“I Can Only Imagine…”

“I Can Only Imagine…”

Mar 26, 2015

“I Can Only Imagine…” William Villalpando Note: Thank you Jane Mackintosh for coming up with this idea and inspiring me to write this. Today I thought it might be fun if we tried using our godly imagination. I would like you to go sit and read Genesis 2:4-25 and imagine the change from the barren wasteland that was earth to the creation of the Garden of Eden. Go ahead. I’ll wait and be here when you get back. Welcome back. Here are the thoughts that played through my mind. I imagine at first a dry and barren landscape, desert like with sand very hard packed into the earth. There seem to be a few places where rivers might be, but rather than beautiful rushing rivers, they are empty, with droplets of water hardly flowing through rough gravel. Next, I imagine God causing an enormous garden to grow. A garden that looks more like a beautiful vast forest full of every tree and every living creature you can imagine, and of course vast rushing rivers. I then have this almost comical image of God picking up Adam and almost dropping him in the middle of the Garden. And all of the living creatures coming up to Adam in an almost Snow White-esque way. Adam is not afraid of any of them. God then asks Adam to name each of the creatures. Adam works through each one and gives them a name: Tiger, Monkey, all the way down to the smallest Ant. But God sees that although Adam is happy, he desires a companion. Thus God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He takes a rib from Adam’s side, and begins to mold it like clay, creating Eve. And they begin to work and live together in true happiness with God. So what was the point of this? God gave us all the ability to imagine, to create beautiful pictures in our minds with him. When we read the Bible we need to use this gift in order to help us understand everything that God’s word has to show us. As we grow closer to God, this gift will grow stronger. So practice with...

Dorotha Shettel Fund

Dorotha Shettel Fund

Mar 26, 2015

Dorotha Shettel Fund by Nadine Lawton Wow, SCSC is starting its 51st year of servant leadership training! It was wonderful to see so many former and current SCSCers, from the first year through this past summer’s teams, gathered on the stage to share in a special Friday evening service to celebrate the first 50 years! Many changes have taken place over those years. The first team in 1964 had no training before going on project in Metarie, LA. Now there is a staff that spends 10 days training the team in leading and serving—and even remembering their manners when church members welcome them into their homes or take them to a restaurant for a meal. And they also receive training materials so that the students can have added training while they are finishing up their classes for the school year. A committee from the SDB Women’s Board now works throughout the year to try to make each team the best for the Lord’s work that He asks to be done. In recent years the SCSC Committee has added a sub-committee to work with the music ministry of Stained Glass. Unfortunately, one of the changes is that the students who give their summer to the Lord have to help with their expenses. Often there is not enough time between training and Conference to get the full project time in before Conference, so Conference is also project time. This creates a problem for students who may not have the finances to attend the Pre-Conference retreat, after project evaluation, so they can be at Conference for the final week of project. This is why the Dorotha Shettel Fund was started. Former Women’s Board President, Dorotha Shettel, appreciated the experience and training the young adults received through SCSC and saw the impact they have had on the denomination. She wanted these young adults to continue to have that impact. Not being able to be a part of SCSC, and now Stained Glass, because a lack of finances (to get home or attend Pre-Con) should not be a hindrance in applying to give your summer to the Lord through this program!   The fund was named in Dorotha’s memory,...

Transition in Ministry

Transition in Ministry

Mar 26, 2015

Transition in Ministry Major Jerry Johnson I have represented the denomination in the United States Army for 11 years as of the end of May 2015. In the first decade I was pretty much strictly what you would call a “Combat Arms” chaplain, doing three long deployments to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, NY, and a two year stint with basic trainees at Fort Jackson, SC. This past June I began a different chapter in ministry: transitioning to the hospital world, starting with a year-long residency in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Northern Virginia. Three of our boys remain in New York state at college, while our youngest, James, came with for his junior year in high school. Clinical Pastoral Education is a rigorous program that incorporates elements of academic, patient visiting, peer group interaction, and supervisor consultation in order to develop greater pastoral care skills for both military and civilian contexts. My peer group consists of five other chaplains, four Army and one Navy, who are in their fourth year of service. I am a rare breed of mid-career Majors who take on the program later on in their military journey. So I have a different experience base from the others, but it makes for a good mix. There are five Baptists and one Presbyterian in the peer group, so our theological discussions tend to be tame. A typical week of CPE includes about four mornings of patient visits at the hospital and/or clinics. I worked for about five and a half months at the Traumatic Brain Injury clinic, counseling service members who are transitioning to other walks of life due to their medical circumstances. Right now I visit patients in the post-surgical, pediatrics, and mother-baby wards of the hospital, along with occasional interaction upstairs in medical telemetry, where primarily older retirees suffering chronic disease come for treatment. These interactions offer me the opportunity to learn more about appropriately using my pastoral listening and communication skills. Because the setting has a great deal of diversity, I am also learning how to show compassion towards those who either do not know Christ or are...

