Wake Up Call

Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?
Proverbs 24:11–12 (ESV)

Every time I read this passage, it hits me like a blast of icy water in the face. 

"Wake up, Joel! People are standing on the brink of destruction all around you! You can't say you haven't seen them--caught in the lethal embrace of the transient pleasures of this life, tossed about in the vortex of self-gratification. But for the grace of God, you would be among them! What are you going to do about it?"

There's no mistaking the call. Now, how will I respond?

It's a question I've been earnestly wrestling with for the past year. I am convicted that the darkest hour of Earth's great night is nearly upon us, and I long to be among those who shine like the stars.

The secret to a successful, fulfilled life is to have an aim worthy of one's utmost endeavor. Guess what? "Such an aim has been set before the youth of today. The heaven-appointed purpose of giving the gospel to the world in this generation is the noblest that can appeal to any human being!"
(Ed. 262)

Are you in?



New Housemates

As some of you may know, my housing situation was recently upended. Fortunately I was able to find another place close by with two friends from church.

Things were starting to settle down again, but then last Sabbath I came home to discover that my friends had invited two more people to live with us! I'm all for hospitality, and it was their house, but I couldn't help but wonder if adding two new folks at the same time wasn't a bit excessive.

I wasn't too sure about this whole plan, and greeted my new housemates with a bit of apprehension.

My concern only increased as time went on, for several reasons (I'm sure you'll be able to empathize). First, our new residents seem a bit anti-social. I mean, they haven't said one word to me since they've arrived. Sometimes they even make faces at me, and once or twice they've actually started howling in response to my attempts to be friendly.

Second, they have rather strange habits, lolling about all day and disturbing the peace at night. 

They don't seem to get very much exercise (they haven't gone running with me yet, even though I've invited them), and they're always snacking on something. (It's a wonder we haven't run out of food, the way they go through it!) And I'm not even going to mention their personal hygiene...

Looking on the bright side, people have been very friendly since they've come to live with us. Yesterday my friends and I invited them to come to church with us, and you should have seen how welcoming everyone was! People have even been bringing food and clothes over for them, and the kids have at least been kind enough to share some with me (food, not clothes).

And to be honest, though they are a bit odd at times, they do have a way of growing on you :) 

Anyway, that's the scoop on my new housemates. If you stop by and visit sometime, I'll introduce you to Jonathan and Rachel (if they're awake) :)



Relevant Quotations

When Christ made so great a sacrifice to save men and bring them into unity with one another, even as He was united with the Father, what sacrifice is too great for His followers to make in order to preserve that unity?

If the world sees a perfect harmony existing in the church of God, it will be a powerful evidence to them in favor of the Christian religion.

Dissensions, unhappy differences, and petty church trials dishonor our Redeemer. All these may be avoided if self is surrendered to God and the followers of Jesus obey the voice of the church.

Unbelief suggests that individual independence increases our importance, that it is weak to yield our own ideas of what is right and proper to the verdict of the church; but to yield to such feelings and views is unsafe and will bring us into anarchy and confusion.

Christ saw that unity and Christian fellowship were necessary to the cause of God, therefore He enjoined it upon His disciples. And the history of Christianity from that time until now proves conclusively that in union only is there strength.

Let individual judgment submit to the authority of the church.

Testimonies for the Church Vol. 4, p. 19.

Philippians 2:1–6
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus". ESV