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Showing posts from 2006

Done

Well, I'm done with the MDiv. The time went by really fast which was definitely a good thing. As with anything, some things could have been better, others worse. I'm glad to have it out of the way and now it's time for the real world after 18+ years of school. The two things I'm most proud of from my time at Seminary: 1. Not losing a toe to frostbite (Click here for picture. I was going to put one in but it's really gross and not for everyone). 2. Not getting a ticket from Campus Safefty (aka Veggie Cops) As I said before, I'll be an Associate Pastor in Richmond at the Patterson Ave SDA Church and their church plant, Far West End SDA Church . We are in the process of buying a house and if everything goes according to plan, we'll close on January 2. So, life is coming together very nicely for us. Shari will begin the always stressful job hunt but it seems like Richmond has a thriving job market. In the meantime we'll get settled into our new

Faced With Hypocrisy

You're probably ready for a blistering attack on a church or church member. Sorry, it's all about my own hypocrisy. I'm reading The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching for a class. It's a compilation of articles on preaching from people such as Haddon Robinson, Bill Hybels, Rob Bell, etc. It's a good resource. Well, I came across an article by none other than Ted Haggard. My first reaction? Skip over this, whatever he wrote has been discredited by his recent behavior, no need to waste time. As I thought about it, that initial reaction really disgusts me. If we are going to talk about being discredited by sin, no one is worthy of listening to. I would hope people wouldn't tune me out because of the selfishness, judgmentalism, and pride that I oftentimes exhibit. Why shouldn't I extend the same grace to Haggard that I hope to receive for myself?

All or Nothing

Rick Warren is throwing a huge HIV/AIDS Conference that starts today. I'm really excited about the new attention and focus on AIDS that this will bring to Christians. But then, zealous Christians end up stealing the spotlight and the positive attention this Conference can bring by creating this tension . The problem: Barack Obama is scheduled to speak and he shouldn't be able to because, "You cannot fight one evil while justifying another." This evil is his pro-choice position. So, if you disagree on one point with a particular Christian community, you are completely disqualified from speaking or helping that group? Let's not forget that Obama is himself a Christian. This all or nothing ideology is unfortunately present in many Christian communities. It turns church into an elitist club of only the precious few who have the whole truth. Self-righteousness and self-promotion rule the day and everyone not in the group is an outsider who is seen as the enemy.

When Bill Gates Joins Your Church

What would you do if Bill Gates became a member of your church? Rev Magazine asked 1700 protestant churchgoers and ministers what their first priority would be if they received an unexpected financial windfall. The results are interesting: Clergy: 31% -- Building, Expanding, or Updating their Church Buildings 16% -- Increasing Community Evangelism Activities 12% -- Paying off Debt Churchgoers: 18% -- Paying Off Debt 18% -- Increasing Social Programs 17% -- Building, Expanding, or Updating their Church Buildings In both groups, church buildings are front and center because the debt churches incur is primarily from church buildings. So, 43% of clergy and 35% of churchgoers' primary monetary focus is on church buildings. I’m not totally against church buildings, but I think we need to re-focus the efforts of church renovations and new church buildings. Churches tend to be the least utilized buildings in the world. The main focus is the Sanctuary which is used once or maybe twic

Emerging Truth

Ryan Bell just did an excellent four-part series over at Just Pastors . His last post was on Adventism emerging. It got me thinking about how we view and deal with truth. Our traditional understanding and usage of truth is one of the key areas that needs to emerge if we are going to be relevant in a postmodern context. What does the emerging truth look like? 1. Focused and centered in Jesus who is THE TRUTH (John 14:6). 2. Leads people to love God and humans. We use the primary hermeneutic that Jesus presents in Matthew 22:36-40 in which he declares that all the law and prophets is summarized in the command to love God and your neighbor. 3. Focused on what is true. We spend our time exploring and experiencing what is beautiful, right, and powerful about the truth. We define it in positive terms and our energy is spent on gaining a deeper understanding of what is true and not attacking nor defending against what is false. 4. Transforming and Redemptive. The truth is not a li

