Tag: summer

Five Tips for a Healthy Summer

Summer is one of my favorite times of the year, and I think most of you have the same sentiments toward this sunny season! Even though the next few months are full of fun, they are also full of vacations, trips, eating lots of food and time off. This can throw off our routines and make it challenging to live healthily.

There’s a balance to be found between having fun and relaxing and being overly anxious about our health. Somewhere in the middle we can soak up summer for all it’s worth while still taking care of our bodies!


  1. Stay hydrated // The best way to beat the heat’s effects on our bodies is to drink up! Keep a water bottle in your sight at all times to remind you to take a sip. Try switching out one soda, tea or coffee drink in your day for a full cup of water. If all else fails, there are helpful apps you can download to keep track of your water intake and remind you to drink more.
  2. Set a new, exciting goal // What do you want to accomplish? A health goal can look however you want – whether that’s a 5k race or going on a 10-minute walk every morning, dream up a way to stay active that sounds fun for you.
  3. Get an accountability partner // Pick someone you trust and let them know what you need to do to thrive and stay focused this summer. It’s easy to send a text to a friend to let them know you’re getting in time with God, some movement and anything else you’re wanting to commit to.
  4. Get outdoors // There’s always activity and fun to be had outside! Go to a pool, a water park, a new trail, ride bikes with friends, head downtown and keep up to date with local festivals and events. The sunshine (with sunscreen!), fresh air and movement will do wonders for your health.
  5. Eat seasonal // When we focus on fruits and vegetables that are grown in the summer, we get the most flavorful, nutritious and satisfying foods. Focus on eating plenty of berries, peaches, summer squash, asparagus, peas, corn, bell peppers, cucumbers and my favorite summer food: watermelon!

And of course, make sure you use your extra time this summer to connect with the ones you love and have fun while doing it!

Happy summer,

Alexa Wible

Alexa is a personal trainer and health and fitness coach. She focuses on inspiring others to live spiritually, mentally and physically healthy. For more health tips, fitness inspiration and recipes, check out Alexa’s website or follow her on Instagram.



Making this Summer a
Win for You and Your Family

School is ending and summer is upon us. With less extracurricular activities and no more homework, chances are we as parents have a little more space in our schedule to plan some fun and meaningful times as a family.


Have some fun together //

  • Make homemade pizzas or a meal together
  • Play board games – let each family member take turns choosing one
  • Make s’mores in your fire pit, if you have one, or on the stove
  • Invite a family over for dinner, dessert and/or a game night
  • Play disc golf at a park
  • Go fishing
  • Go tortilla tossing at the Suspension Bridge
  • Create a picture scavenger hunt to do with another family
  • Fly kites
  • Get outside and play some sports – basketball, gaga ball, kickball, volleyball, etc.
  • Go paddle boarding or kayaking on Lake Waco
  • Go bowling
  • Go on a hike
  • Take a camping trip, or just set up a tent in your backyard
  • Make your own ice cream or frozen yogurt bar at home
  • Movie night
  • Have each family member take turns planning a family fun night
  • Go out for snow cones

Take some time to connect as a family //

  • Pray and wait on God for a word of encouragement for each family member
  • Ask God to highlight someone in need and bless them as a family – help the with yard work or a house project, write notes of encouragement, make them a meal, etc.
  • Have each person choose an area that feels hard or discouraging and ask God for a verse that reminds them of truth. Share those verses with one another.
  • Family worship time – have family members take turns choosing songs
  • Read a portion of Scripture and share insights with each other
  • Plan a Family Retreat – make it a staycation or take a weekend trip together
  • Have each family member take a personality test and spend time observing how different personalities impact communication and expectations within the family; there are several free tests online
  • Help each person identify their love language and share specific ways they would feel loved by family members
  • Take time to identify goals, as a family and individually; brainstorm ways to contend for each other to reach those goals

No matter what you do this summer, my hope is that you and your family have a ton of fun together and grow closer together.

Have a great summer!

By Shannon Jones, Associate Youth Pastor

A Letter from Jimmy – Making the Most of Your Summer

Dear Antioch Family,

Summer is a great opportunity to be refreshed, renewed and to move forward in our personal lives and in the Kingdom of God not only as a family, but also as a church.

Through the years Laura and I have realized that every great family not only has great intentions but takes time to make plans for what matters most. For us, we use a tool called Roles and Goals. We take time personally, and as a family, to evaluate where we are currently and where we feel God wants to take us over the summer in six key areas:

  • Spiritually
  • Mentally
  • Family
  • Financially
  • Relationally
  • Physically

I encourage you and your family to set aside time to fill out your own Roles and Goals sheet for the summer.

