Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Family Conference on Finances

Our family is looking forward to attending Generations with Vision's conference held this year in Raleigh, NC on March 11-12th. Generations with Vision is a ministry focused on family finances and headed by Kevin Swanson. Last year's conference was held in Colorado and sold out. With over 1100 attendees already registered for this upcoming conference in Raleigh, space is limited. The topics are so relevant for families in these tough economic times. We are looking forward to gaining some much-needed wisdom and encouragement. We hope you'll be able to join us.

Excerpted from Generations with Vision:

"Our speakers will cover many topics pertinent and timely to our current economic and social decline, including:

  • Unemployment: What to Do When There's Nothing to Do
  • The Proverbs 31 Family
  • What Every Family Should Know About Starting Their Own Business
  • A Vision of Victory for the Family
  • The College Paradigm and the Family Economy
  • How to Train Your Son to be Financially Prepared for Marriage
  • Sacrifice or Slavery - Building a Christian Community for the Hard Times

With America's top keynote speakers, including Doug Phillips, Erik Weir, Stephen Beck, Kevin Swanson, RC Sproul Jr., Scott Brown, and more, this is one conference your family can't miss! Check out the full schedule available online for detailed information. Make sure to check out our special panel on "Family Based Entrepreneurs" where real families will be sharing their stories on how they have created family businesses in various areas including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, sales, and more!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family Economics Conference 2011

Generations with Vision

Dear Friends,

We have several exciting additions to our details for the 2011 Family Economics Conference. We are over 3/4 of the way filled to capacity and have only a limited space remaining for signups, so register online now before it's too late!

Schedule Online
A tentative schedule for the 2011 Conference is now available online with titles and speakers. Also, check out our newly updated speakers page for more information on speakers.

Special Entertainment
Stay tuned for updates on our scheduled entertainment, including a performance from the award-winning Winton's Band – a supercharged father/son bluegrass band that has lived the family-integrated economic vision as they homeschool their children in California, and on the road around the United States.

Family Based Entrepreneurs

Make sure to check out our special panel on "Family Based Entrepreneurs" where real families will be sharing their stories on how they have created family businesses in various areas including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, sales, and more!

Alexander Family

The Alexander family has truly diversified in agriculture and land-based business endeavors. Natural eggs, grass-fed poultry, pork, seasonal produce, milk, tractor services, peanuts, and real estate service - the 8 member Alexander family has found plenty of business endeavors to remain busy and productive.

Hernandez Family

With 8 kids under the age of 10, Tony Hernandez has plenty to keep him busy in the home. But 8 children isn’t all the Hernandez family keeps busy with each day. As a serial entrepreneur, Tony has worked in construction, sales, printing, and various business and ministry endeavors, all in the context of his own family and vision for the kingdom of God.

Courter Family

If you didn’t think backyard manufacturing was possible, you haven’t met the Courter family. Anthony Courter has developed a manufacturing business in his own backyard to a nationally-respected, full scale manufacturing operation in the solar industry. By tediously caring for every detail of the business, involving his family, and leveraging his success to then invest in his community through relationships and mentoring, Anthony Courter and his family have developed a family economy that has equipped them to serve their community and church in many incredible ways.

Seppi Family

The Seppi family is an industrious homeschool family that has built a bee and honey business over a multi-state area. Working together, the Seppi family has established a profitable agricultural enterprise which has exposed their family to the many freedoms and opportunities of family-based economics.

And we’re just getting started folks! You'll also hear from the Chapa Family, Cheney Family, Miller Family, and more!

Register Now!/></a></p><br /><br /> <div style=

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Remembering Jonathan Elijah Donahue

It has been one year since the home-going of Jonathan Elijah, the Donahue's precious baby boy. In remembrance of Jonathan's life and the powerful testimony of his parents, their story is being republished.

As the family grieves the loss of Jonathan all over again at this one year mark, I know they would be blessed to know you're praying for them. Words of encouragement can be sent to:

January 30, 2010

A Saint Among Us

After waking in the middle of the night, I (Joy) couldn't quickly return to restful sleep as sorrow-filled thoughts evaded my consciousness. As has been the case so often during the past few months, the quietness of the night brings the reminder of a fierce trial that surrounds a close friend.

On Friday, November 13th, I received a call from Joanna. I was excited to hear her voice, knowing that she was probably calling to share the good news of her twenty week, mid-pregnancy ultrasound. The tone of her voice caused me to sit down quickly as I could tell something was wrong. With calmness in her sorrow, she said the ultrasound showed a serious medical condition that would surely take the life of their baby at birth. I listened in disbelief, my mind racing with a flood of possible solutions and ways to avoid the projected outcome. Then I came to the end of my inward fighting against the truth and asked if she could tell me the details once again. This time as I listened with acceptance, my heart felt as if it would break in two. A baby who was growing and kicking like any other healthy baby was going to die? How could it be? Yet the fact remained - their baby had a condition called Anencephaly and would surely die shortly after the birth. There was no cure. No medical intervention would save the life of this much loved baby. Our conversation ended with the question whose answer is usually joyously announced, "Did you find out what it is?" Joanna's voice broke as she said, "It's a boy."

