Columns

Four Unlikely Mothers at Christmas

November 30, 2017 / Martin Weber

The unlikely cast of supporting characters surrounding the birth of Jesus is beyond belief, from this world’s perspective. Sleepless shepherds, pagans on a quest following a star through the desert, a homicidal king threatened by heaven’s baby. At the heart of the Christmas story is a young woman, the virgin mother. Equally unlikely are the four mothers God chose to showcase in the family tree of Jesus.

Our Transcendent Brains

November 30, 2017 / Seth Pierce

Change is a dirty word for a lot of people — until they get stuck. Sometimes when we get stuck along the way in life, the time we spend in that stuck place can make us wonder if anything can get better. Recently I came across something that gave me hope for those times when the structure of my life feels more like a prison than a playground.

Story

November 30, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

Above and beyond all the warm and winsome myths of Christmas is the divine story of redemption, a Word that became flesh and dwelt among us for an eternal purpose.

I was raised on stories. Aside from daily infusions of other essential nutrients like green beans and potatoes and homemade bread, tales of miracles and missionary adventures found fertile soil in my young imagination.

#ButNow

November 30, 2017 / Karen Pearson

Social media feeds across the country recently blew up with countless #metoo postings. While many came from A-list celebrities, did you notice how many seemed to be posted by friends, colleagues and family members?

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.