Posts Tagged ‘family economics’

Families Connecting at the Family Economics Conference

Monday, March 14th, 2011


This weekend saw hundreds of families join together in Raleigh, North Carolina to celebrate and learn about productive family economics at the 2011 Family Economics Conference.  Sponsored by Generations with Vision, the Family Economics Conference covered topics such as Vision for the Family Economy, How to Train Your Sons to be Financially Prepared for Marriage, The College Paradigm and the Family Economy, and Mentoring, Networking, and Contractualization, among others.

FFD families at Family Economics Conference

It was a special event that saw the rendezvous of several Freedom Film Distributor families. Alan Hillman's family represented Freedom Film Distributors in the vendor hall, Randy Winton and his sons had a booth for their new home business promotion venture Christian Home Industry, and I had a booth for a new project I've just launched called True Food Solutions, a community content and networking site focused on finding solutions to the challenges of finding healthy and affordable food in an era of rising food prices. It was a blessing to fellowship together with others from our Freedom Film Distributor family.

 The Wintons singing bluegrass gospel at Family Economics Conference

The Wintons were invited to perform their wonderful bluegrass gospel music for the large crowd, and provided wonderful uplifting entertainment during lunchtime and the evening keynote sessions.

Practical business ideas panel discussion

The Family Economics Conference addressed many issues that are foundational to the existence and vision of Freedom Film Distributors. It was a blessing to meet with and learn alongside many other families that are seeking to be productive in and through their family life.  We encourage you to purchase the Family Economics Conference audio to benefit from the wonderful widom shared by the speakers this past weekend.  Visit the Freedom Film Distributors website if you are interested in pursuing a simple family business opportunity you can do with your children.

Family Industry and Virginia Agriculture

Thursday, August 19th, 2010
Matyas family at Newport Ag Fair for Freedom Film Distributors
This past weekend I took my family to our local town's 75th annual Newport Agricultural Fair (the oldest in Virginia) and we set up a booth to sell our products and meet and greet our neighbors. While it was primarily a booth for Freedom Film Distributors, we also took the opportunity to support some friends of our that also have home businesses. So next to the large selection of DVDs that make up the Freedom Film Distributors catalog, we set up a display of the Goat Milk Soap made by our friends Jim and PJ Jonas in Indiana, and a display of the Slickepott All Natural Chocolate Fudge Sauce made by my friend Ian Lamont in upstate New York.
We had a great response to the Freedom Film Distributors presence and collection of video resources, and it was a great opportunity to meet other families that are interested in God-honoring and family-edifying films. I was even blessed by the visit of a young lady named Billie Huskey who is a quadriplegic after a severe auto accident 5 or 6 years ago. For someone who had to learn how to talk again, it was a beautiful experience to see her bubbly personality and positive outlook on life that comes from her faith, and to learn how she is impacting other peoples lives as a physical therapist (yes, the licensed professional kind) and a motivational speaker.
Jason with Billie Huskey
Most importantly, we used this opportunity to train our children about the importance of hard work, attention to detail, industry, and the selling skills of communication and friendliness. My two daughters, age 6 and 4, made over two dozen beaded necklaces and bracelets during the week before the Fair that we set up on a display outside of our booth. My oldest daughter Lydia is naturally outgoing, and she would go from handing out samples of goat milk soap to asking people if they wanted to see her collection of home made jewelry. She was even consistent in closing each engagement with "would you like to buy one?" When faced with the engaging personality of this bright-eyed six year old, most were fully ready to make a purchase as soon as she asked.
Lydia selling jewelry at Newport Ag Fair
In all, this was a great opportunity to meet many of our neighbors in our valley and the surrounding areas, and talk about family business and family films. It is encouraging to know that this kind of community engagement has been happening all over the nation with our existing distributors, and will continue to grow in frequency and impact in the months and years to come.  
If this report is encouraging to you, would you consider joining us as a distributor or movie night host, or spreading the word to friends and family about the opportunity we provide? Thanks, and we hope to see you next year at the Fair.

Meanwhile, up in Connecticut

Friday, June 11th, 2010

While Steve and family are meeting homeschooling families in Virginia at the HEAV Convention, Alan Hillman and family are on the road again, this time in Connecticut at the CT TEACH homeschooling convention.  Now at their 5th homeschooling convention of the year, our road warrior distributor family is excited about this last convention before they get a chance to rest for the summer.

Hillman Family at CT TEACH

As always, the Hillmans set up a beautiful display of their DVDs from the Freedom Film Distributor catalog and other products that they sell through their Honeysuckle Farms family business.

Hillman booth at CT TEACH

Getting Ready in Virginia

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Steve has been working hard lately with the help of his older children to get ready for this day.  Today is the start of the Virginia homeschooling convention hosted by Home Educators of Virginia (HEAV) in Richmond.  Before packing up and getting on the road, they did a mockup of the Freedom Film Distributors display table.  As you can see, there was a lot of anticipation and excitement to be found.

