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    that threads its way through the three articles in this issue s feature section It doesn t matter if I have a genetic condition that results in cognitive delays or problems with attention impulsivity and overactivity I am made in God s image and in his eyes I am priceless I may own a very nice car have a high paying job and plenty of money but what I have in the bank or parked in the garage won t alter the way God sees me Whether rich or poor or somewhere in between I am God s chosen holy and beloved child Given God s amazing love for us our dealings with others whether they are children or adults should be guided by two things seeing others with God s eyes and consequently treating everyone regardless of appearance disability faith gender or race with kindness and respect Each of us likely can think of a situation and maybe more than one in which seeing with God s eyes and responding with God s generous grace is easier said than done I teach grade school kids Wednesday nights at my church My co teacher and I lead three groups of kids in a 15 minute sometimes noisy activity that reinforces our Bible story During one recent Wednesday night a student took a flying leap and threw himself spread eagle onto the classroom table I was frustrated and he knew it I talked to him graciously I hope about his behavior but could I have done more to reinforce the fact that God loves us all even when we mess up I pray that we will be sensitive to God s nudges to see with God s eyes as we work with our congregation s children interact with our families friends and colleagues and encounter strangers whose appearance tempts us to see them as less than God s chosen holy and beloved children Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Seeing with God s eyes Saturday Feb 1 2014 Appearances can be deceiving when I don t see with God s eyes by Connie Faber CL editor Jill was driving the speed limit 75 mph as she traveled Interstate 35 between Wichita and Salina Kan and yet cars trucks and semis were consistently passing her It did feel like she was just crawling along and so she began driving faster When the speedometer registered 100 mph and most other drivers were still passing her Jill knew something was wrong The car was running just fine she concluded so what was the problem When she arrived home and told her husband the story he quickly solved the mystery Earlier in the day when she had filled the gas tank and reset the trip odometer Jill had inadvertently changed the speedometer from miles to kilometers Which meant that in order to reach the speed limit Jill should have been driving at what appeared to be140 mph Jill s experience reminds

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_24.html (2016-02-17)
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    The seminary formerly MB Biblical Seminary merged its Fresno operations with FPU in 2010 Despite such challenges some quite daunting Brensinger says the seminary intends not merely to survive but to move forward and make significant impact I m not interested in maintaining the place he says There is a lot of energy and excitement here So it s a matter of harnessing that in the right time sequence and finding the resources to make that happen The seminary here is not lacking in imagination He dreams about exploring new delivery options perhaps a hybrid residential online model or a variation on medical residency which would cooperate with strategic local congregations to give students both education and experience with little or no debt Perhaps these hubs could even extend to overseas locations to help train leaders globally He looks forward to developing FPBS s urban presence and to training leaders to serve in urban areas Statistics say the world s population is moving toward the cities he points out It would seem shortsighted if not foolish for us here at the seminary not to take the call to prepare people for urban contexts seriously as well He says We have a lot of wonderful challenges ahead of us Brensinger says God continues to work in his heart as he faces the challenges of his new role at the seminary He talks about a dismantling and rebuilding process in recent years as God prepared him for this transition He talks about learning new dependency like Peter walking on the water and reaching out for Jesus hand It feels like he s inviting me to fall recklessly into his hands in ways that I ve not before Brensinger says quoting a favorite line And with that glimpse into his heart Brensinger shows that faith is more than an academic exercise or intellectual pursuit for him personally as well as institutionally Photo courtesy of FPU Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Seminary dean seeks to build bridges Saturday Feb 1 2014 Brensinger aims to connect heart and mind church and seminary By Myra Holmes Terry Brensinger talks a lot about wedding the heart and the mind It s especially important to him in his new role as dean and vice president of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary FPBS as he thinks about training pastoral leaders and connecting the seminary to the church FPBS a school of Fresno Pacific University FPU in Fresno Calif is the Mennonite Brethren seminary for graduate level theological education Brensinger began teaching there in 2011 as professor of pastoral ministries and transitioned Aug 1 2013 to the dual position of dean of the seminary and vice president of FPU The role brings together Brensinger s own education experience and passion He has a doctorate in Old Testament a master of philosophy in biblical studies and a master s degree in ancient near Eastern archaeology all from Drew University Madison NJ He holds a master of divinity

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_31.html (2016-02-17)
