Discipling

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

“In the command to disciple, teach and baptize we find that there is a relational component to evangelism (discipling), intentional instruction in righteousness (teaching), and that the end result is to bring them to the water to be baptized and join God’s church. There is no preference towards discipling, no high calling in teaching, and no blessing in baptism alone—each of these elements is important, necessary and inextricably linked. The church that goes about discipling without any intention of teaching clear doctrine, does not fulfill this command. The same is true for the church that only baptizes or the church whose whole focus is doctrinal teaching. In fact, you can’t even say you’re obeying this command if you do two of these three.”

Guest Article Excerpt from Jason Wolf – Director, Northwest Mission Institute.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

CommUnity Chapel at Walla Wall University

Synopsis taken from Spectrum Magazine article entitled, Walla Walla University Responds Directly To Racist Image Imbroglio

“Why should we learn about [blackface] and learn to avoid it like the plague?” McVay asked rhetorically. He provided an abridged history of blackface and its use by whites “to depict African-Americans through their own perceptions rather than allowing African Americans a sense of autonomy and self determination,” not to mention the cruelly demeaning stereotypes blackface generally included.

McVay used the biblical story of the Apostle Paul as an example of a figure who worked with theological motivations to eradicate cultural and racial barriers. He used the text of Ephesians to suggest four points: 1. All people are by nature racists and egomaniacs. 2. The races are already reconciled. 3. God has a strategic plan for the cosmos to unite all things in Jesus. 4. We [believers] have an important part to play in God’s plan.

Noting the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s emergence “within the crucible of the American Civil War,” McVay asserted that the denomination has “moral and theological commitments that reflect its origins.” Many denominational founders were ardent abolitionists, he said.

Bringing the Adventist story home to the current situation, McVay asked whether the prophetic spirit of the early Adventist pioneers could be “as strong today on the campus of Walla Walla University as it was back then.”

Using the analogy of a lingering knee issue for which McVay had been attending physical therapy, he made his closing point: “Healing takes extended time and dedicated effort.”

Changing Walla Walla University’s “deep culture,” McVay told the assembly, will take sustained effort and conversation.