LOVE!

Our Sabbath School Leaders are continuing to have individual class time as usual but are also coordinating their programs with a THEME for all the children’s classes.  This theme is emphasized in individual classes and also during a time when all classes come together for a devotional, activities and a song. 

First quarter’s Children’s Sabbath School theme is LOVE!  Three aspects of LOVE is our focus:

  • Jesus’ love for us
  • Our love for Jesus
  • Our love for each other

Our theme song is the familiar and much loved song “Jesus Loves Me”.  There is a message on the Children’s Division hallway wall that says:  “I Love Jesus because…” then below these words is a growing number of paper hearts… the hearts are attached by the students as they fill in their answer to that question.  Then, at the close of our time together everyone lines up for an activity demonstrating love for each other -  a group hand shake that snakes down the hallway and has everyone in smiles and laughter.

Mission Focus: Trans-European Division

A goal that the Children’s Division Leaders have is to teach our students about the Mission programs that our world church is focusing on.  This first quarter the Mission Focus is for the Trans-European Division.  

One way to teach the mission emphasis is through a Mission Board located in the Children’s Sabbath School wing.  We have enlisted the creative help of Lauris White who has artfully crafted the mission display located in the Children’s Sabbath School wing.  Lauris’ design is on one of the projects of the Trans-European Division, to conduct Vacation Bible Schools in each Union to reach un-churched children.  Her mission board is continuing to expand as images of children of the world in their native costumes are colored by our students and added to the display board.  Each Sabbath a colored stone is placed in the jar to represent any offering that they bring

Ministry Opportunity

Volunteer Needed for Senior Food Box Deliveries. The ACS makes home deliveries to seniors who cannot come to the center for their food donation. A volunteer is needed one day per month, delivering to about nine homes. A larger vehicle is preferred to fit all the food boxes, though most live near the center and 2-3 trips to reload is workable. Each client signs for the delivery and this paperwork would need to be returned.

Please contact James Plumery if you are interested in this monthly, personal ministry. Call 417.766.5955 or email: james.plumery@gmail.com. 

Family Celebration Weekend

September 23 and 24 was our 6th Annual Family Celebration Weekend at West County Church.  Friday evening, there was a delicious supper followed by a program with guest speaker John Berecz.  On Sabbath morning our Adult lesson was a discussion panel followed by the Children’s classes presenting a 13th Sabbath Program.  Worship Service our church choir presented special music and the message was presented by guest speaker Deborah Berecz.  Fellowship Lunch was followed by a workshop and then a Vespers, Supper and family games/activities.  Thank you to the Family Ministries Team for a memorable weekend!

A Study of Church Governance and Unity

Below is the news article posted on the Adventist News Network on September 25, 2016:


General Conference Secretariat has released two documents about church governance and unity that are to be considered by church leadership at the Annual Council business meeting in October.

The main document, titled “A Study of Church Governance and Unity,” is a 50-page analysis of references from the Bible, the writings of Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White, and Adventist Church history as relating to policy and unity. The second document, the 17-page "Summary of A Study of Church Governance and Unity,” summarizes the points made in the longer document.

Both documents were published Sunday on the website of the General Conference’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research, which is part of Secretariat and assisted in researching and drafting them. Secretariat oversees the General Conference’s working policy. 

“During Annual Council this year we plan to discuss how best to address divergence from the current policy,” General Conference executive secretary G.T. Ng said Friday in an e-mail to members of the General Conference Executive Committee, comprised of church leaders from around the world who will gather at church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, for Annual Council on Oct. 5 to 12. “Please prayerfully review these documents as they provide a foundation for these discussions.”

Ng attached PDF copies of the two documents to the e-mail.

“We are living in a critical time in history,” Ng said. “Many prophetic events are unfolding before our very eyes. Christ’s return is imminent. The church must fulfill the mission for which it was founded. We must forge ahead valiantly. Nothing should distract us from sharing the gospel with a fearful and chaotic world. May the Holy Spirit soon pour out in full measure the latter rain to a united church.”

