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  1. Bravus

    New Role

    I was named Deputy Head of School (Learning and Teaching) in my current university, Griffith. I convened one large program for teaching high school teachers last year, and this is the next step up that ladder - I'm now responsible for managing all the learning and teaching in all of the 29 degree programs, both undergraduate and postgraduate, offered in our School to more than 4000 students. It's daunting but exciting, and I'm already enjoying it a lot. I'm off to the University Senior Leadership Conference this coming week. Or, as my beloved puts it, "hobnobbing with the bigwigs". (of course, I'm now the newest and tiniest tadpole in that particular pond!)
    15 points
  2. rudywoofs (Pam)

    What's your reason?

    I originally joined because I was just about ready to dump the church, and return to witchcraft. C/A literally pulled me back.
    12 points
  3. phkrause

    Quotes

    “If you plant for a year, plant grain. If you plant for ten years, plant trees. If you plant for a 100 years, plant men. If you plant for eternity, plant the word. ” - Unknown?
    11 points
  4. phkrause

    Joke of the Day

    A child asked his father, "How were people born?" So his father said, "Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on." The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now." The child ran back to his father and said, "You lied to me!" His father replied, "No, your mom was talking about her side of the family."
    11 points
  5. Stan

    This is a MUST READ for a couple of friends on mine...

    "You carry matters to extremes and do harm to your own soul and to the truth. YOU MAKE THE TRUTH REPULSIVE AND CAUSE SOULS TO BE AFRAID OF IT. Let love soften your words and give tone to your actions, and you will find a change in those with whom you associate. There will be peace, union, and harmony, instead of strife, jealousy, and discord. Let love and tenderness be exercised, . . . and you will receive a blessing." {2T 439.1}
    10 points
  6. rudywoofs (Pam)

    Kudos to Stan

    Just want to extend many Kudos to Stan the Man for starting and maintaining C/A. It's been, and continues to be, a great resource for keeping track of what's going on in the church, as well as providing pro and con's on current issues. It's also a wonderful place to read inspirational stories and thoughts. C/A is truly a world-wide mission. I think we've got a good group of members, too. We don't all agree. We get frustrated with each other sometimes. And we'd like to stick a carrot in someone's mouth, so to speak, at times. But I think if it came right down to it, we'd defend each other from harm....sort of like a "family." Thanks for bringing us Club Adventist, Stan.
    10 points
  7. Bravus

    Real Names and Photos

    I've made the decision to transition from my nickname - which I've had here for a very, very long time - to using my real name. In the transition I've kind of kept both. I've also uploaded an actual photo of myself rather than the cartoon version I've been using. Others who are more vulnerable for a wide variety of family or work related or other reasons may prefer to still use nicknames and other representations, and I completely honour that. When the issue has come up in the past, I've been quick to recognise that I'm in a privileged position in being able to say pretty much whatever I want to online without serious repurcusions. Others are not in that situation. For me, I think it will be a bit of a sobering influence: at least once I have been contacted by a real person about whom I had said something on this forum - and that was when I had a nickname. Now that it's all searchable with my own name, it'll lead to additional think-before-speaking, which isn't a bad thing.
    10 points
  8. phkrause

    7 Urban Legends You Thought Were True

    Myths Debunked Some myths are easy to discredit. Others, not so much. Here are seven urban legends that just aren’t true. Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Galleries/7-Urban-Legends-You-Thought-Were-True.aspx#kVcFAKLbUzKTfH2H.99
    10 points
  9. LeftCoastFrank

    When Church leaders fail us...

    When persons of Spiritual integrity confronted Church leaders about errors in teaching, in the 1500s and after, we hail them as Reformation heroes. How is it, that in the Third Millenium, we are urged to abandon our conscience in favor of "church unity"? The counsel of Acts 4 is that we should obey God, rather than man. I have been a baptized member of the Adventist Church for 53 years. I was an ordained minister of the Church in three different conferences. I love the Adventist Church. I believe in the message of the Church, but, I will not sacrifice my conscience because of a majority vote. History has repeatedly shown that the majority is very often wrong! If the General Conference takes punitive actions against Unions who follow their consciences, it is time to "stand for the right though the heavens fall." My faith is in Jesus Christ and the Bible, not in humans, even if they are elected officials.
    9 points
  10. Bravus

    Abortion...I would call this a theological issue

    Part of the problem is too much simplistic, black-and-white thinking. I have shared here before that my wife had an abortion. Our first child was anencephalic: she had no head above the nose line. We discovered this relatively early in the pregnancy. She would not have survived birth, or lived after birth. God was not doing any miracles to fix this. We made the incredibly difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy, rather than to risk my wife's life and make her carry through an entire pregnancy with a baby who was already for all purposes dead. I would hope others would not judge us for our decision, and I would seek to avoid judging others who are placed in similar impossible situations. I am against abortion for purely contraceptive purposes, but that does not mean I would call myself and my wife, or people like us, murderers. We live in a fallen world. Ideals are important, but sometimes the world does not fit.
    9 points
  11. Ron Lambert

