Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Note from the Director

My life in this world sometimes feels like a Hank Williams song. “The preacher man says it’s the end of time and the Mississippi River is going dry. Interest is up and stock markets down and you only get mugged if you go downtown.” Then, I remember that Eddie Money sang, “I got two tickets to paradise. Won’t you pack your bags; we’ll leave tonight.” Luckily, to find a balance between the two, I have a Little House on the Prairie DVD. As this world seems to spin out of control, I think about that episode (season 3, episode 10) when the three brothers start bullying the towns people and running up credit. The youngest brother even goes as far as being Nellie’s “hit man” by pushing and hitting Laura, all for sour balls, while the older brothers assault Caroline. As my daughter, Morgan, and I watch it, she says, “Wait ‘til Pa finds out!” She and I both take comfort in the fact that Charles Ingalls isn’t going to take this lying down. No matter how many times I watch it, I still say to the T.V., “Don’t go alone! Get Mr. Edwards!” But Pa doesn’t listen, and the next thing you know, he’s all busted up. Then, the bullies seem even more determined to terrorize the town. That is, until Pastor Aldron makes a stand at church and orders them out of town. As I finish watching, phrases from two songs come to mind. One is “Islands in the stream, that’s where we are”...and believers need to rely on each other. The other is from George Jones singing, “Who’s going to fill these shoes?”

I pray that I am teaching the staff and youth of Tiger Pause to stand up tall. They might not sing at the Grand Ole Opry, but hopefully, when they witness wrongs being committed their backs will move off the wall and they’ll take a stand against evil, all the while keeping Romans 12 in their hearts and minds.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Note From The Director

At Tiger Pause we are always preaching, teaching, and showing the love of Christ, and that opportunity in itself is a blessing.  This August at Tiger Pause we got to experience one of the greatest expressions of love when our own Katelyn Blair married Carl Hermann. If being at the wedding wasn’t enough, when the maid of honor got up to give her toast, it brought tears to my eyes as Tiger Pause, the kids of Tiger Pause, and the city of Beaver Falls were mentioned time and again in her tribute. It was one of those moments in ministry when you sit back and say to yourself, “I just won the Super Bowl.” Yoi, double yoi!  You really think I would do a September newsletter without mentioning the greatest game ever played?

Last year, this issue of football mania was sort of prophetic with two of my old teammates moving back to the Beaver County. It couldn’t have come at a better time as Blackhawk is 0-2. So, I’m going to use my gift and go out on a limb: Beaver Falls will beat Aliquippa this year. Don’t call me Joe Namath, just call me Matt Nance, baby.

We have been beating mental toughness into these boys since they entered 6th grade. With Mike and Petey Lyons, the “Brothers of Thunder,” I’m positive the big finger will be pointed heavenward on October 18th, two days after the scheduled birth of my last son, Caleb.

As you can tell it will be an exciting week at the homestead. Maybe just as exciting as Dave Slebodnik’s week as he got engaged to his girlfriend, Kristen Rendulic. The two met while working at a Tiger Pause - Geneva College volunteer day. With a gentle push and some background work from the man who wished he was Magnum P.I., the two made their first date arrangements at the Beez CafĂ©, and the rest is history. I’m quite confident I won’t be able to give a toast at the wedding, but I will bring black and orange party poppers to the reception.  Congratulations Dave and Kristen!

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Note from the Board - Celebrating 25 Years of Tiger Pause

I'm so proud to say that several years ago, while a board member for Tiger Pause, I was on a committee along with Tom Karczewski and Pastor Brandon Watkiss (who has since moved from the area) to choose a new director for the Tiger Pause Organization. While we had several excellent candidates for the job, after much prayer and deliberation, the Lord led us to hire Matt Nance as "The Man"!

It is amazing to see not only OUR prayers, but the prayers of the community, being answered as Matt is obedient to the Lord's calling. Good things don't always happen just over night, but. . ."those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength", and I believe that The Lord, through the leadership of Matt Nance and his faithful group of followers,  will give back to our city the strength and forward progress we need as we continue to seek Him.

Tiger Pause is fulfilling the vision we had for the organization when we hired Matt several years ago.  Keep up the good work, people! Keep moving "Onward,. . . Christian Soldiers".

Sonny Blucher
Former Tiger Pause Board Member

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Note from the Director

Last summer, I got a call from Bob Javens: “Hi Matt! Bob Javens here. I think I could use your guys to help me help a friend, a family in need.”

“No problem, Mr. Bob. When and where?”

