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Financial Peace Seminar at Oasis Community Church

24 Feb

Barb Duncan, Financial Peace University Facilitator

Need to figure out how to pay off debt, student loans or handle your money better? If you said yes to any of these questions, then consider going to the 13-week course offered at Oasis Community Church here in Lakeland, FL called Financial Peace University Seminar by Dave Ramsey.

Financial Peace University Attendees

“Financial Peace University teaches you how to make the right decisions with your money and empowers you with the practical skills and confidence needed to achieve your financial goals and experience true financial peace!”

This seminar is open to singles, couples, or people who just want to learn how to manage their money. The 13-week course started on February 10, 2011 and is transforming lives in the process. It will not always be the easiest task, but in the end it is definitely worth having that peace of mind that the finances are under control.

Financial Peace University Text

“Oasis decided to offer the course because knowing how to manage your money well honors God,” explains Barb Duncan, Financial Peace University Facilitator. Duncan not only went through this course before, but also completed the Good Sense class as well.

Originally, Oasis Community Church offered the financial class called Good Sense, but now transitioned over to Financial Peace University created by renowned speaker and author Dave Ramsey. This seminar is the first time Oasis Community Church has offered it where the group meets every Thursday night. Around 50 people are enrolled in the class.

The format of the series is watching the video material of Dave Ramsey speaking on the various categories dealing with money and then the whole group breaks into four smaller groups. Each small group has a discussion leader that prompts conversations and concerns from group members. The small group settings provide a safe environment for group members to talk about their financial difficulties and find solutions or develop a plan to solve these problems. It also is a great place to network and have accountability through the course.

Video Section

“We chose to come to Financial Peace University because we had to get a focus on our money, make goals and find accountability,” says Mary Galletta, attendee of Financial Peace University.

The best advice that couples can adhere to is using the envelope system. The envelope system is where you allot x amount of money for each envelope. Every envelope is marked for different needs such as a food envelope, a gas envelope, a rent envelope, etc. The catch is you can only spend the money allotted into each envelope for that purpose and not pull money from any other envelope. If you follow this system, then you should not overspend.

Review Discussion“Sit down and figure out a budget showing where every dollar is to go before the month starts. If you are married get on the same page,” expresses Duncan.

Small Group Setting

One of the hottest issues that couples fight about is money. It is so important to lay out all the bills to see what is needing to be paid every month. The best way to keep a budget is to show where to spend each dollar before the month begins. This way when the end of the month comes you are not wondering where all the money went.

“Live like no one else now, and you will live like no one else later,” says Dave Ramsey. The best advice is to have a plan. Without a plan, the snowball effect of continually spending money is bound to happen. Finances are always a part of life, so come and learn how to use the tools where you can win in your finances.



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Trash Mountain Project revisits Building Location in Dominican Republic

17 Feb

Picture living as a family that eats, sleeps, works, and dies in a trash dump for their entire life. The trash dumps are a place of no hope or vision. One man saw this need and decided something needed to be done about it. 

What is Trash Mountain Project? “The Trash Mountain Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded by Brett & Jaelle Durbin after a trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras in November of 2008. While filming a documentary about families living in the neighboring trash dump community, each felt a call to completely focus on raising awareness and action for children and families in trash dump communities throughout the world.”

The trash dumps are a place where there is gang violence, sex trafficking, disease and death. A trash dump community would be defined as the families that live in the direct area around the trash dump. For example, children die from getting run over by the trash trucks that plow trash thru the dumps or from having trash dumped on them. The gang violence contributes to these deaths with territory battles and trafficking of drugs and people. The trash dumps also have many chemicals in the air that are dangerous to inhale because some of them come from medical waste.

The Trash Mountain Project team went to Santiago, Dominican Republic on February 10th to 15th with a team of dentists and assistants from Topeka, Kansas to not only bring dental healthcare, but also to see the final building project and wire the project with internet.

“The building project was a huge success because it extends the after school program for the children in the trash dump community,” explains Missions Director Jon DeMeo.