Mailer Madness -- Part 2

In the previous post , I shared the reaction from the street to the mass mailing done in San Francisco. The message from the street was that this mailing made us look like Jehovah's Witnesses, fundamentalists, and fear mongers. The reaction from the church was drastically different. In this story from the Pacific Union Recorder, we find this: When [Mark] Ferrell [Pastor of SF Central Church] met Steve Peden, evangelism coordinator of Project: Steps to Christ (www.projectstc.org), an ambitious idea emerged. Peden’s organization had just completed a mass mailing of 250,000 Steps to Christ to Washington, D.C., residents. Would something like this work in San Francisco? With the 100-year anniversary looming, this might be the perfect time for something radical. At the monthly evangelism planning session, Ferrell presented the mass mailing idea. A project of this magnitude is costly. The initial proposed budget was $262,000. “We’re not going to worry about the money,” Ferrell told

Discussion with Alan Parker -- 4

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 This will be the final email in our series with Alan Parker. After his last response, I asked him to respond to the comments several of you made challenging his take on Postmodernism. I hope that those of you who challenged him before will read this and comment again based on what he has written. I will also only reply in the comments section and not write a separate post. Here is his response: Thanks for directing me to the responses others have posted, particularly with regard to my take on postmodernism and evangelism. There are a number of key questions to ask. Firstly, what is postmodernism? Secondly, how does the “missional church” relate to evangelism? Thirdly, how do we reach people under the age of 35? In response to the first question, I think at its most basic level postmodernism refers to anyone disillusioned with modernism. However, the most critical aspect of postmodernism is often a rejection of foundationalism, truth and authority in fa

Mailer Madness

In a previous post , I challenged the use of mass mailings because of the negative impressions they leave with many people. I also noted that we could easily be confused with Jehovah's Witnesses. Little did I know that I would find such strong proof that this is the case. The evangelistic series I was a part of used the slogan, "What's Next?" which played on the fact that this was the 100 year anniversary of the SF earthquake. We sent out copies of The Great Controversy to virtually everyone in SF as well as pamphlets advertising the series. I came across this blog which features a group of people blogging about everyday life in San Francisco. Interestingly, someone actually posted about receiving our pamphlet in the mail and was obviously not impressed. The comments were also less than gracious. Just a sampling of what was written: "Glad you told me what it was, I assumed it was the new Watchtower." "wow, maybe it's a citywide sweep! shou

Discussion with Alan Parker -- 3

Part 1 Part 2 Below is the response of Dr. Parker: I just got back from teaching at Southern, so I’m getting through my emails. I’ll give a quick reaction to your thoughts, so forgive me if it ends up being a little knee-jerk. First, I agree that we need to have a broader scope and try some new methods. I’m not sure that any programmed approach is going to work well with post moderns, but I think we can certainly broaden our appeal to secular people. Secondly, in terms of the three concerns about the AF lessons, you have to remember that they were written a couple of decades ago! I agree that it’s time for an update and that we need new lessons. We have a number of things in process but it’s a combination of time and money that have prevented us from getting some new material out. The lessons still work really well with a certain audience and are in harmony with the title of “Amazing Facts” study guides. 1. The lessons could be more Christ-centered and focused on the GC.

