Posted by: Marella | October 20, 2009

Peace and Confidence by Robin Pete

header_leftMy husband and I were reading in Luke 12:12….” do not be afraid when it is time to speak because the Holy Spirit will help you to know what to say” I sat down to write this and these are the thoughts put into my heart.

I have been blessed to have accepted the Lord Christ Jesus as my Savior and Master. He wrote my name in the palms of His hands. He took the beating for sin… that I deserved….He was blameless….I am grateful everyday for the gifts of salvation and forgiveness.

God lead me to the Nampa Seventh-day Adventist Church with a heart full of sorrow. Elmer kept praying for me even before he was my friend. The Friday night Bible study group of Shirley, Doug, Kelly, Judy, Elmer, Patty, Betty and Joanne were the life line that I held onto until slowly, slowly, God started working in and on my life. Many Sabbath mornings the pastor was speaking directly to me….telling me with God’s words to… hold on….have faith…..I am your God; I will always be with you.

I appreciate being surrounded with solid… loving…giving… wonderful people. I am blessed each time I am in this church or at one of the Bible studies. I am especially blessed by our community service work. 

We have a responsibility as Christians to be the physical expression of our invisible God. Someday I hope I won’t have to tell people I am a Christian….they will already know by the peace and confidence given to me by Christ…. working in my life.

Posted by: Marella | October 7, 2009

Making a Change for the Better by Daniel Lloyd

l_074a296082de45c29558b5331f78aa6bI grew up in a good home, lots of love. When I was 19 I started to stray away from God. I moved to a different town and ended up getting involved with the wrong people. Gave up the job I had to sell dope with a couple former gang members. In the process I lost everything, my apartment, my job and almost my life. I over dosed twice and almost ended up going to prison for a very long time. I was involved in this type of lifestyle for awhile. On and off I would do drugs and sell dope. I was a heavy cigarrette smoker and an occasional drinker. Every other word was the “f” word, I never went to church and if I did I was most likely high.

I was fortunate enough to meet some better influences and slowly after a lot of bad expieriences (being robbed, jumped) I figured it was time to make a change for the better. I quit smoking and two weeks later I heard about a men’s retreat that was happening at the church I was attending. Someone from the church sponsored me so that I could attend. At the time I was involved in a lot of spiritual warfare, my walk was weak, I was still swearing and listening to demonic music. I finally decided to go and while there I couldn’t stop thinking about becoming saved. During one of the sermons they had an altar call and I felt like that was my time and I went up with about 10 other men. We said a prayer together and I gave my heart to the Lord.

Posted by: Marella | May 14, 2009

Jesus Matters!

On night 1 of our Jesus Matters! campaign, at precisely 7:00 p.m., a young man ran through the front doors of the conference center where we were holding our evangelistic seminar. Our seminar greeters and I met him just as we were about to begin. He was out of breath, but with a smile on his face, he said, “I made it on time! I am here for the seminar!” I smiled and said, “Welcome! I am Pastor Steve – glad you made it. Help yourself to some refreshments – you are right on time!”

At our evening break; we had a chance to visit briefly. The young man’s name is Lucas MAX-train-bikeand he found out about the seminar because someone at the Shawn Boonstra reunion meeting the Saturday before had picked up a Jesus Matters! flyer and gave it to Lucas. He told me that the Holy Spirit had prompted him to attend this series – I agreed and was thankful for this divine appointment. He was living downtown at the time and attending culinary college. He wasn’t sure where the meetings were held and how to get there so he caught the TriMet Max train out to the east side, hopped on a bus to Clackamas Town Center, asked for some more directions and ran from the mall the two miles to the conference center. Lucas had been praying to dedicate his life to the Lord. This last year, he had been volunteering at the Portland Rescue Mission as a cook and sharing his testimony with others he served.

Lucas attended each night of the seminar, fully engaged in the table discussions and very interested in learning more about a relationship with Jesus. Our seminar support staff was a great encouragement to Lucas as he enthusiastically studied the Word. The staff picked him up at the bus stop and dropped him off at the Max station or bus stop each night for his ride home. On night 5, he received a copy of the new Desire of Ages and proceeded to read most of it before the seminar ended.

