Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
How to be More Like Jesus
The Implausible Prayer
SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
“How To Be More Like Jesus: The Implausible Prayer”
□ The Prayer
- Ephesians 3:14-19
The Creator and King, who rules over a galaxies and a stars
across billion light years (and has all the stars—Psalm 147:4), wants
to in .
- The implausible prayer: “That Christ may in your by faith.”
“May your become His .”
Jesus: “We [the Father and I] will come to you and make Our with you.”
Desire of Ages: “The contemplation of the of God will stir the heart and arouse the
powers of the soul as nothing else can.” (478)
□ The Product
Frederick Buechner: “In my books, and sometimes even in real life, I have it in me at my best to
be a saint to other people, and by saint I mean life-giver, someone who is able to bear to others something of the Holy Spirit. . . . Sometimes, by the grace of God, I have it in me to be to other people. And so, of course, have we all—the life-giving, life-saving, and healing power to be saints, to be , maybe at rare moments even to ourselves.” (The Longing for Home 28)
- When Christ dwells within us, He spreads Himself us.
Stuart Devenish: “Every Christian generation has produced two kinds of Christians: the
common, ordinary garden variety, and those who have discovered the deeper life. . . . [a life that] reflects a deep experience of Christ-likeness” (quoted in Beyond Well-Being: Spirituality and Human Flourishing 58).
- The grand goal of the everlasting gospel!
- “Be like Jesus, this my song, in the home and in the throng . . .”
NB: This is a collective invitation.
- “That Christ may dwell in your hearts [plural] by faith.”
- The GROW Group experience: “. . . together with all the Lord’s holy people” (v 18)
F. F. Bruce: “. . . it is Paul who gives distinctive expression to the idea of all believers,
whatever their race or social status, united in a life as fellow-members of the body. . . . [T]he prime function of the indwelling Spirit in the believing community, as in the individual believer, is for Paul the reproduction of the Christ-likeness in his people, until the whole body corporate attains ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:13).” (Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free 210, 211)
- Join a GROW Group now @ http://www.pmchurch.org/article/563/grow-groups/signup
John Gilbert—“If Jesus Came to Your House”
I want to be more like Jesus
I’m following in His ways
I’m trying to love as He did
In all that I do and say
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers:
“Love one another as Jesus loves you
Try to show kindness in all that you do Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought
For these are the things Jesus taught.”
- Frederick Buechner: “In my books, and sometimes even in real life, I have it in me at my best to
I’m trying to love my neighbor
I’m learning to serve my friends
I watch for the day of gladness When Jesus will come again
I try to remember the lessons He taught
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts saying:
—adapted from Janice Kapp Perry
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.