The second part of having a great summer is antiochcc.tv!

During the summer the schedules change, kids are out of school and we go on vacations or travel. What is exciting for us as the Antioch family is that wherever you go you can still do church! You can stream our 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services at antiochcc.tv wherever you are and enter into the service with us. So whether you are overseas or having a “staycation” as a family, you can track with our Philippians series all summer long.

Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

Ephesians 5:15-17  “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

I also suggest diving into a book this summer. I’m reading through Purpose Driven Life with my boys right now, and I highly recommend it! Some other suggestions are:

Have a great summer, Antioch!

In His strength,

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor

Three Keys to a Successful Summer

I grew up deep in the woods of northern Minnesota in a house set on top of a hill overlooking the peninsula of a small lake. Winter there would last nine months out of the year and spring lasted all of one week. There were no April showers, but the snow that had previously been up to a person’s waist would slowly melt leaving behind a messy sludge. Once that dried out, the flowers started to bloom, the grass turned green and the loons started singing on the lake again. All these sights, sounds and smells meant one thing: Summer!

The indication of summer in Texas looks pretty different than in Minnesota, but regardless of where you are, summer brings a fresh wave of opportunity.

  • 1. Use the extra time as an opportunity to go deeper in your relationship with God.

For many people, responsibilities slow down significantly in the summer, making it a land of opportunity. There’s no school for kids and work eases up just a little. Spend that extra 10 minutes reading the Bible as a family. Reach out to the other parents at your kid’s little league game. Whatever you do, let God pull you out of your comfort zone and stretch your faith this summer.

  • 2. Process the first half of the year and recharge for the second half.

There’s a spot in Cameron Park I go to at the start of each summer to write for an hour or so about all God did in and around me the previous six months. We were made in the image of God and even God needed rest. Take a couple days to relax from the first six months and get envisioned for the next half of the year. Ask God:

  • What do You have for me?
  • Where do You want me?
  • Who will I be walking with in this stage of life?
  • How can I serve You?

For more practicals on how to rest well watch this sermon on the Sabbath from our How Then Shall We Live series.

  • 3. Make a summer resolution and set plans and goals to see it through.

On average, more than 80 percent of people fail at their New Year’s Resolutions before the end of the winter. Summer is a great time to make new ones! Decide as a family to turn the TV off and go outside together. Pick up a new hobby like learning an instrument or a language. Make a schedule for your resolution and bring friends in on it to help keep you accountable.

Stop and think for a moment about the changing of the seasons. God wanted each of us to experience differences in weather, so He stretched out His hand and tilted the Earth ever so slightly. Then He gave the Earth a little push around the Sun and put it into orbit. As the Earth orbits, parts of it are angled directly at the Sun and other parts are angled slightly away making some spots hotter and some colder.  The changing of winter into summer has been used as an allegory for transformative power of God in our lives (see Song of Solomon 2:11 and Hosea 6:3).

God takes the places in us that are frozen and breathes fresh wind on them, calling them to life. Reflect for a moment on how God has already done this in your own life. Invite Him into the places where you need a breath of fresh air. May God breathe on us all this summer!

By Nate Emerson – Worship Staff

Making the Most of Your Summer: In Waco

Waco is a wonderland. At least that’s what people always say, right? You may be wondering, “What exactly is there to do in Waco?”

After spending my summer here for the last few years I can assure you, Waco really is a wonderland, and there is no better time than summertime in this great city.

