Sitting with my family on a sand dune at the beach in South Haven, Michigan, with Gatorade in one hand, glow stick in the other, I watched the 4th of July fireworks display. I wondered, as one of the shells exploded revealing a smiley face in the sky, what it might have been like to be Francis Key, watching from the water, as the British bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore.
During the appeal at the close of his message, Pastor Allen was thrilled to see a thirty-something man rise from his seat and make his way to the front of the worship center. The event was especially emotional because the pastor knew the backstory. Two years before, the man — we'll call him Irwin — had begun to attend the church. Sporadically at first, then with regularity. But then he disappeared.
Last fall, during the North American Division 2017 Year-End Meeting, a group of church leaders gathered in a conference room for a lunchtime meet and greet. A conference president, three college presidents, several ministry leaders, and a few church officers — all women — gathered to reflect, share, pray, and praise God. They also shared advice they'd give to their younger selves.
Have you heard the phrase “the church is a hospital?” Generally, it means the church is a place of healing from physical, mental, spiritual, and social brokenness. But there is more to be gleaned from the analogy.
As a Loma Linda University student, Tevita Palaki once skipped meals to financially support his budding ministry. Today, the non-profit organization, United Feet, which Palaki launched as a sophomore in 2015, sends out volunteers up to four times a week to serve local homeless by offering them the Christian act of footwashing.
During fourth period Samantha Grady and her classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida were learning about the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany and the Holocaust. The students were typing on their computers when shots rang out.
This is about the souls of human beings whom Jesus came to give His life for, and God has called you for the special purpose of conveying that. And it doesn’t matter where you are on planet Earth. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Australia or Canada, the United States or Bermuda, or Guam, Micronesia. Just do it. Don’t be afraid. Move ahead. Evangelism continues to be the life blood of the church. We will never do away with it. It’s just that it may morph. Get ready.
In Jovannah Poor Bear-Adams's seven years at Holbrook Indian School—first as girls’ dean and English teacher, then as vice principal, and now as dean of Student Services and Programming—she has worked with hundreds of students, each with their own unique narrative.
It's estimated that 800,000 protesters attended the March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C., on March 24. But one Parkland shooting victim and survivor who has gained some notoriety through numerous, televised interviews wasn’t in D.C. On that March day, Samantha Grady was a state away from the Florida demonstration, praying and studying the Bible at a PBE event.