KidZone – Where Kids Meet Jesus

It’s the greatest story ever told, but like most great stories, it doesn’t look good from the beginning. Sin was a dilemma, to say the least. Enter Jesus, our divine Hero. It’s not always a pretty picture, but one has to admit that God did a thorough job when cleaning out sin. We have been purified and this is the great story we get to share. Our children will hear this story and be given chances to respond to His indescribable gift.

Recently we had 4 children put their faith and hope in Jesus at a kidZone meeting. It’s why the dedicated team of adult volunteers give of their time and energy.

If you have children, consider sending them our way on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:45. With music, games and creative lessons that are Biblically based, it’s a place geared right towards kids. It’s the kidZone, where kids meet Jesus.



Jesus Is Alive!

It’s not just something we sing. It’s not just something we say. It’s something we believe. Acts 1:3 tells us that during the 40 days between the resurrection and the day Jesus ascended into Heaven, he was proving to the disciples that He was actually alive. It’s been proven. This is why the disciples, who were before so fearful, were willing to die for the cause of telling people about Jesus.

Because Jesus is alive!

And because He is, we celebrate Easter Sunday. You can see everything we’re doing and what to expect here. Come and join us!



Parent’s Progress 4.10.14

Each week we strive to provide some tools, or insight, for parents looking for help. This week’s article comes from one of our favorite sources, The Source for Parents, a site run by Jonathan McKee. Here is one of his recent articles. 

The number one complaint I hear from parents today: “My kid can’t go five minutes without looking at her stupid phone!”

This isn’t surprising in a world where about three quarters of teens now have smartphones and are mobile internet users. How can a 16-year-old with 387 Instagram followers possibly go an entire dinner without their phone buzzing at least once?

And when a phone beckons, we must answer, right?

Do you?


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Impact Middle East

Missions April TEC

Recently Henry & Bonnie were on one of their Middle-East journeys.  They began this trip at a series of 3 conferences in Malta.  Two of these ended with very special communion services.  Here are some excerpts from their Facebook posts…

We had a wonderful communion service at the end of the second conference. We sang in 3 languages – French, Arabic and English. I am really getting to love those Arabic praise songs. We had people from at least 32 different countries represented. Maybe even more. What a taste of heaven to partake of the Lord’s Supper with a group like this.

At the final conference the last day was a great day. We had interesting seminars in the morning, and closed the meeting with a very special communion service late in the afternoon.

We were actually served by 6 people from different countries, all of whom have become “Believers,” formerly from the main regional religious background. We had one Messianic Jew    present at the conference. He gave the closing prayer for the service in a soft gentle voice.   In a very moving moment, as he ended his prayer, he called out a Jewish blessing in a Hebrew chant. It was a moment you never forget. What an interesting conference and what a way to end. Jesus was there in Spirit, too. It was magnificent!

Later in the month Henry helped serve communion in Jordan.

 

 



Wow, That’s Hot!

by Rick Nier

It happened on a Monday. And why not? Mondays aren’t meant for Disney World trips or winning the lottery. Mondays are for rude wake-up calls. And nothing, my friends, is more rude than a cold shower. This was not the fault of the women in my home. No, I’ve felt the last vestiges of hot water quickly flee down the drain, causing me to quicken my showering procedures. This was cold water with no hint that hot water even existed…ever…anywhere.

A trip to the basement revealed a water heater that was not working. Identifying the problem also ended my expertise on the situation. A call to the plumber revealed we were the lucky owners of a unit with a left-handed thermal coupler. Now, I don’t know what that means, but apparently it was like finding gold at the end of a rainbow, because nobody had one. 

Even the makers of this unit only sold conversion units in order to make it a right-handed thermal coupler. But the good news didn’t end there. Before ordering my part, they informed me my unit was past when it could be trusted to keep working. Monday morning now introduced me to a bill I was not expecting: a new water heater. 

But we took the plunge. Hooray, home ownership! Yet, 27 hours later found us enjoying a new unit.

My wife made an interesting comment after her first shower with the new water heater working. She pointed out that we have lived in this house for over 4 years. We learned to set the knobs to get the desired, or almost desired, temperature. We had no idea that our water heater wasn’t giving us the optimal showering experience. We assumed we knew what hot showers felt like. 

