Pumpkin Spice Christian

Pumpkin Spice Christian

Sep 22, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Christian by Dakota Watt Central SDB Church, Mitchellville, MC This is the time of year we look back and remind ourselves what we are thankful for. This is also the time of year where we are reminded that there is such a thing as pumpkin spice. Pumpkin is everywhere, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice cookies, and pumpkin spice smelling underwear. The list goes on and on with what people do with pumpkin spice. They market it super hard. They want you to know that pumpkin spice is a thing. People anticipate pumpkin spice. Then, pumpkin spice is gone. Everyone forgets about it until next fall. That is how some Christians are. I know I was like that for a long time. There were months at a time where I did not give God a single thought. I would live in the world and be miserable. Then, something would happen and I would see God everywhere. He would be on my mind. I was happy. Then the time would be over and I would go back to what I would normally do and forget all about God once again. Instead of fall, it was the summer time where I would remember him. During the time when I was working and going to school, I got so busy thinking about me that I completely forget about God and all the wonderful things He does for me. I got so caught up in my life that He went onto the back burner. Then as soon as I was free, I started to remember that God exists and I got really excited again. “Yay God! I’m so glad you are in my life!” He doesn’t want that at all. What can He do with me as a perpetual prodigal son? At some point I would have to choose what kind of follower I was going to be. I needed to be with Him for the whole year or not at all. I looked through my Bible and found Colossians 2:6-7. “As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and establish in your faith, even as ye...

World Federation

World Federation

Sep 22, 2015

World Federation Become A Semi-Centennial Global Partner With The SDB World Federation The year was 1965. It was the year that Sir Winston Churchill died. It was also the year that Ferdinand Marcos was elected President of the Philippines. And the year that Singapore was admitted as a part of the United Nations. 1965 was also the year that Rhodesia proclaimed independence from Britain. And the year Malcolm X was assassinated. That same year Israel and West Germany began diplomatic relations. And India and Pakistan began engaging in their border fight. And Tibet became an autonomous region of China. But for Seventh Day Baptists globally, 1965 was the year the World Federation came into being with a composition of four (4) conferences, although there are ten (10) charter members, since that distinction was given to any conference becoming a member up to one year after August 1965. A world consultation of delegates had taken place in Clarksburg, West Virginia, USA in 1964, which furnished the embryo for the birth of the international organization. The primary purpose of the establishment of the Federation was to provide increased communication among Seventh Day Baptist groups throughout the world. Other purposes were added in subsequent years. Since 1965, the Federation has met seven (7) times — 1971, 1978, 1986, 1992, 1997, 2003, 2008 — in four (4) countries: USA, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Brazil. It has been ably served by six (6) Executive or General Secretaries, namely Alton Wheeler, K. Duane Hurley, Dale Thorngate, Frits Nieuwstraten, Jan Lek, and Andrew Samuels. Presidents of the organization have also numbered six (6) in the persons of Loren Osborn, David Pearson, James Skaggs, Gabriel Bejjani, Joe Samuels, and Dale Thorngate. So, to date, Rev. Dr. Dale Thorngate has the distinction of being the only individual to serve the SDB World Federation as both Executive Secretary and President. 2015 then is the fiftieth (50th) anniversary of the Federation. That is a milestone worth recognizing and celebrating. We are very grateful to the Lord, without whose enabling power none of the above would be possible. We are also appreciative of the current 18 member conferences of the Federation, as well as those who...

