Columns

Four Things Church Members Do ... That Would Get Them Fired at Work

August 31, 2016 / Seth Pierce

I debated on placing a lot of qualifications on this article. You know, things like, “just because you do this doesn’t make you a bad person” or “this may describe you, but Jesus still loves you” or “I know you have been hurt by someone, and I understand why you do what you do” — but I could spend the entire column qualifying and kill the whole exercise. So, with that in mind, I present to you four glorious, silly things people of sound mind and body do, while claiming church membership, that would get them sacked at work.

August 30, 2016

Dear fellow members:

The North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) was organized 110 years ago to help members and local conferences share our Adventist message in the Northwest. That mission still binds us together toward a common purpose in preparing others for our Lord's return.

Encounter Jesus, Experience Excellence

August 30, 2016 / Dennis Plubell

I have been to many Adventist academies in recent years for school evaluation visits. The highlight of every visit is a group interview with randomly selected students. We want to know what they, as the "primary customer," like about their school and what they think could be improved. Here is what I’ve heard:

  • “I like my school because it’s like a family.”

  • “Our school is not big, so we know everyone and we look out for each other.”

  • “At our school you can be involved in lots of activities.”

Circus of Grace

August 30, 2016 / Martin Weber

Rule No. 1 for law enforcement chaplains is to never interfere with an arrest. But one time I did. It was before I knew better, predating my volunteer ministry as a chaplain.

The year was 1983. While visiting my mother in Maryland, I took my kids — ages 5 and 6 at the time — to a pharmacy. A police car straddled the curb outside the store, lights flashing. As we walked inside, there was a man being arrested.

“Daddy! Is he going to jail?”

“It seems like he will.”

Now the kids really got excited. “What did he do?”

Why You Need Church More Than Internet

August 27, 2016 / Seth Pierce

People stay “in touch” with machines more than people. Of course someone will protest this point, reminding me that people stay in touch with people by touching their machines; but that only proves my point. Our relationships have becoming increasingly mediated by the “machine that sticks closer than a brother” — matter of fact, thanks to the machine, we keep in contact with our brother, or maybe even discovered we had a brother in the first place.

Providence

August 27, 2016 / Steve Vistaunet

Providence has often been a stumbling block for the human experience. Advent believers in the early 1840s saw God’s providence in Scripture preparing an escape from the trials of a wicked world.

What Good Is Diversity?

August 27, 2016 / Max Torkelsen

When the Apostle Paul described God’s church as a body with differing parts, but of equal value, I believe he was onto something we too often forget. Diversity doesn’t have to pull us apart. Instead, it can add color and new insights to both our corporate and individual perspectives.

Our North Pacific Union Conference office has experienced this firsthand. We’ve decided that one of our roles is to be an integral part of the communities we are in. One recent gathering brought state legislators from southwest Washington to our office for a community town hall meeting. 

Eight 'Secrets' to Health

July 09, 2016 / Martin Weber

During my first West Coast pastorate, my son came down with a stubborn rash. Perplexed, our family physician referred us to Sang Lee as as “the best allergist in Orange County.”

Lee’s tests identified the irritant: a eucalyptus bush in our yard. He suggested a particular diet for optimal health. I surveyed his list of recommended foods and smiled. “We already eat this way,” I told him. “Seventh-day Adventists have been doing so for more than a century.”

That's Grace

June 25, 2016 / Martin Weber

Out of breath and dripping with rain, I leaned on a back-alley dumpster as the man I just met in a bar aimed a heroin needle at his bulging vein. Just then a police SUV rolled around the corner and splashed to a stop before us. Wincing as the window rolled down, I braced for the interrogation. As a pastor and law enforcement chaplain, I had some radical explaining to do.

You might also be wondering how in the world I had landed in this situation. Some background might help.