Completed Building Project

The contact that Trash Mountain Project partnered with in Santiago was with Director of Kids With a Hope, Pablo.  Kids With a Hope is a ministry that gets kids off of the trash dumps and into an after school program. This after school program provides the kids with a nutritious meal to ensure proper health. Plus, Kids With a Hope includes Bible training, computer training, and various safe play areas. This completed building project extended the classrooms wing by one floor. Thank you to the team and supporters that made this trip possible. It truly makes a difference.

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Southeastern University QEP

3 Feb

SEU Students

It is that time for Southeastern University. Southeastern University has their SACS accreditation coming this spring semester 2011. “SACS” is The Commission on Colleges of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is very important for Southeastern University to pass their SACS accreditation because it gives the school its regional accreditation which then plays into being able to have federal financial aid as well.

In order for Southeastern University to pass the SACS accreditation, the administration developed a quality enhancement plan (QEP). The quality enhancement plan that Southeastern University developed is think it, link it, and live it; Transforming minds and engaging culture.

Breaking down the think it, link it, live it, let’s start with “think it.” Think it means as Dr. Waddell explained in chapel, “The students at Southeastern University will be able to think critically about a Christian worldview.” Southeastern University is equipping students to be able to intellectually engage with other world views.

The next part of Southeastern University’s quality enhancement plan is link it. Link it means that the students will be able to “Demonstrate awareness of personal gifts, calling, and temperament,” describes Southeastern administration. Southeastern University is a great place for students to take the time to uncover what exactly it is that God has gifted them to do and go from there to fulfill that calling.

SBLC member in Honduras helping in the Kitchen

Lastly, the third side of the triangle that makes up the QEP is live it. This part means that the students at Southeastern University can practice engaging the culture around them. One way that Southeastern University has engaged their culture is through the arts. Every year, the communications department has offered the course Dance and each semester these students have their dance showcase which minsters to hundreds of people on and off campus. Moreover, the Student Body Leadership Council went to Honduras and helped build fences for the fish farm, dig trenches to provides running water to the home, and partner with the surrounding churches to reach the people.

Graphic designer of QEP logo, Daniel Barcelo

Plus, Southeastern University student, Daniel Barcelo, is the graphic designer that created all the graphics and logo for the quality enhancement plan. His design is showed on the T-shirts, signs, etc that made the marketing possible. The best part about Southeastern University is the students. What better way to involve the students, then to have a student design the graphics for QEP.

This QEP involves everyone at Southeastern University. From spreading the word in chapel, t-shirts, A-frame signs, water bottles and so much more, the students at Southeastern University have really embraced the QEP of Think It. Link It. Live It: Transforming minds and engaging culture. Southeastern University is excited to not only have the QEP in place, but also their new President Dr. Ingle. What better timing for all of this to come together and continue on the vision of Southeastern University for many more years to come.

Student Life Mixer Event

27 Jan

It is that time of year again at Southeastern University were all student life begins the application process for next year’s future student leaders. Tonight, January 27th, 2011 was the Student Life Mixer where all applicants came to meet the current student life team to ask questions, meet fellow applicants, hear from the current directors and staff of student life and enjoy some good food.

There were about 100 applicants that showed up for tonight’s mixer who are looking to apply for Student Body Leadership Council (SBLC), Resident Life, Department of Spiritual Formation (DSF), or First Year Experience (FYE). Together all of these positions make up Student Life at Southeastern University.

As Gracey Hulbert, Southeastern University’s Student Body Vice President explains, “Student Life is not just about this department, or that department, but working together as a whole team to serve the students.”

For instance, SBLC is the part of student life that puts on multiple events throughout the whole year. This part of Student Life is run by Hillary DeMeo, Director of Activities. These events vary from production events, experience events, and so many more. For example, SBLC is in charge of producing all the events of student orientation every fall and spring semester. That week of orientation has five events that happen every night of the week such as Battle of Dorms where each dorm competes against one another in various elements. Not only does SBLC put on events, they are bridging the gap between students and administration. One way that SBLC closes that gap is through Senate. Senate is the place where students can vocalize their opinion, concerns and thoughts.

