Archive for December, 2010

12 Days Until Germany!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

As we get closer to our departure date on January 10th, the GoGrace Germany team is preparing our hearts and minds to interact with a wonderful culture and people. Here are some ways that you can be praying for us as we get ready to go!

Day 1) Pray that we would be able to long-suffering with one another through the long hours of flights and layovers. Traveling can be waring on anyone, and we want God’s glory to be seen throughout the entire trip.

Day 2) Pray that our hearts would be prepared to love and learn from the German people.

Day 3) Pray that we would be an encouragement to the church in Aalen Germany, and to the Pappas family. We will be interacting with the church and probably the teen and young adult groups there as well.

Day 4) Pray that we would know how we can best serve the host families we are staying with.

Day 5) Pray for Kip Cone, the leader of our trip, that he might have wisdom and continue to lead us well.

Day 6) Pray for the teens who are in the public schools that we will be working with in their classrooms. We will speaking English to them. Pray for their salvation!

Day 7) Pray for clarity and wisdom as we give our testimonies and explain why Jesus has made all the difference for us. Pray that we would be a light in the darkness, and would be protected from Spiritual attack.

Day 8) Pray that God would give our families peace while we are gone overseas.

Day 9) Pray that our hearts would be turned from ourselves, and moved to listen closely to the heart of God in each word that we say, and in each action we do.

Day 10) Pray that we would be bold in our proclamation of Christ, and would not rely on our own strength, but fully on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Day 11) Pray that we would be focused on the truth of Scripture as we filter what we are seeing and experiencing, instead of filtering it through our “Christian culture” perspective…the “Christian Life” is more important.

Day 12) Pray that we would not become sick throughtout the trip. Traveling can cause illness (as it has in past years) and illness makes ministry more difficult.

Thank you for your prayers! We are so thankful for your support and encouragement as we see a piece of what God is doing in the Church in Europe!

~Katelyn Mithoefer

New 2010 Tax Law Impacts Grace College & Seminary

Monday, December 20th, 2010

The New 2010 Tax Law Impacts Grace College & Seminary

The $858 billion tax relief bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2010, includes important legislation for Grace College & Seminary and other charitable organizations.

Continuing a series of tax breaks from the Bush era, the latest bill (The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010) restores the IRA Charitable Rollover for 2010 and permits its use in all of 2011. The act is retroactive to January 1, 2010, so donors who previously made 2010 IRA rollovers will qualify.

This means that individuals who are 70½ or older and receive IRA distributions may transfer those finances to a public charity such as Grace without any tax liability. The tax-free component is applicable to a direct transfer from an IRA to a qualified public charity that does not exceed $100,000 for the year.

The extended legislation allows for another important benefit for 2010. Because Congress recognized that it is very late in the year, individuals who choose to make a qualified charitable distribution rollover from their IRA trustee to a charity like Grace may make their 2010 charitable gift during the remaining days in December 2010 or in January 2011.

To take advantage of this 2010 tax law, or if you have questions regarding IRA distributions, please contact Greg Weimer, Grace’s Director of Planned Giving, at 866-448-3472 ext. 6124.

As with all retirement and investment tools, talk to your financial management representative for details.

Should have warned you….

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

So, I feel I should have warned anyone who may actually be checking this blog that I fail at keeping up with these things. I’ve never been able to keep a diary/journal or even my own blog… so I don’t really know why I though I could keep up with one this time. So, I’m sorry to anyone who has checked back here only to find nothing new for months. As my new years resolution, I will try to better next semester…

But, on to my life in Paris. Our 3 months here flew by. Classes finished on the 8th, and we had an official “graduation ceremony” on the 11th. Good news is we all passed- yea! Mel left on the 14th (to go home to get married), and Jamie left this morning. It’s going to be a tad lonely around the apartment now. Even though I know that staying here over Christmas will ultimately help my language acquisition, and not having to go through culture shock twice in a month is a good thing, but I still wish I could have gone home. Its hard to be so far from family and friends over the holidays. The city is beautiful though. There are lights everywhere, and most places have trees up. I even bought a small tree for the apartment.