Girls setting up display table

Stay tuned for updates from the convention, as we share the vision of Freedom Film Distributors with home educators from across Virginia.

The Hillmans on the Road Again – All the way in PA

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Alan and Shelley Hillman have been busy lately.  Very busy.  After having a productive and busy weekend at the Massachusetts HOPE convention two weeks ago, they traveled last week all the way from Maine to Pennsylvania to attend the CHAP homeschool convention, one of the largest in the nation.  (It seems we don't yet have any distributors in PA willing to go sell lots of our products to eager buyers at a place like CHAP – if you or someone you know in PA might be interested in Joining Us, read more about Becoming a Distributor.)  They had a special treat while there, meeting up with our Director of Distributor Support, Scott Eash, pictured below.

Scott Eash visiting Hillmans booth at CHAP

The Hillmans don't do anything small, it seems.  They have a strong desire to establish an atmosphere, even as a vendor at a large convention, where people can relax and enjoy fellowship while browsing their Honeysuckle Farms product library (and it literally looks like a library).  They have had many wonderful opportunities to talk to and even minister to people by related the stories from the films in the Freedom Film Distributors catalog, as well as from their own journey of faith.

Hillmans booth at CHAP

Of course, to get such a wonderful vendor display set up requires a hefty logistics effort, which Alan deftly handled with his two red monsters.

Hillmans loaded for roadtrip to CHAP

The Winton boys are Champions

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Cody playing banjo with Jesse on guitar

We’re excited to announce that The Wintons, our distributors in the northern California area, have added some additional honors to their growing list of accomplishments.  Jesse and Cody Winton competed in the California State Old-Time Fiddle & Picking Championships this past weekend, which is held annually in Oroville, CA, and they each won their divisions on mandolin and banjo, respectively, in this very lively musical competition.

Cody champion with other winners

Father Randy Winton reports:

“Jesse won the Jr. Division last year on mandolin, so he competed in the Open Division (all ages allowed to enter;  is generally comprised of adults and prior winners no longer able to compete in their age divisions due to multiple prior wins) and won this year.  Cody competed in the Jr. Division (12-17) and won on banjo.  The picking championships are all three instruments, banjo, mandolin and guitar, competing against one another for the top prize.  Each contestant plays two songs, one slow and one fast tune.  They are judged by a panel in multiple areas using a point system;  tuning, timing, tone and difficulty.  Jesse played “Over Cincinnatti” and “1 Corinthians 1:18.”  Cody played “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and “Reuben.”   They chose not to compete on fiddle this year.  They each received medals as well as a cash prize.  They would love to compete at the National Picking Championships held annually at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas in September.  Lord willing, we would love to send them if the Lord provides the funds.”

Jesse playing mandolin

What is more amazing than the fact that the two brothers are both champions in their respective instruments, and that Jesse competed against the adults this year, is that Jesse had an accident playing sports last week and fell very hard on his wrist.  Though he did not wear it while playing, you can see the brace and sling he is wearing in the picture of the winners together below.  His God-given skill is even more evident in light of these circumstances – that he had to play through injury and pain – and yet still came out on top.

Jesse champion with other winners

More impressive than their display of skill is the fact that these young men are working together with their father to provide for their family through their bluegrass band and their promotion of God-honoring films through Freedom Film Distributors, and are ministering to people all across the west coast in the process.  The Wintons are a wonderful picture of Christian family life – a demonstration of family culture that we hope continues to spread across the nation and the world.

The Family Economics Conference will Continue to have an Impact

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Thank you to Kevin Swanson and all of the many volunteers who made the Family Economics Conference a great success.  Knowing that there are thousands of families across the country which are taking important first steps towards an independent lifestyle is extremely encouraging.  Unfortunately for most, myself included, we have spent so many years attaching chains to our time and finances that it will take some effort to extricate ourselves.  Conversations with brothers and sisters that are debt free, earning income from multiple different sources and growing a good portion of their own food gives me something to look forward to.

If you were not able to attend the Family Economics Conference, but are in need of the excellent teaching that was shared there, you can now order the audio and video.

Family Economics Conference audio & video sets

I pray that we can all take the initial steps necessary to begin a journey which will lead to a life of true freedom for our children and grandchildren, both in Christ and in this world.

