September 2016
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THE CENTRAL CONNECTION
"We are an organization of churches that is committed to the mission of Christ to multiply disciple-making churches through evangelism, leadership training, and connection with other like-minded churches."

From The Director
"A Race to Win"
Team USA concludes the record-breaking Rio 2016 Olympic Games with 121 medals and the best performance since 1948.  The Games were staggering.  There were many highlights, so where do I start?  Well, there was Simone Biles and the Final Five bringing home AGAIN the "All-Around" in Women's Gymnastics.  Don't forget speedster Usain Bold as he won the coveted "Triple Three" for the third straight Olympics.  Ashton Eaton won his second straight Olympics in the grueling Men's Decathlon.  Icon swimmer, Michael Phelps, made unprecedented history with his 23 career gold medals in four Olympics.  As exciting as these events are, they are not my favs.    
 
With about one mile to go in the 5,000-meter race, U.S. runner Abbey D'Agostino clips New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin from the back.  She collapsed on the track with a severely sprained ankle.   Instead of recovering quickly to finish her race, leaving the obviously hurt runner on the ground behind her, D'Agostino stops in front her for all the world to see.  What she said next rang in the stadium, "Get up!  We have to finish this race!"  A few meters later as the two were limping along on the track, D'Agostino buckled to the ground.  Carrying the weight of her unknown opponent, Abbey twisted and tore her ACL and MCL.  Then Hamblin stammers to her feet with a sprained ankle and returns the favor.  She helps D'Agostino to her feet and together they finished the race.  Later Hamblin said to the press, "A simple act of kindness, that's what the Olympics are about."
 
Are you kidding me?  Does this kind of stuff still happen in today's world?  It does!  What a beautiful picture of the church.  We who profess faith in Jesus Christ and belong to a local church are participating in the biggest race ever declared.  The call to make committed and mature disciples of Christ is ever before us.  The challenge to live a holy and godly life while running the race is paramount.  For 32 years now I have continued to run the race to help build His church and what I see on the track is astounding.  I see injured, wounded and disabled Christians that are crying out, "Please help me finish the race!".   
 
The race before us my friends is that of encouragement.  The remark of Henry Drummond sometimes haunts me, "How many prodigals are kept out of the kingdom of God by the unlovely characters of those who profess to be inside."   I call us to do what Abbey and Nikki did in the 5,000-meter race.  Be an encourager!  Woven in the fabric of the book of Acts is the quiet yet penetrating life of a man who is a stranger to most Christians.  It is Barnabas, the minister of encouragement . . . "Now Joseph, a Levite of Cyprian birth, who was also called Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet."  (Acts 4:36-37)   Journey with me to see how Barnabas encouraged those were down on the track and crying, "Help me finish the race!"
 
The young, persecuted assembly at Jerusalem was literally "under the gun."  They were backed to the wall and financially stripped.  Many were pressed and desperate, so the Encourager from Cyprus gave all he had.  He sold a piece of land and personally demonstrated that he was living for others by bringing the proceeds to this handful of believers in the church.  The believers were encouraged. 
 
Barnabas the Encourager shows up again in Acts 11 when many in Antioch were being persecuted because of Stephen.  The Word of God was flourishing in the area and according to Acts 11:21, many were coming to faith.  There was too much for leaders to handle, so what does Barnabas do to encourage the believers?  He searches for and finds Saul of Tarsus, who was being rejected because of his past.  He stuck out his neck for this new Christian and together they taught the Word for one year at Antioch.  According to Acts 11:26, thousands grew to be committed disciples of Christ.  Here they were called Christians for the first time.  What blesses me is that Barnabas recognized Saul's God-given abilities and encouraged Paul to go full time in ministry.  Paul listened.

Pat Phinney
To Henry Drummond's indictment, I suggest a solution.  It is an old word for new times. ENCOURAGEMENT!  When you see your teammate at church who is down on the track wounded or injured, come along side of them.  Say, "Get up!  We need to finish this race!"   Let us look for someone at church, work, friends or family who are injured.  Be an encourager. 

This simple act of kindness, that's what the church is about.  Let's run!!

