The entire northwest and the world have been blessed because of intensive sowing, cultivating and reaping activities in Metro Boise this fall. Metro Boise, known to locals as the “Treasure Valley,” is one of the top ten metro areas in the North Pacific Union Conference, and is the largest metro area in the Idaho Conference. Here are a few highlights from the activities (If you participated feel free to share your comments, too!)–
“God So Loved” series by Jere Patzer, NPUC President, was hosted by the Cloverdale Seventh-day Adventist Church for the entire valley. Conducted live in Boise October 20-27 and sent by satellite on the Hope Channel to downlink sites throughout all six conferences of the northwest and around the world November 10-17, the eight night mini-series was a time of great preaching, music and testimonies. Each night featured a changed life– someone being baptized, uniting with the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Profession of Faith, or a new Adventist active in soul winning. Pastors throughout the valley are intensifying their follow up and soul winning activities through the remainder of the year.
Simultaneously, at the other end of the Treasure Valley, Ramon Canals, NPUC VP for Hispanic Ministries and Associate Ministerial Director, held a mini-series at the Nampa Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many were baptized and the pastor is following up the great interest. One of those baptized was a Cuban lady raised as an atheist, whose Anglo husband had been praying that someday his wife would believe in God. Now she is praying that he will accept the Adventist message! Ramon says “If we don’t have meetings like this, what would happen to these people who are searching for something better?”
Walla Walla University Theology/Religion/Ministerial majors were invited to attend a downlink and/or internet site, share their thoughts and bring their friends. Michael White shared this reflection “Thank you for helping to put on this series…. I’m glad to see Adventism get back into the “mission field” here at home, and even around the world via satellite.” Amanda Whithers comments on each night are at the end of this page. In addition, Walla Walla University Communications Majors, as well as the media team at the McMinnville, Oregon Seventh-day Adventist Church, helped to film the “God So Loved” series live in Boise under the direction of Todd Gessele of the NPUC.
Steve McPherson, President of the Idaho Conference, says he saw a revival among the Seventh-day Adventist Churches of the Treasure Valley as a result of these efforts and a renewed focus on the mission of the church. He mentioned that local church preparations, an outreach focused Week of Prayer at Gem State Academy, The Big Picture Weekend hosted by seven of the area churches (click here for more information), the support of the mission by Pacific Press, and the two reaping series had a cumulative effect to greatly strengthen and multiply God’s work in the metro Boise area.
Anchorage, Alaska is the NPUC Top Ten target city for the first half of 2008. April 19-26, 2008 a satellite mini-series featuring Evangelist Jac Colon, will be aired from Anchorage on the Hope Channel. Click here for a Harvest Cycle Planning Sheet for January-June 2008 for your church or school.
Reflections on each night of the “God So Loved” Satellite Reaping Mini-Series, by Amanda Withers, Walla Walla University Student
The Bible: Is It Really Still Valid For Me Today?
I appreciated this meeting because so often you hear people, even Christians, doubting that the Bible still has a message for us living now. I know that the Bible has helped me through some difficult times in my life, and it’s good to know that others feel the same way. I liked Jerry Patzer’s story about Barry Black, and how his mom played such an important role in his life, by encouraging him to memorize Scripture. It was interesting for him to note that there are no direct quotes in the New Testament from the Apocrypha. I haven’t read much in the Apocrypha-just a few verses, so I don’t know all that much about it, but I didn’t know whether there was any ties between it and the New Testament or not. I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the meetings.
Salvation: What Is Sin & Why Do I Need A Savior?
I liked the point Elder Patzer made about the 10 Commandments. We don’t need to lie, steal or murder or do any of the things mentioned in Ex. 20, because of 20:2, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Because He is our God, we don’t need to disobey these commands. I appreciated his point when he talked about Moses and the brass snake and told how snakes in the Bible represent sin (usually), and Jesus became sin for us. I’ve known that there was significance between those two stories, but I hadn’t connected them with the verse that says Jesus became sin for us. I also liked the quote from Billy Sunday, he used, “Going to church makes you as much of a Christian as going to your garage makes you a car.” I am enjoying these meetings.
Life or Death: Is There Really Life After Death?
I liked the idea Elder Patzer presented, that death is merely Creation in reverse. I’d never thought of it that way before, but it makes sense. I am so glad that we can look forward to a resurrection. I can’t imagine not believing in a resurrection, life would be so desolate. I know it has given me hope and joy. I’ve heard before that if Jesus hadn’t specified “Lazarus” when He called to Lazarus that all of the dead would have come alive. And I like the idea. I think it would have been a wonderful experience to be a witness when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Wow. I can’t wait till its Resurrection Morning!!!!
Baptism-Why Should We Consider This Commitment?
I love baptisms-the day I was baptized was one of the best days in my life, and I always enjoy it when others get baptized. I appreciated Elder Patzer’s description of a baptism as the mark of a new beginning instead of a graduation. It’s true, often we think of baptism as the ending when in reality it’s the beginning. His story about the two ladies who walked 25 miles to be baptized was very inspiring, although it did make me wonder-how many of us here in America would do that if we were in similar circumstances? His idea about Jesus being baptized for those who could not be baptized was new to me. I always thought He got baptized to set an example (which I think He did), but it also makes sense that He got baptized for those who couldn’t.
Worship-Does It Really Matter How We Worship God?
One of my favorite topics- The Sabbath is my favorite day of the week; I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. It is always good to remember that Sabbath is coming. In fact, I don’t know how people survive without it. I think it is the best gift God gave to us. I liked the fact that Elder Patzer pointed out that Jesus began His ministry on the Sabbath. I knew He had done several miracles on the Sabbath, but it hadn’t registered in my mind that He actually began His ministry on the Sabbath.
Millennium-Is There Really A Secret Rapture?
I love this series; they are about most of my favorite topics!! And the second coming is definitely on that list!! I’m sad that it is not talked about very much anymore. Or if it is, it’s referred to as something happening out in the future somewhere. I believe it’s going to happen soon. And I can’t wait!! I liked the way Elder Patzer divided it up into the 3 sections of what’s going to happen before, during and after the millennium. The story he ended with really touched my heart. What love!
I love the descriptions of Heaven in the Bible. Especially the verse, “eye has not seen, nor ear heard.” I thought it was neat that the 12 stones that make up the foundation of the New Jerusalem make up the colors of a rainbow. I also liked what Elder Patzer’s pastor told him, that, “we spell Heaven with a capital “H” because it is a real place.” So, often we think of Heaven as more of a concept rather than a real place. Another point I appreciated was his comment about no angel ever moving to earth because Heaven was “too boring.” I don’t think we’ll ever be bored in Heaven.
Why do bad things happen?
What a powerful meeting!! It was so encouraging to hear about Elder Patzer’s experience. So many people talk about trials and rising above them, but unless you’ve actually gone through them, it has no impact on people. I really liked the three points he made toward the ending of the meeting: 1. I am not the potter, I am the clay; I am not the pilot, I am the passenger; I am not God’s consultant, I am His child! It is so good to know that God is with us especially in the hard times, I know I have felt His Presence many times in my life, and it has brought great comfort to me.