Read: "Summary of A Study of Church Governance and Unity,” (PDF)  
https://www.adventistarchives.org/summary-of-a-statement-on-church-governance-and-unity.pdf

Read: “A Study of Church Governance and Unity” (PDF)
https://www.adventistarchives.org/a-study-of-church-governance-and-unity.pdf 

Sanctuary Re-Dedication Sabbath

This past Sabbath was a very special one, as we celebrated the completion of the Sanctuary Renewal Project! The Sabbath program was filled with warmth and unity as we welcomed Nancy Beem into our church family through baptism. Chesterfield first-responders were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the community as we prayed a special prayer for each of them.  Bill Gibb recalled the awe-inspiring journey of West County Church's history - a true miracle story! Pastor Klinedinst delivered a special message and called us to not only rededicate our church, but our hearts to Jesus. Following the ceremony, we enjoyed a fun-filled 'Picnic at the Park' at Lone Elk! The wildlife were particularly active, and it was a neat experience for all!

Dinner with the Doctor - July 24

Next WEST COUNTY HEALTH EXPO event is JULY 24


Presented Free of Charge!

Featuring a Health Lecture, delicious vegan meal, recipes will be provided and an interactive, live cooking demonstration

July 24th theme: Summer Time Picnic

  • Broccoli Soup
  • Barbecue Lentils
  • Tofu Potato Salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Multigrain Chips
  • Fruit Crisp

Limited seats (35) available at “Dinner with the Doctor”, reservations accepted on a first come basis.  Fill out and submit the registration form to:  leslieolin@yahoo.com

Wentzville Church Plant

Wentzville church plant has had a Friday night ministry for about 3 years now for unchurched youth. It is well attended. In fact there is rarely a week that goes by that there isn't a new visitor from the community! Praise the Lord! Because of the growth, there is a new need! We have 3-5 very young children coming and can be distracting during the study. We need a babysitter! Are you looking for a way to support the church plant? This may be your opportunity. Free supper and some compensation available. Friday's 7:30-9:30pm. Looking for a few volunteers for this valuable ministry to trade off weeks.

Contact Connie Tan if you are interested: 314-807-5902. Email: justbupit@aol.com. 

Chocolate

by DeLois Weeks, RN PHD

Flavonoids found in certain foods, including chocolate, wine and berries, may protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Flavonoids found in certain foods, including chocolate, wine and berries, may protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Chocolate and Berries May Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes

Good news for chocolate and berry lovers. A study recently published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that consuming high levels of flavonoids, found in foods such as chocolate, tea, and berries may help protect against type 2 diabetes. This is according to Investigators from Kings College London and the University of East Anglia, both in the UK. Their research findings indicate that a high intake of these dietary compounds is linked to reduced insulin resistance and improved glucose regulation.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It is a disorder of carbohydrate metabolism caused by insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. As a result, the body is unable to use insulin properly, which can lead to abnormal blood glucose levels. The normal range for glucose if 70- 110 mg/dL.

The research team recruited a sample of 1,997 female volunteers between the ages of 18 and 76 years from TwinsUK - the largest UK twin registry used for research into genetics, the environment and common diseases.

All women completed a food questionnaire. This estimated their total dietary flavonoid intake and their intake from six flavonoid subclasses - anthocyanins, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, polymeric flavonoids, flavonols, and flavones.


Flavonoids Reduce Insulin Resistance and Inflammation'

The study findings indicated that women who consumed high levels of anthocyanins (Anthocyanins are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH) and flavones (colorless crystalline compounds that are the basis of a number of white or yellow plant pigments. Any of the plant pigments of which flavone is the basis. plural noun: flavones) found in foods such as berries, herbs, red grapes, and chocolate demonstrated lower insulin resistance.

Women who consumed the highest levels of flavones also had improved levels of a protein called adiponectin - a regulator of glucose levels, among other metabolic mechanisms. Furthermore, the investigators discovered that volunteers who consumed the most anthocyanins were the least likely to have chronic inflammation - a condition linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.

However, the researchers note that the levels at which these compounds may protect against type 2 diabetes are not yet known.

Adding Chocolate to a Healthy Diet 'May Have Benefits'

When it comes to eating chocolate, Cassidy said it is all about eating small amounts of the right chocolate in order to see health benefits.