Report from the Family Economics Conference

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I'm having a great time at the Family Economics conference.  There are many dynamic speakers sharing Biblical truths about the way we work and live according to God's Word. We've made many new friends and have signed up new distributors in Colorado and Kansas, and expect quite a few others in the coming weeks. The Wintons played some of their wonderful bluegrass music for the attendees and have found much success at their Freedom Film Distributors table. Wintons FFD table at Family Economics conference The most surprising event occured last night.  As I walked by one of the vendor tables, I was offered a free Homeschool Enrichment catalog.   As I accepted the magazine I did a double take and my chin dropped.   There on the cover was a huge picture of my son Michael. As the shock wore off, I remembered a visit to our home from Steve and Terri Maxwell who we hosted while they were in Charlottesville for one of their conferences.  Their ministry, has had a tremendous impact on our family.  The Maxwell's oldest son Christopher is an accomplished photographer and he had taken pictures of the children homeschooling a year ago for potential publication.  I can't wait to get home and show the family this cover. Home School Enrichment cover We're looking forward to the outgrowth of this conference in many families across the nation, some of whom are joining the Freedom Film Distributors team to engage in a family business that allows them to influence their culture through God-honoring films.  If you think you might be interested in becoming an Event Host or Becoming a Distributor, visit the Join Us section of our website.

The Wintons – A Trailblazing Bluegrass Family

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
The Wintons in Concert

The Wintons began singing and playing together at home for fun, learning to harmonize and become strong instrumentally. What began as an interest in bluegrass music grew unexpectedly by the hand of the Lord into a family music ministry. They now perform a mix of gospel and traditional bluegrass music at venues throughout the United States.

Jesse Winton on mandolin

Cody Winton on banjo

The Winton boys, Cody and Jesse, have distinguished themselves as accomplished musicians on the fiddle, mandolin, banjo, and Dobro guitar. Cody and Jesse write some of their own songs, two of which are featured on the Winton’s debut album, ‘This World is Not My Home.’

The Wintons

The Winton family lives in beautiful northern California where they homeschool their sons, are raising their little adopted daughters, and have recently launched into full-time music ministry.  They are thankful for the opportunity to share the gospel, encourage believers in biblical family life, and tell about the blessings of adoption at their concerts.

The Wintons family

Upon hearing about Freedom Film Distributors, the Wintons were excited about the opportunity to promote God-honoring films to audiences at their concerts.  At their first concert/Freedom Film Distributors event in January, the Wintons were thrilled at the response.  Randy says,

“We had a great concert.  God poured out his blessings on us.  We were able to sell 9 DVD’s as well as dozens of our CD’s.  The three trailers we showed during our concert were very well received and we anticipate greater sales during scheduled movie nights which we are currently working on scheduling in this area prior to our move.  They told us that there were about 500 people in attendance.  The people gave a very generous offering to us as well.  We are in awe of what God did to provide for us in this one evening.  Between the love offering, DVD & CD sales, we received around 90% of what we were making monthly in our landscaping business.  God is good and we look forward to seeing what He continues to do.”

Randy with Customer

The Wintons are currently planning their spring 2010 concert tour across the United States.  They will be performing at the Family Economics Conference in Castle Rock, CO, March 5-6.  For those attending the conference, be sure to visit the Wintons at the Freedom Film Distributors’ table!

family economics conference

If you’re interested in seeing how you can join Freedom Film Distributors in bringing God-honoring films to your community, visit our website to learn more about how you can be an Event Host or Become a Distributor.

The Family Economics Conference – Building a Foundation for Productive Families

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

family economics conference Freedom Film Distributors is excited about the upcoming Family Economics Conference, scheduled for next Friday and Saturday, March 5-6, 2010 in Castle Rock, Colorado.  We are glad to sponsor this important conference, which will have a full lineup of speakers that seek to give families a solid foundation in Biblical instruction on the economics of the family, including these important subjects:

  • Work
  • Family entrepreneurism
  • Debt free living
  • Contractual employment
  • Inheritance
  • Being a faithful employee
  • Taking care of aging parents
  • Living without social security
  • Saving and investments
  • Retirement
  • Family charity
  • Education and mentorship
  • Taxation
  • Health care decisions and insurance
  • Tithing
  • Seeking employment

  We are also thrilled to announce that our first distributor family, The Wintons, will be providing live entertainment at the conference through their wonderful bluegrass band, and representing Freedom Film Distributors in the vendor area.  If you plan to be at the conference, be sure to stop by and say hi to Randy, Cody, and Jesse.  Steve will also be in attendance, so if you see him, be sure to introduce yourself and say hi to him as well.  Look for more info in the next week about The Wintons and the wonderful story of what God has been doing in their lives through music and family business.

The Wintons - Randy, Cody, & Jesse

  We hope that this conference is the first of many that will have an important part in reforming our families and our economy back to the biblical standards that were found earlier in our nation’s history.   Opportunities like the Family Economics Conference to learn and network together with other families that want to pursue a holistic approach to family life, education, finances, business, and stewardship are foundational and dovetail with our desire to enable family businesses.  If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read the Perspective from the Founder of Freedom Film Distributors and learn more about why I call this A Cause to Believe In.