As We Wait

Their duty in Galilee was to wait for the Saviour, not to return to the old life; but they went a-fishing in their own wisdom, and caught nothing. They went back from the exalted mission of being fishers of men to fishers of fish. They turned from the service of Christ to the service of self. And the service of self proved, as it always proves, fruitless. The great two-fold lesson of the narrative is that apart from Christ man can do nothing, and following Christ’s command always brings success. Fishing themselves for themselves, there was no success; fishing in the same sea, by the same boat, in the same place, at the command of Christ, there was success. Oh, that the servants of God would but heed the Master’s teaching, simple and unreasonable though it seems!  – Milton C. Wilcox – Signs of the Times

Close Beside Us

Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury.  At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. – Luke 16:19-20. 

There are today close beside us many who are hungry, naked, and homeless. A neglect to impart of our means to these needy, suffering ones places upon us a burden of guilt which we shall one day fear to meet. All covetousness is condemned as idolatry. All selfish indulgence is an offense in God’s sight. – COL 261.3.

Have you used of your means to ease the burden of someone who is less fortunate than yourself? Have you extended the grace that has been extended to you? Open your heart and let the Holy Spirit lead you to someone who is “at your gate”, or “close beside you.” 

Nature Speaks

Soft and low a voice is calling,

Bids me leave my toil and care,

On my ear the accents falling

Glad and free I hasten there.

‘Tis the voice of nature pleading

Sweet, like music in the air;

And ’tis God’s great hand that’s leading

Me to seek and find Him there.

Little birds to me are singing

Of a God who’s over all;

Merrily their flight are winging,

Knowing He’ll not let them fall.

Little flowers to me are speaking

Of a God who’s always true;

Nature, as a whole, is seeking

To impart me life anew.

Oh! that I might heed her teaching,

Be more trustful every day ;

List the sermons she is preaching

Pointing to the heavenward way.

Day by day from her I’m learning,

Walking paths that Jesus trod,

Till at last my heart is turning

Upward, to sweet nature’s God.

                       —Esther Fiedler.

New Worlds to Conquer in the New Year

“No more worlds to conquer”—and great Alexander wept.

How blind he had become because his moral senses slept!

 His narrow world of selfishness is all that he had seen;

The vast world of the spirit was, to him,unknown, unseen.

 —————————————————————————-

Those rich realms of the spirit hold new worlds to conquer still.

 What exploits now await the men of vision and of will,

What great discoveries will be made, what victories will be gained,

What treasures of contentment and of peace will be attained!

 —————————————————————————-

If we beat back the barriers of ignorance and doubt,

And triumph o’er the enemies of peace within, without;

If we push back the wilderness of want and human need,

Then we can take our places with the pioneers, indeed.

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Come, let’s fell the savage forest of fear and hate and strife,

And open up new highways to a better way of life.

Let’s level mountains of our pride that shut men from our view,

And bridge the yawning chasms of misunderstanding, too.

 —————————————————————————-

There ARE new worlds to conquer—let us cross each new frontier.

May God help us accept the challenge of this great new year. 

Poem by Adlai A. Esteb

Consider the words of this poem from the Australian Record and Advent World Survey – January 1, 1962

Questions for Consideration:

  • In 323 BC, at age 32, Alexander the great conquered the then-know world, and yet, by most accounts, drank himself to death.
    • What areas of great victory can I  celebrate from this past year?
    • What new enemies – unknown, unseen – must I  face in the new year?   
  • If we beat back the barriers of ignorance and doubt, And triumph o’er the enemies of peace within, without;
    • What is a new thing I can learn, a question that I choose to answer in 2019?
    • Where in my life do the “enemies of peace” run rampant and will I confront them?
  • Let’s level mountains of our pride that shut men from our view, And bridge the yawning chasms of misunderstanding, too.  
    • Who have I shut out behind my “mountain of pride” or separated myself from across the “chasms of misunderstanding”, and how can I restore that relationship?

