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Return Address: PO Box 300, Maypearl TX. 76064

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50 SHADES OF T.L. GRAY Pg. 10

A PLACE TO BELONG

From Foster Care to Family - Pg. 14

Volume 1/ISSUE 2 Jan - Mar 2015 Serving Ellis County

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Millennial Spotlight

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Abigail Falksen

Senior- Ovilla Christian School

BY JESS HAYS

Abigail is a senior at Ovilla Christian School where she has been actively involved in the art department and also a member of the high school swim team.  Abigail’s true passion is art. 

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She says, “Art is a way to express feelings that you don’t have words for.  Also, God is a creator so when we create we get to experience and share in this really awesome part of who He is.” Her piece “Downtown Ovilla” was recently selected to be the official design for the 2015 Ovilla Heritage Day t-shirts, an event happening in September of this year.  She has several pieces of art hanging on display in Muddy’s Coffee House, a small coffee shop in Red Oak, and she is

also a contributing artist on a large mural at her school. After graduation, Abigail plans on attending Navarro College and participating in their EMT program.  Her desire is to be a part of something that not only challenges and pushes her but also allows her the ability to contribute to the healing and help of others.  She looks forward to learning significant life skills such as how to remain calm in the midst of high energy situations and how to offer hope to those in pain. 

Each individual featured in the URBANwell’s “Millennial Spotlight” will be eligible for selection as the URBANwell’s 2015 Scholarship/Grant Recipient.

As Abigail approaches the beginning of a journey down a new and exciting frontier, she is filled with excitement and anticipation at what it has to offer.  She offers some encouragement to other artists just starting out, “Don’t be afraid to dream big and express what you feel.  Even if it doesn't look great or perfect, don’t stop, just keep dreaming and chasing your dreams.” 

If you have or know an outstanding young person/s ages 16-29 years old, you feel should be spotlighted, send us their story. SEE PG 8 FOR MORE INFO.


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Cover Photo -ArtArena

Jan. / Mar. 2015 - Issue 2, Vol. 1

FIRST THINGS

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Publishers Note

Welcome to The URBANwell Magazine.! ! 2015 is here and all of us at the UW wish each of you a wonderfully blessed year! February is the Love month and a topic we feel worthy to explore. Love is such a powerful thing - so powerful in fact, that it can transcend and overcome everything.

Love is something we need desperately to see again. I say that because the world, and our flesh, is about the business of mucking it up, re-shaping it and trying to give it a definition foreign to what and who it is.

We need to experience it again; because it’s meant to be experienced fully and truthfully in our everyday lives not just partially and under false pretense.

We need to give it again; because Love Himself was first given for us and is not meant to be selfishly held to ourselves. Why? Because Love overcomes evil, covers a multitude of sins and gives Life!

“Three things will last forever— faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” #

#

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

! God Bless You & Yours,

Charles & Kristine Frame

Follow us on Facebook and give us a “Like” while your at it.

Publisher

!

Charles & Kristine Frame Q Ministry Project - FunctioningFaith.com!

Editor In Chief/Writer

!

Charles E. Frame !

Managing Editor/Writer! Shannon Daniel!

Editor/Photographer/Contributing Writer! Kim Buckner!

Contributing Writer! Stephen Lock, Erin Shaw, T.L. Gray, Lynn Pipes Morgan B., Dale Garris, Jess Hays, Brenda Elledge Nathan Daves, Victoria Johnson, Alisha Woodall, Melissa Starnater, Matthew B. Clark!

Accounting! Kristine Frame!

Layout Design! Charles Frame, Katie Combs !

Advertising Sales! OFF: 214-390-3015 OR 214-882-8457 EMAIL: CHARLES.FRAME@FUNCTIONINGFAITH.COM

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The URBANwell Magazine is a Publication Ministry of Q Ministry Project. Not all views expressed are necessarily those of the Publisher. Please email all comments to charles.frame@functioningfaith.com; your feedback is appreciated.


Contents 


PG. 34

PG. 33

MILLENNIAL SPOTLIGHT! FIRST THINGS!

! Gatherings ! FIRSTLOOK GRAPH - PG. 6! HEY, DID YOU KNOW…- PG. 7!

PG. 20

WHATS UP WITH THOSE FUEL PRICES? - PG.7!

NOT AS MALLEABLE AS YOU THINK !

! Perspective !

50 SHADES OF T.L. GRAY - PG. 10! ROUND TABLE - PG. 12!

PG. 13

GENERATIONS - PG. 12

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! ! The Well A PLACE TO BELONG - PG. 13! DEFINE LOVE - PG. 16! KINDNESS AND LIARS - PG. 17

! ! Roots

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NOT AS MALLEABLE AS YOU THINK! - PG. 20! WHICHEVER WAY THE WIND BLOWS. - PG. 22!

PG. 10

LOVE QUOTES - PG. 25!

!The Square !

BIZSPOT : RESTORING TEXAS! - PG. 26! MARCH FOR MEALS - PG. 29! Page 4

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - PG. 34!

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SCHOOL- OLOGY - PG. 32!


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church

Creating spaces where the grace of Christ reigns! Our goal at Encounter is to see individuals, couples, and families become places where the grace of Christ reigns. In a world that operates  by  “do  good,  get  good  &  do  bad,  get  bad”  Jesus   introduces something radically different: grace for sinners – good for the bad. When that truth comes alive and grace reigns, it changes people, marriages, and families!

Unique Setting Encounter is a different church experience. When you enter,  you’ll  find  table  groups,  coffee,  conversation,   connection,  and  interaction.  You’ll  experience  the  message   of grace in Jesus in the way it flows best – interactive relationships. Be prepared to laugh, have conversation, sing, learn, listen, watch, and have your soul encouraged!

Connect with Others We are made by God to connect with Him and others. Our goal at Encounter to help every person connect in both of those ways. We have women’s  groups  &  retreats, men’s  groups  &  outings,   student  groups  &  camps,  and  kid’s  church  &  events!  Everyone   can connect and share life in the grace of Christ!

SATURDAY NIGHTS 6PM 423 N. COLLEGE STREET IN WAXAHACHIE Sharing facilities with Covenant Life Church

ENCOUNTERTHIS.COM

SUNDAY MORNINGS 11AM 303 WILLOWWOOD IN OVILLA At the home of Brian & Heather Treadaway

@encounterthis

@encounter_this


!


!Saudi billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a Jan. 2015 interview with Maria Bartiromo for USA TODAY said, we will not see $100-a-barrel oil again! In January as oil prices spiraled below $50 a barrel. The astute investor and prince of the Saudi royal family said that “we will not see $100-a-barrel oil again”.

He also predicted the move would dampen what has been one of the big U.S. growth stories: the shale revolution.

Take a look at some of these very revealing Questions and Answers:

Q: Should the Saudis cut production if they get an agreement with other oil producing countries to take oil off the market?

A: Frankly speaking…Although Saudi

Arabia and OPEC countries did not engineer the reduction in the price of oil, there's a positive side effect, whereby at a certain price, we will see how many shale oil production companies run out of business.

A: No doubt about that. For sure

So although we are caught off guard by this, we are capitalizing on this matter whereby we'll live with $50 temporarily, to see how much new supply there will be, because this will render many new projects economically unfeasible.

Q: You said the price of oil will dampen

there'll be a lot of consolidation in the market. Because many small and medium-sized companies can't afford this; no doubt there'll be some mergers and acquisitions coming in one to two years.

Gatherings

Whats Up With Those Fuel Prices?

the shale revolution in America. How?

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A: Shale oil and shale gas, these are new products in the market. And we see big ranges. no one knows for sure what price is the breaking point for shale. Wells have a higher production cost. And very clearly these will run out of business, or at least not be economical. At $50, will it still be economically feasible? Unclear. This is very much a developing story.

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Q: Some people believe this crash in oil will create a lot of new mergers in the energy industry. Do you agree?

NEED TO READ: ALL IN By Mark Batterson

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The Gospel costs nothing. You can’t earn it or buy it. It can only be received as a free gift compliments of God’s grace. It doesn’t cost anything, but it demands everything. It demands that we go ‘all in,’ a term that simply means placing all that you have into God’s hands. Pushing it all in. And that’s where we get stuck—spiritual no man’s land. We’re afraid that if we go all in that we might miss out on what this life has to offer. It’s not true. See more at: http://www.markbatterson.com/ books/all-in

Amazon + SPLC Lack of Neutrality at Amazon = Bad For Business. According to Justin Danhof, general counsel of the National Center for Public Policy Research, “Amazon actually, in part, uses lists created by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to determine who it does and doesn't associate with, to determine who’s allowed to be vendors and merchants”.

