Updates about the distance education program

lectures2

Announcing “Site License” Option for Online Lecture Series

lectures

Grace Fellowship announces a new policy to help ministries cultivate biblical counseling teams. As of May, 2017 there is a new option to take Solomon School Online Lecture Series.

Previously, those walking through the Exchanged Life Counselor certification process would register for this 25 video & notes series at the individual rate ($325) and view them on their own. Although the single viewer track is still standard practice, now ministries have the option of purchasing a site license for this module. For a one time fee, your ministry team will have open access to the 25 online lectures and notes.

Some ministries will fund this $1,000 fee by identifying it as a sponsorship project. (It is easier to raise funds for a one-time site license that will have ongoing benefits for the whole ministry than for an individual’s expenses.)

One advantage of the site license is the use of the video lectures as a group training process. This is how our affiliate in Minnesota, Cross to Life Discipleship Ministries, went through this module of training. The use of the videos in a group setting allows for helpful discussion, feedback, and application to your local ministry.

The other requirements for individual certification remain the same, although some ministries also do the Exchanged Life Conference as a group via DVD rather than (or in addition to) the live event.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact John Woodward at GFI. God bless the development and deployment of Christ-centered counseling ministries!

David_Bosley

Helping Troubled Boys: A Testimony

David Bosley and his wife Tresa have always had a calling and passion for helping boys. Over the years they have taken in dozens of children of all ages into their own home, in addition to raising their own four children. After gaining training in dealing with youth issues the Bosleys founded the not-for-profit Master’s Ranch Boys Home in 1997 (MastersRanch.org). They attended a GFI conference in July for a refresher where David gave a brief testimony of how the Christ-centered counseling message was used in his life and family, and how the boys at Masters Ranch are being helped.

 

Ministry in Colombia

Here is an update from Dr. Dan Riley in Bogota:

“We are seeing a great response. They’ve got me pretty busy. Between conferences they line up counseling appointments! Whew. We start about 8:00 in the morning and go late into the night but usually get a little break in the afternoon for lunch. Everyone is very gracious, it’s been good to be with our friends again.  Too much to share but I’ll tell this one thing –  for the CENFOL conference (ALL day Sunday)… a group of nuns have established a mission to reach the prostitutes of Bogota. In doing that they have hired five professional counselors/social workers… Well, they are all coming (with some of the prostitutes) to the Sunday conference. Most of them aren’t Christians. This should an be interesting group to say the least(!); nuns, social workers and prostitutes along with the church members and folks from the community. 🙂

Let’s intercede for this mission trip!

Christian Flag

A Response to the Flag Issue

(A Conspicuous Perspective)

By Rob Clogg

In the last week there has been a lot of attention given to recent political and Supreme Court decisions in the United States. Supporters and protestors conspicuously rally around flags that symbolize their values. This is the Christian Flag and it symbolizes values that are central to me.

