Columns

95 Theses for Adventists

November 13, 2017 / Martin Weber

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses helped spark revival and reformation across Europe. We’ve seen a number of 21st-century counterpart declarations. Here’s a sampling of my own list:

Displaying God's True Colors

November 13, 2017 / John Freedman

Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. All the vibrant colors of the changing leaves declare the glory of our mighty Creator God. The leaves do not change because the trees are dying. The unique tilt of our spinning planet this time of year brings our northern hemisphere less of the sun’s energy, unleashing a chemical process that changes these colors. And that change brings great beauty.

God's Clean Plate Club

October 16, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

It is easy to hate. Almost enjoyable to look down my nose and remember your sins with disdain.

"However," God says, "my goal is not hatred, but love. Not memories of horror, but glimpses of pleasure."

God challenges me to treat even the poorest and most awful humans with respect, to “love my enemies” and to “turn the other cheek,” when whumped. He ignores the easy way and commands the impossible.

"However," God says, "my goal is not revenge, but love. Not memories of horror, but the pleasures of forgiveness."

Along Came a Spider, Part 2

October 14, 2017 / Seth Pierce

Well, after our bake sale break last month, it is time to pick up where we left off in discussing the proliferation of false teachers running around the world and how it is they continue to be successful even among the smartest believers.

No Goats in Heaven

October 09, 2017 / Dick Duerksen

I’m not sure what God has against goats, but it looks like they’ll be missing in the New Earth. Sheep make it, but no goats.

Jesus' own words are recorded in Matt. 25:31: “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another.”

Jesus told the “Sheep and Goats” parable to people who really wanted to get into heaven. They listened eagerly, taking careful notes on how to make it through the gates.

Breaking Bob: The $50,000 Bake Sale

October 08, 2017 / Seth Pierce

During my family vacation in California this summer, I received a text from my associate pastor informing me Bob, an outstanding long-time member of our church, wanted to have a bake sale the first day of school. Admittedly, I was reluctant, and, after some thought, I concurred with my team that we should look for a better day. This was not due to any philosophical issues with a bake sale. After all, who in their right mind is really going to object to the promotion and proliferation of pastries? It was simply a logistical difference.

Living God's Love

October 06, 2017 / John Freedman

Predicting what health care in America will look like as we move into the future is like trying to walk outside during a hurricane. The winds of debate are strong, outcomes often unpredictable. During last year alone, more than 100 hospitals around our nation experienced a major ownership transition. Church and community members in Walla Walla, Washington, have personally felt the pain and uncertainty associated with the closure of our Adventist hospital there.

Good News About Hell

October 02, 2017 / Martin Weber

What’s happening with the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Members worldwide are worried about this month’s Annual Council, where global representatives will debate what should happen to elected leaders and their constituencies who are “out of compliance” with church policy on women’s ordination.

Listen

September 26, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” — David Augsburger, Caring Enough to Hear and Be Heard

Jim and Jackie are a work in progress. One of the “love languages” dear to Jackie's heart is a partnership with active listening. When she feels heard, she feels loved. It took years for Jim to catch on. But he's figured out she is happiest when she can share her frustrations openly. And he is happiest when she is happy.

Along Came a Spider, Part 1

September 26, 2017 / Seth Pierce

Shortly after Angela, Madeline and I moved to Omaha, we experienced a season of horror in our new house. The otherwise pleasant parsonage housing our new little pastoral family took a turn for the worse one morning when I came down the basement stairs. A wolf spider the size of my hand sat there in the middle of the floor, staring at me with its multiple shiny orbs, waiting for me to make the first move.

“Honey!”

“Yes?”

“Take the baby outside.”

"Why?”

“I need to burn the house down.”