Male Kangaroos are known to flex their biceps to impress female Kangaroos! The expiration date on bottled water is for the bottle, not the water. If you mouth the word “Colorful’ to someone, it will look like you are saying “I Love You”.

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(Sooo…did you try it out for yourself?)

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This is the same group that lists organizations such as American Family Association, Family Research Councel and others as “Hate Groups” for supporting Christian and conservative values.

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Hey, Did You Know…


GET INVOLVED ! Magazine. We wanted to take a moment and introduce ourselves. Our Goal-is to be a Catalyst Platform; a Facilitator of sorts, in a Holy Spirit lead, Grass roots Movement, Enabling the Church to Engage its local Community and Culture in Redeeming and Restorative ways through Print Media. We Need Help, We Need You; SoThis Is An INVITATION To GET INVOLVED.

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ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BEING A POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTING WRITER? ARE YOU A PHOTOGRAPHER? ARTIST? GRAPHIC DESIGNER? DO YOU KNOW GREAT STORIES OR GREAT YOUNG PEOPLE WHO’S STORIES NEED TO BE TOLD? WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE YOUR OPINION ON VARIOUS TOPICS FROM TIME TO TIME? ARE YOU A PASTOR, SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER OR INVOLVED IN A MINISTRY OR NON PROFIT? ARE YOU A BUSINESS OWNER, WHO WOULD LIKE TO OPINE ON THE MARKETPLACE OR HAVE YOUR BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTED? ARE YOU AN ADMINISTRATOR OR TEACHER IN A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL WHO IS OPINIONATED OR WOULD JUST LIKE TO SHARE GREAT THINGS GOING ON IN OUR SCHOOLS?

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A RELEVANT, FAITH! BASED MAGAZINE,! CELEBRATING! COMMUNITY,! ENCOURAGING! CONNECTION,! IMPACTING CULTURE Follow us on Facebook and give us a “Like” while your at it.

THEN EMAIL US: CHARLES.FRAME@FUNCTIONINGFAITH.COM PH: 214-390-3015 WE’RE LOOKING FOR GREAT PEOPLE, GREAT STORIES & GREAT IDEAS TO FEATURE IN UP COMING ISSUES.


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YOU ARE ...

INVOLVED

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A SMALL TOWN STRIVING TO BE LEGENDARY ADVERTISEMENT CREATED BY MISD JUNIOR HIGH TECH APP CLASSES


OPINION

! Author T.L. Gray! Resides in Ellis County

50 SHADES OF T.L. GRAY I was in a hole. A Christian woman who wanted romance, contemporary story-lines and authenticity, but didn’t want to be inundated with explicit sex scenes. One of the first questions I get asked when doing an interview is, “What inspired you to write?” This is not a shocking question. It does not make me squirm or sweat, but I find my answer often has that effect on the interviewer. Why? Because I tell them the truth. That the Fifty Shades of Grey movement was instrumental in me deciding to write my debut romance novel.

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I received my first kindle three years ago from my husband. After devouring the Hunger Games trilogy and Twilight series, I was starving for more. I didn’t want dystopian or paranormal romance. I wanted something contemporary; I wanted to read about women I could relate to. So I took that step into adult romance and wow…I was taken aback. Who knew the romance industry had changed so dramatically? I mean, I read romance books in high school. They never contained that level of descriptive sex, nor did they endorse promiscuity to the level I was seeing. So I did what any “good” Christian girl would do, and I started browsing Christian fiction.

I read Francine Rivers in high school too, so I knew there was something I could enjoy. And once again, I was taken completely aback. The market was saturated with Amish fiction. The very few contemporary books I did find were so chaste and perfect, I felt as if I were reading fantasy.

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I was in a hole. A Christian woman who wanted romance, contemporary story-lines and authenticity, but didn’t want to be inundated with explicit sex scenes. Was there anything out there for someone like me?

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I’m not here to debate whether books like Fifty Shades of Grey are positive or negative within a marriage. There have probably been more Christian articles written on this book than secular ones. But what cannot be argued is how Fifty Shades of Grey has forever changed the romance book industry.

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What I find so heartbreaking about this fact is that general market and Christian fiction have become polarized in the process.

In February 2012, Relevant Magazine stated, “A recent study reveals that 88 percent of unmarried young adults (ages 18-29) are having sex. The same study, conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, reveals the number doesn’t drop much among Christians.


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Yet, it is a standard of Christian fiction that sex is forbidden
 and almost taboo when writing romance, even among married couples. Again, I am not here to debate the validity of this rule, but it does show an alarming fact. Young adults on a large scale are engaging in sexual activity and the Christian market is ignoring it.

!

Now the question becomes not whether or not a fiction book can stop this trend…it cannot. But what is the message about sex that is being portrayed in fiction? Here’s what I’ve seen in a large amount of general market romance:

The hero is promiscuous and glorified for it. The heroine is a virgin who engages in mind blowing sexual activity with said hero and he now loves her. All their past problems are solved by repeated sexual interaction. Domination is a form of worship and love for the other person. It is okay to be controlled by a man as long as he is equally obsessed with you.

Here are the messages I’ve seen in a large amount of Christian Romance:

! ! Ouch. ! So where is the balance? How can we 1.

I’m sorry, we don’t discuss such things. Please reference the general market.

promote healthy romance, address a culture where sex is a norm in dating, and still stand on our convictions?

NOW AVAILABLE - HASTINGS STORES NATIONWIDE.

I believe there is a way, and that is why I wrote my debut novel, Shattered Rose. My heroine, Avery, is a sweet, sensitive girl who has little to no self-esteem. She uses affirmation from others (mostly men) to gain her self worth. In this story, I address sex and I also promote abstinence until marriage. It is possible to do both.

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To my surprise and amazement, God has turned what I thought was a one-book anthem into a career. And I am known now as “that author.” The one that breaks all the rules in Christian publishing. And I’m okay with being a trailblazer, especially when I have seen the outpouring of support from readers, authors, and even the most conservative members of my church.

Perspective

Of those surveyed who self-identify as evangelical,” 80 percent say they have had sex.”

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In a world full of hypocrisy, we are all hungry for authenticity. And when it comes to fiction, most will wave off a few words of profanity or sex scenes if it means they get to read about a character they can identify with.

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So, I challenge you fiction readers out there, whether you prefer general market or Christian based fiction, to send a message to authors and publishers to bring back a middle track.

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If you read a secular romance that is clean, promote it. Make sure to leave a positive review for that author and tell your friends about it. In the same way, if you read a Christian book that feels real and authentic to culture in 2015, tell your friends, leave a review, and throw a link up on Facebook.

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Even with all the advertising tools available to authors out there, word of mouth still sells 80% of the books we read. So, does it surprise you at all that Fifty Shades of Grey has sold hundreds of millions of copies? It’s all we talk about!

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Instead, let’s take back control of the market and send a clear message that romance isn’t synonymous for sex.

“Let’s show the young adults that there is still beauty in the journey. There is still beauty in a kiss.” For more information on T.L. Gray and her books, please visit her website at tlgray.com.

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ROUND TABLE ! GENERATIONS WHATS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT…?

TRADITIONALS (Born 1928-1945)

Charles F. (Age - 73) “Well for one thing, it’ll keep your dog from chewing your hand off… and just a little bit of it can change the course of the world.”

BOOMERS

(Born 1946-1964)

Nina S. (Age 68)

“My Father was a living example of what love is all about. There were many times that I would sit on his lap and he would tell me how thankful he was to God that I was his daughter. He always spoke so positive to all of us. My Father was crippled but would still kneel down by a tree stump in the pasture and pray over us all.”

X

GEN E ERS (Born 1965-1980)

Julie P. (Age 45)

“Love, or the lack of it, motivates every response to the things that happen around me.  An attitude of love determines how I interact with the store associate, the telemarketer, and my husband and sons. I try to choose compassion over reaction.”

MILLENNIALS (Born 1981-2009)

Kelsi S. (Age 18)

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“Love is giving us a million second chances even though He knows we’re just going to let Him down again!”