Then we got what should appropriately be called the Hot Showerinator 3000 Deluxe. What’s left of my skin as I type this, feels very warm and toasty. I did not have to remove the cold water in order to maintain warmth. In fact, I kept the cold water on for fear of needing to call first responders from the burn unit. 

This is often our predicament spiritually as well. 

Before we know Christ we have our theories on how this world works. After we come to know Christ, our eyes are opened to a new reality. Our minds and hearts are made new, now able to understand what once was kept from us. Perhaps this truth should be a factor as we speak to people who do not yet know Jesus. Maybe we should keep in mind that the level of maturity we now maintain is not the maturity we will one day achieve. 

The Bible tells us we only see a shadow right now. Paul worded it this way;

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” ~1 Corinthians 13:12. 

One day we’ll see things as they actually are. We’ll experience reality in its most only realistic form and we’ll ponder how we ever saw things differently.

 

*Find more such wit and wisdom @ www.ricknierwoo.blogspot.com, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into.

 



Thanks to God for His Mercies

     I have heard of pastors who have served one church for 30, 35, or even 40 years.  While my time at Turlock Free Methodist Church did not even approach that kind of longevity, my sixteen year tenure was the longest of any pastor in the history of that congregation.  As with any family, there were times of rejoicing and times of sorrow.  There were times of victory and there were times of hardship.  But God was always faithful and he continued to rule over his church with love, mercy, and wise direction.

Although there were people of all ages in the church, the congregation was heavily weighted toward the 55 and older group.  As older members of the church family continued to get sick, weaken, and die, it became increasingly apparent that, unless we did something to reach younger adults and younger families, within 15 or 20 years, the church would fade away.  I think it was in 2002 that I officiated at funeral services for eight of our members.


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The Faces of International Child Care Ministries

The faces of children around the world call for a personal response of humility, integrity and generosity. This video highlights the troubling facts kids face and invites your life-changing response in an ICCM child sponsorship. This is a great short video to show at your church or event.



Parent’s Progress 04.03.14

This week we are offering parents….well, everybody…. a chance to look at some current trends with technology. We don’t believe this makes our tech toys evil. But it is good to consider the implications. 

 

Three Digital Life Trends

March 11, 2014 — Today’s personal devices may be wireless, but digital users seem to be more tethered than ever. From computer to phone to tablet to television, Americans spend more time in front of a screen than ever and show no signs of slowing down.

The effects of this widespread digitalization of life, for better or worse, are widely debated. But there can be no doubt about one thing: the digital life is here to stay, and it is changing everything. Work, faith, relationships, the very contours of young adulthood—all of these and more are dramatically shaped by the realities of our screen age.

Barna Group’s latest study reveals three cultural trends emerging out of the “new normal” of digital life.

 

To finish this article, click here.



Community Church Planting (CCP)

Shirish Ahaley Leader of APFMMA

Shirish Ahaley
Leader of APFMMA

BY SHIRISH AHALEY

Asia Pacific FM Missions Association (APFMMA) and leaders from FM South East Asia gathered for the first training in Community Church Planting (CCP) in Bangkok in March 2011. Key resource person Bruce Bennett from One Mission Society (OMS) introduced CCP.

Movement: With a phenomenal record of initiating nearly 25,000 new churches in 10 years (2002-2012) in Africa, OMS-birthed CCP is becoming a movement. FM churches in Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Togo and Egypt have partnered in this movement; increasingly churches in Asia and South America are beginning to adapt and implement contextualized versions. I believe it is a Holy Spirit inspired movement characterized, by intentional daughter-church planting, which sees church-planting movement DNA transmitted to third, fourth and fifth generation churches.


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Livelihood, Fear, and Love

Love Fear 1 John 4.18At SEED, when we think of our partners around the world, we never want to think only of their work lives. It is true that our main focus is on partnering with people to create self-sustaining livelihood … but if people have income without the other elements that make up a healthy life, we have failed.

I was reminded of this recently on spending two weeks with a pastor from Vietnam. I won’t mention his name for fear of the repercussions that might befall him in his country. We are engaged in conversation with him about possible livelihood group partnerships for the churches he works with, but today I’ll share a little of his story.


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