President's Page

Faith + Hope = Peace

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016

by Patti Wethington SDB Church, White Cloud, MI   Thank you, Pat Cruzan, for the excellent reflection on Conference 2016 and the articles that so wonderfully reflected on our experience and learning. We are blessed to have your team continuing to faithfully provide us with a published product to tell our story and share our life experiences. How are you today? Did your day go as you thought it would? Did you let the tide of frustration consume you? I did. Last night, I sat in a department meeting that was intended for shared interests, projecting safe practice standards into our team structures, and reviewing new initiatives on the horizon. I represent the clinical nurses and their development. Needless to say, the meeting didn’t progress as I planned or expected. Don’t need to go into details; however, I am aware that I let that experience wipe away the joy and happiness that usually spring from my person. This experience made me stop and think about what God wants us to consider when we encounter situations that cause us to suffer a...

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Alliance In Ministry

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016

by Rob Appel Executive Director On July 22, 2016, I wrote on my Facebook page the following: “I would appreciate it if all of my Facebook friends would check out things before they post them. We are all too quick to post something that we believe is true, without checking if it is true or not. Thank you! Also, we are posting things about one person we don’t like and saying that they are wrong, but when the person we do like does the same thing, or worse, we keep quiet and don’t post that. How did things in this world become so biased, and yet so ‘middle of the road’? How did we become a society that judges one another on religion, ethnicity, education, looks, or what sports team one chooses to champion? There are a lot of things in this world that are taught to our young ones at a very early age. Hatred and Bigotry should not be in the curricula.” This prompted our Editor, Pat Cruzan, to ask me to elaborate more on this, since the October...

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Features

Are You Dead?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016

by Daniel Lovelace I want to ask you a bit of a strange and maybe obvious, yet sincere question: How would you live differently if you were dead? How would situations and circumstances affect you? How would people affect you? Let’s say someone talks bad about you, causing people to think ill towards you. Say another steals something of yours, or someone else threatens you. How would you respond to them? Let’s add a kinda crazy spin to that question. Let’s say after you died, someone else took your body and lived through you. How would you live then? How much significance would his perspective and action carry? What if he had an entirely different viewpoint on life than you previously did? To mix it up even further, let’s just say that when you died and someone else lived your life, this happened with you and Jesus. You died, and the new life you have is the very life of Jesus Himself. As many of you may realize, I’m not speaking hypothetically for the believer on that final point. Our mind...

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Departments

Leland Davis

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016

— by John J. Pethtel Director of Pastoral Services   Pastor Leland E. Davis was born in Jackson Center, OH, in 1920 where he joined the Jackson Center SDB Church in 1935. Pastor Leland was valedictorian of the Jackson Center High School class of 1938. He attended Salem College in 1942-1943, Bethany College in 1943-1944, and received chaplain and theological training from Yale Seminary and Faith Theological Seminary. Pastor Leland married Gertrude Dickinson on March 4, 1945, and they had three children: Ken, Ron, and Mary Sue. They have 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Gertrude went home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2002. Pastor Leland has served SDB churches in Battle Creek, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Boulder, CO (where he was ordained in 1949); Schenectady, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC; and Lake Elsinore, CA. He has also served SDBs as a missionary to Guyana; on Commission and General Council; as Conference President in 1984. He is currently in his retirement and enjoys time with his family. COSAR Over the course of 2016, the Committee on Support and Retirement...

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Recent Posts

Leland Davis

Leland Davis

Sep 22, 2016

— by John J. Pethtel Director of Pastoral Services   Pastor Leland E. Davis was born in Jackson Center, OH, in 1920 where he joined the Jackson Center SDB Church in 1935. Pastor Leland was valedictorian of the Jackson Center High School class of 1938. He attended Salem College in 1942-1943, Bethany College in 1943-1944, and received chaplain and theological training from Yale Seminary and Faith Theological Seminary. Pastor Leland married Gertrude Dickinson on March 4, 1945, and they had three children: Ken, Ron, and Mary Sue. They have 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Gertrude went home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2002. Pastor Leland has served SDB churches in Battle Creek, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Boulder, CO (where he was ordained in 1949); Schenectady, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC; and Lake Elsinore, CA. He has also served SDBs as a missionary to Guyana; on Commission and General Council; as Conference President in 1984. He is currently in his retirement and enjoys time with his family. COSAR Over the course of 2016, the Committee on Support and Retirement and the General Conference wish to highlight the eleven current retirees in our Old Pastors Retirement Plan, formerly called P.R.O.P. (Pastors Retirement Offering Project), to bring awareness to our continued need to meet the obligations set forth by the terms of these plans in honor of their service to SDBs. If you wish to contribute to honoring the service of these individuals, you may make a donation by giving online with a mention towards COSAR at http://seventhdaybaptist.org/donate or by mailing a check to: COSAR, PO Box 1678, Janesville, WI 53547. THANK YOU for your generous...

