Introducing Stan Peterson and Jeff Foerster

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Submitted by the Elders

On January 30, Elim membership will vote on three elder nominees. Gordy McCoy has already served 2 years. However, Stan Peterson and Jeff Foerster are new to this process. Who are these men? The following is a biographical sketch that will provide helpful information as we prayerfully consider them as elders.

Stan Peterson

It is an honor and pleasure to be asked to serve in the capacity of Elder. I was saved in 1999 when I was convicted by God that I was incapable of any good and that my works were as filthy rags and that being a moral (good) person would not get me anywhere especially not into heaven. Up until I was saved I was living for myself and self was on the throne. I was introduced to Christ through a co-worker. I witnessed first-hand God’s love, peace, and joy and after about 3 months of his faithful prayers and witnessing I accepted the True claims of the Bible and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”.

I want to share candidly about my past so as to make much of my God who saved, and redeemed me. I was divorced in 1997 and have two children from my first marriage Hailey(20) and Cole(17); I met my beautiful wife Jackie in Aug. 2002. Jackie was never married and in 2000 had a baby girl, Morgan(10). As a result of Morgan’s birth Jackie came to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Savior. We were married on Feb 15th 2003 and have had 3 children together Adalee(6), Amelia(4) and Esther Joy(2). We all currently live together, save for Hailey. Hailey is living on her own and attends Pierce College.

Almost immediately, from the moment I was saved, the Lord placed within me a hunger for His word. As a result, my passions are to know God (Philippians 3.10),Love my family, and see the body of Christ both equipped and built up. It is my intention to continue to learn and be shaped into God’s image. I long to see the Bride of Christ in her full splendor, filled with joy, obedient, bringing glory to God. My heart yearns to see God glorified in and through the lost. last but most important I believe that Prayer (Communion with God) must be put on a continuum of moving from theory to practice in my life and the life of the church.

Jeff Foerster

Let me take you back to 1972, in a small town 15 miles SW of Portland, Oregon called Sherwood. I grew up with a knowledge of the truth, as my mom has been a Christian for more years than I have been alive. Church was part of the picture early on, and then took a vacation while I attended college at Seattle University and pursued my interests. Church appeared again in Dallas, Texas in 1997, just as I had left it more than 7 years earlier –a good idea I was taught to partake in. Church for me was like a carwash without soap and water, easy to endure, but not very transforming. I have long agreed with what I was taught: the Bible is true, God is who He says He is, Jesus is my only way to Heaven, and He was crucified, buried and resurrected so that my sins could be forgiven.

I accepted these facts and believed them to be true. I had prayed to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins. I believed myself to be a Christian and called myself so for many years. I never considered the idea that Jesus was to be Lord over my life as well as my Savior. I sincerely believed I made the decision that was required. I was a Christian.

That is, until my life began to change around 2001. As everyone knows you don’t “mess with Texas”. But I did anyway. Because of relationship, employment and health difficulties I helped create while there, I found myself again in Oregon. This time I was preparing for a new career in teaching.

Back in Oregon, I realized that my ways had to change. I didn’t like the effects of how I’d been living and began a process of cleaning myself up, attempting to become “good for God”. As I did all that I could do, I found I simply couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the strength to be good. When the time was right Jesus brought me to my knees. It was then that I gave my life to God, not in exchange for anything, but without condition. I believe at that moment Jesus became Lord over my life and my Savior.

I developed a passion for reading the Scriptures and spent three years chewing on and digesting each book of the Bible. My words, my habits, and even my music began to change. I had power in my life I’d never before experienced.

I earned my Master of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University (Portland) in 2002 and, in 2003, took my first teaching job in Nampa, Idaho. There I spent two years teaching 5th and 6th graders, fishing for trout, and skiing at Bogus Basin.

I moved back to Washington in 2005 and have been teaching in the Puyallup School District since 2006. I currently teach 6th graders at Hunt Elementary.

In 2007 I began prison ministry with Prisoners For Christ. Every two weeks I head to the Kent Regional Justice Center and help lead a small group service of worship, teaching and prayer. Preparing for those visits has had great impact, taking me deeper in my knowledge of the Bible, and closer in my relationship with Jesus. I came to Elim in the summer of 2008 and felt welcomed immediately and called it home since.

I’m also involved in a weekly community group and meet biweekly with a group of men for a study of the book of Judges. I spend time regularly in contact with family members in Oregon, which include my mom, my dad, and two of my three sisters and their families (my middle sister and her family live in North Carolina). When time allows I can also be found reading books on economics, investing, and finances, and, once in a blue moon, chasing that elusive trout in a lake or stream nearby.