Discussion with Alan Parker -- 2

Posted below is the email I sent back to Dr. Parker, VP for Evangelism for Amazing Facts. We are continuing the discussion about Adventist Evangelism and Amazing Facts' role in that. Dr. Parker, Thanks for the thoughtful response and an inside look at Amazing Facts. I would love to a be fly on the wall when you and Doug Batchelor are going at it over some texts. I know it's gracious and no chairs are thrown but I'm sure it gets interesting. I'll tell you, I don't really know what to think. Either I am dead wrong about A.F. and they are much more balanced than I thought, or you represent the "softer" side of A.F. I would imagine that it's a bit of both and I've heard from several people that they really respect you and think you are helping provide a more healthy balance that might have been missing in the past. I really have little response to your answers because they were answered so well. I applaud A.F. for the extensive work they do with th

Discussion with Alan Parker -- 1

As I said before, Alan Parker, VP for Evangelism for Amazing Facts has agreed to have a interview/dialogue with me. I sent him a few questions which he answered and is posted below. I'll be responding to him and asking a few more questions in future posts. Here is his reponse: I think you’re asking good questions and I hope my responses will help to dispel some of the confusion over who Amazing Facts is and what it does. I’m choosing not to answer in an “official” capacity here, but rather in personal terms appropriate to this kind of dialogue. I recognize that I have my own unique perspective on Amazing Facts and that not everyone at Amazing Facts sees our role in the same light. I think that this kind of diverse thinking is probably true of any healthy organization. 1. If you met someone who had never heard of Amazing Facts before and they asked you what it was, how would you describe it? For a person who knows nothing about Amazing Facts, the answer is fairly simple: Ama

A Jehovah's Witness Connection

This morning I was enjoying last night's episode of "The Daily Show" (THANK YOU TIVO!) when the doorbell rang. I couldn't figure out who it was through the peephole but I decided to answer the door anyways. A man had a little pamphlet which he gave me and asked me to read it and left. No pressure, just leaving it with me. So, who was it? My initial reaction was that it must be a Jehovah's Witness but I've found most of them are much more confrontational and never just leave something in your hand without arguing over something. I began to think it might have been an Adventist. Well, what did the pamphlet look like and what did it talk about? The front declared, "The End of False Religion is Near!" Inside it described false religions as those that meddle in war and politics, spread false doctrine, and tolerate immoral sex. On the next page, what did I see but decpictions of scary beasts and the scarlet woman of Revealtion. The text describes how fal

PSR -- 2 (Amazing Facts Responds)

As you can tell from my posts, I'm not the biggest fan of Amazing Facts. I think they are effective at reaching a certain kind of person which I'm not necessarily opposed to. Yet, I still do have serious reservations about some of their theology. Alan Parker, VP of Evangelism for Amazing Facts actually wrote a comment over on the Spectrum Blog which I'll share here: Hey Trevan, I read with interest your experiences over the last few weeks. Evangelism can be challenging, but I've appreciated your open and sincere critique. However, since I'm in charge of the evangelism department at Amazing Facts, I'm a little curious as to the constant references to a "classic Amazing Facts lineup" and AF approach. Since each of our evangelists has a unique lineup of sermons, I'm not sure that there is a "classic" approach any more. A number have moved their second coming sermon to later in their meetings. One uses a verse by verse approach to the book

PSR (Post-Series Reflections) 1

One of the things I didn't really address throughout the series was the state of my personal spirituality. So, now in my reflections post-series I'll confess: I'm probably further from God and Seventh-day Adventism than I've ever been since making my personal commitment to God as a Senior in Academy. Can I blame this on the series? Not totally, not really, maybe not at all. I am the only one chooses how I will react to my circumstances (Thanks Dr. Phil) but at the same time I can't help but be impacted by what I went through. The crazy thing is that I don't believe or accept any of the things that were said and done that has negatively impacted me. I reject and wholeheartedly disagree with these things but I still can't get past them. The whole time there, I felt like there was kind of a dark cloud hanging over me and I still feel that way. I feel much better, but it's still not left me. What are those things: 1. I don't want to read the Bible. T

Nightmares

For the last week I've been suffering from a disease called "PESD" which stands for "Post Evangelism Stress Disorder". Every night since I left California, I've woken up scared because there is someone in my bed and I think it's my roommate from the evangelistic series. I got so used to sleeping in my own bed that Shari's body next to mine gives me a jolt of confusion. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's happened every single night since I left. Shari even told me that last night she leaned over to hug me and I got upset and initally told her to get off in my confusion. When Shari gave me a kiss goodbye this morning while I was still in bed (Ah, the good life of living off your wife's paycheck), I started asking her when we were heading back to Michigan and others were leaving California. Even though I am kind of joking about it, I have a greater understanding about PTSD . My confusion and nightmares are quite silly but it's really

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 28 (WHAT NOW?)

