A Week of Revelation and Recommitment

A Week of Revelation and Recommitment

by Ed Cruzan

SDB Conference 2009 – “Pray”

Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, Pa.

 

It was July 26, 2009 when we gathered for the 197th session of the SDB General Conference at Lancaster (Pa.) Bible College for the first time. I was Conference President that year. My theme was “Pray,” supported by 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which exhorts all of us to “pray continually.” Conference week was filled with many opportunities to pray.

There were so many wonderful people involved in Conference that I cannot possibly list all of them or the events that were special to me. For those I miss, please send in your favorite recollections from that Conference.

Here are a few of the things I remember from that special week:

 

  • My revelation to focus on Jesus first, and not on praying.
  • The hundreds of signed prayer cards. (Thank you to everyone who prayed for me that week, including my wife Cathy, daughter Jackie and son-in-law David.)
  • The early-morning prayer times with Scott Hausrath. (Scott encouraged me to “leave the door open” as we prayed so that others might join us through the open door.)
  • Pastor Nate Crandall, Jenna Wethington, Lena Parrish and Ben Harris leading the morning praise.
  • The morning Praying Bible Studies led by Pastors Kenneth Chroniger, Dale Thorngate, Herlitz Condison, Dave Taylor and Don Chroniger.
  • The beautiful LBC campus.
  • The exceptional preparation of the facilities and events by the Host Committee and its chairman, Steve Moncrief. (Everyone at Shiloh treated me like family and I suppose I am.)
  • The 8-foot homemade cross at the front of the sanctuary with the “Pray” inscription on it. (It was perfect.)
  • The creative spiral “Pray” banner designed by Pat Cruzan. (Thanks to Valerie Probasco for having it printed on such short notice.)
  • The parade of banners.
  • The inspirational men’s chorus selections and presentation led by Stephen Rogers.
  • Those who gathered in the streets of Lancaster offering hope through The Way of The Master.
  • Afternoons at “Sight and Sound” and the Ephrata Cloister.
  • Mike Skupin and his incredible testimony of healing as a “Survivor.” (Thanks to Steven James for making the suggestion.)
  • The Youth Banquet at The Shady Maple.
  • Pastors Steve Osborn and Kory Geske eating bugs at the “Survivor Challenge,” along with a lot of other people. (I passed on that challenge.)
  • Patti Wethington filling the auditorium with SDB musical talent from around the country. (All of them delighted us with their worship and praise.)
  • The creative media interludes presented by Leanna Wethington and the media staff.
  • The wonderful LBC auditorium and its state-of-the-art technology and ambience.
  • Evening worship when the Good News was preached by Pastors Haywood Floyd, Dave Stall, Omari Rhoden and Steven James. (I love you guys.)
  • The Friday evening worship service when Pastor Shirley Morgan preached on “Praying in the Unity of the Spirit.”
  • The powerful time of healing led by Pastor Dale Rood following the Friday evening worship service. (The healing power of the Holy Spirit was so real. Praise the Lord—Wow!)
  • Communion with the SDB body of believers led by Pastors Gordon Lawton and Luis Lovelace.
  • A Sabbath morning worship service transformed into a season of remarkable collective prayer led by Pastor Bernie Wethington. (I have never experienced so many SDBs engaged in praying!)
  • Plus so many other pleasant memories too numerous to list. (Thank you all for praying together. Keep it up.)

 

Recommitment to Christ

Past reflections may be good if they lead us into a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. From the past we look to the future of Seventh Day Baptists taken from Revelation 14:6-12—

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’

“A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.’ This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.”(Italics added.)

 

Do we truly believe God’s Word? “Whoever believes in the Son of God is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18)

Are we truly obeying God’s commandments? “He who does not love me [Jesus] will not obey my teaching.” (John 14:24a)

Are we truly remaining faithful to Jesus? “If anyone does not remain in me [Jesus], he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:6)

Are we truly telling others about the Good News of Jesus? Here is the Good News:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17)

 

Do we truly believe it? Are we truly faithful in proclaiming it?

My encouragement to us is to patiently endure as we obey all of God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. We can take comfort in the words of Jesus, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

Blessings to all of you in the unity of Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Pray continually!

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