He explained that this family of 14 had been displaced from Texas due to the poor economy and job loss in addition to needing to vacate the house where they were staying as the home owners needed it back. We sent the boys to move their furniture to a smaller house in Chippewa and the rest to a storage facility. It’s providential how God leads certain people in your life like me and Mr. Bob. It’s also providential that God keeps leading young men with a multitude of personalities and a great degree of setbacks and difficulties to Tiger Pause. Yet, in stormy weather or clear skies, they all have “motors” to keep them going and, if I learned anything while playing football, you can win when you got the horses. So, we helped that day and moved on to the next project.

Fast forward to March of this year. I received a call from the head of that household thanking me, once again, for our help last summer and to let me know that he found a job in San Francisco, CA and would like to donate some of his furniture to the Furniture Bank. I’m not sure why, but something inside made me say, “Well, if you like our work, how about letting us move you to San Francisco?”

“You do that?” he asked.

“Like Larry, Darryl, and Darryl from the Bob Newhart show, we do anything for a buck.”

So after some calculating, we struck a deal and the adventure and grand experiment was afoot.
Now, I could use the next two years of the newsletter to describe all the side trips of our journey, and I would love to tell you about them face-to-face over coffee, but here’s the recap.

On the evening of June 16, four adults and five young men set sail with two dogs, a rental car, our cargo van, and a full-size U-Haul truck. Out of respect, I relinquished my captain’s hat to Mr. Karczewski. Tim Bonomo and Dave Slebodnik were the “first mates” and the boys and I looked and felt like the crew in Ben-Hur—crammed and rowing.

Two quick highlights: After driving for two days straight, unloading a truck in the middle of the night and with only two hours of sleep, we headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge where we witnessed the sunrise over the bay as we crossed. The boys acted like giddy old folk on a bus tour and I didn't know if Mr. K was crying because of sheer joy or if the Red Bull was wearing off. Then, we went to Muir Beach where we saw a shark eating a school of fish and, for some of the boys, it was the first time they had ever seen an ocean.
The trip was filled with devotions and teachable moments of God’s grace, majesty, and creation that the leaders took time to drive home in the minds of the young men which accomplished something totally unimaginable but God led. Saturday morning, June 22, roughly 120 hours after our initial departure, they arrived home safe and forever changed.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Camp Update

This summer has been extremely hot and rainy. No one knows that better than the staff and campers of Tiger Pause Summer Camp. However, through it all, we continue to go on field trips, play in the park, and praise the Lord.

As we are in the fourth week of summer camp, it's hard to believe all the activities we've been able to enjoy so far. Taking 75 kids plus staff members to the Pittsburgh Zoo, a Pirates' game, and Fun Fore All is no easy task, but we have also been able to travel to Brady's Run, Brush Creek, and Moraine State Parks, as well as swim every Friday at the Midland Pool.

Thursdays are a special day during the week where Mrs. Tina Davis leads the entire camp in praise and worship in order to prepare for the end-of-summer concert.

While all of these adventures are fun for the kids and staff, the camp also focuses on giving back to the community on our service days. Each grade level is responsible for a different service activity, such as picking up trash, weeding the community garden, or cleaning various Tiger Pause properties.

Our summer is flying by, and it is hard to believe that camp is almost over. We pray for the kids and each other as we hope to impact Beaver Falls and the children's lives for Christ. Thank you to those who support and pray for Tiger Pause Youth Ministry as we close out Summer Camp!

Shane Kaufman
Summer Camp Staff

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Perspective from the Corner

With May and early June comes a rare break in the hustle and bustle of Tiger Pause programming and events. At such a time, I offer another glimpse of Tiger Pause Youth Ministry from the office or the “corner” of Tiger Pause. From my corner I am witness to a flurry of activity when the young men from our work program come together for Bible study with Mr. Matt, receive their assignments for the day, and then venture out to work and learn. It’s a pleasure to interact with young men who have learned to be gracious and respectful as they greet me and speak in a polite, friendly tone of voice. I am also witness to the great difficulties the young people in our program experience from their broken home lives to peer pressure to a lack of hope as they struggle through this world. It is my pleasure to be ready with a hug, a kind word, a prayer, and occasionally a tear. Even with their difficulties, I see God at work in their lives through the diligence of the staff to love, teach, and guide them by His Word. From my corner, I also see a community hungering for connection, affirmation, and hope. It is even evidenced through our Tiger Pause cat, Rocky. People regularly come into the Furniture Bank to visit Rocky, feed him treats, give him toys, and play with him. I see them light up as they call and he comes. I see them peruse the current stock of furniture for the 10th time that week so they might enjoy a conversation with the staff and a few minutes of respite from regular life.