Why do you think sex outside of marriage is more accepted today than in the past? Curtis & Shawn Shifflet. “Sex outside of marriage is more accepted today than in the past because, we are expected to accept most everything. This is due to society wanting to be politically correct and not wanting to offend anyone. People have gotten away from thinking about what is good for society as a whole and only think about themselves. It is the “do what I want”, thought pattern along with the mentality of, “No one is better than anyone else, we all have sin, so accept what I do”. This doesn’t mean that we have to walk in sin nature or accept the sin going on around us. Jesus brought sin to light all through his life on earth. He wants us to accept people not the sin .  God gives us the opportunity to live free from sin - forgiven and stain free.”

Casey Ballard “Our culture has become greatly desensitized to many things over the years, not just sex.  If you were to compare primetime TV, movies, and music from the 1960's to today, the social issues are vastly different.  The entertainment

industry is always challenged to "push the limits" in order to be new and edgy.  Over time, those limits move further and further out, and now, what was unheard of 50 years ago on TV is commonplace on the screen and in society.  Consider Sally, the single comedy writer from the Dick Van Dyke show.  Her dates sometimes called for a chaperone.  Flash forward to  Carrie from Sex in the City, who is entirely empowered to have as many sexual partners as she chooses.  Girls look up to this fashionable independent woman and find themselves modeling their own life after hers.  Some might say it's because people are getting married so much later.  But I would argue that one major reason people are marrying later is because casual sex is now the norm.  Which came first?”

Jaroy Carpenter “The casual attitude about sex that is constantly portrayed in every form of

media has desensitized us. Add to that the deterioration of the family,

divorce rate, and poor view of marriage, even many believers now live as if

God has little or nothing to say to them on the issue of sex. We live in a

culture where we can have whatever we want right now. Sex is viewed just

like everything else and fewer people are even asking, "Why wait?"


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From Foster Care To Family

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A

PLACE TO BELONG


Few Americans could imagine moving 13 times over the course of their lifetimes—let alone over just a six-year timespan. Imagine that nomadic journey starting at three years old. That is how old Andrew was when he first left his biological mother, confused and scared.!

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Andrew (now, age 11) and sister Magalli (age 9) moved over a dozen times, landing in a variety of foster homes around north Texas, staying days or months. In some housing arrangements, the siblings were not permitted to stay together. They longed for a home to call their own and a family to care for them.

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On January 18, 2013, Andrew and Magalli were adopted by Jeff and Heather Francis, a couple from Red Oak. Immediately they joined a loving family with sisters Marissa (15), Ally (11), and Grace (9). Being close in age, Grace and Magalli became best friends. Andrew and Ally are in the same grade in school and even play on the same soccer team.

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Heather has served at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie for the

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The Francis Family

past 16 years as the Assistant Dean of Student Records and Registrar, while husband Jeff directs the Financial Aid office at SAGU.

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Jeff explains their amazement with adoption: “When Heather and I met in college, we didn’t have adoption or foster care in focus. We tell our story in order to inform college students that God may have unexpected plans for their lives”.

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After the two were married, they talked about adoption. The option, however, always seemed like something in the distant future. To Jeff and Heather, adoption represented the unknown. Jeff explains, “We wondered how it all worked. We had always heard how expensive adoption can be. With three small kids of our own, it

seemed out of the question—too many hurdles to overcome.”

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One by one, each of the hurdles was eliminated. The unknown was displaced by correct information. The financial pressures of an international or private adoption were alleviated by going through domestic foster care. They lacked sufficient space, until Jeff’s dad came to live with the family, necessitating their purchasing a larger house. Suddenly that hurdle was gone, too.

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“ To Jeff and Heather, adoption represented the unknown.”


Early on, as with any child transitioning to a new home environment, the couple experienced challenges. “All kids test their boundaries,” says Jeff. He sat his son down and reassured him. I told him: ‘I need you to know that I love you. You are always my son. I am always proud to have you as my son.’”

A surprising turn of events followed. Jeff’s half-sister, whom he does not see often, read his social media post about having prepared for adoption. She emailed alerting him to the plight of children she knew. Six weeks later, Andrew and Magalli had moved into the Francises’ home. That was three years ago last month.

“When we finally got the adoption date, fully 13 months after Andrew and Magalli came to live in our home,” notes Heather, “I cannot tell you the immense relief that the children felt. They breathed a huge sigh of relief. They would never have to pack up their belongings again. They’d never have to experience another broken promise that this would be their last stay. Everything was going to be O.K.”

With that, Andrew began to sob. The boy said to his father, “No one has ever said that to me before.”

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When asked why their transition into adoption has been so smooth, Jeff quickly asserted that the key to families’ becoming involved with foster care and adoption is leadership by the church.

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“All of us live very busy lives these days,” remarks Jeff. “Adoption can’t be just a pastor’s sermon illustration or a new campaign. It must be an ongoing thrust of the church.” When the church shares the need to get involved, it does more than spread awareness. Churches impart valuable information to families who need to know just what makes them qualified to open their homes to children in need.

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Churches can anticipate the various reasons why families may deem themselves unable to adopt and systematically eliminate these roadblocks. One such roadblock is the potentially baffling certification process. Churches that offer orientation classes assist with this logistical quagmire.

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The Francis family attends the Oaks Fellowship, an Ellis County church with a supportive ministry for families with foster and adoptive children that offers a Parents Night Out. On-site staff members offer free childcare so parents can enjoy a date night or a trip to the grocery store. The event is planned as an outreach to the community; any families with adoptive or foster children may participate. “Our kids still go,” added Heather, “even two years after being adopted.” Each Parents Night Out follows a theme, like Winter Wonderland, making Christmas presents for their parents; a birthday party; and beach night.

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Jeff was struck by how powerful words can be in shaping a child’s attitudes about his or her future. “My bio kids have grown up hearing that they are loved every day of their lives. Now, Andrew and Magalli can know that same hope,” observes Jeff.

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The Francis family is not alone in their devotion to caring for hurting, neglected children. Besides churches like The Oaks Fellowship or Trinity Church, Cedar Hill, Christian foster care agencies such as Arrow Child & Family Ministries, Jeff and Heather find inspiration in adoption advocacy organizations such as The Keep, a Texas-based ministry started by Bishop Aaron Blake.

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Eric Porter, vice president of Church Relations for The Keep and Ellis County resident, explains the name of the ministry that has identified their mission as caring for the 31,000 orphans who call Texas home. The “keep” was the fortified, walled area of a medieval castle reserved for those most needing protection in the heat of battle. “The armies amassed their weaponry to fight off their attackers while the more vulnerable populations, such as women and children, were shuttled away to safety,” said Porter. “We at The Keep are here to assist the vulnerable while helping the church to realize it can mobilize an army of volunteers and resources to conquer this problem.”

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To ministries like The Keep and families like the Francises, the solution can be found in simple mathematics. Over 400,000 orphans live in the United States today—a figure nearly paralleling the number of American churches (i.e., 380,000 congregations). “If just one family per U.S. church signed up to be foster and/or adoptive parents, not only would this present orphan crisis be averted,” Porter explains.

Seen in this light, the Francis family, assisted by the support of church leadership at The Oaks Fellowship, is modeling a solution that other communities across the state of Texas and around the country would do well to emulate.

!

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For more information on how to become involved in orphan care in Ellis County, call 844-686-KEEP or log onto www.keeporphans.org.

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Providing respite care is just the beginning of the church’s commitment to foster and adoptive families. When a placement is made, often little time remains for the family to prepare for the unique needs of the child(ren) joining them. The church lines up meals to be delivered for the first few days as a family grows accustomed to its newest member(s). Volunteers purchase gift cards or donate funds to buy clothing for kids who often arrive with just the clothes on their backs.

! !

The Well

Convinced that a divine hand was directing their steps, Jeff and Heather enrolled in classes to learn everything they could about the adoption process. They were convinced this was something they should do. Jeff concludes, “The need for adoptive homes is so great that all Christian families should consider themselves called to it.”


“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the !smile is the beginning of love.” - Mother Teresa

DEFINE LOVE By Stephen Lock

Define Love! Now! Come on, you can do it! ! Hmmm….not as easy as we thought, huh? Why is it so hard to define love? We use the word so often nowadays that surely we know what it is, right? Songs and poems have been written to illustrate love, but fall far short of what love was intended to be. Romeo and Juliet never got to actually experience real love because they were dead long before it had a chance to get in the game! Some might stop me right there and yell from the rooftops that Romeo and Juliet (or Bella and Edward, Jack and Rose, or insert any famous couples at your leisure) really loved each other. I would politely disagree. What these people experienced was the possibility of love in what I like to call “romantic infatuation”. We are also bombarded with media equating sex to love, which could not be farther from the truth. In reality, love goes beyond what we see in movies, books, or poems because real love is at times ugly, boring, and frequently goes unnoticed. Stay with me here, because in spite of all this, genuine love is in fact the most precious thing that God has given us. Let us explore what it is that God intended when he commanded us to “love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength”, and “to love others as yourself.”