Scriptural Reflection:

My son told me a joke recently.  He said, Daddy, what goes up and never comes down? I did not know the answer, so I asked him to tell me the answer to his riddle, and he shared simply our AGE.  Paul encourages us that though we can’t get younger on the outside we can renew the inner man every single day.  Don’t fall for the trap of outward transformation alone – what Jesus termed – white-washed tombs [ Matthew 23:27] but seek also to renew the inner man as well.  After all “A character formed according to the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the next.” – Maranatha

Noteworthy :: 2018 – Week 52

With Tears, Megachurch Pastor Defends $200K Lamborghini Gift to Wife

The new pastor of a South Carolina megachurch gave his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini SUV for their eighth anniversary five days ago, and he’s been getting heat on social media for it ever since.

U.K. Students to Learn that Boys Have Periods, Too

Students in one United Kingdom city now will be taught that boys have periods, too, as part of new curriculum recommendations approved by the city council.

Muslim Democrat Mocks Mike Pence’s Christian Faith

A Minnesota Muslim Democrat Congresswoman took to social media Tuesday to mock Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith.

Chance the Rapper Is Kicking Smoking After Embracing Bible Reading

Exceprt from the article:

“I’m going away to learn the Word of God which I am admittedly very unfamiliar with. I’ve been brought up by my family to know Christ but I haven’t taken it upon myself to really just take a couple days and read my bible. we all quote scripture and tell each other what God likes and doesn’t like but how much time do we spend as followers of Jesus to really just read and KNOW his Word. I’m definitely guilty of not devoting time to it … So don’t bother me, ill be back soon enough, with five or more books from bible read. Oh yeah and cigarette free.”


First Step Act recognizes that prisoners, too, are made in God’s image

The current rules and treatment of prisoners in the federal justice system are an affront to the dignity of men and women made in the image of God.

Harry Anderson Painting at the Center of Film Controversy

Harry Anderson’s original work
Recent remake

A new petition is calling for the pulling of a Deadpool movie poster that depicts the antihero as Jesus Christ.

Miss Universe Has Its First Trans Contestant — While Miss USA Stirs Criticism

A transgender Miss Universe contestant puts the contradictions of progressive feminism into sharp relief.

La Sierra University film student’s PBS, NAD projects aim for positive impact

Michelle Noland, a senior La Sierra University Film and Television Production major, recently launched into the world of professional storytelling where she is using her talents to impact others’ lives. PBS affiliate KQED inked a distribution deal with Noland in August for inclusion of her award-winning short film “She Isn’t Here” in the nationwide series, “Film School Shorts.” The film, which is expected to be released in April 2019, explores the anxiety disorder agoraphobia.

Ellen G. White and Intermittent Fasting

Our plain food, eaten twice a day, is enjoyed with a keen relish. We have no meat, cake, or any rich food upon our table. We use no lard, but in its place, milk, cream, and some butter. We have our food prepared with but little salt, and have dispensed with spices of all kinds. We breakfast at seven, and take our dinner at oneI have within eight months lost twenty-five pound of flesh. I am better without it. I have more strength than I have realized for years. – Ellen G. White, Spiritual Gifts, 1864, Vol. 4, p. 154.

The World’s First Christian Airline Is Coming, and It Won’t Charge Missionaries for Luggage Fees


Click for Video  

Suspensions Are Down In U.S. Schools But Large Racial Gaps Remain

Still, they documented some heartening changes between 2012 and 2016.

  • The proportion of all students suspended from school at least once during the year fell from 5.6 percent to 4.7 percent.
  • Among high school students, the percentage suspended fell even more, from 9.6 to 7.6 percent.
  • Suspension rates fell around the country, in each of the biggest-population states. Only one state, Mississippi, saw a persistent increase year by year.
  • Hispanic students experienced the largest decrease –a 30 percent drop in suspensions.
  • Suspension rates fell faster for those most often suspended — Black students and students with a disability.

But, on the flip side:

  • Black high school students are still twice as likely (12.8 percent) to be suspended as white (6.1 percent) or Hispanic (6.3 percent) high school students.
  • And students with a disability are also twice as likely (12.8 percent) to be suspended as those without a disability (6.9 percent).

Uproar as Adventist University in Uganda Bans Miniskirts, Pants, Lipstick and Nail Polish

A recent tightening of the dress code at an Adventist University in Uganda has caused an uproar on social media. Bugema University has banned women from wearing pants, sleeveless tops, miniskirts, lipstick, earrings and nail polish next semester. “No student should come back with the above mentioned next semester.

