2016deep4Last year was our first day away retreat for rising 4th-6th graders and that info is here. Our first retreat is a faith milestone and this we do once a year for rising 4th-6th graders.  This year offered several movie themes to jump from and the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) proved to be the most applicable to our group in attendance with the theme of “A True Blue Friend.” This is the rundown:

Location: At my house along with other CLUB345 adults, 10am-9pm….I live so far away from the church, it’s a very special treat to come and spend the day at my house for my students.

What the kids bring: A bag to carry everything in, swim suit, sunscreen, refillable water bottle, towel, pen, Bible, walking shoes (for the hike to the reservoir), flipflops (shoes for the pool), bag of favorite candy for popcorn bar.

2016DeepLesson 1: A Heart That Chooses Friends Wisely (Jonathan & David)…Spiritual Gifts Inventory from Credo …A True Blue Friend (Naomi & Ruth). This spiritual gifts inventory relates to body parts and makes the ‘gifts’ more relative to students. It was a great encouragement for the students to hear about the best parts of them which are gifts of the Holy Spirit truly from the Lord.

Students made sub sandwiches and we hiked to the local reservoir for a picnic lunch.

To the neighborhood pool! Then to the movies. Debriefed the movie and lesson #2 which is a trifold I prepared years ago for a scout event on friendship. This is the info on the trifold:

2016Deep2Advice on selection of a friend


A righteous one is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26


  • Gossips (Proverbs 20:19)
  • Short-tempered (Proverbs 22:24-25)
  • Those given to obsession (Proverbs 23:20-21)
  • The rebellious (Proverbs 24:2122)
  • Liars and those untrustworthy (Proverbs 25:18-20)
  • Those inconsiderate and those unfaithful
  • The violent


  • Those who display wise choices (Proverbs 13:20)
  • Those whose love is constant (Proverbs 17:17)
  • Those who are loyal (Proverbs 18:24)
  • Those who aren’t afraid to help you be the greatest YOU that you can be (Proverbs 27:6)

2016deep1Solving problems with your friends

  1. Be slow to anger. Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension but a patient man calms a quarrel.
  2. Be slow to respond by not interrupting Proverbs 18:13 She who answers before listening that is her folly and her shame.
  3. Avoid quarreling. Proverbs 20:3 It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
  4. Speak gently. Proverbs 15:1 gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up more anger.
  5. Speak briefly. Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but she who holds her tongue is wise.
  6. Be quick to show love. Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
  7. But if necessary, rebuke rather than flatter. Proverbs 28:23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue.

10 Commandments of Friendship

  1. Speak to people
  2. Smile at people
  3. Call people by name
  4. Be friendly and helpful
  5. Be cordial (speak and act as if everything you do is a real pleasure)
  6. Be genuinely interested in people – you can like everyone if you try
  7. Be generous with praise and cautious with criticism
  8. Be considerate of the feelings of others
  9. Be thoughtful of the opinions of others
  10. Be alert to give service – what counts most is what we do for others!

Things to avoid, which can disrupt a good friendship

  1. Don’t repeat everything you hear (Proverbs 17:9)
  2. Avoid senseless arguments (Proverbs 17:14)
  3. Don’t overstay your welcome (Proverbs 25:17)
  4. Don’t meddle in affairs not your own (Proverbs 26:17)
  5. Don’t play bad jokes (Proverbs 26:18-19)
  6. Don’t be contentious (Proverbs 26:21)

And if you get lonely, God has provided friendships for you:

First, you have a friend in _____JESUS_________

Jesus said in John 15:15, “I have called you friends.”

Second, you have friends in your __PARENTS_____

They are God’s gift to you and believe me, no one loves you more or cares for you more deeply and genuinely than your very own mother and father.

And third, you have friends in your  ___FAMILY__& CHURCH___ (This was especially important for us to cover since all of our students who attended the retreat go to different schools.)

2016deep3We prepared dinner of fruit salad and deep dish pizza and enjoyed fruit sorbet for dessert. After several heated games of Pit, laughter, sharks & minnows, line tag, and popcorn fun, we are already planning next year’s event. Of course we wear our tshirts to church the following Sunday.

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of Christ.” Romans 8:39