Well, there’s no backing out now, and I know this will be good for me…

Well, there’s no backing out now, and I know this will be good for me…

Feb 25, 2015

by William Villalpando           I have told this story so many times — but it means so much to me, get ready to hear it again ;). There are going to be times in our lives when God issues us a challenge: a challenge to take a leap of faith and full-heartedly trust him.     It should be said that the idea of SCSC was a big jump for me. Before my first summer of SCSC I had never ridden on a plane, I had never been out of California (except for a three day trip to Phoenix, Arizona), and I had never been away from my family for more than three days (and even then I had my sister with me). So back when applications were due and Pastor George suggested the idea, I was a little reluctant to apply. Yet after some coaxing, I eventually applied. That being said, I still had not fully committed to the idea of doing SCSC. So it was somewhat of a relief that my school’s final schedule seemed to be conflicting with training. Needless to say, God had another plan. I walked into all of my classes and in each class I received a syllabus. Every one of my professors had decided to either have an in-class final the week before finals week or to have us turn in a final essay the day before SCSC training would start. So at that point in time, the idea that I would actually be doing SCSC became more realistic. I honestly was scared. I could not even conceive of the idea of being away from my family, friends, and church family for a week, let alone an entire two months. Yet even though I was afraid, I continued to plan and prepare for the trip. At that point I had decided, “Well, there’s no backing out now, and I know this will be good for me…”. Although just because he is awesome, God decided to provide a third sign. The SCSC committee asks all SCSCers and Stained Glass Members to raise a certain amount of money in order to help cover some of...

Who is your Cornelius?

Who is your Cornelius?

Feb 25, 2015

Katrina Goodrich           Acts 10:1-48 Cornelius is a centurion commander and a devout man. He and his entire household pray and give to the needy; however he is still considered a Gentile, common, non-Jew. He is not a Christian as he has not received the gospel (the gospel has been circulating among the Jews but not much further). Cornelius has a vision: a divine messenger comes to him and tells him that God has noticed him and wants him to invite a man called Peter to his home. Cornelius doesn’t know who Peter is — but he obeys and sends his people to go find Peter and invite him to come to their master’s home.     Unbeknownst to Cornelius, Peter was a Jew. Jews did not associate with Gentiles. A Jew would not go over to a Gentile’s house, eat food with them (especially not if they had prepared it), and certainly wouldn’t evangelize them. Rabbis were supposed to strenuously try and dissuade anyone attempting to join the Jewish faith three times. There was a major separation here, put in place to help keep the Jews away from idolatry and idolaters, to keep them pure and set apart for God. From a strictly Jewish perspective, Cornelius (even in his ignorance), was enticing Peter to sin. Meanwhile, Peter is out praying on the rooftop of the place where he’s residing. This is the disciple Jesus called a Rock and said he’d build his church upon. Peter doesn’t know exactly what that means but he’s doing his best to spread Jesus’ teachings. At this point in the day Peter is hungry and he has a vision with all kinds of animals both pure and impure. Then God says kill and eat. Whoa! Jews do not eat meat that is impure. That means the animals are kept separate. You never mix pure with impure. Peter’s natural response: No I would never do that, it’s a sin, it’s common. I won’t defile myself eating things which are impure. But the voice continues and tells him to eat because God has declared the meat clean. About that time Cornelius’ men find Peter and ask...

Top Ten Words for Building Relationship with God and Others

Top Ten Words for Building Relationship with God and Others

Feb 25, 2015

Introduction to a Sermon Series by Pastor Dusty Mackintosh, Next Step Christian Church Thornton, CO           10 Commandments, old and busted We are about to embark on a series within a series. This is a landmark in Israel’s history, the meat and potatoes of the Mosaic covenant. Just in human history, this stands as some of the oldest written laws known…and certainly the most influential. They hang prominently in our Supreme Court to this day. No bets on how long they stay there, though. At the mention of the 10 Commandments, a whole host of concerns and questions arise. What about freedom from the law? That’s old and busted, Old Testament stuff! What about forgiveness and grace? What about a legacy of using these laws to judge…or even abuse people? We are going through these commandments in detail, but not because they are historically influential or because this was a literal pivotal moment for the people of Israel. We focus in excruciating detail because this portion of Scripture, these commandments, in a unique and powerful way, applies directly to us today. And it does because of the reason the 10 commandments were given, all the way back around 3300 years ago.     Set the Stage – Fear and Trembling The Israelites approach Mount Sinai and camp out there for three days, waiting to hear the rest of the covenant. What are these commands they are to obey? And while they are waiting, the presence of God is manifesting upon the mountain and the earth is boiling. There is fire and smoke, the ground is shaking, the sky is filled with lightning, imagine the rolling thunder on top of earthquakes…and then the voice of God rolls forth from the mountain. The people are told not to approach too close at the wrong time…or they will die. They cleaned themselves and their clothes, they prepared, they purified. The setting of the giving of the 10 Words (as the Hebrew actually refers to the Big Ten) is one of fear and trembling. Picture less Charlton Heston, more Sauron and Mount Doom. What do they know about God at this point? As Abba,...

