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    beginning of the school year or paying for an oil change for the car Maybe you have the ability to handle some larger ticket items buying a week s worth of groceries purchasing new tires for the car to enhance the family s safety making a car payment or paying rent mortgage for a month maybe during December when it frees up some money to buy some gifts You may decide that giving a direct cash gift would be the best way to help a single parent family If you do this I have one word of caution You must allow them to use the money as they see fit They know their family the best they know where the money can be used the most If they use the financial gift in a way that you do not totally agree with but you can see that it was a good benefit then my advice is to remain quiet It was after all a gift Now if what is purchased is way out of line say a 200 pair of Jordan s then I might say something It is a tough call because it was a gift Accepting gifts Not every single parent household is in need of help Some are doing very well and the structure of their life is running smoothly Indeed some single parent households are thriving and could teach two parent households better time management While I applaud those single family households that are doing well I also congratulate those struggling single parent households that allow those who have the resources to be of help with the gift of time space or money I know Katja the single mom with the three kids introduced to you at the beginning of this article I called her Mom I was the youngest of the three kids We didn t have much but we made do I remember she worked a lot to make ends meet It had to be hard with three growing kids and all the things that go along with being a single parent She did what she did to make sure that we were healthy fed and educated And I remember a couple of guys who gave me the gift of time with them While I don t remember their names I remember the time they spent with me at sporting events and at Burger King That was a big deal to a six year old So to single parents do not hesitate to accept a gift that someone offers If time space or money is offered accept it The giver wouldn t be offering if they couldn t afford the gift When you the single parent are back on your feet and have the ability you may be able to then help someone else And to two parent households or anyone else with the resources to offer these gifts I invite you to consider giving time space or money to a single parent who could benefit from it Who knows how you might affect the kids you come into contact with Maybe one will grow up to be a youth pastor Tim Clever is the youth pastor at Corn Okla MB Church This article is adapted from the November 2012 issue of The Shovel Clever s newsletter for parents based on his 13 plus years of experience working with teens Contact Clever at clevertim yahoo com Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Investing in single parent households Saturday Jun 1 2013 Change a life when you share time space and funds with a single parent By Tim Clever Katja married her high school sweetheart they had children and they got divorced all in eight years She found herself alone with three kids At times Katja worked two jobs and even this was barely enough to survive It was not what she wanted but she dealt with it Though it was not easy Katja s love for her children pressed her forward in an attempt to make ends meet Single parents like Katja have a tough job The demands and needs of a single parent are intense One person is earning a living paying bills filing taxes feeding and clothing their kids mowing the grass handing out discipline trying to socialize helping with homework taking care of the house and being a taxi all pretty much by themselves As a youth pastor for 14 years I have seen the struggles single parent households experience It is not easy on the parent or the children I believe that those of us not in this situation have the resources to help relieve some of the pressure of those whose home has only one parent When I say resources I mean time space and money When we share our resources we may change a life or become that key mentor for a student in need of one Give your time Time is one of the resources that single parents do not have enough of Between work and home life there is precious little time Consider all the things that we two parent households find hard to do given our busy schedules then multiply that twice for single parent households with schedules just as busy So what can we do with our resource of time Consider giving some time to the single parent Offer to take their child or children for several hours every few weeks to free up the single parent to do something which this parent may not have done in a very long time Maybe the single parent needs to do some shopping or would like to take in a movie and dinner with a close friend or just wants to rest There are many ways that you can allow a single parent a chance to get some things done knowing that they have placed their child in the care of someone whom they trust And the chance to regroup possibly even

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Investing-in-single-parent-households.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    I look for the spark that flies between the two arches of the biblical text and the contemporary film What we find says Jewett will help us understand biblical truth and throw light on contemporary situations How can we be more open to encountering those sparks First we need to start thinking about movies as stories with the capacity to as Jewett puts it disclose truth in their own right How does that truth help us better understand ourselves the world and our own story We shouldn t be quick to dismiss genres that don t seem valuable The Barna survey notes the most attended films among evangelicals were The Avengers 42 percent and The Hunger Games 36 percent Both stories have elements that bring God talk into open spaces Don t stay away from a film just because it is dark or has suffering There is value in these stories In depicting darkness art can also serve as a vivid reminder of the world that ought to be says Brett McCracken in Relevant magazine T he redemption journey moves through all manner of blood curdling atrocities and skin tingling horrors along the way and the gospel is all the more beautiful because of it That doesn t mean every story is worth viewing Each person needs to know their conscience and their weaknesses Overstreet says That means we need to do more than check the film s rating Read about the films you see Some critics reviews are informed by their faith Talk with others about the stories and the issues they raise If the films we watched last year didn t make us think more seriously about our faith perhaps we didn t choose wisely or didn t watch well Carmen Andres is a freelance writer and former CL editor who lives in Alexandria Va She blogs at www intheopen blogspot com This article is reprinted from Mennonite Weekly Review Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Valuable viewing Saturday Jun 1 2013 Movies can tell us about ourselves and our faith By Carmen Andres The Barna Group conducted an online survey last year about people s movie watching habits and attitudes They found the average American saw 1 7 movies in the theater 10 more on DVD or streaming and still more on cable Evangelicals saw 2 7 movies at the theater more than the average But most interesting to me was this Only11 percent of respondents said they saw a movie in the past year that made them think more seriously about religion spirituality or faith Really With Pew Research indicating 73 percent of Americans identify as Christian I think this response may have more to do with how we approach films than the films themselves Maybe we don t feel spiritually challenged by films because our culture encourages us to compartmentalize put our faith in one box and our movie watching in another Or perhaps we think of the culture around us

