Fresh Strength MSA
ms website tabMs Discuss Tabmssubscribems Archive Tab
February 1, 2013  
Donna Jackson
Donna Jackson
Ministerial Spouses
Association leader

From the pen of Donna Jackson... 


Hi friends, 

On Nov. 6, 2012, at the NAD Year-End Meetings in Silver Spring, Md., Dr. Ivan Williams and I, and four other NAD directors (following the lead of the G.C. Ministerial Department), introduced  a new  PKs Ministry initiative. At the conclusion of our short presentation, Dr. Williams asked the leaders of our Division to use their voting clickers to indicate if they had a child who had distanced themselves from God and our Church. The immediate reply shot back on the front screen: 60 percent said "yes." We paused for earnest prayer.

Fast forward to Jan. 7, 2013, at the Southern Union Ministerium in Daytona Beach, Fla. I stood on a stage holding one side of a huge, red, cloth cross, which draped down the middle aisle of a meeting room, shared by approximately 500 ministerial spouses, and watched as my sisters wrote their dearest heart's desire on  sticky notes. As they surged forward and laid them on the cross, their reverent, purposeful expressions and falling tears spoke profoundly of their yearnings for their most precious loved ones. 


Would you agree, friends, that raising children in the parsonage is one of the greatest blessings and challenges, both at the same time, that we can experience? And likewise, for our children! Thus, in this issue, we've chosen to focus on nurturing our children. We hope you'll enjoy this theme picked up by our contributors.


Friends, today may you know and joyfully embrace God's deepest, heart-desire for you and your children, and may you breathe into their lives His positive prophecies for them.


"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" --Jeremiah 29:11 NIV


In each issue, Fresh Strength will highlight a different topic relevant to ministerial spouses. The theme for the next issue is "Family Finances."

In Christian love,   



Dr. John Youngberg
'The Elijah Message for Today' series offers hope for ministerial families

Relax awhile at the fireside of Dr. John Youngberg, and soak in the winsome wisdom of one of Adventism's most outstanding family life leaders. In "The Elijah Message for Today," a series of three- to ten-minute videos, Youngberg, a professor emeritus at Andrews University, leads us on a journey through the messages of the prophet, Elijah, with a special focus and application for ministerial families.  Click here to watch.
(The series was filmed in 2012 by Pastor Gary Burns, communication director of the Lake Union Conference.) 
We'd like to hear from you, too. Take your smartphone or iPad, and ask someone to film you sharing a short testimony or story about what God is doing in your life. Upload your video clip to a video-sharing site like or, and then email your video link to us.
Martin Weber
Dr. Martin Weber
Keeping Your Kids Connected 


Dr. Martin Weber, director of communication for the Mid-America Union Conference, shares from his research why some preacher's kids stay active in the Adventist Church and why others go other directions.
Click here to watch.
Your ministry exploits will inspire other ministerial spouses. Please share them. 
De Leons
Carolann and
César De León
My spouse and I don't agree on curfew. What do I do?


Question: I am a pastor's wife. Our 16-year-old daughter has started to push her curfew later and later. Last Saturday night, she came home at midnight. My husband, who has a very close relationship with her, thinks we should trust her because she is in the company of Christian friends. I don't agree with my husband, and my daughter knows we don't agree, so she plays us against each other; she never listens to me. My husband and I have not had the best relationship because he has always kept too busy to develop a close relationship with me. We also have two sons, but my daughter is his favorite. She usually gets anything she wants from him. What do you recommend I do? --A Frustrated Parent


Response: It sounds like your marriage might be one where a third person has become "triangulated" into the relationship, meaning your husband's attention and energy have been diverted toward your daughter, and she may even enjoy some "parental privileges" that allow her to make some decisions on her own. This dynamic will leave you aside and stripped of your rightful parental authority, which is required to make sound parental decisions along with your husband. Read more.


Click here to submit questions to the counselors, Carolann and César De León.

Trina Young-Bowden
Trina Young-Bowden
PKs Ministry


Check out Trina Young-Bowden, a dynamic pastor's daughter, educator, wife and mother from Florida, who has begun a new ministry for PKs in the Southeastern Conference with a team of other PK young professionals! They're on the move!  Click here.   


We welcome your proven parenting tips, family worship ideas, financial tips (low budget anything!), family management ideas and de-cluttering strategies. Submit your ideas here.

