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5 Ways to Invest in Your Kids


llm-feb15_foundationParenting is hard work. I have six kids, so I should know. However, parenting can be one of the most rewarding endeavors in which we engage. What makes the difference is whether or not we seize the moment and invest.

Deuteronomy 6:5–9 has a few words to say about investing in your kids.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Here are five ways you can begin investing in your children today that will have huge payoffs later:

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Connection, Communication, Communion


Bishop David Kendall To read more from  Bishop Kendall, visit

Perhaps you have had this experience. You are together with friends and extended family in conversation. But not everyone is there.

A brother serves Jesus in India, and a sister serves at an NGO located in the Netherlands. Not being there, however, is not really a problem. Both brother and sister are still “there” with the help of Skype. Then, during the conversation of all who are “there,” a cellphone rings, and another connection happens. Over the course of the next hour, grandpa receives or sends no less than 67 text messages, various devices notify the group of 15 newsfeed alerts on the latest developments, and others in the family hear a half-dozen other signals or alarms regarding things going on.

No doubt we have more ways to connect with more people than previous generations. No doubt most of us take at least some advantage of the tools and technologies at hand. And yet, some of us feel less connected, less aware and less in touch than ever before.

All connections are not equal.

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Handling Social Media with Your Kids


llm-feb15_feature1Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you’re aware of the rise in popularity of social media with teens.

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media have become part of the fabric of American youth culture. According to a fall 2014 survey by Piper Jaffray (, more than 90 percent of U.S. teenagers use social media with 76 percent on Instagram, a social network on which users share photos and video. Nearly 60 percent of teenagers use Twitter, which hosts short posts and messages, and 45 percent use Facebook, the world’s largest social network.

Parents have to make choices about whether they will allow their adolescents to use these social media sites. If they allow access, parents must provide both boundaries and oversight. Talking to your kids about social media should be a top priority.

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Light & Life Magazine – February Issue

Family Matters

“Don’t mess with the family.”

You’ve probably heard that statement in a mafia movie or television program. I can’t identify with being part of an organized crime syndicate, but I understand the sentiment.

I find it fairly easy to adopt a turn-the-other-cheek attitude (Matthew 5:39) if someone treats me rudely. I struggle to know the correct response if someone mistreats or excludes my son, wife or extended family members. If you have a sibling, you may believe it’s fine for you to tease your brother or sister, but you get angry if someone outside your family treats your sibling that way.

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Flying Upside Down

I am flying in a very unusual, and unprecedented way (for me that is).  I fly on airplanes all of the time.  That is not the unusual part.  In fact, I am flying on an airliner today. What is most unusual is my physical condition while flying.  The doctor said that I have a very serious case of labrynthitis or some such word that is related to and more commonly expressed as a form of vertigo.  This is the first experience of this sort for me.  If you have never had it, try to avoid it.  If you have had it, you know the feeling.  In fact, judging from my head movements and feelings, one might think I had some other neurological disorder- with the head movements, rapid eye shifts.  Even walking is a challenge.  Doing a straight line sobriety test would be a sure failure.  I have already had the looks from some folks that say, “My, oh my, look at that man, and it is only 6am.  He has a serious drinking problem.” Fortunately, Marlene is my witness and defender.

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MLK and the FMC

One of the most shocking and shameful parts of our history as a church, in my view, is our non-participation AA8dVlv[1](at best) in  and our resistance (at worst) to the American Civil Rights Movement, embodied in the person of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (When I say “our” I mean especially the majority of folk in the church fifty years ago who were white folk, the group that still represents a majority in our church today).  Actually, it was embodied long before Dr. King in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we confessed then and do now to be Lord, and who is himself the in-fleshment of the holiness of God which we believe the Methodist movement in general and the Free Methodist Church in particular has been called to spread across these lands.

I will not belabor the point.  I will not try to explain how this could happen and did happen. 

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Tomb Raider, the Real One

Screaming from the tombs, naked-scary-crazy guy comes at Jesus. Filmed in Xi’an China, site of ancient Christianity (from the 600s) AND of some other tomb dwellers, the Terra Cotta Warriors.

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David Roller
By David Roller

David T. Roller served for 17 years as a Free Methodist missionary in Mexico, then for 10 years as Latin America Area Director for Free Methodist World Missions and in July of 2007 was elected a bishop of the Free Methodist Church of North America.

Pastor/Professor Shares Early Christian View of Psalms

MaketheWordsYourOwnChristians today are at a loss for how to read the Psalms. Many of us know the Psalms have played an essential role in Christian life and thought throughout the history of the church, but we have fallen out of practice in praying them and so are largely unfamiliar with how the Psalms can make us better disciples. In “Make the Words Your Own: An Early Christian Guide to the Psalms” (Paraclete Press), Benjamin D. Wayman — a pastor at St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church in Greenville, Illinois, and an assistant professor of religion atGreenville College — recreates the earliest surviving Christian guide for personal devotion on the Psalms ever written – by pastor and saint Athanasius.

Athanasius is one of the most important pastors in the history of the church. He is best known for his theological leadership in the tumultuous years after the first general church council at Nicaea in 325 and his adamant opposition to the controversial teachings of the popular Alexandrian priest Arius. “Make the Words Your Own” introduces modern Christians to Athanasius the pastor who, in response to a request from one of his sickly parishioners, wrote a letter that offers a detailed guide to nearly every single psalm. Later Christians found the guidance of Athanasius so useful that they placed it as an introduction to the Psalms in their manuscripts of the Bible and circulated it broadly for the next thousand years.

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Parent’s Progress 02.12.15

This article originally appeared at The Source for Youth Ministry, but it’s not just for teens. Tech use effects us all. 
by David R. Smith
It’s 2015, and that means it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Teens who are behind in school work will hit the books to bring up their grades. Other teens who are discontent with their image may hit the gym to get in shape.

But according to new research on teens and sleeping, a full 90% of them need to just hit the hay.

Sleepless in the Suburbs

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Support Our Youth Ministry

Kroger Community Rewards

There is a new way to support your youth ministry and it’s easier than ever. Now you can register your Owens card with our church by visiting (Be sure to enroll in the community rewards after you register and select Winona Lake Free Methodist Church to support us.) You may also call Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS. Push option #3 and a Krogers representative will help you get registered.

Every time you purchase groceries, scan your Kroger Plus Card and the youth ministry will receive a portion of the proceeds. There is no more hassle with filling and re-filling gift cards.



  • Simply encourage your members to register online at
  • Be sure to have your Kroger Plus card handy and register your card with your organization after you sign up.
  • If a member does not yet have a Kroger Plus card, please let them know that they are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger.
  • Click on Sign In/Register
  • Most participants are new online customers, so they must click on SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘New Customer?’ box.
  • Sign up for a Kroger Rewards Account by entering zip code, clicking on favorite store, entering your email address and creating a password, agreeing to the terms and conditions
  • You will then get a message to check your email inbox and click on the link within the body of the email.
  • Click on My Account and use your email address and password to proceed to the next step.
  • Click on Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus card number.
  • Update or confirm your information.
  • Enter NPO number or name of organization, select organization from list and click on confirm.
  • To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right side of your information page.
  • REMEMBER, purchases will not count for your group until after your member(s) register their card(s).
  • Do you use your phone number at the register?  Call 800-576-4377, select option 4 to get your Kroger Plus card number.
  • Members must swipe their registered Kroger Plus card or use the phone number that is related to their registered Kroger Plus card when shopping for each purchase to count.