Check out some of my suggestions on what to do in Waco during the summer:
  • Get outside this summer! With one of the largest parks in the country, the Brazos River and Lake Waco, there are many opportunities for some fun in the sun:
    • Cameron Park: Waco is home to one of the largest municipal parks, located right along the Brazos River. Grab some friends and have a picnic by the river, go on a hike or play a round of frisbee golf. The options are almost endless.
    • Brazos River: Speaking of the river, be sure to take an opportunity to get out on the water. Head over to Bicycle World, located in downtown Waco, to rent a kayak, paddle board or canoe.
    • Cameron Park Zoo: If you can’t make it on a safari this summer, Waco has the next best thing! Head out to Cameron Park Zoo for an afternoon with some wildlife.
    • Waco Downtown Farmer’s Market: Saturday mornings were made for the farmer’s market! Reject the snooze on Saturday morning and grab some breakfast or do a little grocery shopping all in one place. During the summer, the market is also open on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • With the Texas heat, you’ll definitely want to get a cold, sweet treat and these places are worth visiting:
    • Mr. Snow Shaved Ice Stand: This is your classic snow cone stand with flavors like Ninja Turtle and Wedding Cake as some of the favorites. What makes this place stand out among the rest is their combination of snow cones and ice cream rolled into one treat called a Love Nest.
    • Heritage Creamery: Located right next to Common Grounds coffee shop, this creamery is a perfect combination of hipster vibes and waffle cones. Their unique flavors include honey lavender and oatmeal brown sugar. I like a more classic salty vanilla bean, but don’t be afraid to venture out with a more daring flavor.
    • Common Grounds: If you’re not feeling ice cream, stop by Common Grounds and try a Cowboy Coffee. If you’re not much of a coffee drinker, try the Moroccan mint tea. Either option makes for a refreshing, afternoon pick-me-up.
    • Pokey O’s: This dessert truck specializes in sweet Blue Bell Ice Cream squished between two homemade cookies. What could be better than that? Because this is a food truck, you’ll have to check their Instagram to find out their location and hours.
  • If you’re not really feeling the outdoors or something sweet, check out some of these other fun places in Waco:
    • Waco Hippodrome: This recently renovated theatre is the perfect place to catch a movie. With a twist on your traditional movie snack bar, the Hippodrome offers full-service dining during the movie.
    • Downtown Food Trucks: Venture out of traditional restaurants and head to the food trucks downtown. The food trucks offer a hip, Austin vibe with shorter lines and less traffic. From Greek, to Indian to traditional Texas barbecue, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
    • Magnolia Market: Have you heard of Fixer Upper? There’s no way you can live in Waco and not know about the hit HGTV show! Check out Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market Silos to find some inspiration for your home or hang out with friends in the backyard.
      • Local Tip: If you go on Wednesdays, you can enjoy a grilled cheese from Cheddar Box food truck for only $5, just tell them you’re there for Wacotown Wednesday.
    • Visit a Museum: Take in a little culture with the Art Center of Waco, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Mayborn Museum or the Dr Pepper Museum.

There are endless possibilities to have some fun in Waco, and I hope by the end of the summer, you’ll be convinced that Waco really is a wonderland.

By Destiny Gonzalez- Antioch Communications Coordinator

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Making the Most of Your Summer: High School Edition

Who doesn’t love summer? It finally happened: it’s here! In preparing this post, I first wrote a dramatic introduction about the arrival of summer and how it was both long-in-coming, yet seemed to arrive so suddenly. It was quite the philosophical examination of the ironic dichotomy and dualism of the arrival of summer. It was going to be dramatic.

And then I deleted it.

Because the truth is, for most of us, we don’t care about anything else other than the fact that summer has arrived.

Though it means something different for everyone (shorts in the office, no school for kids, cheeseburgers and picnics, cheap ice pops, blazing hot cars, the smell of freshly cut grass), you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love something about summer.

But what I love most about summer is that it’s one of the easiest transitions to reprioritize and restructure life.

Because let’s be honest; New Year’s is a sham. Do you really want to get up and work out when it’s freezing and raining outside? Or do you really want to stuff more slimy, mass-produced broccoli in your mouth when you’re at your office party because your trying to eat healthy, all the while trying in vain to avoid all the cookies, cupcakes, candies, pies and ice cream that populate the tables of holiday parties? I think not.

Summer is, in my opinion, quite different. The days are noticeably longer, the temperature is perfect for being outside and everyone seems a bit more relaxed. It’s almost as if everyone takes a unanimous sigh of relief. And the vegetables worth eating are actually in season and tend to be in style.

That’s why summer is a perfect time to use the momentum of widespread, seasonal change to fuel change in your own life.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the legendary football coach, Urban Meyer, “Games are won and lost in transition.” I’m a firm believer that transitions done well can result in long-term, positive change in your life and in the lives of your family. But this change doesn’t come without a plan, and that’s what this series is all about.

While we encourage every age to plan for a phenomenal summer, I want to help you (the parents) work with your high schooler to help make this their best summer yet!

Our goal here is connection not perfection. Teenagers crave authentic, meaningful connection above all else. You don’t have to help them create the most water-tight plan to maximize their summer, you just have to prioritize relationships and work out from there.