Lake Union Conference
Administrators' Spouses
Retreats provide encouragement and fun


Columbia Union Conference 


Lake Union Conference 


Southern Union Conference




In each issue, we will feature highlights of events for ministerial spouses that take place in the Division. Please share your photos and stories.
First the Blade 


The Christian Ministry and the Discipleship and Religious Education Departments of the Seminary along with all the Seminary faculty and students want to support Seminary families in nurturing the faith development of your families. You are studying to better nurture the faith of congregations and classrooms, and we encourage you to remember ... "First the Blade" (see Mark 4:28).


The First the Blade initiative team includes Kathy Beagles, Lisa Clouzet, Judith Peterson-Williams and Hyveth Williams. Read more.

Women's Devotional Book project needs writers


The Women's Ministries devotional book project is looking for writers. (Sorry, this applies only to female spouses; but if you are a male spouse, encourage your wife to write!)


Women's Ministries publishes a 365- or 366-day devotional book each year. The writers receive no pay; nevertheless, each receives a complimentary book. The big pay-off, however, is that all royalties from these books go to scholarships for women around the world who are seeking college or university level education. (If that applies to you, complete an application! Click here to learn more about the scholarship program.)


The devotional book editor, Ardis Stenbakken, shares how to participate. Read more.

In This Issue
The Elijah Message for Today
Keeping Your Kids Connected
Counselors Corner
PKS Ministry
Retreat Highlights
First the Blade
Prayer and Praise

"I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children."
--Isaiah 49:25 ESV
On the MSA Facebook page, share with the other ministerial spouses how the Lord encourages you when you are worried about your children.
Submit a personal prayer request. Each prayer request will be prayed for individually.
Artistic Musings



The Story of Jonah


Click here to listen to "The Story of Jonah," told with incredible expression and passion by young Mary Margaret.




In this section, we want to feature what you have created: a poem you've written, a painting you've completed or original music you've performed, etc. Submit here.  
Fit for Life

Health Tips for PKs

We all have heard the statistics: During the past three decades, obesity has increased among children of all ages, and more than one-third of American children and adolescents are over-weight or obese. Among adolescents, ages 12 to 19 years, it is estimated that 
34 percent are overweight and another 18.1 percent are obese. This translates to more than half of the entire adolescent population being above the normal weight, and it means more chronic disease risk. This unhealthy weight issue affects children of all ethnicities, income levels and religious affiliations, including Seventh-day Adventists and, yes, our beloved pastors' kids (PKs).
Katia Reinert shares practical ideas to help our children increase physical activity and consumption of nutritious food. Read more. 



Share health tips that work for you, like how you lost weight; healthy, quick, delicious recipes; depression busters, etc.



Don McLafferty's down-loadable guides, videos, etc.


Kids' interactive online 
Bible study (It is Written)



10 Christian Values Every 

Kid Should Know

Dr. Donna J. Habenicht  (1999-R&H)

The Adventist Home
Ellen G. White 
(A study guide is available:
Child Guidance
Ellen G. White

Grace Based Parenting

Dr. Tim Kimmel (Gold Medallion award, 2004-Thomas Nelson)


How to Help Your Children Really Love Jesus

Dr. Donna J. Habenicht (1999-R&H)

Making Jesus My Best Friend: Baptism Preparation for Younger Children
Claudio and Pamela Consuegra (2005-R&H)
Raising Kids Who Turn
Out Right, Dr. Tim Kimmel
(2006-Thomas Nelson)


Romancing Your Child's Heart

Monte Swan (2002-Loyal)


Series on Teaching Sexuality to Children 
(Gold Medallion award series, 2007-Nav Press):

  God's Design for Sex 
  Stan and Brenna Jones

  Before I Was Born

  Carolyn Nystrom


  What's the Big Deal
  Stan and Brenna Jones
  Facing the Facts
  Stan and Brenna Jones
The Blessing
Dr. John Trent and 
Gary Smalley



We welcome your review

of a great book or 

resource. Submit here.

Fresh Strength is published by the Ministerial Spouses Association of NAD Ministerial. Publisher: Ivan L. Williams; Editor: Donna Jackson; Managing Editor: Diane Thurber. Copyright 2012 North American Division Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists. v(301) 680-6418