Pioneer Welcomes New Lead Pastor  —  

On March 22, 2023, Shane Anderson was confirmed as lead pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church, becoming the fifth lead pastor to shepherd the campus church of Andrews University.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 21:00

The Fourth Watch

By Pastor Dwight K. Nelson

February 22, 2023

Imagine the police in our small village/township parking their flashing-lighted squad cars at every main entry point to Berrien Springs, stopping all traffic, and only allowing residents to proceed into our village limits. Hard to believe? Yet that’s what transpired earlier this week in the small town of Wilmore, Kentucky (population 6,461). All because in that small town is a small Christian university called Asbury, on whose campus a revival broke out at the end of the Wednesday morning chapel two weeks ago right now—a revival of worship and praise, confessions and repentances, singing and praying, with the name of Jesus on the lips of nearly everyone coming and going in that packed auditorium—a non-stop student-led revival that is still continuing around the clock to this very moment.

The Christian world and much of this non-Christian nation have now heard of the Asbury University revival, thanks to the headlines of major news outlets. Twenty thousand visitors showed up this last Sunday, leading to the town’s decision to bar any further outside traffic, so congested has the town become over flocking visitors (from all points on the compass) who want to experience or at least witness this much-heralded revival.

And here we are a few hundred miles to the north, another small Christian university in another small town. What if we’re next on the Holy Spirit’s timetable?

“Oh, but we’re praying for a genuine revival at Andrews!” Who would dare suggest that the #AsburyRevival is anything less than the real deal? Jesus Himself was confronted with that challenge, when the Pharisees sallied up to Him on that Palm Sunday donkey ride through the jumping, whooping, and hollering, hosannaing praise-raisers who lined the palm-branch strewn road down Olivet and toward the Holy City: “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ He replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out’” (Luke 19:39-40). And when some of the youth of that crowds apparently went overboard the very next morning when Jesus entered the temple, and the same grumpy clerics accosted Him over all this ruckus, Jesus’ terse reply is worth remembering: “‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked Him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants You, Lord, have called forth your praise”?’” (Matthew 20:16). Apparently exuberant praise and loud exclamations of worship from the young are not antithetical to our Lord’s definition of revival, now are they?

A couple of Mondays ago I had five undergrad college students sitting in my office, earnestly appealing to me: “We are greatly concerned with the declining spiritual condition of the students at Andrews University.” That's the opening line of a three-page paper these young Adventist students articulately crafted and shared with me. An unfair charge? I don’t think so. Oh yes, there are many young disciples of Jesus who are unabashed in their public and private loyalty to Him on this campus. But over the recent months, I have sensed a deepening chasm between the sold-out-for-Jesus students and those who seem (at least to outward appearances) to be overtly detached from spiritual life on this campus. (The next time you attend chapel, note the decorum in the back half of the sanctuary—or drop by any spiritual gathering and wonder where the students are.)  

Shall we despair? Not at all! But we cannot sit by and assume a Christian Adventist campus is immune to bold, frontal efforts by the enemy of our souls to turn this safe haven for Jesus into a battleground for Satan’s dark offensive strategy, a deadly modus operandi crafted to snare an entire generation into his camp. Rather than wringing our hands or complaining to each other, we must unitedly join forces in what Timothy Keller calls “extraordinary prayer.” In a February 5, 2023, piece he wrote for Atlantic magazine, “American Christianity Is Due for a Revival,” Keller notes: “All religions promote and call for prayer. But historically, during times of fast growth and renewal, Christian movements have been marked by an extraordinary amount of communal prayer. . . . Unions of believers for prayer—both large and small gatherings—have an empowering effect. The renewed growth of the Church in the U.S. will not happen without it” ( 

Then is there no such thing as a “counterfeit revival?” Of course, counterfeits exist—but their very existence is proof enough of God’s abiding promise of the genuine Holy Spirit gift. My suggestion is simply that we refrain from attempting what only Almighty God can do—read the hearts of His children—and concentrate instead on what Almighty God can do on our own campuses if we will but call upon Him. “Ask the LORD for rain, in the time of the latter rain. . . . He will give [us] showers of rain . . . for everyone” (Zechariah 10:1 NKJV). God knows it surely is time for the “latter rain” outpouring of the Spirit of Christ upon us all! Look at the world we now inhabit, look at our own nation, look at our own church. No, it is truly the season of the “latter rain.”

