Our First Work

December 28, 2017 / John Freedman

“Happy New Year” greetings bring all sorts of thoughts. Out with the old and in with the new. An opportunity for new beginnings, new habits, new choices, new resolutions to be better people. All of that is good until we realize our promises and resolutions are often no more substantial than the proverbial ropes of sand. With our human propensity toward evil, we are in bondage to a power we cannot break on our own. Scripture alone reveals the remedy for our condition. Our only hope is Jesus Christ — crucified, risen and returning soon.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Be Courageous

July 27, 2017 / John Freedman

Uber, a ride-share company based in San Francisco, Calif., made the headlines recently because of allegations of systemic sexual harassment and gender bias. A study revealed a company culture that accepted bad behavior as normal and regularly dismissed complaints from employees about those issues.

Since the allegations went public, more than 20 employees have been let go. Even the CEO has stepped down. They discovered too late the old adage, “We have found the enemy, and it is us.”

Moving Forward Together

July 11, 2017 / John Freedman

When I was a newly baptized Seventh-day Adventist young adult, I had family and friends who were not in the church. The Holy Spirit had poured the love of Christ into my heart, and my first impulse was to share with each of them the eternal good news I had found.

Traffic

July 11, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

I will drive miles out of my way to avoid stop-and-go traffic. Life is too short, I reason, to spend valuable moments gazing up someone’s tailpipe. It’s exhausting.

But sometimes this blessed journey we call church can feel like bumper-to-bumper traffic. This is how the wheels turn in our representative process. Papers are written, committees are formed, motions are made, programs are launched. We lay claim to new horizons an inch at a time.

Hope Springs Eternal

May 23, 2017 / John Freedman

I never tire of experiencing life-changing, Holy Spirit-inspired miracles. And miracles are what I witnessed as Shawn Boonstra, Voice of Prophecy speaker and director, presented Jesus Speaks Peace recently at the Washington State Fairgrounds. God moved powerfully during these meetings. Several hundred good interests responded positively, undergirded by many volunteer prayer partners. During the short time I was there, I watched three joyful baptisms.

Blemishes

March 29, 2017 / Steve Vistaunet

For years now, mirrors have been telling my story with increasing honesty. The supple skin of yesteryear is rapidly developing the patina of age.

This patina is not the graceful kind. There’s no hint at the artful brush strokes of a Rubens or Rembrandt. Blemishes once faint are now promenading in bold relief. They confirm the prophetic word of those old black-and-white Reader’s Digest ads, which bemoaned “Those Horrid Age Spots.” Big deal, I thought as a kid. Yet now prophecy has been fulfilled. My decades-old skin proves it. And, frankly, I suppose it is no big deal.

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