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 Quantify Your Happiness
How To Quantify Your Happiness: In the Churchyard of Cambridge
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
“How to Quantify Your Happiness: ‘The Churchyard in Cambridge’”
□ Susan Reimer on the latest Journal of Consumer Research study
“‘While people tend to define happiness in terms of excitement,
enthusiasm and high stakes arousal, people define happiness in terms of calm, peacefulness and low states of arousal,’ the authors wrote. We still love thrills as we age, the researchers found. experiences give young and old almost the same amount of pleasure. But happiness from experiences as people got older.” (South Bend Tribune 3-2-14)
- Ninety-three year old essayist Roger Angell on aging: “‘We’ve outgrown our ambitions. If our wives or husbands are still with us, we sense a trickle of contentment flowing from the reliable springs of routine, affection in long silences, calm within the light boredom of well-worn friends, retold stories and mossy opinions.’” (Ibid)
- “‘While people tend to define happiness in terms of excitement,
□ Jesus in Acts 20:35
- “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “In the Churchyard at Cambridge”:
“Dust is in her beautiful eyes”—a graphic depiction of the unassailable truth that you can’t it with you.
Thus the poet can describe “Christian charity”—the charity of —as “the richest and rarest” of .
- The way Jesus Himself lived: “He went about doing ” (Acts 10:38).
□ Tim Aka in End Game Economics: Understanding the Financial Crisis through Scripture
- “It has become painfully obvious the world is suffering under a tremendous burden of debt. From Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain in the European Union, to Japan, China, and of course the United States, nations have become saddled with unstainable amounts of debt.” (8)
- “Individuals have also taken on great amounts of debt to try to attain and maintain a lifestyle. . . . Of course there are those who are truly impoverished without the necessities of life, but the majority of us have all we need for a comfortable life. Yet we don’t realize the extent to which has played a role in the creation of this lifestyle.” (8-9)
- USDTA: “Credit card debt in the USA currently amounts to a total debt of about billion dollars. The average credit card debt per credit card owning household is dollars. This is the total credit card debt divided by the number of households with credit cards. Credit card penalty fees in the US add up to about billion dollars a year.
- “Approximately million credit cards are currently in use in the United States, with credit card users having an average of cards each. There are about 176.8 million credit card users in the US. Every year, about billion credit card solicitations are mailed in the USA.
- “Students are particularly likely to have credit card debts and they are also likely to have multiple credit cards. The average credit card debt of a new graduate is dollars, with about 20 percent of graduates having credit card debts of more than dollars.” (http://www.usdta.org/credit-card-debt-in-the-usa.php)
- Romans 13:8 NLT—“Pay all your , except the debt of love for others.”
□ God in Malachi 3:10
- “The 90 Day Tithe Challenge”
- “The 90 Day 2nd Tithe Challenge”
- “The first tithe was strictly for the support of the priests and Levites [Numbers 18:21; Deuteronomy 14:22]. The second tithe [Deuteronomy 14:23, 28-29] provided either for a sacred family feast before the Lord or for a table provided by Jehovah for orphans, for the poor, and for ‘strangers’ within the land. Levites were eligible to partake of all such feasts. The provisions among Israel for the needy encouraged the practice of true religion. The apostle James expressed the same principle for the Christian church (James 1:27).” (SDA BC 1:1003)
- Desire of Ages: “Having undertaken our redemption, [God] will spare nothing, however dear, which is necessary to the completion of His work. No truth essential to our salvation is withheld, no miracle of mercy is neglected, no divine agency is left unemployed. Favor is heaped upon favor, gift upon gift. The treasury of heaven is open to those He seeks to save. Having collected the riches of the universe, and laid open the resources of infinite power, He gives them into the hands of Christ, and says, All these are for man. Use these gifts to convince him that there is no love greater than Mine in earth or heaven. His greatest happiness will be found in loving Me.” (57)
“Test Me . . . Again”
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).
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.
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."