So I hope you will join fellow believers across America tomorrow on the 200th anniversary of the Collegiate Day of Prayer (begun February 1823). Go to the website——and click on “Adopt a Campus” and (1) note that all 4,196 college campuses in this nation have been adopted for prayer this year, and (2) enter “Andrews University” and add your name to the growing list of people who will be praying for our campus tomorrow. 

It is the time at Andrews for this “extraordinary amount of communal prayer.” Keller is right—a revival will come to us in no other manner than through such earnest collective praying. Ellen White is also right: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. . . . [For] there is nothing Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation” (1SM 121, 124).

So pray for revival—because the best is yet to come. Amen.

February 15, 2023

How sober the satellited video clips emanating from the like-nuclear-bomb flattened landscapes of Turkey and Syria—the concrete ruble aftermath of last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, with its 7.5 magnitude aftershock.  Drone footage reveals nothing but “pancaked” apartments, homes, neighborhoods, stretching as far as the eye can see, the only “structure” left standing, the purpled mountain range in the distance. Authorities now report the number of deaths—of men, women and children—to be climbing well beyond 40,000. The magnitude of both devastation and suffering is simply beyond our comprehension.

While we may feel safer on this side of the world, along comes a new headline to give us pause: “Turkey earthquake a ‘poster child’ for what could happen in Southern California.” The “CU Boulder Today” newspaper for the University of Colorado, reported on Wednesday: “For many Americans, the devastation might seem far away. Experts, however, say the geology underlying Turkey and Syria shares a lot in common with the West Coast of the United States—especially California where the San Andreas Fault stretches almost 750 miles from the northern to southern part of the state” ( Quoting Karl Mueller, a CU professor of geological sciences: “‘The thing that struck me about the earthquake in Turkey is that . . . [it is] the same type of fault. It's the same magnitude of earthquake that is likely to occur. When you look at the scenes from this earthquake, you might think, “Wow, that could be L.A.”’” (ibid).

That was Jesus’ point in warning His followers, was it not? “‘And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers [various] places,’” is how the old King James Bible reported His warning (Matthew 24:7). It wasn’t Jesus’ intent to to instill fear, but His warning remains a divine alert to flag the one remaining sign of His return: “‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come’” (Matthew 24:14 NIV). I.e., since Calvary Heaven has launched a massive global rescue effort to find and resuscitate human beings, buried under the rubble of sin, fear, guilt, anxiety and the plethora of Satan’s other assaults against humanity, natural or unnatural.

It’s a call to action, but what kind of action? Consider what happened to Marut Babaoglu, 26 years old: “I was awake when the earthquake happened, I ran down the stairs of the building—I was on the fifth floor, there are eight floors in total. I reached between the second and third floors, then the building collapsed and I was stuck under rubble in the stairwell. I was in a space big enough so that I could turn and move a little, but my hand was stuck. It was pitch dark” ( Still pinned after three days and nights, and still “unfound,” Marut reported drinking his own urine until eventually vomiting halted the idea. Eventually he was located in the collapse, but firefighters clawed and dug for nine more hours to rescue him. “I was in intensive care when I opened my eyes. Everyone working there got very excited . . . I was in shock, but people were cheering” (ibid). 

Why were they cheering? One more lost soul saved, that’s why. And that is the motivation that compels the followers of Jesus to refuse to stop digging, to stop seeking, to stop rescue efforts. Victims are pinned all around us—and have no idea they are trapped (or maybe they do). If they knew we knew what we know, how would they react were we to walk past them without lifting a finger to dig for their rescue?

“Are you using all your powers in an effort to [dig the lost out of the rubble]? There are thousands upon thousands in ignorance who might be warned. Pray as you have never prayed before for the power of Christ. Pray for the inspiration of His Spirit, that you may be filled with a desire to save those who are perishing” (In Heavenly Places 338).

