Pastor’s Appreciation Day: “I also send you”

By Jonas Arrais

 

The month of October has been designated by Christians worldwide as Clergy Appreciation Month. In the same way that other professions are honored during the year, a date was officially chosen to honor pastors and those who perform ministerial work. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has set the second Saturday of the month— October 14 this year—for this well-deserved tribute to our pastors.

The nature of what pastors and their families accomplish is unique. God entrusted to them one of the most precious responsibilities: to care for His church. When they fail to fulfill this duty, church members are harmed. In this context, the pastoral family has a great responsibility before God and the church they serve. The church, on the other hand, needs to pray for them and support them in their work.

On Pastor’s Appreciation Day, church members from more than 150,000 congregations in 215 countries around the world have the opportunity to express gratitude to God and recognition to their pastors. On this Sabbath, you don’t need to prepare a special sermon in honor of the pastoral family, for the hour of worship must always be reserved for the nourishment of church members and to glorify God. Messages based on the Bible and focused in Christ should be presented in each service. Any recognition should be done before and/or after the message.

For the year 2017, the motto "I Also Send You" was chosen based on John 20:21 (NKJV). The goal is to share the idea that pastors are sent by God for a special mission inside and outside the church. Just as Jesus was sent by the Father, so He sends His apostles today: pastors.

What matters most on Pastor’s Appreciation Day is the gratitude and recognition from the local congregation and other church entities. Pastors are spiritual leaders—make this day special for them!

 

Additional resources are available from Ministry Magazine and NAD Ministerial.

 

 

October 12, 2017

I Timothy 2:1-2 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

This is a hard text to put into practice, particularly in these days of social and political polarization. But there it is, urged upon all believers by the Apostle Paul. We do have a choice, to honor the biblical counsel, or to ignore it as antiquated advice.

It does not make a distinction based on common philosophy or political affiliation. It does not mention any exception based on intelligence, temperament, or likability. No, it simply urges us to pray for them. Perhaps, this inspired petition allows grace to enter the heart of the one offering the prayers on behalf of a figure who has previously been seen as an opponent—an adversary, perhaps even an enemy. Ironically, Jesus give us a command to love our enemies as well. (Matthew 5:43-44).

Wooden cross.

We are called to pray for all—deserving or undeserving. After all, we are the recipients of such a petition on our behalf by the One who uttered these immortal words on our behalf, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Until He comes…

Pastor Ruben

 

King David loved the Law of Jehovah! He loved it so much, he penned the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses) as a tribute to the Law of God. You would be hard- pressed to find another passage that proclaims the virtue and value of the commandments of God with as much passion and penchant.

Of all people who have proclaimed the importance of the Law of God, David is the most perplexing. After all his life is peppered with deception, bloodshed, infidelity, disobedience, covetousness, theft, and the list goes on. 

On the other hand, few people can match the level of praise and prose offered to the focus of his affection. The man who wandered much, found refuge in the very law he broke. He is the living example of the conflicted soul described in Romans 7.A picture of a scroll.

Who could argue that King David was insincere when he sang the words of the passage   referenced   above?   He   had   no intent of abandoning God’s law even if he often fell short! He goes as far as saying that God had given him life through His law. Why? How? After all, we learn in the New Testament that the purpose of the law    was not to give life, but to lead the believer to the life-Giver (Read Romans 7:4).  I believe David understood this more than most people. The law convicted Him, but God has always been in the business of converting the soul. Life is the gift of God to the sin-splotched saint seeking succor and salvation. I am the chief of these!

I am so thankful for the Precepts of God—His expressed will. They enrich my life. They fill my heart with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith- fulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Romans 5:22-23).

Oh, God—how I love your law!

By His Grace, Pastor Ruben

Church Logo. October 11, 2017

Ephesians 5:15-16:See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Welcome to the New and Improved Los Alamitos Seventh-day Adventist Church Website. If you are reading this, you have found us! We plan for this new website to be a blessing to those who simply visit or even connect regularly. Share and invite others to visit our website. You will find news and resources. Of course, you will find this “plog” (pastor’s blog). You will hopefully find useful information along the way. However, our ultimate purpose is much, much higher.

Above all else, we want you to see Jesus, the Light of the World. He is the One from which all doctrine and practice flow. He is the source and focus of our worship. He is the beginning and the ultimate goal of our walk of faith. All that we share, all that we preach, all that we do, must find its origin in Him who is, who was, and who is to come. Jesus Christ is the author and securer of our salvation. He is our Redeemer as well as our Sustainer. We walk in complete assurance of our standing before the One who knows us best, who knows us at our worst, and who still loves us most. That’s pretty awesome!

We respond to this incredible gift of grace by gifting Him our best. This is not a philosophical tenet, it is a way of life—it requires all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind. It is exemplified primarily in the life and ministry of Christ, and by extension, in our love for one another, and for all those who enter our sphere of influence—small or great. Our time is redeemed by our living Jesus’ life in us: living, loving, helping, sharing, investing, and embracing the unlovable, the marginalized, the needy, and even those who work against us. Why?

Because God calls us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” No time to waste. The hands of time continue to click away the seconds of our brief time on this rebellious orb called Earth. We will face opposition—move forward. We will have contact with scoffers—respond tactfully. We will be surrounded by evil—stand for righteousness. We will suffer hate—don’t ever tire of loving His children. All of them. As He loves you. And me.

Until He comes.

Pastor Ruben 

Animated background of moving gears with colored world map super-imposed over it.

By Loren Seibold, October 8, 2017: The temptation, when you’re in a setting where you know there’s a conflict hanging over everyone’s heads, is to read that conflict into everything that happens, everything that’s said. You can start to see sinister motives in the most innocent happenings. But when the tension lies as heavy on the room as a 90 degree dew point, it’s hard not to analyze every word and gesture and intonation as having some reference to the current situation.

Of course, some words and events, which may appear innocent, actually do have reference to the current situation, as you’ll see in today’s report. Read full article.