Well, I'm sitting in the comfort of my living room for the first time in nearly 6 weeks. It feels good. I have a week off before class starts which will hopefully re-energize me for the final 2 months of Seminary life. Over the next few weeks I'm probably going to blog about my overall reflections on the series. I had to spend a lot of time in the narrative before but now I want to deal with some of the theory and principles that I learned that might lend itself more to discussion and hopefully new practices. There is obviously a lot to write about it and I don't know how motivated I'll be. This whole thing has taken a lot out of me and I'm not sure how much of it I want to continue to re-live but I'm committed to trying to make a difference.

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 27 (Sabb, 10/7)

SABBATH 10/7 The church this morning is packed with people and there is excitement over the baptisms that are going to take place. The sermon was about the unpardonable sin. Since this was called a “Sabbath Celebration” and we were baptizing people, it kind of seemed like an inappropriate topic. I thought something more celebratory would be in order but this provided one last chance to call people out of “Babylon.” The evangelist was in full form calling for commandment keeping and coming out of Babylon and we didn’t even finish the church service part until 2pm (We started at 11). After this we did the baptisms and had about 20. One of the interesting things about the baptism was that most of the people were not baptized because of the meeting itself. Maybe 8 of the 20 had initial contact with Adventists through the preaching series and were regular attendees of the meetings. The rest were people who had prior contact with Bible workers or church members and didn’t come faithfully

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 26 (Fri, 10/6)

FRIDAY, 10/6/06 Tonight provided the lowest attendance yet. There were 25-30 people when we started but it seemed that by the end it was up a bit to maybe 35-40. This is definitely not what we wanted to see on the night before the baptism. The topic was the 3 Angels Message which we covered on Wednesday night as well. However, this was a more in-depth look and again focused on Sabbath-keeping. The evangelist was done preaching by 8:15 but that is when things got interesting. While everyone was still there and he had the mic, he started talking to the interpretive dancing teen. He told her that she was very gifted, a natural leader, and could influence her friends in positive ways. Then, he made her come up front and he anointed her without her asking for it. Then, he had a Bible Worker bring a baptismal bag to her (They gave everyone who was going to be a baptized a bag to bring their extra clothes in). He said he was giving it to her by faith that she would be baptized the next

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 25 (Thurs, 10/5)

THURSDAY, 10/5 We had a final meting with the teens tonight at the YMCA to hang out and play in the gym. When they came a girl was eating a ham sandwich so we were all having fun with the unclean thing. Five of the teens came the night of the clean/unclean discussion and they learned pork was unclean so they were making fun of her. We talked for a while about different stuff then went to the gym to play for a few hours. We had a really good time. Two things were said that I think are extremely important for us to consider, especially with youth ministry. We told them that we were leaving this weekend and they were shocked and thought we were joking. When they finally believe us one of them said, “How can you come into our lives just to leave and abandon us?” This is a really important concept to remember with youth ministry. Good youth ministry requires a long time commitment to where they will have time to fully embrace and trust you and know you aren’t going to abandon them soon

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 24 (Wed, 10/4)

WEDNESDAY, 10/4 TWENTY-FIRST MESSAGE The attendance continues to be low and in the 35-40 range. The topic for the evening is the Scarlet Woman of Revelation and looks to be one of the final appeals for people to leave “Babylon.” The 3 Angels Message was presented and you could tell the evangelist had a major burden for this topic. He was slow and deliberate in his teaching because he said he wanted to be sure he taught it correctly and appropriately. He said that all denominations can’t be right and someone must be wrong. He said that it all comes back to the commandments which is what people get upset over but is what’s going to take us to heaven. Statements like this remind me of Paul's letter to the Romans and seeing how much like the Jews we are. Do we really believe the commandments are going to take us to heaven? While I believe that the law is just, holy, and good, I also realize that it is what condemns me and shows me how far from living the life of Jesus I am and ho