Let me explain using the three F’s of a Functional Summer:

      • How will you connect as a family throughout this summer? (i.e. vacation, staycation, day at the park, zoo or other attraction) Family time doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate to be meaningful, it just needs to happen. For bonus points have your high schooler plan an activity for the whole family as part of this time.
      • How will you connect with your student? Consider planning one or two activities exclusively with your student. This would be a great way to learn what he or she loves to do and provide some quality time for you to just talk; talk about life, friends, school, home, dreams, etc. The goal is to give your student space to share what’s on his or her heart.
      • What friends are they looking forward to spending time with this summer? This is a great time to have your student’s friends over to get to know them -ultimately a way to stay engaged with your student’s life. This can also be a great opportunity to help them prioritize positive relationships with other students who follow Jesus.
      • Is there anyone they’d like to get to know or reach out to this summer? From work to summer school, many students will have more time to interact with peers outside of their normal social circle. This is a great time to think through being missional and looking for opportunities to share the Gospel and/or pray for those who don’t know Jesus.
    • How will your student be productive this summer? I’m a firm believer that every high schooler needs some form of responsibility to keep them sharp. From a paying job to a major yard project, giving high schoolers responsibility to work hard toward a goal (paycheck or project completion) develops a strong work ethic and teaches them to prioritize their time.
    • What are the roles and goals they have for their summer? Each year, Pastor Jimmy sends out his annual “Roles and Goals” worksheet. This worksheet is a very simple tool to realign our focus and priorities for our life. I encourage our high schoolers to fill this form out themselves, even if they’re only able to fill out the first one or two lines because it causes them to look at the summer as full of opportunity, rather than one, giant opportunity to sleep in.

As the old adage goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Helping your high schooler answer these questions will help him or her put the best foot forward in kicking off this summer. Even if you’re only able to complete part of the plans you make together, your student will likely have a more meaningful summer and make quality connections with friends and family along the way.

We believe in your high school students and love the way God is shaping them into men and women of faith in Jesus!

By Blake Foster High School Pastor

blake foster

Making the Most of Your Summer: Junior High Edition

Folks, can you believe summer is here?! School is out now and swimming, sunscreen, BBQs and ice cream are about to become part of our daily vocabulary. When it comes to our junior high students, we know what makes them really excited about summer: no more school assignments filling all of their free time!

Summer camps, jobs and team sports all become great options for them. However, even with these activities, students will inevitably still find themselves with a lot of time at home.

So, the question becomes: what should they do with all of their free time?

Ideally they would enjoy their time being a “kinda kid” and spend time running around outside, riding their bikes or playing ball. But, the fearsome reality is that a lot of them may spend their summer staring at a screen.

Another sad reality is that sometimes they learn those habits from us. Their parents, leaders, extended family, older siblings, etc. This summer, let’s model how to let go of the screen and be present for these junior highers.

“As parents become more attached to technology, they become detached from their kids, who in turn attach themselves to their devices.” – Mark Foreman

  • Shut off the TV
  •  Power down the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, iMac, iEverything
  •  Look one another in the eyes and talk
  •  Go outside and play some ball

Another great opportunity for our junior highers to make the most of this summer is Jump Camp! Jump Camp is for incoming 7th and 8th graders on August 5th – 8th in Latham Springs. Registration is now open and you can watch for more information here. Take advantage of this time for your kids to unplug, be outside, play and learn this summer!

By Hap Eid Associate Junior High Pastor

Hap Headshot

Making the Most of Your Summer: Kids Edition

Summer time is family time!

Antioch Kids Ministry is passionate about seeing kids become lifelong Disciples of Christ through equipping parents and empowering volunteers. It is so helpful to hear how someone else is being intentional in discipling their children. The blog below is from a working, busy mom of five who shares her insight on how to find family time this summer.

kids min blog

One of my kids wrote the list above one summer. I have to say, my plans for that summer did not match his… especially the ferret part! I was on board with the two hours of “mama time,” but in a house with five kids, we probably needed to adjust some expectations if his goal was to have two hours of my undivided attention every day. I also would have added some items of my own to his list!

Jimmy recently shared his “Roles and Goals” sheet and since it is so helpful, we want to share the kids’ version with you. When summer starts our family rhythms change, and it’s a great opportunity to capture the time to move forward with things we’d like to see in our kids’ lives and goals they’d like to meet. These first few weeks of summer are the perfect time to take a breath to reflect and plan.

In our family, we take a morning to let the kids dream about their summer. We print the goal sheets on bright colored paper with a fun summer border and send the kids to their favorite spots. The littlest one gets her own sheet and we interview her.

