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H.I.M Family Flyer - September 2006 - Volume 1 Issue 7

Upcoming H.I.M. Events

1. PARENTING CONFERENCE—Saturday, October 28, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Free babysitting with advanced reservations for children 5 years old and younger!

Join us at the H.I.M. Parenting Conference, "Parenting by Design, Not by Default," to be held in Newton, MA. We would never build a house without a well-thought-out design, nor should we build our families without such a design. A good architect and set of plans are critical to the construction of both houses and homes. Psalm 127:1 states: “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”

Spend a day together with other parents focusing on God’s plan and being taught His standards. Paul and Virginia will lead us in examining twelve parenting principles that are critical in raising responsible children according to God’s design: Plan, Think Prototype, Participate, Protect, Be Proactive, Develop Passions, Project Positively, Parenting is a Process, Prioritize Your Marriage, Be a Presence, Play, and Pray

The cost is $20 per person, which includes lunch and all materials. Register online or if you prefer, go here to print out a registration flyer to fill out and send in by U.S. mail: Conference Information We've printed several thousand of these flyers and would be delighted to drop some in the mail to you if you’re willing to distribute them— they’re the perfect size to insert into bulletins. Let us know how many you can use, and we'll have them in the mail to you the same day.

Questions? Email info@HIMweb.org or call 781-275-6473. Hope to see you there!

2. MISSION: POSSIBLE!—November 3-5, 2006 and March 30–April 1, 2007
Registrations are coming in steadily for the first of two Home Improvement Ministries marriage conferences this year. If you’re married and haven't yet registered, we'd sure love to have you join us for "Mission: Possible—Experiencing a Blockbuster Marriage." Both conferences will take place at the lovely Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, New Hampshire.

H.I.M. is pleased to be able to offer a 50% scholarship to all pastors whose churches can release them to attend one of these conferences. If you want to send a message of appreciation and support to your pastor, why not get together with others in your church to supply the remaining 50% and send your church's pastor and spouse to one of these great marriage conferences? It's guaranteed to be a gift that's inspiring, relaxing, and even entertaining!

"An amazing weekend! A perfect balance of teaching and challenge with rest and renewal," wrote one of last year's attendees. Another wrote, "We are so glad we came. We leave refreshed, renewed, and excited about our marriage (and parenting)."

Please join us! A vital marriage is the best gift you can give yourselves—and your children. Call 781-275-6473 (or email Barbara@HImweb.org) to request a brochure--or read all the details online

We are delighted to announce that seven New England churches have registered to join the H.I.M. Church Partnership program which begins later this month. Two couples from each of these churches will meet with Paul and Virginia twice a month for instruction on the centrality of marriage and family in scripture, and leadership training using a curriculum for Marriage and Parenting they will then take back to their local churches. These couples and their churches are excited and enthusiastic about acquiring new tools to strengthen marriages and families in their congregations.

The syllabus for the year has been published and can be viewed online. If you think your church leadership would be interested in participating in this program with a commitment of personnel, time, programs, and finances over a nine month period with the goal of strengthening marriages and families in your church, please contact Paul@HIMweb.org or call 781-275-6473 — there's still barely time!

By the way, all members of these partnership churches are able to take $25 off their registration to HIM marriage and engagement conferences for the year. Just wanted you all to be in the know!

View the Church Partnership Program Brochure and the Class Syllabus (PDF 493KB) or Class Syllabus (HTML 6KB).

4. ENGAGEMENT MATTERS—Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1
Laying strong foundations for marriage often seems unnecessary during the beautiful days of dating and courtship, but those foundations become invaluable when storms hit. The time to build strong foundations is during the calm, not during the storm. Most marriages are not destroyed because of bad cooking, less-than-thrilling sex, finances, or communication. Most marriages are destroyed because in times of stress due to bad cooking, less-than-thrilling sex, finances, or communication, they do not have a strong foundation to fall back on.

We'd like to encourage you to encourage your friends and relatives to sign up for Engagement Matters—a two-day conference for engaged and pre-engaged couples. Paul and Virginia and several assisting couples will offer foundation-building insights on marriage as it was meant to be—a gift from God—and how to make sure you are on track both to be and to marry a God-honoring spouse. Engagement Matters is offered three times this coming year—all seminars are held on Saturday and Sunday: September 30–October 1, 2006, January 6–7, 2007, and April 14–15, 2007.

Please keep this weekend in mind to recommend to any of your pre-engaged or engaged family members or friends. For more information check out the Engagement Matters webpage or email info@HIMweb.org. You can register online registration.

News You Can Use

We are thrilled to announce the publication this summer of Paul's book, "Letters to My Daughters: A dad's thoughts on a most important decision — Marriage." In this series of letters, originally emails sent to his daughters Kari, Lisa, and Julie over the course of two years while they were college students, Paul offers not only loving fatherly advice and wisdom, but also very practical ways to judge whether a potential spouse would truly be a wise marriage choice. We heartily recommend this book to all the teens and young adults on your Christmas list.

One young woman wrote to Paul's daughter Lisa after reading the book: "Give thanks to your dad for compiling them and taking the time to write them to you and consequently many other daughters of less articulate and vulnerable men with similar hearts. I know my father has the same desires for his children and views as your dad... Even in reading the many letters your father has written you and your sisters, I still feel loved not only because your dad is looking out for all the daughters of the King, but also because it makes me remember the one letter I got from my father."