    I published a new book--a novel (parable) as an E-book

    I have published a new book, this time a novel (parable). I decided to publish it as an E-book through Amazon. You can obtain it and have it downloaded to an area reserved for you in an Internet "Cloud," then read it on a Kindle device, or on your computer (using a free downloadable app from Amazon). Here is the link for the book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q7COXT4 Angel In the End of Time: A Parable of the End Times (Kindle Edition) Ronald R. Lambert (Author) Kindle Price: $4.99 Book Description: Many people seem to have gotten the idea that the interpretation of Bible prophecy is something like a competitive sport, and vie with each other to see who can come up with the most fabulously fanciful version. But 2 Peter 1:20, 21 strictly forbids fanciful interpretations: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” This leads us to recognize what must be the one and only reasonable way to avoid a private interpretation of Bible prophecy. That is to follow these three basic rules of interpretation: (1) Allow only the Bible itself to define all its prophetic symbols. (2) Allow context to indicate when in history to apply the prophecies. (3) Use common sense literary analysis—especially noting how the phrases involved are used elsewhere in Scripture—to determine whether a given passage should be taken literally or symbolically. The fact that these simple rules do work, and provide consistent results with symbolic prophecies written many centuries apart in three different languages, is one of the strongest evidences for the divine inspiration of Scripture. It shows that all the prophecies did come from One Divine Mind. Jesus Christ did much of His preaching employing stories that helped his listeners understand what He was trying to get across. This story is told from the viewpoint of a former guardian angel, Laron. We meet him as he chooses to address the family and friends of the young lady who had been his charge, who was killed. Then he proceeds to Atlanta, Georgia, where terrorists detonate a small nuclear bomb. Next he must hasten to the White House, and try to resist the efforts of the enemy (fallen angels) to persuade the president to authorize use of a much more powerful nuclear bomb to prevent any contagious diseases that may have escaped from Level Four containment in the Centers for Disease Control from spreading throughout the countryside. After that, we follow Laron through the key events outlined in Bible prophecy for the time of the end, including the final organized conspiracy to place the whole world under the control of one religious authority, that unfortunately is not on God’s side. There is no “Secret Rapture.” All living on earth face a final judgment based on the choice they must make, whether to put their faith in the righteousness of God the Creator and Redeemer, or in the supposed righteousness of the creature--humans and human institutions. The Mark of the Beast is the Mark of creature worship. A note about E-publishing: authors typically get 70% royalties, so can afford to charge much less for books, allowing more people to be able to afford to read them. While the E-publisher does not get as large a percentage as a print publisher, the E-publisher has negligible actual publication costs. Amazon currently has about 60% of the E-book market. Next to Amazon is Barnes & Noble, with 30%. More and more public libraries are offering rental of E-books. Also, I discovered that going to the Amazon Kindle library, I find a lot of short stories available by themselves, some of them by well-known writers. For example, there are a couple of short works by Lee Child, that feature his popular character, Jack Reacher, that are available no where else, at prices of $1.99 or lower. In the past, to get a short story published, I had to get some magazine editor to like it enough to publish it in his magazine (such as Analog Science Fiction, where I have been published several times). Or someone compiling an anthology of short fiction might solicit short stories already published, and occasionally some that are new, to include in his anthology. The market for short fiction thus has always been very tight--until now. Now it is easy to get a short story or novelette published. I would hate to see the demise of printed books, but clearly E-books are the way of the future. They allow much greater freedom, and make literature much more readily available.
    9 points
  12. JoeMo

    Okay, guys

    My prostate cancer got worse cuz I was in denial for about 9 months after my first warning. I eventually returned to me senses and aggressivle (and successfully) treated it. Been cancer-free for 7 years now.
    9 points
  13. phkrause

    How Thousands of Muslims Are Falling in Love with Jesus

    A Movement Towards Compassion When Jesus looked upon the lost people in first-century Palestine, “He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). And then He proclaimed something remarkable: these lost souls were a “plentiful harvest” that only lacked harvesters. Therefore, it is tragic when Christians look at Muslims, not with compassion, but with a default to fear, anger, and rejection. If Christians were to be highly intentional about approaching Islam in a way that is inviting and attractive, without compromise, staying as consistently biblical as possible, here are some of the characteristics that we should expect to see: Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/How-Thousands-of-Muslims-Are-Falling-in-Love-with-Jesus.aspx#SDRqVq7HgmQf9f3R.99
    9 points
  14. phkrause

    Today in Jewish History

    24 Cheshvan Yahrtzeit of Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934). A member of the Rothschild banking dynasty, he preferred to pursue artistic interests, acquiring an important collection of drawings and engravings that he bequeathed to the Louvre. In 1882, Rothschild became a leading proponent of the Zionist movement, buying land throughout Israel and subsidizing Jewish settlements. He financed the first new Jewish town, Rishon Letzion ("the first of Zion"), as well as Zichron Yaakov, Caesarea and some 30 other settlements. He also established Israel's wine industry when he helped Russian Jews flee pogroms in the 1880s and plant vineyards in Israel. In 1954, Rothschild's remains were re-interred to Israel. To honor his memory, his son paid for the construction of the Knesset building in Jerusalem.
    8 points
  15. phkrause

