the throne. From that point on, Shasta’s life is forever changed.
This storyline is repeated in many different books but it is always exciting to see someone rise from obscurity to their true place of honor. We thrive on these types of stories and children’s books are full of this theme; it’s even possible that you may have wondered what life would be like for you if you faced something like this. Well, if you have asked Jesus to come into your life and save you from your sins; you are living that life right now because you are a joint-heir with Christ and an heir of God!
If you have never read The Horse and His Boy to the children in your life you might consider doing so in order to help them understand this wonderful truth of how we can and should live life in Christ. Just as people would shudder if Shasta put on his old slave rags and went back to his old life, we should shudder if we pick up our old ways and live in the slavery of sin we used to before we accepted Christ and made Him Lord of our lives. This is a wonderful truth that Paul unveils for us throughout the entire book of Romans. Even though some of the concepts might be a bit over the heads of the children in your lives, I would encourage you to read through Romans with them as well. You might learn something together.
My prayer for each of us is that we can live our lives as a living, breathing example of Jesus to our children and the people around us. I hope you have a wonderful week and God gives you opportunities to glorify Him as you go through your days.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Family Connection 07.19.2011

Family Connection


“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”-James 1:2-4; 19-21
My family and I just got back from vacation last Friday after spending a week in Williams, Arizona. Williams is near Flagstaff, in the mountains, and is beautiful. The weather didn’t get above 80 and we even had thunderstorms. Not only were we in a different climate, but it almost felt like we were in a different world. You may or may not know this but Arizona laws are a bit different from California. For example, you are not required to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle, you can ride in the back of a pickup truck and you are allowed to wear a gun in a holster. As a Californian it is a little strange to see a person wearing a firearm in a holster but people in Arizona live under a different set of laws and follow a different set of rules.
I have been thinking that it is the same for those of us who follow Christ. When we decide to ask Jesus to come into our lives and become our savior, we also give Him access to become the Lord of our lives. We ask Him to take charge and we agree to follow His ways, all of His ways (Jesus said-“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”-John 14:15). While this is a lifelong process, as followers of Jesus, we should start to do things differently and live for Him by following God’s Word. I don’t know about you but I don’t always find that easy to do so I am constantly asking for God’s wisdom and help as I strive to live like Jesus.
Each week, this ministry works to show the children who attend how they can learn to live for God now and follow Him for life. As we partner with you, I want to assure you that we are trying to help children understand, at their level, how to follow God and His rules, by teaching them out of the Bible. We are here to partner with you and to help you raise your children to follow God and His ways.
On another note, we are going through a bit of a trial here at church as our Lead Pastor, Bob Thune has resigned. I love Pastor Bob and his wife Ruthie and will miss them. Even though I am sad to see them go, I am excited to see what God has in store for them and this church. Pastor Bob has served with distinction and his ministry legacy will go on. I personally have been ministered to by Pastor Bob and Ruthie and both Jennifer and I, along with our children are forever changed for the better by our knowing them.
I also know that there are those who are questioning the integrity and motives of the Elder Board at this time. I would like to comment on that. These 8 elders are men of godliness and integrity. I know them personally and have ministered alongside all of them for many years. These elders have served this church for many, many years (most of the elders have been on the board for 6 years or more) and before that each of the elders served in other ministry areas. I have served alongside some of these men for the almost 16 years I have served at this church. In all of the years of service alongside these men, none of them have ever given me a reason to doubt their godliness, integrity or love for the Lord and the people of this church. I have utmost confidence, based on years of past experience, that these elders are following God and want nothing but the best for Pastor Bob and Ruthie, this church and the entire Coachella Valley where we are to minister; and I trust them completely.
I apologize for the length of this Family Connection, as most of my others are easy to read in a minute or two, but I felt I should share my heart with you.
It is my honor to serve the children and families of this church; but more importantly it is my honor to serve the Lord.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Family Connection 06.02.2011

Family Connection

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”-Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)
Over the past two weeks I have had the opportunity to praise God while I performed a wedding for a wonderful couple, got to praise God as I got away for a few days with my beautiful bride of 22 years, got to praise God as I have watched children and parents come in through our offices to sign up for Summer Spectacular, got to praise God while I have watched a wonderful group of volunteers as they transform our main stage into a set for Summer Spectacular and this Saturday I get to praise God as I stand with some parents on the main stage as they dedicate their child to the Lord in front of their church family. I have also had an opportunity to praise God while I have prayed and cried with people who are struggling with ill spouses, parents who are struggling with children who are turning away from God and causing themselves hurt and pain and I have had an opportunity to comfort a friend who suddenly lost a parent. But believe it or not, this Family Connection isn’t about me.
I love the above verse because we can praise God because of who He is. We can praise Him because He has already blessed us through His Son Jesus. We can praise Him because we have life through His great gifts. I can only share the things above with you because of who God is, what He has done and I have been open to His leading me into circumstances where He could be glorified.
I would like to encourage you to share the above verse with the children in your lives this week and talk about times when God has used you because you were available for Him. Take time to talk through various ways you, as a family and individually, can live out the fact that God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
I would also ask you for your prayers from myself and the entire Children’s Ministry team of staff and volunteers as we gear up for Summer Spectacular. This is a wonderful, exciting, terrific, life-changing yet stressful time of the year (on a stress scale of 1-10, I think I’m at about an 11 ). Please pray that we can serve the children and families who come into this ministry and that we can do it well to the glory of God our Heavenly Father. But please also pray that we can make sure we are serving our own families and the children in our lives during this time as well.
It is my pleasure to serve you and the children in your lives through this ministry.
Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

