Monday, February 27, 2017

2017 Theme: For Such a Time as This


The phrase “for such a time as this”, makes you think of the Book of Esther in the Bible. The Lord has placed each one of you on this earth for “such a time as this”. He has you in the place He wants you for just now. He will work in your life, through ALL your trials, mistakes, wrong choices, indifference, rebellion, etc. to mold you into what He wants you to be.

Think of Esther who was the most unlikely to be the Queen and yet God placed her there to save her people, the Jews. Our Father is well able to do this for you as well. He has you at the right place for the right time for highly important reasons. He is the same today and is well able to work things out for you, to turn evil to good, and to use you “for such a time as this”.

You need not fear as our Lord in His complexity and His wisdom is able to bring glory to His name through all the events of this time. Our speaker, Jennifer Shaw, will bring you a message from the Book of Esther and show you how the Lord can use you today. Bring a friend to share the day with you. 

2017 Main Speaker: Jennifer Shaw


Jennifer Shaw is a Telly Award winning speaker, author, singer, songwriter and five-time Top 40 Billboard artist. Her ministry has been featured by Focus on the Family, Insight for Living, Family Life Today, Autism Speaks, Joni and Friends, and many more. Her new book, "Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song", has brought national attention to the issue of Sensory Processing Disorder.

After being classically trained as an opera singer at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, Jennifer became a professor of music at Cedarville University before she felt led into her role as a contemporary worship leader. Her testimony includes tragedy and triumph, being the parent of a special needs child, and losing her father to Lou Gehrig's disease. With the release of her fourth album, Someday, her songs offer hope in any circumstance and also reflect her recent experiences on the mission field in Asia, Africa, Central America and the UK.

Warm. Real. Funny. Intelligent. Engaging. These are some of the words people use to describe Jennifer. But her favorite? "Christ-follower, absolutely," she says. With a love for people and a heart to serve God, Jennifer wants nothing more than to point people toward the One who has changed everything in her own life.

Years of following the Lord through both good and hard times have taught Jennifer her most valued lessons. "Through it all, I learned that God is amazingly powerful," Jennifer continues "and that He will use all things to the good of those who love Him, even when we can't see how that could be possible in the moment. I now understand that our purpose here is just to glorify Him, and that these are 'light and momentary troubles' as Paul wrote. He's never left me or forsaken me, and He's made me braver each day. I want everyone to know this Jesus who changed everything in my life." 

Visit Jennifer's website at: http://jennifershaw.com/home

2017 Music: Abby Paskvan


Our musician for this year is an ordinary 21-year-old with an extraordinary gift. Abby Paskvan has been entertaining, providing hope, and sharing God’s message through song for more than a decade. Currently a student at Bowling Green State University, Abby began singing at age two, and first sang in a church setting at age five. Abby’s music ministry is growing significantly as she sings at churches and gospel concerts throughout the United States. She is a regular performer at Christmas in the Smokies in Pigeon Forge, TN, and has also performed at Dollywood, Gatlinburg Gathering, and on an Alaskan cruise with Carnival. This past summer she sang the National Anthem at the Republican Convention in Cleveland.

Abby recognizes that her voice and the ability to communicate so clearly through song is a gift from God. She finds peace in her work and incredible joy as others share how her songs have touched them and helped them through trying times.

Her fifth and most recent CD, Up to Something, was released in late 2015, and is produced by well-known Southern Gospel artists Mike and Dean Hopper. She can be heard on southern gospel music radio stations in Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. Abby can also be heard nationwide on Sirius XM, the Enlighten station.

Since releasing her first CD in 2009, Abby is beginning to make a name for herself within the Christian Music Industry. Her latest single, “Only the Blood,” charted on both Singing News and Christian Voice Charts. For the past three years, Abby was voted top five for “New Soloist of the Year” by the fans of the Singing News magazine. In 2015, she traveled with America’s favorite family singing group, “The Hoppers,” filling in for Kim Hopper.

In 2011, readers of Christian Voice magazine voted her one of the top five “Young Excelling Individuals” in Southern Gospel music. That same year, Abby won the Dayton, Ohio Teens Offering Praise competition, and was one of the first recipients of the “What Would Jesus Do?” award for acts of kindness to another competitor. We are certain everyone will be blessed by Abby’s music ministry. 

Visit Abby's website at: https://www.abbypaskvan.com/

2017 Special Feature: Amy Brooks



Amy was born in a Pittsburgh hospital with congenital tetraphocomelia – having no arms or legs. She was abandoned at the hospital by her birth parents where the staff was asked if they could "put her in a room and not feed her."

Can you image being born without arms or legs? What would be the quality of your life? How would you cope? What would your attitude or personality be like? How about the depth of your humor, the level of your faith, or your compassion for others?

She came to live with Richard and Janet Brooks of Avalon and their four children as a foster child when she was 8 days old. She soon became the fifth and final permanent member of the Brooks family.

Performing everyday tasks is a challenge for Brooks, she said, but she has learned to adapt. She scoots on the floor or uses a wheelchair. She writes by holding a pen between her head and shoulder and texts on her phone by using her lips or "tongue if I need to do it really fast," she said. She is a poster child for perseverance.

Amy Brooks is a joyful, exuberant and faithful Christian whose vision is to glorify Christ by testifying to the unbeliever of His saving grace and by bringing encouragement to those who already know Him. "Each and every one of us was created with a purpose," she said. "We need to start seeing ourselves as one cohesive unit working with each other.... You can't have a hockey team full of forwards."

In her inspiring, humorous, and uplifting 2-part autobiography, Amy takes you on an amazing journey as she shares her life story and her enviable faith. All throughout, she will make you laugh. She will also make you cry a little. Most importantly, Amy will challenge and inspire you in a way that promises to change your life forever!

To learn more about Amy, visit her website: http://www.amybrooks.org