    Prayers

    Firefighter's Prayer When I am called to duty, God, wherever flames may rage, give me strength to save a life, whatever be its age. Help me embrace a little child before it is too late, or save an older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert, and hear the weakest shout, quickly and efficiently to put the fire out. I want to fill my calling, to give the best in me, to guard my friend and neighbor, and protect his property. And if according to Your will I must answer death's call, bless with your protecting hand, my family one and all.
    8 points
  16. Stan

    When Church leaders fail us...

    It would be a huge thing to me if this was not a trivial item, and I know calling it trivial will seem insulting to some, but it is not. So a conference thinks that women should be able to organize and close Churches. that is about the only difference between a Commission Pastor and an Ordained... for that they are willing to risk splitting the Church I say leave the Unions and Conferences alone, if they grow than good, if they fail to grow the mission of the Church then they need to re evaluate. The proof will be in the pudding. Not difficult to me.
    8 points
  17. Aliensanctuary

    Samantha has arrived

    My daughter is now a mommy. She was in the delivery room as Samantha was being born, and was allowed to cut the umbilical cord. In the photo it looks as if my daughter had been crying, and she had, big tears of happiness. She and her husband were unable to conceive for many years, but made a connection in WA with an expectant mother who already had 3 children and definitely didn't want a 4th. My daughter had to suffer through a number of fertility treatments, none of which were successful. Samantha is officially adopted by my daughter and her husband, and was delivered by C-section a day or so ago. My daughter thought that she was perfect, even though Samantha howled during her first bath. She quieted down after she was wrapped up warmly and held by her new parents. The hospital gave the them a room to stay in until the baby is allowed to go home with them, just a day or two after birth. I think she has 1 month of maternity leave from the SDA conference where she works. Samantha.doc
    8 points
  18. Tom Wetmore

    what in Daniel connects to Obama's term as America's final president?

    Henry, at this pace, you will run out of time within Obama's term as president. Just get to the point of explaining how you see how anything in Daniel the connects to Obama's term as president. You have boldly predicted that Christ will return while Obama is president. What makes you believe that? If Daniel give a clue that leads to that specific of a prediction, it should be more than a hunch or rank speculation.
    8 points
  19. Excaliba

    What's your reason?

    A bit of distraction from the chaos around me in some very remote, lonely places on the planet - oh, and curiosity and nostalgia... First post - but I've had a profile for 3 years. There are some of us (I suspect) who regularly visit this forum (for me, it is in the weekends when I travel - which is about 6-months in any given year). Ex-SDA (35 years now) - but found this forum online when I was out on a humanitarian mission in Ethiopia (that's the nostalgia and distraction reason covered) Curiosity to see if anything has changed since I got up and left my home town and church all those years ago. Seems like an eclectic group of people here, with debates ranging across a spectrum of beliefs and viewpoints. All the best Excaliba
    8 points
  20. JoeMo

    What's your reason?

    I joined at the invitation of one of the moderators, who read my posts on another forum. I too was about to jump ship because of the hypocrisy I perceived at all levels of the church; and the problems I had with some of the "cultural" interpretations of the 28 Fundies. A very kind and concerned member of this forum took the time to go through each of the Fundies with me as posted on the official church website. I couldn't find any fault in the way they were actually stated, so I postponed leaving. As I started posting more, I found some wonderful, smart, open-minded people here; as well as those who believe differently than I do. The ones that have mastered the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable have inspired me to study more. I still have issues with the way some of the more traditional folks see things; but I'm sure there are those that have issues with my viewpoint. As long as the differences of opinion inspire spirited conversation and deeper study, that's a good thing IMHO. This actually has sorta become my home church. I spend more time with CA than I do my local congregation. I am blessed to be here.
    8 points
  21. Tom Wetmore

    Neil D

    I too was able to spend some quality time with Neil when he came to visit friends here in the DC area. With both of us possessing the gift of gab we did have a nonstop gabfest. It seemed we hit it off like long lost friends, kindred spirits really. In his last weeks he talked about wanting to be able to come back and visit again. Sadly it wasn't possible. I will miss him.
    8 points
  22. rudywoofs (Pam)

    Why have we allowed strange music and noise and dancing in our worship?

    even the old hymns can sometimes be inappropriate in church... Consider: A preacher was winding up his temperance sermon with great fervor: "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river." And the congregation cried, "Amen!" "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it in the river." And the congregation cried, "Amen!" "And if I had all the whiskey and demon rum in the world, I'd take it all and throw it in the river." And the congregation cried, "Hallelujah!" The preacher sat down. The song leader stood up very tentatively and announced: "For our closing song, let us sing hymn #365, 'Shall We Gather at the River.'"
    8 points
  23. Bravus

    To die well

    I did lose my friend, Lester Zombie, this week. He was an online friend, and that wasn't his real name, but he said he felt like the undead when he survived some major illnesses a few years ago and got a second shot at life. In the end his body just gave up, but he was surrounded by admiring friends and family, both in the room and online, and faced his end with courage and calmness.
    8 points
  24. Jeannieb43

    Glenn Reynolds, M.D.

