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From Leader to Leader – Leaders in Danger of Losing Their Souls

by César De León Ph.D LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference

A businessman standing in front of a distorting mirror.

Psalm 139:23-24
New King James Version (NKJV)

23
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Introduction:

I begin with a thought from the inspired counsel: “Ministers are in danger of losing their own souls.” 2 T 511. This thought led me to do some thinking. Ministers are in danger of losing their own souls. . . so I ask why? after doing some thinking it occurred to me that the answer was in the nature of our work. We are supposedly representatives of God before His people. We deal with holy things all the time. Prayer, preaching, projecting God’s character, interceding before the Father for people who are desperate, needy, sick and discouraged. All day long we deal with holy things, whether or not we are prepared, ready or capable of doing so.

Such demands, may prompt us to develop a false self, a pseudo-personality that can and often does carry on with these holy duties although our real self may not be adequate, or prepared to do so. Thus, people that work with holy things are in in constant danger of self-delusion or self-deception. We put on this false self so often that at the end of the day we may come to believe that what we project to our people is what we are.

Ellen G. White, says that some ministers receive applause for virtues which they do not possess. GW 275

No wonder David felt the need to pray: “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart. . . We need to be searched because many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of charity or compassion, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by misguided motives.

The best way to stay true to ourselves is by begging the Spirit of God to examine our hearts. This must be a daily task. We need to be examined, to be tried constantly to reveal our true self, our anxieties, our deepest motives. Do we trust Him or are we just so used to saying it that it has become a formality, a hollow platitude? The Spirit cannot keep secrets, once He discovers what is on our hearts, He likes to alert and guide us into the truth, that is His promise.

Take time today and check in with the Spirit. Ask Him to reveal your leadership or ministerial motives. He is interested in you humbly discovering your true condition because He already has the solution.

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Momentum – A Busy 2013 Paving the Way for 2014

482484861by Scott Tyman, Pastor of the Tacoma Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

2013 was another busy year for evangelism at Tacoma Central. We started with one meeting in January with Elder Bill McClendon and I followed up the meeting with a thirty hour Daniel study with approximately thirty to thirty in attendance. We had a very good attendance throughout the meetings. We concluded a meeting with Brian McMahon in the fall.

The challenge throughout the year as well as the meeting that I help was helping people see the importance of making decisions on what they know to be truth. Throughout the year we have had one right after another who agreed with what is being taught, but they didn’t make a concrete decision to become a part of our church family. The good thins has been we had a steady stream of interests still coming to church.

What we are finding out is that it is taking more than one meeting for our interests to make decisions. There are several of them who have attending more than one meeting. We have also discovered that we need to be very patient with them and have more activities to invite them to. By building relationships with these people, it surely has helped in winning a few souls.

So, this being said, God has been faithful in blessing us with over twenty new souls for the kingdom for 2013. We had three make decisions during my meetings.

Of course every story is special when you give your life to Christ, but there hasn’t been one story that really stood out.

We still have a very good interest list going into 2014. The church is still very committed to proclaiming the three angels message. We have six or seven meetings already scheduled for the coming year. We look forward to seeing some of the seeds that have been planted to come to fruition by God’s grace.

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Changed Lives – The Church of Her Dreams

Pocatello Seventh-day Adventist Churchby Dean Lifshay, Pastor of the Idaho Falls and Pocatello Seventh-day Adventist Church

We believe that God is preparing people beforehand for the harvest and is just waiting for His laborers to reach out into the harvest field. Here is the story of one such person.

Becky quit going to the LDS church years ago after becoming disillusioned. Recently she realized that she still needed God, but didn’t want to return to the LDS church. She didn’t know what to do until she had a strange dream.

She dreamed of a chapel that she didn’t recognize. It was very different in that the church looked like the inside of a ship and up front there was a circle of people praying. A few days later she received a flyer advertising “Hope Through Prophecy.” She decided to call and get more information. She told Monte Wood, the Bible Worker for the district, that the meetings interested her, but she had no transportation. Monte told her we would send someone to pick her up.

Ross and Jeanna Brower, volunteer Bible Workers for the Pocatello Seventh-day Adventist Church who picked Becky up, remember her reaction the first night. “We weren’t really sure what was going on as she just stopped and stared when she walked in the sanctuary doors.” Becky continued to be wide-eyed throughout the first several meetings.

As she learned the new Bible truths that Pastor Dean Lifshay and Monte presented each night, Becky finally explained her mysterious reaction. She was standing in the church from her dream; the dark wood open beamed highly sloped ceiling of the church looked like the inside of a ship! Becky happily decided to be baptized at the Idaho Conference Campmeeting. She continues to be faithful in attending church and an ongoing series of Bible studies geared for new believers. Three other souls were also baptized after the meetings and more continue to attend and prepare for baptism.

We believe it was no coincidence that God revealed His church to Becky, but we also believe that God chose to do so at this time because the members of the Pocatello church had been praying and preparing. God used the whole body working together to bring in the harvest.

