Pastor Arun

Watch the remarkable story of a Free Methodist pastor in India who lost his sight but maintains a God-given vision to put the gospel in plain view.

Pastor Arun from Light & Life Communications on Vimeo.



How Can You Pray for our Youth Ministry

Summer is filled with transition for our youth ministry. Here’s how you can pray for us:

 

  1. The Teens. We had 4 teens recently graduate high school and within the month will go off to college. At the same time, we had 10 pre-teens say goodbye to elementary school and begin their youth group careers. (Every youth pastor loves a ratio like that!) Pray for the graduates to hold on and continue to grow in their faith while at college. Pray for the new teens to take ownership of the youth ministry and to make an impact.
  2. The Other Teens. Besides those transitioning in or out, we have many other teens continuing in this ministry. Whether they had little involvement or were super involved, pray for them. Pray for growth. Pray for a servant’s heart. Pray for courage to talk to their friends who don’t know Jesus.
  3. ThePlanning. I have long used the summer months to pray and plan ahead for the upcoming nine months. I will select topics and events. I will talk with teens about their increased involvement.
  4. The Team. We have some very dedicated adults investing in teens. As our group grows, pray for me to find the right fit people to come alongside and connect with our youth.
  5. TheParents. I spend 2 -5 hours a week with them. Parents spend a lot more than that! That’s why they are the primary disciplers of these teens. Pray for their conversations with teens, as well as their own growth in Christ.

 



Have You Ever Smelled a Book?

There is something about holding an actual book in your hand and the sound of a page being turned that draws you in and allows you to get lost for a while in another place, maybe even another time.

There are so many wonderful books at the WLFMC library that I may never read them all.  Whether you like mysteries, educational, biographies, fact or fiction. There is truly something for everyone of all ages.

Come see what is new or look in an area that you usually don’t, and you will be surprised to find something that draws you in.

 

Library Hours; Monday—Thursday = 8 a.m.—4:15 p.m. Fridays = 8 a.m.—1 p.m.    and on Sundays before and after morning worship.

 



Playing Basketball is Like Church Involvement

My basketball game is like my church involvement; I’m the worst player out there.

Allow me to go deeper. When I show up to play ball with some guys, sometimes the only positive I bring is making the teams even. I don’t mean by picking the teams or by skill level. I mean they would have an uneven number of guys without me.

Oh, I have a few moves. I make a few shots. Even a blind dog can find the hydrant every once in a while. But in terms of skill level, I’m not bringing a whole lot to the table.

The same goes at church.


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New Opportunities for New Kenya

Students at Free Methodist primary schools in Kenya are being sold short of their full potential. Why? FM schools in Kenya only go through eighth grade and private school students are given lower priority for entrance to public high schools. In order for students from our six ICCM schools to be enrolled in high school they must perform well on their eighth grade final exams. Even with good scores on their exams however, students from private schools are regularly excluded from public high schools.
Without a high school education, these students have no hope of attending college and entering the professional work force. Leaders in the Free Methodist Church in Kenya want more for their students. Instead of missing opportunities, the leaders want to equip students to fulfill their dreams of higher education.


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Blessed Is the Nation Whose God Is the Lord

Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord;  blessed the land where He reigns.

Blessed the people who trust in His Word, and worship His glorious name

 

He is a loving and merciful God; we are but children of dust.
He is our Refuge, our Strength, and our Shield; and He is the Lord that we trust.

CCLI Song # 96147  Elizabeth De Gravelles | Joseph Barlow  © 1986 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)

For use solely with the SongSelect.  All rights reserved. CCLI License # 347487

After recalling the ways in which God had protected and provided for the nation of Israel, King David concluded the 144th Psalm with the words: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”  We have been studying the book of Judges in our Sunday evening Bible study and we have been reminded of how quickly and easily the nation of Israel forgot the blessings of the Lord, and then turned away from him to serve the idols of the nations around them.  Once they were out from under the Lord’s promises of protection and provision, however, they realized what they were missing, cried out to the Lord for forgiveness and mercy, and asked him to deliver them from their enemies and restore their nation.


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Parenting in an Age of Technology

By publishing this article, we are not saying this is exactly how everyone should parent. But we do believe it is a good opportunity to consider what you are doing.

 

With every generation, raising children takes on new challenges never before seen by parents. Think about how parenting has changed through the ages. Before the invention of the light bulb, kids were inside by dark. Now, they can stay out late and see all night. Before the automobile was invented, children had to walk or take the family horse. Now, they are able to travel hundreds of miles in just a few hours. Before the invention of television, kids were outside all the time. Now, there are enough channels in the basic cable package to entertain them 24 hours a day, literally. Before the invention of the internet, kids had to go to the library for hours to do research. Today, with a few clicks from home and they can find what they want in minutes. It used to be that parents had to set a geographical boundary and curfew for their children to obey. In this day and age, those boundaries are primarily online. “Don’t go past that landmark” has now been replaced with “Don’t go to that website.”