    Dr. Glenn Reynolds passed to his rest on February 22, 2015. He was a renowned physician and activist for the disabled. He had had polio in his youth but continued to practice medicine and conduct his activities from a wheelchair. He was honored by the American Medical Association as physician of the year. He served on the presidential commission for the disabled.
    8 points
  25. Ellen

    I`ve Been Thinking

    Adam had to offer a lamb. Did he build an altar? The picture we see of Cain's offering is on square grey dull stones. I've been thinking, those stones we are used to are from flood results, In Eden stones were gold, silver, emierald, opal, saphire etc. I think IF they did build an altar it would have been stunning, and I doubt if they were square.
    8 points
  26. Gail

    Ebola crisis in West Africa

    There is an Ebola outbreak happening in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia right now. The latest I've heard is that a patient was located in Nigeria, so now that country is involved. Ebola is VERY deadly as far as viruses go. I thought that the mortality rate is 60% but if a person does not get treatment it could be higher. The problems the foreign medical people were having is that the population suffers from lack of information. They believed that if their loved one went to hospital s/he wouldn't come out, that it was a death sentence. Others didn't want to give up the dead bodies, preferring that families handle their own dead. And that has led to the spread of the plague. My daughter-in-law through her non-profit was able to distribute 3500 * information packets through her staff, who are locals and are trusted. She is still working on this. But she has asked for prayer for her and Kevin's friends who are still in the country. Some are with Samaritan's Purse, who Kev used to work for. They are very concerned at this point. I've read that the head doctor working with the Ebola patients has now come down with the disease. Thanks for all who feel impressed to lift up petitions to God for the people of West Africa in this situation. * Note- I need to fix that number. It should be 3,025 packets. Sorry for the error- Gail
    8 points
  27. rudywoofs (Pam)

    A Question about Mental Illness and the Unforgiveable sin....

    I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that the unpardonable sin is the continual and knowingly (until death) rejection of the Holy Spirit's bidding to come to Christ.
    7 points
  28. Gail

    The comfort of an old dog

    We have three middle-aged dogs. Our one boy, CocoaRico, is aging prematurely, likely due to a chronic infection of two weight-bearing toes on his front paw. Our options with him are either to amputate those toes or to keep him on antibiotics for the rest of his life. On a good day, he will run and play (he loves to run and play with other dogs- social able to a fault) On a bad day he limps and avoids jumping and using his painful paw. Unfortunately, he only feels really good when on high doses of painkillers and antibiotics. This dog has a heart of gold. He patiently endures the bitchiness of his daughter and sister. He intuitively knows when Mummy has another migraine and kisses her in sympathy. He loves to cuddle up and watch TV with his people. A Vizsla, he loves to "stick" himself onto humans, even strangers. All while putting up with chronic pain. He is our Job. And when I am with him it makes me think of how patient and loving God is with me.
    7 points
  29. Stan

    When Church leaders fail us...

    When Church leaders are willing to have a Church split over the trivial differences of what a Commission Minister and an Ordained Minister can or can not do, we either need new leaders or a new Church.
    7 points
  30. debbym

    What's your reason?

    I stumbled upon CA and then didn't come back for a long time... i have no idea why at the time. I finally stepped in venturing to experience community... i found incredible diversity which i am very at home with... I have been enjoying participating in and reading if not posting. It really has helped my communication of my faith everywhere i go. God is wherever you find Him.
    7 points
  31. Bravus

    What's your reason?

    I've been a denizen since fairly early on, and am coming up on 15,000 posts now. I come here to think with friends, and have learned a heap and (I hope) grown over the years. 'Iron sharpens iron', as the Book says, and we learn... perhaps most from those with whom we disagree. There are ways to disagree without being disagreeable, and I always try to and aspire to, but sometimes fall short. I hope I apologise and withdraw the comments when I fail, but even better not to have made it in the first place. Like all of us, I'm still growing up.
    7 points
  32. Outta Here

    What's your reason?