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Love is defined throughout scripture; however, not in the way that we usually define it. Western culture dictates that love is a feeling or emotion that drives us. While I am not going to dismiss the importance of feelings having their place in love, they were never intended to be the driving force behind it. When we see scripture discussing love, it is never in an “if you FEEL like it” type of mentality. Love is first and foremost COMMANDED of us. It is something that we are required to do whether we feel like it or not

(Look at Leviticus 19:18, I John 4:21, or Matthew 22:37). Many of us balk at the idea of being told to love. After all, we can’t force feelings! You’re right. Feelings cannot be forced, but let me give you an example. Think of the one person in your life that you know you love. Now, think about a time that they have either let you down or made you angry. Did the fact that they wronged you in some way have any effect on whether you loved them or not? You may not LIKE them at the time, but you did not stop loving them. This is why love goes deeper than just mere feelings. Feelings are capable of leading us astray, while love holds steadfast regardless of circumstances. So now we know that love is commanded of us, but how do we DO it? That is a deep subject that cannot be fully discussed in one article, but let’s explore the big picture for a minute. Love had two terms in Hebrew, ahavah and hesed. The first term, ahavah, is the term most closely associated with what we would consider love. However, in Hebrew culture, one does not actually understand a concept until they ACT on it. So one could never truly show they understood love without showing it.

something kind for them? How much more blessed are you and the other individual when this love is acted out? Don’t believe me? Just try it out, one time. Find the person that you do not particularly care for, and do something kind for them, and see if it does not make a difference. It sounds childish almost, but that is part of why God has called us to be childlike in our faith. Second, we have the term hesed. This is a term that is much more difficult to pin down because it does not have an exact English equivalent. The majority of the time that it is used, it is to describe a relationship between two people who are in a covenant with one another. As such, it is frequently used to describe the love relationship God has with His chosen people. It usually involves the saving of one’s life through the loving-kindness of God. One can see many instances in the Old Testament where this word is used from Lot (Genesis 9:19), Jacob (Genesis 32:10), Joseph (Genesis 40:14), and many others from the Psalmist and the Prophets. In response to His grace and mercy (hesed), the people in a relationship with Him responded

“ In essence, giving is found at the root of love.” You could scream “AHAVAH” until you were blue in the face, but until you did something to prove that, it meant nothing. So how do you show it?

with obedience to his commands. So hesed on our part is accomplished through obedience to Him because of the grace He has shown us through salvation.

The root of the word ahavah is found in the “vah” portion of the word which means “to give”. So in essence, giving is found at the root of love. This same word is used in the ever-so-famous verse of John 3:16 to demonstrate God’s love by giving His Son to die for our sins. Can we not see the importance of giving in showing love? That is why the Lord said that there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for another (John 15:13). God demonstrated this type of love by doing exactly that in the person of Christ.

In conclusion, we can use these two terms, ahavah and hesed, to accomplish the two greatest commandments given to us in Matthew 22:36-40.

You can expand this concept to anyone and it becomes easier to see how being commanded to love is not necessarily a bad thing. We are called to selfless giving (love) for all people. How great is it when someone is able to put away their feelings of hate and anger towards another to do

We love God by obeying His commands and showing thankfulness for His grace and mercy, and we love others through selfless giving of ourselves as we are commanded to do. Being commanded to love is a great honor and should never be considered a burden, as great blessings will come of it. The other multiple facets of love can be discussed another time as I believe these two set a solid base for where we can start loving at a deeper level.


BY DALE GARRIS

!“CHESED” (Kheh’-sed) ! I was reading my daily chapter of Proverbs today, and came across a scripture that stopped me in my tracks: “The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.” Proverbs 19:22 I don’t think I’ve ever really understood that proverb. What is “his kindness”? And what has that got to do with being a liar? I had to look it up. “Kindness” is the Hebrew word, “chesed”, which has to do with the lovingkindness toward something or someone, but it goes much farther than that. It is most often used as God’s “chesed” toward man or Israel. It is one of the most important words in the Old Testament. It is not a loving favor based on a covenant or an agreement, nor is it dependent upon anything reciprocal. It is part of God’s nature that He expresses His love toward man through his “chesed”. God’s desire is not that mankind should spend Eternity in Hell or be rebellious and thereby receive the curses of judgment. We are His, the focus of His “chesed”. The Covenants, even the death of His Son, are all a result of God’s “chesed” toward mankind, even to the infinite wisdom of His Plan that Paul exclaims so loudly as being past understanding. So a man’s desire, then, is his “chesed”. It is his heart’s focus, the object of the vision that he has in his heart. Like God, it is not dependent upon anything reciprocal, or being repaid, or even being fair. It just is.

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Dale is the Founder and Executive Director of RevivalFire Ministries; a broadcast ministry whose primary purpose is to see a great Christian outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord that will spawn history's greatest awakening.

Your “chesed” may be your family, your church, lost souls, or whatever thing or purpose your heart yearns for. I honestly believe that it is God who places that “chesed” in every man’s heart to drive us in our personal quests in life, and give us a sense of purpose and direction. He has engineered us all so that we all have different purposes in the Body.

It is part of the transformation that accompanies being “born again”. It is our corporate “chesed”. To neglect that vision by sitting in church all your life and not acting upon the commission God has placed upon you would, in essence, cause you to be a liar to something that is the essence of your calling in God -- a violation of your Christianity.

Okay. I get that so far, but what does that have to do with being a liar?

The perfect example is in the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 and Luke 19. You are given a talent. Do not hide it in the ground or wrap it in a napkin.

The Well

KINDNESS AND LIARS

Website: www.RevivalFire.org! Blog: https://garris.wordpress.com! Email: dale@revivalfire.org!

Again, I looked it up and found that the word, “kazav” does mean to lie, to be found untrue or faithless, and often Many of you have hidden dreams away in appears with the word for “vanity” or your heart that you long to follow, but have “emptiness”. False witnesses and false been kept back because of the things of prophets are found guilty of “kazav” life that have gotten in the way. Your because it encompasses the sense of “chesed” has become so buried behind so violating a holy trust by calling upon God many obstacles that it may seem to testify to the verity of this lie. It’s more impossible to resurrect them to the than just a lie; it is the vain and forefront of your life again. empty violating of a sacred trust, either to ourselves, to “… the greatest I say, follow your dreams and let God work out the God, or to our “chesed”. of these is details. Don’t die with an Now, it’s coming together. unfulfilled dream in your love” ! heart. It was placed there (1Corinthians 13:13) So in a sense when we have a by God for a reason to be “chesed” that has been placed your destiny. To deny it in us as a deeply embedded would be akin to violating a desire of our hearts, it is a sacred trust to trust with your own personal purpose for ourselves. If we violate that holy trust by life. denying it and not following that vision, it would be better for us to have nothing at God threw everything to the all. When God gives you a vision, follow it. wind to send down His very It is the destiny of your life. Taking it one level higher: when you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, God plants the “chesed” of the Great Commission upon you. It is not something learned; it is embedded in the Christian’s heart when you get saved.

heart in the person of His only begotten Son to follow His “chesed” toward Mankind. He asks us to do the same.

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JESSIE WINDSOR ! THE GREAT COMMISSION

(PART 2 OF 3) By Erin Shaw

THE DEVASTATION WAS MASSIVE. AND IT WAS HOT. OPPRESSIVELY SO. THE TEAM HAD ONLY ARRIVED BY BUS A FEW MINUTES PRIOR BUT THE DESOLATION THAT LAY BEFORE THEM IN WHAT USED TO BE THE BUSTLING CITY OF BHUJ, INDIA, WAS ALREADY OVERWHELMING. !

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The city looked like a warhead had detonated on every street corner. The wailing of heartbroken mothers and fathers, of frightened children and the very old could be heard in every direction echoing off the silent remnants of broken down stone walls. This, however, was not the work of wicked men but the violence of nature. An “act of god” as the insurance companies, and those who otherwise claim no faith in God, like to call it. This was one of those times when men who have done their best to remove all traces of God from society will shake their fists at the sky and cry out, “Where were you, God?”, as if He simply forgot to show up. And it was into this scene of pure anguish and destruction that sixteen year old Jessie Windsor took her first tentative steps as a missionary.