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 23 (Tues, 10/3)

TUESDAY, 10/3 TWENTIETH MESSAGE This is the last week and is really important because decisions for baptism are needing to be cemented. Unfortunately, the attendance is again low and in the 30-40 range. One popular theory for the low attendance is the devil trying to keep people away for this key week where they will finalize their decision for baptism. This might be true but I also wonder if part of the reason is because people are worn out. It’s been a marathon and I wonder if people have gotten their fill and don’t need any more. I know that I could do without this last week. I think we’ve covered as much as we can and it’s time to give everyone a break. The idea of spiritual warfare has been very present throughout the series. Low attendance is blamed on the devil. Many workers have had family members with health issues that has also been blamed on the devil. I’m beginning to think that we think the Devil is more powerful than God. The low attendance has also been blamed on t

Adventist Evangelism Article

I thought this deserved a separate post because of its potential importance for the future of evangelism. There is an interesting article about the October 1 meeting of the Council on Evangelism and Witness (anyone know details about this group?) Apparently there is a growing feeling that small groups can be a more effective evangelistic tool than typical preaching series. This is really encouraging news to me as I'm sure you can tell by now. Thanks Johnny via Spectrum Blog .

Evangelistic Endeavor 22 (Sun, 10/1)

SUNDAY, 10/1/06 NINTEENTH MESSAGE There’s nothing like a thrilling Redskins victory to lift the spirits before the meting. The topic of the evening was Righteousness by Faith. Where was this in the beginning? I missed quite a bit of it because the team met for a while to get on the same page as we head into the last week. Obviously, this is the key week for sealing decisions and making sure everything is in order for the baptism on Sabbath afternoon. From what I heard of the message, it still ended up being about the need to keep the law and obey God. Instead of providing hope, it was more of the same. The attendance tonight is very low with about 30-40 people in attendance. The large contingent of teens and pre-teens is not here tonight because the parents don’t want their kids out late on a school night. This raises a very important issue--these meetings are not family friendly. There is no way for families to get home before 9:15 and if they have kids with school in the morning no o

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 21 (Sab, 9/30)

SABBATH, 9/30/06 SEVENTEENTH MESSAGE -- MORNING: This morning we had a Sabbath celebration in the YMCA. Next week we will meet in the church as we try to transition the people. I led the Sabbath School and we did a lesson on principles of the Sabbath. I made sure we had a very balanced discussion and it didn’t degenerate into a list of do’s and don’ts. It was good for me to go back through the key Sabbath texts and see how little of what we do and don’t do are actually in the Bible. The bottom line is that many of the things we tell people not to do cannot really be argued from the Bible. At the same time, I’m not necessarily opposed to that because I can accept the wisdom and agreed practices of the church. However, I also believe that those things should be optional if we claim to be a people who only allow the Bible to dictate what we believe and practice. The sermon was supposed to provide principles for having a happy home. However, at 2am this morning the evangelist felt lik

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 20 (Fri, 9/29)

FRIDAY, 9/29 SIXTEENTH NIGHT Tonight was a big night for one of the teens, "Gina." She’s the one who has sung and done interpretive dance for us. She brought around 15 young people, including many pre-teens, so she won a computer. The young people added up to around 20 kids. This also brought up our sagging overall attendance to 50-60 people. What it showed me is that we could have made a major impact if we actually had some programs for teens. These kids are coming despite the fact that the program is not reaching them at all. They roll in groups and if you get one person committed, the rest will come just to support them and hang out. If we would have done some 3-on-3 basketball tournaments and stuff, we would have reached hundreds of teens. I think it also shows how important it was to meet with them last night because they now have a much stronger connection to us. The subject was baptism. Again, most of the time was spent in condemning any other kind of baptism but

