Columns

A Choice to Believe

It’s a common refrain in movie scripts: “I’ll come back for you,” says the hero. “I promise.” And in those scripts, the hero always keeps his promises.

But real life isn’t a make-believe script. God isn’t beholden to our expectations. Prayers don’t always get the answers we want. Many Christians have grown tired and frustrated waiting for God to act on their personal priorities. They are living as if God’s promises can no longer be trusted.

The Hound Scan

March 14, 2019 / Dick Duerksen / Health, Cancer

Marcy has cancer — at least that’s what the medical gurus say. It began, most likely, as a small tumor in breast tissue and has expanded to lymph nodes, liver cells and other places identified by scans named after animals. Now her life is all about the Hound scan.

We thought about the Hound, 22 of us standing around Marcy, our hands outstretched to touch her diseased body as we celebrated her commitment to the Hound who has caught her and made her His own.

The Socializing Gospel

March 13, 2019 / Martin Weber / Church, social gospel

Earnest voices among us warn about a “social gospel” movement. With good reason. Some well-intentioned Adventists are so committed to good neighborliness they diminish our doctrine or even fundamentals of Christian faith.

But the golden rule is not the gospel. Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us is not how we get saved. If so, why did Christ die on the cross for us? All we would need is to be reminded that Jesus wants us to be nice.

The Widow's Echo

March 12, 2019 / Seth Pierce / Church, generosity

In Ovid’s rendition of the tale of Narcissus, he writes of a talkative nymph, much admired by Venus, the goddess of love, for her beautiful voice. The nymph plays a trick on the wife of Jupiter, making her think Jupiter is in the city when he really wasn’t.

Jupiter's wife, Juno, curses the nymph, making it so she can only repeat the last words of other people, unable to say anything on her own. She is called Echo because that’s all she can do.

Valentine's Day Ministry Ideas for Your Church

The North American Division (NAD) ministerial department recently shared a list of ideas your church or ministry could provide on Valentine's Day as an outreach and evangelism tool. Check out their list below and consider implementing one or more of these ideas at your church.

  1. Parents Night Out: Provide free or low-cost child care so that moms and dads can spend an evening alone. Promote it to the church and to the community as well.

Infallibility and Authority

January 16, 2019 / Seth Pierce / Church, Authority, Infallibility

Most of the time this column shares a personal reflection or a story with a note of encouragement for a situation you may be facing. This time, however, I am stuck, and I am going to let you wrestle with my stuckness. Besides, I’m still recovering from my qualifying exams, so I feel more like asking questions than answering them at the moment.

His Story, Our Story

January 15, 2019 / John Freedman

Long ago, on the Judean hills surrounding the city of Bethlehem, a small group of blue-collar laborers were on the night shift. Conscientious, curious and honest, they believed in God and hoped for the soon coming deliverer of Israel. On this night, God granted them the privilege of being a part of the most important story in the universe.

Cracker's Family

Cracker was born 38 years ago to a homeless couple. Born on a street, in a corner by the door of an abandoned building. He entered the world with nothing, except bright red hair and brilliant white skin.

Cracker’s not his real name, but it's the name he uses in the street.

Cracker came to our church because we’re planted on the street. One wall has windows that look right out into the sidewalk. Our floor is old linoleum, and our chairs are plastic. We serve coffee and tea in paper cups and delicious-looking treats on small paper plates.

Our Greatest Sin

“Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"

Who could forget that stirring declaration of Martin Luther King Jr., born 90 years ago this January? King’s speech inspired a cheering crowd of one-quarter million in our nation’s capital. Their march on Washington is a landmark of American history and a big reason to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which this year falls on Jan. 21.