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!
The Ogre by the Manger
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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.
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RxF4Now—The Ogre by the Manger
- Eastern Tennessee State University research published in the American Journal of Public Health (reported in Los Angeles Times 11-18-16)
- American Journal of Public Health (reported in Los Angeles Times 11-18-16)
- The median household income in the poorest “state” was $ —while in the richest “state” it was $ .
- The average number of people per county in the poorest “state” was about —compared with about in the richest “state.”
- Although the poorest “state” had a much smaller population, the ratio of people to primary care doctors was that of the richest “state.”
- Smoking prevalence was as high in the poorest “state,” and the prevalence of obesity was % higher.
- Life expectancy for women in the poorest “state” was years, compared to years in the richest “state.” For men, life expectancy in the poorest “state” was years and in the richest “state.”
- The proportion of the population that was African American was times higher in the poorest “state” than in the richest one.
- In the richest “state” % of residents lived in rural areas—whereas in the poorest “state” % of people did.
- People in the poorest “state” were living under conditions seen in the real United States around 1975 or 1980—whereas people in the richest “state” were already living under conditions that won’t apply to the real United States until 2020 and beyond—i.e., “the poorest “state” is between years behind the living conditions achieved by the wealthiest “state.”
- Comparing these poorest and richest “states” with 222 actual countries of the world—if the richest “state” were an independent country it would rank 8th in the world for life expectancy for men, 25th for women—but the poorest “state” would rank 123rd for men and 116th for women—meaning more than the countries in the world have longer life expectancy than the poorest counties in the United States.
- Mark 10:17-22
- The Greek for “great wealth” (NIV) literally reads: “. . . because he had .”
- The average American home today contains items—which would certainly qualify for “many possessions”!
- According to Joshua Becker, the author of The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, we see about ads every day telling us to buy more.
- As the Huffington Post suggested, the mantra to hook us third millennials seems to be: “Buy like you , only more frequently.”
- “Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, known as ‘The Minimalists’ to their 4 million readers, help people live more meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and documentary.” (www.theminimalists.com)
- Millburn: “How might your life be better with ?”
- Millburn: “Consumption is not the problem. consumption is the problem.”
- Proverbs 30:15—“The leech has two daughters. ‘’ they cry.”
- Julie Schor: “There is a widespread sense among the population that people have gotten too materialistic, and that's been around for a while. It’s also the case that materialism is the other person’s disease, so percent of people think that Americans are too materialistic.”(http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/juliet-schor-american-dream/409321/)
- Schor: “Economically privileged people can be very critical of the materialism of very poor people, because they have a large television or a pair of sneakers.”
- Desire of Ages: “The story of Bethlehem is an exhaustless theme. In it is hidden ‘the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.’ Romans 11:33. We marvel at the Saviour’s sacrifice in exchanging the throne of heaven for the manger, and the companionship of adoring angels for the beasts of the stall. Human pride and stand rebuked in His presence.” (49)
- The Ogre? There beside the manger human stands rebuked.
- Desire of Ages: “Selfishness is . . . . and the soul that refuses to impart will perish.” (417)
- Self-surrender is most convincingly demonstrated by “ surrender.”
- Jerry Bridges: “Contentment with what we have—whether it is possessions, or station in life, or mental and physical activities—is worth far, far more than all the things we don’t have. A multimillionaire reportedly was once asked how much money was enough, to which he replied, ‘One dollar more.’” (Transforming Grace 78)
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).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
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.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
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