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Soul Winning – UCC IMPACT Weekend Focuses on Community Outreach

IMPACTLast month, Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) hosted IMPACT 2013, an all-day event focused on showing the gospel in our communities. The weekend’s main speaker, Sung Kwon, North American Division’s Adventist Community Services director, shared a concept of the Great Commission requiring the church to go into the world. “If we are not involved in the community, then when we say ‘follow me’ the people will say ‘who are you?’” Despite the full schedule, with over 23 presentations, those who attend were inspired by the ideas presented and the stories of others reaching their communities through service. Read more about IMPACT 2013 from UCCSDA.org.

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Momentum – 2012 Newsletter Stats

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 41,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Health & Temperance – Adventist Medical Center, Portland Health Results

Portland Hospital Ranks in Top Safety Tier – Adventist Medical Center (AMC) is the recipient of the 2012 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™, indicating that its patient safety ratings are in the top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals. The Portland, Ore., hospital credits this distinction to the efforts it has been implementing to enhance communication between patients and their caregivers. According to Judy Leach, AMC spokesperson, the study finds that Medicare patients at Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals were almost 48 percent less likely to experience one of 13 preventable safety events compared to hospitals in the bottom 5 percent in the nation. “Adventist Medical Center has been focused on doing what’s best for the patient,” states Tom Russell, President and CEO of AMC. “We’ve empowered every employee to identify ways of improving communication and help implement protocols designed to ensure a positive patient experience.” Read more HERE

Tillamook Hospital Named Top Performer – Tillamook County General Hospital (Tillamook Hospital) has been named one of the nation’s Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America. Tillamook Hospital was recognized by The Joint Commission for exemplary performance in using evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to improve care for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, and stroke. Tillamook Hospital is one of 620 hospitals in the U.S. earning the distinction of Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance. Read more HERE.

Health Study Results Shared in Portland – Karen Jaceldo-Siegl was in Portland, Ore., last week to share preliminary findings from the Adventist Health Study-2 with the “Enhanding Health with Plant-Based Nutrition” conference co-sponsored by the Adventist Medical Center. Jaceldo-Siegl is in charge of quality control for all aspects of the current study which includes 96,000 Adventists from around North America and comparisons between white and black populations. Findings so far show 28 percent more Adventist men than the control group survive past the age of 81, and 19 percent more Adventist women live past 86. The study also found that while whites consume more whole grain bread and legumes, blacks eat more cruciferous vegetables. Read more about Jaceldo-Siegl’s presentation in Portland online HERE.

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Lifelong Learning – Should We Observe the Israelite Festivals?

In recent times some have begun promoting the idea that the Israelite festivals (yearly Sabbaths) are still required for believers. Is this what the Bible teaches? Here are some Bible resources (articles and video) that give us guidance on this important subject.

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Lifelong Learning – unChristian: What perceptions are we creating that harm receptivity to the Gospel?

GEORGIA GROWN

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unChristian: What perceptions are we creating that harm receptivity to the Gospel?

Groundbreaking research into the perceptions of 16 to 29-year-old non-Christians reveals that Christians have taken several giant steps backward in one of their most important assignments. Christians are supposed to represent Christ to the world. Young Americans share an impression of Christians that’s nothing short of unChristian. You cannot read/view this material (presented by David Kinnaman of Barna Research), without being disturbed into action. And, that’s a good thing.

Read the entire article! »

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Momentum: Evangelism Attitude

This was my first series in my new district and in Montana. I moved here to the Helena district in January of 2009 from Kansas. The Helena church has a very active Outreach team. They have been running several seminars each year for a couple of years. In 2008 they ran the Financial Peace University and then in 2009 they ran the Step Fast program in the spring and Dr. Nedley’s Depression Recovery seminar in the fall. They did a lay led Share Him program in the spring and then I conducted a Share Him program this fall from Nov. 1 to Nov. 22nd.

We have a profession of faith and a baptism planned from the spring series when we can get the date worked out. From the fall series that I preached we had 2 rebaptisms and 2 baptisms from a baptismal class I conducted with our school age students. We have 3 more ready for baptism from that class when we can get a date set. We have a family of 10 that came to the fall meetings regularly with 6 of them attending church regularly but they are not ready for baptism. We are going to start a small group with them for follow-up.

This is the first time in a while that the Helena church mailed out flyers to the whole city. We ended up with 42 on opening night which is about 4 times the usual crowd. We continued to have between 25 and 30 people throughout the series. The added blessing from the series was the support of the church members. Many who came have made new commitments to God and the church since finishing the series. Several who weren’t attending regularly have been attending more frequently. All in all it is has been a real blessing. We are preparing for our spring harvest events. We will do Financial Peace University, Step Fast, The Depression Recovery Seminar, a men’s retreat and then follow up with a lay led Share Him program in May. The Helena church is committed to running 2 cycles of evangelism each year. They have an evangelism attitude.

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Advent Movements- Cook, Bryant, Venden, Livesay

  • Steve Cook- To Evangelism Training School at Wildwood, GA from Oregon Conf Evangelist
  • Alex Bryant- To NAD Executive Secretary from President, Central States Conf
  • Lee Venden- To Continue reading

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