by Owen Bandy, Pastor of Post Falls Idaho Seventh-day Adventist Church
In 2012, with the arrival of our new Bible Worker, Chuck Stillwell, we set to the task of making plans for our outreach efforts. Among other things, like doing door to door work, we started with a NEWSTART booth at the fair. At that fair booth we contacted many people and gave out a lot of information about our church and it’s ministries. We collected the names of over thirty people who wanted to bring their children to an event we were calling Cowboys for Little Angels, where they could have a free horse ride, get some good food, hear some great country gospel music as well as have a family picture taken. All for free.
This was followed up with a 15 night evangelistic service which was held by myself as the pastor. We had purchased a billboard for thirty days out along Interstate 90 to advertise the meetings. We did a mail out to cover the whole of the Post Falls zip code area. We also did a lot of door to door work of handing out brochures. Our Bible Worker was crucial in spearheading all of this effort. Opening night we had our largest attendance of non members ever at just under thirty. We have had about seven individuals who have kept very consistent in their attendance with one couple even attending their first Sabbath service last Sabbath. We expect at least two others to be attending very soon.
By Alexis A. Goring
Our society has fostered, to full bloom, a misconstrued view of how love relationships should be in our world.
Popular movie “love scenes,” television shows laden with naughty behavior and raunchy jokes, friends who are giving in to their desires when dating, and contemporary culture in general are promoting the desire for—and acceptance of—premarital sex. Contemporary culture, even within Christian circles, says that if you’re truly, madly, deeply in love with someone to whom you’re not married, then it is OK to have sex.
The world has embraced risqué behavior and approved it as normal. So normal, in fact, that if you’re not in agreement, you’re labeled as old-fashioned, weird, or worse. Labels not worthy of publishing become part of your social identity.
Everybody’s Doing It?
In the 1990s teens used the popular statement “But everybody’s doing it!” with their parents when they wanted to do something they knew was wrong. Fast-forward to the new millennium, in which reality TV gives us glimpses into celebrity (and everyday) lifestyle in which it appears, through the association of the characters, that the “everybody’s doing it” argument is growing truer by the minute.
In an article for USA Today Sharon Jayson writes: “Almost all Americans
have premarital sex, says a report published Tuesday that analyzes federal data over time and suggests programs focusing on sexual abstinence until marriage may be unrealistic.” * So how do you live when everybody (apart from the rare finds) appears to be “doing it” outside the boundaries of marriage?
Christian artist Rebecca St. James, who has devoted her life and music ministry to teaching about Continue Reading…
By Jimmy Evans, Marriage Today
A positive atmosphere is one of the foundations of a healthy family.
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
This scripture reveals that the secret to entering God’s presence is praise and thanksgiving. God’s heart opens to the positive person. Since we are made in His image, our hearts also open to those who are positive in their approach to us. (On the other hand, we tend to close ourselves off to those who are negative.)
Within the family, we need to be each others’ cheerleaders. Husbands need to root for their wives. Wives need to root for their husbands. Parents need to root for their kids. In fact, the parent should be more positive about his or her child than anyone that child will be around.
All of us—husbands, wives, parents, children—tend to gravitate toward those who affirm us. If you want a close-knit home, you need to create a home with a positive, encouraging atmosphere.
In a positive home, the husband can’t wait to get home because that is where he is affirmed and honored. He feels special.
In a positive home, the wife can’t wait to Continue Reading…
Almost universally, Sports have grown into a god that has no interest in remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8-11). But God still has those who love Him enough to be faithful to Him, even if they might have to give up carrying the Olympic torch on Sabbath. And never underestimate the powerful witness parents have on their children when they are faithful in honoring the Lord on His Sabbath. This video clip tells the story of Rita Bryant. Faith honors God and God honors faith!
“Is this an April Fools’ Joke?”
The man on the other end of the phone had identified himself as working at the General Conference before asking “Would you be open to considering a call to oversee our Adventist work in Cambodia?”
“No, this isn’t a joke.”
“I’m so sorry. If you knew some of my friends you’d understand why I’m a little skeptical on the first day of April.” After asking the man a few more questions I promised to pray about it and talk with my family before we talked again the next week.
Since my wife has often told me that she does not have the spiritual gift of “missionary” I suspected that she would immediately say “no.”
