What's happening in FirstYouh July 2019
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Weekly opportunities to be involved:

Sunday School: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. gather in The Loft (youth rooms) at the top of the elevator. Middle School will meet in the Game Room and High School will meet in the Worship Room.

Impact Groups: Varies by age and gender. Follows school calendar.

Godpleasers Youth Choir: Sunday evenings from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  Starts in October and ends in June.

Wednesday Afternoon: Hang out time in The Loft after school until First Youth Wednesday starts. Follows school calendar.

First Youth Wednesday: Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in The Loft. Middle School will start off in the Game Room. High School will start off in the Worship Room.

Upcoming Events:

  • July 18-21 - Girls Chrysalis Flight


  • Saturday July 27 - Magic Springs & For King and Country Concert
  • Wednesday, August 14 - One Tree Night at FUMC from 5:30-8:00. More details to follow.
  • December 27-29 - Branson Xtreme


We all need someone to talk to!

Raising teenagers can be difficult to say the least! Maybe you are dealing with behavioral issues, lack of discipline in schoolwork, disrespectful attitudes, risky behaviors, or just having a hard time connecting with your teen.  I'm here to help! Please contact me at 501-250-3895 to schedule 3-5 complimentary and confidential counseling sessions. I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor trained in Marriage & Family Therapy from Harding University. You don't have to deal with these issues alone.
In Christ,
Alesha Presley, LPC
Here is the current list of 2020 Seniors:

****Please let me know if I need to add anyone to the list or if I have 
misspelled anyone's name.

Adam Martin
Ashley Spanel
Cole Nordquist
Hunter Griffin
Jillian Herring
Josie Adams
Kailynn Cooper
Lauren Cutshall
Libby Stutts
Mary Shearer
Sarah Pearce
Sophie Lawrence
Spencer Evans
T. J. McDonald

Please remember- I need 3 pictures of each Senior for the FUMC Slide Show. 1 picture form Birth -2 years, 1 picture from middle school, and 1 picture from Senior year.

FirstYouth Ambassadors is the youth leadership team of FUMC. It's open to all youth members who are willing to: 1) Maintain a daily prayer life, 2) Be committed to having a Daily Devotional or Bible Study, 3) Have an accountability partner, and 4) Maintain involvement in FUMC by regularly attending: Sunday morning Worship Service, Sunday School, FirstYouth Wednesday Night, Godpleasers Youth Choir, be involved in an Impact Group, and find at least one place outside the youth ministry to serve. They also have to maintain a lifestyle befitting one who is a role model and an ambassador of Christ and are willing to commit to "Being a Light" in school, at FUMC, their neighborhood, and their home. 
See Mrs. Alesha for an application! 

Upcoming Dates:

Columbia MS Mission Tirp - June 23-29, 2019 with
Book Resource:
What would happen if you lived 100 days for God's glory alone?

Find out what it means, looks like, and feels like to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. 100 Days: The Glory Experiment provides a Bible study and all-in-one discipleship guide that will challenge students to glorify God with their attitude, actions, words, and reactions for at least 100 days and to invite others to join them on the journey. With a flexible format containing multiple options for use, new members can join in the study at any point and participate in the 100 Days Challenge.

The 100 Days plan is easy. Students will spend a few minutes each day studying their Bible and the rest thinking about and doing what it says. On their own or with a group of friends, they'll learn how to glorify God in their responses to:

• The gospel
• God the Father
• Jesus the Son
• The Holy Spirit
• The Bible
• The Church
• Those outside the Church
• The enemy

100 Days is a catalyst for something brand new: viral discipleship.

*Copies are available in the Student Resource Hallway


Girls Chrysalis Flight #32 is July 18-21. Deadline to register is July 1st!

Chrysalis is for students that have completed 10th -12th grade (yes they changed the age/grade requirements) .  Chrysalis is a personal spiritual retreat and a time for teens to draw closer to Christ. It's the Walk to Emmaus for teens.  I will take the ladies to Drop-off on Thursday and bring them home on Sunday.  If parents have attended the Walk to Emmaus - you are welcome to attend closing ceremony -- understand your students will ride the bus home with other Butterflies. The deadline to sign up is July 1st.  There is a lot of preparation that goes into planning this event to make it as special as possible. Talk with your teens and encourage them to attend!
Parent Book Resource:

Teenagers - you love them to pieces, but sometimes you feel like the pieces are falling apart. Look no further for the help you need. Boundaries with Teens will help you establish wise and loving limits that make a positive difference in your teen, in the rest of your family, and in you.
The teen years: relationships, peer pressure, school, dating, character. To help teenagers grow into healthy adults, parents and youth workers need to teach them how to take responsibility for their behavior, their values, and their lives.

