Time to Pray

Image by: @FLConf

From the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists:  As we continue to aid and support those affected by natural disasters, our hearts are grieving for all who were affected by the tragedy in Las Vegas. As a church, we call everyone to unite and pray for healing and comfort. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps 34:18.  Let us pray for one another.  

Statement from the North American Division in response to the recent Las Vegas Shooting: 

NAD Statement on Las Vegas, Nevada, Mass Shooting

Oct. 2, 2017, Columbia, Md.: The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is deeply saddened and troubled by the shooting that took place early in the morning on October 2, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, where 58 people lost their lives and more than 500 were injured. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those killed and to the hundreds of concert goers injured in this senseless shooting. We are keeping in prayer all the first responders and medical personnel helping the injured as they deal with the aftermath of this tragic event.
It is in times like these when Americans must band together. There is no race, gender, ethnicity, or religion in time of need. We are all God’s children and in need of compassion and His love. We ask that all people, no matter their faith, pray for healing for the heartbroken, the injured, and those mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Below is the response from Pastor Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference, where about 226,000 Adventist church members live in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. CLICK HERE to read this statement on Pacific Union’s website.

Pacific Union Conference President Responds to Las Vegas Shooting

Oct. 2, 2017, Westlake Village, Calif.: As a church, Seventh-day Adventists reject violence and we are appalled at the tragic loss of life last night in Las Vegas. We grieve with those who have lost family and friends, and add our voice in mourning and sorrow. We stand against anyone who causes death and injury, and are heartbroken for those who are suffering such pain and anguish.

The scriptures condemn those who use violence, saying that “those who love violence, he hates with a passion” (Ps. 11:5, NIV). He says very clearly, “Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right” (Eze. 45:9, NIV).

As believers, we are called to stand for what is good and true and right, and most of all to show the love of God in the way we live. We will help those affected in their suffering, and continue to pray for all those who mourn. Instead of returning evil, we stand with all those who wish to do good. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:17-21, NIV).

We believe that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18, NIV). May this be true for all those grieving and saddened at this time of loss.

— Ricardo Graham, D. Min, president, Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Post-Irma Prayer Meeting: Plantation Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Lord of Host 1280 x 1024

The apostle Paul writing of his high regard of corporate prayer wrote these words to the believers in Corinth – You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. {2 Corinthians  1:11 ESV}
Ellen White in speaking of corporate prayers penned these words – “If you yourselves will open the door to receive it, a great blessing will come to you. Angels of God will be in your assembly. You will feed upon the leaves of the tree of life” {7T 195.2}.
Let us come together in prayer tonight and raise our petitions before the throne of grace.  Here’s how it will work:
– Send in your prayer request by: DM on Twitter @PlantationSDA, Comment under Facebook Update, or Message in “Hurricane Irma Aftermath” WhatsApp Group – from now until 8pm tonight (Wednesday Sept. 13, 2017)
– Pray in your homes for the prayer request that come in from the group or groups that you can access from 8 – 8:30pm.
Tonight, let’s give Satan a headache and heaven a smile!

What you don’t know…

What you don’t know can hurt you which is bad enough but when it comes to school curriculum it can scar your children. 

Kelsey Harkness recently reported on the brewing situation at a public charter school in Minnesota. Charters are public schools often created and run by a board of a coalition of local parents and community leaders. Everyone who attends has to choose to do so rather than be assigned to attend automatically through geographic attendance zones, like most public schools. They usually provide a safe haven for families looking for a sound alternative to traditional schools, which are on average of lower academic quality because they do not have to compete for students.

Saint Paul’s Nova Classical Academy is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the top Minnesota high school. But it has been transformed into a rainbow Trojan horse after Dave and Hannah Edwards sued Nova for not including pro-transgender materials starting in kindergarten to accommodate their five-year-old son, whom they claim is transgender. Parents began transferring their kindergarteners out of the child’s class when they came home saying things like, “Mom, I think you can choose if you want to be a boy or a girl,” according to interviews with The Daily Signal.

The little boy began wearing a female uniform and accessories, and classes began to include pro-trans picture books endorsing gender fluidity. This month’s settlement after 16 months of litigation requires the school to make all uniforms available to both sexes, pay LGBT organizations to “train staff” in politically correct behavior every three years, and “not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of requirements in the gender inclusion policy because of objections based on religion or conscience.” This lawyer and Federalist contributor, after reviewing the settlement, said it appears to ban the school from even notifying parents of its sex policies.  – full article.

In a story shared on CBS NEWS on August 22 the prospect of scaring children left the realm of possibility and into reality as the sad story from a charter school was reported.

The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class.

“These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified,” said Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute.

The incident happened earlier this summer during the last few days of the academic school year.

At Monday night’s board meeting, the teacher at the center of the controversy spoke out. With emotions high, she addressed a packed house.

“I’m so proud of my students, it was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation,” she said.

