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!
Gone to the Birds
Lessons from the Divine Ornithologist - Part 4
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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
"Gone to the Birds: Lessons from the Divine Ornithologist"—4
The Rooster and the Dove
- The Rooster
- Mark 14:66-72
- Desire of Ages: "In that gentle countenance [Peter] read deep pity and sorrow, but there was no anger there. The sight of that pale, suffering face, those quivering lips, that look of compassion and forgiveness, pierced his heart like an arrow. Conscience was aroused. Memory was active. . . . Once more he looked at his Master, and saw a sacrilegious hand raised to smite Him in the face. Unable longer to endure the scene, he rushed, heartbroken, from the hall." (713)
- The Dove
- Mark 1:9-13
- Matthew 10:16—"'I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.'"
- 1 Corinthians 10:13—"No temptation has seized you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
- 2 Kings 6:12—"'None of us, my lord the king,' said one of his officers, 'but Elisha the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.'"
- Psalm 50:15—"Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you!"
- John 16:13—"'But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.'"
- Isaiah 30:21—"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"
- 1 Corinthians 8:4, 7—"So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. . . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled."
- Romans 14:23—"But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."
- SDA Bible Commentary: "The Christian should never violate his conscience. It may require educating. It may tell him that certain things are wrong that in themselves may not be wrong. But until convinced by the Word and the Spirit of God that a certain course is proper for him, he ought not to pursue it. He must not make others the criterion for his conduct; he must go to the Scriptures and learn for himself his duty in the matter." (SDABC 5:641)
- The Dove and the Rooster
- Our High Calling: "As we yield to the influence of the Spirit of God [the Dove], our conscience [the Rooster] becomes tender and sensitive, and sin that we have passed by with little thought, becomes exceeding sinful." (153)
- Which is why we must ask for both Gifts:
Dear God—give to me please a clear conscience sensitive to sin. I don't want to drink the Kool Aid and suck up the poison. I know full well what sin is—my conscience immediately goes into Red Alert. So please grant me Your power to obey Your Voice. And please give to me, dear Jesus, Your baptism of the Holy Spirit. Even as He came upon you, let Him come upon me, too—everyday. So that daily I might hear and obey the loving voice of Your Spirit through my Conscience, I humbly pray. Amen.
2 Birds, 2 Gifts, 1 Voice
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