The Beacon

The Beacon

Sep 26, 2017

by Xander Post SDB Church of Shiloh, NJ I’ve learned a lot over the summer. One of those things was to have patience. I know to stop and listen to what God wants to tell me, but it’s hard sometimes.I get caught up in my own agenda. I can be selfish, rude, and close-minded, but God reminds me to be kind, generous, and empathetic. I read Galatians 5: 22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” So love your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your enemies since God loves them as well....

Youth-Con

  by Amanda Langley Youth conference/Youth-Con is very new and we, along with the Christian Education Council, are still figuring out the best way to facilitate the program. Despite this, the amazing staff helped to make every moment profitable. Benny Uhlich, Daniel Lovelace, Jennifer Hughes, Haywood Floyd, and Bill Shobe, accompanied Kory Langley and me (Amanda Langley) in this adventure. We led the youth through a more relaxed but still somehow packed schedule this summer. There were Bible studies lead by all of the staff on our theme of Devotion. The theme came from Acts 2:42. Haywood led us in worship music that drew some of the college staff to worship with us occasionally. Alan Briggs came to talk with the youth about being dedicated in their life on mission. We played a lot of games inside and outside in the lovely California air. Some of the most powerful moments we had this year were in our small groups. A staff member or two would lead a group of about five youth in discussion and collaboration. For evening activities we were able to have a movie night, game night, youth vs pastors basketball game (which the pastors won), coffee house, and a spirited game of capture the flag. Pictures were graciously taken by Madge Chroniger and Peter Osborn of the youth banquet, afternoon of games, capture the flag, and Sabbath worship. This year would not have been a success if it weren’t for the wonderful group of youth that was up for anything and brought laughter to every situation. Here are some things that they would like to say about Youth-Con. “My first year of Youth-Con was definitely a life changing experience. I learned a lot about how I need to live my life as a follower of Christ.” — Niesy Scott, Texarkana SDB Church “During youth-con I learned to be devoted to God. I learned that to be devoted I need to pray and read my Bible, and learn to listen to God. To be devoted I need to trust God and lean on Him. I am glad that I got the chance to go to Youth-Con and learn more about being devoted...

Christ is not to be kept a secret from anyone!

by Madge Chroniger Alfred Station SDB Church, NY I never knew that the reality of leaving high school would hit me as hard as it did. I remember the exact day when I finally realized it would all be over. As cheesy as it sounds, it was right after my last band rehearsal, the day of the last concert. I walked out of the band room full of such sorrow. As tears filled my eyes I knew I was leaving the few things that had made up my life for the past eight years — my friends, my family, my music community, my church — all of it gone. The actuality of starting a new life in a new place with new people and no family or friends on campus was a huge reality shock that terrified me. It seemed as if everything I had been working for was all going to be gone. At that point I felt like I wasn’t ready for this new step in my life. I was ready to tell my parents I wasn’t going to college because I had become so nervous about what was out there in this new chapter. I wasn’t ready to take on all of the chaos the world was ready to throw at me by myself. But little did I know that God had been preparing me for this day for a while. As I looked back on how I was raised, I knew I was ready to conquer whatever the world hurled at me to diminish my beliefs. Since I started school at Alfred Almond in 5th grade, even up to end of the senior year, I have always struggled to stand up for what I believe in. The biggest part of my faith battle in high school has been the many explanations of being a Sabbatarian. Explaining why I couldn’t go to that party on Friday night or that sporting event Saturday morning was difficult because most of the kids in my school didn’t know how to wrap their heads around the concept. At first when I was explaining, it was something my parents wouldn’t let me do — that it...

Are you in the life-saving business??

Are you in the life-saving business??