The mother of three young girls wrote: "When we got home that night, I picked up Letters to My Daughters and it was sooo good that I had finished it 2 hours later! It is well written and communicates very clearly, with applicable illustrations, and making the book so easy to read. I already have a waiting list of moms with teens to borrow your book!"

"I have purchased copies for the high school girls in my small group and we are reading through it this year," wrote a small group leader in a church in California.

"I wish I had read this 30 years ago...my life would have turned out very differently," said a woman whose marriage is challenging.

For excerpts, click here.

For ordering information, click here.

Did you know that H.I.M. webmaster Richard Hendricks updates the H.I.M. website every week? Go to www.HIMweb.org regularly to stay abreast of the latest happenings at Home Improvement Ministries. You'll find extensive pages with registration details for events, book reviews, Paul and Virginia's speaking calendar, "Notes from the Journey" where Virginia records insights and adventures from her life of ministry—and many other resources, including information about the new church partnership program being offered by H.I.M. All of this is made possible by you, our dedicated supporters and donors. How thankful we are for your commitment to God's design for marriages and families, and for the opportunity we have here at H.I.M. to spread the word—because so many of you give. You are making a difference!

By the way, if you haven't discovered this little trick: you can make a beeline to what's new on the website each week by visiting the "What's New?" link along the left side of the HIMweb homepage. Webmaster Richard keeps this page carefully updated with direct links to whatever's been updated since the previous week. Pretty handy! Check it out here: www.HIMweb.org

"Family Camp is the highlight of our family's year. Our boys mark the year Family Camp to Family Camp. As we packed to leave today, one of our sons said 'Only 51 more weeks til Family Camp! ' "

Home Improvement Ministries was privileged to partner with Camp Berea in Hebron, New Hampshire, by offering two weeks of family camp in 2006: August 12–18 and August 19–25. Both camps were full and had waiting lists, which reflects that many have caught the vision for this wonderful tradition.

HIM and Camp Berea are driven by like passions for strengthening families and marriages and for providing a well-run, effective program for doing so. Both weeks were a great combination of teaching and recreation that reinforced the theme "Find Us Faithful." Mike and Maggie Rowe of First Baptist Church in Wheaton, Illinois, were the adult resource couple for each week, and were well-received as they taught on various themes related to marriage and parenting. Additionally, the adults all spent time in small group studies each morning, applying passages from Joshua using study materials written by Paul Friesen. Testimonies given at the closing banquet each week affirmed that this venue was powerfully used in people's lives by God.

One family wrote, "We can not thank you enough for your willingness to share from your heart the love of Jesus... You all have great servant hearts and my family is blessed to be touched by the hand of God through you. God has blessed you and you in turn bless us!"

Plans are under way for Family Camps 2007, which will be held at Camp Berea August 11–17 and August 18–24. In fact, if you want to attend, call Camp Berea now and register immediately at 603-744-6344 — folks who attended this year have already pre-registered for next year, and we wouldn't want you to miss out!

[excerpts from the Family Camp Report on our website, which can be found in its entirety here]


Paul and Virginia have been sprinting a marathon since early spring, which undoubtedly prompted their dear friend and partner in ministry, Gary Gaddini, to send them Ruth Haley Barton's book Invitation to Solitude and Silence. !!!

They have just finished serving their longest family camp summer in years: seven weeks on Catalina Island directing Campus by the Sea's family camp program, one week speaking at Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center in California, and two weeks at Camp Berea, running HIM/Camp Berea family camps. Since they believe family camps are one of the most effective venues for impacting families, Virginia wrote that they "were thrilled and privileged to invest our summer this way."

You've already read in a past issue of the Family Flyer of their hard work to attain their doctor of ministry degrees. Soon after graduating, they headed to Dallas, Texas, to support their daughter Julie as she lead the Cal Poly women's lacrosse team to defend their sixth national title. They ended the school year with a two-week trip to Australia in late May: one week of ministry, and one week of vacation in Cairns and Sydney, during which they celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary!

And now a new future anniversary date is about to be announced: Paul and Virginia's eldest daughter Kari said "yes" to Gabe Garcia's proposal at the cross at Campus by the Sea on Catalina Island this past August 2, and a February wedding is now in the making. Kari and Gabe work together at Bayside Church in Sacramento, California; both are interns in the high school department and have deep hearts for the Lord.

The final milestone of the last few months was the publication this summer of Paul's book, Letters to My Daughters. After months and years of editing, revising, and polishing, what was once a series of informal but thoughtful emails to Kari, Lisa, and Julie—forwarded and reforwarded to many friends—can now be easily shared with anyone open to biblical wisdom and practical tools for finding and choosing a Christ-like marriage partner.

Milestones become memorials to God's faithfulness. Please continue to support Paul and Virginia by praying that they'll continue to be faithful to His call. Virginia writes, "How grateful and blessed we are to be living out our passion for families and marriages... Oh, and about that book on solitude: I have begun reading it and have great expectations that it will challenge us to rethink the way we do life."

May God grant you moments of both solitude and gratitude as you think on all He has faithfully accomplished and is accomplishing in your life as well.


Comments, suggestions or letters can be sent to:
Barbara Steele, Editor
email: barbara@HIMweb.org


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