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Valuable-viewing.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    want to know there is enough money to pay all the bills provide food and have a roof over their heads at night Women are not as likely to be concerned with saving for a certain purpose Instead they are interested in saving money for assurance purposes The peace of mind that comes from having a buffer to fall back on in life is extremely important to women Women typically cringe at the thought of watching the money they worked hard to save leave the bank account even when it leaves for the purpose it was saved for Arguments surrounding finances are many times a result of two people speaking different languages about the same thing When a couple can recognize this and learn to respect their spouse s point of view they can begin to find a middle ground between differing priorities and perspectives When a husband recognizes that a sense of security is important to his wife he can begin to look at finances through a perspective of providing that security Similarly when a woman can see that taking a risk is important to her husband she can start looking at finances through his perspective and have some fun with it Finding this middle ground allows a couple to enter into the conversation of finances from a place of agreement and mutual respect This lets a couple address finances without tension and argument It does not mean you won t disagree with your spouse But it does mean that you will respect your spouse s position when you disagree And more times than not this is more important than agreeing Doug Milem is a certified life coach and marriage mentor who lives in Phoenix Ariz where he is part of Axiom Church a USMB church plant in Glendale Ariz He and his wife Megan have been married for five years and are in the process of adopting their first child Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Talking finances without the fight Saturday Jun 1 2013 Spending differences can be traced to differing perspectives By Doug Milem Finances It has the power to create stress and division in any relationship Discussing the monthly budget can result in tension even in the best most stable marriage The Huffington Post conducted a study of 1 000 married couples to explore what couples fight about the most The results showed that 27 percent of arguments in these marriages stemmed from finances More than in laws children housing chores work etc finances ranked highest out of every topic in the entire study But there is hope Having a financial discussion with your spouse does not have to result in frustration There are some key aspects that if recognized can actually change this very tense subject into a positive communication experience that can even give way to dreaming and planning together for your family s future To navigate this topic with ease obstacles need to be recognized and addressed The

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Talking-finances-without-the-fight.html (2016-02-17)
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    task as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression Originally the boulders stood in a groomed field but today it can be difficult to find some of the 24 boulders in what is now an overgrown forest But once discovered their inscriptions and their plain but sensible messages are still unmistakably visible Use your head Stay out of debt Be on time and Never try never win In his autobiography Babson admits that his family thought he was crazy My family says that I am defacing the boulders and disgracing the family with these inscriptions but the work gives me a lot of satisfaction fresh air exercise and sunshine I am really trying to write a simple book with words carved in stone instead of printed paper This brings me back to Babson s admonishment that we send our dollars on intentional journeys One cause I invite you to support is U S Mennonite Brethren church planting efforts Last year USMB announced its intention to partner with district conferences to plant six new Mennonite Brethren churches in the United States every year for the next 10 years This goal was accomplished in 2012 and as of June the halfway point of the current calendar year we re midway to our 2013 goal in terms of new church plants We are not however meeting the related goal of funding six new church plants in 2013 If U S Mennonite Brethren congregations would forward 2 1 2 percent of their budget to USMB as requested funding for church plants and all national programs would not be an issue While Babson wrote on rocks we want to see God s transforming love written on the hearts and in the lives of men women and children who do not yet know him as Lord and Savior So I challenge each USMB congregation and household to tell your dollars to support USMB church planting ventures Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Intentional spending Saturday Jun 1 2013 Sending your money to fund USMB church planting efforts is a good investment by Connie Faber A quote from entrepreneur Roger Ward Babson comes to mind as I pay household bills each month More people should learn to tell their dollars where to go instead of asking them where they went Since he was a millionaire philanthropist Babson s advice is worth following to my way of thinking I also respect Babson s recommendation because of the unique way in which he practiced what he preached I m thinking of the Babson Word Rocks an intriguing hiking and mountain biking trail in Gloucester Mass Babson created a series of immense boulders etched with sayings to promote his inspirational ideals He hired local stonecutters to carry out the task as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression Originally the boulders stood in a groomed field but today it can be difficult to find some of the 24 boulders in what is