Top Ten Words: Hedging our bets — No Other Gods

Top Ten Words: Hedging our bets — No Other Gods

Mar 26, 2015

Top Ten Words Hedging our bets — No Other Gods Sermon Series by Pastor Dusty Mackintosh Next Step Christian Church, Thornton, CO   The first word of the Big Ten commands is to have no other gods beside Yahweh. We don’t often name or personalize our gods, but the human spirit is still prone to pantheism. We worship gods when we trust someone or something else for the Unknown of life. Our covenant with God is such that He owns us, both our known and our unknown: we are His. Breaking this first commandment reveals a lack of trust in God for our future, health, finances, relationships or anything else. We must instead say to our God “I trust you with this.” The First Commandment Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me. (or) You shall have no other gods besides me. The grammar is vague…but the meaning is clear. You shall have no other gods. None, zip. Gods here can include other spiritual creatures, like angels, and you can believe they exist, but it is obviously a different thing to “have” another god. To worship another being as god. To worship is to declare with our time, attention and wealth that something is worthy. To worship another god, to have another god, then, would be to give time, attention and wealth to a someone or something other than God. But…why would someone do that? The History of Israel – Paganism It seems ridiculous…but there is something tremendously attractive to the human spirit in it. Why? Because over and over the people to whom this commandment was first given, the people of Israel, worshipped other gods. Constantly. Sometimes instead of Yahweh. Sometimes next to Yahweh, one of the bunch. In fact, archaeology in the region finds almost no evidence of monotheistic culture…and that is consistent with the testimony of Scripture. The judges keep pulling the people back to Yahweh, the good kings rise up and tear down the pagan altars and the high places, the prophets condemn the people constantly for their constant worship of other gods. This was the way of the world. They had this national god, and a regional...

The Sent One Becomes the Sender

The Sent One Becomes the Sender

Mar 26, 2015

The Sent One Becomes the Sender Pastor Steve Osborn Boulder SDB Church, CO There they were, a huddled, frightened mass cowering behind locked doors, just waiting to be discovered by the Jews and imagining what would become of them when they did. Were these really the same men Jesus had invested three years of His life training, shaping, and mentoring? Yet we can grant them a little grace when we acknowledge what they had been through. A week earlier they had been on top of the world, leading Jesus in a celebratory parade into Jerusalem where the throngs seemed to be finally coming to grips with who Jesus was. Three days earlier it had all come crashing down as they watched their mentor being arrested, put on trial, beaten, mocked, and murdered. Hours earlier, Peter and John had found His tomb empty while Mary Magdalene and Cleopas claimed they had seen Him alive. Appearing among them in that room, Jesus not only banished their fears and restored their hopes, but He also uttered a phrase that would revolutionize the rest of their lives. He said, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21, ESV) Inherent in those words was a foundational principle of which Jesus had spoken dozens of times: Jesus had been sent by His Father into the world — sent to make God’s glory known (John 1:14); sent to bring a message of hope (Luke 4:18-19); sent to save the world (John 3:17). Also inherent in those words was the revelation that Jesus was not planning to stick around on earth. He would soon leave them again, but not all alone. Jesus would bestow upon them His Holy Spirit, who would equip and empower them to do what He was asking them to do. What exactly was He asking? He was sending them into the world to complete His mission. They would carry His message to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the whole earth (Acts 1:8). The message of the gospel would be entrusted into their hands. Jesus had been preparing them for this very task. After all, they were God’s plan to reach the world —...