Dear Parents, Hosea was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel for at least forty years. God sent Hosea to tell Israel of God's hatred toward sin and of His coming judgment. (See Hos. 4:1,6.) God also sent Hosea to bring a message of lovea love that never gives up. (See Hos. 11:7-9.) To get the message across to the Israelites, God used Hosea's own life ...Keep Reading
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“...the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few,” Matthew 9:37 (NIV). This verse is one of the most memorable in the Bible for me, but what does it mean to you? Recently, our newly formed White Oak community got a chance to live out this verse by performing a simple act of kindness to a community in need in our very first scatter time....
Have you ever wondered who the Elders are at The Well? Check out the next part in our Meet the Elders series to get to know another leader in our church. This week… Meet Stephan. Stephan is an Elder on the Directional Team. We asked him a couple questions to help you get to know him a little better....
Have you ever wondered who the Elders are at The Well? Check out the next part in our Meet the Elders series to get to know another leader in our church. This week… Meet Blaise. Blaise is an Elder on the Directional Team. We asked him a couple questions to help you get to know him a little better....
Have you ever wondered who the Elders are at The Well? Check out part two in our Meet the Elders series to get to know another leader in our church. This week… Meet Michael. Michael is an Elder on the Directional Team. We asked Michael a couple questions to help you get to know him a little better....
Have you ever wondered who the Elders are at The Well? We’re kicking off a series called Meet the Elders to help you get to know these leaders in our church. First up… Meet Matt. As the Lead Pastor at The Well, he oversees the team of Elders. You might think you know him well, but check out this Q&A to learn a little bit more about a day in the life of Matt....
During the past two years, Lisa and I have spent a lot of time in the Riverdale neighborhood—engaging, serving, and sharing the gospel. We’ve battled bedbugs, loneliness, and discouragement, but by God’s grace we've gotten to know so many neighbors from many nations, have shared the gospel several times, which led to three salvations!...
In the early hours of Sunday morning, June 12, a horrific act of violence took place at a night club in Orlando, Florida. When tragedy strikes it is often difficult to have the right words and actions in response. It is in times like these, as Christians, we must hold tightly to the truth of Scripture....
Dear Parents, King Uzziah's death marked the end of an era. His reign had been long and prosperous. Uzziah became king when he was 16, and he reigned over Judah for 52 years. Uzziah had listened to the prophet Zechariah; he feared God, and God made him prosper. But Uzziah's pride got the best of him. (See 2 Chron. 26:16.) God struck Uzziah with leprosy. Then ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Everyone gets sick at some point in his or her lifetime ... often many times! Illness is probably no stranger to your kids. In today's Bible story, Naamana commander for the Syrian armywas really sick. He had leprosy, a skin disease that was likely disfiguring and isolating. Without a cure, Naaman would face great suffering. But help came from an...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The prophet Elijah had just witnessed God's great display of power over the false god Baal. God had sent fire from heaven and then ended a long drought with a great rain. Elijah must have felt a sense of victory; the evil King Ahab could not deny the one true God. But trouble awaited Elijah in the form of Ahab's wife, Jezebel. When Jezebel heard...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, This week, we continue in the big story of the Bible by learning about the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. King Ahab was an evil king. In fact, "Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him" (1 Kings 16:33). The things that Ahab did made God angry. God wanted His people to be fa...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The wise men were magi. Their study of the stars led them to Judea to find and worship Jesus, the newborn King. Before they found Jesus, though, the wise men met King Herod. God had promised the Jewish people a new king one who would save them from their enemies. King Herod was not that king. Imagine how he felt when he heard about a new king in...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Do you think it was just by chance that Caesar Augustus called for a census? Did it just so happen that Mary and Joseph were traveling to Bethlehemthe very place the Messiah was prophesied to be born? (Micah 5:2) God is in control of all things, which He showed by using a pagan emperor to bring about His plan. After Jesus was born, Mary laid Him...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, People had been waiting a long time for Jesus. God hinted at His coming in the garden of Eden when He promised a seed to conquer the serpent. (Gen. 3:15) The prophets told of His coming hundreds of years before His birth. God was working out His plan to bring His people back to Himself. In the Bible, God sometimes used angels to communicate His ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, When Jesus met two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He told them, "These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with youthat everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled" (Luke 24:44). How does the Book of Psalms point us to Jesus? While the book does contain some implicit Messianic ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The story of Job helps believers see God alone is all-powerful, sovereign, and good. Job's story is one all people can relate to, as everyone will suffer in his or her lifetime. God's dialogue with Job reveals His characteristics clearly. "Have you ever in your life commanded the morning or assigned the dawn its place?" (Job 38:12) God is all-po...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, What is the point? This doesn't make any sense! Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? Do I have purpose? Most people wrestle with these thoughts at some point; even wise King Solomon did. Thoughts like these are recorded in the Biblein the Book of Ecclesiastes. God made Solomon a wise king. He ruled over Israel for over 40 years. He wrote ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, King Solomon loved God. He received wisdom from the Lord and was dedicated to building His temple. But early on, we see hints that Solomon's heart was not completely devoted to God. He married foreign wives who turned Solomon's heart away from God. (1 Kings 11:4) Solomon gradually abandoned what he had believed. Israel had a history of turning a...