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Intentional-spending.html (2016-02-17)
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    such change families are impacted as well Olinger says his marriage had been rocky at best before that transformational M24 but when he came down that mountain the change in his life was so evident that other women began to ask his wife about the change He says his relationships with both his wife and children have been restored Now my entire family has been completely and radically transformed he says Froehlich also says his marriage is being restored Once I realized that it s not about me but about God I have had a much better perspective of how I am supposed to be as a husband and the spiritual leader of our home The Bridge as a congregation has been transformed as men step up to lead It s a men driven church Pearsey says Before that first M24 retreat The Bridge had one paid pastor and 500 600 attendees now the church has half a dozen paid pastoral staff and some 3 000 attendees And notes Pearsey the growth has come not from church transplants but from changed lives The impact ripples out to the local community and even across the border as these men reach out Once a quarter Journey Groups cooperate to serve the area s homeless population in partnership with The Mission at Kern County In addition to this local service Bridge men are serving through M72 yearly 72 hour mission trips often to Mexico often to build something M72 mission trips to Mexico are unbelievable Froehlich says We go down to Mexico thinking we are going to bless our Mexican brothers and sisters but each time we are the ones being blessed They know what true faith looks like The key to the success of M stuff is ridiculously simple says Pearsey Get excited about Jesus and tell someone For more on men s ministry at The Bridge visit http www thebridgebiblechurch com ministries men Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments The Bridge challenges men to follow God Saturday Jun 1 2013 Transforming normal Joes is at the heart of church s efforts to equip men By Myra Holmes Eric Olinger Tony Denesha and Ron Froehlich were normal Joes regular guys going about their lives during the week and warming the pews on the weekends at The Bridge Bible Church Bakersfield Calif Unless of course a ball game was on or the weather was nice enough for a round of golf If football was on that was my priority says Olinger All now claim the title Man of God and say their lives have been dramatically changed through men s ministry at The Bridge And they re not the only ones We ve seen men come to Jesus in flocks says Les Pearsey men s ministry director As men turn their hearts to Christ their families the congregation and the community are being transformed Pearsey calls the ministry the M stuff because as it has developed each facet has

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/The-Bridge-challenges-men-to-follow-God.html (2016-02-17)
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  • USMB
    you need Varvis said How simple it would be if that were the case Varvis quoted Paul s letter to the Philippians part of the commencement Scripture passage What you received and saw in me do he said Your professors and others have let you in on their lives and professions They have modeled the life of Christ followers who are also scholars and scholarly practitioners of the professions you will enter The final virtue is caring or love FPU faculty care for their students Graduates you know this about your professors They have shown it to you consistently in the attentiveness they bring to your questions in their creativity in their preparation for class in their responses to your work in their availability when you need their time Varvis said Graduates succeed by embodying these virtues and passing them on Someday you will find yourself saying something familiar and you won t be able to place it Or you will pursue a problem or question all the way to the bottom until you are sure you have as much of the truth as you can acquire Or you will respond to a colleague a student or a customer with care and love for their needs and hurts You will say I remember you fill in the name said or did that and you will be reminded of the hidden curriculum of truthfulness imitation and care and love that is now a part of who you are Varvis said Awards went to students faculty and local agencies The Nickel Excellence in Teaching Award was given to Quentin Kinnison assistant professor of Christian ministry and leadership Michaelynne Whitsitt Fresno B A graduate in history received the Harold Haak Award for contributions to the university community and church and the Academic Award for highest grade point average The Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary Community Service Award went to The Salvation Army Fresno Adult Rehabilitation Center Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments FPU commencement is a record setting event Wednesday May 22 2013 FPU graduated 555 students in May 4 ceremonies FPU media release University commencements usually take a backseat to athletics when it comes to statistics but several records were set at the Fresno Pacific University ceremonies May 4 7 000 family friends and loved ones in the audience at the two ceremonies 7 500 bottles of water distributed by FPU staff 5 000 complimentary paper fans waving in California s Central Valley sun And most important 555 new alumni 235 from bachelor s degree completion programs 189 traditional undergraduates and 131 graduate students including 20 from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary Ceremonies took place on the University Green at the main Fresno campus beginning at 10 00 a m for traditional undergraduate graduate and seminary students and at 6 00 p m for degree completion students In his welcome President Pete C Menjares summed up several accomplishments of the 2012 2013 academic year including the opening of a Fitness