I have never walked beside someone faced with so great a trial or difficult assignment from the Lord. Yet as I have watched Joanna's response to this terribly painful battle, I am convinced there is a saint among us.

Never in my life have I seen a Christian so quickly submit and humble herself under the mighty hand of God. Surely there is much turmoil in Joanna's heart, yet outwardly she has maintained a posture of submission to the Lord's will. Anger, sarcasm, and stubbornness - reactions of many when faced with a trial - are far from Joanna's speech and attitude. Instead, she has relied on God to carry her through her sorrow-filled days and she has come to Him as the loving Father that He is.

At the onset of the trial, Joanna was met with the option of aborting her son, which some might justify in light of the fact that he is destined to die regardless. Yet, she resolved to honor the life God placed in her care by loving her son fully for however many days God gave her to share with him. He was given the name "Jonathan Elijah".

As news spread of Jonathan's condition, she was met with well-meaning friends who, despite the certain fatal outcome, challenged Joanna to either claim a miracle of healing or deny, through faith, the existence of the condition. Both suggestions only serve to further exhaust a soldier who is already overcome by the battle in which they are immersed. Instead of weeping with those who weep, onlookers often add to the burden by assigning an additional challenge that forces the battle-torn soldier to delve into a theological debate defending her beliefs regarding the practice of claiming miracles. Even worse are those who inadvertently challenge the soldier's faith by equating the battle to the supposed lack of belief in the power of God to perform a miracle. Lord, forgive us for doing this to our weary brothers and sisters. In this phase of the battle, Joanna remained steadfast though her heart was wounded.

The next wave of grief would come from those friends who, because they didn't know what to say, said nothing at all about the great sorrow that rested on their friend's shoulders. They didn't realize that in their silence, it was perceived that they didn't care that this dear girl was facing the greatest trial of her life. A simple, "I'm so sorry" would have been sufficient. A card or a quick email reminding her that prayers were being lifted up on her behalf would have have been like drops of water on a dry, parched ground. Yet, Joanna only briefly mentioned the sorrow related to their silence. She quickly turned her focus back to her Lord and did not dwell on the much-needed support from friends.

Joanna has spoken so highly of the care she has received from her midwife, the high-tech medical team, and support from an organization that cares for families whose children have life-limiting illnesses. As much as these people have given her, surely they are the greater recipients to have observed Joanna's God-given strength and grace throughout this trial.

Through a series of meetings and conferences the hospital has been prepared for Jonathan's arrival. Jonathan's toddler sister and four big brothers have all been prepared through twice weekly visits from hospice. Steve, Joanna's husband, has been a rock to which the family has anchored during the storm. God has paved a path of grace and provision for this precious family.

This Tuesday, February 2nd, Joanna will be admitted to the hospital to prepare for Jonathan's birthday. Prayer requests surrounding the details of the birth are many.

May God be glorified as Joanna has so beautifully offered her body as a living sacrifice. May Joanna feel the support of a multitude as they boldly lift her before the throne of grace in this, her hour of greatest need. May we, as fellow sojourners, learn from the example set before us through Joanna's submission in this sorrowful trial. There is a saint among us.

February 2010

Jonathan Elijah

Ushered into the Glory of Heaven February 2, 2010 ~ Born February 3, 2010How completely characteristic of the the Donahue family to have written on the board in their labor and delivery room the goal for the day: "Glorify God and Enjoy Him" - the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. As a godly couple facing the trial of their lives, it is no surprise that they arrived at the hospital with the catechism's question printed on their minds - "What is the chief end of man?" As strong as soldiers headed into battle, Steve and Joanna were the picture of grace and strength during the birth of Jonathan Elijah. God answered their every prayer, though not in ways expected.Joanna had wanted Jonathan's siblings to meet him but was hesitant, not knowing how best she wanted the children to remember their brother. The Lord sent freezing rain so transporting the children to the hospital by the grandparents wasn't wise. God chose that the siblings would, instead, have beautiful pictures in which to remember Jonathan.
Requests were made that Steve and Joanna would have the grace and strength to love Jonathan completely and say good-bye at the same time. Evidence of greater love has never been witnessed by those who walked beside this family during the labor and birth.

We had prayed that Jonathan's passing would be peaceful and not filled with trauma. He died during the labor tucked safely beneath his mother's heart.
Today, a multitude of friends and family joined together at a snow-covered country church to memorialize Jonathan's life. One of the pastors and close friends who spoke said that Jonathan has done more for the cause of Christ in his short life than that of some Christians who live 80 years. We are forever changed by Jonathan's life. We are forever changed by observing his parents walk triumphantly through this very fierce trial.

Requests for comfort are now the greatest priority as they endure the season of grieving. How does one return to a busy life filled with the joys and challenges of parenthood with one, much-loved child missing? May God carry them close to His heart.

Steve, Joanna, and Jonathan - in your mission "To Glorify God and Enjoy Him," you have been successful. We are forever changed by your testimony.