Redefine Fun

Fun—it’s the number one thing I hear parents, and unfortunately myself, ask children. “Did you have fun at your friend’s house?” “Did you have fun at church?” “Did you have fun at school?” This constant reiteration of the word ‘fun,’ I believe, is what gives our children an entitled attitude that whatever they do should be fun. 

The question is how we are defining fun. We have recently addressed this as a ministry. We play games. We eat. We have a lot of fun. But no one is truly growing or changing. What is the point of doing ministry if change isn’t happening and everyone is staying lukewarm or, worse, becoming in bondage every day? What is the point?    
We have decided to redefine fun. Fun as the world thinks of it and as we generally use it in a conversation is entertainment. The questions we are actually asking our children are: “Were you highly entertained? Were you pleased? Did you feel enjoyment while you were here? Was the entertainment sufficient for you to stay engaged?”   
Parents, if we rephrased what we are asking our kids like that, we would stop asking it. Really, we don’t give a rip. Do we really care if our kids have fun? Do we want them to be constantly entertained and feel entitled to be entertained a certain way? What should we truly be reiterating? Should we be driving home the value of each relationship even when it’s not fun? Or learning to be still with someone, reading a book or a Bible next to a friend, or praying with one another?
I don’t think all of that entertaining stuff is fun. But every day in our society, we spend more and more money trying to increase the entertainment thrill. We are building bigger rollercoasters, a higher waterslide, or a new amusement park. We make new video games and more highly action-packed movies. Our society is constantly searching for more. They are searching for more fun. “Entertain me. Make me feel good. Take me out of my reality and put me someplace where I have pleasure all the time.” I don’t know about you, but that is not what I actually want for my family or my children. That type of fun is not okay with me.          
As a ministry and as a family, we are redefining fun. What is fun? I’ll tell you what fun is. Fun is praying for someone and seeing them get healed. Fun is praying for someone who is blind and seeing their eyes open and them being able to see. Fun is publishing a book you know is going to change the world. It may only change one person, but that one person will change the world through it. Fun is smiling at someone who hasn’t had a smile all day and is having a bad day and letting them know someone cares about them. Fun is not being in bondage to needing to be entertained or entitlement. This is fun.   
True fun is encountering the love of God and bringingheaven to earth. That is how we are defining fun from now on: truly encountering the love of God and bringing heaven to earth and then spreading that love so everyone can participate in the fun we are having. We don’t need games and activities. Those are distractions from the opportunity to enjoy the presence of God. It’s a backup plan to encountering the Lord. We don’t need a backup plan. We need the presence of God more than ever in our homes, in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our ministries, and in our youth groups. We cannot stop short of encountering the presence of God. Now that is fun.    

God Changes Me

Lord, I meditate on Your scripture day and night so I won’t sin against You.
I knock, and it is opened.
I am given it pressed down, shaken together, running over.
He gives me a heart after Him.
He is renewing my heart and mind.
He loves me.
I’m more than a conqueror!
Through Christ, I overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
We are inheritors of righteousness.
I resist temptation, and the devil flees from me.
God leads me not into temptation but delivers me from evil.
My help is from the Lord. Freely it was given; freely I receive.
The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives and dwells in me.
He gives me grace for sin, love for hate.
I can do all things through Christ.
I will not fear the pestilence or sudden terror! My help comes from the Lord!
He delivers me and redeems me. He covers me and protects me.
God, You will take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.
I’m no longer broken, but God’s workmanship, God’s masterpiece.
The work God begins will carry till the day of Christ’s redemption.
Day by day, do not be conformed to this world but changed by the transformation of your mind.
You said, “Be still and know I am God.”
Christ is always renewing my mind.
I am a new creation in Christ.

• Authored by Josh Pugh •


I was twenty-four years old before I heard of agape. It was a time of trial in my life. I was driving in the car with a coworker when he started explaining to me the differences among three types of love: erosphilia, and agape.
I had been in church, on and off, for most of my nearly twenty-five years, yet I had never heard of agape. My coworker described agape as unconditional love. It is always there for you no matter how righteous or wicked you are. You cannot do anything to lessen it or increase it; it is the same, steady love day in and day out. This type of love does not keep track of your sins. It does not stifle you or imprison you. It is the kind of love that fills you and frees you. It is the kind of love that changes you.
I had spent the last fourteen years deprived of love. I had sought love in every corner. I had pursued passionate love, romantic love, and friendship. I had searched high and low for a love that would make me feel valuable. I yearned for love. I simply wanted to be worthy of someone’s love.

You can only be rejected so many times before you start to believe you deserve it. At that time of my life, I felt alone and unlovable. Then my coworker guided me to the truth of unconditional love. I did not fully comprehend the significance of this concept at the time, but I have since come to understand that I am loved. When I felt rejected and worthless, however, those feelings were not my true identity. In truth, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14 NIV). God Himself “created my inmost being”; He “knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV). God set me apart before I was born as one who was and is and always will be loved—by Him.

The church needs to wake up and stop constantly fixating on everyone’s flaws. We cannot afford to forget who God is and what He did out of His abundant love for every single one of us. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV). We did not and cannot deserve His sacrifice and love for us, yet they are ours to receive. How dare the church allow another child to endure a life of desperately searching for love because no one shared with her the blessing of God’s free gift.
Jesus Christ issued his disciples this command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35 NIV). Will you rise to the challenge and share agape with someone every day this year? In one year, 365 days, I challenge you to convey this message of unconditional love to the people God brings into your life. Tell someone, “You are loved. It is part of your identity. It is etched into your being, and it can never be removed. It is in your very fingerprints—every indelible line testifies that you are loved.”