4H – Is it for you?
By Esther Palacios
I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service
and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.
This is the 4-H pledge. 4-H stands for head, heart, hands and health.
You are probably thinking animal projects. 4-H is more than animals. There are numerous projects to get involved in: robotics, entomology, food and nutrition, horticulture, archery, shooting sports, fishery, health, public speaking, companion animals, clothing and textile, consumer decision and more.
My family has been involved in 4-H for nine years. The first time we attended a 4-H club business meeting I was expecting it to be run by a parent. No. It was run by the youth. I was impressed by how they conducted themselves professionally and how organized they were. I thought to myself this is what I want my children to be. This left such an impression on my fourth, second, and first grader at the time that till this day if you asked them what was their favorite year, they would say their first year in 4-H. Why? The high school members in the club made them feel like they were a “big kid” too. They encouraged, included and helped them with 4-H projects. The impression helped them to pass it on to other 4-H members. This helped me as a mother to see them more than just as children. You see each child one day will be a leader. They will be a mother, father, employee, boss, a leader in the community, etc…
My husband and I have six children. Our oldest son is David. He is a graduating senior this year. He has been involved in 4-H for nine years. I would never have dreamt a homeschooler could have so many leadership and learning experiences. 4-H has allowed David and my other children to learn new skills, make friendships that will last a lifetime and meet people and go places I would never have thought possible.
David’s main 4-H projects were leadership, public speaking, and food and nutrition. Along with other projects like consumer decision-making, robotics, clothing, and textile, interior design, archery, fishery, horticulture, entomology, and photography. He has served numerous club roles: president, vice president, treasurer, and parliamentarian. He has also served at the county level as a parliamentarian, vice president, delegate and in his final year as president of the 4-H Bexar County Council. He has had the opportunity for the past two years to serve as the 4-H State Tech team member. There are many other leadership opportunities that he has had. I think now you can say our family bleeds green. Green and white are the 4-H colors.
David’s involvement in 4-H has been rewarding. The life skills, leadership and the friendships he has made will last a lifetime. He was awarded a $20,000 scholarship from the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, or SALE. Yes, let’s rodeo San Antonio! This has been the highlight of his graduation year!
Dr. Chris Bowman former Texas 4-H Leader said,“4-H is not for everyone but it is for someone!” If you would like to explore the idea of 4H for your family contact the Bexar County 4-H office at 210-631-0400 or just ask a “Palacios.”
Hi, my name is Jasmine Shipp. I was born June 27 of 1999 in Germany to my two amazing parents Kenneth and Alma Linda Shipp. Just before I turned three, my brother came into this world, and we have been inseparable since that day. After moving once more to New Mexico, my family finally settled down in the small Texas town of Wichita Falls where we believed we would live forever. Since I can remember, I was always involved with the church. I participated in AWANA, Upward basketball and Junior Bible Quiz. I loved every second of growing up in a small town where everyone knew everyone. As we all know, life has a way of throwing curve balls at us. Sadly, my grandfather was called home unexpectedly. This lead my family to move to San Antonio to be closer to our family here. Moving in the middle of the sixth grade was not easy. I had lost my lifelong friends and was new to the city life. Middle school was a very difficult time for me. I felt very alone, as if no one really knew me. It only got worse in my freshman year of high school. Like many other kids in public schools, I began to crumble under the pressure to fit in. I was struggling to find my place and ended up losing myself in the process. As time went on, I dove into the way of the world and God was left on the sidelines. Throughout this time, my parents noticed the drastic changes in my attitude and behavior. Thankfully, I was blessed with a family that was not going to let me get sucked in by the world without a fight. They made the decision to homeschool me my sophomore year, we call this year the “unschooling period.” My junior year, I was introduced to my incredible Worldviews teacher Mrs. Moellendorf. Through her openness in class and her willingness to share her faith, I slowly began to find the path back to God. As time went on and I continued to learn about Him, I began to want nothing more than for Him to be the center of my life. I made the decision that I was no longer going to try and fit the mold that society had laid out for me, I was going to be who God intended for me to be. Now as a high school graduate, I couldn’t be happier with the life, family and friends with whom He has blessed me. While the future is still unknown for me, I am excited to see where God takes me next and I will always keep my eyes, mind and heart on Him.
Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
This was a song written by Casting Crown and released in 2007. Who would have guessed that these words would have been so significant in our world today? As we Christians strive to live our lives on the teachings of God, we must not stray from Him regardless of what we might face.
A couple months ago, I was taking my usual route to Feast on Thursday to make it to my worldviews class. I had my windows down with my radio up. Not long into my journey, a bad song came on. While I knew all the words, I never stopped to think about the true intent behind them until that morning. As I listened and began to think about what was being said and what I was listening to, I was dumbfounded and quickly changed the song. What else had I been oblivious to? This got me looking into my everyday life and what I allowed myself to see and hear. Not only is this in music, but also on billboards, magazines, books, commercials, social media and the internet. Our world has become completely desensitized to vulgarity, lack of modesty and even gore. The more we let the world chip away at our foundation, the more likely we are to give into it. The Lord teaches us to be mindful of what we hear, see and think. In Romans 12:2 we are admonished, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Christians must hold strong in their faith, even at the cost of persecution.