The tale of Johannes van der Steur, Colonial 7th Day Baptist

The tale of Johannes van der Steur, Colonial 7th Day Baptist

Feb 25, 2015

Vilan van de Loo           At the end of 1892, two men knelt in a cabin of the boat, “The Conrad.” Gerard Veldhuyzen, Jr. prayed for the safety of his friend Johannes van der Steur (1865-1945), who was about to leave the Netherlands for the Dutch East Indies. Veldhuyzen knew his friend too well to be able to trust in a peaceful future. Van der Steur was stubborn, and too ambitious to compromise on anything. He had never been in the colony, yet planned to live and work there among the K.N.I.L. (Dutch Colonial Army). After months of fundraising Van der Steur had been consecrated in the church at the Parkweg in Haarlem. He was ready to go.     It seems that hardly anyone in the Indies was happy with the arrival of Van der Steur. The press mocked his beliefs and his personality. He was a well known man thanks to his involvement in the anti-prostitution movement. Yet Van der Steur succeeded. He opened in Magelang (Java) a military home called “Oranje Nassau.” Soldiers in the colony often lived isolated lives. Van der Steur offered them a brotherly love in a Christian environment. Early in 1893, one of his visitors informed Van der Steur about four children in the kampong, whose Italian father had died. Instead of looking for their relatives, Van der Steur adopted the children. Soon after this a mother came to him asking for medicine for her children. He supplied that, but within a few days he took her children in his home as well. It was a typical colonial way of acting; the European civilization was considered to be superior, the indigenous were regarded inferior. One believed that every child with a European father had the “right” to be part of the European civilization. More and more children followed, some brought by their (last remaining) parent, others in need of a home. Within a year the life of a single father became too much for Van der Steur. He wrote a letter to the Netherlands, asking his mother to come and help him. It was not she who arrived, but Marie van der Steur...

The Full Gospel Seventh Day Baptist Church

The Full Gospel Seventh Day Baptist Church

Feb 25, 2015

Cumberland, Maryland By Pastor Ron Higson           The Full Gospel Seventh Day Baptist Church first met together as a group in January 2007, but the story begins farther back with a seed that lay dormant for many years. As a young married couple, we attended a Seventh Day Adventist church and heard someone mention SDBs, but I didn’t think much about it (the seed was planted). We stopped going to church for a few years and then started attending a Methodist church where we received Christ and became actively involved. A wonderful pastor there encouraged us to become involved in lay speaking. I served as a lay preacher for nearly three years and recognized God’s call on my life to preach. After this, we attended an Assembly of God and then a Baptist church for a while. Looking back, I think all these things helped us grow and prepare for where God was leading. The seed sprouted when God reminded me about the Sabbath and SDBs. I found the denominational website, discovered the Central SDB Church in Maryland, and went to visit. That led us to the closer Bell SDB Church of Salemville, though still too far for weekly attendance. Our grown children and their families moved back to the area and we met for about ten months at home on Sabbaths for Bible study. Twenty-four years after the seed was planted, it bloomed! We met with leaders of Bell Church and received their blessing to become a branch, stepping out in faith to plant a church. God really provided as we found a very nice building at an unbelievably low rent to hold regular worship services (January 2007). Our second location was a church for the same rent. After four years we longed to have our own place where we could meet beyond Sabbath mornings. God led us to our current church, which we were able to buy, where we have been meeting for over three years.     Though it may sound like everything went smoothly, it really didn’t. With each move we explored new locations and the doors kept closing. Then we would wonder if we really heard...