She noted that in clinical trials, consuming chocolate made especially for the trials, which contained 50 mg of flavonoids, "reduced blood pressure, improved blood flow and helped keep arteries healthy and flexible."

In general, dark chocolate contains more of the powerful bioactive compounds, and a small amount added to an otherwise healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables could be important for prevention or reduction of the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
— Cassidy, 2014



10% of Purchases on Adventist Book Center go towards Your Church!

Want 10% of your purchases on AdventistBookCenter.com to be donated to your local church?

If your church is in the North American Division and has an active Church Ambassador, just enter your 5 digit church code on the final page of the check-out.  At the end of the year, your church will receive a donation from Pacific Press for 10% of your purchases.*

 
Your church doesn’t have a Church Ambassador?
Click here to learn more about becoming one.

Ambassadors will receive additional information and resources to help share Adventist literature with the local congregation. Posters, bulletin inserts, books, DVDs, sample scripts for promoting, and more. The active ambassador will utilize these resources on a monthly basis.

Visit www.pacificpress.com/ambassadors to learn more about the program.

 
Ready to partner with Pacific Press to share God’s message through Adventist literature?
 
Email ambassadors@pacificpress.com the following:

•    Your contact Information (name, phone, mailing address)
•    What church(es) you attend
•    What conference your church is in
•    Your pastor’s name and pastor’s email address

 

* Some restrictions apply:
Applies to churches in the North American Division with an Active Church Ambassador
Sabbath School subscriptions products are not included in this offer.
Purchases must be made on AdventistBookCenter.com and the assigned 5 digit church code must be entered at time of purchase.

Ambassadors should be members that are respected and in good standing within their local church.

Natural Remedies for Modern Diseases: Introduction

By Delois Weeks, RN PHD

Photo by HandmadePictures/iStock / Getty Images

Objectives: The objectives for sharing this information are to enable one to:

  • Consider the reasons why herbal/ alternative medicines are used
  • Describe risks associated with the use of herbal/ alternative medicines
  • Discuss commonly used dietary supplements, including herbal medicines
  • Identify sources of information regarding herbal/alternative medicines

Effects of Herbal and Prescription Medications:

  • Therapeutic Effects: Why medication is being taken
  • Side Effects: A problem that occurs when the medication goes beyond the effect, or in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.
  • Adverse Effects: An injury caused by taking the medication
  • Interaction Effects: Drug to Drug, Drug to Food, Drug to fluids such as juices, drug to herbals and over the counter (OTC) meds

Results of Consumer Survey (Pharmacother 2000; 20(1):83-7):

  • Results from the survey (794/1300 surveys returned) showed a significant increase in use of herbals products, and willingness to inform health care practitioners:
  • 42% (n=330): Herbal product use
  • Common herbal products (aloe, garlic, ginseng, echinacea, and St. John’s wort)
  • Women (majority)
  • Higher education (75%)
  • Herbal users = more prescription medications
  • Herbal users = negative perception of prescription medications

Top-Selling Herbs in Mainstream Markets in 2001:

Gingko              ($46)
Echinacea         ($40)
Garlic                ($39)
Ginseng        ($31)
Soy                 ($28)
Saw Palmetto    ($25)
St. John’s wort ($24)
Valerian             ($12)
Cranberry       ($11)
Black cohosh      ($10)
Kava kava            ($ 9)
Milk thistle           ($ 7)
Evening primrose($ 6)
Grape seed            ($ 4)
Bilberry                  ($ 4)
Yohimbe                ($ 2)

Some of the Most Commonly Used Herbals:

Kava kavapyrones)--(Piper methysticum) is often used to help reduce anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders. It may be effective for short-term treatment of anxiety (similar to Valium® and Ativan®). Side effects may include liver toxicity leading to liver failure and liver transplantation. Use no longer than 4 weeks. DO not use with alcohol or sedative medications. Use caution when driving or operating heavy machinery.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree): Distinct chemical components work synergistically to improve blood flow (brain and heart). It protects against oxidative damage from free radicals (antioxidant). Ginkgo also inhibits effects of platelet activating factor (PAF).
Research has demonstrated ginkgo leaf extract to be useful for stabilizing or improving some aspects of cognitive function and social functioning in patients with multiple types of dementia. Modest improvement in visual memory and speed of cognitive processing in non-demented patients with age-related memory impairment has been observed.