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Boundaries and Decisions

This is 4 of 4 posts focusing on parents of young teenagers. Since we just transitioned several new teens into our youth group, it seemed appropriate to be educated and to know how to pray, whether or not you have a young teen.

This series was originally posted on Mark Oestreicher’s blog

Boundaries and Decisions

This research-proven truth may surprise you: Parents are still the number one influence in the lives of their teenagers. Many parents assume that with adolescence, the peer group takes the top influencer slot; or media; or something or someone else.

Here’s another fact that may surprise you even more: Young teens still want and need boundaries. Maybe you’re not surprised by the thought that they need boundaries; but the fact that they want them seems counter-intuitive to their regular spoken and unspoken demands for independence. Of course, unless uttered in sarcasm, you’ll never actually hear your student say, “Please, Mom, I want less freedom!”

You live this issue every day. Because the primary task of parenting a teenager is to foster healthy independence, the rub of boundary setting is in your face on a constant basis.

And it’s not that kids want (or need) a huge set of restrictions: instead, they want to know–with clarity–where the fences of their decision-making playground are placed.

Two extremes to avoid

The Cage. It’s very common (in fact, it’s increasingly common) for parents to be concerned about the world in which their young teen is growing up. It’s common–and good–for parents to be concerned about the fact that our culture is expecting kids to act older (and be exposed to “older things”) at a younger and younger age.

The good and appropriate motivation to protect your new teen, however, can easily result in an unhealthy restriction on growing up. Parents at this extreme keep the boundaries on decision-making and independence so close that teens never (or rarely) have the opportunity to make any real choices.

This extreme can stunt the emotional and spiritual growth of teens, keeping them from the essential learning that comes with good and bad decision-making. In other words: setting the boundaries too tight works counter-productively, keeping your teen from growing in maturity.

Free-Range. The opposing extreme is also common (though increasingly less so), and is possibly even more destructive. This comes from the often-exasperated parent who says: “I don’t know how much freedom to give my teen. He seems to want complete independence, and his friends seem to have that already. Since I don’t know where to draw the line, I’ll give him what he’s asking for: almost complete independence.”

I’m saddened and occasionally shocked by how many 12 year-olds have complete freedom in every decision other than the basics of life (shelter, food, car rides). These young teens are allowed, or even encouraged, to make every choice when it comes to things like: curfew, bedtime, music and movie intake, friendships, money-spending, clothing and appearance. I’m not suggesting a prudish approach to this list (anyone who knows me can vouch for that!). But remember what I said at the outset of this article: teens want and need boundaries!

The Goal

The challenging goal of parenting teens, then, becomes to provide ever-increasing boundaries, with freedom inside those boundaries to run wild and make decisions.

This is not just about maturation and growing up and becoming healthy whole independent adults (although that’s a pretty good list!). This is a spiritual task! For parents, this is a fulfillment of the spiritual task given to you by God: to raise whole and healthy independent adults (failure as a parent looks like a 28 year-old who is still dependent on his mommy).

It also has spiritual implications for your young teen: as she learns to make healthy decisions, in the semi-protected environment of the boundaries you set, she will gain courage and skill for the task of embracing a faith-system that needs to evolve and grow into her own.



Bored with Church and God

This is the third in a series helping us learn a bit more about our friends we call teenagers. Read on and then begin praying. 

This series was originally posted on Mark Oestricher’s blog

Bored with Church and God

When your kid was 9, he loved going to church, loved his Sunday school class, and seemed to have a real relationship with God.

But now, as a young teen, he seems bored. Maybe he’s even expressed this: “Church is boring; I don’t want to go.”

This is a natural occurrence in the lives of young teens. But the reasoning behind this boredom isn’t the same for every child. Here are a few possibilities:


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Transitions

We’re focusing on teen parents this week, but these are good reminders for everyone involved in a church. 

This series was originally posted on Mark Oestreicher’s blog

The young teen years summed up in one word: transition

Nikki is 11 years old, and in 6th grade. But she looks more like a 16 year-old. And I’ve had more than one mom comment to me that they would pay big money to have fingernails as nice as Nikki’s. But Nikki still loves to play with Barbie dolls. In fact, it’s not uncommon for her to bring a couple with her on youth group trips. The other kids tease her about it – but she’s naive enough to think they think it’s fun that Barbie is in tow. It’s not that Nikki is neither a child nor a teenager: she’s bits of both.


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