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    lot of things through the classes and on Sunday mornings we work out of the resource packet and the music we get from them Together the two congregations are finding creative ways to reach their diverse community The annual block party brings the neighborhood together for a Saturday of food and games A church float filled with children and decorated with both English and Spanish highlights their joint ministry as part of the community s parade As in the community the cultural lines sometimes blur between the two congregations Second generation children of immigrants may not speak their parents language or identify with their culture Templo Betania has been able to reach young people who are in that place between cultures And some Hispanic families from the community have begun to attend New Life We would like our congregation to reflect the community says Goertzen It s because we work together that they feel comfortable on either side Every tongue every nation will bow down Marcos Martinez adds It s sometimes challenging when you have two different races seeking the Lord with their own understanding but we re both seeking out those who don t have Jesus in their hearts Photos by Susan Ault Photo 1 Children from New Life Church and Templo Betania Hermanos Mennonitas two USMB congregations in Ulysses Kan participate in the monthly joint worship services as they wave flags during the service Photo 2 The passion Templo Betania has for nonbelievers has awakened our our awareness to the lost around us says New Life elder Ted Goertzen Photo 3 Meeting the needs of a variety of age groups and cultures is the goal each month when the two congregations have a joint worship service A music team comprised of member from both New Life and Templo Betania lead singing during the Jan 5 worship service Photo 4 The monthly joint worship service also includes a fellowship meal o Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Ulysses churches team up to reach diverse community Saturday Feb 1 2014 10 year partnership grows beyond two churches that share facilities by Kathy Heinrichs Wiest Bilingual flyers in hand members of two congregations New Life Church and Templo Betania Hermanos Mennonitas canvass their Ulysses Kan neighborhood with an invitation to their annual block party Working in bilingual teams they are able to communicate with every household 40 percent of which speak a language other than English at home according to the 2010 U S Census Kansas isn t the first state that comes to mind as having a high percentage of Spanish speaking households But over the years the cattle country familiar rural agriculture based communities and more recently work in the oil and natural gas fields have drawn many Mexican and Mexican American families to the southwest region of the state In Ulysses more than half the population of 6 000 is Hispanic Two years ago the New York Times featured Ulysses in a story highlighting

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_30.html (2016-02-17)
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    safety record to Austin s prayers One guy says You re here tonight so that means I won t have to do anything Listening is an important part of the job of chaplain Sometimes that means patiently listening to drivers talk endlessly about their cars and racing strategy or their litany of excuses when they don t win On occasion a driver or family member will need a listening ear on more personal issues but those times are rare With drivers it takes time Austin says You re building that relationship with them You carry Scripture with you and pray that someone will ask you to share it with them Few of the drivers he has worked with are Christians and with their weekends spent away from home at various racetracks Austin is the closest thing they have to a pastor One woman asked Austin if he could officiate at her daughter s wedding since he is not ordained he could only assist Another time a crew chief called on him for an impromptu devotional for his driver and crew Having people look to him as their pastor keeps Austin encouraged in the ministry Sometimes I wonder if I m doing any good at all and someone will put their arm around me and say how they appreciate my being there he says Austin finds himself transformed by the experience of ministry at the track This is a dirty ministry I m going to hear things I don t hear at the church and see things I don t see at church he says Sometimes the language hurts your ears But it has made me more aware of the need that people have the need for Christ in their lives Before my entire focus was inside the church he says but the Lord has told us to go and so that s what I have done It s really not an option Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Dirt track is road to ministry for Kansan Saturday Feb 1 2014 Raceway chaplain focuses on drivers crews by Kathy Heinrichs Wiest The revving engines of their racecars push the decibel level in the staging area so high only God can hear Brent Austin s voice but every driver knows exactly why the Dodge City Raceway chaplain pauses a moment by his car The chaplain is offering a prayer for the driver s safety on the dirt racetrack I like the loud cars and they are loud I like the way they look and even though it sounds funny I love the way 110 octane fuel smells when it burns Austin says Austin sums it up this way I love the Lord foremost in my life The second thing I love the most is racing quickly adding that his love for his wife and kids is actually right in there after his love for the Lord These two loves of serving the Lord and of racing sports were

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_32.html (2016-02-17)