Lucas said he felt very blessed by God through this study and especially by the people who he studied with night after night. During the meetings, he attended Sabbath School and church at Tabernacle Church a couple of times. He came out to the Agape Supper (foot-washing and communion) on Good Friday at Pleasant Valley Church. We had the privilege to serve one another and share communion together. Lucas was very touched by the service and the new friends he has made. Since the end of the meetings, Lucas has attended Pleasant Valley Church and has a desire to continue his studies in preparation for baptism. He wants to serve God with his newly attained skills and plans to continue to share Christ with others he meets.

Steve Madsen
Assistant Pastor
Pleasant Valley Church
Posted by: Marella | April 27, 2009

A Good Night’s Sleep

April 2009 Eugene Spanish Church Evangelistic Campaign – Pastor Samuel Tahaysleeping-well

Two years ago our personal ministries director, Esteban, started a Bible study with Carlos, he is member of the Baptist Church, they studied the Bible for almost two years, but it was hard for Carlos to accept the keeping of the Sabbath.

One day Carlos introduced Albert, one of his friends, to Esteban. They started talking about the Bible and Albert got interested in studying with Esteban, he was very exited to learn new truths in the Bible. Albert was having problems sleeping, and his life was full of stress. They studied every week. Then Esteban invited Albert to our evangelistic meetings, Albert accepted the invitation and was early for the two weeks of our meetings, he didn’t miss one single day. I preached the series and every night I watched Albert’s eyes light up when I presented Bible truths. When I invited any one who wants to accept Jesus as their savior, Albert was the first to stand up and walk to the front. When I preached about baptism, he was one of the 9 people to come to the front. The last Sabbath, I baptized Albert as a new member of the Eugene Spanish church. That day he was very happy, he really looked like a new person in Jesus Christ. This week at our prayer meeting he gave his testimony. After his baptism, all his stress disappeared, now he’s sleeping peacefully, he is happy in Jesus.

Posted by: danserns | April 26, 2009

Revelation Now Changes Lives in Pasco

handbillfrontGod is still eager to answer prayers, and lead people to a greater knowledge of Him, if we will let Him use us as his tools. Two amazing stories from a recent public evangelistic series in Pasco (Wash.) Riverview Church provide a wonderful reminder of this truth.

Emma Lutz, a member of the church determined to join the lay visitation teams led by Jac Colon for the purpose of visiting those attending the meetings.  As a part of Desert Rain, an eight week-prayer intensive pre-meeting preparation program, Lutz prayed God would bring her Hispanic neighbor family to the meetings. She prayed, and even fasted, that God would work in their lives. A few days before the meetings began she invited them to come with her, and was crushed when they politely told her they were members of a Catholic Church, and were not interested.  But God was not finished working yet.

Unbeknownst to Emma, in another part of town a young Hispanic man, Angel Zepeda, who owns a construction company, came home one evening from work, turned on the television set and began to flip through the channels when he saw Jac Colon preaching on 3ABN. It caught his interest, and after watching the show he called the number listed and ordered the DVD of that sermon. The day that the DVD arrived in the mail, he also received a handbill advertising Revelation Now with Jac Colon – live in Pasco.  He immediately told his family they would be attending the meetings, to change any plans they had. True to his word they began attending on opening weekend. He was scheduled to spend the next two weeks working in Seattle,so he insisted they attend every one while he was gone.  However, the plans for Seattle changed and He and his wife, and their three young teens came nearly every night.

When Lutz attended the first visitation training class for the lay visitation teams, she eagerly requested any name that sounded Spanish, so that she could visit them. She took Angel Zepeda and his family. They had attended every night and she was eager to meet them. Imagine her surprise when she discovered Angel was the brother of her neighbor whose family she had been praying for during the last eight weeks. As a result of Emma’s faithful prayers and visitation and the mighty work of the Spirit of God, Angel, his wife Blanca and they three lovely teen age children; Abigail, Rebecca and Isaac were united with the Riverview Church Family on the last Sabbath of the meetings.