Pat Phinney
CB North Central Regional Director
Pastor's Wives . . . Just For You
" Company is coming!"
"Company is coming!  Company is coming!"  That is the refrain that has been playing in my thoughts over the past couple of weeks.  Yes it is true.  We are having company.  While that is not unusual for us, this time seems different.  Pat's brother and his wife are coming to spend five days with us.  We have only seen them once since the funeral of Pat's mom six years ago.  We are very excited to have them come.  Needless to say preparations are in full swing.  What is it about having company that motivates us so much?  It is amazing the little projects that have been on a list for quite a while suddenly get done.  You would think our house is typically really a mess with all the extra cleaning I've been doing.  I know they aren't going to even look inside some of those closets and drawers, but I feel better just knowing they are clean.  

Since they are coming from a small town in KS we are not certain what will be most interesting to them so we have made a list of things to see and do around the Twin Cities. And then, of course, there is the meal planning and grocery shopping.  I've been trying to work ahead to make some things for the freezer, so I don't have to spend all of my time in the kitchen. It may be hard to tell but honestly what I am looking forward to the most are the conversations.  Time spent catching up.  Finding out what is going on with their three girls and their families.  Learning about their day to day lives.  Hearing what is on their hearts. 
 
Wow!  It's just what God wants from me.  He is a lot less concerned about all those things I may do.  He wants us to spend time together.  He is interested in my day to day life and what is going on with my kids and grandkids.  Most of all, I think He really wants to hear what is on my heart.
 
This month I am going to suggest that together with our husbands we commit to spending more time in prayer with our Father and each other.  Here are a few verses to encourage us to do that .....
 
"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.  Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.  Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings ..."
Psalm 17:6-8
 
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."
Colossians 4:2
 
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Romans 12:12
 
"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."
Jude 20-21
 
 
I mentioned that I have been planning the menu for the time we will have Steve and Jane with us.  One of those nights will be a spaghetti dinner.  I thought I would share the recipes for our two favorite sauces.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as we do.
 
 
Italian Spaghetti
 2 pounds ground beef
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 1 green pepper, finely chopped
 2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
 2 cans (12 oz each) tomato paste
 1 can (3.8 oz) sliced ripe olives

2 envelopes (1.5 oz each) Italian-style
    spaghetti sauce with mushrooms
3 cups water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp oregano leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf

Cook and stir ground beef, onion and green pepper until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring sauce occasionally.
 
Serve meat sauce over hot spaghetti.  Top with parmesan cheese. Click Here to Print

Two Meat Spaghetti Sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into 3/4" slices
1 large onion, chopped
2 - 15oz cans tomato sauce
1 - 16oz can stewed tomatoes
1 - 6oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 - 4oz can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
1/2 cup sliced stuffed green olives
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 bay leaf

Cook the ground beef, sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness.
 
Serve meat sauce over hot spaghetti.  Top with parmesan cheese. Click Here to Print

                   
Karen Phinney
Wife of Regional Director, Pat Phinney


ATTENTION Pastors & Church Office Personnel
Is it time to update your computer software?  Did you know that you can purchase software through the CBNC office at a volume licensing price?  What this means is you can purchase Microsoft Office Standard 2016 for just $150.  Office Standard 2016 includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, and Outlook.  The same software (minus Publisher) is priced at $229.99 elsewhere.  Check out information on our  website or contact the CBNC office at 763-205-9330 or email wendyj@cbnorthcentral.org.
Great Sorrow at WorldVenture
Death of Missionary Appointees

WorldVenture appointees Jamison and Kathryne Pals, along with their three children, Ezra (3 yrs), Violet (23 mos), and Calvin (2 ½ mos), were killed in a multi-vehicle crash on Sunday, July 31. The Pals were traveling in their van from Minnesota to Colorado to participate in their final training before deploying to serve as missionaries in Japan, when their van was struck by a semitrailer truck in Nebraska. WorldVenture is in the CB family which includes Pacific Church Network, CB Global and other regions here in the USA. WorldVenture started in 1943 as the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society. Today, with more than 500 missionaries in 63 countries, WorldVenture is still expanding the harvest, taking the love of God to the nations. It is their vision to see people of all nations transformed by Jesus Christ through partnership with His church.

Read More in an article from WorldVenture President, Jeff Denlinger.

WorldVenture and the family of Jamison and Kathryne have created a memorial fund for those wishing to respond to the tragic death of the Pals family.

#What'sYourStory?
#JesusSaidCome

Pastor Rich Hamm is one of the new pastors in this CB North Central Region.  He began as pastor of First Baptist Church in Pekin, IL in May this year.  We'd like to share a little bit about him so you can get to know him and his family.