Simply ask Him for the desire to rescue one more lost soul—and keep asking until the desire is yours, too.

January 11, 2023

Word has come that Andrea Luxton, President of Andrews University, is setting aside Wednesday, January 18, as a Day of Prayer for all three campuses (university, academy and elementary school). And certainly, Pioneer as the campus congregation will join in this collective calling on God.

The times could hardly be more needy of such intercession. Education across this nation still reels from the pandemic’s direct hit on the schools of America, and this campus’s schools are no exception. The inflationary ravaging our economy now experiences only exacerbates the financial challenge every institution now faces—from public education to national health care to church entities alike. Add to this the social-cultural-political-moral divide and decay that fester beneath the American surface—there is much reason for our faith community to band together in seeking the mind and heart of God through corporate and personal prayer.

“‘Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me’” (Psalm 50:15). Throughout sacred history, the faith community of God’s people has gathered in times of deep need to claim this divine promise. When Judah was faced with the impending threat of “a vast army” marching toward them, King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a nation-wide day of fasting and prayer, in which “all the [people] of Judah, with their [spouses] and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD” in an earnest appeal for deliverance (2 Chronicles 20:13).

In the midst of that prayer season, an obscure worshiper leaped to his feet and pronounced: “’Stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you—do not be afraid, do not be discouraged’” (v 17). And early the next morning sacred history chronicles the supernatural intervention God brought to this praying and desperate nation.

The Lord God of Israel is our God, too. And we can trust that He will not only hear the fervent prayers of our campuses, He will also intervene in ways that will bear His fingerprints.

So let us band together this coming Wednesday, January 18, for a day of prayer. Shall we fast as well? Judah did. The infant church of Acts did (see chapter 13). But fasting must be a personal decision, whether from food or from other normal activities. One reality is sure—God will honor our earnest offering to Him of our time and energy for praying next Wednesday. (Be watching here for further details regarding a campus prayer gathering in our sanctuary that evening.)

“‘Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:10-11). And a mighty fortress is He indeed!

January 4, 2023

You knew it would happen someday! But North Texas? Kali Jo and Cliff Scott were “great with child” (KJV) as they raced through town to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton. Some things in life just can’t wait.

Mother Kali Jo was hurriedly wheeled off to the delivery room. And a few minutes later—just in time, as it turns out—the Scotts’ in utero fraternal twins were born into this life.

Only something didn’t turn out quite right. Annie Jo arrived first, with younger sister Effie Rose debuting six minutes later. Normally that would be no big deal. But a twist of fate will keep these twins celebrating their birthdays—for the rest of their lives—not only on different days, but in different years! 

Because Annie was born on New Year’s Eve (11:55PM 2022), and Effie arrived on New Year’s Day (12:01AM 2023). Which for that particular hospital meant Annie was the last baby born in 2022—and Effie  the first baby born in 2023. Six minutes and a year apart! Go figure. 

The parents are delighted their daughters will have their own birthdays. The new mom told the reporter, “‘I love it . . . I think it is hilarious and just super fun . . . [We] want to make sure they have their own individual personality and know that they are special and unique’” (

Turns out you and I are “special and unique,” too. Not just because our birthdays are different, but because our divine Parent chose each one of us to be uniquely His. (God has no identical or fraternal twins in His very big Family.) 

What’s more, we have been “accepted in the Beloved” to belong to Him (Ephesians 1:6). And get this, “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world,” long before we were ever born (Ephesians 1:4)! God waited a long time for you and me. But hold on, the news gets even better. 

We were chosen, not just to be little ole regular you and little ole regular me. Turns out God has dreamed some very big dreams for us, for He actually chose us “to be holy and blameless in His sight” (Ephesians 1:4). Talking about high status spirituality, getting chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight is like taking the C-suite elevator straight up to Heaven’s top floor!

“God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach” (Desire of Ages 311).