From bestselling author and counselor Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries with Teens is the expert insight and guidance you need to help your teens take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions and gain a deeper appreciation and respect both for you and for themselves.
With wisdom and empathy, Dr. Townsend applies biblically based principles for the challenging task of guiding your children through the teen years. Using the same principles he used to successfully raise two teens, he shows you how to:

  • Deal with disrespectful attitudes and impossible behavior in your teen
  • Set healthy limits and realistic consequences
  • Be loving and caring while establishing rules
  • Determine specific strategies to deal with problems both big and small

Discover how boundaries make parenting teens better today!

*Copies are available in the Parent Resource Hallway

Magic Springs/Crystal Falls
For King & Country Concert
July 27, 2019
8:00 am - Midnight
Cost for Magic Springs
$40 per teenager
Plus: Money for Locker Rentals, Meals, or Souvenirs
Deadline to Sign-up: Sunday, July 14
Space is Limited: To Reserve your spot please turn in your permission slip & check to the church office. It’s First Come – First Serve
We are excited to be taking the youth to Magic Springs and Crystal Falls on Saturday, July 27 for a fun filled day of rollercoaster’s, playing at the Water Park & a special concert by For King & Country. It’s going to be an awesome concert!! We will depart from the church at 8:00 am and return after the concert is over (around midnight). The teenagers will need to bring an appropriate swimsuit, beach towel, and money for locker rentals, meals, and souvenirs they may wish to purchase during our outing. Lockers run around $20 and teens can share. Food is usually expensive at theme parks so please plan accordingly. If any parents want to Chaperone this event and drive their own vehicle – Please call Mrs. Alesha at 501-250-3895. It truly is a Joy to be working with your precious Teenagers! God is so Good; All the Time!
Youth Disciple will be starting in the Fall for students in the 11th & 12th grade. Please be encouraging your teenager to take this class!

Becoming Disciples Through Bible Study is a 34-week commitment that is available to students who are Juniors and Seniors. You are committing yourself to at least two hours a week (or 20 mins a day)  of independent study and preparation, plus two hours each week for thirty-four weeks in the weekly group class. The purpose of Youth Disciple is to establish a disciplined pattern of study. It’s important to choose and stick to a particular time and location for daily reading and writing, study, and prayer. This study is a personal commitment on the part of each student to complete each week’s assignments independently and to be prepared for class every week. I cannot stress enough the importance of preparation and class attendance. Attendance will be taken each week. Parents are asked to hold their student accountable for study and class attendance. Class will start in August.
FirstYouth will be collecting new and  gently used coats this fall to donate to the Heber Springs School District. As you are Spring Cleaning - please save your coats for ages Kindergarten through Seniors. 

What your students are learning in Sunday School:


July 7: Faithful to the Finish: 2 Kings 2:1-15

To Know:  God rewards the faithfulness of those who seek and follow His will.
To Think: I rely on God's power to live for God and do what He calls me to do.
To Do:  Remain Faithful to God's calling, depending on His power to do the work He assigns you.

July 14: Choose Wisely: 2 Chronicles 17:3-13
To Know: Our choices set the course for our lives and influence the lives of others around us.
To Think: Choosing what is good and right is always best in the long run.
To Do: Choose daily to walk with God and obey His word.

July 21: Never too Young to Make a Difference: 2 Kings 22:1-20
To Know: Humble obedience brings God's favor and sets an example for others.
To Think: I will make humble obedience my response to God's Word and direction.
To Do: Fully obey God, humbly setting an example for those around me.

July 28: From Bad to Worse: 2 Kings 25:1-21
To Know:  There are consequences to our sinful choices and actions.
To Think: Guard against sin, remembering it brings consequences.
To Do: Repent of all sin and walk closely with God, obeying His Word.


1. fake honesty. When your kid looks you in the eye, says “honest”… and her nose grows six inches.

The only question is, how should you respond?

My wife and I recently discovered our 12-year-old daughter was doing some undercover work, not for the government, but ducking under our radar and hiding things from us. Now before you jump to thinking, “Well duh, that’s what kids do”, I should tell you she is our third daughter. We have navigated the pre-teen season of life with our now 17 and 15-year-old girls and never encountered this level of deception.
As her behavior was uncovered, it didn’t take government training to realize something had gone terribly wrong. It’s not hyperbole to say my wife and I were crushed to learn she was deceiving us. We take a great deal of pride in the ability to trust our girls, and to have that trust betrayed was incredibly difficult. Sadly, this one revelation led us to uncover several other secretive behaviors causing us to ask that dreaded question – “Do we even really know our daughter”? We had made some dangerous assumptions about her and gave her freedoms her sisters never had at her age. We fell into what I call, “tired by the third child syndrome.”