Another part of Student Life that applicants could be apart of is Resident Life. Resident Life consists of seven Resident Directors and then those Resident Directors have Resident Assistants (RAs) and community leaders (CLs). These student leaders are the ones that live right along side Southeastern University students day in and day out. They are on 24 hour call from hospital runs, office hours, to just living college life together. Resident Life student leaders are responsible for not only the residents in their halls, but creating and building community amongst their peers.

The last two pieces of the puzzle is Department of Spiritual Formation (DSF) and First Year Experience (FYE) both under Director of Spiritual Formation Charlie Dawes. These two parts of Student Life create opportunities for students to go deeper in their relationship with God. DSF is responsible for events such as Worship on a Canvas where students can come and express their art creatively. On the other hand, FYE is for all Freshman to get to not only meet other Freshman, but have a core group to get plugged in with right off the bat and grow spiritually together.

At the end of the night, the applicants were split up into groups according to the position that they were seeking. Then, they were given a task to complete an event that would require them to not only work together as a team, but also have to complete it without a budget. It was such a great mixer where each department had the opportunity to explain to the applicants what it was about. In between each blurb from the various departments, applicants would mingle with one another and  current student leaders as well as enjoy some great food.

Thank you to all applicants that are looking to be servant leaders. I like how Ray Allen put it, “You are a student leader whether you have a title or not. If you are here for a title, then there is the door.” This is not something taken lightly. To be a student leader is to be a servant to serve others before yourself. Thank you all so much for coming!

Southeastern University Student Leaders Travel to Honduras

20 Jan

The Southeastern University Student Body Leadership Council (SBLC) traveled to Honduras for five days over their Christmas break on January 5th to January 10th 2011.  What a great way to start the New Year. The team of 15 partnered with Compassion Alliance a missions organization on the ground in Honduras. This trip is the first overseas trip the SBLC team has taken together and for some on the team it was their first trip overseas.

Once in country, the SBLC team met up with Compassion Alliance missionary, Clay Powell who is an alumni of Southeastern University. Clay Powell has been in Honduras for the past couple of years building a church and has become fluent in Spanish. In Honduras, the team worked with the school, built barbwire fences, dug trenches for running water to flow from the creek to the house, and worked on the fish farm. Out of all these tasks, Southeastern University Director of Activities, Hillary DeMeo, describes, “My most memorable experience is working on the fish farm with Salu one of the nationals and being able to leave them in better shape.” Salu is the 24-year-old headman who runs the fish farm. He has a wife and two kids who moved from the slums of Honduras to the fish farm. 

The team went to slums in Honduras as well to pass out candy and partnered with the church there by praying with the people. The churches in the slum area pass out food, clothes, and money to help these people that have no hope. There are not any schools in the slums and many young ladies get pregnant so young. The mindset in Honduras as DeMeo explains is, “The people in Honduras only think for the here and now.” The majority of people are not saving money or thinking about retirement. However, as a whole they are very hardworking people, but they only take it a day at a time. For example, they only get enough food for one day.

The culture in Honduras is not the hustle and bustle we would find in the United States of America.  It is very relaxed.  Some of the sites that the team saw was there is poverty right next to these beautiful mansions. There would be these gorgeous mansions built onto the mountains and then the slums would be right next to them. Plus, they observed that the government is not something the people rely on at all. In fact, families are what the Honduras people rely on to survive. The families’ stick together and often all stay in the same house as well. Not only are the families very close, but the communities are tightly knit together as well.

This trip to Honduras could be become as tradition for the Student Body Leadership Council. It is not only an amazing opportunity for the student leaders to go overseas and gain experience, but also go and serve the people in Honduras in order to just be a blessing to them and show the Gospel of Jesus Christ lived out as well. DeMeo puts it this way, “It is a great place to take the SBLC group where they can not only work but connect with people.” Whether it is Honduras or somewhere else this team may go, the student body leadership council group will never forget the trip to Honduras. For some of them this is a milestone marker. From working on the fish farm to being baptized in the rivers all in all it was a special time as a group. Welcome back to the United States SBLC.