So never mind your birth date this New Year. Just remember you were born to be chosen, and in Jesus you are born again to be “holy and blameless” just like Him. And if you had to have a twin Brother born ahead of you, why not be glad it is Jesus (see Hebrews 2:11).

December 7, 2022

Have you been following the Percy Pig row across the pond in the United Kingdom? The Marks and Spencer department store chain has been offering Percy Pig “sweets” (candy) for Christmas. But buyers aren’t happy! Here’s the headline: “Marks and Spencer's shoppers are disappointed with a new Christmas Percy Pig item, claiming £1.75 [$2.10] for the product is a ‘rip off.’ Shoppers took to social media to share their shock when opening up the box of sweets” (

Inside the Percy Pig cardboard box of this popular jelly candy is a small palm size cellophane bag with (according to the photo posted in the My London news site) seven small heart-shaped candies. But the shoppers were obviously expecting more sweets than that, and clearly weren’t happy! The site My London commented: “To be fair to Mark's and Spencer, it does say a small bag and it does say 20g on the back of the box. It is still, however, a terrible deal” (ibid).

So we, too, are finding out on this side of the Atlantic. According to the goverment’s Bureau of Labor Statistics the latest Consumer Price Index (for the month of October) shows an overall (not seasonally adjusted) 7.7% increase over the previous year. But where we feel it the most is the increase in food prices (+10.9%) and energy (+17.6%). 

But a more subtle indicator of price hikes is what they’re calling “shrinkflation”—where the product size or quantity has been reduced but is still sold at the same price as before reduction. Even our venerated vegemeat Big Franks has dropped from eight sausages per can to six sausages (according to the food shopper analyst I live with). Now, there’s a crisis in the making!

But Percy Pig and Big Franks notwithstanding, there has been no reduction in the quality and quantity of the largess and blessings you and I have enjoyed from God: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).  No wonder David could exclaim: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:1-2).

In this glorious season when we remember God gave us His very best Gift of all, may our hearts be generous back to Him. Thank you for the faithful generosity you demonstrate in your support of our Pioneer Family offerings. And thank you for adding the new elevator (Renovate 2.0) to your tithe envelope giving. Our children bless you, our senior members bless you, but most of all God blesses you and me. No wonder we love Him back.

November 2, 2022

Karen and I shot to the top of the world’s tallest broadcast/communication tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree (634 meters/2080 feet). The view from the Tembo Deck is spectacular. As you gaze out over the 360-degree vista of the world’s largest city, it seems like you can look down on all 35 million of those souls far below—urban sprawl as far as the eye can see. The super elevators that whisked us up and then back down the Sky Tree are clocked at 10 meters (almost 33 feet) per second! 

But the world elevator speed record holder now is in China. How fast does it travel? “The world’s fastest elevator, developed by Hitachi Building Systems [a Japanese company that has built the three fastest elevators on the planet], is installed in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a 530-meter-high skyscraper built in Guangzhou, China. In order to carry guests to the hotel on the upper floors, the elevator climbs from the 1st floor to the 95th in around 42 seconds. Its recorded maximum speed of 1260 m/min has been recognized as a Guinness World Record” ( That is a stomach-sinking 21 meters or 68-plus feet per second.  

But to put it in perspective, compare these speeds going up with the speeds going down of an average roller coaster (which if you were foolhardy enough to ride, would drop you at a speed of 33 meters or 108 feet per second). On land that is almost 74 miles an hour. (And of course in a car, who bats an eye at that speed.)

How fast will the new elevator travel, the one our Renovate 2.0 construction project will begin to install on December 27? Good news! It will travel faster to the next floor than our stairs are capable of offering right now. I.e., our senior members or visitors, our physically disadvantaged worshipers, and our young families will be able to travel in quiet comfort without a single worry about negotiating the (obstacle course-like) stairway leading into the sanctuary from our main parking lot right now. We all listened to one of our senior members describe how she prays at the bottom of those stairs every Sabbath morning before negotiating them up to the top in order to reach the sanctuary. Prayers in church? Of course. But prayers before climbing stairs? Not good.