When the kids are done, we talk with each one individually, doing a little interview about the goals they wrote down and what inspired them. Sometimes we coach the kids on making their goals more realistic or a little more ambitious, depending on the need. My husband and I also pray and think about some good goals for our kids and the unique areas where we want to see growth for each one, and we add these to each child’s goal list.

We have a large family, and the first day of summer has sometimes been intimidating. It seemed as if our kids had saved up all their summer ideas during the whole school year and were determined to carry out all these competing plans at once. Obviously, we can’t go to the homes of five friends, the beach, the mall, the water park, the electronics store, and the museum on the same day. So in addition to the goals above, we’ve found it helpful to give each child a sheet with two columns:

  1. Fun things I’d like to do this summer       and        2) Fun things I’d like for us to do as a family this summer.

This way, the kids can get all these ideas out on paper, and we can see what is on each child’s heart to do. As parents we can add our thoughts, and then as a family, we can discuss a reasonable time frame in which to fulfill some of these dreams.

Summer provides time and space for kids to grow in all kinds of ways…spiritual disciplines, practical life skills, relationships (especially with siblings!) and in their unique areas of interest. It just takes devoting some intentional time to planning.  It really can be fun!

By Thresa Lawson and Betty Lewis

My Summer Pledge

As a college pastor, I have a love-hate relationship with summer. It’s not that I have a problem with downtime, road trips, family connection and some extra sleep. It’s just that some people are great at utilizing their break to get rejuvenated while others get their spiritual tail kicked.

Recently, I sat down and wrote out all the reasons – or should I say excuses – students have given me in the past for not spiritually thriving during their summer. I also wrote down key phrases we had discussed in our sermons and discipleship times throughout the year.

The next thing you know, I had written down a pledge for the summer of 2016.

Recently, I read this pledge to all of our students at a college service and told them this was going to be my personal mission this summer. I then challenged them to stand to their feet and read it aloud if they wanted to make it their mission too. Everyone in the room stood up and the presence of God was evident. It literally felt like a spiritual volcano was about to erupt in the room! They got so fired up and by the end, everybody was clapping and yelling.

I don’t think college students are the only ones who struggle with stewarding downtime.

If we are not careful, we can all be lured into spiritual atrophy – and temptation and sin are usually right on its heels. Maybe this pledge – or one like it- could help you as well! My challenge for you is to read this and then modify it for you, your roommates, your family, your Lifegroup – or any group of people who is committed to locking arms with you and spiritually thriving this summer.


In closing, my prayer for you is simple: that the 1 Corinthians 15:58 admonition that closes the following pledge will be true of your summer and true for all of us: “Therefore brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

My Summer Pledge 2016

This summer, I will love Jesus with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. Because Jesus gave His life to me, I will give my life to others and actively serve my family, my friends, the Church and  those who do not yet know Jesus.

I am an adult, therefore, it is not anyone else’s job to keep me passionate, holy and accountable. I resolve now to take ownership and responsibility for my life. I will not give myself excuses to sin. I will not shift the blame of my sin to others by saying: “Summer was hard and I didn’t have accountability.” I will not mess up one time and then give up for the rest of the summer. Instead, I will choose today to love what God loves and hate what God hates. So I will not look at pornography. I will not have sex with someone I’m not married to. I will not let Instagram, Netflix, Snapchat or any other media outlet pollute the purity of my devotion to Him.

I will get some rest, but I will not waste my summer. I will not let my Bible collect dust; I will tremble at the Word of the Lord, and I will grow in intimacy with Him.

I will not allow inactivity or isolation to become a breeding ground for sin. I am on a mission. I refuse to just play defense. For the kingdom of heaven is advancing forcefully and the violent take it by force. Therefore, because I am loved and set free by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I will be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that my labor in the Lord is not in vain!

By College Pastor Carl Gulley
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Making the Most of Your Summer

Dear Antioch Family,

I hope your summer is going well! I am excited about all that God wants to do in your life and mine in these coming months. Every summer I send out an encouragement and a Summer Goals Sheet that will help you have a great summer. This year I’ve also shared more ideas on how to do that in this video. I hope both of these serve you well.

In the goals sheet will find space to write down goals relating to your spiritual life, family life, finances, physical health, relationships and more. It is a great tool to help you and your family plan for the summer and hone in on the mission God has called you to.

My hope is that at the end of the summer you will see tremendous fruit from doing this exercise!

Get the Summer Goals Sheet. In case you missed it, here is our Summer Goals Sheet for kids!

In His Strength and Love,

Jimmy Seibert, Senior Pastor