Being the Evidence

Being the Evidence

Sep 22, 2015

Being the Evidence by Katrina Goodrich “Ugh! You just ruined that for me. I wasted 13 years of my life with the whole Christian thing and I don’t want to even be reminded of that.” This was the reaction of a friend to an offhand comment made about the resemblance of a piece of décor she had previously liked to a Christian symbol. Right then was not the time or place to enter in to a theological, or obviously emotionally charged, conversation regarding Christianity. It wasn’t a good time to ask why she felt that way. But because of the obvious vehemence with which she delivered the words, it was a hard statement to ignore and even harder to forget. Hearing things like this make me wonder why people turn away so forcefully from Christ? Thirteen years is a long time to believe and then do a 180 to adamantly reject the life that was being cultivated. It’s not just belief that lost its enthusiasm and became a stagnant zombie-like religion, a poor mimicry of the real covenant between Christ and his followers. This is flat-out hatred of the things which used to be valued — a bitterness. I don’t know why this particular person is so bitter about faith, but I do know that she is not the only person who feels that way. There are many people who have grown up in church, been happy there and later bitterly rejected their faith. But, you don’t always get to know the reason why someone leaves their faith behind. I get caught up in thinking that I can’t affect anything unless I know all the particulars of a situation. But that’s not the truth — it’s my curiosity and helplessness. Because I am so tied up in figuring out the exact best way to defend God to a specific person, I miss the opportunity to do it. I can’t know the best way without having all the variables — right? The truth is, the person who really needs that information already knows all the particulars of the situation: the ones able to be expressed and those unexpressed. God knows. We really don’t need to...

The Faith Thing

The Faith Thing

Sep 22, 2015

The Faith Thing Pastor Scott Hausrath North Loup, NE This morning, as I was sitting in the North Loup Cafe getting ready to eat breakfast with some friends, one of my neighbors asked if she could speak with me when I had some time. After breakfast I went to talk with her, and she said that she had a story to tell me. She told me that she had never been a regular churchgoer, or a very spiritual person, but a few weeks ago she had a vision that changed everything. In her vision, she saw herself on her knees in a church, praying and asking God to relieve some of the heavy burdens she was feeling. When I asked her if He had done this, she said yes, God had lifted those burdens from her. The thing she said that struck me the most was that she finally understood “the faith thing.” After many years of misunderstanding and judging others for living a life of faith, she finally “got it” when God just gave it to her. What about you? Do you understand “the faith thing”? Are you struggling, trying to “get” faith? Do you believe that you need to do something in order to have the kind of faith that every other Christian seems to have? A typical dictionary definition of “faith” goes something like this: “confidence or trust in a person or thing.” When we talk about our Christian faith, we tend to focus on the first part of this definition: confidence and trust. We focus on trying to build a stronger trust in God. Perhaps this is our reaction to an often-memorized Scripture passage, Hebrews 11:6a, which states that, without faith it is impossible to please God. We want to please God, so we try to build up our faith in Him. I’m wondering, however, if we might be going about this backwards. What if we were to focus on the second part of the definition, instead of the first part? Instead of focusing on confidence and trust, what if we focused on the person or thing that is the object of our confidence and trust? If we “get” God, we...

The Conflict

The Conflict

Sep 22, 2015

The Conflict Sermon series by Pastor Nathan Crandall Senior Pastor, Milton SDB Church, WI Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His power. 11 Put on God’s complete set of armor, so that you will be able to stand your ground against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against other people, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this spiritual darkness, and against malicious evil spirits in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up God’s complete set of armor, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13, Nate Crandall Adjusted Version) We are to reflect God’s image, but not just during times of peace and comfort. It must also happen during times of difficulty, during times of persecution and during times of intense struggle. In fact, we are not able to fully reflect God’s image until we have learned how to respond to our struggles in a spiritually mature manner. This is why the Lord allows us to go through trials. His purpose is to develop in us the character of Christ. As it says in James, “Consider it pure joy when you face all kinds of trials because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance and perseverance character…” When my sister and soon to be brother-in-law were dating they developed what they called “rules for fair fighting.” It was an acknowledgment that there would be conflict in their relationship and that they needed to resolve that conflict in a consistent, fair and God-honoring way. Likewise we must acknowledge that conflict is a part of this life and that the Lord has the tools we need to respond to conflict in a righteous or God-honoring way. You could think of them as “rules for fighting God’s way.” We live in a spiritual battlefield, but I think that the term “spiritual warfare” or “spiritual battle” can be a little misleading. That is because every conflict or struggle is spiritual in nature. Every playground fight or boardroom brawl is a spiritual battle. It is a spiritual battle because...