Jessie looked down at her dirty foam flip flops. If you had told her two weeks ago that those sad-looking shoes would be making dusty little puffs across the scorching hot desert sand in India…well, actually, she probably would have believed it. The fact that she had long felt the pull toward foreign missions coupled with sixteen years of flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants made for a unstoppable combination when this spur of the moment earthquake

relief trip was announced. So after two weeks of prayer, fund raising and over thirty hours of travel, Jessie found her little-girl, squealy excitement over finally going overseas on her first mission trip hitting the brick wall of reality as she stood in a sea of human heartache and the rubble of, what she assumed, used to be buildings.

Growing up in a small town in the heart of Texas still heavily populated by farmers and ranchers, Jessie had no frame of reference for what she was seeing now. She passed rows upon rows of people, now homeless, shoulder to shoulder, bedding down on the sides of the street amid feral dogs and wandering cattle. She was used to the verdant green pastures and forested land surrounding her parents’ cozy country home. The seemingly eternal beige of the desert landscape appeared so very harsh and foreboding. Occasional clusters of red hibiscus brought an unexpected blush to the sunken cheeks of the bare stone walls to which they clung. The garishly painted remains of a Hindu temple lay scattered across the sandy streets like brightly colored bits of wrapping paper torn from a package, abandoned where they fell.

The sun glared angrily off every available surface, burning Jessie’s pale skin and eyes and the wind carried a constant barrage of sand on it that clogged her nose, blew grit into her teeth and made her throat scratchy and raw. Nevertheless, she was here, and as she glanced over her shoulder and saw her own footprints in the sand she thought,

“I know You are here with me, and I know You brought me here for a reason. Use me, Lord. Let me be an instrument of Your love.”

IND


She looked out and took in the velvety golden color of the sand in the early morning light and the bright reds and oranges spilling over the horizon and spreading across the canvas above them as she sang. “Lord of all creation, of water, earth and sky...” She wondered at the almost shy green of the sparse vegetation scattered here and there, stubbornly growing with so little water in such a hostile environment. “The heavens are your tabernacle, glory to the Lord on high!” She thought about the beauty God had wrought in this place and of the people here He loved enough to die for and her heart soared. She closed her eyes and sang with a conviction that is born in those moments when a glimpse into the heart of the Creator is given. “God of wonders beyond our galaxy, You are holy, holy! The universe declares Your majesty! You are holy, holy! Lord of Heaven and Earth! Lord of Heaven and Earth!”

Jessie and the thirteen others who had come in with such good intentions and high hopes of making a difference suddenly found themselves utterly humbled and wondering what on earth they could do in the face of such horror. They were assigned to prayer walking the city and helping with the cleanup efforts as well as the distribution of food and makeshift shelters and were told they could share the Gospel only if asked about it. “Be very careful”, their guide said as he explained to them the dangers in this city. He pointed to a menacing-looking man leaning against an old wooden cart and called the team’s attention to his attire. “If you see men dressed like this, do not get near them”, he explained in hushed tones. “These are members of an extreme radical group and they are most dangerous.” Jessie glanced around. “Great”, she thought to herself. She looked over at Mandy and asked, “Is it just me, or are those guys everywhere?” “Nope”, answered Mandy, “definitely not just you.” The guide continued in hushed tones explaining that they could be imprisoned or removed from the country, or worse, if they were found to be evangelizing and that they were only to speak to people about Jesus if they were approached but even then to use caution because of these radical groups that had permeated the city.

The team nodded their collective assent and continued lifting their prayers to God as they walked the crowded streets of Bhuj. Suddenly the hairs on the back of Jessie’s neck stood on end and as she surveyed the faces around her. She got an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach as realization dawned…

They were being followed! Erin has a deep and driving love for missions around the globe, and particularly, in India.   She has traveled to many countries to share the Gospel and has begun writing a series of novels chronicling her adventures overseas.

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After morning worship, the team slowly picked its way down street after street stepping over tumbled down houses, broken market stalls, crumbled stairways and remains of temples – a veritable sea of concrete stones and boulders with mangled and intertwined fingers of rebar pointing toward heaven like the skeletal branches of winter trees, devoid of leaf or bloom. The smell of death was everywhere. Women moaned and leaned against cracked stone,

mourning the loss of children. Hour after hour an old Hindu priest, nearblind and bent with age, tottered around the mound of rubble that was all that was left of the temple he served in because he could see no life for himself now that his stone idols had been destroyed.

The Well

DIA

! !

The next day dawned early after a night of less than successful attempts at sleep in near one hundred degree heat. Jessie’s borrowed bed featured a whisper-thin mattress stuffed with sawdust (and lumps of who-knows-what) and came complete with an entire retinue of winged – and biting – insects. Even so, Jessie found herself seated in the courtyard of their host home drinking chai, eating a hard-boiled egg and gazing at the incomparable beauty of a desert sunrise in awe of the God who had painted it. She took her hand-me-down guitar gingerly from its battered case and began to strum the opening chords of a Third Day worship song. The team brushed the remains of breakfast off their shirts, pants and skirts and gathered around to sing praises to the King before they went back out into the city for their first day of work in Bhuj. “I’m no Mac Powell”, Jessie thought to herself, “but Lord, receive this offering of praise and make something beautiful out of it.”


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Not As Malleable As You Think !


A Teen’s Note to Parents About Sex

As a young person, our opinion is looked at as malleable. Look up the very word on dictionary.com, and the first example it gives you is, “the malleable mind of a child.” Parents may simply look at their kid and say, “Sex is bad,” and expect us to run along living our life under your philosophy. Instead of presenting us with all the information and allowing us to obtain and form our own belief, our morals become those of our parents...at least in the beginning. You as a parent may feel you are doing everything you can, but when it comes to actually preparing your kids, are you uncomfortable getting down to the nitty-gritty of sex? Are you open and honest and able to communicate with us in a way that makes us comfortable having these conversations with you?

Roots

! !

Parents often approach us about the subject of sex and try to scare the life out of us. They bring up horror stories of STD’s and pregnancy scares. We soon reach high school and our peers tell us about condoms, techniques, medicine, and vaccines that can help us avoid the shower of pain you promised if we have sex. It is important to remind us of the risks that aren’t curable, the not so physically apparent damage that sex outside of marriage can wreak on a young teen life. Our peers and the media like to overshadow the fact that sex is significantly more problematic than just a temporary physical act of lust. Long-term psychological ramifications can change who someone is and of what their life consists. Sex is emotional. It does not just affect our body but our brains. Having sexual partners can devastate a teenager’s ability to develop healthy, mature, and long-lasting relationships. According to recent research, forty-six percent of all high school students have had sexual intercourse. Approximately seventy-five percent of graduating high school students have had sex. Very few of these students were seriously committed to their partners for a long period of time. When asked, students have claimed that they feel as if “something very important” to themselves has been “damaged”. Fifty-four percent of male students and sixty-six percent of female students felt “things were hopeless” at some point in the year after losing their virginity. Approximately ten percent of students reported seriously considering suicide, and two percent actually attempted. Yet, these same kids who have been emotionally torn apart by sex, later rant about how it isn’t that bad in an attempt to make themselves feel better about what they are going through. If you allow our peers, the world and Hollywood to teach us about sex, we will learn the opposite of what you want. Billboards, the radio and most music, movies and TV give a casual approach to sex outside of marriage. It presents sex as fun, glamorous and alluring. Scenes from movies and videos get in our head and arouse our interests. They are so frequent, they become a regular part of our lives that desensitize us to what should be offensive leading us down a path that is difficult to avoid. Sex is a stunning thing created by God. The book, Song of Solomon in our Bible is a collection of beautifully written poems describing two lovers and their longing for one another. The book solidifies the fact that God did not create us as un-passionate people, doomed never to feel the longing of another to hold. The inborn yearning for one another is what gives us the audaciousness to conquer our hesitation and become personal, completely intimate, and plainly joined together. For kids who are raised to think sex is wrong to think or talk about, may grow up with a twisted perception of what it's really all about. God created sex, and He made it to be good. Although beautiful, it’s imperative to stress the importance of the guidelines God set, and WHY. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 God says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” In 1 Corinthians 7:2, Paul essentially says that marriage is a cure for sexual immorality. “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. “ This should tell us that sex belongs in marriage; not outside of it. This should be clear when we know the consequences of sex outside of marriage. As your kid, we really want a personal connection with you. We want to be able to ask questions of why we should abstain. We want to be able to make our own decision on the matter and for you to help us get there. I know that, as a parent, you feel the need to beat into us to not have sex but when you do, you lose sight of the importance of you teaching us. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “and these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” The importance of the word “teach” lies directly in its own definition: To cause or help (a person or animal) to learn how to do something by giving lessons. It is not to tell us exactly how to feel about something, but to guide us to our own conclusion and to God’s word. Furthermore, teach with “diligence”. This means painstakingly, eagerly, and tirelessly being ready and willing to guide us. Your efforts to teach us should be without ceasing, rigorous and yes, un-malleable. Don’t shy away from the sex talk and DON’T let us shy away from you. Sincerely,

Age 17 - Junior in High School

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! Morgan B.