The hardest thing about the winter here is seeing all the homeless. They are here all year round, but in the summer, they  can be almost anywhere in the city (parks, benches, sidewalks…) but now that its freezing outside, they tend to congregate in the metro stations since they are heated. I have decided that living in a big city, and seeing homeless people daily can really turn you into a cynical person. It’s so hard to know who really needs your help and who is trying to scam you. In the States, I would have said I’m a compassionate person, but being here has brought out a side of me I never knew existed. It takes conscious effort to feel sympathy for most of the people here asking for handouts. It can be so hard to feel bad for the half-drunk men peeing in a corner of the metro station. But, as difficult as it is, it is what we are called to do. It is not our job to judge them, to judge their mistakes and blame them; while their problems may be of their own doing, that is not what God told us to do. He told us to love them, and have compassion on them; to help those who (for whatever reason) are in need. what would happen if we stopped looking past them, and started looking at them? What if I stop assuming that my money will go towards alcohol and instead leave that between them and God. Someone once told me, when I asked how he could just hand someone 20 bucks and not assume it will go towards drugs or alcohol, the we will each be judged by our hearts and actions- you will be credited for your goodwill and generosity, and the receiver will be judged by how the money is spent; but that should never be a reason not to give. That doesnt mean go around handing out money willy-nilly, but you should also never ignore the prompting of the spirit. Sorry if this is a bit heavy, and rambling- they are thoughts that have been floating around my head for the past few weeks, and they have been a bit hard to pin down.

Anyway, I hope all the Gracies have a wonderful Christmas break. Rest up and get ready for the new semester. I don’t know if I will write again before the new year, but if not, I will let you know when I get settled into Dijon (I leave Paris at the end of December).

~Michelle

Priorities in Prayer

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

I was recently struck by a very uncomfortable thought when studying Ephesians 6:18-20.

‘What if God decided to answer all of our prayers for one day? Would more people be healed from an illness or saved by grace?’

In the movie, Bruce Almighty, Jim Carey is given God’s powers for a period of time and decides to answer yes to all the “PrayerMail” requests that were sent to God. In the movie, there are a few scenes depicting the chaos that ensues, but as I was reading Ephesians, I was struck with Paul’s request for courage to “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which i am an ambassador in chains.”

Paul wasn’t concerned about being imprisoned, he didn’t ask for prayer about his physical condition, though most assuredly he wasn’t in perfect health. His concern was for the Gospel. And this was a characteristic of his ministry. 2 Thessalonians 3:1 says, “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.”

But so many times, our prayer requests are dominated by health issues, job situations, and other temporary situations. I’m afraid many Christians I know have given the Gospel second or third place in their prayer lives.

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not bad to pray for those other things. But we must put our prayer emphasis on the spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ. We must make it a habit to pray for opportunities to share our faith, to pray for those we know aren’t saved, to pray for our missionary friends who are spreading the Gospel overseas.

I’m afraid it would be a bittersweet day if God decided to affirmatively answer all our requests. We might rejoice in the restored health of our grandparents and the resolution of our job uncertainty, but it would be tempored when we came to realize the opportunity we missed to see more people come to Christ.

Grace College and Independent Colleges of Indiana Hold Lower Tuition Rates

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Recent research from the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) shows that Grace College and the remaining 30 member schools, on average, have lower tuition costs than other independent colleges nationwide, as well as lower tuition than out-of-state students at Indiana’s major public universities.

On average, independent colleges across America cost students $27,793 each year. ICI found that the average tuition among its member schools was $25,547 – which, over four years, amounts to nearly $9,000 saved. Indiana’s two major state schools, Indiana University and Purdue University, required out-of-state students to pay $27,688 and $26,622 respectively.

According to ICI, “Tuition for out-of-state students attending either the IU or Purdue main campus is a more accurate reflection of the actual cost of attendance without benefit of the state subsidies provided to these institutions by taxpayers.”

