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Volume 15 Issue 11

Ideas, Inspiration & Opportunities for Adventist Church Leaders in the Northwest & Beyond.

Gratitude: Medicine to the Mind, Body and Soul

by César De León PhD LMFT, Ministerial Director for the North Pacific Union Conference

I don’t remember ever taking a course in gratitude. Do you? Yet, I suspect that all I have continued to learn about the holistic benefits ruminating on gratitude is probably more important to my health and well-being than most can imagine.

Our alternative is grim. We can choose to graze on the awfulness of all around us. A 10-minute stop to watch any news channel will give us 1001 reasons to worry, to get upset, to raise our blood pressure, to increase the cortisol levels in our bloodstream and to ensure a decline in our mental, emotional, physical and relational well-being.

I have learned from personal experience that when I begin my day in a quiet, personal reflection on God and His Word and even before opening the Word, I write out 7 things for which I am grateful, it jump starts my mind and soul and sets me off on a winning trajectory that helps me face the challenges the day will inadvertently give me.

Indeed, multiple studies are showing how expressing gratitude (to God and others) reduces stress, increases optimism and changes our brain. Continue Reading...

Election Fallout: How to Help Your Church

Heather Crews, Pastor of the Courthouse Road Church in Richmond, Virginia shares her thoughts on how to handle members and politics.

  • Acknowledge to yourself what you are feeling
  • Choose to listen in order to understand
  • Name the situation publicly
  • Bring the Hope

Read the full article here

Are We Masking Our Religious Liberty?

by Dr. Stan Hudson, Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference

Am I alone in my thinking about this, but is anyone else really tired of this Covid stuff?  No, I mean REALLY tired?  This has been one crazy year, but after all of these months there is still no consensuses about the virus.

Let’s look at “the science.”  There IS agreement that it is a highly communicable flu virus.  But after that…is it a natural virus or man-made?  Not sure, though it has some unusual features.  Does a mask prevent you from getting it?  A doctor friend told me 70% of those contracting the virus DID wear masks and followed protocols!   There was a recent teachers meeting in Idaho where a number of teachers came down with Covid, all while wearing masks and washing hands and using sanitizers!

Does wearing masks help in any way?  The now-famous N95 masks filter out anything larger than .5 microns.  But the virus is smaller than that.  Hopefully, masks slow down the spread of the droplets we breathe out, thought by some to be the primary way it spreads.  But please note the above examples!

It’s deadly.  Well, to less than one percent of those who contract it.   We need to shut down businesses…but that leads to higher crime rates and increased suicides from depression.  Being out of work is not just a national issue, because children are starving as a result of millions of families having no income. Continue Reading...

Reaching an Entire City

by Ofa Langi, Pastor of the Auburn City Adventist Church

We had originally planned to have meetings with Evangelist Brian McMahon April 16-May 9, 2020. As the world knows, Covid-19 hit and we have been altering our plans and adjusting as we go. With an alternative option to join It Is Written’s virtual meetings, we jumped on the opportunity to do evangelism. Our local Elders, Finance Committee along with the Church Board agreed to be a part of the virtual meetings. We set people in place and started picking out leaders and virtual Bible workers. As leaders, we watched and participated in the online training sessions as we prepared for the meetings.

The It Is Written meetings started as planned, but there were some major challenges. The server crashing opening night, the switching of the follow up and tracking participants program was challenging. Our most difficult issue was trying to train and transition our older volunteer virtual Bible workers to a new system. This really discouraged our volunteers. We struggled to stay connected with our online database participants and tracking was a major issue.

But there was the bright spot in all of this for our church. These issues helped us be intentional about prayer, outreach and evangelism. As a result we started praying. Our 40 Days of Prayer journey went from 40 days to a 100 days of praying and corporately fasting on Wednesdays. The church was better connected as a result of praying together. Continue Reading...

Surprise Baptism

by Gerizin De Pena, Pastor of the Salem Spanish Adventist Church

In mid-July, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, we were blessed to hold virtual evangelistic meetings entitled “Today is Your Day. During these meetings, we had an average of 200 people connected every day. Several of the local families, watching the virtual meetings, were receiving Bible studies from members of the Salem Spanish and were making the decision for Christ. In addition to these, dozens of people in various parts of the world who also embraced Jesus as their only personal Savior.

I want to highlight the wonderful experience that occurred at the baptism on Saturday, August 29th, in the Willamette River in Salem, Oregon. That beautiful afternoon, with social distancing, a group of brethren got together to celebrate the baptism of a family of five. As we sang by the river, an Anglo man, named Nicholas, was observing our baptism. When we finish singing and praying, we proceeded to the baptismal ceremony. When we finished the baptism, Nicholas mentioned to a member about his desire to talk to me.

When Nicholas approached me, he said “God has touched my life and I need you to please baptize me now!” He spoke to me with conviction and a cry of the heart that could only reflect the sincerity of when the Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip the same question. I immediately asked him if he believed and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and the answer was yes. Upon perceiving this impressive work of the Holy Spirit, I returned with this man again to the waters and there I baptized him. I have never seen such a cheerful face and expression of such joy in a newly baptized as I saw that afternoon. He looked like a child who just received a toy he had desired all his life!

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