Adverse effects of Ginkgo include: hypersensitivity reactions, gastrointestinal disturbances, and spontaneous bleeding (few cases reported).

Ginkgo may have interactions with anticoagulants/blood thinners such as (Coumadin®), aspirin, Plavix®, and Ticlid®, and Insulin.

Ginkgo seems to be well-tolerated (weeks to 1 year).

Family in Crisis

We have a family in crisis! The Pattichots were forced out of their home due to the flooding.  The water has filled the basement as well the entire first floor.  They left with basically the clothes on their backs and are in need of all basic living items.  Right now Tony, Charito and Annette are staying with Sugar and Jeramie.  If you can lend support to the Pattichots, I know they will be so very grateful.

Recovery is a long process but the focus right now is on immediate needs.  Updates will be emailed out frequently.  

Items needed immediately:

  • Clothing:  Tony wears size Large.  Charito: size 6.  Annette: size 3.
  • Personal items:   toothbrushes, combs, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lotion, etc.
  • Food and paper goods.
  • Bedding:  blankets, pillows, towels.  Perhaps an air mattress.

Items already donated or committed to be donated:

  • Soaps
  • Washcloths
  • Bedding
  • Lotions
  • Q-tips
  • Toothbrushes
  • Kleenex
  • Bubble bath
  • Hair elastics
  • Hair clip
  • 3 pillows
  • Blankets 
  • Throws    

This evening from 6-8 pm, Brian Toay will open the church for donation drop off.  He will then deliver the items to the Pattichots.

Sabbath:  please bring additional donations and Courtney will make a deliver to them.

Contact person:  Brian Toay  314-809-9913   email:  brianet@centurytel.net

Emotional and spiritual support, as well as meeting the physical needs, is necessary at a time like this.  Emails, phone calls, texts, Face book, and mailing cards are some of the many ways you can show your care and concern.  Please pray for the water to recede quickly, for the family’s immediate needs, for encouragement, patience and strength to deal with this crises.  Thank you.


A Journey toward Unity

By Leslie Olin

unity-530x353.jpg

Over the last several decades the term “summit” has become well known, especially as various governments have met together in an effort to foster stronger ties between nations. The purpose of summits may vary, but the common theme is to provide an opportunity for dialogue toward a common goal. As governments, the goal is often to work together for peace in a certain part of the world. Or maybe a group of people hoping to foster new friendships and partnerships, meet to discuss ways to provide an environment conducive to reaching those goals. Often summits are held for the purpose of exploring solutions to problems faced in a certain locality or people group. We’ve all followed the news regarding summits that have been significant to world relations and maybe even been a part of a summit in the business world, but have we thought of the term “summit” in terms of the gospel commission?

Four years ago, pastors in St. Louis Metro, with a population of 2.8 million people, began meeting together on a regular basis. They formed a cross-conference ministerial association to collaborate together to evangelize the city. This grass roots movement became known as AMPS - Adventist Ministers and Pastors of St. Louis - the ministers being lay people and the pastors those who were employed by the various conferences. This group now consists of pastors and lay people from 14 local churches. These churches represent members from the Central States, Iowa-Missouri, Illinois and Lake Region Conferences.

As in many metropolitan areas, the pastors realized that the members of their churches did not know, and rarely fellowshipped with members from other congregations, especially if those congregations were in different conferences. Churches tend to become focused on their own ministries and programs and it is easy to become oblivious to sister churches. The pastors asked themselves, “Can we do more to make a positive impact if we work together?” “Is it possible to break down the invisible walls that separate us, and make a greater impact for the cause of Christ in this city?” The purpose of AMPS was to unite the diverse Adventist churches in St. Louis Metro beginning with opportunities to fellowship, with the ultimate goal of working together to evangelize St. Louis. Since that time, AMPS has organized and initiated several opportunities for area churches to join in fellowship, training and service.

