Columns

Pathways

May 20, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

Long, long ago, and not so far away, I learned a memorable lesson from the joys and sorrows of Northwest berries.

My uncle and aunt lived on an Oregon farm surrounded by tangled blackberry bushes. Around the perimeter of their property, the berries were easy picking. After a few days, however, the immediate gratification of that bounty became harder to find. Deeper into the thorny thicket, I could spy larger, more luscious beauties. But, how to reach them was the question.

Little Sparrows

May 12, 2016 / Seth Pierce

In two weeks, 6-year-old Noah Alexander Russell accomplished more for the kingdom of God than most people who live to be 100. For my wife and I, the story began with texts and calls in the wee hours of a Monday morning. The messages let us know that Noah, who was thought to have a concussion, was rushed to the hospital with what actually turned out to be a pediatric stroke. Two weeks later, Noah passed away.

A Fresh Focus on Creation

May 12, 2016 / Max Torkelsen

If you take the words of Scripture as they read, without clever interpretations or complicated hermeneutics, it is pretty easy to understand what they say about the origins of life on Planet Earth. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth … for he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6, 9).

Grace

April 23, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

"God spreads grace like a 4-year-old spreads peanut butter — He gets it all over everything." Mark Lowry

It didn’t come naturally to him. It never had. The gray matter of teamwork was too sluggish for his black-and-white world.

The proverbial bull in a china shop, Peter had a questionable resume for a church leader. Inappropriate interference with supernatural events — check. Getting an earful because of wild sword play — check. Sleeping during prayer — check. And those weren’t the worst things on the list. How about betrayal?

A SWOT Analysis from Jesus

April 22, 2016 / Martin Weber

A time-tested evaluation tool for corporations and other secular institutions is the SWOT analysis. It summarizes significant strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to that organization.

Corporations hire consultants to conduct a SWOT analysis of their operation. But some organizations have no interest in a searching and fearless inventory. Perhaps their leaders are too careless, ignorant, insecure or arrogant to care about the corporate good.

In Review

February 13, 2016

About the Author

Jennifer Jill Schwirzer has authored or co-authored 10 books and has published many articles that have featured in several magazines, including the Adventist Review and Liberty. She is an accomplished musician and over the last 30 years has recorded more than 150 original songs. Schwirzer holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and has her own counseling practice. She is a frequent speaker at camp meetings and women’s ministries retreats.

Missionary

February 13, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

An old story tells of a lighthouse overlooking the foggy Atlantic. This lighthouse had a gun that sounded a warning every hour. The keeper who tended the beacon kept enough shells in the gun so it would keep firing. After decades, he could sleep right through the now-routine blasts.

Then the inevitable happened. He forgot to load extra shells, and, in the dead of night, the gun did not fire. The rare silence awoke the keeper who leaped from bed shouting, "What was that?!"

Progress

February 13, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

“If I am voted in as pastor of this church,” said the prospective pastor to the search committee, “I will work hard to bring us into the 20th century.”

A rather astute soul spoke up, “Preacher, don't you mean the 21st century?”

“Well, no,” quipped the pastor. “Given what I’ve seen here, let's take it one century at a time!”

The End of the Story, Part III

February 06, 2016 / Seth Pierce

As a child of the 80s I saw a lot of weird things — I mean really strange. Hair took unnatural shapes, music was doused in synthesizers, and fashion that seemed like a good idea at the time now hides in photo albums that one hopes never sees the light of social media. One of the novelties of the era I was subjected to came in the form of a film entitled The NeverEnding Story.

Adventists: Sheep or Goats?

January 30, 2016 / Martin Weber

Seventh-day Adventism parachuted onto the public square through the presidential campaign of Benjamin Carson. But in connecting with his political constituency, Carson felt it necessary to downplay his denominational identity.