So thank you for the way you have embraced our new Renovate 2.0 project. No one is going to send you a pledge card—no one will call you up. The leaders of our church board believe the inarguable need for this new elevator (especially for our senior members, who have invested the most financially through their faithful years of giving at Pioneer) will be motivation enough to raise the $1 million we need. Already $230,000 has been given or promised toward this new elevator. And I am confident we as a church Family will rise up and provide the funds necessary to complete this essential project by the first half of 2023.

You may give directly through, or through your tithe envelope. Just mark the line “Renovate” with your offering. Naturally, this project will necessitate regular and sacrificial giving over the eight months ahead. But imagine our joy when the doors of our new elevator open to a new chapter in eldercare in the Pioneer Family. It is a Jesus cause and it is a Jesus care that He will bless us to provide: “‘Freely you have received; freely give’” (Matthew 10:8) is His personal appeal to us all. 

Thank you.


October 26, 2022

God bless our neighbors to the west. Orkin (the pest removal company) has once again crowned Chicago with the dubious distinction of being the most rat-infested city in this country. For the eighth year in a row! “‘Each fall, mice and other rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the United States,’ Orkin says, in a press release. ‘They typically enter homes between October and February looking for food, water and shelter from the cold’” ( 

According to Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department, the culprit varmint is the Norway rat. Wrap your mind around these factoids: 

The name is rather misleading as this species originated in Asia centuries ago. The rat has an average life span of six to twelve months. Beginning at the age of two to three months, a female rat can produce four to seven litters per year with each litter containing eight to twelve pups. Females can become impregnated within 48 hours after giving birth. The number, size and survivability of litters produced depends upon the amount of food and shelter available. They prefer fresh food, but will eat many things such as pet food, dog feces, garbage and plants. If food is scarce, the strongest rats may even eat the weakest and young. Norway rats prefer to live in burrows in the ground. They are excellent climbers and swimmers and most active at night. They have very hard teeth and can chew through wood and plaster or any other material that is softer than their teeth. They can crawl through holes the size of a quarter, tread water for three days and land unharmed after a five-story fall ( 

Makes you want to stand up cheer for these hardy creatures, doesn’t it! But Chicago is not alone. “New York came in second behind Chicago, with Los Angeles finishing third, Washington, D.C. fourth and San Francisco ranked fifth. Two Indiana cities, South Bend and Fort Wayne, also made the list for the first time coming in at 44th and 48th respectively” ( Look out—they’re coming our way.

So what does rat infestation have to do with this beautiful fall life we’re experiencing these days? Beware the small openings!

Because it's the little holes, the tiny openings the enemy of our souls exploits and squeezes through. One of our senses left unguarded (be it an eye, an ear, a mouth [maybe not so small]) is all it takes for the Adversary to find direct entry to our very being. 

Think about it: every addiction we suffer finds its first entrance through an unguarded sense—pornography (sight), food (smell and taste), lust (touch), gossip and tale-bearing (hearing), et al. Addiction is a single unwanted spirit vermin squeezing into our consciousness through a single unguarded sensory portal. Until eventually the whole house is infested!

No wonder this moral counsel: “All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul. You will have to become a faithful sentinel over your eyes, ears, and all your senses if you would control your mind and prevent vain and corrupt thoughts from staining your soul. The power of grace alone can accomplish this most desirable work” (Adventist Home 401).

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). Because unguarded strength is a double weakness. Just look at Samson, the strongest of them all, felled by his unguarded, unregulated sensory appetite—a morality tale for us third millennials immersed, as we are, in a full-sensory but unguarded culture.

But there is help: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). What a promise! The peace of God Almighty Himself will guard my mind, will guard your heart from the enemy of our souls. 

If you begin each day inside the quiet peace of God, communing with Him through His Word, you will go out to traverse this vermin-infested full-sensory culture, and remain unscathed and uncompromised by the enemy. Beware the small openings, by keeping your heart largely open to Christ alone.

