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The Year of Evangelism

The Year of Evangelism — December 2009

A year of enthusiasm

What an amazing year this has been for evangelism in the Southwestern Union. The union office has been directly involved in organizing and conducting 111 meetings, both at home and abroad, resulting in more than 3,200 baptisms. Some of our speakers were experienced preachers. Some did not know if they could or think they should preach, but what life-changing experiences took place!

There was the young Southwestern Adventist University student who shared, “I will never be the same.” And the SWUC Executive Committee member who was terrified before preaching, but who excitedly proclaimed after the event, “This has been the best experience of my life!” Read it!

And the gift goes on...

And the gift goes on... — December 2009

Examples of sharing the gift

A word from the editors: The stories that follow are just a few examples of how church members from around the Southwestern Union have been willing to share their gifts. Our prayer is that you will be blessed as you read these stories, and that you will also feel a sense of personal conviction to share the gift that keeps on giving.

Stories include Bonnie Shepperd: Sharing and Sharing Again; Melinda Prater: God Gave Me the Words to Share; Karen and Brandon Van Meter: A Welder Forms an Everlasting Bond; and John Mathews: Turning a Motorcycle Into a Church. Read it!

A “Year of Evangelism” for ASI

A “Year of Evangelism” for ASI — December 2009

The year 2009 has been busy with evangelism activities in ASI’s Southwest chapter. Starting off with an evangelism boot camp in south Texas in February, and the chapter meeting later that month in Cleburne, Tex., the momentum continued throughout the year as the Southwest chapter helped to provide laypersons with witnessing opportunities and training, as well as opportunities to unite with pastors and administrators in the work of evangelism. The boot camp in south Texas was followed by evangelistic meetings held in March. In April, Floyd Courtney, the Southwestern Union ASI chapter president, and Duane McKey, vice president for evangelism at the Southwestern Union, along with his wife Kathy, held an evangelism boot camp in Oklahoma City. Another evangelism boot camp combining ShareHim and the New Beginnings training took place in Houston the weekend of November 14 in preparation for evangelistic meetings to be held in the Houston area. And later this month, from December 27 to January 4, chapter members and friends will participate in a mission trip to Nicaragua to help rebuild deteriorating mission buildings on the east coast, as well as conduct a child evangelism series. Read it!

Family wholeness

Family wholeness — November 2009

The focus of family ministries

Family ministries encompasses every possible phase or area of living related to family life. However, it is often thought to address only issues related specifically to marriage and parenting. As important as these foundations are for strong family relationships and secure homes, deeper issues must be addressed. Families sometimes experience issues related to sexuality, domestic violence, or the changes that come after divorce or remarriage.

The familiar adage, “strong families build strong churches and communities,” is true in every respect. It is no wonder that Satan, the enemy of us all, seeks to disrupt and destroy families at their core. He is very aware that if God is left out of the equation of family, his task of disruption and destruction is simplified. The lyrics of a children’s song spell out familial happiness, “With Jesus in the family, happy, happy home.” Read it!

Parenting: Its challenges and rewards

Parenting: Its challenges and rewards — November 2009

Parenthood transforms people. After a baby comes, parents are no longer the same individuals they were. A whole new role begins, and they start a new way of life. Whether the baby is born into a two-parent home or to a single parent, the challenges of rearing that child are many and varied. Unlike an automobile or appliance, a newborn baby does not come with an owner’s manual.

Each child is different and unique. Children are divine gifts entrusted to parents by a loving and caring God. They are special and precious with a need for tender care and nurturing. In fact, as parents, we recognize that we are God’s stewards entrusted with the care and keeping of His property. Does our Creator give any directions on how children are to be nurtured? Yes, of course! God has given us His precious Word with countless promises, guidelines, and directions for properly rearing children to realize their full potential. Read it!

A ministry for every woman

A ministry for every woman — November 2009

Our Women’s Ministries department desires that each woman have Jesus as her personal Savior and learn to know Him as her Friend. According to our vision, we exist to encourage, equip, promote, and challenge Seventh-day Adventist women in their journey as disciples of Jesus Christ and members of His church. We bring women’s unique perspectives to the issues facing the church. Our mission is to model Jesus Christ through meaningful relationships and effective ministries. We have adopted the same focus as the North American Division Women’s Ministries Department, which includes the following elements: Read it!

Men in the life of the church

Men in the life of the church — November 2009

In a recent Ministry magazine article, Minnervino Labrador, Jr., NAD Men’s Ministries coordinator, wrote, “Most men don’t complain about their needs. But when their needs are not met. . .they let us know their disapproval through their absence.” Ezekiel 22:30 says, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” What does it mean that God searched for a man and was unable to find one? What is the Southwestern Union’s responsibility in meeting this challenge as we near the Lord’s return? Read it!

Five stages of marriage

Five stages of marriage — November 2009

Michele Weiner-Davis, a well-known marriage researcher and author, suggests five stages most marriages experience. In her book, The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage, she not only describes common characteristics of marriage, but offers tips to help couples at any stage survive the challenges.

STAGE ONE: Passion Prevails. At this stage of a relationship couples concentrate on what they have in common, and they are dominated by an intense physical desire for each other. It is at this stage that many couples decide to marry. Survival Tip: This stage will not last forever. However, when your ecstasy begins to fade, it doesn’t mean your marriage is dying. This is a common cycle. Read it!

Living the “single” life!

Living the “single” life! — November 2009

Adventist Single Adult Ministry (ASAM) is a growing ministry within the Family Ministries department of the North American Division (NAD). Our goal is not to be a dating service but to support and nurture relationships among single adults and with other members of the church family. “I am looking forward to thousands of lives being touched for Jesus through ASAM,” says Don Schneider, president of the NAD. “I encourage every pastor, church, and conference to work together to help ASAM affect lives for eternity.” Read it!

When you’re hurting, counseling can help

When you’re hurting, counseling can help — November 2009

Some of us walk around with hurts in our hearts that are so camouflaged we forget that they exist. We only see the ugly results of destructive relationships, antagonism against God, and isolation. It’s scary to explore past hurts or current limitations, and thus we fear the process that leads to quality of life.

When everyday living is affected by sadness, discouragement, and loss of enthusiasm, we find that the pus of the enemy’s infection has accumulated and overpowered the abundant life God intended for us from the foundation of the earth. When getting out of bed in the morning is all the energy we have, then it’s time to reclaim the months and years the enemy has stolen and rejoice in the restoration the Lord has planned for each of us. Read it!

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