A Foster Home?

A Foster Home?

Nov 22, 2017

  by Katrina Goodrich Once upon a time, not too long ago, I became the member of a foster home for an adorable puppy. Fostering a puppy was not on any list I had or something I had been wanting. It was very much an unexpected event. Not necessarily an unwelcome one — even at 3 am when the poor little guy, who hadn’t slept a wink to this point, was barking and in distress for a reason I couldn’t fathom in my sleep-deprived state. My experience is not on par with those who choose to foster human children. However it has been interesting and has me thinking about foster homes, families, and kids. Technically speaking, Mary and Joseph were a foster family for Jesus. I realize the situation was a little bit different from every other fostering situation because Mary actually gave birth to Jesus. But if you take a moment to think about it, Jesus wasn’t biologically hers. Jesus was given to Mary and Joseph by God through the Holy Spirit, for a short period of time — to care for and nurture him until the time came that he could care for himself and begin his kingdom work. I’ve heard this idea of Jesus being a foster child before, but it had not really struck me what that meant until now. I believe that Mary and Joseph loved and cared for Jesus as though he were their natural-born son. I think Jesus knew that he did not ultimately belong to them. He must’ve had an idea of it by age 12 when he referred to the Temple as “his father’s house.” (Luke 2) Even if Jesus hadn’t been aware of who his father actually was up to this point, that still leaves 12 years, when as a child, he probably had heard about his less than ideal appearance on the earthly scene. I doubt that the people around Mary and Joseph understood much about immaculate conception — in that culture, conception out of wedlock was very looked down upon. Was Jesus ever alienated by his peers for his birth circumstance? There is no real way to know, but perhaps it makes...

What is God’s?

What is God’s?

Oct 25, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich Women’s Society         Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. — Mark12:17 Jesus has come to Jerusalem and is teaching after his palm-fronded entrance into the city. As he is walking into the temple, he is accosted by the Pharisees and then the Sadducees who are hoping to trap him into saying things that are blasphemous or seditious enough to get him arrested by the Romans and ultimately killed. So they ask him a question about paying taxes hoping he will be arrested — or at the very least turn public opinion against him. Jesus says pay your taxes — amazing everyone. But he also says give to God what is His. We can take this in the literal sense of tithing… however, I don’t believe that this statement boils down to just finance. God doesn’t ultimately want your money — He wants your heart. God wants you to love and obey Him. In this passage, Jesus takes a coin, holds it up, says this has the image of Caesar on it (the coins were made by Caesar). How much more then does your soul belong to God — after all we are created in his image (Genesis 1:27). God’s imprint is on our very souls, on who we are, and we have a higher calling as well. Pay taxes to Caesar but give God all that you are — your heart, soul, and mind. Jesus doesn’t say give Caesar your heart, soul, and mind. He doesn’t say give the government your heart, soul, and mind. He doesn’t say give your country your heart, soul, and mind. He says love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind just a few verses later in Mark 12:30 reiterating his words from earlier in the chapter to give to God what is his. We can safely give God our hearts because, well, He is God. He’s holy and good and will nurture and provide. It’s safe. Blind nationalism and patriotism is not safe. Government is an earthly creation and not pure and perfect. America is a country that may have been founded...

SCSC Team Fire

SCSC Team Fire

Sep 26, 2017

by Team Fire (The following are snippets from the exit testimonies of SCSC 2017 Team Fire) I originally did SCSC because my friends were doing it. There were four young adults from my church doing SCSC. So naturally, what do you do when all your friends leave you for the summer — you join them. I am so glad I did. Before leaving for training God was already working with me throughout my spring semester at college. This summer has been a real blessing. I am happy I was not disobedient when God told me I should participate in SCSC. He told me it was time to go further than just my home church. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey my first year of SCSC brought. From training, I learned to spend more time in reading God’s word. I also learned a lot about discipline, which really helped me to face challenges while on project. At training every emotional, physical and mental part of you is focused on God. At training, I continued to pray that God would bring me happiness and He’d light my fire for Him — every day I felt Him start to work. At first I wasn’t sure what to do, but I had a feeling that God was pushing me to ask this woman sitting next to me at the airport what was wrong. So I asked her if she was “ok.” She told me that a friend of hers had a heart attack and was in the hospital. She was afraid for his life and his family because he was the family’s foundation for faith. So I spoke with her about the power of prayer and prayed with her right there. This summer God was really trying to teach me to rely on His strength and focus on Him especially through listening and obeying. I felt Him grow in me even more while being on project. I found it a true blessing to be filled with so much love and be around God-loving people. Throughout the summer I felt this dark cloud dissipating. Through VBS, Bible studies, sermons and devotionals I have continued to feel God...