The first event organized by AMPS was Equipping University, a lay training and discipleship program. Over 220 people from different churches, conferences and parts of the metro area, from the suburbs to the inner city came and became acquainted as they enjoyed fellowship, training and worship. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Since that first event, churches have met each quarter for a city-wide prayer meeting. The first citywide prayer meeting was held at the Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church. Again, members from all over St. Louis Metro came together. This time to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that souls could be won for the kingdom of God. Attendees from different races, backgrounds and cultures felt the Holy Spirit move in their midst. Many described the evening, as “a foretaste of heaven.” Local churches now take turns hosting this event with a special year-end prayer meeting that includes a communion service.

After a challenge by AMPS to form a lay ministries team, a group of dedicated lay people was formed called the St. Louis SDA Lay Ministries Committee (SLSLM). Led by Danise Taylor, this special team consists of lay members from several area churches. Their mission is to find and create mission projects in the St. Louis area and invite members from all over St. Louis to participate. Their first project, “The Jericho Project” focused on Ferguson, MO. Beginning with a mailing to residents, team members followed up by going door-to-door visiting the homes that had received the book. They prayed with people, left a packet with inspirational materials and collected contact information for those interested in future events. For the members who went out, it was an amazing experience as they saw firsthand the power of God and experienced the blessings of sharing their faith and hope to those they met. And their efforts were rewarded with fruit as well. A young mother and her two children were baptized in a Breath of Life seminar held shortly after they were visited and invited to attend by members of the team.

In the first collaboration for an evangelistic series, resident evangelist for the Iowa-Missouri Conference, David Klinedinst and pastors Bryan Mann and Joseph Ikner of the Central States Conference joined together to present a series at the Northside Seventh-day Adventist Church. The series was subtitled, “The Truth, in Black and White.” For the last three years AMPS has also hosted a St. Louis Area Campmeeting, dividing the programing between three area churches and inviting members from all area churches to join together in fellowship and worship.

In August of 2014, St. Louis found itself thrust into the spotlight of racial and cultural tension. Events in Ferguson, MO brought to the forefront the fact that like many large cities in the United States, this city is deeply divided. The need to work together and show a better way was all the more apparent. As the pastors met together, they realized that in the amazing providence of God, the pastors and churches in this city had already begun to learn what it means to be united, how to work together and make a difference. They also realized that the city desperately needs our witness and that while a great work has been started, there was need for deeper insight into how we can use our diversity to advance our mission in this city. An extraordinary journey had been embarked upon and the need to push forward and deepen our understanding of how to work together unitedly was needed. In light of the events in Ferguson and events occurring in various parts of the country, AMPS chose “Unity in Diversity” as their theme for the 2015 Campmeeting.

On September 11, the 2015 St. Louis Area Campmeeting began. For Americans, September 11 has become synonymous with hatred and divisiveness. The irony was not lost on those attending that our Campmeeting theme was the opposite of those sentiments. Can we as Seventh-day Adventists Christians in St. Louis Metro write a far different story in our city? Can we BE what our city so desperately needs? We began the weekend together as St. Louis area churches praying and believing that we can.

The guest speakers for the weekend were Dr. Leslie Pollard, President of Oakwood University and Dr. Jose Rojas, President of MOVEmentum. One of the thoughts both speakers posed over our time together was the difference between being “colorblind” as it were, versus recognizing

and celebrating our differences. Over 31 nations were represented in a Parade of Nations during the Sabbath afternoon Campmeeting program. Do we have differences? Praise God! Yes, we do! Must those differences divide us? No. A resounding no! Those differences instead are some of our greatest assets for mission. Every church, every pastor, every member in the St. Louis Metro has gifts and talents and experiences that are significant and meaningful and provide unique opportunities to reach others with the gospel.

The weekend was a time of fellowship and thought provoking messages. But beyond that, it was a call to action. Members were challenged with the thought that if we were meeting together for Campmeeting just to fellowship and have a “kumbayah moment,” we would have missed the point. The city of St. Louis needs Jesus and if the messages did not compel us out of our seats, out of our own prejudices and tightly held opinions and into the community, the purpose for meeting would have been lost. We need to catch a vision of a greater cause outside of ourselves and our own individual churches if we truly want to find unity in diversity.

