Sharing the journey with you

Sharing the journey with you

Jun 29, 2015

Sharing the journey with you Pastor Scott Hausrath North Loup, NE Tackling misconceptions about God is so important, because they are so damaging. It’s critical to discuss what God has not said. It’s also important to be reminded of what God has said, because we are so often distracted from the foundational truths of God. With this in mind, let me share with you a few truths about God and His connection with us… God crafted us All of us have read the creation accounts in the first couple chapters of Genesis, so we know that God made us. Are we aware, however, that God crafted each of us as an individual? In David’s conversation with God, as recorded in verses 13–14 of Psalm 139, he says this: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. To craft something means to make it with skill, and with careful attention to detail. Too often we try to value ourselves by asking the question “What do I bring to the table?” It’s important to be reminded that our value is founded in our presence, not our performance. Society values us based on our actions. God values us based on His actions. Since He crafted each of us in His own image, each of us is of infinite worth. God is connected to us It makes sense that since God put intentional, focused effort into crafting each of us, He experiences a deep connection with us. This connection is seen in the fact that He knows us. In verses 1–4 of Psalm 139, David says this: You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Our knowledge of a person connects us to that person. God’s intimate knowledge of each of us strengthens His bond with us. We also...

The Beacon

The Beacon Hello Beacon readers! Once again, it’s Becca. And Ellie! This is our last Beacon article here with you as your editors. I can’t believe after having this job for two years, I will never write another Beacon article. This year has been great and I know that I’ve truly been blessed to write for you and have your attention as you read! You have been the best readers we could have asked for – I’ve really appreciated all the notes of encouragement I’ve received. I hope as we have written we’ve left you with thoughts that have changed you, even just a little bit. And I hope I haven’t offended anyone too much. I seem to have a knack for picking the controversial topics. We will greatly miss writing for you and we humbly ask for your prayers as we move into the next chapter of our lives! Houghton College is where I am headed to study Business Administration with a minor in Accounting, and these next four years of college will be hectic. I’ll be studying Nursing at my local community college, and I am so excited to see where God’s plan is leading me (I honestly have no idea). Life is about to change drastically for the two of us, but we know there will always be encouragement in God’s word. I ask that as we all continue over the next few years that we remember these verses and persevere. We thank you for remembering us in your prayers, and we wish the best of luck to the Beacon editor of 2016 –we know the column will find its way into good...

5 Things God Never Said

5 Things God Never Said

Jun 29, 2015

5 Things God Never Said By R. Larry Moyer Misconceptions of God can be costly because they can be very defeating. For example, it’s agonizing to me how many people think “cleanliness is next to godliness” comes from the pages of Scripture. If this is indeed a word from God, then homemakers have every right to feel guilty that their houses are not always tidy. In fact, depending on how far you carry it, people soon become more concerned about their furniture than they do their family. And what about “God helps those who help themselves”? I’ve seen this used as a basis for many people thinking they can work their way to heaven. They therefore miss the biblical teaching that eternal life is free (Romans 6:23). Here are five other misconceptions of God’s Word you’d be wise to spend a [Sabbath] addressing. In fact, I think you’d be wiser to give one [Sabbath] to each of these. I assure you, they are so rampant that you could easily spend a 30-minute message discussing each one. Most unfortunately of all, every single one of them in some way adversely affects our outreach to non-Christians. 1. If you don’t know the date you were saved, then you are not saved. Unfortunately, evangelists have been the worst at propagating this first misconception. The fact is, there is a split second when a person goes from darkness into light. After recognizing you’re a sinner and that Christ died for you and rose again, you place your trust in Him alone as your only way to heaven. However, just because you don’t know when that particular split second was doesn’t mean you aren’t saved. When Scripture gives assurance of salvation, it doesn’t go back to a date or a moment; it goes back to a fact. Who are you trusting right now? If you’re trusting Christ alone as your only way to heaven, you are saved, regardless of when you crossed the line. After all, John 3:16 does not say, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him and knows the date should not perish but have everlasting...

Top Ten Words: Hijacking Heaven — Exodus 20:7

Top Ten Words: Hijacking Heaven — Exodus 20:7

Jun 29, 2015

Top Ten Words: Hijacking Heaven — Exodus 20:7 Sermon Series by Pastor Dusty Mackintosh Next Step Christian Church, Thornton, CO The other day I asked Logan to go call Arabelle and Dylan in for dinner from outside. He went outside, yelled at them, “Dad says to come in for dinner!” and they came in. That’s a true story. Another day, Dylan made his way over to the neighbor’s house. He knocks on the door and tells the neighbor, “My Dad said I could have dinner here.” In he goes, playing with his little friend there, and our neighbor starts dishing up some food. Fortunately…he also texts me. And I get our story straight with Anna: “Did you say he could? I didn’t say he could!” and over I go. So close…he almost snagged free dinner in the name of Dad! You are probably all thinking: “how cute” and “how innocent.” No, he’s a little devious manipulative monster! God’s Name in Vain – Exodus 20:7 Exodus 20:7 7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” Man, did I have fun with this one! Studying and learning and listening… I was usually taught that this was the go-to verse about not cursing. So the very worst curse words possible were the ones with “God” in them. Now, I still hate hearing that, and my kids hear about it whenever they try picking it up from school. But somewhere along the way I had heard a little broader interpretation of this verse, and I got the chance to really dive deep and examine what is going on here. Not about cursing? This made the Top 10 list…so maybe it is not just about frivolous cursing. But let’s be clear, whatever it means it certainly covers frivolous use of the name of God. What’s in a Name What was so important about the name that it made it into the 10 commandments? What is meant by the name of God? People who curse now don’t say “Yahweh”…so are they good to go? “God” is more of a title than...

TAKING A SPIRITUAL RETREAT

TAKING A SPIRITUAL RETREAT

Jun 29, 2015

TAKING A SPIRITUAL RETREAT Alliance in Ministry Executive Director Rob Appel I have tried to go on at least two Spiritual Retreats per year. These times of reflection and connecting have been very beneficial to me. I do it in a hope of serving God and Seventh Day Baptists with a renewed purpose. On May 17-19, 2015 I finished my first retreat of this calendar year. Back in the April and May SR I wrote about “making the effort in unity” and to also “encourage in a positive way.” It was mentioned about us being a “family.” We are a diverse family — who have a common belief with diverse relevance across ethnicity, languages, and cultures. The purpose of these two articles was to encourage us all on “how we all can work together in maintaining our UNITY.” These articles are brought up because there have been some discouragingcomments lately. Comments aimed at not trusting our leadership, or taking a “wait-and-see” attitude how things will turn out. Others stated that they fear that we are becoming too authoritative and that the decisions are being made by a few. I can tell you that this is not the case. The General Council was put into a position that caused them to make some very quick, serious, and tough decisions. Those decisions came very fast, compared to traditional SDB decisions. That has caused some to feel that we are moving at “break- neck” speed. But I assure you, things will slow down to a more respectable pace going forward. These concerns and comments were on my mind going into my spiritual retreat. So unlike previous retreats (and no two are ever the same) I organized my retreat to answer some questions. I started by reading Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” So, I thought about the good things listed there, described what they meant to me, and then gave examples of each from my life. True – Steadfast, honest………………………loyal, real deal Noble – fine personal qualities or high moral principles……………………….trustworthy...