October 5, 2022

The apocalyptic fury with which the winds of Hurricane Ian slammed into the Florida shoreline last Thursday, and with which they with buzzsaw precision subsequently obliterated a swath of destruction across the Sunshine State to the opposite shores—this unfolding tragedy of nature and humanity is beyond comprehension.

The accumulating statistics are numbing—over one hundred humans dead, countless wildlife destroyed, seaside villages wiped off the face of the earth, inland towns storm-surge flooded beyond recognition—to the place hurried estimates (being upwardly revised almost daily) put the monetary losses suffered at “between $180 billion to $210 billion” ( 

“‘Ian will go down as one of the most damaging and impactful storms in U.S. history, along with 2017's Hurricanes Harvey, which caused $190 billion in total damage and economic loss, and Irma ($80 billion); Sandy in 2012 ($210 billion); Katrina in 2005, ($320 billion), as adjusted for inflation,’ AccuWeather said in [an] initial press release on Thursday” (ibid).

But then, how can you put a price tag on total loss?

Michigan friends who had owned a mobile home (snowbird getaway) in Fort Meyers called us on Thursday to report that while the hurricane straps kept the mobile structure anchored to the cement slab foundation, Ian’s raging winds stripped the roof and gutted the contents. Gone. (Fortunately, our friends sold the home a few months ago—unfortunately, the new owner had just finished remodeling the interior.) Loss.

It’s funny how we use the word “loss.” The neighbor kids hit a baseball out into the unmown field and can’t find it. Loss. The stock market plunges and our retirement portfolio drops. Loss. Ukraine recovers territory it lost to Russia. Loss and gain. Puerto Rico's and the State of Florida’s power infrastructure is blown to smithereens. Loss. Praying now for gain.

We lost our keys—we lost our souls—how very different the stark meaning of being “lost” turns out to be. What makes the difference? Of course, it is the value attached to what is lost. 

No wonder Jesus minces no words: “‘For what will it proffer a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’” (Mark 8:36)

Of course, it is the value attached to what is lost that determines the degree of loss. In this case, Jesus describes the loss as eternal. And who wants to lose that badly, who wants to lose forever?

Which, let me be quick to add, makes the risk Jesus willingly suffered, to save the likes of you and me from the enemy’s raging fury, utterly astounding. “[The Father] permitted [the Son] to meet life’s peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss” (Desire of Ages 49 emphasis supplied).

Loss. What Heaven was willing to risk—eternal loss—for the sake of saving your and my lost souls. We bow before Calvary’s incalculable cost. But we celebrate Christ’s incalculable gift. 

And in that spirit of self-sacrificing joy, we turn our hearts southward to the sufferings of our neighbors, and for them, we send more than prayers and love. We give. For the fastest way to get your gift to where it is desperately needed, please go to and note the various options for giving. 

As Jesus so succinctly put it, “‘Freely you have received; freely give’” (Matthew 10:8). For them. For Jesus. 

September 7, 2022

Here’s a story headline that would catch the eye of anybody in the over-40 crowd! CNN ran the news piece under the heading, “Walk this number of steps each day to cut your risk of dementia” ( Curious? Keep reading.

According to a study published Tuesday in JAMA Neurology (Journal of the American Medical Association—go here to read the original study report—, “people between the ages of 40 and 79 who took 9,826 steps per day were 50% less likely to develop dementia within seven years….Furthermore, people who walked with ‘purpose’—at a pace over 40 steps a minute—were able to cut their risk of dementia by 57% with just 6,315 steps a day” (see CNN).

But there’s more: “Even people who walked approximately 3,800 steps a day at any speed cut their risk of dementia by 25%, the study found” (see CNN).

If you’re intimidated by these high step counts, consider this: “The largest reduction in dementia risk—62%—was achieved by people who walked at a very brisk pace of 112 steps per minute for 30 minutes a day, the study found” (see CNN). In fact, the JAMA editorial accompanying the research report Tuesday counseled: “‘While 112 steps/min is a rather brisk cadence, ‘112’ is conceivably a much more tractable and less intimidating number for most individuals than ’10,000,’ especially if they have been physically inactive or underactive’” (see CNN). (To determine your walking pace per minute, simply count the number of steps you take in 10 seconds and multiply that number by six.)