And so was born the idea that what we were doing here wasn’t just your average Campmeeting, as good and beneficial as those are. As Jose Rojas put it, “what is happening here is a summit.” We don’t want to just hear inspiring messages and go home and sink back into our comfort zones. We want to bring the message of the gospel of peace to the St. Louis metro area. And that will take working together. Dialoguing together. Going beyond just accepting our differences and learning to see the value of those differences as we seek to fulfill our mission. Learning from each other and growing together as we seek to evangelize our city.

So next year, there will not be a St. Louis Area Campmeeting, but rather the 2016 Evangelism Summit for the St. Louis Metro Area. Plans are already underway for next year’s event. The theme for 2016 is “Discipleship Evangelism.” Plans include a challenge to the approximately 1000 local members to pray and work for at least one person in the coming year. Members are encouraged to focus on investing in the lives of others through friendship and prayer. The 2016 Summit will focus on evangelistic preaching and calling people to make decisions for Christ. This will provide an opportunity for each member to invite those they've been working with and praying for to attend. Imagine people from all over the St. Louis Metro joining together in one evangelistic effort! Members working individually, yet together, to introduce Jesus to the people of this city.

It is our hope, that the journey we have embarked on here, will inspire other metro areas to find ways to collaborate together as pastors, lay members, churches and conferences to reach their cities as well. What amazing miracles might we see if in every large city in the United States, Seventh-day Adventist became known as the church that demonstrates true unity in action; culturally, racially and spiritually. Jesus prayed for that for His church. It is not just a possibility, but a promise. So let’s not just talk about being united, let’s actively pursue it. Let’s push past our fears and inhibitions and embrace our differences and be the light our world so desperately needs! 

The Health Benefits of Sleep

By DeLois Weeks, RN, PhD

bgg2wl-woman-sleeping.jpg

Sleep studies consistently show that sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being. After a good night's sleep, we feel better, our thoughts are clearer and emotions are less fragile. Without adequate sleep, judgment, mood, and ability to learn and retain information are weakened. Sleep improves our memory, increases concentration, and enables the brain to more effectively process new experiences, knowledge and understanding. 

During sleep, repairs are made to the body, and extra protein molecules that boost the immune system are produced. Sleep helps reduce stress. It also helps to control weight gain by regulating hormones affecting appetite. People who report sleeping less than five hours a night have been found to be more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to eight hours a night.

Research indicates that sleep reduces the chances of Type 2 Diabetes by affecting metabolism of glucose (carbohydrates cells use for fuel/energy). Adults sleeping less than five hours a night are at greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. 

Requirements for sleep vary by individual: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports that most adults need 7-8 hours a night. Some people may need as few as 5 hours per night and others up to nine or ten hours of sleep each day for proper functioning.

Sleep reduces agitation, moodiness, depression and anxiety. It also decreases high levels of "inflammatory markers" like C-reactive protein and alpha lipoprotein both linked to heart disease and stroke. Sleep helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels (both play a role in heart disease). 

Sleep Requirements by Age

Number of Hours

12-18 hours

14-15 Hours

12-14 Hours

11-13 Hours

10-11 Hours

8-9 Hours

7-9 Hours

Age Group

Newborns (0-2 months old)

Infants (3-11 months old)

Toddlers (1-3 years old)

Pre-school children (3-5 years old)

School-aged Children (5-10 years old)

Teens (11-17 years old)

Adults


Protecting Your Marriage - What Does the Bible and EGW Say?

By Nikki Yankee, MS LMFT 

The Origin

An insightful book based on the Biblical principal that men are instructed to love their wives and wives are to respect their husbands. A must read for every couple!

Marriage is a divine institution established by God Himself before the fall when everything, including marriage, was “very good.” (Gen. 1:31). “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). “God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. ‘Marriage is honorable’; it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise.”— The Adventist Home, pp. 25, 26.

The Oneness 

God intended the marriage of Adam and Eve to be the pattern for all future marriages, and Christ endorsed this original concept saying: “Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:4-6).

The Permanence 

Marriage is a lifelong commitment of husband and wife to each other and between the couple and God (Mark 10:2-9; Rom. 7:2). Paul indicates that the commitment which Christ has for the church is a model of the relationship between husband and wife (Eph. 5:31, 32). God intended the marriage relationship to be as permanent as Christ’s relationship with the church.