Robe of Achievement 2017

Robe of Achievement 2017

Aug 28, 2017

Janet Van Horn Thorngate by Karen Payne We are pleased to honor one of our very deserving women with the Robe of Achievement. Like many previous Robe recipients, our honoree is a deacon, wife, mother, (including foster mother), grandmother and great-grandmother. She is not only a wife, but a pastor’s wife and also a “preacher’s kid.” This being the case, her childhood and youth were spent in WV, NY, and AR. This year she was bestowed with the degree Doctor of Letters honoris cuasa by the Salem International University. The following is taken from the citation given her with her doctorate: Mrs. Janet Van Horn Thorngate graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in English and History, and then earned a Master of Arts in English Literature from West Virginia University. She obtained West Virginia’s secondary school teacher certification. She has spent much of her life as a teacher. She was an instructor in English at West Virginia University and Salem International University, as well as with Upward Bound at then Salem College. She worked as a technical librarian at several Educational Resources Information Center clearinghouses, and was a member of the ERIC National Steering Committee, 1976-1981. She has devoted much of her life to the Seventh Day Baptist Church, whose members were founders of Salem College in 1888 and whose continuing support over the past 129 years has been valuable to the university. She was librarian and archivist for the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Library. She continues to be an instructor in Church History for the Seventh Day Baptist School of Ministry. She is the editor of Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society publications. She has been President of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society since 2002. Her other literary endeavors include editorship of Seventh Day Baptist World, the newsletter of the SDB World Federation, of which her husband, Rev. Dr. Dale Thorngate, is President. She has been editor of Lead-Line, the leadership newsletter of the SDB General Conference, and editor and writer of a variety of church and organization newsletters, booklets, etc. Her extensive work in church history and her meticulous attention to detail in her research led to...

Life on Mission

Life on Mission

Jun 23, 2017

by Katrina Goodrich How do you live a Life on Mission? This is the question I’ve been contemplating throughout the year along with many others in response to our 2017 General Conference theme. I suspect that there are as many correct answers to this as there are people on the planet. Everyone’s life on mission looks just a little bit different in application — but the core of this missional life is sharing the love of Christ with the world (the Great Commission: Matthew 28:18-20). It’s easy to get stuck in the personal application of the Great Commission if your mind works the way mine does. When I’m thinking about what it means for me personally to live on mission I tend to think I have to find one big cause to dedicate my time to (like starving children in Africa). If you have that calling — that’s great! I don’t know where my “big” calling lies or if I even have one. Just thinking about it can be intimidating. That intimidation leads to avoidance, and so on. For the past year I’ve been focusing on simplifying the how portion of living life on mission to two things I can do every day regardless of where I am, who I’m interacting with, and what the big picture might be. 1. Smile “Attitude is like a cold — contagious. Make sure yours is worth catching.” This motivational poster or some variation of it has shown up in just about every elementary school I’ve ever stepped foot into — as well as countless other places — because attitude is important. Smiles, too, are contagious and an important foundation for attitude, yours and others’. Smiles can be used in a variety of ways to reassure, comfort, communicate worth, approve, and in general convey happiness. A simple smile can have a lot of power. I don’t think we need to walk around with a perpetual goofy grin on our faces but we can be intentional about gifting a smile to those whom we come in contact with. It may seem silly, but sometimes a simple smile is the only positive affirmation people may have that day. Next time...

Reflections of a Life on Mission: Warrior Princess Stephanie Sholtz

Reflections of a Life on Mission: Warrior Princess Stephanie Sholtz

Apr 25, 2017

By Jenni Wangsness Women’s Society President Stephanie — “Steph” — was not just my cousin or my VP for the Women’s Society. She was my closest friend. Her friendship and life inspire me, and so I’m sharing her story so that it may also inspire you.   Steph grew up on her family farm in Oneida, NY. She had a cheerful, fun personality from the beginning. However, her childhood was not exactly “easy.” Her health was limited by asthma and allergies from a young age, and she was hospitalized in an air tent before she ever went to school. It was here that she earned the nickname “Tougher Nutter,” her inner Warrior already showing through. She was a fierce competitor. Legend has it that she was banned from partnering with her grandfather at Pinochle when she was five years old. They were ruthless as a pair and no one wanted to play against them. She made the decision to follow Christ at a young age, but that didn’t mean life was suddenly rosy. Yet, she never lost her cheerful personality. She was very intelligent, so when life in her house was less than peaceful, she would often escape through books, school activities, or music. SCSC was an experience that God used to help Steph begin to see herself, not only as a warrior, but as a Princess — chosen and loved by her Father. She served in SCSC as a student for three years and went on to be a Project Director, host, and Training Staff member. As she experienced the love of her Father, she was able to see the people around her as our Father sees them. One of her unique gifts was teaching us to see ourselves the same way. I am blessed to have first-hand experience of this. This was the beginning of her mission. Steph was a Conference “Regular” — someone you expect to see every year. She viewed giving her talents and time to our Conference as part of her mission. Not only did she show up, but she was often an official delegate from a church and took business sessions seriously. Reference and Counsel was her favorite...