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    elder on staff at CCS s mother church Trinity Church in Portland and received a great deal of positive experience over the two years prior to Sellwood s launch People are responding to his gifted preaching In addition the church holds Home Group meetings on Tuesday evenings that include a fellowship meal group discussion pertaining to the sermon text from the previous Sunday and much prayer photo above We love what s happening here says Tim Dykstra another Transition Team leader who lives outside the church plant neighborhood We looked long and hard before choosing to attend Trinity Church and now are really thankful to be a part of the Christ Church Sellwood team It s been good for us even though it takes us 25 minutes to get here With the focus on young families comes the realization that there are many overworked and frazzled mothers in the congregation To help provide a fun break for moms the church holds a monthly Ladies Night Out at one of the local restaurants The men and children have dinner together at the Pulliam home at the same time This has provided enthusiastic participation and wonderful fellowship for the ladies as well as a great opportunity to integrate the church family into the Sellwood community says Pulliam Christ Church Sellwood is a church planting partnership between mother church Trinity Church the Pacific District Conference and Mission USA the USMB church planting and church renewal ministry Representatives from each of these three entities along with three members of the new church s Transition Team and the Pulliams comprise the Task Force Team and are responsible for decisions typically made by a congregation s elder board and oversight during the church plant s initial development It s rewarding to see a church plant with all the right ingredients in place begin to develop significant relationships with people in the community says Don Morris Mission USA director Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Sellwood church plant core team building relationships Saturday Feb 1 2014 New church in Portland focuses on young families Mission USA news story Christ Church Sellwood CCS our USMB church plant in Portland Ore is experiencing a healthy beginning Following the September 2013 launch the young church s core team consisting largely of families with young children has melded solidly together As a whole they are very service minded Pastor Jared Pulliam and his team would like to see more new attendees They have been hard at work developing relationships in the area and anticipate people will soon begin responding to their invitations to join them Meeting at the Sellwood Community Center allows easy access for local people at a readily known location The Community Center has been fantastic for us says Josh Skarphol a member of the Transition Team the CCS leadership group Not only have they been great to work with and the lease is very reasonable but everyone in Sellwood knows where it is It

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_33.html (2016-02-17)
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    of God Mark Willems is the clinical director of Turning Point a psychiatric treatment center for adolescents at Prairie View in Newton Kan Willems grew up in California attended MB Biblical Seminary in Fresno Calif and later was on the pastoral staff at First MB Church in Wichita Kan FAQ Frequently Asked Questions by Mark Willems I teach children in church What can I do when I have a child with ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in my class Just as ADHD children struggle in school they also have difficulty with traditional learning activities in church As with many situations in life it is not so much the particular intervention but how one intervenes It is more helpful to be graceful with the child than precise with the intervention Here are a few ways to help children who struggle with hyperactivity inattention and impulsivity When providing instructions be clear and brief The child will not be able to tolerate long lectures Encourage him to look at you or ask him to repeat what he heard you say Give instructions one step at a time Use positive statements Tell children what you want them to do rather than what you don t want them to do Instead of saying Don t run down the halls tell the children Walk beside me to the next activity Most children will do better with consistent structure This may mean sitting in the same seat near the teacher each week or taking short breaks at the same time Emphasize quality rather than quantity If you have children look up verses on God s love for example be okay if the ADHD child finds two verses instead of the five you gave for everyone to find She will understand about God s love from those verses and will also see it modeled because you cared enough to adjust your expectation for what she could do Give frequent feedback regarding behavior Offer redirections and notice positive behaviors often If the feedback is done with grace this models kindness and patience to the other children and they will be more apt to demonstrate this toward the child who struggles This provides opportunities for inclusion rather than exclusion How can my church better serve families whose children have lower IQs or autistic symptoms Consider starting a special needs Sunday school class like the one at the church I attend Members who were child special needs professionals set up the class and trained others who were interested Parents appreciate those teachers who provide them the opportunity to attend worship services and adult learning groups Where can I get help for my child with mental behavioral issues Many pastors are trained to find local mental health providers and can counsel church members Some states have community mental health centers with competent clinicians these centers can help those with financial need to pay for services It is important to seek assistance from those who are trained to provide help and who are accountable to others for their therapeutic decisions ADHD resources Books Russell A Barkley Taking Charge of ADHD The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents Guilford Press 1997 2013 Edward M Hallowell and John J Ratey Driven to Distraction Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder Anchor Books 1994 2011 Websites Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder See www chadd org American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry See www aacap org Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments If they can Saturday Feb 1 2014 How understanding children s mental health issues improves our ministry By Mark Willems When I was in grade school I sat in the second row from the front every Sunday at church My parents sang in the choir and I was expected to sit quietly and listen to the music prayers and sermon My friend Steven sat next to me and together we endured that dreadfully long hour When the service ended Steven and I were more than ready