Love One Another

by Casey Greene SDB Church, Berlin, NY This summer I had the privilege of being part of SCSC. There were many wonderful — and challenging — aspects of my project, but the aspect of church family and the role they play sticks out the most. I have always loved how my church, and the denomination as a whole, always felt like a family. However, this summer I experienced more clearly how God can use them. I hope my experience can serve as a reminder to us all to continue to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ. I am from Berlin, New York, which is 2,800 miles from Colton, California, where I was sent. For the first two and a half weeks of my project I was a single team and there were joys and struggles associated with that. One of the struggles I had been warned about was loneliness. However, this was almost never a problem for me. When I landed in California and was able to turn my phone back on, I had three texts from other SCSC students. Almost every single one of them communicated with me in some way while I was in California. They encouraged me, they told me what God was doing in their projects, and they prayed for me. One day when I was having a particularly rough time I got an unexpected phone call from a wonderful, Godly woman. I had been on her mind a lot that day and she told me she had felt led to give me a call. We talked for about an hour and, if you asked her, I’m sure she would tell you it was no big deal. However, she showed me the love of Christ in one of the most apparent ways I had ever experienced. The day she called I needed someone and I felt like God had used her to say, “I see you, I know what’s going on, I’m here.” I got countless other calls and texts, on good days and bad days, and each time it was a reminder that God was here and I hadn’t been forgotten by Him or by His people....

Are You Dead?

Are You Dead?

Sep 22, 2016

by Daniel Lovelace I want to ask you a bit of a strange and maybe obvious, yet sincere question: How would you live differently if you were dead? How would situations and circumstances affect you? How would people affect you? Let’s say someone talks bad about you, causing people to think ill towards you. Say another steals something of yours, or someone else threatens you. How would you respond to them? Let’s add a kinda crazy spin to that question. Let’s say after you died, someone else took your body and lived through you. How would you live then? How much significance would his perspective and action carry? What if he had an entirely different viewpoint on life than you previously did? To mix it up even further, let’s just say that when you died and someone else lived your life, this happened with you and Jesus. You died, and the new life you have is the very life of Jesus Himself. As many of you may realize, I’m not speaking hypothetically for the believer on that final point. Our mind and emotions might not even be on board with that, but at the deepest core of our being — our spirit — this has become a reality for us who have placed our faith in Jesus as Lord. We have died, and our new life is in Christ Jesus, as Galatians 5:20 says: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” This Sabbath Recorder issue centers around tolerance. My main point that I want to make is that as believers, I think it’s become too common for us have tolerance — or simply toleration — for things and in ways that don’t line up with the life we now live in Jesus. To the side of intolerance, we’ve become so quick to attack or hold offense towards someone who injures us in some way. Yet on the side of tolerance, we are also quick to shape...

Choosing Love

by Rebecca Olson Tolerance. It’s a sticky, ambiguous word. If we are going to talk about an ambiguous word, we need to start by agreeing on a definition. There seem to be at least two distinct meanings that we can give the word tolerance. First, there is worldly tolerance, which declares truth to be subjective: I have no authority to say that what you believe is untrue; therefore I accept your belief as something that is true for you, but does not apply to me. Second, there is Biblical tolerance: that truth is absolute, and it applies to everyone, but in loving people it is necessary at times to accept the fact that they do not believe or understand the truth. For the purposes of this article, if I write “tolerance,” I am referring to Biblical tolerance. This is the tolerance I believe Paul was referring to in Ephesians 4:2 (NASB) where he instructs the church to show tolerance for each other in love; and in Romans 2:4 (NASB) when he reminds us that God has been infinitely tolerant with us as sinners. Christians are called to tolerate sinners. Beyond that, Christians are called to love sinners. We are called to open our arms to the needy, the disgusting, and the different — the people who even our ever-accepting world is unwilling to accept. We are called to love them despite their sin, to speak the truth of God’s love to them without shaming them for the wrong things they ignorantly do again and again. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 is one of my favorite verses. It is both a promise and a challenge — a promise that God’s love is able to cast out all our anxiety, and a challenge to love God’s people boldly. Too often we let fear get in the way of love. It’s a message many of us have heard since we were little children: God calls you to sit with the weird kids at lunch without being afraid of what the cool kids will...

Unforgiven

Unforgiven

Sep 22, 2016

by Philip Lawton There is a passage in the Gospel of Matthew which we often look over. (If I am honest there are quite a few!) It comes right after the Lord’s Prayer, right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. In this passage Jesus tells us that if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. Yes, you heard me right. Most people when they hear this ask one simple question: Does this mean that you can lose your salvation? That is indeed a good question. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. There Phil goes again. Talking about controversial topics. There he is telling us that Christians are going to Hell again. To that I would say a couple of things: First, I am not the one who says these things. Jesus said them. I am merely pointing them out. If you are convicted because of what I say, then you need to talk to Jesus. Seriously. If after you read this you feel uncomfortable, take it to God. The point of this is not to make you uncomfortable. Well, not entirely. Which leads to… Second, as Christians we are called to admonish one another. We are called to love the bride awake. And sometimes the most loving thing to do is make someone uncomfortable. Many times the church, the bride of Christ, lies dormant because she has not been shown the truth. The whole point of this is to try and live a life like Jesus. Sometimes that means being uncomfortable. Finally, I want to say up front that some people have suffered horrible things. Some of you have been physically or sexually abused. Some of you have lived in thosesituations for years. If that is your situation, I want you to know that I understand that forgiveness can take time. But do not hear me say that you never have to forgive. Volf’s Story In 1984, the Yugoslavian government impressed into military service a man by the name of Miroslav Volf. Volf was the son of a pastor living in a socialist country. This meant that Volf understood harassment. When he went into the...