Richard Reynolds was a real mystery man.  He turned in his card nightly, but no one knew who he was, and none of the visitation teams had been able to find him. Finally, when there were only two meetings left, Teddy Shupe, pastor, was able to meet him, and quickly arranged an appointment with himself and Jac Colon. 

Imagine the surprise when, during that appointment, they found out that Renyolds recently retired from his position as a Christian Minister in Arizona after his wife had been stricken with cancer.  Renyolds has a Master of Divinity degree from Texas Christian University, and a Doctor of Ministry from Faith Evangelical Seminary, and had served the Lord as a chaplain and pastor for over 30 years.

Renyolds told them he was moved as he listened to the sermons each night, and realized that Saturday was the Sabbath.  Although his studies had clearly indicated Saturday was the Sabbath for the Jews, and thus the Sabbath observed by Jesus, he had been lulled into accepting Sunday as the Sabbath simply because it was the tradition of most Christian churches.

“There were not many silver linings to my wife’s illness,” he says. “But Revelation Now is one of them.  I am struck by the Grace and Love of God, who continually reveals himself to us in Holy Scriptures even after years of reading and studying His Word.” 

Renyolds was thrilled to continue in His walk with the Lord by Following the Lamb of Revelation all the way. He too joined the Pasco church on the last Sabbath.  Both the church and Pastor Shupe are thrilled to have a “new pastor” in their midsts.

Posted by: Marella | April 22, 2009

Glimpses of God’s Glory

fraudWith the immanent conviction and sentencing of Wall Street investor Bernie Madoff-arguably the worst frauds in American financial history-we begin to wonder, ‘Is there any good left in the business world?’ It would seem that corporate greed and shady ethics are the rule, and sadly, corporate responsibility and honesty are the exception. However, a story emerging out of Modesto, California with ties to the Northwest appears to give us reason for hope, and cause for reflection.

The story begins in the fall of 2002, when Vancouver Seventh-day Adventist Church placed a substantial order for new pews with the highly regarded and established Overholtzer Pew Company, based in Modesto, CA. As Senior Pastor VJ Puccinelli for the Vancouver church recalls, “We were building the new Vancouver church, and the time came to place the order for pews, so we sent Overholtzer a deposit check for $9,500.”

Late in summer of 2003, the church received notice that Overholtzer had run afoul of the IRS, and their assets were
being liquidated by the IRS. “As we later learned,” VJ continues,” one of Overholzter’s employees had absconded with money, not paid taxes, and IRS sold off their assets to cover the back taxes. It was a devastating blow for the Vancouver church to lose nearly ten thousand dollars, but many other churches were even harder hit, losing deposits of thirty or forty thousand dollars.” Read More…

Posted by: Marella | January 6, 2009

Welcome Home

white_open_arms1I was born into the Seventh-day Adventist religion. I’ve been going to church my whole life. In some ways I had it easier than people who don’t have that opportunity. In other ways it’s not so easy. Yes I did have some form of a connection to God all through the years. But it was never a strong, personal relationship with Him. I always felt like I was missing something important. As I became a teenager I became more and more skeptical about my religion. I was still trying to hold to my faith but it was becoming harder and harder. It became more like a chore and I didn’t feel God at all.

Then the final point of my turning from Him occurred. I was shattered by someone very close to me. In the aftermath, I needed somewhere to lay the blame for all of my pain. So I blamed God. I couldn’t believe He had allowed that to happen to me. I felt like God had betrayed me. So I turned away from Him. I wanted nothing to do with Him. Whenever anyone would talk about God, or religion I would close my heart. I refused to listen to anyone who wanted to help. And consequently my life took a destructive turn. I did a lot of things that I am not proud of. In turning from God I gave myself completely over to the world and unknowingly Satan’s influence. Even after the mistakes were made, they still haunted me. All of it took a huge toll on me. Most of my battles were internal though, so there was no one to help me through them. Over time it just built up. I started to feel more and more unsatisfied with my life. I felt like I needed meaning in my life. Read More…

Posted by: Marella | December 3, 2008

Finding an Open Door

The service at White Center Spainish Adventist Church was in full swing when Fernando walked in the side door. He was looking for a church, for a chance to change, and had already visited several denominations.From the doorway, Fernando tried to catch the preacher, Ben Figueroa’s attention. He held up his hand to ask to interrupt for one moment. The whole service stopped, and everyone watched as Fernando asked, “Can I stay and worship with you guys?”