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 19 (Thurs, 9/28)

THURSDAY, 9/28 We got a chance to hang out with the teens who have been attending the meetings. We went to a younger church member’s house and had about 8 teens. As we got into the apartment, the kids immediately felt at home. It’s amazing how much energy they have and how they can entertain themselves so easily. It’s clear that music shapes their lives and they just like hanging out together. After eating some pizza, we had a discussion about whatever they wanted to talk about. It’s clear that the teens are asking different questions than we are answering in the church. Some of the questions were really random, others profound, others kind of meaningless in my mind but important to them. We had a really good time and tried to bring everything back to Jesus and his forgiveness for them. I think they were really encouraged and clearly have A LOT of questions and few answers. I really believe that the teens just want to talk and be heard as well as gain wisdom from older people. Thi

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 18 (Wed, 9/27)

WEDNESDAY, 9/27 FIFTEENTH NIGHT Attendance is very low tonight--around 30 people. This is probably due to the fact that it is Wednesday and it doesn’t seem to be a good meeting day for people. If my memory is correct, Wednesday is the most poorly attended evening. The topic is the Remnant. Again, we have not broken up the topics at all but just keep on going hard. How much change can we expect people to embrace in a month’s time? I think at this point we just need to deal with topics like prayer, Bible study, and other spiritual disciplines. We basically have the same group of visitors coming and we need to lighten up. The other problem is that we have only dealt with issues that deal with the mind. We haven’t focused on Christian living and how to get to know God better. The only Christian living issue we will deal with will probably be the standards sermon where we tell people to take their jewelry off. Is that really Christian living? What about service, love, forgiveness, et

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 17 (Tues, 9/26)

NOTE: I’m not going to write much about anything but the meeting unless it’s really important. I also am not going to separate the commentary section but just put it all together. I’m basically just doing commentary now so it’s not worth the separation. I also want to apologize for the writing. I’m basically writing and posting so I know the writing is choppy and scattered but bear with me. TUESDAY, 9/26 FOURTEENTH NIGHT One of the features we do every few nights is answer questions from the “Question Box.” The question for the night asked why the pastor was so condemning of other Christians. He asked Moses and I before the program if we felt he was too hard. I told him that I thought he had been very hard on pastors and other Christians and should tone it down some. He took it well and said he would try to do so. Of course, he said that he had to tell the truth but he would try to do it in a more loving way. The topic tonight was on speaking in tongues. He actually was very re

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 16 (Sun, 9/24)

SUNDAY, 9/24 We got a chance to go to the 49ers game today. Wells Fargo and the 49ers give away a lot of tickets each game to community groups for free and we were able to get 30 tickets. We took some of the visitors who were doing their lessons as well as the workers. We had a good time and it was an exciting game won by the Eagles 38-24. THIRTEENTH NIGHT Tonight was time for more Papacy and Sunday worship bashing as the topic was the mark of the beast. The usual arguments were used and again the key topic was the Sabbath. The whole 666, Vicarius Filii Dei and the Pope’s tiara thing were used despite the fact that it has been discounted by many Adventist scholars. The evangelist continues to stress the need to leave Sunday churches and not follow pastors but follow God. He has been really tough on pastors and as I recorded before, he said that Pastors who tell people to worship on Sunday are “not of God.” He tells people that he knows what he’s saying is hard but he has to tell them t

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 15 (Sab, 9/23)

