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Before She Says “I Do”

by Dale Reeves 

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Last June on Father’s Day, I stood at the brink of performing the marriage of our daughter. As the father of two daughters, I was so excited about welcoming another dude into our family. (Shout out to you, Adam!) At that moment I asked myself if I had done everything I needed to do to equip my daughter to be the best she could be as she began a new family.

Looking back at all my years as “Dad” living in a house of estrogen, trying my best to be the best possible father a girl could have, I can’t help but notice three key traits necessary for our little princesses to thrive in the grown-up world.

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Easter Under the Overpass

Austin New Church holds its Easter celebration under an overpass. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Contreras)

Instead of a traditional Easter church service, Austin New Church took its Easter service to the streets under the Interstate 35 overpass near Seventh and Eighth streets.

“Every Easter, it’s our favorite time of the year. Instead of having a regular worship service, we close the doors, come down here, have a communion service,” Pastor Brandon Hatmaker told KXAN, the NBC television affiliate in Austin that was one of several news outlets covering the event.

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Winona Lake Celebrates Past While Moving Forward

A choir of pastors sings during the Winona Lake Free Methodist Church's anniversary celebration. (Photo by Sarah Wadkins)

A choir of pastors sings during the Winona Lake Free Methodist Church’s anniversary celebration. (Photo by Sarah Wadkins)

Our recent celebration of 80 years as a Church was noticed and has been shared with the larger Free Methodist Family.  

Established first in the homes of Free Methodist Publishing House personnel during the 1930s, the Winona Lake (Indiana) Free Methodist Church has a long and significant history both within the Wabash Conference and the wider Free Methodist Church.

An iconic place within Free Methodism, Winona Lake conjures memories of the publishing house, the International Friendship House, the Billy Sunday Tabernacle, Homer Rodeheaver Auditorium and the local Free Methodist Church. Many denominational employees and visitors worshipped at the Winona Lake FMC when the community hosted the Free Methodist headquarters for many years.

The congregation celebrated 80 years of ministry during a celebration service on Sunday, April 26. Eleven current and former ministers shared in the event. After an extended meet-and-greet time, the congregation came together to worship through congregational singing, special music and testimonies of former pastors.

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Tips for Parents

by Tony Akers

Youth ministry is fueled by friendship. Few organizations rely as heavily on the power of relationships to shape young people spiritually. Negotiating the relational world of youth ministry can be a bit daunting for youth, and the success or failure of that negotiation most directly effects the strength of motivation a young person has to continue engaging in the ministry. Knowing the reasons behind this motivation can help you as a parent as you travel together with your son or daughter through transition into youth ministry.

Typically, most youth ministries see three types of kids entering the youth program. It is instructive to identify which “type” your child is in order to be aware of how they are connecting socially. The first type, “active,” was involved in the children’s ministry, the second has been waiting “in the wings,” and the third will be the “newcomer.” Each type of kid brings certain expectations and challenges and has some trouble transitioning into the youth ministry for one reason or another. Here is what we have encountered:

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A Daily Pursuit of Obedience

Sometimes I wonder which of the following two primary pursuits would more significantly impact the world- if we all had big plans and worked daily toward the realization of those big plans; or, if we all made a commitment to find a way, each day, to live a life of radical, moment by moment obedience to God.  If I read and understand the Scriptures well, I think the answer is clear- daily obedience.  If I read and understand and agree with culture and contemporary Christian leadership literature, I think the answer is clear- working a compelling vision.  A case could be made from Scripture for working a vision, but not a comprehensive case.  Of course, the unique role and example of Jesus would be one.  But, a better case in the New Testament would certainly be of the other option- a life pursuing daily obedience to God.

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Long Live the Baggage Guy!

As a short guy I don’t know what it feels like to be head and shoulders taller than everyone else. But apparently even tall people battle with fear. Here’s the story of the first king of the Hebrews: too-tall-Saul.

This article originally appeared on Bishop Roller’s blog.

When ISIS Kills

Last evening we were moved to read of the plight of followers of Jesus who suffer and die at the hands of[5]  This particular report came from a church official in country who plead for Christians everywhere to help them.  As we have often read over the last year, people who bear the name of Jesus are singled out and simply killed.  They bear the Arabic “Nun,” like English “N,” for Nazarene.  For no other reason than that, their heads are cut off.  What should we do when ISIS kills?  Here are a few things to consider.

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Why the Church Is Going Global


Going global means serving God in kingdom and community. We are all familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His disciples and to us to go and proclaim the kingdom of God (Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:45–47). We are also very familiar with Jesus’ invitation to us to come and find rest in His presence (Matthew 11:28–30).

Most Christians enjoy the presence of Jesus in community with other believers. In the community of faith, we find salvation, healing, deliverance and sanctification. In the community of faith, we are baptized, take communion, get married and bury our loved ones. The community of faith is one of the greatest blessings God has ever given to His people, but it is only half of the equation. The other half is the kingdom of God.

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When You Don’t Know What God Is Up To


“Reverend, I need to talk to both you and your wife about something very important. Will you follow me into surgical?”

I meekly followed the surgeon to the room where my wife was being prepared for her mastectomy, but with every step came rising dread that I could barely stifle. The past six months of our lives had taught me to always expect the worst: first our miscarriage, then a break-in at our house, then Carol’s cancer diagnosis, the temporary loss of our health insurance, and the discovery that her cancer had started to spread. What was it this time? Had the cancer spread? What terrible news did God have in store for us?

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A Heart Touched by God


“You better take a good look at those streets, boy,” the detective said, “’cause you’ll never see them again.”

I was only 16 and was unable to comprehend the concept of “never.” I did not understand what that meant.

How could I never see my family again? I wondered if he was just trying to scare me. My only defense was my attitude. With my hands tied behind my back, I was helpless. I stared at the detective with my eyebrows furrowed. Anger and hostility were my only refuge. I refused to cry.

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