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The F lip


I remember the first time my oldest son told me he loved me. He was about 2 and just learning to talk. I had Brooke call the voicemail at my office and have him record it, so that I could check my voicemail anytime and hear the sweet, soft voice of my 2-year old son saying, “I love you Daddy.” I know—pretty sappy, right? Growing up without a father left a void in my life for many years. Without a dad around, I never knew a father’s love. It wasn’t until a neighboring family invited me to church that I began to spend time around a father. This one was a wonderful dad to his kids and took me in like one of his own. Whether it was camping, playing baseball in the backyard, tinkering in his workshop, or going to McDonald’s before Wednesday night church, he treated me and loved me like a son . He didn’t have to invest in me or take me with his sons to a ballgame, but he did because he was mirroring God’s love to a skinny, punk kid down the block. He may not have meant to, but he showed me a father’s love and introduced me to the Father’s love. His name was John Cook and he took me off the road of destruction and introduced me to my savior Jesus Christ. Mr. Cook left such an impression on me that I named my first child after him (John Gavin) as a constant reminder of what love can do and how it not only changes people, but also is the source of salvation for all of humanity. Now, when I look at my kids and tell them I love them, I know that it’s also my responsibility to show them what love is, introduce them to God’s eternal love, and show them how as a family we can love our world. When my kids tell me they love me, it constantly reminds me that I’m called by God to help them understand what true love is (Deut. 6). Just saying, “I love you, too” isn’t enough. In February, it’s traditional to focus on romantic love, but I want to encourage you to help your family focus on God’s love. Maybe you need to sit down with each of them and be assured of their salvation or even lead them to the Lord. Maybe you’ll want to brainstorm with them how your family can show love to your schoolmates, teammates, and even neighbors. Think about how you can reach out to elderly neighbors, single parents, or any other families with unique situations. I want to challenge you to show the love of Christ in a practical way this month…you may never know the level of impact you make on someone’s life, even the skinny punk kid down the street. Partnering, Jason P.S. We had over 80 parents at our Big Honkin’ Parent Meeting on January 23! It was a great turnout! If you missed it, please check out for details on our spring and summer events.

Culture Clues How Do You Handle Video Games? Video games are a multi-million dollar industry that continues to build momentum. Unfortunately, violent video games seem to be some of the most popular. How do you decide what kind of games your kids can play? Do you even know what they’re playing? David R. Smith’s article provides some pointers for parents on choosing video games. 1. Check the rating, age appropriateness, and content descriptor of each game. This should be clearly marked on the game’s case. The most popular categories are E (everyone), T (teen), M (mature), and Ao (adults only). We do hours of homework before we purchase a new minivan; we should invest time into the purchase of video games, too. 2. Consult the experts. In this case, the experts are college kids who work part time at some electronics store. Find one you can trust, tell him/her what you want…and what you want to avoid…and get their advice. Just a tip: you’ll need to ask very specific questions. Most of them aren’t parents and don’t have the same concerns. But once they understand what you’re trying to achieve, they’re a great line of defense to tap into. 3. Understand and use all the controls. New systems have various parental control features that allow parents to decide what games can be played (by rating), with whom, for how long, etc. Familiarize yourself with these tools, and use them. 4. Talk with your teenagers about game choices. Making healthy decisions about video game purchases is just one small step toward maturity. Capitalize on this by talking with your kids about their choices. Try to influence them without making the decision for them. This will ensure your teens gain decision-making skills along with responsible video games. Content From: “The Dominance of Video Games,” by David R. Smith

LOOKING AHEAD February 6 // super bowl party // 5pm //@ the Millers’ February 11 // coffeehouse for missions // 7pm February 20 // churchwide 80s skating party // 5:30pm February 26 // serve day: visit shut-ins // 9am March 6 // camp deposit due March 6 // winter jam // 5pm March 12-19 // guatemala mission trip March 16 // no switch service SWITCH U // Sunday nights at 5pm SWITCH SERVICE // Wednesday nights at 6pm

COMING UP Raising $$ for trips We still have several opportunities for those wanting to work to raise money to offset the cost of summer camp and mission trips. These include working our Coffeehouse Talent Show on February 11 and signing up for our job list. For more info or to sign up, contact our office at 333 -3368 or

Camp 2011 It’s coming! June 27-July 1 are this year’s camp dates, and we’re excited! We’ll be returning to Orange Beach, AL, to join in Student Life’s program, hear from speaker David Platt, worship with Unhindered, and spend some time on the beach! Online registration has begun—check it out on our website. The cost for camp is $330; scholarships are available. Deadline to register and pay a $100 deposit is March 6!

Nyc summer trip June 13-18, we’re partnering with The Gallery Church in midtown Manhattan to lead backyard Bible clubs and sports clubs, promote health screenings, do street evangelism, and assist with survey work and outreach. The sign-up deadline is April 24. Cost is $750, and scholarships are available. This trip is for 8th-12th grade. For more info, visit our website.

Tired of Snail Mail? Sign up for our email version of The Flip! It’s delivered to your inbox at the beginning of every month, and also available all month long on our website: To sign up for the digital version, send us an email at

Coffeehouse talent show Students are encouraged to come hear local bands and talent for an evening of music, comedy, and fun in a relaxed coffeehouse setting. There will be a minimal cover charge, and we will be selling coffee, hot chocolate, and other warm beverages. All proceeds will go to fund 2011 student mission trips. Anyone interested in entering should contact Jason at The event will take place February 11 at 7PM in the Worship Center.

switch student ministry Bartlett Baptist Church 3465 Kirby Whitten Pkwy Bartlett, TN 38135 901-333-3350

The 80s are back...for one night. 80s skating party Feb 20 // 5:30-7:30pm Cordova skating rink $10 / family Best outfit wins a prize!

The Flip - February 2011  

parent newsletter for Switch Student Ministry

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