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WhicheverWayTheWindBlows By Shannon Daniel

FEELING SQUIRRELY? My family loves to camp! We have camped in a tent. We have camped in a pop-up camper. Now we camp in a 28 foot travel trailer complete with a stove, fridge, shower, toilet and a big ol’ slide out to make it even bigger! Funny thing, I don’t think that we are considered to still be camping. I mean, it’s like a tiny movable apartment. Oh well, we still love to camp!

Well, with all this camping you can imagine we have had our share of interesting camp stories. Like the time a mouse ran across our bed, while we were in it, and the night that a raccoon opened the latches on our cooler outside and stole a whole chicken. Then there was the time that I picked up the Kleenex box, noticing that it was extra heavy. I looked inside only to see a snake coiled up. So, like anyone’s natural instinct, I threw it across the camper toward my mother-in-law. It went whizzing by her head only to land between us and the door! When the commotion was finally over that snake was in about five or six pieces.

Even with all of these experiences nothing and I mean nothing could have prepared us for the “incident” with the “SQUIRREL”!!!

Now I am going to try to paint this picture for you, but I need you to imagine it much worse than I could ever explain…

My husband went to the deer camp to pick up the camper where we leave it during the hunting season and when he opened the door to the camper he knew immediately something was not right! I asked him later what his first thought was and he said, “Shannon is gonna be so mad and somehow she’s gonna blame me!”

Well, he brought home the camper and I began to survey the crime scene. It looked as though this animal had a toilet papering party with all its furry friends. It was strung from one side to the other and pulled in and out of the cabinet doors. The floor was covered with open packages of crackers, granola bars, raisins, coffee grounds, tea bags and Kool-Aid mix.

I began to determine that a squirrel must have caused this catastrophe because it was surprisingly clean, unlike what a mouse would do. I discovered that the animal had chosen its toilet in one single location, directly under the bed my mother-in-law sleeps in… shhhhhhhh!

My husband and I realized that this animal had been living behind the panel box, and we needed to remove the cover to expose the underside. It was there we saw the most peculiar things. Everything that was not nailed down in the camper was under there! Ink pens, clothes pins, toothbrushes, gloves, soles of shoes, coozies, medicine tubes, flash light bulbs, bread ties, razors, and a whole box of tampons - just to name a few!!!

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There was a huge pile of insulation built up in the far corner that I could not reach with my hand. I got a long pair of tongs so I could get all the insulation off of the wires from the panel box. I literally had my whole head stuck in this little tiny opening in order to see and that is when I saw and then screamed!!! It seems I was not alone in that hole!

I pleaded with my, one time animal control, husband to go in after the brown furry thing but he refused, I know ladies-what a catch! I finally gained the courage and reached in with the tongs and pulled out the biggest RAT I have ever seen! Thank goodness, it appeared to have died a very short time ago, like less than a day! Just think I could have been nose to nose with that thing! So, after I regained my composure and changed my britches I decided what a great column this would make!

ON SHA NN

HAPPY CAMPING…


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Sunday Supper

O

By Lynn Pipes

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ne thing that was a constant at my house when I was growing up was Sunday Lunch. We always came together to eat Sunday Lunch whether it was something my mom or my grandmother prepared or going out to eat at Luby's (the only restaurant open in Sundays back then). I recall that this is when my grandparents shared with all of us their memories of family members and their adventures while they were growing up. Lunch was not rushed, there were no cell phones, electronics, etc., and it was a time that we cherished because it gave us glimpses into their lives and into the past. I was fortunate to marry into a family that had this same tradition. I was excited to learn about my extended family and their lives, not only that, our boys were able to experience this as well. Nowadays it seems as though we have let technology, work, television, etc. interfere. Nobody seems to have time to just sit and visit. Maybe it's time for us to reinstate family Sunday Lunch. 


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Would You Rate Your Marriage as a 2 or a 10? Maybe Even a 0?

You are not alone.  Whether your marriage needs to be reignited, or is in need of a complete resurrection,  re|engage is a safe place for couples to reconnect. re|engage  offers hope to marriages by helping couples move toward oneness through stories of grace, teaching and small groups. 

Page 24

To learn more about re|engage, or to find out how to bring re|engage to your church, check out

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Roots

E V O L s quote By Brend

a Elledge

“This is true love — you think this happens every day?” Westly, The Princess Bride

Did you know there are thousands of quotes about love compiled from television, books, movies and songs? One of the most basic human longings is to feel loved. And yet, feeling loved can be elusive. In over twenty years of working with clients as a licensed professional counselor, that basic human longing is one I hear about the most. So as I looked at quotes on love I reflected on my work with people, and I have a few thoughts to share.

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“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Jennifer Cavellari, Love Story This way of thinking damages relationships. If anything, the exact opposite is true; “Because I love you I will say, ‘I’m sorry.’ ” I can’t tell you how many adults have sat in my office and shared painful memories of parents who never took responsibility for mistakes they made. Along with that hurt and anger is a lack of an example of how to humbly ask for forgiveness. However, these skills can be learned and they will be worth the effort. Admitting you are wrong and asking for forgiveness will show love to those you’re in relationship with and you’ll all reap the benefits.

“I’m jealous of every man not married to you.” Al Bundy, Married … With Children

“I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.” Tom Hanks, Forest Gump Do you? What does it look like? It’s hard to live it if you don’t know what it looks like in real life. My pastor says you can read 1 Corinthians 13 and insert your name in the place where ”love” appears to see how you’re doing. Try it. Insert your name. “________ is patient, __________ is kind, _______ is not rude, …” Humbling isn’t it? I know it is for me. However, without a blueprint of what true love looks like none of us can live it. I always encourage my clients to tell me what their goal “looks like” so it’s not just an abstract concept.

Let’s use the 1 Corinthians 13 self-check so we can get to work on living out true love instead of just reading nice quotes about it.

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Brenda Elledge, M.Ed., L.P.C.-S

Elledge Counseling Associates is a group of Christian professional counselors serving Ellis County.  Together they offer help to children, adolescents, adults and couples dealing with a wide range of issues.  They have office sites in Waxahachie, Ennis, Ferris, Red Oak, M i d l o t h i a n a n d D u n c a n v i l l e .  F o r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n v i s i t t h e i r w e b s i t e www.elledgecounseling.com or call 972-268-3096.

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Sadly, Al Bundy does represent people I’ve seen in my office. These people have traveled past indifference to a place of resentment and contempt. Being on the receiving end of indifference is painful, but resentment and open contempt create unimaginable stress for everyone in the home. Usually when I see this heart attitude it’s in a

couple who should have come for counseling years ago. They have let the hurt and disappointment pile up and now they are close to hating each other. For most couples this really could have been avoided if they had just sought help sooner. It is so much easier for a couple to recover from 5 years of pain versus 25 years of pain. Even so, it’s never too late to heal.


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At Restoring Texas, making furniture is about using nature’s rawest materials and creating something that is genuine and authentic. It is about taking elements of history, which could only be worn by time, and turning them into timeless pieces.  I borrow inspiration from furniture that has persevered through centuries, and yet can still occupy a valued place in almost any home.  I use elements of the past that were once held in the hands of true Texas craftsman and turn them into one of a kind custom furniture.  These dilapidated barns and houses, historic relics of the past, were once created by the hearts and hands of Texas pioneers, and are now reclaimed to serve for centuries more in our homes.!

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The best part about making furniture is the opportunity to create something that is a central part of a family day to day life. My favorite piece to make is a dining table, where families begin their day and end their day together for decades upon decades. We have some clients who use their tables we have created for almost every aspect of their lives…from breakfast to dinner, from schooling their children to ministry with community over meals of fellowship. Ultimately, the satisfaction that comes with playing such a role in families is indescribable. We are not just making furniture. !