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Hard Times in 2010

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by Chris Pace

2010 was a very long and difficult year to get through for me. I encountered a variety of trials, more then I ever have before–relationship, finance, health, loss of a family member, loss of a friend, the list goes on. There were times during these trials where I tried to deal with them on my own, sometimes unaware that that was what I was doing. There were times when I felt like falling to the ground and drowning in emotional darkness, when I felt completely exhausted to the point of crying. I had moments when I just wish I could give up, turn my back on the whole matter and start anew.

However, at the end of each trial I found myself at God’s feet. I never ran from Him or waited until the last minute to call upon Him. Even though I’d call upon Him, He would still allow me to go through those trials. Because He allowed this, instead of continuing in the manner I had previously attempted to get through my trials, I began to thank Him for these trials and find reasons to praise and glorify Him in each “trial”. God let me endure these things so that I could draw closer to Him, to rely on Him, to understand what it truly means to have faith in God. I have come to realize how blessed I am with everything I have, with everyone I know, and with every opportunity He presents me with. My hard times are only hard when I look at them from my perspective, but when I look at them the way He wants me to, I see blessings instead of trials. With that being said, last year wasn’t that bad after all.

James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

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by Steve Kearns

The song “Turn Turn Turn” was written by Pete Seegar in 1959, was recorded and became a number one hit for the Birds in 1965. It has been a favorite of mine for years. The lyrics which come from Ecclesiastes have held new meaning for me as of late.

As 2011 starts I am looking at Lorna’s and my life from the perspective of verse one which says “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Since July of 2006 when I was given a medical layoff because of bad hands (10 surgeries in 4 years) we have been trusting and praising God for caring for all of our needs. Being on L&I all this time I have been wondering what God had in store for me for our future. About a year ago I was told that I was going to be retrained in order to go back to work. My main interest was to be working with people in some way. With that in mind I decided to get a Wa. State certification in Chemical Dependency Counseling. Not entirely sure that this is God’s will for me I am stepping out in faith and started my training on the 3rd. This brings me to verse 1 of Ecclesiastes 3. I feel that God has brought this season into my life for His purpose, not sure of what impact I might have for the Kingdom but excited all the same.

As I registered for classes in Dec. I found out that all of the Chemical Dependency classes were on Wed. night and only on Wed. night.  This was going to be a major change for me as it is taking me out of Awana after twenty-two years. I had an especially hard time with this and even doubted that this could be what God wanted for me. After much prayer and tears (yes real men cry) I was reminded of verse 1 again. I am confident that this is God’s timing and purpose for me at this time.

So if God is taking you through a change in your life no matter what that change may be, remember Ecclesiastes 3:1. God has a season and a purpose for everything under heaven. Approach the changes you go through knowing that God is with you and in control.

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Making Your Dreams Come True

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by Brian Sharpe

When I was in High School my wrestling coach had me set goals. I wrote them out and then put them on my dresser. When the season was done I looked at my goals and I had reached every goal but one. This is something I let slip away until last year when Tomina and I set some family goals. I am not sure we did that well at meeting the goals, but it was helpful. We are going to sit down next week when extended family is gone and set some goals.

The New Year is always a good time to evaluate where you are in life and set goals. At 33 am I where I wanted to be? I am not sure I can answer that question because I had nothing to measure it against until last year. That is why goals are so important. It helps us evaluate where we are. We can have dreams, but dreams will not come true unless we put things in place that will help us accomplish those dreams.

Tomina and I place our goals on a mirror in our room. Families should pick a place to put your goals so that way they are always in front of you. Parents this is a great way to help your kids understand the desire of your heart for your family and for them spiritually. The following are principles that Tomina and I are going to use to set our goals as a family.

Specific: Include details, numbers and time frames when setting goals. The more specific you can be the better.

Measurable: Ask yourself some questions after setting the goals. How will I know when I have met this goal? How often? How many? If you are able to answer these questions you have a measurable goal.

Attainable: The goal you set has to be able to be completed or it is not attainable. Focus your goals on what you can control, not on the things you cannot control.

Relevant: Don’t set a goal just to set them. The goals you have need to have a reason behind why they are a goal. Answer the question “why is this goal important.” If you cannot answer why it is important then the goal is not relevant.

Trackable: Each goal needs to have a time element to it so that you can track your progress in achieving your goals.

When Tomina and I set our goals last year we thought of areas we wanted to set goals in, but then I read a book that had a section on setting goals in it. So here is the list they have compiled.

Goal headings:

  • – Spiritual
  • – Financial
  • – Martial or Relational
  • – Familial
  • – Vocational
  • – Ministerial
  • – Physical
  • – Intellectual

I am looking forward to what God is going to do in your family and mine. I am looking forward to what God is going to do at Elim in 2011. God is at work. We need to be faithful to be who God has called us to be. One of the ways we can help ourselves is by setting goals.

Some of this content was taken from “Grow Minister Lead book 2” by Bill Allison

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