Tales from a Vineyard

When You Can't Get Any Closer!

Speaker

Dwight K. Nelson

Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.

Offering

Saturday, September 29, 2018

More In This Series

"Tales from a Vineyard: When You
Can't Get Any Closer!"

www.newperceptions.tv

  • John 15:1-9
    •  "It is a matter of historical interest that one of the earliest literary works of Karl Marx was a graduation essay written at the age of seventeen on 'The union of believers with Christ according to John 15:1-14, showing its basis and essence, its absolute necessity, and its effects.'" (F. F. Bruce, The Gospel of John 316, footnote #2)
       
    •  Ellen White: "One evening a gentleman who was much depressed because of deep affliction was walking in a garden, where he observed a pomegranate tree nearly cut through the stem. Greatly wondering, he asked the gardener why the tree was in this condition, and he received an answer that explained to his satisfaction the wounds of his own bleeding heart. 'Sir,' said the gardener, 'this tree used to shoot out so strong that it bore nothing but leaves. I was obliged to cut it in this manner; and when it was almost cut through, it began to bear fruit.'" (My Life Today 93).
       
    •  "Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. In every affliction God has a purpose to work out for our good. Every blow that destroys an idol, every providence that weakens our hold upon earth and fastens our affections more firmly upon God, is a blessing. The pruning may be painful for a time, but afterward it 'yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.' [Hebrews 12:11] We should receive with gratitude whatever will quicken the conscience, elevate the thoughts, and ennoble the life. The fruitless branches are cut off and cast into the fire. Let us be thankful that through painful pruning we may retain a connection with the living Vine; for if we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with Him. The very trial that taxes our faith the most severely and makes it seem as though God had forsaken us is to lead us more closely to Him, that we may lay all our burdens at the feet of Christ and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange." (My Life Today 93)
       
    •  "Lord Jesus, please abide in me, and let me abide in You."
       
    •  Andrew Murray: "Love needs an object to whom it can give itself away, in whom it can lose itself, with whom it can make itself one. Because God is love, there must be a Father and a Son. The love of the Father to the Son is that divine passion with which He delights in the Son, and hence declares, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' The divine love is as a burning fire; in all its intensity and infinity it has but one object and but one joy, and that is [in the Other]." (Abiding in Christ 139-140)
       
    •  "As one of His redeemed ones, you are [Christ's] delight, and all His desire is to you—with the longing of a love which is stronger than death, and which many waters cannot quench. His heart yearns after you, seeking your fellowship and your love. Were there the need, He could die again to possess you. As the Father loved the Son and could not live without Him—could not be 'God the blessed' without Him—so Jesus loves you. His life is bound up in yours; you are to Him inexpressibly more indispensable and precious than you can ever know."(Abiding in Christ 140, emphasis supplied)
       
    •  Psalm 73:25—"Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
       
    •  Tommy Tenny: "God isn't looking for religious people; He's looking for people who are hot after His heart. He wants people who want Him, who want the Blesser more than the blessings." (The God Chasers 149)
       
    •  A Prayer: "O God—more than the blessings I want the Blesser—more than anointings I seek the Anointer—and more than the gifts, I desire the Giver."

 

"I'd rather have Jesus"

 

(Flyer, TV, Google search, name of person who invited you, etc.)
Fellowship Dinner

There will be a fellowship dinner this Sabbath, January 28, following second worship service in the Commons on the lower level. Visitors are always welcome.

Offering for January 28, 2023

Michigan Advance Partners

The early Christian church was marked by its deep love for the Lord and sacrificial giving to His cause. In Acts 2:44, 45 we read how “all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” Two chapters later we are told that “all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:34, 35)

Amid this incredible tide of giving, the hearts of two believers, Ananias and Sapphira, were stirred as well. When selling a valuable possession, they enthusiastically pledged the proceeds to the Lord. But as the time to surrender their pledge drew near, their enthusiasm cooled, and they decided to only give part of what they had originally promised. You can read the tragic results in Acts 5:1-11.

