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December 2011 Vol 7, Issue 2
Mr. and Mrs. Derek Johnson




In This Issue
"Come Away, My Lover, My Friend" Marriage Conference
"No Greater Joy" Parenting Conference
Mid-Winter Family Getaway
From the Friesen Kitchen
Keeping Up with Paul and Virginia
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Register for the H.I.M. Marriage Conference - early bird discount ends Dec. 3
Building a Sacred Marriage Conference Logo This year's Marriage Conference speakers:

Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen


March 2-4, 2012
Hotel Viking, Newport, Rhode Island 

Click here for all the details.

Register by this Saturday, Dec. 3, to get the early bird registration discount!

In our hectic and frenzied world, we sometimes forget that we are married to our friend, our lover.  Get away to beautiful Newport, Rhode Island, enjoy the elegant Hotel Viking, be encouraged by practical Biblical teaching on marriage, be led in worship by gifted musicians, and relax with your lover, your friend.  This is a great weekend to remember what it was that brought you together and to enjoy renewing that desire in your time away as a couple.

                 Download Conference Brochure              Request Brochures or Bulletin Inserts   
Register for the H.I.M. Parenting Conference - early bird discount ends Dec. 9
Building a Sacred Marriage Conference Logo


Speakers:  Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen


Saturday, February 4, 2012
9 am - 4 pm
Calvary Christian Church, Lynnfield, MA 

Click here for all the details.

Register by Dec. 9th to get the early bird registration discount!

Most Christian parents would join the Apostle John when he says, "I have no greater joy than to hear my children are walking in the Truth" - and yet for many, such joy seems elusive.  Spend a day with other parents of like minds exploring the importance of Modeling, Molding, and Motivating in our children's lives.  In addition to the plenary sessions taught by Drs. Paul and Virginia Friesen, a variety of very practical workshops will be led by gifted parent-teachers..

                 Download Conference Brochure               Request Brochures or Bulletin Inserts   
Mid-Winter Family Getaway - January 14-19, 2012
Building a Sacred Marriage Conference Logo
Ever spend $$$$$ to take your children to places like Disney World - but all they wanted to do was stay at the hotel and swim?  This mid-winter getaway will not cost you anywhere near as much - yet your kids will have plenty of pool time and you will be part of a relaxed weekend alongside other parents who want to spend time with their kids and be in the company of families with similar values.

Join us for a long weekend in the beautiful Holiday Inn in Boxborough for a relaxed mid-winter vacation.

                                                               Click here for all the details.

                 Download Conference Brochure              Request Brochures or Bulletin Inserts   
From the Friesen Kitchen

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg      
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. almond or vanilla extract   
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 6-oz. pkg. Craisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Whisk together eggs and extract in separate mixing bowl.  Add to dry ingredients, mixing just until moist, using an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add dried cranberries and almonds; mix thoroughly.  On a floured surface, divide batter in half and pat each half into a log approximately 14 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until firm.  Cool on a wire rack.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.  Cut biscotti into 1/2 inch slices.  Stand upright on cookie sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Let cool and store in a loosely covered container.  Makes 2 1/2 dozen. 

Keeping Up with Paul and Virginia
The newly expanded Friesen family
It was a special joy to have Gail MacDonald, long-time family friend and mentor, attend Julie and Derek's east coast reception this past September.

It's been a very full fall for Paul and Virginia!  Since starting up the ministry year this past September, they've spoken at many Mom to Mom programs around New England, met weekly with Patriots couples (plus Virginia leads a study with the Patriots wives each Wednesday morning), counseled dozens of couples, and spoken all over the country giving marriage and/or parenting talks-from Camp Berea in Hebron, New Hampshire, to Sacramento, California, to Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, to Gordon-Conwell in South Hamilton, MA, to Vancouver, B.C., Canada!

However, the centerpiece of their fall was hosting the H.I.M. "Building a Sacred Marriage" conference in Framingham, Massachusetts, featuring guest speaker, Gary Thomas.  Virginia wrote, "Gary Thomas spoke Friday night and all day Saturday to a crowd of about 550 and God's spirit was unmistakably present. . . . [Gary's] message was clear, convicting, and hope-giving.   Especially heartening to Paul and me was seeing many, many couples with whom we've walked for years now, who have been met by God in very life-changing ways.  Their once very struggling marriages are now on solid ground and the hope of the gospel is seen very practically."

Paul and Virginia Friesen
Gary Thomas addresses the attendees of the "Building a Sacred Marriage" conference.

A couple of the many comments we've received since:

"My husband and I heard loud and clear what the message for our marriage was and we are incredibly thankful for your ministry for bringing it to us. Thank you so very much."

"My wife and I attended the recent Sacred Marriage conference, what a blessing!  I frequently give [Gary Thomas's book] Sacred Marriage to couples as wedding presents and during premarital counseling, I loved hearing Gary in person and was personally challenged and stretched to grow in living my wife as Christ loves the church."  

Next up?  A fully-booked Engagement Matters  event this weekend, with more Mom to Mom groups, more counseling, and more Patriots studies to fill in before Christmas.  Paul and Virginia have also been hard a work on a Letters to My Daughters companion study guide.  When it's out, you'll be the first to know!

Please continue to pray for Paul and Virginia, as well as for their staff and for the Board of Home Improvement Ministries.  We so value your prayer support - nothing of eternal value happens without it.  God provides richly as you pray.

Barbara Steele
Home Improvement Ministries
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