Family

Family

Aug 25, 2015

Family Pastor JR Shick, White Cloud SDB Church, MI     The week before Conference our Ministers Association from the town of White Cloud had a community church picnic. It was received very well. We planned on serving 60-75 people and we had over 120. What a blessing for the first time doing the picnic. The food was amazing and a great time was had by all. There was only one problem that we had observed. The intent for this picnic was to build on relationships within the community of believers. We noticed that people would stay within the comfort of others from their own churches. This should not be a big surprise to us. We see this in our own churches. Families sit in the same places and we tend to talk to the same people every week. How do we get out of this pattern? I have noticed this summer that my children have no problem making friends. Most children do not have a problem making friends. They see something that piques their interest and then they start asking questions. Seems easy, right? I was reminded of Mark 10:13-16: 13People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” If it’s so easy for a child to make friends or to enter into a conversation, why is it so hard for adults? The answer is that we stop thinking like GOD’S children. Many of us are comfortable where we are, or we are afraid. Basically, we are too old in our thinking. Most of us found comfort in the presence of our parents or close family and friends. One of the reasons I was drawn to Seventh Day Baptists was its strong...

You can’t go to India… yet

You can’t go to India… yet

Aug 25, 2015

You can’t go to India… yet Clinton R. Brown Executive Director     As I understand it, providence is when God makes provision or gives guidance because of His foreknowledge of how events are going to unfold. Usually, it seems our vision is so narrow we miss it entirely, but sometimes the Holy Spirit gives us insight into what God is doing or helps us to look back and appreciate what God has done. Last month I shared a little in an article about how events in South Korea led to me meeting with a pastor from India, but I do not feel like I gave God due credit for how that worked out. I had actually been trying to get to visit the Seventh Day Baptist works in India for over a year. My practice is to chart how long it has been since international SDB groups have been visited and try to give priority to regions that have not been visited in a while. India had moved up my list and I tried to coincide seeing them with a visit to the Philippines for a conference with our pastors there. Meanwhile, I was contacted by new SDB leaders in Seoul, Korea, who were impressing upon me that they should be moved up in priority on my visit list. I dismissed their clamoring, until I found my most probable flight plans returning from India would have me laying over in Seoul. It seemed to make sense to me and my Executive Committee that because I was going to be in Seoul anyway, I should turn my two-hour stopover into an overnight. My plans seemed settled until the Indian embassy did not issue my visa for entry. They held my passport and delayed my visa until it was coming too close to my flight to the Philippines. I had to hurriedly make a flight plan adjustment, skipping India and extending my visit to South Korea since we were already making arrangements to visit with them. Because of my longer stay in South Korea, a pastor from a remote Indian state called Manipur, on the Myanmar border, was able to meet with me and learn...

Centennial Celebrations & Moving Forward with the Merger

Centennial Celebrations & Moving Forward with the Merger

Aug 25, 2015

Centennial Celebrations & Moving Forward with the Merger Rev. Nicholas J. Kersten Director of Education and History     At the recently completed General Conference meetings in Lancaster, PA, the Conference voted to adopt the merger agreement which was previously adopted by the Historical Society at its May meeting. As a result of these two votes, the Society will be working cooperatively with the Conference to affect the merger of the two organizations sometime early in 2016, after the necessary documents have been collected and can be reviewed by legal counsel and the State of Wisconsin. Because the merger will not be affected until 2016, the Society will have the opportunity to celebrate 100 years of fruitful ministry. The work of historic preservation among SDBs, once the merger is final, will be accomplished by the SDB Council on History. The Historical Society was founded in 1916 to further the aims of the General Conference’s Standing Committee on History, which was dissolved when the Society was founded. The presenting issue which required the creation of the Society was an offer from Julius F. Sachse, a friend of Seventh Day Baptists and the owner of a large collection of items pertaining to the Ephrata Cloister and German SDBs. Nearing the end of his life and wishing for his collection to be taken care of by Sabbathkeepers, Sachse contacted the SDB General Conference with an offer to sell the collection to us. Unfortunately, the General Conference could not participate in the transaction because it was not yet incorporated itself. So the Historical Society was incorporated in New Jersey so that it could ultimately complete the transaction. In addition, because the Conference didn’t have the available capital to purchase the collection, those who wished to take ownership of the collection raised funds to help reach Sachse’s asking price. In the end, Sachse paid half of his asking price himself, SDBs raised the rest, and the Historical Society became the proud owners and stewards of Sachse’s important collection — a collection which we have seen cared for an entire century. Despite the corporate changes, the vision and mission of the Historical Society and the coming Council on History will...

How Star Wars can teach us about God

How Star Wars can teach us about God

Aug 25, 2015

How Star Wars can teach us about God Liam Probasco Shiloh SDB, NJ     1. The Rebels in Star Wars keep fighting against the Empire no matter what the odds. So, you could say that the Rebels are steadfast in what they are doing, just like we should be. 2. Clone Troopers support their Jedi generals at any cost, just like we should support God at any cost. 3. Yoda, a Jedi master, who has been in the Jedi order for over 800 years, still had a little darkness in him. No matter how holy we think we are, we still might have some doubt. 4. Anakin Skywalker, who later becomes Darth Vader, turned to the dark side because of his fear and anger. People usually turn away from God because they are scared, or they think God didn’t provide for them. 5. Obi-Wan Kenobi sacrificed himself so that the Rebels could escape the Death Star. God sacrificed Jesus so that we could escape death from sin. 6. A light saber is the weapon of the Jedi and it should never leave their side, just as the Bible should never leave a Christian’s side. 7. Yoda is small, but powerful. Matthew 7:20 says if we have faith like a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible. 8. Han Solo saved Luke Skywalker from Darth Vader because he was a steadfast friend. Jesus saves us and is our steadfast...

Kenya Mission

Kenya Mission

Aug 25, 2015

Kenya Mission by Kory Langley Assistant Pastor Texarkana SDB Church in Texarkana, AR     Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of a short-term mission to Kenya. Upon returning I was informed that I could write about the experience for the Sabbath Recorder. I immediately began to think of the highlights of the trip. I wanted to be able to portray to the reader the vast experiences that were bestowed upon the missions team. I wanted you to feel the love and share the laughs that we got to be a part of. However, I soon realized that I could not form the words to adequately describe what transpired. I could not do the trip justice. Instead, this article will simply tell you a couple of the important things about the trip — who was there, why we went, and what I learned. Pastor Steve James of the Verona church led the group. We went to Kenya to preach to the congregations for encouragement and to teach the leaders of Kenya how to better lead and serve their people. Pastor James’ wife, Debbie, attended with the intention of teaching delegates from each Kenyan church the skills of sewing. This was to help the people learn a trade that could be used personally and for profit. The kits that she used to teach them were left for the churches. Marleigh Fjako attended to learn and share with the Kenyans through music. Amanda Langley, my wife, attended to work with the children of Kenya and to use art as a medium for a VBS-like scenario. Caroline Snyder attended to be an aid in whatever way possible. God brought people from across the nation, many of whom had never met, and we were able to bond as a team and work for his purposes.     God blessed me in many ways and taught me many things while I was there…but the one thing that I learned that I would like to impart through this article is being open and ready. Amanda and I were not currently looking for a mission when we were told of the Kenya trip. When we were...