Our world is changing; the way Christians are being viewed is not as it once was. The reputation of Christianity has been tarnished, and we are under attack. While it did not happen in a day, are we beginning to fade? The stories I am about to share are nothing compared to what the apostle Paul faced – execution, the end of his ministry, not to mention being abandoned by most of his friends for their fear of persecution – but to this day, people are still being punished for their faith. Chase Windebank, a senior at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs would meet with his fellow classmates for prayer and religious fellowship. The young people would meet in an unoccupied choir room to sing songs like “Amazing Grace” and discuss the issues of the day from a religious perspective. But all that changed when Chase was summoned to the office of Assistant Principal James Lucas. He was told that he could no longer pray with his fellow students during free time because of the separation of church and state. That he could pray before the school day began or after the school day ended, but he could not do so during the school day. Another student by the name of Brandon Jenkins who applied to the Community College of Baltimore County for the Radiation Therapy Program was denied admission because when asked in an admissions interview what was the most important thing in his life, he replied, “My God.” In rejecting his application, Radiation Therapy Program Director Dr. Dougherty voiced his opinion to Brandon stating, “I understand that religion is a major part of your life. . . however, this field is not the place for religion… If you interview in the future, you may want to leave your thoughts and beliefs out of the interview process.” Only weeks ago, the simple act of prayer before dinner sparked a fire storm of criticism for students out for prom displaying their religious beliefs in public. As one commenter stated, and I quote, “I’m so tired of these Christians pushing their faith on us.” We as Christians, must be ready to take the scrutiny and discrimination caused by our beliefs. We must be ready to stand strong in our faith and not waiver in the face of adversity. Second Timothy 1:8 encourages, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord.” Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we go into this world we must be prepared for the cost of following Gods word.
Choices will have to be made, and a price will be paid. How high of a price are you willing to pay? As Emily Brooker learned, the price can potentially be life changing. Entering her freshman year as a student at Missouri State, Emily received a class assignment to perform homosexual behavior in public, such as holding hands or kissing, and then write a paper about the experience. Emily didn’t do the assignment, but she wrote the paper as if she had. She received an “A,” but vowed never to compromise her faith again. Three years later, as a senior, Emily was given a class project about advocating for foster and adoption rights for homosexuals, ending with signing and sending a letter to the state legislature. Emily fulfilled all the requirements of the class but drew the line at signing the letter. She attempted several times to explain to her professor that she couldn’t advocate for something that went against her faith. Soon after, she received a call form the social work department head informing her that her professor had filed a grievance against her and a hearing would take place. The hearing would include not only the head and the professor, but seven faculty members. Emily wasn’t allowed to bring an attorney or record the proceedings, and her parents had to wait outside the door for two and a half hours as she was required to defend her faith. When she refused to back down, they insisted that she sign a contract vowing to “close the gap” between her faith and the social work program, or else face the consequences of not graduating. After her graduation, Emily took legal action against the school for violating her freedom of religion and expression. Ten days later, the president of the university publicly apologized to Emily, offered to pay for her graduate school, and began an investigation of the social work department. The four tenured professors were moved to other departments, and four other faculty members were dismissed. How far, is too far? How far are you willing to compromise your beliefs before you say enough is enough? Do not be afraid of the persecution you will face. Stand up fearlessly and know that the battle has been fought and the war is already won.
In this world, your faith will be tested from all sides. God never said that standing with him would be easy, in fact he says quite the opposite. The apostle Matthew records Jesus’ words, “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. While the journey to stay with God may have its trials, arm yourselves. Surround yourself with likeminded people, dive into your bible, as suggested in Deuteronomy, feed not “by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” For It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray. Stand tall with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and do not fall into the way of the world. Class, my prayer for all of us is that we continue on the path of righteousness before God. As someone once stated I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, then to stand with the world and be judged by God. Where will you stand?
Meet Joseph Keith Whiten
You may recognize the last name of this graduate, Joseph Keith Whiten, who happens to be the son of our FEAST Director, Linda Whiten. Linda often jokes about Joseph being born at FEAST because she can remember early on, her son sitting in a portable crib in her office, while she tirelessly worked the hours away. She also recalls an incident where they tried to save a kitten at FEAST, that ended in 8 stitches. The memories are endless and will forever be treasured as he takes this next step in his journey.
Joseph has also been part of our FEAST Patriots Baseball team for two years and served as the water boy for the FEAST Patriots Football team for another two years. He enjoys playing volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and reading in his spare time. In high school, Joseph’s favorite subject was always history because he saw the importance of learning from our mistakes so that we wouldn’t repeat them. He admits he can be hyper at times, but his parents have also raised him to be obedient and respectful. He’s very outgoing and loves spending time with his family.