Our central philosophy here at Restoring Texas is very simple. We believe that we are created to work and that in our work we are designed to create. We love what we do. In our

humanity we are reflecting the very nature of who our Creator is. At Restoring Texas, we are able to take the discarded and the forgotten, the dilapidated and disfigured…the things that by all accounts of the world’s standards should be bulldozed and burned. And by means of the sweat and blood of our hands and by pouring our hearts and souls into these things, we are able to create something beautiful. The same has been done with each of us, and I think that’s the story of our lives. ! Every piece of furniture made at Restoring Texas is an artistic reflection of our passion for design, history, and the use and repurpose of reclaimed resources.  Bring us any idea, as vague as it may be, and we will work closely with you to insure that you are completely satisfied with your dream piece of furniture.  Whether your preferred style is modern, rustic or anywhere in between, our reclaimed resources can be incorporated to accentuate any area of a home. Character in our homes is not a lost art! .  At Restoring Texas, your project is our opportunity to show off our artistic skills.!

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CHURCH WEEKLY SCHEDULE Saturday Ancient/Modern Holy Communion, 5 PM Sunday Holy Communion, 8:00 AM Traditional service, no music

Holy Communion, 10:30 AM Children’s Church during the 10:30 AM service.

Sunday School for All Ages, 9:20 - 10:15 AM Wednesday Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Healing, 7 PM HOLY WEEK, 2015 Palm Sunday, March 29, 8 & 10:30 AM The Passion of Christ Maundy Thursday, April 3, 7 PM A New Covenant Good Friday, April 4, Noon & 7 PM The Way of the Cross Easter Sunday, April 5 Sunrise Service, outdoors 7 AM Feast of the Resurrection 8 &10:30 AM THE REV. TERRY

R. REISNER, VICAR

THE REV. DR. JERRY E. HILL, ASSISTING PRIEST

624 Ovilla Road. Waxahachie, 75167 972-938-2126; www.spcwax.org

Guided by Mission

St. Paul Church is one of the longest-serving churches in Waxahachie, founded in 1876. It is also vibrant and growing in its new facility, relocated in 2002. It welcomes more and more people into its family and increases its blessings to the community, county and country. You are invited to join in the excitement. St. Paul Episcopal Church is first and foremost a place to worship the Creator of all things and the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. When the church family gathers in worship, two highlights of the liturgy are celebrated. The first is the Scripture of God – read, proclaimed and explained. The other is participation in the Communion meal of Jesus. Four distinct weekly services offer opportunities for all to experience the life transforming power of God and the life enhancing community of fellowship. When the worship is over, the service begins! The faithful people of the St. Paul church family take seriously the call of God to be a blessing to others. They partner with many local outreach ministries to serve and care for their neighbors in need and with worldwide agencies for maximum impact in the name of Jesus and for His glory. St. Paul Church is blessed with talented teachers and preachers who help make the Bible come alive and communicate relevant application of God’s truth. The people of St. Paul invite you to join them in worship, service and fellowship, and experience God in a focused and fresh way. There are ministries for all ages, including exciting children and youth programs. Holy Week services are a perfect time to experience first hand the depth of worship and the joy of fellowship!

St. Paul Church is an Ellis County church on the move, guided by it’s mission to Love God, Love and Care for Others, and Grow God’s Kingdom

LOVE, CARE, GROW!


!

“ Often times, the way forward is found by treading in the past.”

Page 28

- C. E. Frame


“Currently more than 700 recipients, across 92 delivery routes, receive a hot meal and a safety check from dedicated and caring volunteers. Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties serves to ensure lives are nourished, seniors are cared for, and independent living is enabled.”

The Square

MARCH ! FOR MEALS

Sen. Birdwell, TXU with Fred Stroop

We offer useful information on aging, mental challenges such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, housing options, legal issues, in-home services, end-of-life issues, palliative care and more. Meals-on-Wheels provides Caregiver Education programs for church groups, businesses, clubs, etc.


Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties

Nutritional Supplements- Meals-on-Wheels has

Currently more than 700 recipients, across 92 delivery routes, receive a hot meal and a safety check from dedicated and caring volunteers. Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties serves to ensure lives are nourished, seniors are cared for, and independent living is enabled. With the help of volunteers, the agency delivers hot meals Monday through Friday around the noon hour. Breakfast is delivered Monday through Thursday in addition to the hot meal to clients in need. Weekend meals are also delivered on Fridays along with the regular hot meals.

If you know of someone in need of help with meal preparation, please contact Meals-on-Wheels. There are no income restrictions, most clients are over the age of 60, and are unable to prepare a nutritious, well-balanced meal on a daily basis.


Sen. Wray & Vinsen Faris

Thirty-nine years ago, a group of community members had a dream of creating an organization to feed their homebound elderly neighbors. That summer, a group of women began cooking nutritious meals in school cafeterias and church kitchens so that lunch could be delivered to a few people in need. Thus marked the beginning of what is now Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties.

nutritional supplements available at cost to anyone in need of additional nourishment in their diets. A liquid nutritional supplement such as Ensure provides a source of complete, balanced nutrition to help a person with their additional nutritional needs.


!

How can you be involved?

Volunteers play an important role in the organization, enabling Meals-on-Wheels to reach hundreds of clients five days a week. Not only do volunteers deliver meals to homebound seniors in their local communities, they also provide clients with companionship and a warm, friendly smile. Many times the daily visit from the volunteer is a client’s only contact with the outside world. A meal and a smile can make all the difference!

Become a volunteer! Volunteers are always needed. It takes less than an hour to deliver a route. Volunteers can deliver one day a week, every other week or even serve on an “as-needed” basis filling-in for a route when the routine volunteer is sick or out of town.

In Ellis County, volunteer pickup points are located in Midlothian, Maypearl, Waxahachie, Ferris, Red Oak, Ovilla, Palmer, Avalon, Bardwell, Ennis, Milford, and Italy. These pickup points enable volunteers to pick up and deliver meals in their own community.


Be a donor! Every gift helps provide services right in your own backyard. Every penny raised by Meals-on-Wheels stays local. A gift of $35 provides for one week of meals delivered to a client helping them stay independent in their own home. Gifts of pet food for the AniMeals program are always welcome as well.

For the third year, we are inviting the community to join Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties in March for Meals, a national awareness initiative. The agency will participate in this initiative with other meal programs throughout the United States to increase public awareness of senior hunger issues, recruit new volunteers, and raise additional local funding. Supporters will have the opportunity to sponsor a senior, their community or even the organization for a day. March for Meals sponsors are also invited to deliver meals in their communities throughout the month of March. With the help of generous donors, last March for Meals brought in $73,000 to provide more than 14,000 meals. 


Sen. Wray - March for Meals

Additional services offered by Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties include:


AniMeals - Volunteers deliver donated dog and cat food to Meals-on-Wheels recipients in their community, once a month. AniMeals prevents clients with limited resources from sharing their home-delivered meals with their pets. It also enables individuals to keep their companion animals, providing a special quality to their lives.

ensure that Caregivers have the most up-to-date information, education, and resources. We realize the challenges in caring for an elderly or disabled loved one.

Meals-on-Wheels would love to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about becoming involved at 972-351-9943 or 817-558-2840, info@mowjec.org or visit our website at www.servingthechildrenofyesterday.org

Page 29

Caregiver Education - Meals-on-Wheels wants to


#2

!

Always put your stuff away.!

!

Don't check your phone. Don't glance at your monitor. Don't focus on anything else, even for a moment.!

Don't practice selective hearing.!

!

!

Some people -- I guarantee you know a few like this -- are incapable of hearing anything said by the people they feel are somehow beneath them.!

You can never connect with others if you're busy connecting with your stuff, too.!

!

!

Incredibly charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or "level," feel like we have something in common with them.!

Give the gift of full attention. That's a gift few people give. That gift alone will make others want to be around you and remember you.!

#3

!

Because we do.!

#1

Listen way more than you talk.

!

Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Respond -- not so much verbally, but non-verbally.!

!

Charisma Power !10

Ways to Develop Incredible Charisma (While Being Yourself) Adapted from a Jan. 6, 2015 Blog - By Jeff Hayden

Some people instantly make us feel important. Some people instantly make us feel special. Some people light up a room just by walking in.!

!

We can't always define it, but some people have "it" -- they're naturally charismatic.!

!