    I am here because I needed a friend or two in the church. I needed a place where I could speak freely the things that are on my mind--without the fear of judgment. I am here because I have made friends over the years. I am here because I need Jesus.
    7 points
  33. AnotherMan

    Your thoughts on on building cities in heaven

    When we dwell in the new earth, do you think we will build cities or dwell in gardens as did Adam and Eve...? Would we even build houses for that matter? I know there will be the New Jerusalem city. I am not dogmatic about any position just interested to see what others think - any scripture would be great :)
    7 points
  34. rudywoofs (Pam)

    Motorcyclists, Past and Present

    there's some very cool motorcycles out there, but this would probably be about my speed:
    7 points
  35. Joel Melashenko

    Real Names and Photos

    Real picture and real name. Hi everybody! Great points made about putting additional thought into posting prior to posting. Looking forward to 'meeting' more folks here that I may have known by caricature or nickname for years.
    7 points
  36. rudywoofs (Pam)

    Jesus in every book of the Bible

    Jesus in Every Book of the Bible (original author unknown) In Genesis, Jesus is the seed of the woman. Exodus, he is our Passover lamb. Leviticus, our high priest. Numbers, the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. In Deuteronomy, the prophet greater than Moses. In Joshua, Jesus is the captain of our salvation. Judges, he is our judge and lawgiver. Ruth, he is our redeemer. I & II Samuel, he is our trusted prophet. Kings and Chronicles, he is our reigning King. Ezra, he is the rebuilder of our broken down walls of our lives. In Nehemiah, Jesus is our restorer. Esther, he’s our Advocate. In Job, Jesus is our ever-living redeemer. Psalms, he’s our shepherd. Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, he’s our Wisdom. Song of Solomon, he’s the lover of our souls. In Isaiah, Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Jeremiah, the righteous branch. Lamentations, the weeping prophet. Ezekiel, the glory of God. Daniel, the everlasting God. In Hosea, Jesus is the forgiving husband. Joel, the giver of the Holy Spirit. Amos, the builder of the city of God. Obadiah, our savior. Jonah, the firstborn of the dead. Micah, the ruler of all ages Nahum, the avenger. Habakkuk, the God or our salvation Zephaniah, our savior. Haggai the restorer of the kingdom. Zechariah, the Priest on the throne. Malachi, the son of righteousness, with healing in his wings. In Matthew Jesus is the king of the Jews. Mark, the servant. Luke, the son of man. John, the son of God. Acts, the giver of the Holy Spirit. In Romans Jesus is the righteousness of God. I Corinthians, the giver of gifts II Corinthians, the triumphant one, giving victory. Galatians, the liberator of our souls.. Ephesians, the head of the church. In Philippians, Jesus is our joy. Colossians, the head of all things. I & II Thessalonians, our hope. I Timothy, our faith. II Timothy, our stability. In Titus, Jesus is truth. Philemon, our covenant friend. Hebrews, the messenger of the new covenant. James, the Great Physician. I Peter, the cornerstone. II Peter, our purity. In I, 2, and 3 John, Jesus is love, light and truth. Jude, the one who is able to keep us. Revelation, the King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus is the first and the last, beginning and the end; He is the keeper of creation and the creator of all. He is the architect of the universe and the manager of all time He always was, he always is, he always will be, unmoved, unchanged, undefeated and never undone.
    7 points
  37. Jeannieb43

    Real Names and Photos

    Dear Bravus, I have long appreciated your wisdom in your comments here. I admire this latest decision of yours, although I can't think of anything you've said in the past which would be offensive to anyone had it been signed by your true name. You are one of the best reasons to read Club Adventist. May your tribe increase!
    7 points
  38. Liz

    Real Names and Photos

    The name is mine, and the photo is my inner-self.
    7 points
  39. rudywoofs (Pam)

    Caution for this and any website.

    And aside from not assuming everyone with the SDA moniker means "safe": 1) never EVER post online when you will be away from your home 2) do not post your date of birth, where you were born, or where you live 3) if you post obituaries, always edit out the names of children and where they live 4) do not post photos of your children with their names 5) do not post the name(s) of your parents or siblings
    7 points
  40. phkrause

    Adventists Exclusivness

    Sounds to me like one disgruntled former Adventist!! Anyone know who wrote this article?? Personally the Sabbath does influence my life!! You know why?? Because the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus Christ influences my life. I might not do a great job of following that influence, but if I put him at the center of it, than by extension, it most definitely should influence my life.
    7 points
  41. rudywoofs (Pam)

    in preparation for joining a denomination

    What exactly should people know about a denomination before they join? Should they know the general history of the church, as well as the beliefs? In talking with some people who have been members of the Adventist church for 50+ years, I found that they have absolutely no clue about the history of the denomination. I found that to be incredibly naive. When I asked why they joined the SDA church, the answer was that they had determined that Saturday was the Sabbath. When I asked if they had looked at other Sabbath-keeping denominations to compare the beliefs, they said they didn't do that. Does this sound odd to anyone else?
    7 points
  42. aka