As we have been planting a garden on 10th Ave., it is evident to me that we are regularly planting another kind of seed in the lives of those we encounter. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a “planter” and a “waterer” at such a respite as Tiger Pause.

“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
Proverbs 25:11 AMP

Kelly Hammerle
Tiger Pause Office Manager

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Note from the Director

Tiger Pause turns 25 years old this month! Time is but a vapor in the scope of eternity. However, to give some perspective, I’m asking previous board members to share memories and highlights of our last 25 years.  So keep an eye out for those.

For myself, 25 years ago I turned 13 years old. I was the new kid in town and spent most of my days in the basement secretly watching MTV videos which, by today’s standards, would be rated G. Of course, being in a new school, some guys thought it was their job to test me. I hadn’t been there a month before I got kicked out for fighting and biting off a chunk of another young man’s shoulder. My dad made me pull out stumps with a pick ax for three days.

Unfortunately, there was no Tiger Pause where I lived. Yet, God knew where I was going. So today, 25 years later, I am in a place where I meet young Matt Nances every day. With them, I go one step further than my dad by not only sharing the value of hard work by busting concrete and the like, but also by sharing God’s word and the value of godly character. Now, the boys and I don’t get it right all the time, but at least we have a place to pause, think about what Christ would do, and then get back to climbing the mountains of life.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Note from the Director

I’m able to meet with pastors for a Bible study twice each month and was encouraged by one who shared this bit of wisdom with me:

There are three kinds of people you deal with as a leader: 
Those who are with you and for you, 
those who are with you but not for you,
 and those that are neither with you nor for you. 
Regardless of where they are with you, 
you need to work with them and through them. 

I might guess that my friends and readers have had to deal with more than their fair share of problem people as well, many times from inside the church. But, as another pastor friend of mine (one who is with me and for me) said, “The church is like Noah’s Ark. It stinks inside, but sure destruction awaits outside.”

The intent of this letter is not to state the obvious, but to challenge you to focus on the encouragers and remember that God will bring those “for you/with you people” at different seasons in your life. I thought about this as I attended Peggy Javens’ viewing. Her life’s work and dedication to the Lord were evident as the hundreds of people who attended it were touched by her faith. I thought of that summer when her husband Bob, who was struggling with a bad back, withstood 90o heat and humidity to take hundreds of kids to the Pittsburgh Zoo, Science Center, and Pirate Baseball games. If that is not taking grenades into the trenches, then nothing is.

I think in today’s world it’s good to be reminded that there are preachers of Christ who are willing to share wisdom, men and women like Bob and Peggy Javens willing to share their gifts with others, and the waves of life that remind us to get in the boat, find a paddle, suck it up, and sing the Marine Corps Hymn.

Mr. Bob, whenever you look upon heaven’s scene, we pray you are comforted that Miss Peggy walks on streets of gold guarded by United States Marines.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boys' Center Update

Over the past three months the Boys’ Center, staff and students have experienced positive results from their focus on increased retention during Bible study. The boys have retained several main themes as they relate to the lessons taught by staff members. The staff at the Boys’ Center also worked with the boys to learn the Lord’s Prayer. So far, most of the boys have learned about 80% of it.

During the past three months, the boys had the opportunity to earn privileges, which includes basketball on Monday evenings. While we would have liked to see some better peer interaction and conflict resolution during our Monday evening games, an overnighter on Tuesday, March 26 provided the opportunity for staff to reinforce appropriate behavior. Even though it was hard, we had to tell some boys they couldn’t join us because of behavioral issues.

I had no idea what painful fun awaited me. The overnighter included wings at Quaker Steak and Lube in Cranberry, a movie at Carmike Cinemas on Rt. 18, and all-night basketball at Beaver County Christian School. Even though the boys were pretty tired the next morning, everyone went to the Brighton Hot Dog Shop for pancakes and then paintball at Steel Town Paintball in Emsworth. While tiring and painful (at least for staff as I had to stop for Aleve on the way to paintball), it was an outstanding evening, one in which deserving young men’s positive behavior was reinforced by the reward of a great overnight with a lot of food and fun.

Also, over the past two months, Mr. Matt, Mr. Dave, and I have opened the Boys’ Center on Tuesday through Thursday mornings so the boys could get donuts, juice, and prayer. Several young men show up every morning faithfully with expectant spirits in need of prayer. To God be the glory! God bless!