Unfortunately natural charisma quickly loses its impact. Familiarity breeds, well, familiarity.!

That's all it takes to show the other person they're important.

!

Don't act self-important…!

!

The only people who are impressed by your stuffy, pretentious, self-important self are other stuffy, pretentious, self-important people.!

!

#4 Always give before you receive -knowing you may never receive.!

Page 30

!

#5

Never think about what you can get. Focus on what you can provide.! ! Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.!

But some people are incredibly charismatic: they build and maintain great relationships, positively influence the people around them, and consistently make people feel better about themselves. They’re the kind of people everyone wants to be around... and wants to be.!

!

Fortunately we can all be more charismatic, because charisma isn't about our level of success, or our presentation skills, or how we dress or the image we project -- charisma is about what we do.!

!

Here are ways you can be more charismatic:


Choose your attitude -- and your words.!

‌Since you know other people are more important.!

!

!The words you use affects

!

You already know what you know. You know your opinions. You know your perspective and point of view. That stuff isn't important, because it's already yours. !

! !

the attitude of others -and it affects you.!

!We all want to associate

But you don't know what other people know!! That automatically makes them a lot more important than us because they're people we can learn from.

Incredibly successful people are often assumed to have charisma simply because they are successful -their success can seem to create a halo effect, almost like a glow. The key word is "seem."

#6

Shine the spotlight on others.!

!

No one receives enough praise. No one. Tell people what they did well.!

!

Wait, you say you don't know what they did well?! Shame on you -- it's your job to know. It's your job to find out ahead of time.!

!

Not only will people appreciate your praise, they'll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they do.!

!

And they will feel a little more accomplished -- and a lot more important.!

#9

But you do have to be incredibly genuine to be extremely charismatic.!

#10

and we definitely don't respect -- the people who dish that dirt.!

Page 31

They'll laugh with you; they’ll like you better for it... and want to be around you a lot more.!

Don't discuss the failings of others...!

!! Granted, we all like hearing a little gossip. We all like hearing a little dirt.! !The problem is, we don't necessarily like --

!! ! !

with happy, enthusiastic, fulfilled people. The approach you take and the words you choose can help other people feel better about themselves -and make you feel better about yourself, too.

#8

...But readily admit your own failings.!

Be humble. Share your screwups. Admit your mistakes and be the lesson learned.! And definitely laugh at yourself. When you do, other people won't laugh at you. !

#7

!Don't laugh at other people. When you do, the people around you wonder if you sometimes laugh at them.!


current

happenings

!

the Twenty Sixth Annual Ellis County Youth Expo. April 6th - 11th 2015

This is truly a chance to come together from across Ellis County and celebrate our youth, particularly, the you ng ladies and gentleman that make up our County FFA, FCCLA & 4-H clubs. This event marks the climax of long hours and dedication put forth by our you ng people. We are proud of their commitment and interest in these program s. Over the course of the week we will see livestock in all shapes and forms, as well as, vocational projects that inclu de metal works, wood works, tractors, cakes, needlepoint and photographs. I encourage you to look deeper; you will see things like character, team work, sportsmanship, dedication, maturity, involvement and on and on. That’s wha t these programs do and this show is all about celebrating it.

!

Cartoon By Christy Garris

thexpo.com countyyou www.ellis

Sale of Champions on Saturday

Reclaiming Mealtime! January 18 - March 22, The Oaks Fellowship will be doing a series called “The Table”.! Christy grew up in Maypearl. She’s currently pursuing her bachelors degree in Art Education from Stephen F. Austin State University.

During this series, The Oaks will reestablish the home as the

primary place of ministry and discipleship starting with reclaiming mealtimes for the Lord.

!

The URBANwell wants to encourage all families in our community to take part.

!

For more info: www.theoaksonline.org/table-2

Page 32

VMD - ELLIS COUNTY MARCH 20-22 Vintage Market Days is an upscale vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, consumable yummies, seasonal plantings and a little more. The Market is a three day event held several times a year in various communities. Each Vintage Market Days event is a unique opportunity for vendors to display their talents and passions in different venues. Early Buying Event (3 Day Pass) $10 General Admission (Sat/Sun) $5 Admission for Children Under 12 - FREE


A

B C

The Square

!

SCHOOL-OLOGY EDUCATION FOUNDATIONS True friends of public schools in Texas. By Melissa Starnater

A social studies teacher might be wishing for interactive globes for his/her classroom. Physical education staff sees how a gaming system might be used in gym class. Librarians across a district might want to start a book-mobile to make reading available to more and more students. A technology teacher needs to attend the state conference for educational technology to make sure he/ she is updated on the technology options for classrooms. These are all ways that an education foundation can help supplement the learning experience for children by providing funds for items that couldn’t be afforded otherwise.

As the Texas State Legislature re-convenes in January, many are reminded of how scarce funds are for neighborhood schools. There are so many deserving teachers and students who work hard to be successful with limited resources alas; the local education foundation is there to help!

New education foundations in Texas start up every year, even in smaller, rural areas. While foundation directors always look for corporate sponsors, they have also found creative ways to involve individual donors, parents, district staff and alumni. Special events such as golf tournaments, fun runs, and auctions provide ways for

A school district’s local education foundation is a “501(c)(3) non-

the donor to receive something for their contribution. These

profit organization created to support its local school district by

activities can also serve as a vehicle for connecting community

raising private dollars to invest in innovative programs not funded

members with their home school district.

through local, state, or federal taxes,” according to the Texas Education Foundation Network. Not to be confused with a school

Becoming

district’s board of trustees, who are the elected governing body

involved with the

that hires a superintendent, sets policy, adopts budgets, etc. - the local education foundation is governed by an appointed board of directors usually comprised of community volunteers. They meet regularly and develop ways to fund programs such as innovative development opportunities for staff.

district’s education foundation can be a rewarding experience!

Page 33

teacher grants, scholarships for students, and professional

local school


CULTURE & ART

!

Photo By Nicollette Mollet

Matthew Brinston Clark

matthewbrinston@gmail.com

@MatthewBrinston

Artist & Musician

"Enjoy art. It's all I desire out of painting & it's all I hope the viewer to get out of my work." HIS ART -

“I've always drawn as long as I can remember. I used to make my own comic books with

characters and story lines as a kid. I was always able to draw the emotions I noticed on peoples faces. My high school art teacher taught me to turn my drawings into paintings. My college professors introduced me to the different concepts of design. It wasn't until the past year that I found a more original style when the background of one of my paintings reminded me of the stained glass artwork my grandpa created when he was alive. It made me feel connected to him in a way that was beyond words. I watched him take his last breath after all. All of my paintings are influenced by a lesson I've learned, experience I've had, or a decision I've made as a result of prayer in my life. Each painting has real meaning and a real story behind them.”

! Page 34

HIS MUSIC - “In

the last few months of 2014 I started on a 5 song EP of instrumental music I

wrote and recorded primarily using my all American precision bass. It's a result of listening to various acts like Michael Jackson, Outkast, George Strait, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, The Strokes and many more artists. I’ll be releasing this EP via Pineapple Records out of Orlando, FL along with 5 different prints of my paintings that will be visual interpretations of the instrumental music. My goal is to have a large catalog of songs that will serve as the soundtrack to my personal art shows.”

My solo exhibit is titled “A Battle. A Transformation.” at Mokah Gallery from February 21st-March 28th. The closing reception will be on March 28th.


!

n Canvas) ylic/Ink o

(Acr OSheGon

ComingTo & LettingLoose (Mixed Media on Canvas)

ThroughTheSmoke (Acrylic/Ink on Canvas)

Bullsit (Acrylic/Ink on Canvas)

Page 35

Smirk (Acrylic/Ink on Canvas)


9GNEQOGVQCHTKGPFN[EQOHQTVCDNGGPXKTQPOGPVYJGTGRGQRNGYKNNDGGZEKVGFVQUGG[QW 6JG#XGPWG%JWTEJGZKUVUVQTGCEJVJGWPEJWTEJGFCPFFGEJWTEJGFCPFOQXGVJGOKPVQC OGCPKPIHWNTGNCVKQPUJKRYKVJ,GUWU,QKPWUVJKU5WPFC[CVQPGQHQWTHQWTEJWTEJUGTXKEGU COCOROQTRO;QWřNNDGINCF[QWECOG theavenuechurch.com

1761 N HWY 77 WAXAHACHIE, TX 75165


Uw Vol. 1 Issue 2 - Feb 2015  

Engaging Faith, Culture & Community

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