Come this Friday night (Sept. 25 at 7:30 PM) for our Satellite vespers in the Pioneer parking lot. Our hard working team of youth would love it if you could join us. We are having a drive-in worship. Bring your lawn chair if you are comfortable sitting outside. Pastor Eric Bell will be our speaker. Hope to see you there.
Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark - 7
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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.
More In This Series
“STORM: Finding Jesus in the Gathering Dark”—7
- James Hunter: “We say we want renewal of character in our day, but we don’t really know what we ask for. To have a renewal of character is to have the renewal of a creedal order that constrains, limits, bind, obligates, and compels. This price is too high for us to pay. We want character but without unyielding conviction. We want strong morality but without the emotional burden of guilt or shame. We want virtue but without the particular moral justifications that invariably offend. We want good without having to name evil. We want decency without the authority to insist upon it. We want moral community without any limitations to personal freedom. In short, we want what we cannot possibly have on the terms we want it.” (The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age Without Good or Evil quoted by Gordon Bietz in Southern Columns Spring 2016)
- Walk and Talk
- Genesis 5:21-24
- Hebrews 11:5
- Ellen White: “In every phase of your character building [i.e., growth is taking place] you are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day.” (Christ’s Object Lessons 332, emphasis supplied)
- John 15:5 à John 5:19 à John 5:30 à John 14:10
- Hebrews 2:13—“‘I will put My trust in Him.’”
- When you walk by faith, you will be like Jesus.
- “By faith Enoch walked with God” (Genesis 5:24)
- “By faith Jesus walked with God” (Hebrews 2:13)
- “By faith Enoch pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5)
- “By faith Jesus pleased God” (John 5:30)
- “By faith Enoch walked with God” (Genesis 5:24)
- Ellen White: “Enoch kept the Lord ever before him, and the inspired word says that he ‘walked with God.’ He made Christ his constant companion. He was in the world, and performed his duties to the world; but he was ever under the influence of Jesus. He reflected Christ’s character, exhibiting the same qualities in goodness, mercy, tender compassion, sympathy, forbearance, meekness, humility, and love. His association with Christ day by day transformed him into the image of Him with whom he was so intimately connected. Day by day he was growing away from his own way into Christ’s way, the heavenly, the divine, in his thoughts and feelings. He was constantly inquiring, ‘Is this the way of the Lord?’ His was a constant growth, and he had fellowship with the Father and the Son.” (Review & Herald 4/28/1891)
- Mark Labberton: “I started to read the New Testament just as I was about to enter college. With very few assumptions, and with no theological or spiritual commitments, I simply picked up the Bible and began to read. I read and reread the Gospels, and then the whole New Testament. . . . I was by no means sure there was a god, nor was I sure that this text and its apparent claims were true or relevant to some possible divine being. It simply seemed to me that a literate person should be acquainted with the Bible, and so it all began.”
- “I came to discover that what Jesus offered was in fact the antidote to smallness: the kingdom of God. The smallness that pervades much of our natural human enterprise, whether it is business, education, politics, or religion, was the problem of a shrunken heart and mind. By contrast, the kingdom of God—life under the reign of God’s grace and truth in Jesus Christ—expands and unleashes our heart, mind, soul, and strength for the profound purposes for which we were made.”
- “To my utter surprise, the Bible proved itself to be clear to me, even though I knew almost nothing about it. What the Bible made plain was that I was loved, sought, convicted, called, and redeemed by the true and living God who came to save the world—including me—in Jesus Christ. The clarity of Scripture was not an abstract principle; it was an apt description. . . . Over time, it has formed my spiritual genealogy and biography.”
- “However urbane and cosmopolitan, skeptical and doubting, or poor and broken people may be, God’s Word speaks with authority and power. Just as water will always find its own way, so the Bible’s ‘streams of water’ do the same—finding their way into parched and thirsty lives to bring new life. . . . It’s not simply the clarity of comprehension for which Jesus calls us to be ‘perfect,’ but a life that looks increasingly like the life of the Word made flesh. This is the final test of the Bible’s clarity: Can people read our lives and see the life of God in us? This is the perspicuity [transparency] that God has given us in the Bible, a clarity that is meant to be readable in part through the unfinished lives of those who read and trust it.”
- “The clarity of our faithful Bible reading is meant to show up in the clarity of our faithful lives.” (Christianity Today Jan/Feb 2017)
When you walk by faith in the Word,
you will be like Jesus in the world.
Please mark Sabbath, October 3 (9:00/11:45 AM), for a joyful celebration of the Lord's Supper as a worshiping community. While we will participate with actual emblems of bread and wine, because of the pandemic the elements will be prepackaged for your safety. These packaged elements will be available for your pickup at the church office the week before (Monday, September 28 through Sabbath, October 3). On-site worshipers will receive the packaged communion elements upon arriving for worship Sabbath morning.
But how will we celebrate foot washing? We're inviting every worshiper and family to experience Jesus' example in John 13 by washing each other's feet that Friday evening where you live. If you would like someone with whom to share this foot washing, you may either invite a friend to join you or please call Claudia Sowler (269-471-3134) for arrangements. Why not make this foot washing a part of your Friday evening worship as we gather across this community to welcome the Lord of the Sabbath into our homes at sundown?
Then Sabbath morning through music, prayer, the reading, and preaching of the Word ("American Apocalypse: How to Train Your Dragon—By the Blood of the Lamb") let's throw wide our hearts to the Christ we love to worship. "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
The 4th Quarter Lesson Study Guides are ready for you to pick up at the church office during regular business hours.
Pioneer's Bible Journey Sabbath School class will be using the Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (Study Guide) next quarter, beginning October 3. If you have always wanted to read this book, which has changed so many lives, you are welcome to
join us by Zoom. The class meets each Sabbath from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The 270-page study guide, which is conveniently divided into 12 weekly lessons, can be purchased at Amazon.com for $15.99. For more information and to receive the Zoom link each week, please contact Jane Thayer at email@example.com.
Are you friendly and do you enjoy social media? Then, we have a great opportunity for you to be involved in ministry. Through streaming its services on Facebook Live and our website, Pioneer Memorial Church reaches thousands of people every single week. We’re looking to build a new team of local moderators/hosts for our online chat experiences. You could do this from your home. For more information contact Rodlie Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all those who helped in any way to promote and support our July 23 Red Cross Blood Drive. That includes the Pioneer pastors and staff and especially the Pioneer Safety Committee who helped us establish COVID-related safety protocols and procedures with the Red Cross for the drive. Thank you to those who recruited someone to give, promoted the drive, helped set up, take down, register participants and
provide refreshments after donations. And, a SUPER SPECIAL THANK YOU to those that Gave The Gift Of Life by donating precious blood. We had one of our most successful summer blood drives ever despite the COVID virus (or, maybe because of the COVID virus). Less people away at camp meetings and traveling and vacationing? Just a hunch. Our next blood drive is scheduled for October 20, 2020 and again on February 24, 2021. Be well and God Bless! -Larry Ulery
Over the summer and fall of 2019 Pioneer underwent significant physical renovation—including a new roof and a major Sanctuary makeover. During the same time congregation leaders engaged in multiple conversations about our missional renovation—how does a faith community like Pioneer seriously engage and impact the people around us for Christ? From this dialogue emerged a fresh new expression of our Pioneer mission: "Love on the Move."