When we talked together you can imagine my surprise when she listened carefully, asked a few questions of her own, and then responded, “Well, if you really believe that this is what God wants you to do then I would be willing to…”
Rumors were beginning to swirl around our church. Was it true that one of the couples was having trouble with their marriage and even thinking about divorce? The battle in my mind began. Should I say something to them or was it none of my business? What if I said something but it was taken the wrong way? But if I didn’t say something and they later divorced I would feel guilty for not doing anything. They probably needed counseling and since I’m not a trained counselor I was off the hook. But was there anything I could do as a friend and fellow believer to help them with the underlying spiritual issues that were causing the problems?
I decided to pray for each member of the family by name that God would bring peace and good out of the difficulties. Next I asked God for wisdom and courage to act quickly before I came up with more excuses for inaction.
Finally I made the (uncomfortable) phone calls. Continue reading
Gary Blanchard (email@example.com), Associate Pastor, Wenatchee, WA Seventh-day Adventist District (Upper Columbia Conference) shares tremendous insights in this article–
GOD HATES GAYS AND OTHER FAMILY GUY MTHS
Sometime ago a friend of mine sent me a clip from the comic T.V. series “Family Guy” where Peter the man of the house gets injected with the “gay gene.” To the amazement of his family and friends, his mannerisms, clothing styles and of course sexual orientation changed almost instantly. Eventually though his family can’t take it anymore and want their “straight” dad back. So his son and dog drug him and take him to “Straight Camp.” While there Peter learns from his Christian coach that “Jesus hates many people but none more than homosexuals.”
What is most disturbing about this quote, even though it comes from a comedy show, is that many actually believe it. But in Leviticus 18:22 the Bible says Continue reading
- Bible Prophecy Truth website- Amazing resources at your fingertips from from Amazing Facts.
- Ellen White Answers- Provides good research to answer attacks on Ellen White and her writings. Maintained by Professor Jud Lake from Southern Adventist University.
- Dwight Nelson Sermon Series on The Temple- (Aug-Dec 09). Includes hot topics such as Creation/Evolution, Homosexuality, Nostradamus, etc.
- The Bible and Evolution article- Outstanding, simplified evidence and reasoning believers can share with skeptics.
- Creation Sabbath Resources- Great stuff, even after the fact!
- The Liberty Blog- Great up-to-date analysis of Continue reading
Bobby Moore, pastor of the Highline Seventh-day Adventist Church district (WA Conf) shares what works for him in making time for God as a pastor in a cover story “Making space for God: Contemplation as praxis” in Ministry Magazine, August 2009.
“Oftentimes pastors become so busy and enthralled in keeping their church or churches functional they seldom have or take time to commune with the Lord of the church. To spend time contemplating the Divine when things more measurable need to be done and should be done may seem inappropriate or an anachronism. In the light of the pastor’s busyness, they view contemplation of God as an extravagance that can be postponed for a more convenient season. (Read more)
Recently one of our northwest Seventh-day Adventist pastors went through a very difficult experience. He was encouraged by several friends to attend a weekend in Portland called “Foundations.” He paid the fee and attended but had such serious reservations about some of the process that he left early. He wrote down his experience and perspectives . Afterwards he started doing more research into “Foundations” and other related activities. He came across an article titled “White Collar Cults” and stated that even though the article was written over 15 years ago it described numerous parallels with what he had just experienced.
What becomes abundantly clear from these experiences is that many people are searching for answers to deep relationship and emotional challenges. The ultimate solution can only be found in a deeper relationship with Jesus and healthier relationships within the body of Christ, in spite of all its flaws. As Seventh-day Adventists we have the tremendous advantage of have inpired counsel to help us filter out false therapies and embrace those in harmony with the principles of the Bible. For those who have never read them I highly recommend the two-volume set of Mind, Character and Personality (read some chapters online at Google Books and see free online study guides here) which has inspired counsel and Chapters such as Heredity and Environment (Chap 17), Security in the Home (18), Christ deals with Minds (21), Selfishness and Self-centeredness (30), Infatuation and Blind Love (32), Guilt (48), Worry and Anxiety (50), Depression (52), Pain (55), Anger (56), Hatred and Revenge (57), Communication (62), Imagination (63), Emotional Needs (66), Rejection (69), Thought Habits (72), Mind Controlling Mind (78), Hypnotism and Its Dangers (79), Safe Mind Therapy (80), Dealing With Emotions (84) and Safe Mind Therapy (81). There is no need to be led astray in these last days.
On Sabbath October 17, 2009 I had the privilege of meeting with one of our newer church plants in the Washington Conference, the Southcenter Adventist Company.