Apr 25, 2017

by Arianna Stover Verona SDB Church, NY   Friends and family are important to me, so I think that it is important to share my faith with them. I have had many moments when I shared my faith with my friends. One of those moments was with my friend Teagan. I thought that I should share my faith about God with her because she is very important to me. I would love for her to know more about Jesus and that she can only get to Heaven by asking Him into her heart and asking for forgiveness. So I have always had mini conversations with her about God. One day we went to a concert where a Christian artist talked and sang. Carmen (who was the artist) called people to the front of the room if they felt comfortable and ready to ask Jesus into their hearts. So I explained to her what he was talking about in more detail so that she could understand better. She decided that she was ready and wanted to ask Jesus into her heart as her Lord and Savior. I brought her up front to say the prayer with other people who were praying. I was so proud of her that I almost cried. It was such a happy moment for her and me. I was also proud of myself because I helped her realize that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and loves us so much. Now she wants to go to church on some Sabbaths when she can. Another moment in my life when I shared my faith was to a friend named Morgan. My friends and I were at lunch on one of the first days of school and we started talking about God. We were talking about how God sent His one and only Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. We explained to her that the only way to get to Heaven was to ask Jesus into our hearts and ask for forgiveness. She didn’t know that and wanted us to tell her more about it. She asked us a few questions like: “Are you able to get...

Self-Worth

Self-Worth

Mar 23, 2017

by Emily France Anchor Christian Church, Anchor, NY Self-Worth Self-worth is defined as “the sense of one’s own value or worth as a person.” Not to get this confused with self-esteem. Self-esteem is based on measurements of external actions rather than based on one’s worth as a person. Everyone has a different sense of self-worth. Many people value themselves highly, and others, not so much. All my life, I’ve struggled with not feeling “worth it.” I’ve never been the girl that guys like or desire. I’ve always been too loud, or not curvy enough, or not pretty enough. I remember lying awake every night hating myself because I knew I could never live up to the standard of the “perfect woman.” Because of my insecurities, I was depressed at age 9 and only began to “cure” my depression at age 14. During my depression, I would feed into the lies that the enemy would tell me: “You’re repulsive. You mean nothing to your family or your ‘friends’. Why are you continuing to live? You’re just taking up space. You’re worthless.” I believed all of it for almost six years. I would cry myself to sleep every night, begging God to kill me in my sleep. There’s nothing pretty about that. Suicide shouldn’t be romanticized (but that’s a topic for a different day). I attempted suicide twice: once when I was 12 ,and then when I was 14. I felt that God couldn’t use me because I had ruined the body He gave me. I self-harmed from age 9 to age 15. It was a daily task that I was addicted to. All of this was because I had believed lies. I truly believed that I was worthless — but in fact, I wasn’t and I’m not. Regardless of all my mistakes, doubts, and fears, God still loved me. He called me daughter. I had never felt that kind of love until I felt God’s presence at three in the morning in my bathtub, while I was bleeding the hatred I had for myself out of my body in crimson ribbons. It took hitting rock bottom for me to realize that my worth doesn’t come...

Searching

By Katy Elliott Alfred Station SDB Church A remarkable trait among humans across the globe is a searching, curious nature. While the questions they ask vary as greatly as the people who ask them, there is always one common question that haunts every individual: “Why are we here?…What is the purpose of life?” Sadly, there are many who go through their entire lives searching and never finding the answer because of where they tried to find it. There are people who think that the purpose of life is to find your own purpose — to find whatever makes you happy and do that for as long as you can. They think they will find the answer if they just look into themselves deep enough. However, the problem with this idea is that people are rarely satisfied, and they will never find the answer inside themselves. You never find the instructions to a device inside the machine itself; you have to consult with the inventor. So when circumstances go awry (as they often do) this sense of purpose dissipates. Some people look for meaning in things. They think that the meaning of life is to be wealthy and successful and to have everything that they could ever want. They think that this will bring them satisfaction or happiness. I have seen bumper stickers that say things like “He who dies with the most toys wins.” This is a tragic philosophy to uphold because it will always end in emptiness — and so far away from the reason why we are here. I have always wondered, what do they think they will “win”? What sort of good comes out of focusing all of your energy on obtaining things that you can’t keep? Jim Elliot once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” These words are very true, but how many people have this idea backwards? They give what they cannot lose (their eternity in heaven) to gain what they cannot keep (possessions). So many people waste their entire lives collecting things that they won’t be able to take with them when they die. Every person on...