The teacher defended her actions to read two children’s books about transgenderism including one titled “I am Jazz.” She says the books were given to her by a transgender child going through a transition.

“The kindergartners came home very confused, about whether or not you can pick your gender, whether or not they really were a boy or a girl,” said England.

Parents say besides the books, the transgender student at some point during class also changed clothes and was revealed as her true gender.

And many parents say they feel betrayed and blindsided. full article and video.

And what did the school board have to say in response to these scared students and betrayed parents?

The district says the books were age-appropriate and fell within their literature selection policy. Unlike sex education, the topics of gender identity don’t require prior parental notice.

In these two stories I observe a trend of overriding priorities that seem to be skewed toward the state and its agents in the education of our children above and in opposition to the parents of the children.  In the bible King Solomon the very embodiment of governmental authority, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit penned these words of instruction not to his agents but to parent…

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

If the government is allowed to take that role of primary trainer, which is who they become when we as parents; (1) give our children to them for the majority of the week, (2) have limited to no say in what they are taught, (3) are either not interested, lack energy, and time to find out what happens at school, then we should not be surprised when the path they take in adulthood deviates from our own, for they are following the path of their primary trainer.  

Noteworthy: 2017 – Week 29 – 33

Clippings from articles that I found noteworthy these past weeks:

What Twitter’s Reaction To Chris Pratt And Anna Faris’s Split Says About How We View Marriagefull article.

Seventh-day Gay Adventists Criticized by a Catholic Magazine. The Crisis Magazine, a Catholic publication, has called out the Seventh-day Gay Adventists documentary and its proponents for their lack of biblical fidelity. – full article.

Adventist Church Beginnings in Europe To Be a Video Series – “The Vision,” a 10 part docu-drama. – full article, first episode.

No tip for US waitress with LGBT tattoo.  “Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus! Bad tatoo [sic]” wrote the customer, instead of a tip, for Samantha Heaton, who bears rainbow-coloured equality bars on her arm, and has been serving at Buffalo Wild Wings for a year. – full article.

Adventist Church in North America responds to hate, violence in Charlottesville, Virginia Daniel Xisto, the pastor of the Charlottesville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Virginia, shared on Facebook in a commentary titled “I’m Not OK.” – full article.

Woman finds long-lost diamond ring on carrot in garden. A Canadian woman got an extra carrot with her diamond ring when it was found in her vegetable patch 13 years after she lost it.  – full article.

Sierra Leone mudslide: What, where and why?  On August 14 a mudslide killed hundreds on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown. Here is what we know. – full article.

Barack Obama breaks record for most Twitter likes.  Anti-racism social media message quoting Nelson Mandela picks up three million likes in three days. – full article.

The Theology Debate That’s Dividing Christian Hip-Hop.  A more complex beef than usual.  –  full article.

Finally, There’s A Name For The Generation Between Gen X And Millennials. I’m honestly not sure why it took the world so long to discover that people like me exist, or that we’ve long been miscategorized as members of Gen X. – full article.

The ‘Prophets’ and ‘Apostles’ Leading the Quiet Revolution in American Religion. A Christian movement characterized by multi-level marketing, Pentecostal signs and wonders, and post-millennial optimism.  – full article. j


Noteworthy: 2017 – Week 28

Clippings from articles that I found noteworthy this past week:

Thompson wins London 100m in trainers. Video of race below.  – full article.

Finally, There Is a $17,000 Fidget Spinner for the Discerning Fidget Spinner Aficionado. – full article.

Marco Rubio Hits Back after Politico Article Criticizes Him for Tweeting Bible Verses.  – full article.

Facebook’ Gated Boomtown Aims To Protect Wealthy Employees From Left’s Housing Policies. Facebook is building an exclusive company town for its employees, but it’s just responding to the incentives and obstacles local governments have created. – full article.

Tanzania and Uganda on fire with 117,000 baptisms. A major evangelistic thrust in Tanzania and Uganda has resulted in 117,000 baptisms, dramatically expanding a Seventh-day Adventist initiative to proclaim Jesus’ soon coming through Total Member Involvement evangelism.  – full article.

Will Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson actually run for president? ‘It’s a real possibility.’ It started off as a joke, then it became more serious. Now Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson says running for president in 2020 is “a real possibility.” – full article.

Psy’s “Gangnam Style” Loses Most-Watched YouTube Video Title. Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” featuring Charlie Puth, has taken over. – full article.

Amazon Prime Day: Consumers Win, Investors Really Win. The company’s “Black Friday in July” may seem like just another sale event, but it holds strategic importance and is a key driver of future growth.  – full article.

How Beyoncé’s Virgin Mary imagery challenges racist, religious and sexual stereotypes. Her re-appropriation of Virgin Mary iconography offers a biting critique.  – full article.

First object teleported to Earth’s orbit. Chinese researchers have teleported a photon from the Gobi desert to a satellite orbiting five hundred kilometers above the earth. – full article.

Oakwood University Choir Wins Choir of the World Title.  – full article.