Though Grace College already has lower-than-average annual tuition costs ($21,700), the college is taking additional measures to lower the price tag on higher education. It has cut the cost of earning a Bachelor’s degree by up to 50 percent by creating a three-year accelerated degree program. The accelerated track option, which will begin in Fall 2011, will allow students to eliminate one full year of college costs and begin earning in the workforce sooner.

Since Grace introduced the program in June, applications have risen 18%.

Grace College Provost Dr. Bill Katip said that though initially the idea of a private education may seem out-of-reach, “More families seem to be reaching the realization that a Grace education really is affordable. Our three-year accelerated degree option is making inroads to help meet the financial needs of Hoosiers and other families from the Midwest.”

The idea of the accelerated degree began receiving national and political consideration last fall when Sen. (R-Tenn.) and former U.S. Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander publicly addressed the need for three-year options in higher education.

Grace College is an evangelical Christian community of higher education which applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. The academic, residential, athletic, and social aspects of the college are designed to encourage intellectual and spiritual growth in a supportive campus community. The 180-acre campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Ind. It has historically been among the top schools of its size and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. The Princeton Review has regularly awarded it the title of a “Best Midwestern College.”

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 Israel blog!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 Israel blog! We’re excited to share our adventures with you!

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 India blog!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 India blog! We’re excited to share our adventures with you!

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 Germany blog!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 Germany blog! We’re excited to share our adventures with you!

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 South Korea blog!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Welcome to the GoGrace 2010 South Korea blog! We’re excited to share our adventures with you!

Harlem Globetrotters Bring Basketball’s First-Ever 4-Point Shot to Warsaw

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

The Harlem Globetrotters, who have contributed more innovations to the game of basketball than any other team in history, have implemented the first-ever 4-point shot as part of all of its games on the team’s 2011 “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the team’s record 85th season of touring.

The Globetrotters introduced the 4-pointer to a national audience on Sunday, December 5 when ESPN2 telecasted the Globetrotters’ game against the Washington Generals from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

This game-changing innovation will be on display when the Globetrotters take on the Washington Generals at Orthopaedic Capital Center on January 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets, starting at $25.00, are on sale at www.harlemglobetrotters.com, the Orthopaedic Capital Center on the campus of Grace College – 574-372-5100 ext. 6266, the Coty County Athletic Complex (CCAC), the Kosciusko County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Reinholt’s Town Square Furniture. Information on group and scout tickets can also be found at www.harlemglobetrotters.com.

“The Globetrotters have been at the forefront of basketball’s evolution throughout the sport’s history,” said Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “From the alley-oop to the slam dunk to the behind-the-back pass, the Globetrotters have long brought innovations to basketball that are now staples of the game, and we’re confident the 4-point shot will change the game of basketball going forward.”

Throughout the 2011 North American tour, which will travel to 220 cities in 46 U.S. States and six Canadian provinces between December 26 and April 17, every Globetrotters game will now feature two designated 4-point shooting spots on each side of midcourt, each located 35 feet from the basket (the spots are 12 feet beyond the NBA’s official 3-point line). The 4-point option is expected to further open up the playing floor for the Globetrotters as well as their opponents, the Generals, and is expected to generate even more high-scoring action and competitive play.

“Bring it,” said Washington Generals President Red Klotz, whose team has not beaten the Globetrotters since January 1971, when Klotz himself sank a game-winning shot in Martin, TN. “Long-range marksmanship is a Generals trademark, and we’ve already installed several new plays to take advantage of the 4-pointer. If anything, this only makes us stronger.”

“I only wish they had this shot when I was playing,” said Globetrotter Legend Curly Neal, one of only five Globetrotters in history to have his jersey number retired. “I could have lit up that scoreboard all night long.”

Sponsored by Campbell Soup Company, Howard Johnson Hotels, America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, Greyhound Lines and Spalding, the Original Harlem Globetrotters continue a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages.

Throughout their history, the Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 120 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents—over more than eight thrilling decades.