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/FPU-commencement-is-a-record-setting-event.html (2016-02-17)
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    congregation is partnering with area churches to maximize the response from the Wichita faith community and is sending a FMBC representative with a team delivering donated supplies to Moore today May 22 FMBC has also been in touch with MDS about sending volunteers to the Oklahoma City area The church is posting updates on its website Jordan invites the USMB family to pray for the Memorial Road congregation and the community One thing that is always welcome is prayer says Jordan Pray for those actively involved in search and rescue Pray that God will guide their work sustain their energy and guard their hearts as they see touch and experience devastation in a way that will leave a lasting impression Pray for the families experiencing loss of life homes and hope Pray that our God of hope could be made real to them in the midst of this tragedy Jordan also requests prayer for the Oklahoma City congregations and believers Pray that they will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit and meet not only the physical needs of those impacted but the spiritual as well he says All of us will experience tragedy at some point all of us have different storms in our lives says Jordan but as believers in Jesus we can have hope I love how Paul describes the life of a believer sorrowful yet always rejoicing poor yet making many rich having nothing and yet possessing everything 2 Cor 6 10 Mennonite Disaster Service is regularly posting updates on ways to serve in the Oklahoma City area MDS enjoys a long standing partnership with the Oklahoma Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters VOAD and anticipates working with partner agencies within the VOAD to respond to this disaster as needed Mennonite World Review has posted an online story about the MDS response MDS is accepting funds for the cleanup and recovery efforts of the Oklahoma tornadoes Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Congregations prepare to aid in tornado cleanup Wednesday May 22 2013 Edmond congregation escapes damage gets ready to respond by Connie Faber No members of Memorial Road MB Church MRMBC the USMB congregation in Edmond Okla were injured or lost their homes due to the series of tornados that struck the Oklahoma City metropolitan area Sunday and Monday May 19 and 20 But that doesn t mean the devastation hasn t impacted this congregation of 160 We don t know of anyone from MRMBC involved says pastor Jeremy Jordan in an email to the Christian Leader However I think everybody within the church knows someone who was The stories are only beginning The destruction is absolutely mind numbing The weekend storm system spawned 26 tornadoes in Oklahoma Kansas Iowa and Illinois At least four separate twisters touched down in Central Oklahoma late Sunday afternoon including one in Edmond a northeast suburb of Oklahoma City and another near the town of Shawnee 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City that

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Congregations-prepare-to-aid-in-tornado-cleanup.html (2016-02-17)
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    arranged for Morris to also meet with Basilio and the congregation For more than six months we have processed what it might look like for this congregation to become Mennonite Brethren says Wall The church is an independent non denominational fellowship They see the need for and value of a broader fellowship for encouragement and support Morris says the decision to affiliate with the Mennonite Brethren Church has been a slow process because both the Las Vegas congregation and USMB leaders wanted to make sure that it was a good fit for all concerned They did a lot of investigating of us before engaging us in a dialogue about membership says Morris Our confession of faith was affirmed and embraced as they explored our theological identity Wall says The PDC Board of Home Missions went through a thorough and careful process of discernment We believe with all our hearts that the Lord has opened this door for us and the congregation As Wall and Morris look back on the events that brought Grace of Jesus Church into a partnership with USMB they see God at work For the past seven years Wall and Morris had felt drawn to Las Vegas and prayed together about what God was leading U S Mennonite Brethren to do in Las Vegas an internationally renowned major resort city known primarily for gambling shopping and fine dining We weren t even sure we understood why Las Vegas kept coming up but now I think we know says Morris in an email interview God was waiting for the right opportunity for us to engage in this very needy city As Wall and Morris begin working more closely with the Las Vegas congregation they request prayer This partnership like all of our church planting endeavors must be covered in prayer says Wall I sense that need for prayer even more profoundly since this is Las Vegas with its unique reputation Leave a comment Comment Name E mail Post 0 Comments Nevada congregation joins USMB Wednesday May 22 2013 Re launched ministries will target Las Vegas Filipino community By Connie Faber With the announcement in April that Mission USA and the Pacific District Conference PDC will be partnering with an existing church in Las Vegas Nev to re launch that congregation the PDC has grown to include a sixth western state and Mission USA is involved with the third of hopefully six new church plants in 2013 Currently known as Grace of Jesus Church the Las Vegas congregation of 40 plus members has a significant Filipino American makeup and is led by Pastor Andy Basilio pictured left and Associate Pastor Aris Tolentino pictured right As the English speaking congregation re launches its ministry in Clark County they will be changing their name securing a more accessible meeting place and identifying new ministry opportunities In a place like Las Vegas I think the love of Jesus radiating through these believers has the potential for making a significant kingdom impact in

    Original URL path: http://www.usmb.org/news/article/Nevada-congregation-joins-USMB.html (2016-02-17)
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