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!
2017 Holiday Season
Have Yourself a Windy Merry Christmas
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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
“Have Yourself a Windy Merry Christmas”
- The Missing Person
- John D. Witvliet": "Our Christmas cards, carols, and crèches delight in the characters of the Christmas story. In pageants, there are a lot of parts to go around: Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus; the angels, the shepherds, and Magi; perhaps even Elizabeth and Zechariah, Simeon and Anna. But for all the times and ways the story is told, one key participant is almost impossible to find: the ." (Christianity Today December 2017 p58)
- Missing No Longer
The Holy Spirit Shows Up . . .
- #1—In .
- Luke 1:15—"'Your son will be filled with the even before he is born.'"
- Desire of Ages: "Even the babe in its mother’s arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their moments." (512)
- #2—In a .
- Luke 1:35—"'The will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'"
- #3 —In an .
- Luke 1:41—"When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the ."
- Luke 1:67—"His father Zechariah was filled with the and prophesied, 'Praise be to the Lord!'"
- #4—In a .
- Luke 1:80—"And the child grew and became strong in the ."
- “[The Holy] Spirit loves to the children and discover to them the treasures and beauties of the Word. The promises spoken by the great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul of the child with a spiritual power that is divine.” (Child Guidance 495)
- Jean Twenge: “. . . many tech CEOs strictly regulate their own children’s technology use. When New York Times reporter Nick Bilton talked to Apple cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs in late 2010, he asked Jobs if his kids loved the iPad. 'They haven’t used it,' Jobs said. 'We how much technology our kids use at home.' Bilton was shocked, but he later found that many other tech experts also limited their children’s screen time, from the cofounder of Twitter to the former editor of Wired magazine. So even people who love technology—and make a living off of it—are cautious about their kids using it too much. As Adam Alter put it in his book Irresistible, ''t seemed as if the people producing tech products were following the cardinal rule of drug dealing: Never get high on your own supply." (iGen 292)
- #5—In the .
- Luke 2:25-26—"Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the was on him. It had been revealed to him by the that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the he went into the temple courts... and took the child in his arms and praised God."
- Christmas primer on how to be daily baptized with the Holy Spirit:
- #1—The Set-up:
- 15 minutes every morning—alone with Jesus.
- Read one story from the Gospels—reread it to relive it.
- #2—The Ask:
- "Please baptize me with the same Holy Spirit that baptized Jesus in the story I just read."
- "Morning by morning [Jesus] communicated with His Father in heaven, receiving from Him daily a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit." (Signs of the Times November 21, 1895).
- #3—The Thank-you:
- “Thank you for the fresh baptism I’ve received from you today.”
- 1 John 5:14-15—"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him."
- #4—The Go:
- Proverbs 3:6 Message: "Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track."
- Move into the world with your Friend the Holy Spirit.
- Download the free book: www.steps-to-personal-revival.info
- #1—The Set-up:
"And with that He breathed on them and said,
'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" (John 20:22)
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."