to dash out of the building using a door up front As children will do we fought over the aisle seat so one of us could be the actual first person to leave One morning the choir ended the service with a beautiful choral benediction and soft Amen Steven hit the door one second after the song was over The door banged loudly enough for all to hear and I the second one out was in the doorway when the whole congregation looked over to see from whence the loud irreverent noise had come Steven ran down the sidewalk yelling Charge as if leading soldiers up Bunker Hill not cool in our pacifist church Again all eyes in the church building found me including those of my parents in the choir loft I hated being in trouble but I was again What does this story have to do with mental health Understanding mental health in the church enables us to minister to children and their parents in the kingdom of God We see many behaviors from children in the church body and in our communities Ministry is more effective when we understand the children with these behaviors Children do well if they can I was fortunate that I did not have a mental illness as a child and easily formed skills to prevent me from getting into serious trouble That morning my parents talked to me sternly about my behavior and that of my friend and I don t remember having that problem again Steven and I knew to wait a few more seconds before leaving doing so in orderly fashion rather than fighting to be first Unfortunately children with mental illness struggle with developing the necessary skills to effectively learn socialize and accomplish tasks to contribute in a positive way to their communities of faith and networks of influence Children do well if they can write Ross Greene and J Stuart Ablon in their book Treating Explosive Kids Guilford Press 2006

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_35.html (2016-02-17)
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    if Emily had not been in that race her remarkable impact on others would have never happened How often in our humanness have we allowed our doubts and fears to actually limit God s incredible plan We have a choice in what we allow Christ to do through us We serve a God who somewhere does the impossible every second of the day Do my desires and sense of what s possible reflect a trust and obedience in a limitless God Our abilities are greater than we realize We are capable of far more than we ever believe possible especially when encouraged by others Until the day of Emily s race she had never swam a full 400 yards Yet on that day she came to believe that she could Why Because her coach told her she could The result was an unshakable belief and a commitment to swim as far as she possibly could for her teammates and her coach One of the most rewarding things I ve experienced over a lifetime in competitive athletics is seeing the expression on athletes faces when they first realize they ve just done something they hadn t believed possible At Fresno Pacific University our championship volleyball teams are encouraged to play to a simple principle Make the people around you better We believe that with strong encouragement from teammates we have a better chance to win championships The power of faith It s amazing what God can do even when our faith is no larger than a mustard seed We are limited only by our own attitudes and unbelief Over the years I have been privileged to see some extraordinary accomplishments by student athletes sometimes against seemingly impossible odds Reflecting on these accomplishments the one thing that each has in common is an extraordinary vision formed from an immovable belief and faith in ability and effort Expressing an exciting vision is easy Talking about a strong faith is also easy Neither means much unless they re actively pursued An accomplished vision occurs only from a committed sustained faith Martin Luther King once said Faith is taking the first step even when you don t see the whole staircase When I think of what Emily did in that race I am reminded of how powerful a simple faith in action can be especially when encouraged Indeed what Emily did that day really mattered Her presence even with the challenges of Down syndrome greatly influenced everyone around her I believe that God through Emily was at work that day delivering powerful life lessons God has created each of us for his own unique purpose God s work is accomplished in so many wonderful ways ways we often can never foresee It is exciting to know that God values and loves each of us so much that he is willing in fact he desires to work through each of us to accomplish his plan God truly holds each of us in the palm of his hand Knowing that we are uniquely blessed for God s perfect purpose may we never limit the powerful blessings of giftedness we ve each abundantly received One last detail about Emily by finishing the race she earned her team one point And they won the league championship that day by one point Dennis Janzen is the former director of athletics and head women s volleyball coach at Fresno Pacific University Fresno Calif Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Everyone matters Saturday Feb 1 2014 Lessons from a high school championship swim meet By Dennis Janzen Not long ago a good friend was telling me the story of his daughter s local high school league championship swim meet As he was framing the scene it was easy to see the pride in his face and voice His daughter is special and what she did that day made a huge difference for her team Here s what happened The story begins when Emily saw some members of the swim team practicing She was impressed by what she saw and wanted to be a part of the swim team However Emily had never really swam more than a few yards at a time She spoke with the coach and he agreed that if she could learn to swim a full 25 yards she could be on the team Now I need to tell you Emily has Down syndrome Her father is one of the most successful coaches at his level in all of California His son Emily s brother recently graduated from the Air Force Academy and was a four year letterman on the Air Force water polo team Achievement drive commitment and discipline define the