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, When David was king, he wanted to build a temple for God, but God did not allow him to. "When your time comes and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever" (2 Sam. ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, "Look both ways before crossing the street." "Don't touch the stove; it's hot." "Stay in your seat." Young children need to hear these instructions because left to their own devices, most would run into traffic, burn their hands on stove tops, and meander around the dining room. As young children discover the world and begin to understand how it...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The Ammonites were no strangers to the Israelites. They often fought over the region of Gilead, which stretched east of the Jordan River. David had tried showing kindness to the Ammonites, but they humiliated the Israelite ambassadors. (See 2 Sam. 10:1-5.) Thus began a war between the Israelites and Ammonites. This context sets the scene for the ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Things were not looking up for David. Saul had tried multiple times to kill him, and he had to flee for his life, leaving behind his good friend Jonathan. But God had appointed David to be king, and God was faithful. Leading up to 2 Samuel 7, Jonathan was killed in battle against the Philistines. Saul fell on his own sword, and David became king ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Following David's slaying of Goliath, the Philistine warrior, King Saul's son Jonathan dedicated himself to David. He loved David as much as he loved himself. Jonathan's gifts to Davidhis own robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt indicated that Jonathan recognized David as God's choice for the next king, a position Jonathan could have rightly expecte...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, By all appearances, Saul was a good choice as king. He was tall, handsome, and blessed by God. But Saul forgot that his kingship was from God. Saul made some mistakes that cost him his throne. In 1 Samuel 13, Saul sinned by burning offerings in Samuel's absence. That moment was an important test for Saul. According to Samuel, the Lord would have...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Samuel had judged Israel throughout his lifetime, but he was getting old. So Samuel appointed his sons, Joel and Abijah, as judges over Israel. But like many sons, Joel and Abijah did not follow the example of their father. They were unfair and dishonest. They disobeyed God and caused problems for Israel. Until this time, Israel had relied on Go...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Hannahan ordinary Israelite during the time of the judgeswanted nothing more than to be a mother, but the Lord had closed her womb. (1 Sam. 1:5) Each year when her husband went to Shiloh to worship and to sacrifice to God, Hannah went up to the house of the Lord. One evening, Hannah returned to present herself to the Lord. She wept and prayed, asking...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Only two books in the Old Testament bear the name of a woman: Ruth and Esther. Ruth's story occurs at the time when judges ruled over Israel. God's people were characterized by rebellion and immorality. At a time when the Israelites desperately needed a king to lead them back to God, Ruth's story of faithfulness points us to Jesus Christ, a coming Re...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Samson was the last of the major judges of Israel. He was born to parents who dedicated him to the Lord as a Nazirite after the Angel of the Lord announced that Samson would be born to save the Israelites from the power of the Philistines. Samson grew up, and God blessed him with great strength. But when Samson requested to marry a Philistine woman, ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Judges 6 starts out in a familiar way: "The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord." The period of Judges was not a good time for the Israelites. Their cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace clearly showed they had not learned from their past mistakes. The Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites, and they cried out to God f...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The time of the judges continued after the death of Ehud. The Israelites fell into a continuous cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance, and peace. The people of Israel were oppressed by the king of Canaan. At this time, Deborah was the judge of Israel. Deborah sent for Barak and encouraged him to take up an army and fight the army of Canaan and its leade...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Following Joshua's death, the Israelites were without a leader. They fell into a cycle of sin that can be seen during each reign of the judges. The cycle is marked by an A-B-C-D-E pattern. Let's look at the first judge, Othniel, to see this pattern. First, the people fell into Apostasy. They turned away from God and served other gods. (Judg. 3:7) Ne...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Joshua was "getting on in years" (Joshua 23:1), so he gathered together the people of Israel to give an exhortation. First, Joshua reminded them that God had fought for His people, and He had kept every one of His promises. (Joshua 23:14) Joshua wanted the people to remember and to live their lives based on what they knew to be true about God: God c...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, When the Israelites conquered Jericho, God told them not to take anything. Everything in the city was to be destroyed and set apart for God. Achan must have assumed no one would notice if he kept a few things for himself. The cloak was beautiful, and he sure could use some pieces of silver and a bar of gold. No harm, no foul. Right? Wrong. God had ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Only one geographical barrier separated the Israelites from the promised land of Canaan: the Jordan River. When Joshua and the Israelites arrived, the Jordan River was flooded due to spring rains and snowmelt. Any other time, the river would have been manageable, but crossing the swollen river would have been daunting like crossing the Red Sea. Lik...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness when they started to complain to Moses and to God. God had done some pretty amazing things for the IsraelitesHe rescued them from the hand of Pharaoh, He parted the Red Sea so they could safely cross, and He provided manna for them to eat. But to the Israelites, it wasn't enough. God punished the...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Before God rescued His people from slavery in Egypt, He promised to bring the Israelites back to the land He had given to Abraham so many years ago. (Ex. 3:8) God was leading the Israelites to the promised land. When they were close, God instructed Moses to send spies into the land to scout it out. The spies traveled around the land for 40 days, a...