Mr. Bryan Crawl

P.S. Mr. Bryan stayed awake from 4 p.m. Tuesday until after 1 p.m. Wednesday, proving the medical community correct that people over 50 don’t need as much sleep.  - Matt Nance

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Downtown Site Update

We’ve had a great year with all the kids. Lately, we’ve been studying on who God is and how we receive His love. We’ve also been encouraging the kids to memorize verses of praise and instruction from the word of God. Our kids love to draw and color. Sometimes we have small coloring competitions to help pass the cold weather away. The Geneva students have been an instrumental part in tutoring and mentoring. “Rap sessions” by Miss Kaetlyn Blair and myself provide an excellent opportunity for the kids to open up about their concerns and daily lives. Afterward, I lead them in songs of praise before we leave.

Please continue to pray for the staff and kids as we finish up the after-school program. We sincerely thank you for all your prayers and support thus far!

God Bless!

Mrs. Tina Davis
Downtown Site Supervisor

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Harmony Center Update

The month of February brings thoughts of love and is often accompanied by sweet candy, silly cards, and bright red hearts. However, love is so much more than what is depicted by Valentine’s Day memorabilia. Therefore, what better time to talk about true love – God’s perfect and never failing love for his children – than during the month of February!

The kids at Harmony have been exploring God’s declarations and demonstrations of love throughout the Bible. We have seen that His love can reach each of us where we stand and cover all of our sins, regardless of how undeserving we may be. Together we have explored God’s ultimate show of love, which was sending His Son to die on the cross for us. We have learned that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and the students have been challenged to recognize ways that God daily demonstrates His love in their own lives.

After determining the source and abundance of this never-ending love, we have moved into applying this example to our own lives. The students are looking at God’s description of love in 1Corinthians 13 as a guide for how we should be show love to one another. Discussing God’s love and the way he desires for us to love one another has provided an incredible opportunity for accountability and growth as a group.

I have been strengthened as I see the students understanding that God’s love is so much more than the superficial love that is often present in our own lives. When we were initially discussing the ways God shows his love for us on a daily basis one student said that He “let’s us talk to him.” This was an incredible reminder to me of the mercy of our Sovereign God. What a blessing it is that a God who rules over all allows us to pray and communicate freely with Him at any time, in any way!  The kids at Harmony are learning what an amazing gift it is to share their concerns and praises with their Creator who loves them more than they can ever imagine.

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1John 4:8)

Lauren Boughter
Harmony Site Supervisor

Friday, February 15, 2013

Reflections on 2012

As I am writing this, we just had our first day of a three-day prayer event called “14 Blocks”. Over 35 people showed up and we are expecting more over the next two days. Words cannot describe how powerful it was to be in a building with no heat, gathered with people who care about prayer, praying together, and then going out into even colder conditions so that we might seek Him together for our community. Before we started, I explained why the Lord had brought this idea to my mind. As a community organization, we share the ups and downs our community faces and, more times than not, the media like to share only the negative. Yet, even they don’t define what Tiger Pause or Beaver Falls is. There are godly people who want to do, and are doing, good things for the Beaver Falls community. The following pages will be filled with positive facts that show we are doing good things as an organization, improving, developing, and impacting our community in areas that were not dreamed of before.

Unfortunately, as a community, we've had our failures. I know all three of the boys involved in the shooting incident in December. They had come through the Boys’ Center a time or two. In fact, one of them was doing community service for us just five days before that tragedy. He came Monday and did well, but called off Tuesday. On Wednesday, I felt that voice telling me, “You better call and find out why he isn't showing up.” But, I ignored it. On Thursday, I saw him on 8th Avenue as I was driving. He was high. I was going to stop and give him a hard time, but I was in a rush. I was headed to a four-day chemical warfare training at the Air National Guard. I was on duty, but in the wrong place.

Because of my position, I get to meet many different people with various perspectives. Yet, no matter how they feel, the same questions are always brought up: “Where is our country heading?”; “What is wrong with today’s youth?”; “What can I do?”; and even “Why should I do it?”

As a response, we at Tiger Pause remain committed to creating a culture of making Him known and understood so that we might see His power displayed. We have also created a culture of rugged individualism and personal responsibility and are committed to refining that process. We don’t look forward to it, but we are preparing our youth to be Daniels in  a broken and twisted world – to stand up against edicts and continually do what is right so that the “king” might say, “May your God whom you serve continually preserve you for He is the living God and He endures forever. His kingdom will not be destroyed; His dominion will never end.”

Those that gathered to pray at our 14 Blocks campaign got to enjoy having kids waive and hug them and even ask them for prayer. City and school officials thanked us and asked us to do it more regularly. Additionally, not by coincidence but planned providence, the younger sister of one of the boys walked by the building where we gathered after we prayed.

Folks, the fields are ready. We just need some harvesters who have this in their hearts and minds:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. (Phil. 3:13-16)

Semper Fi,
Matt Nance