Even at a young age, Joseph has always had a passion for helping others, whether at VBS camp or through volunteering at FEAST. However, youth ministry wasn’t always on his radar until the summer of 2017. That year at Southland Christian Camp, God would speak through two preachers and forever change Joseph’s life. When the question was asked, “Would you be willing to listen if God is calling you?” Joseph stood and pledged to open his heart to any calling that God would place on his life. His answer came through the next preacher who said that it wasn’t that God wasn’t calling, it was that people aren’t picking up.
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I,HERE AM I; SEND ME.” Isaiah 6:8
He will be attending Pensacola Christian College(PCC) in the fall and will major in Youth Ministries and minor in Accounting. Joseph feels that accounting is one of the only ways a business can grow and flourish; it is the backbone of the business financial world and a skill that can be applied to your everyday life. He chose PCC because of the value they place on God’s word. They make it a priority to provide an education that is founded on the infallible truth of the word of God.
“ALL scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for REPROOF, for CORRECTION, forINSTRUCTION in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Meet Nathaniel Neufeld
Nathaniel Neufeld loved playing basketball in recreational leagues growing up, but being a home schooler, he didn’t have high hopes for playing with a “real team” in high school. Thankfully, his family moved from Phoenix, AZ to San Antonio, TX and found FEAST! Nate joined the FEAST basketball team in 2014 as a freshman and played all four years of high school. There have been good times and not so good times on and off the court but looking back it is awesome to see how God has used FEAST basketball to shape Nate’s character and athletic ability. Nate started taking dual credit classes at San Antonio College during his junior year of high school. It wasn’t easy, but he worked hard and managed to earn a 3.8 GPA and will graduate with 30 hours of college credit already in the bank. His love of basketball led him to the open gym at San Antonio College where during his senior year of high school he was approached by the SAC basketball coach and asked to try out for the college team. Since he was taking 9 credit hours at SAC, he was eligible to play for them, even though he was still technically in high school. Nate tried out and made the team! He practiced with them for a few weeks before FEAST basketball got started. He had a tough decision to make but Nate loved his FEAST coaches and fellow players and couldn’t imagine not finishing his senior year on the FEAST court. He maintained a great relationship with the SAC basketball coach who keeps in touch with Nate and allows him to join them in practice when he has time. Now that basketball season is over, Nate can spend more time working his job at Chick Fil A Stone Ridge and saving money for college. Nate was accepted into the Honors College at Grand Canyon University (a private, Christian college in Phoenix, AZ) where he will pursue a BS in Biology with a focus on Physical Therapy. His high school GPA earned him a generous scholarship at GCU and his dual credit will allow him to finish his BS degree in three years instead of four, which is great considering it will take another three years to earn his doctorate in Physical Therapy. Nate plans on participating in the “walk-on” basketball tryouts at GCU.
Meet Jordan Lindsey
“THE STEPS OF A [GOOD] MAN ARE ORDERED BY THE LORD: AND HE DELIGHTETH IN HIS WAY.” PSALMS 37:23
FEAST is thrilled to introduce Jordan Lindsey and allow you to be blessed by a young man that thrived during his home school years and took advantage of the many opportunities a private education offers.
He loved team sports, participating through military base clubs in soccer, baseball and flag football in his elementary years and with the FEAST Cross Country/Track & Field Teams in middle/high school years.
Extracurricular activities included one of his favorite activities, cooking! Jordan also enjoyed being a member of the Alamo Home School Robotics Team for two years and also being a member of the Civil Air Patrol in the Lackland Cadet Squadron, where he received Cadet of the Quarter Award!
“Jordan also enjoyed being a member of the Alamo Home School Robotics Team…”
Jordan Lindsey’s many accomplishments are a direct result of his home schooling experience. Jordan was home schooled from kindergarten to graduation. (K-12) He was a member of the Eta Sigma Alpha National Home School Honor Society – Zeta Lambda Chapter, earned 12 Dual Credit hours at Northwest Vista College and was accepted into the Coast Guard AIM Summer Program. Through his accomplishments Jordan received an Early Appointment/Letter of Assurance to the United States Coast Guard Academy!
“Jordan was home schooled from kindergarten to graduation.”
Since graduation, Jordan has continued to excel at the US Coast Guard Academy where he is majoring in Marine and Environmental Science. His favorite classes this semester include Chemistry and Navigation. He is a member of the Officers Christian Fellowship Club and the Genesis Diversity Council.
“His favorite classes this semester include Chemistry and Navigation.”
One of Jordan’s most loved hobbies is playing the piano. He studied music and learned to play the piano at Jensen’s Yamaha Music School and continues to use music as a way to bring honor and glory to Christ. He currently serves as one of the pianist for the Protestant Church Service Praise Team at the Coast Guard Academy.
“He studied music and learned to play the piano at Jensen’s Yamaha Music School…”
This spring break he will travel to Fouche, Haiti with A Door to Hope Ministry where he will participate in community outreach, building projects, and sharing the Gospel of Christ.