    Beauties of the New Earth

    Beauties of the New Earth. "For behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind... And the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying... And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. The glorious City of God has twelve gates, set with pearls most glorious. It also has twelve foundations of various colors. The streets of the City are of pure gold. In this city is the throne of God, and a pure, beautiful river proceeding out of it, as clear as crystal. Its sparkling purity and beauty makes glad the City of God. The saints will drink freely of the healing waters of the river of life. (YI, October 1, 1852) On either side of this beautiful river is the tree of life. And the redeemed saints, who have loved God and kept his commandments here, will enter in through the gates of the City, and have right to the tree of life. They will eat freely of it, as our first parents did before their fall. The leaves of that immortal wide-spread tree will be for the healing of the nations. All their woes will then be gone. Sickness, sorrow and death they will never again feel, for the leaves of the tree of life have healed them. Jesus will then see of the travail of his soul [isa. liii, 11] and be satisfied, when the redeemed, who have been subject to sorrow, toil and afflictions, who have groaned beneath the curse, are gathered up around that tree of life to eat of its immortal fruit, that our first parents forfeited all right to, by breaking God's commands. There will be no danger of their ever losing right to the tree of life again, for he that tempted our first parents to sin, will be destroyed by the second death. (YI, October 1, 1852) All faces will reflect the image of their Redeemer. There will then be no anxious, troubled countenances, but all will be bright, and smiling in spotless purity. The angels will be there, also the resurrected saints with the martyrs, and the best of all, and what will cause us the most joy, our lovely Saviour who suffered and died that we might enjoy that happiness and freedom, will be there.--His glorious face will shine brighter than the sun, and light up the beautiful City, and reflect glory all around. (YI, October 1, 1852) Children will be there. They will never be engaged in strife or discord. Their love will be fervent and holy. They will also have a crown of gold upon their heads, and a harp in their hands. And their little countenances, that we here see so often troubled and perplexed, will beam with holy joy, expressive of their perfect freedom and happiness. They will express in child-like purity their wonder and delight, as they behold every thing around them so new and lovely. They will look to the blessed Saviour who has given himself for them, and, with admiration and love for him who is smiling upon them, raise their voices and sing to his praise and glory, while they feel and realized the matchless depths of a Saviour's love. (YI, October 1, 1852) This earth, dear children, is to be purified with fire; then it will be much more beautiful. The grass will be living green, and will never wither. There will be roses and lilies, and all kinds of flowers there. They will never blight or fade, or lose their beauty and fragrance. (YI, October 1, 1852) The lion, we should much dread and fear here, will then lie down with the lamb, and everything in the New Earth will be peace and harmony.--The trees of the New Earth will be straight and lofty, without deformity. (YI, October 1, 1852) The saints will have crowns of glory upon their heads, and harps of gold in their hands. They will play upon the golden harp, and sing redeeming love, and make melody unto God. Their former trials and suffering in this world will be forgotten and lost amid the glories of the New Earth. And they will ever have the approving smiles of Jesus upon them, and their happiness will be complete. There will be glory, glory all around. (YI, October 1, 1852)
    7 points
  43. Gerr

    To die well

    My wife of 47 yrs and I are facing this right now, so this is a very timely question. She woke up with near total paralysis from the waist down Wed. CT & MRI showed metastatic dz (primary unknown at the moment). She had been wanting to die for several yrs because of severe pain. We had a little insight on dying well when our cat of 21 yrs died 2 yrs ago. The cat started lying on Marge's abdomen or chest when my wife's health deteriorated 5 yrs ago, even sleeping there through the night. One morning we woke up with the cat dead on her abdomen. To us dying well is dying in the comfort of one's home pain-free, and the last images one sees are the faces of those you love, not those of strangers in a strange place like a hospital. Hopefully, I'll be able to take her home and do just that.
    7 points
  44. There seems to be such a hatred for those who need help...
    7 points
  45. Sojourner

    Poll - Do you support the ordination of Women into SDA Ministry?

    Vote away!
    7 points
  46. rudywoofs (Pam)

    hospital for sinners?

    I'm sure most of us have heard the saying that, "A church is a hospital for sinners -- not a rest home for saints." Following along that idea, has anyone ever wondered why no one ever gets "well"?? It seems to me that a church is more like a palliative care center, rather than a "hospital." So, rather than "curing," the focus should be on alleviation of the *effects* of sin... not only offering the "Blessed Hope" in the form of sermons and evangelistic efforts, but on actively helping and providing for others in big or small ways... just being friends, visiting -- just making people feel like they *matter*....
    7 points
  47. phkrause

    7 Things We Forget To Thank God For

    Every good gift comes from God The apostle Paul reminds us “in all things to give thanks.” Here’s a list of things we can take for granted and forget to appreciate. Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Galleries/7-Things-We-Forget-To-Thank-God-For.aspx#VAMH6w62dvtVe2Ej.99
    7 points
  48. phkrause

    Unintended Consequences?