Rich was born in Tallahassee, Florida.  Pekin is approximately 930 miles away from where he started and a totally different climate at that!  He and his wife Wendy have three children, Kayla - 18, Elija - 8, and Nixen - 5.  After a long day Rich's favorite thing to do is to just be home with his family.   Rich likes to cheer on his favorite sports teams, the Florida Gators Football team and the San Antonio Spurs.  Hunting and fishing are also favorite past times for him.

Rich has been in full-time ministry for 17 years and when asked if there was anything specific that drew him to ministry Rich's answer was simply, "God's call".  The disciples of Jesus had a similar story.  Jesus said "come", and they did.

"God is doing great things in the life of our church.  We are seeing growth, excitement, and connection in our community." - Pastor Richard Hamm, First Baptist Church, Pekin, IL
#JesusCanDoGreatThings, #LanguageOfLove

Pastor Mike Marcum shares, "I have been a Pastor for 37 years and Jesus has been blessing always." Pastor Mike was first called to ministry in Arizona as a Bus Ministry Leader where he saw many kids come to know the Lord through their church's willingness to supply transportation to area kids to their kids' ministries. He was later called to be a Pastor at First Baptist Church in Elk Horn, Iowa, where he served for 19 years and also saw many come to know Jesus as Savior. Pastor Mike is currently serving at Pequot Lakes Baptist Church, where he began as the Associate Pastor of Evangelism and recently became the Senior Pastor this spring.

Pastor Mike shares that God continues to bless PLBC in many great ways. Sunday morning attendance from 2015 to 2016 has grown slightly and we have added 16 new members so far this year. Eight people were baptized on Easter Sunday, which was a great way to celebrate Jesus' resurrection and the new life He offers.
 
Our AWANA Kid's Club also had an increase in numbers this past season and we are praying God will provide more leaders and helpers for the upcoming school year. The past two summers our church has participated in our town's 4th of July parade as a way to promote our VBS program in July and our church in general. This year over 40 people helped to create, build, supply materials and candy, and be a part of the float. Thirty-five people rode or walked with the float and handed out 1,000 VBS/Church invite cards along with thousands of pieces of candy. It seemed to bring in some new faces for VBS as we were again up in numbers from the past couple years. We were also thankful to have many regular and new helpers for VBS - some being teens from our youth group, which was a great opportunity for them to learn how to serve and share God's love with others.

Our youth group has also grown over this past year, not only in number, but also spiritually. We know of one young man for sure who shared of his salvation through Jesus Christ. God has been so good! The youth also went on a short term mission trip this summer, another great opportunity for them to experience God work in and through them as they serve.

There has been another evangelistic opportunity recently with some Chinese workers from a local resort. They were invited to come to one of our prayer meetings by Steve, a man that has been visiting our fellowship this summer.  Steve told Pastor Mike that he was moved by Jesus  after listening to a sermon he preached about the man Jesus had cast a legion of demons out of and had been told to stay in the country of the Gerasenes and tell what great things Jesus had done for him (Luke 8:37-39). Steve explained that people from other countries are coming to us and we need to tell them of the great things Jesus can do for them.

None of these young Chinese people can speak English, but Steve  shared that they understand the language of welcome and love. So we welcomed them and we loved them as they came to our prayer meeting. Another man from our church, Jack LaBarre, who is a Gideon, gave them a phone app that night that translates the Bible from English to Chinese. A retired missionary couple who attend our church, Floyd & Amy Dauber, also invited them to their home the next week and gave them Chinese Bibles. They watched the Jesus Film in Chinese that night. The following week, one of our former youth and now AWANA helper, Austin Anderson, brought his 

step brother and sister, who are Chinese to their gathering at Dauber's to help translate. We are praying that Jesus will save these young Chinese workers as they have now had the opportunity to hear about the great things God has done for them! 

As a church body, there seems to be a growing sense of optimism and a desire to reach out to our community. Prayerfully, we will all start to grasp that we, like the man who Jesus drove out the demons, are also called to tell others about the great things God has done for us right here in the country He has us.

