Your Adventist Neighbors


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Taste & See

“Lord, thank You for cake,” the prayer began.

A couple dozen colleagues had just shared stories that somehow included cake (or the lack of cake):

  • Bruce told how a church he visited had a “Unity Cake” to bring the congregation together to pray for a new pastor.
  • Matthew recounted how he visited a particularly friendly church, but missed out cake at lunch time.
  • Peter recalled how he helped teach 60+ teenagers about sailing in Olympia and Tacoma (and how the adults made good lunches for the youth).
  • Heidi shared about wishing to bring a sweet treat to meet a neighbor and God giving a different (and better) divine appointment.

When the prayer began, “Lord, thank You for cake,” there was a specific reason! Cake, in various forms through these stories, helped us meet neighbors, reminded us to pray for people, and brought God-directed appointments.

Psalm 34 instructs us to “extol the Lord at all times,” to “glory in the Lord,” to “exalt His name together” (v. 1-3). Look for God’s glory today. See how He will answer your prayers, deliver you from your fears (v. 4), save you from trouble (v. 6), encamp around you with safety (v.7), and bless those who take refuge in Him (v. 8).

Today, taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8)!


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Finding Balance

Ecclesiastes 7 has several nuggets of wisdom such as: “Don’t be too good or too wise….on the other hand, don’t be too wicked either,” (New Living Translation, verses 16-17).

With instruction to “be careful of extremes” come two questions: How do you know when you’re balanced? What do you do to stay balanced?

Mull over this list:

  • Read the instructions of the Bible and consider the life lessons in context
  • Pray for God to give you a balanced perspective
  • Offer service to others
  • Listen to spiritual mentors
  • Purpose and choose to forgive ourselves and others
  • Listen before reacting
  • Ask God for a non-judgmental attitude
  • Be open to change
  • Be adventurous and try new things
  • Nurture your spiritual and physical health
  • Let go of “perfection” to strive for “excellence”
  • Take time for community
  • Interact with children
  • Accept God’s grace

What else would you add to the list of ways to stay balanced?

The passage on wisdom in Ecclesiastes 7 says in verse 18: “Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes,” (NIV).


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Renewing Your Mind

The New Living Translation has a great turn of phrase for Colossians 1:23 where it says in part: “But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News,” (emphasis added).

What else does the Bible have to say about renewing your mind so we can “continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it”?

Here are some favorite Bible texts about renewing your mind:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

2 Corinthians 12:9a
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

The list of Bible verses comes from the New International Version.