    California Bill Would Eliminate Religious Belief Exemption to Vaccines Today, Cal­i­for­nia law­mak­ers intro­duced leg­is­la­tion (SB 277) that would elim­i­nate the “per­sonal belief” exemp­tion for par­ents who choose not to vac­ci­nate their children. http://religiousliberty.tv/unintended-consequences-california-bill-would-eliminate-religious-belief-exemption-to-vaccines.html
    7 points
  49. bonnie

    Regarding Ryan Bell - Adventist Review Editorial

    Viewpoint: The Hollywood Church Emphasized Justice, but Not Righteousness 19 January 2015 | Melody George Ryan Bell was my pastor from 2007 to 2010. When I first heard about his one-year experiment with atheism, I stayed largely absent from the conversation. I didn’t read his blog or the articles in the Times. I didn’t listen to the stories on NPR. It was too emotional, too painful. I tried to ignore it. Perhaps now that the experiment is over and the outcome known to all, it’s time to confront those feelings. During my time in Hollywood, I spent over two years filming a documentary about Ryan’s team and their radical work at the Hollywood Adventist Church. I also became a member and an active participant in the congregation. My time at Hollywood was, without doubt, the most fulfilling church experience of my life thus far. I’ll never forget how Ryan immediately invited us into a conversation about what the church was to become. I’ll never forget how he sought me out as a new attendee and set up a lunch meeting just to get to know me better. I’d never had a pastor take personal interest in me before. Ryan saw community as the key to real spiritual growth and impact, and he pursued it with genuine warmth and friendship. What followed was certainly the highlight of my Christian experience. Over the next three years, I had a front row seat as God began to do something exquisite in this tiny church community. Ryan tasked us with a question: “How can we be a people among whom God dwells?” and let us young adults take ownership in shaping the church. We had desired this ownership, this place at the table, our entire Adventist lives. We invited God to dwell at our small purple-colored church in Hollywood, and he came. We asked him how we could make room for him to work, and he answered. It was almost as if a beacon had been lit. There was an uncanny convergence of young, talented, creative, passionate Christians showing up at the church. If I remember correctly, the size of the congregation doubled in about a year. But it wasn’t just the numbers that changed. There was a very deep sense of family that emerged. I knew most of the people in the congregation, and I loved them, and they loved me. We worshipped together. We hung out together. We ministered in Hollywood together. They became my family. And I had the chance to catch it all on camera, in what became the North American Division web series, “Stained Glass: Hollywood Blvd.” My whole life I had wanted to believe that an early-church type of experience was possible. God gave the church power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and spread the good news. This was the first group I’d encountered that took that charge seriously, and humbly asked questions about how to realize the dream. And in Hollywood of all places. The potential for a life of thrilling ministry and transformative church community boggled my mind. I felt more alive than I ever had. But no church is perfect. I left the Hollywood Church in 2010, well before Ryan announced his experiment with Atheism. But I believe I saw the seeds of that journey planted. And in watching the Hollywood Church’s story unfold, and Ryan’s, I have learned a lot that I feel compelled to share. I won’t address the question of God’s existence in this article; my thoughts are for those who embrace a Christian worldview. In my last year at Hollywood, I watched the slow dimming of the light that had been lit on Hollywood Blvd. The culture that had emerged in the church was “we’re non-judgmental; everyone’s welcome here.” But I watched as Ryan and the leadership took this beautiful principle to an extreme that, I believe, barred God from continuing to work there. When the subject of sexual purity within the congregation became an issue, I watched as elders were too afraid of appearing judgmental to lovingly challenge people to be their best. So they implicitly and explicitly supported immoral behavior instead. When hot-button issues of the day came up, I saw a knee-jerk allegiance to political correctness that overshadowed our previous humble stance of, “Lord, what would you have us do?” I watched as any incidence of demonic influence was labeled “mental illness,” and as the charge to “heal the sick,” got relegated to fixing healthcare at a systemic level. We began taking political action to address homelessness, but walked past the homeless man standing outside the church. In Bible studies we would commiserate about the impossibility of really knowing God’s will or overcoming sin. I will always remember the day an theist friend visited the church. His reaction was, “I don’t have any respect for this church because you try to appeal to everyone; you don’t stand for anything.” Psalm 89 proclaims, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation” of his throne. At the Hollywood Church, justice reigned, and people got a little uncomfortable when someone said the word righteousness. But there’s a reason those two words are paired together. I believe there’s a place for political action as Christian individuals, and a place for fighting systemic social problems as well. But when Jesus said we would do the same things he did, and greater things, he meant it, and he meant it in a spiritual, supernatural way. And his power can only descend on us to the degree that we embrace righteousness and truth in our lifestyles. Ironically enough, the very things we were afraid to stand for—sexual purity, as an example—were quite possibly the truths that could have blessed our neighbors in Hollywood the most. In short, within the Hollywood Adventist Church community during the Ryan Bell years, there grew a fear of appearing intolerant that superseded our desire for truth. There was a fear of appearing judgmental that turned righteousness into a bad word. There was a desire to be politically correct that made us forget Christianity was never intended to be cool to the world; a desire to fit in with the culture that kept us from getting too spiritually radical. And there was an “open-mindedness” that precluded the possibility of traditional thought being right. Political correctness is a wonderful thing when it reminds us to be fair and unbiased, to be sensitive to people’s differences and treat others with respect at all times. But it can also lead us to obscure truth for fear of offending. And there are times when offensive things need to be said. Jesus was certainly one of the most offensive public figures of his day, yet he was never obnoxious just for the heck of it. He had a close enough connection with the Father to know truth, and he spoke it unflinchingly. Sometimes that truth turned people away, as in John 6: “On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’ Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus asked them, ‘Does this offend you?’