The bottom line to all of this seems to suggest the simple daily exercise of walking is linked to numerous health benefits that now include a lowered risk for dementia. And what’s not to like about that! (The CNN piece ends wisely with this editor's note: “Before beginning any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you experience pain.”)

Ellen White observed: “There is no exercise that can take the place of walking. By it the circulation of the blood is greatly improved....Walking, in all cases where it is possible, is the best remedy for diseased bodies, because in this exercise all of the organs of the body are brought into use” (Healthful Living 129).

The Scriptures describe the height of spiritual communion with God in the language of walking. “Enoch walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 5:22, 24). “Noah walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 6:9). God called Abraham at the age of ninety-nine to “‘walk before Me faithfully and be blameless’” (Genesis 17:1). Paul counsels us to “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). And near the end of the Bible is this appeal, “As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love” (2 John 1:6).

So why not turn your brisk walks into prayer walks with Jesus? Nothing fancy, nothing difficult or strenuous—just the rhythmic breathing in and out of prayers for the new day, prayers for the family, prayers for friends, prayers for the sick, prayers for wisdom, prayers for your classes, prayers for your students, prayers for your patients, prayers for guidance, prayers of joy and thanksgiving for the God who walks beside you. Prayer walks—research documented exercises for the preservation of your heart, your mind, and your soul. What’s not to like about that?

August 31, 2022

Can you imagine a world without water? Think about it. Nearly every single daytime or nighttime, waking or sleeping, human activity is dependent on water. Why, if water disappeared from this earth, we would last around three days. “Dehydration happens quickly, causing extreme thirst, fatigue, and ultimately, organ failure and death. A person may go from feeling thirsty and slightly sluggish on the first day with no water to having organ failure by the third” (

And yet our friends in Jackson, Mississippi, at this very moment of writing, are living—all 250,000 of them—with unusable water. You can turn the faucet on and eventually there may gurgle forth a brown, gritty trickle of water. But no usable amount of water or water pressure for flushing toilets, brushing teeth, taking showers, washing dishes, washing anything. No fighting fires for sure! And on top of that, bottled water is almost non-existent—they’ve run of it, too.

“Since 29 July, households have been under orders to boil all water for drinking, cooking and brushing teeth, to fend off bacterial infections. Now the crisis looks poised to escalate with the possibility the main treatment facility, OB Curtis, could fail completely after its central pumps were seriously damaged in the wake of recent flooding of the Pearl River, following heavy rains” (

For months authorities have been warning of the collapse of Jackson’s water treatment plant. “The city’s mayor, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, said the water infrastructure had suffered from three decades of chronic underfunding” (ibid). Well, for Jackson, Mississippi, it’s “apocalypse now.”

Are you living without water? Not the faucet kind of water, but heart-flow water? She was, the Samaritan woman Jesus engaged there at that noonday well. Sure, she had all the H2O water she needed, but her soul was parched, dehydrated, dying, really. Jesus knew it—hence His offer. Pointing to the well, He spoke: “‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14).

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? We take for granted that even Jesus’ kind of thirst-slaking water will always be their mañana, so why worry now? “‘[But] the days are coming,' declares the Sovereign Lord, 'when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it’” (Amos 8:11-12).

Then isn’t it a no-brainer for us to keep Jesus' spiritual faucets wide open with His water of life—while we have it: “‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’” (John 7:37-38). 

But wait a minute—keep reading: “Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one draft of the water of life would suffice the receiver. . . . The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain. We may drink, and drink again, and ever find a fresh supply. . . . From this source [we] may draw strength and grace sufficient for all [our] needs” (Desire of Ages 187). 

It is the Bible’s last offer: “‘Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life’” (Revelation 22:17).

Poor Jackson, Mississippi. So thirsty, so dry, but no water. Poor you and poor me, if besides the thundering Niagara of Jesus’ living water, we live with parched souls and die of dehydration. 

It must not be! 

So let the one who is thirsty, drink. The fountain still flows.