Christian Flag

Christian Flag

The Christian Flag was first conceived on September 26, 1987 at Brighton Chapel, Brooklyn, New York. Sunday school superintendent, Charles Overton gave an impromptu speech when a scheduled speaker failed to arrive. He asked the students what a flag representing Christianity would look like. Years later after contemplating the responses, he and a colleague designed and began promoting the flag. The following explanation was given for the symbolism.
The flag has a white field, with a red Latin cross inside a blue canton. The shade of red on the cross symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed. The blue represents the waters of baptism and the hope of heaven. The white represents the purity of Jesus. The white flag is linked to his surrender to God. Some later have suggested the white flag represents his nonviolence, like waving a white flag.
Flags were used in the Old Testament. Moses put up a banner (flag) and declared God: Jehovah Nissi; “The Lord is My Banner”  (Exodus 17:15).  God was the one Moses and the children of Israel would rally around. The banner was a proclamation that made a strong statement about who was their God. Sometimes the flag was used in worship and at times for warfare. Most of all it would represent God’s presence in their midst. Just as the Royal Standard flag flies at Buckingham palace to signify that the Queen is in residence.
Flags were not used in the New Testament. Jesus never waved a flag, nor is there evidence of flags used among early Christians. Some use flags in worship services today, like with a song or a dance; they can add beautiful expression and meaning.
Flags drape coffins of fallen soldiers and they honor soldiers. There are strict orders for their use. Each fold of the flag has meaning. Flags flown at half-mast have special significance and command a response of respect and honor.
So what should our response be to the flag controversy? Is it necessary to for us to fly the “Christian Flag”? I’m sure this post will be met with various opinions. I personally do not need a Christian flag to fortify my faith any more than wearing a cross might. However the symbolism is rich in meaning and I should stand with those who do. I’m especially grateful for the symbolism of the cross and what it means to me.
In Song of Solomon 2:4, the bride sings about God’s love for us with the words, “His banner over me is love.” The cross symbolizes the death that brought redemption and reconciliation through Jesus; it our rally point, our proclamation, and an assurance of His presence in our midst. It is ‘our’ banner of love.
We know that people will rally around many kinds of flags. In Europe fans rally around and wave flags of their favorite football team. Family shields are made to symbolize one’s heritage. People wear hats and shirts that represent their loyalty and commitment. They intentionally want to be conspicuous.
Take note of the lyrics to a song I learned as a child and still love. “Love is the flag that flies from the castle of my heart”.  Later verses replace the word love with the words peace and joy. The chorus says, “So let it fly in the sky, let the whole world know, that the king is in residence there.”
As flags are conspicuous, it would be great if our love, peace and joy would be conspicuous. People want their flag to attract attention and stand out. Waving a flag can mean nothing, but our worship, love, peace, grace and joy can mean everything. Let’s not be critical of the flags that others wave.  Let’s trust that all the cross represents in us will be what really matters, and like the song above declares, ‘the whole world will come to know’ and even sing “His banner over me is love”. I hope your love and life are conspicuous.
What is the most conspicuous thing about you? What would others say? “They’ll know we are Christians by our love” (John 13:35 paraphrase).

(see video link below)

Outreach in Malawi, Africa

(see video link below)

(see video link below)

GFI alumni, Hans and Elly Timmermans, have returned to northwest Malawi for another month of ministry. They will be teaching the “wheel and line message” and equipping leaders with one-to-one discipleship and life group training and resources. Let’s pray for continued 2 Timothy 2:2 multiplication through their mission trip and beyond. Details of this outreach are at their blog: https://northernmalawinews.wordpress.com.   And a video of their testimony and Malawi work is on the Grace Fellowship video channel here.

Cherri Freeman - "Love Them to Life"

My Certification Process Experience

Cherri Freeman - "Love Them to Life"

Cherri Freeman – “Love Them to Life”

by Cherri Freeman

My certification process has been a long one, extending over three and a half years. I first went to Grace Fellowship International in November, 2011, thinking that I was only attending the conference. I was first offered a scholarship for the workshop and then a further scholarship for the Solomon School of Counseling. At that point in time, counseling was very far from my mind; however, God had other ideas! The truths of the Exchanged Life became very clear to me during that time and I knew that I would never be the same.

Joe and I were called into full-time ministry as field staff with GFI in April, 2013, including solidifying the relationship with John Woodward as our mentor. We have felt the call to take the grace message to those who are in addiction so that they also can experience freedom in Christ. The motto of our ministry is “Surfing the wave of grace as we reach out to those in addiction and to those who love them.” God has blessed in so many ways as we see lives transformed and families restored. This journey has been difficult but also rewarding.

Joe has taken classes towards a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling. I felt that I should complete the GFI counseling certification process and have been working closely with John Woodward to meet the requirements. The reading list was a blessing, as were the video and audio series. Working with counselees who have been abused or who have addiction issues personally or in their family is difficult but rewarding.

God has led me to start a ministry to mothers who have children in addiction and that has provided opportunities to counsel many women, including leading several to make a decision for Christ. [www.LoveThemToLife.com] I am grateful to be able to use the experiences that have hurt me to be able to encourage, exhort, teach, pray with, and share the love of God with others in pain.

globe

New GFI Vision Announced

Dear GFI Friends,
This E-letter introduces a new vision document. I want to emphasize how much we need you as an intercessor and supporter for what we do as your ministry partner. This brief letter summarizes our vision for equipping and empowering front-line ministers. What a privilege it is for all of us to be part of a ministry that emphasizes the transforming message of the cross and Christ as Life in your community, in your church, in counseling and for those in crisis. I look forward to keeping you connected with how our resources and staff plan to move this vision forward.
In His Life,
Rob

Rob Clogg, President,
Grace Fellowship International

GFI Vision:  How Your Prayer and Support is at the Core

globeThis letter is hot off the press. On May 6th and 7th, the board of Grace Fellowship International met for two days and agreed to pursue a future vision based on a recently developed planning document. It is summarized in a the graphic below.