“Tolerance” has become “Intolerance”

by Rob Appel Executive Director On July 22, 2016, I wrote on my Facebook page the following: “I would appreciate it if all of my Facebook friends would check out things before they post them. We are all too quick to post something that we believe is true, without checking if it is true or not. Thank you! Also, we are posting things about one person we don’t like and saying that they are wrong, but when the person we do like does the same thing, or worse, we keep quiet and don’t post that. How did things in this world become so biased, and yet so ‘middle of the road’? How did we become a society that judges one another on religion, ethnicity, education, looks, or what sports team one chooses to champion? There are a lot of things in this world that are taught to our young ones at a very early age. Hatred and Bigotry should not be in the curricula.” This prompted our Editor, Pat Cruzan, to ask me to elaborate more on this, since the October issue is about Intolerance and Tolerance. In John 8:7, Jesus asked those condemning the woman caught in adultery, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” No one threw a stone that day, but we have been lobbing insults at each other ever since — and they sometimes hurt more than being hit with a stone. It seems that intolerance is on the rise in the United States. In our current, politically correct culture, tolerance is what we actually need! According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word tolerate means “to allow or to permit, to recognize and respect others’ beliefs and practices without sharing them, to bear or put up with someone or something not necessarily liked.” So then, based on this definition, tolerance involves three essential characteristics: (1) consenting, (2) respecting, (3) and all the while valuing the person in the process. But there is a catch: tolerance is reserved for those we think are wrong. We can’t tolerate someone unless we disagree with him. Why would we have to “tolerate” people...

Bridges Not Walls

by Donna VanHorn “Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Robert Frost in his poem “Mending Wall.” It was written while Frost lived on his family’s farm in New Hampshire. My husband’s a New England native, and appreciates the practicality of stone walls. They were the tangible result of the region’s earliest settlers’ efforts to clear the land for farming. As they prepared their acreages for the first plantings, they pulled rocks and stones from the dirt and piled them in an orderly line along their properties’ boundaries. In his teens, my husband and his father roamed the back roads of Rhode Island looking for abandoned stone walls to “raid” for the backyard patio they were building. Once the project was done, they discovered there was a flat slate headstone that had inadvertently found its way into the terrace. But I digress. I can understand the logic of Frost’s maxim if it has to do with respecting each other’s possessions and personal space. On the other hand, it contradicts my Christ-centered concept of loving your neighbors so much you’ll take extraordinary steps to reach out to them to strengthen relationships. The parable of the Good Samaritan is just one of many examples Jesus shared with His followers. Building bridges to restore broken relationships, and to establish new ones, is what Jesus teaches us throughout Scripture. Ephesians 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Donna VanHorn and her husband, Jared, live in retirement in a West Des Moines, IA, suburb. Donna is a mentor to younger women and leads women’s Bible studies in her home. This is from a devotional series, her second publication. Mending Wall BY ROBERT FROST Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast. The work of hunters is another thing: I have come after them and made repair Where they have left not one stone on a stone, But they would have the rabbit out of hiding, To please the yelping dogs. The...

Out of my comfort zone!

By Annie Lloyd Alfred Station SDB Church, NY As teenagers, exploring out of our comfort zones is not an easy thing to do. We tend to create our own little worlds with the intention to never leave them. Why do we do this? Well, the term “comfort zone” is pretty self-explanatory. We like our comfort zones. Our comfort zones know us best, and they give us exactly what we desire. But the thing is, God calls us to range out of our comfort zones. God may be calling us to do something that might seem awkward or uncomfortable for us. So resisting the call is very easy. But we all know that God will give us difficult things to do. Why does He do this? Well, God wants us to experience places that are bigger and greater than ourselves. He leads us out of our comfort zones so that we can grow and learn in Him. In Joshua 1:9, the Lord says: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” So when we are in situations or places that are out of our comfort zones, we need to remember that God is always with us. He is there to give us whatever we need whenever we need it. I believe that if we only can trust in Him, then He will reveal to us handfuls of wonders — even out of our comfort zones! Last week, God called me to get out of my comfort zone. God called me to go to a whole different camp out of the SDB denomination for a week of serving others less fortunate than I. With people that I’ve never met. At first I was unsure about it. I asked God, “Is this really what you want me to do Lord?” His answer was “Yes.” I was afraid that I wouldn’t make a good impression on the people there and that they wouldn’t like me. So I asked God, “Are you sure you want me to go here?” His answer was “Yes.” I feared that I wouldn’t enjoy...