entire family Well Emily worked incredibly hard and learned to swim the 25 yards She made the junior varsity team But the story doesn t end there Emily continued to improve and after a few weeks was able to actually swim 50 yards without stopping She was always at practice and enjoyed encouraging her junior varsity and varsity teammates Everyone came to appreciate this happy young Down syndrome girl very much A coach s decision Late in the season it came time for the league championship meet Now remember Emily was on the junior varsity team The league championship meet was only for varsity team members Her father attended the league championship meet because he wanted to support many of the varsity swim athletes whom he had previously coached and taught when they were younger As Emily s dad walked into the swim complex he was met by the varsity swim coach who told him that he had entered Emily into the 400 yard freestyle Are you crazy the stunned father said No way I will not have my daughter humiliated that way The swim coach just said Trust me It will be OK The reluctant father sat and watched Soon it was time for Emily s race to begin Emily climbed onto

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_36.html (2016-02-17)
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    his beloved we reach out in love As forgiven ones we offer forgiveness As those who received compassion we show compassion The rubber meets the road here Do we truly see ourselves as the recipients of God s good grace or are we doing good things and being good people out of obligation When we clothe ourselves in compassion kindness humility gentleness and patience are we doing it out of compulsion or from a true sense of who we are in Christ We are not lists of dos and don ts We are not checklists of righteous activity We are so not the clothing of good intentions We are the children of God chosen holy and loved This is who we are and it leads us to live the good character the Lord has described for us in his Word We are so his children And as his children we are recipients of compassion so we can show compassion we are forgiven so we can forgive we are loved so we can love Mike Spinelli describes himself as just one of God s chosen and loved people who attends Bethany MB Church in Fresno Calif where he is the choir director He is also an adjunct professor for Fresno Pacific University and an operations director for a local business SIDEBAR How God saw his people When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and made them a people he wanted them to identify themselves as he saw them Here are some verses from the Old Testament that show what God saw in his people These are the verses that Paul would have been familiar with in creating his picture in Colossians 3 MS For I am the Lord your God Consecrate yourselves therefore andbe holy for I am holy You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground For I am theLordwho brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God You shall therefore be holy for I am holy Lev 11 44 45 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people his treasured possession The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples for you were the fewest of all peoples But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt Deut 7 6 8 Know that the Lord is God It is he who made us and we are his we are his people the sheep of his pasture Ps 100 3 In that day I will respond declares the Lord I will respond to the skies and they will respond to the earth and the earth will respond to the grain the new wine and the olive oil and they will respond to Jezreel I will plant her for myself in the land I will show my love to the one I called Not my loved one I will say to those called Not my people You are my people and they will say You are my God Hosea 2 21 23 Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments You are not your clothes Saturday Feb 1 2014 You might be surprised at how Paul identifies followers of Christ By Mike Spinelli I don t often remember words spoken at a graduation even my own In order for me to remember the words have to be special Like those of the valedictorian at a friend s high school graduation who began and ended her speech with a revised quote from a popular movie You are not your job you re not how much money you have in the bank You are not the car you drive You re not the contents of your wallet You are so not your khakis What makes these words extraordinary after all these years is that they remind me that what I have does not define or classify me How often do we define ourselves by what we have in the bank or the garage Even if we eschew possessions our hard work or even just the title of our job becomes a major identifier And how many of us accept the notion that the clothes do make the man or the woman Okay maybe you don t need these things to define you But do other things identify you family service to God or even striving for Christ like character The apostle Paul devoted many words to how we should live as imitators of Christ In Colossians 3 12 14 we find a list of characteristics that Paul imagines as clothing something we should put on and wear They are wonderful character values that reflect Christ s nature compassion kindness humility gentleness patience and forgiveness Yet it is not these attributes that caught my attention during a men s retreat a couple of years back I could have read the whole passage soaking in the to do list Paul is presenting But it was the words with which Paul launches his list that made me stop Therefore as God s chosen people holy and dearly loved Col 3 12 In that moment I focused on how Paul identifies the believers They are not identified by compassion or forgiveness Rather Paul characterizes them with words that distinguish the people of God before the time of Christ chosen holy and dearly loved Identified by a relationship Although it is easy to blow by these three words in order to get to the things we are supposed to be doing these words are not trivial Paul s message is not that the to do

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/_34.html (2016-02-17)
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