The great sin of this couple wasn’t that they refused to give all. The Lord doesn’t ask us to give everything, but merely to give as our hearts are moved—and to give without wavering. The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was making a covenant with God and then going back on their commitment. As we give for the work of evangelism today, let us do so without wavering. May the Lord remove any equivocation in our hearts and bless our humble offerings to His glory.

—North American Division Stewardship Ministries

AU Wind Symphony Winter Concert

Come join us for the AU Wind Symphony Winter Concert tonight at 8:00pm at the HPAC, featuring our annual partnership with the Southwestern Michigan College Brass Band under the direction of conductor Mark Hollandsworth. We will feature a wide variety of music, including Gershwin’s Strike up the Band, a collection of French folksongs, and the Mexican masterpiece Huapango by José Moncayo.

The Wooden Structure(s) on Ararat

ASM members and guests are invited to hear Dr. Randall Younker discuss his team's recent visit to Mt. Ararat and what they found, on February 12, at 1 PM. It's sure to be an exciting program. Bring some food and enjoy a potluck with your friends. Bring a new friend and invite them to join ASM for the remainder of the present term for only 1/2 of the annual dues.

Andrews Academy Luncheon for Senior Citizens

All ASM members and friends of Andrews Academy are invited to their annual Senior Citizens Dinner in the Academy Commons at 1:00 PM on Sunday, January 29. The meal and the program are a gift from the academy. At the event, your donations to Christian Education will be greatly appreciated.

Howard Center Presents: Charles Reid & Friends

Isn't It Romantic? In anticipation of Valentine's Day, join internationally renowned tenor, Charles Reid, and friends from the Andrews University Department of Music in an eclectic and fun evening on the theme of love.

Pioneer Reception Has Moved!

Thanks to our exciting elevator project, Pioneer has temporarily relocated our Reception to the Lower Level Welcome Center.

You may visit the Lower Level Welcome Center by using the internal stairs via the main Awning Entrance or by using the external stairs adjacent to the Awning Entrance. Heidi Ha will continue to provide you with excellent service with key & card access, Sabbath School resources, volunteer engagement, facilities use, and much more. Contact phone numbers will remain the same—269-471-3133 and 269-471-6565.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we collaborate on the exciting and much-anticipated elevator project.

Pioneer Piloting Alive in Jesus Children's Sabbath School

We are excited to be one of 80 churches around the globe piloting the new Alive in Jesus Sabbath School curriculum for the first quarter of 2023. Our Kindergarten 5-6 Year, Primary Grade 3, and Junior Grade 5 Sabbath Schools are leading our pilot, fulling implementing, with parents and our volunteer teams providing research feedback. The Gracelink curriculum, developed 25+ years ago, will be replaced with new lessons for 0 to 18 years olds by 2025. The Alive in Jesus Curriculum is being developed to better assist families in discipling kids in this 21st century to deeply love and fully live for Jesus.

We invite members to pray for our parents and volunteers as they reflect on this pilot experience to provide rich data to improve the lessons for global use. Feel free to watch an introductory video and explore the online materials at https://pilot.aliveinjesus.info/, or come visit or volunteer in a Sabbath School this quarter.

Something In Common: Sacred Marriage Series

Something In Common Sabbath School presents "Sacred Marriage": What If God Designed Marriage To Make Us Holy More Than To Make Us Happy?

  • January 7 - God’s Purpose for Marriage: More Than We Imagine
  • January 14 - The Refining Power of Marriage
  • January 21 - The God-Centered Spouse
  • January 28 - Sacred History
  • February 4 - Sexual Saints
  • February 11 - Marriage: The Love Laboratory

Everyone is welcome to join us in Room 141 every Sabbath from 10:30 - 11:30.

Update for Renovate 2.0

Our building committee and church board have voted to install the much-needed elevator and redesign the stairs to reduce their steep climb which in turn can provide more comfortable access to our church for all God's people.

Give NowUpdates and More

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