Shared by Pastor Mike Marcum
Pequot Lakes Baptist Church, Pequot Lakes, MN
CBAmerica Chaplaincy
"Looking for Room 372"
"The story of Jesus in Samaria with his disciples came to me,  'As you look around, would you say it looks like about four months until the harvest? (or in my case, about six miles!) Well, I'm telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what's right in front of you. It's harvest time!'"   -By Chaplain Gordon Ruddick  
Read More  
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Rev. Andy Meverden
Director of Chaplaincy
CBAmerica.org
3686 Stagecoach Rd, Unit F
Longmont, CO 80504

Congratulations to First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI, and 
Pastor Rob Buhl.   Welcome to Pastor Rob and his family as they have accepted the call to ministry in Whitehall.  We ask you to join us in prayer for Pastor Buhl and the other new pastors in the CB North Central Region as they and the churches they serve transition into their new roles in ministry.  
Please Pray for the Following Churches in Transition:


Senior Pastor 
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Delavan Baptist Church - Delavan, IL  
Wildwood Baptist Church - East Moline, IL          
Oak Park Community - Blaine, MN      
First Baptist Church - Luverne, MN
First Baptist Church - Parkers Prairie, MN
Bazetta Baptist Church - Warren, OH
First Baptist Church - New Richmond, WI
The Explanation of JOB Every Sufferer (and Everyone Else) Needs to See
"This video helped me see the great value and wisdom of an Old Testament book that used to really confuse me."
- Daily Buzz, ChurchLeaders.com  See Video

8 Tips for a Personal Retreat Day
" A retreat allows you to minister to your soul through spending time in conversation with God."
- Andrew Camp, ChurchLeaders.com Read More
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x Measuring Your Church's Cash Reserves
"Adequate cash reserves are necessary for a church to meet its obligations on time in spite of fluctuations in monthly revenue."  - Dan Busby, ChurchLawandTax.com
The Zika Virus and International Church Trips
What churches need to know before they travel. - by Elizabeth Jackson, ChurchLawandTax.com  
Read More and See Map of all countries & territories with active Zika virus transmission.

Six Terrible Ways to Recruit Ministry Volunteers In Your Church
"Would you like to do the worst possible job of getting people involved in ministry in your church?   There are several common blunders. Here are six of them. . ."
- ThomRainier.com    Read More

CLICK ABOVE to go to our Facebook page and "Like" CBNC for regular updates.
CB North Central Cluster Groups
North Dakota/Northern MN
To be decided - watch for details.
Steve Daggett, Cavalier Baptist, Cavalier, ND  
701-265-8989

Central Minnesota
Monday, September 12, 10am to Noon
Meeting at River of Life Church, Hastings, MN
Steve Schoenwald, River of Life Church, Hastings, MN
651-437-3965

Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Cluster Group will begin this fall with a Men's Retreat at Arrowhead Bible Camp.  Read on for more details.
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Men's Retreat 2016     Camp Arrowhead     October 7-9     Cost $89
Friday: 6-7 pm registration (supper on your own)
             7 pm Session #1 Bucky Buckwalter
             8:30 pm round-robin foosball and carpetball
 
Saturday: 8:30 am breakfast
                  9:30 am Session #2 John Van Gorkum
                  11 am to 12pm Free Time
                  12 pm Lunch
                  1 pm Volleyball (Fishing, Archery, Hiking, Relaxing, Board Games, ATV outside
 of camp)
                  3 pm Frisbee Golf  (Fishing, Archery, Hiking, Relaxing, Board Games, ATV
 outside of camp)
                  5:30 pm Supper
                  7 pm Session #3 Eldon Carlson
                  8:30 pm round-robin ping-pong
 
Sunday: 8:00 am Breakfast
                8:30 am Worship Wade Duroe
                9:45 am Departure

For more information contact Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI
715-723-1054 or Eldon Carlson, Bloomer Baptist, Bloomer, WI 715-568-1979.

Illinois
Tuesday, September 20, 10:30am - 1:30pm
Meeting at Living Hope Community Church, Bartonville, IL.
Art Georges, Living Hope Community Church, Bartonville, IL
309-633-0028   art@livinghopecentral.org
 
Michigan
To be decided - watch for details.
Leo Cumings, Bethel Baptist Church, Jackson, MI
517-416-1247

For more information on a Cluster Group in your area please contact the CBNC office.

CB North Central
PO Box 490441, Blaine, MN  55449

Pat Phinney, Regional Director
patp@cbnorthcentral.org
Pat's Office:  952-322-7173
Pat's Cell:  952-500-3743

Wendy Jonasen, Administrative Assistant
wendyj@cbnorthcentral.org
763-205-9330
Administrative Office Hours:  Tues. thru Fri. 8am - 1pm

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