. . . From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” On a day that is burned into my memory, the church office got a phone call from a woman pleading for help. She said she was being attacked by demons every night, and in desperation had called the first church she could find in the phone book. Our response to the call? We’ll pray for her. That day, I knew my time at the Hollywood Adventist Church was coming to an end. How could we confront such a thing when our thinking had become so secular that we didn’t take spiritual warfare seriously? Even if we did take it seriously, how could we enter that situation with any spiritual authority when we as a body had allowed sin directly and intentionally into our midst? Had we tried to help her, would our outcome not have been the same as the seven sons of Sceva? “The evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?’ Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” A church located in the heart of Hollywood, one mile from the Kodak/Dolby Theater and the Walk of Fame. A building seen by hundreds of thousands from the 101 Freeway every day. Such potential. But we fell short of our impact because we were too afraid to call sin “sin,” to challenge each other in love to rise above it, and to believe God’s miraculous power is still available to the church today. I’m not suggesting we run up and down the aisles of our churches shouting, “Sinner, sinner!” But there is wisdom in James’ words, “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” There is a place in the modern church for holding each other accountable in love and working together to pull each other higher. Indeed, I would call this true church. And at Hollywood, we were close enough friends to be able to respectfully confront each other. But we rarely did. Many terrible acts of intolerance have been perpetrated by religious people and institutions in the past, and those acts are never condoned by God. But now, classically, the pendulum swings too far in the opposite direction. In a culture of moral relativism—one which celebrates open-mindedness, claims all paths are equal, praises those who “don’t have answers,” and even lauds those with courage to doubt — have we forgotten the exclusive nature of Jesus’ claim: “There is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”? Have we forgotten the Gospel record that demons trembled in his presence, knowing exactly who he was: “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” They still react to his name in the same way today. When the Samaritan woman questioned Jesus on where to worship, he didn’t say, “All paths are equally valid,” but responded with a firm, “Salvation is from the Jews.” Where is the good old-fashioned common sense that tells us we can say boldly “I believe this is true,” and still be loving and respectful to all who believe differently? Where is the wisdom that instructs us on how to walk that fine line, case-by-case? Where is the deep love that accepts people exactly as they are and yet inspires them to be all they can be? Where are the holy, spirit-filled people who will not compromise their integrity, but will love and serve with the tenderness of Christ himself? “I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more.” If a church member struggles with drug addiction, is the appropriate response, “We won’t judge you here”? Or is it to rally around him and bolster his sense of self-worth, give him back a picture of his future, drive him to his court dates and sit beside him while his body screams through the pain of withdrawal? What is the true picture of a Christ-follower? It is neither the person who shouts, “You sinner!” nor the one who turns a blind eye so as not to offend, but the one who holds back a brother’s hair as he vomits into a bucket on the way to recovery. Ryan Bell was and is a brilliant speaker, a radical thinker, a voracious learner, a truly compassionate person and a good friend. I have seldom seen someone work for justice as tirelessly as he. How does this person, seemingly so connected to the James 1:27 definition of “true religion,” go down the road toward Atheism? I don’t know. There are many sides to the story which I’m sure we’ll never hear. But I have great fear for a generation of Christians that thinks truth is relative and morality is self-defined. It leads toward a dangerous line of thinking that says, “I will be like the Most High.” There is, and always will be, great disagreement on what constitutes truth and morality. But I trust to Jesus’ promise that “anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” What can we learn from Ryan Bell? We would do well to adopt his willingness to think critically about how we do religion, his searching mind, his great compassion for the oppressed and his desire to work for justice. We’d also be wise to remember the cautionary tale of the Hollywood Church, so afraid of appearing judgmental that it actually deprived the city of some of the greatest gifts it had to offer. Many criticize the conference for asking Ryan to step down from his position as pastor. But Ryan wasn’t teaching Adventism. Even he wouldn’t deny that. So how can one fault the Adventist Church for simply upholding what it believes to be true? It is possible for a group of spirit-filled believers to know with authority what is right and wrong. It is possible to know in your heart of hearts that God exists, and to say with authority that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life—and at the same time, to love, respect, and learn from others who see the world differently. I will always love and respect Ryan Bell. I’m so grateful for the opportunity he gave me to take ownership in my church, and to think critically about what it means to be a church. I will never forget the wonderful years I spent there . . . and will always experience an acute sadness over his loss of faith. I know God is alive, and slowly I’m learning I don’t have to be ashamed to say I know it. “How can we be a people among whom God dwells?”
    7 points
  50. Stan

    Something is broken...

    Something is broken, when the concern is the sex gender rather than what gets accomplished.
    7 points
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