Here are a few of my observations from that wonderful experience–
- Multi-cultural Group- “Since heaven will be multicultural we decided we ought to prepare for it here” one of the church leaders said with a smile. “Although many of us came from the Korean church we now represent many cultures and countries.” The pastor is Filipino, the elder if Chinese and the deacon is Korean. A number of other Asian, African and American groups are represented, all bringing something unique to the congregation. During the World Missions time in Sabbath School several members were able to tell direct personal stories of recent visits to relatives in China, etc.
- Youthful, Family-focused Church- The congregation has a feeling of life and energy as infants, toddlers and adolescents participate in their children’s Sabbath School classes, the worship service and, of course, potluck. I had been asked specifically to preach about how to strengthen the home and family through family worship and other activities.
- Warm and friendly- I was greeted by several young men at the door as I entered the church. The three Sabbath School adult groups all reached out to those who came a little late, inviting them to join their group. One young man who was in his fifth day off drugs Continue reading
He was a pastor. She was a Christian therapist. They looked happily married but they were really…
Desperate to find healing for their family. When both marriage and ministry came to a breaking point, Richie walked away from financial security in order to pursue the answers to three questions: Could he find a power filled walk with God? Could God heal his marriage?
Was it possible to have a Godly family? Since that time, they have seen miracle after miracle as God has done for their family what no one else could do.
As Richie and Timi Brower share the stories of how God is restoring their family, audiences find themselves relating to the transparent narrative of their struggles with anger, intimacy, priorities and trust. You will find hope as they share the practical steps to connecting with God and others that can transform your life.
Here is a great article by Judy Thomsen from the September 2009 issue of Adventist World magazine that highlights the challenges, possibilities and people in God’s work–
North America’s Last Frontier: All Alaska is a mission field; conditions on St. Lawrence Island present their own set of challenges.
Alaska is rich with unmistakable beauty. Majestic Mount McKinley; the dynamic, glaciated landscape and diverse wildlife of Denali National Park; miles of dense, lush forests and mountain ranges; hundreds of clear blue lakes and rivers; rich stores of natural resources; desolate tundra and windswept coastlines—it’s all there, and given intriguing names such as Yakutat, Knik, Skwentna, North Pole (a town), and 197½ Mile Creek. (Read more)
Time Magazine Cover Story “Unfaithfully Yours” July 13, 2009 Print Edition (Published online as “Is There Hope for the American Marriage?” July 2)
“An increasingly fragile construct depending less and less on notions of sacrifice and obligation than on the ephemera of romance and happiness as defined by and for its adult principals, the intact, two-parent family remains our cultural ideal, but it exists under constant assault.”
“There is no other single force causing as much measurable hardship and human misery in this country as the collapse of marriage. It hurts children, it reduces mothers’ financial security, and it has landed with particular devastation on those who can bear it least: the nation’s underclass.”
“The reason for these appeals to lasting unions is simple: on every single significant outcome related to short-term well-being and long-term success, Continue reading
- Defending Adventist Fundamental Beliefs www.SDAforme.com (or sda4me.com). Various articles and discussions with Dale Ratzlaff, Desmond Ford and other on topics such as the Sabbath, Ellen White, Pre-Advent Judgment, the Gospel, the Law and Final Events. Maintained by Martin Weber, Communications Director for the Mid-America Union.
- Creation, Faith & Science. Seventh-day Adventist World Church President Jan Paulsen’s recent statement on faith, science and creation.
- Which Old Testament laws have universal application and which were for the Children of Israel? Jacques Doukhan shares a Bible study on this important topic in a 2006 issue of Shabbat Shaloam titled “The Torah: The Law of God”
- Clergy Sexual Abuse. Hope of Survivors Ministry (www.thehopeofsurvivors.com) helps victims of pastoral sexual abuse. This video clip describes the need for this ministry.
- When God disciplines us. When God chisels the dead weight out of our lives it can be very painful. In one of their most requested skits, Tommy and Eddie (“The Skit Guys” at www.theskitguys.com) give a very creative look at a typical believer having to go through the process of discipline. Click to watch video clip.
- Preach better sermons. www.BetterSermons.org provides Adventist tools for better preaching such as sermon outlines, videos, etc.
- Plusline Resources. If you haven’t checked out www.plusline.org recently you’ll be amazed at how you can find almost any North American Division event, resource, article or piece of information there.