Read the diagram/graphic starting clockwise from the top. We plan to equip and empower ministers and front-line leaders who work in the community, in the church, in counseling and with people in crisis. The message of the cross is central.

In the concentric circles, please note that intercessors and supporters are central and critical to the ministry as much as staff and board. We see the biblical “one another” message at the core of GFI. We need one another.

EQUIPPING and EMPOWERING FRONT-LINE MINISTERS with SUPPORT
   and RESOURCES for the message of the CROSS and CHRIST AS LIFE

crisis community

We have so much potential to plan and grow if we have our partners as connected as possible. We value every way that we can minister to you and you to us. This includes your intercession and support.

As the new GFI president I discovered that over the past five years, for every regular supporter there have been ten one time supporters. We are blessed and we thank you for any and all support, and we are thankful for those who have felt led to support the ministry monthly.

We are trying to build electronic communication for both prayer and monthly supporters. We are also asking for both because we need them both.

Please click here to read a brochure that gives a fuller description of Grace Fellowship’s vision: The NEED for SEEDS. If you know others who share this burden of heralding the Galatians 2:20 message internationally, please share or forward this e-letter. Thank you!

Missions, Staff Support, General Fund

Thank you for your gracious support. This can be done securely online via the GFI web site here.

View the original eletter online here

left to right: Hans, Rob, Chuck, David, Peter, Bob and Dan

GFI Board Meeting

Recently the board members of Grace Fellowship met for a day and a half of prayer, discussion and planning. We are grateful for these brothers’ commitment as faithful servant leaders.

 

left to right: Hans, Rob, Chuck, David, Peter, Bob and Dan

left to right: Hans, Rob, Chuck, David, Peter, Bob and Dan

Pastors_to_Pastors

April GFI E-letter

Graphics-rich edition is online here.

Dear Grace Fellowship Friends,
This month we have started an initiative to more effectively communicate with the pastors on our mailing list. In 2010 we published, From Pastors to Pastors: Testimonies of Revitalized Ministries. The life stories in this book, which reflect the Holy Spirit’s moving, have been a major source of inspiration. We rejoice to see God continuing to work in the lives of pastors who have developed a relationship with our team. This month’s email will offer a recent glimpse into this. We  invite you to check out the links below, pick up our book and give it to your pastor.

In His Life,
Rob

Rob Clogg,
President
Grace Fellowship International

From Pastors to Pastors

Consider this book, as a resource to encourage your pastor.  What does a pastor do when he encounters difficulties in life, family or ministry? They are often the ones who are supposed to have the answers. Many pastors have plumbed the depth of despair and experienced a journey downward to the cross yet had a breakthrough to live and minister on the resurrection side of the cross for God’s glory. A number of pastors have provided contact information and invite you to relate to them  personally that they might give further witness of God’s grace in in their lives and ministry. This book can be ordered at Grace Fellowship’s online store or by calling our  toll free number: 1-888-66grace.

3 New Stories

So, what has God been doing recently? You are also encouraged to check out the ministry of three pastors who have seen the ministry of GFI impact their lives and ministry. You are encouraged to go to the links below and listen to recent messages.

  • Heritage Church in Texarkana, Texas www.heritagechurch.org   Pastor Tim Montgomery completed a series before Easter titled; “Rejection” and has begun a series titled: “Now What?”
  • Christ Community Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota  www.christcommunitysf.com  Pastor Troy Weiland completed a series titled, “What We Believe.”
  • Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee www.chilhoweehills.org  Pastor Mark McKeehan has just started a series titled, “Come Alive.”

Giving

Would you consider being a monthly supporter of the ministry? It only takes a short time to set up but is a big help to us. Call the office at 865-429-0450, or click here  to donate online.