Maybe you’ve encountered a similar situation, and perhaps you relate to being in that place where you’re asking, “How in the world are we supposed to navigate this”?
Between the success and failures of parenting in addition to navigating these situations with parents in my youth pastor days, by God’s grace, here are the things I learned as we walked through these challenges of raising “fonest” teenagers.

Don’t Send Them To The Chair

As things were uncovered, I had thoughts such as “she’s never getting a smartphone.” Immediately I wanted to pull her out of public school, put her in a private school… and maybe a little electro-shock therapy!
Isn’t that so typical of a parent when they realize they have lost control? I wanted to give her the maximum sentence for her crimes without any hope of reprieve. I can’t say I didn’t threaten these things (except for the electro-shock therapy), and sadly, they don’t work. It is so important to not overreact in these situations.

The sobering truth was, I’ve never truly been in control. What a humbling yet freeing realization that is. I don’t need to throw the book at her because I feel vulnerable, but instead I can step back and come up with rational consequences for her behavior.
So how do we do that? It starts with gathering information…

Patiently Interrogate Them

I’m one of those I want results right now type of people. I wanted her to repent immediately and see things my way. It seldom works that way in the lives of teenagers. In fact, later that evening she secretly attempted to break another rule. Even when her cover was blown she still tried to execute covert missions. The key was to be patient with her in helping her repent.

My wife and I started being intentional in both one-on-one and two-on-one times with her. We wanted her to feel safe with us so we could understand what was happening. We asked a lot of questions using the phrase “Hey, I’m curious…” and then followed with a question about her life, her thoughts, her beliefs. We did everything to communicate, “We are interested in you and want to know what is going on in your life.”
Yes, she had restrictions, but we also didn’t lock her in her room with a one-way glass in the wall, waiting for her to crack. We tried a balance of bonding and boundaries. It took five weeks for her to break, but she eventually did. She opened up about some pressures and struggles she was facing. Without asking for punishment to be changed, she shared her life with us in a new way. We prayed with her, prayed with each other, and felt our need for God increase.

I am so thankful we were patient and gave her grace, while guiding her to repentance. It might take longer than a few weeks, but we need to work harder to become an expert on our child without smothering her and keeping her from living her life. It’s not easy, but we have to learn who she is and we can’t do that without those curiosity sessions.

Prepare for the Twist

I think The Usual Suspects is one of the greatest movies of all times. The cinematic twist at the end (I will not spoil it even though it was released in 1995) is one of the greatest endings I’ve ever seen. In parenting, things seldom seem to work out as we plan. Doing life with Jesus has so many twists and turns that to call it an adventure seems to be an undersell.

As we parent, we are constantly caught off guard by our children in both good ways and the crushing ways I’ve already shared. I think we need to do a better job of preparing for the twist that’s coming. Sometimes our children are going to break our hearts with their choices, but other times we are going to have amazing moments with them that we never saw coming.

The best way to prepare for the twist is to walk in both prayer and perspective. To our own shame, we too often slack in praying for our girls when things are going well. When we do consistently pray, we find that we are ready for the challenges when they come. We are more often aligned with each other and able to recognize that God’s got this. Perspective comes when we remember that they belong to God and their story isn’t finished yet. Our children have had their share of hardships, and as much as it wrenches our hearts as parents to see them hurt, we have to remember God is at work, and He is still working in and through them. He is good, He is faithful and we can say in any situation that God’s got this.

I’m not going to wrap this up with a declaration that our daughter is now waking up early to read her Bible and is a pillar of holiness, but I can say she is moving in the right direction. Her secret identity was blown, and she’s acting like herself again though we have learned a valuable lesson. There is no offseason in parenting and we have to stay engaged to make sure we don’t lose our kids to the enemy who will do anything he can to turn our children away from God. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to engage in the fight, and never stop walking with our children as long as we have the opportunity to influence them. May God give you strength in the battle.

By Rob Chagdes of The Source 4 Parents


Please be in prayer for the ministries of FirstYouth. If there is any way I can pray specifically for your family, please let me know!

Alesha Presley, LPC
Youth Director
Cell: (501) 250-3895 - Texts Welcome :)

Donna Redding
Assistant Youth Director
Cell: (501) 951-3605

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First United Methodist Church
1099 West Pine Street
Heber Springs, AR 72543
FUMC phone: (501) 362-2696
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