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, After God, through Moses, brought the Israelites out of Egypt, He met with them in the wilderness and established a covenant, or agreement, with the people of Israel: "Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples ... and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation" (Ex. 19:5-...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The Lord was faithful to keep the promises He made to Abraham and his descendants. He made the Israelites innumerable (Deut. 1:10) and gave them the land of Canaan (Deut. 1:8). All the Israelites needed to do was take possession of the land. But the Israelites refused. They sent 12 men to scout out the land, and when the men reported about Canaan'...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The tabernacle was complete. God now had a place where His glory could dwell without causing the Israelites to fear death. God had given His people laws from the mountain, and He gave them more rules for living and worshiping Him when He dwelled in the tabernacle. These rules are recorded in the Book of Leviticus. The reasoning behind Leviticus can...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Thirteen of the last sixteen chapters of the Book of Exodus consists of instructions for building the tabernacle. The word tabernacle means "dwelling place." The tabernacle was a portable tent where God met with His people. God had a great purpose for the tabernacle. (See Ex. 29:45-46.) Moses had been on the mountain talking with God for 40 days. Go...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, As the rescued people of Israel traveled toward the promised land, God gave them laws to guide them in how to live and to help them understand God's perfect holiness. God's laws covered every part of their lives and were summed up in the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments can be grouped into two categories: The first four laws deal with a person...Keep Reading
As the rescued people of Israel traveled toward the promised land, God gave them laws to guide them in how to live and to help them understand God's perfect holiness. God's laws covered every part of their lives and were summed up in the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments can be grouped into two categories: The first four laws deal with a person's relationship w...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, God led His people into the wilderness, but He did not leave them there alone. The Lord was with His people. He provided meat, bread, and water. He guided them to Mount Sinai, where He met with their leader, Moses. The Lord came down on the mountain in fire, and He spoke through thunder. The Israelites could not have ignored His presence. But when Mos...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, God's law for the people was plain. Read Deuteronomy 6:5. But God's people, and all people, have broken the law. We have loved other things more than we love God. That is sin. Jesus' purpose for coming to earth was to save us from our sin. (Matt. 1:21) Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn't He just say, "You are forgiven"? God is just and requires ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sundaythe day Jesus entered Jerusalem as the King of kings the week of Passover. Many of God's people traveled to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus and His disciples traveled to Jerusalem as well. Near Bethphage (BETH fayj) and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples ahead into a village. Jesus told t...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, The Israelites' future looked bright. The Lord, through Moses, had rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He fought for them, displaying His power by parting the Red Sea and subsequently destroying Egypt's army. God was working out His plan to bring the Israelites to the promised land, the land God promised to Abraham's family. But the journey from ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Last week, kids learned about Moses' birth and his calling. God had a plan to rescue the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. He chose and called Moses for the task and allowed Moses' brother, Aaron, to help him. Moses and Aaron faced a huge obstacle in leading the Israelites out of Egypt, and his name was Pharaoh. Pharaoh did not recognize the...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, descendants of Israel (Jacob)had set up their home in Egypt when a famine forced them to seek out food. They became so numerous that Pharaoh felt threatened and forced them into slavery. But their families still grew, and Pharaoh instituted an unimaginable method of population control: kill all of the baby boys. Moses' story is a clear picture of G...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Last week, kids learned that God had a plan for Joseph's suffering. The land of Egypt enjoyed seven years of plenty before a famine struck, just as Pharaoh had dreamed. During that time, Joseph gathered all the excess food and stored it in the cities. The famine was severe in every land, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to everyone who ...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Jacob grew up in strife with his twin brother, Esau. He spent many years away from his family to avoid Esau's anger. God spoke to Jacob in a dream and reaffirmed to Jacob the promise He gave to Abraham and Isaac. Finally, God called Jacob home to the land of Canaan. God blessed Jacob and changed his name to Israel. Jacob had 12 sons. They would beco...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Jacob found himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. After stealing his older brother's blessing, he fled his home to escape Esau's anger. He spent time with his uncle Laban, got married, and fathered many children. Overall, Jacob prospered. God blessed him, but Jacob's time with his uncle Laban did not end well. Laban's sons accused Jacob of tak...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Do you think it was just by chance that Caesar Augustus called for a census? Did it just so happen that Mary and Joseph were traveling to Bethlehemthe very place the Messiah was prophesied to be born? (Micah 5:2) God is in control of all things, which He showed by using a pagan emperor to bring about His plan. After Jesus was born, Mary laid Him in a m...Keep Reading
Family Starting PointsMarch 25th, 2018 Scripture Memory: Revelation 7:10,12"Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." Big Picture Question: What does the Holy Spirit do? The Holy Spirit helps Christians follow Jesus. Bible...Keep Reading
Dear Parents,Jesus' death and resurrection should not have surprised the disciples. Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically about His death and resurrection (See Matt. 12:39; Mark 14:58; John 2:19; 3:14-15). Other times, Jesus plainly told the disciples that He would be betrayed, crucified, buried, and resurrected on the third day (Matt. 17:12; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22). In fact,...Keep Reading