Sexual Intimacy 

Sexual intimacy within marriage is a sacred gift from God to the human family. It is an integral part of marriage, reserved for marriage only (Gen. 2:24; Prov. 5:5-20). Such intimacy, designed to be shared exclusively between husband and wife, promotes ever-increasing closeness, happiness, and security, and provides for the perpetuation of the human race. In addition to being monogamous, marriage, as instituted by God, is a heterosexual relationship (Matt. 19:4, 5).

Partnership  

Unity in marriage is achieved by mutual respect and love. No one is superior (Eph. 5:21-28). “Marriage, a union for life, is a symbol of the union between Christ and His church. The spirit that Christ manifests toward the church is the spirit that husband and wife are to manifest toward each other.”— Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 46. God’s Word condemns violence in personal relationships (Gen. 6:11, 13; Ps. 11:5; Isa. 58:4, 5; Rom. 13:10; Gal. 5:19-21). It is the spirit of Christ to love and accept, to seek to affirm and build others up, rather than to abuse or demean them (Rom. 12:10; 14:19; Eph. 4:26; 5:28, 29; Col. 3:8-14; 1 Thess. 5:11). There is no room among Christ’s followers for tyrannical control and the abuse of power (Matt. 20:25-28; Eph. 6:4). Violence in the setting of marriage and family is abhorrent (see Adventist Home, p. 343).“Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership. The Lord has laid down the principle that is to guide in this matter. The husband is to cherish his wife as Christ cherishes the church. And the wife is to respect and love her husband. Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other.”— Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 47.
 

The Effects of the Fall 

The entrance of sin adversely affected marriage. When Adam and Eve sinned, they lost the oneness which they had known with God and with one another (Gen. 3:6-24). Their relationship became marked with guilt, shame, blame, and pain. As a part of the curse of sin, rulership was given to the husband (Gen. 3:16; see also Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 58, 59). Wherever sin reigns, its sad effects on marriage include alienation, desertion, unfaithfulness, neglect, abuse, violence, separation, divorce, domination of one partner by the other, and sexual perversion. Marriages involving more than one spouse are also an expression of the effects of sin on the institution of marriage. Such marriages, although practiced in Old Testament times, are not in harmony with the divine design. God’s plan for marriage requires His people to transcend the mores of popular culture which are in conflict with the biblical view.

What are Ways to Protect Your Marriage?

  1. Spend Time with God
  2. Safeguard relationships of the opposite sex
  3. Establish boundaries in the workplace
  4. Dress modestly
  5. Guard your eyes and ears
  6. Avoid dangerous pitfalls
    1. Online Relationships
    2. Private meetings
    3. Extracurricular activities
  7. Spend time with your spouse
    1. Make them your top priority
    2. Affirm, listen, and seek to meet his or her needs
  8. Be accountable

The Benefits of Water - Give Us Living Water

By DeLois Weeks, RN, PhD

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
— John 4:10 KJV

Water is vital to life and health. Our bodies are 55% to 78% water depending on body size. Approximately two-thirds of the body consists of water. The tissues and organs are primarily made up of water:

  • Muscle 75% water
  • Brain 90% water
  • Bone 22% water
  • Blood 83% water

Every cell in the body needs water.  For example, the brain cannot function well without sufficient water and without it, you will get headaches or migraines. Fatigue and headache may be signs of dehydration.

Harmful effects and symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Dark yellow or orange urine: Urine is typically pale yellow to clear
  • Dry skin: skin is the largest body organ and requires water
  • Hunger: Most people mistake hunger for the indication to eat more when it may be an indication of dehydration 

More Benefits of Water:

  • Regulates body temperature, and increases energy and fuel used by muscles during exercise
  • Aids digestion by raising metabolism
  •  Works synergistically with fiber to facilitate peristalsis and relieve constipation
  • Lubricates joint and muscle helping to relieve cramps and strains
  • Helps fight cold, flu and other ailments like kidney stones and heart attack
  • Relieves fatigue by helping to flush toxins and waste products 
  • Lifts mood because when the body is well hydrated, you feel happy
  • Reduces the risk of bladder and colon cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine and shortening the time they are in contact with bladder lining
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; …therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
— Isaiah 12:2-3 KJV