PS-If you haven’t registered your child for Summer Spectacular yet you can do so online at

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Family Connection 05.11.2011

Family Connection
“Children, obey your parents as believers in the Lord. Obey them because it’s the right thing to do. Scripture says, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ That is the first commandment that has a promise.”-Ephesians 6:1-2 (NIrV)
This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. And while this day has been set aside to honor and respect mothers and all that they do and have done for us, it is God’s plan for children to honor their mothers (and fathers) daily. One of the best ways children can honor their parents is by obeying them and doing this because God asks us to. Needless to say, children don’t usually like me reminding them of this fact (which I do at least monthly during our weekend services).
One of the reasons this is so important for children, apart from the fact that God expects it of them, is because respect and obedience for earthly parents actually helps children come into a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father. If we can’t learn to respect and obey the parents we have before us, how can we learn to respect and obey our Heavenly Father whom we can’t see? I believe this is so important for children, I reinforce this as I teach the children (parents, I am your biggest advocate).
I would encourage each of us to gently remind the children in our lives this week about God’s expectations for respect and obedience towards parents. If you are a grandparent, you can also gently remind your grandchildren about this. If our goal is to raise godly children, we can all work together to reinforce this as children learn and grow.
I would especially like to honor all of you moms who read this Family Connection this week. Even though Mother’s Day is officially over your job doesn’t end. Even if you don’t have any children living at home any longer you are still “Mom”! And for those of us who are blessed to have our mothers still living, I would encourage each of us to give our moms a special call and say thank you to them for all the work they have done to help us get where we are today. And if your mom has passed on, take a moment to thank God for the mom He gave you. If you are a parent, you know how difficult that job is (and if you’re like me, at times you made your mom’s job even tougher than it should have been).
It is my prayer that all of us can impact the children in our lives by our words and deeds as we desire to see them grow in a real, dynamic relationship with Jesus.

Walking by your side,
Brett Humphrey
Pastor H

PS-I thank you for praying for me and Josh as we were on our trip to Uganda, your prayers were felt.

Monday, April 25, 2011


It's amazing how much can be accomplished in a few short days. Tomorrow Josh and I head to the airport at 5:45 am to begin our trek back home. This has been such an amazing experience; I'm sure I will never be the same.

When Brent and Leah shared that God was calling them to Uganda I thought, "good for them". After spending time with Brent, Leah, Bo, Amy, Luke and Tekle I say, "Good for everyone they come in contact with!" I am sure you have heard the term "lifestyle evangelism" but this isn't just a term for the Phillips, it is a way of life. I have been so amazed that they are very intentional about making the time to love on everyone they come into contact with but especially how they are developing relationships with certain people around them with the purpose of showing them the love of Christ. Although they have only been here 4 months, I already see the impact they are making in the lives of those around them. I had the opportunity to meet 8 different people they are actively loving on and making an eterna difference in their lives. These people aren't even part of the Cherish ministry, these people just live in their neighborhood.

I will share more about Cherish another time but tonight I want to challenge each of us to be more intentional where we live. We don't have to move to Uganda to develop relationships with the people around us but we do have to make a decision to be intentional about showing the love of Jesus wherever we go. This week I challenge each of us to ask one person where we shop, get coffee or order food, their name and take the time to make contact with that person in more than a superficial way.

Josh and I have met some amazing people here. We have seen amazing sights, today we went to the source of the Nile river where it begins it's journey of travel through Africa on its way to Egypt. We have seen amazing ministries, like Cherish Uganda and the ministy goal to give the children in their care hope, love and a chance to live even though they are infected with HIV.

Even though we have seen these things, the biggest question we have now is "what do we do with what we've seen and experienced?" I'm not sure exactly the answer to that, but I do know that God is changing me and with that change I need to be even more intentional in my serving and following Him. I'm not sure what God has in store for the Humphrey family, but as Jen and I talked last night we would say that we are "open" to whatever God has waiting around of the bend as we travel along our own Grand Adventure.

I will try to write again from London tomorrow night.

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Brett and Josh