Sorrel: The Ruby-Red Caribbean Christmas Drink Flavored With Black History

This festive punch, made from hibiscus, is the taste of the holidays throughout the islands. It is also a close cousin to African-American “red drink,” described as “liquid soul.”

Beware of ‘Selfie Wrist,’ Which Is Apparently an Actual Thing

A 2018 study discovered that over the past six years, around 259 deaths had been associated with taking a selfie!

North American Division Responds to False Claim | North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Full Statement here

Noteworthy :: 2018 – Week 50

Adventist 12-year-old Earns Top-five Spot in Top Chef Junior Contest.

Atlanta resident Londyn Green, now 12 years old, is in the top five in the contest for Top Chef Junior. As a Seventh-day Adventist, she does not eat shellfish or pork. If she cooks those types of dishes, she has others taste it. Her dad Byron Green, a recruiter, went to culinary school. He encouraged her love of cooking. She has already interned at Buckhead Life restaurants, especially Amelie’s French bakery. “I have the ability to make fusion dishes,” she said. “They’re very intricate and amazing!” She could win $50,000 if she makes it to the end. Click for – Full Article

Two Adventists Charged in Separate Sexual Assaults with Minor Girls.

Derek Michael Boyce, 37, of Woolwich faces 26 counts in all, and court records say he admitted having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl who was in his math class at Pine Tree Academy.  Click for – Full Article

Daniel Houston Shafer, a 76-year-old Virginia pastor, has been jailed pending prosecution on a Harrison County charge alleging he molested a girl. Shafer is accused of inappropriate touching of a girl under 12 earlier this year in Harrison County. Click for – Full Article

Microsoft’s Brad Smith says other tech companies need to get behind a facial recognition law, too

Michael Posner, a business ethics professor at New York University, says in recent years there’s been “a souring and a loss of trust writ large,” in the American public’s attitudes toward Big Tech. This represents an effort to address that gap in trust and begin to demonstrate what technology companies need to do to be responsible public citizens.”

Here are a few key things Microsoft wants to see in a facial recognition law:

  • Law enforcement surveillance of people in public spaces should be limited, and usedonly if a court order has been obtained. Exceptions should be considered for emergencies that could result in death. 
  • People should review the results of facial recognition in high-stakes scenarios, such as when it could harm a person or restrict their movements.
  • Companies using facial recognition should still have to comply with antidiscrimination laws. 
  • Companies should be required to be transparent about the limitations and capabilities of facial recognition technology. 

The Trump administration is giving schools more flexibility in the meals they serve. Critics say the rollback on school lunch rules is bad for kids’ health. 

NF is back in his lane of talking about deep-seated pain in his single “If You Want Love” off the album Perception. 

The music video is currently one of the highest-trending on YouTube.

‘Revival!’ brings mostly black cast to movie depiction of Gospel of John

For creator Harry Lennix, the new movie “Revival!” — a retelling of the Gospel of John with a mostly black cast — is a film whose time has come.

Neither John nor the other gospel writers describe Jesus’ skin color, but Lennix, in an interview just after the film’s world premiere Tuesday (Dec. 4) at the Museum of the Bible, said depicting him as a man of color is something black people often “don’t have the daring to delve into, and that’s a shame.”

General Conference Creates Adventist “Brand Promise”

“We can help you understand the Bible to find freedom, healing and hope in Jesus.” The Adventist Promise sets a clear expectation of what the worldwide public can expect from all Adventist entities and members. 

The Adventist Promise aims to deliver a clear message about what the movement stands for, and seeks to leave a lasting impression on people in the 21st century. 

The Upper Columbia Conference Executive Committee voted an official position on the World Church Affirmation Sabbath

“We do not have time for false alarms that divide our members” said Elder Minner Labrador, Jr., Upper Columbia Conference president. “The true emergency we face as a church is our low growth rate. We have a vital work to do both in sharing the gospel and in seeking to bring back our missing members.”

A document outlining the conference position on the WCAS and its activities was shared with pastors and church leaders across the conference. It is available here.