The members invited him inside the sanctuary. He sat near the front and listened intently as the pastor said: “You have found the door to Jesus Christ open this morning; won’t you respond?”

With tears running down his face, Fernando was the first to respond to the call. He had walked through many church front doors, but it wasn’t until he walked in the back door of a church that he found Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Marella | December 3, 2008

A Ringing Truth

Able answered the persistently ringing phone to hear a buddy’s invitation to a Saturday night party. The invitation was tempting…and easy. Or was it? Not long ago, another friend had given Able’s phone number to a Bible worker from the White Center Spainish Church, who called on a daily basis to just say hi. Able resented these phone calls and wondered if the phone calls would stop if he listened to what the Bible worker had to say.

Able soon began Bible studies with the Bible worker. After just two studies, Able was convicted and asked to be baptized.

Now, with the party invitation hanging, Able had a choice to make. His mind still raging with indecisiveness, the phone rang again. The Bible worker at church called to ask: “What’s holding you back?” Fearful of going back to old habits, Able ran to the church and asked the Bible worker to baptize him immediately. Able made his choice…for God.

Posted by: Marella | November 5, 2008

Can She Talk to Dead Spirits?

untitled1I came in contact with a lady who, for sometime now, has been telling me that she can talk to the dead spirits. I listened and would just ask general questions like, “So where do you think those spirits are coming from?” and “Where do you think the voices are coming from?” I would gently try and let her know, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, what our belief of the dead was. She would ask me if I thought she was weird, or crazy, (she felt they were coming from God). I would say, “No, not at all.” I would tell her that I was a little concerned for her and she would ask me why, because she found comfort with them. I told her that I didn’t believe they came from God and to just pray and be careful. All the while she would talk so much about Jesus and the love she has for Him. So, I shared a book with her called “The Shack” by William Young. She read it twice. I have been praying for an opportunity to talk about the spirits and for her to be in a place where she would LISTEN. Well that opportunity came yesterday morning. After a year, God gave me a window to talk and she heard me, and believes me and now is asking what to do to turn them off because she no longer seeks comfort with them and is worried. We know how hard the enemy can make our lives and sometimes the only thing we can do is pray. Praise God that she has seen the truth!

Posted by: Marella | October 14, 2008

“Hi – I’m Allen, Alcoholic/Addict”

Hi. I’m Allen, alcoholic/addict. Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. Can’t remember much — that’s why I have to read this stuff to you off these pages. Besides, I’d be tempted to omit things if they weren’t staring me in the face.

Evil? I was the epitome of evil. Went online and ran a background check. Printer ran out of ink after seven pages. I’m not talking ancient history here — I’m talking six or seven years ago. Whatever I was in to, I couldn’t get enough. I was a first class glutton.

Money? I couldn’t get enough. Everything had a price — as much as traffic would bear. I wouldn’t even answer the phone unless there was something in it for me. I had to have things. Good things. The best of things. Fancy house. State of the art computer. Motorcycles. Guns — dozens of them, even though I wasn’t allowed to own them because of prior felonies. New 4×4 truck. Read More…

Posted by: Marella | October 13, 2008

“God’s Power in Action”

Several years ago our church was hosting a Revelation Seminar with Lyle Albrecht and we ended up with one of the advertisement fliers in our home.  One evening while some non-Adventist friends were visiting, they noticed the flier and became interested in attending the meetings.  At the end of the series they were both baptized.  He went on to take Theology classes and is now the Pastor of an Adventist church.  That experience was truly God’s power in action and has served to strengthen our relationship with Him, as well.  We praise God for leading in our friends’ lives and give Him all the glory.

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