SABBATH, 9/23 This morning was going to provide the first opportunity for many people to keep the Sabbath. We tried to make sure the service was excellent and Sabbath School was appropriate. To do this, we decided to not do the Sabbath School lesson (no comment) and we did a lesson on habits of highly successful Christians. It went really well and provided good discussion and practical tips. The worship service was excellent again and my man Moses preached an excellent sermon. We had around 5-6 people who decided to keep the Sabbath from the series attend. This seemed to be about half the people who had said they were going to do so. We’ll see how things progress in the coming weeks. TWELFTH NIGHT (I dedicate the following to Shakespeare) Attendance continues to be 40-50. Tonight’s main attraction was 5 teenagers who attended. We had a girl do an interpretive dance so she had four of her friends come. This got the evangelist very happy and he addressed them quite a bit througho

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 14 (Fri, 9/22)

FRIDAY 9/22 Yesterday was a good day. We had class and took care of some business. In the evening we ate at a church member’s house who is a fun guy and great cook. Today, I finally got to the gym for the first time in probably a month. We went to a local YMCA and they gave us a pass for 10 free visits which will cover us while over here. It’s a great facility and it was good to get some exercise. It’s very easy to not take care of your body while working at these series. ELEVENTH NIGHT I was anticipating the evening meeting as we had talked about having a healing service and continuing to build on the momentum from Wednesday. My hopes and dreams were dashed. The sermon was on the judgment and it was presented in a condemning way. The preacher talked about how the angels are writing everything we do and we can’t fool God. It was devoid of grace and he even mentioned that he hoped he was ready when his name was called during the pre-Advent judgment (I thought we had moved on from that).

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 13 (Wed, 9/20)

WEDNESDAY, 9/20 Today was a good day. We had a quiz and then we started talking with our teacher about some of our concerns. I think everyone was feeling like keeping the status quo was not going to work. Throughout the classes and conversation you could sense that many people were dissatisfied with what was going on. Changes needed to be made. So, we regrouped and worked on making some positive changes. Everyone also felt a stronger burden to pray more. We felt like we were just kind of going through the motions and not truly seeking God. So we had positive meetings about how to improve the series and hopefully they will be for the better. At Rainbow, we decided that we needed to pray more. The evangelist was preaching for an hour and a half every night on the Amazing Facts topics while weaving in his testimony. It was becoming clear that that the A.F. prophecy stuff was simply not meeting the need. So, we decided that he would preach for 30 minutes and then after that have prayer

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 12 (Tues, 9/19)

TUESDAY 9/19 As you can tell by now, I usually go a few days without posting and then post summaries for the last few days. I should be much better at writing down a few thoughts every night to help me write the full posts but I haven’t been doing that. Anyways, I honestly can’t remember what happened Tuesday before the meeting. I know we had class and did stuff but don’t ask any more questions. I told you this thing was a marathon and everything is just all jumbled together. NINTH NIGHT Attendance continues to be low, 40-50 maybe. It looks like we have the same visitors and maybe one or two new visitors a night. Tonight the topic was on unmasking the antichrist but it really was a sermon about how the Sabbath changed to Sunday. It had the usual documents from the Catholic Church saying they had the authority to change Sabbath to Sunday, etc. At the end he actually made an appeal for people to keep the Sabbath this coming week and go to a church where people worshipped and kept the Sab

Evangelistic Endeavor -- 11 (Mon, 9/18)

MONDAY, 9/18 Today is the day where we do no work at all on the meeting and we are living out the Sabbath principle. I thought I would share a few personal thoughts about the series. This is a marathon. I’m exhausted already and we’ve only done 8 out of 24 meetings. In all honesty I don’t want to be in “church” this much and I don’t really expect others to either. It’s just way too much. What’s funny is some of the old school guys tell us about the glory days of 3 months, 6 nights a week series. So, I guess I have it good but I still just think it’s way too much. It’s hard for me to put on my happy face and greet people and stay interested. I’m not really learning anything new and it’s just really hard to stay motivated. Second, it’s wrong to separate families to do God’s work. It is Seminary policy that all NAD students have to help with a field school. Basically, it’s mandated that husbands leave their wives and children for at least a month, usually six weeks. Spouses and children a