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“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV).

At any time or any place, someone is praying. These are known as “expected prayers”—at church, before meals or during pastors’ visits. Such was the case when I visited a member the night before open-heart surgery.

We spoke and prayed over his concerns and the comforting hope found in his medical team and his faith.

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“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3, NKJV).

My favorite and most comforting verse in the Bible is Isaiah 26:3. This text brought me peace of mind after I completed writing “love letters” to my husband and children, encouraging them and expounding on how much I loved them and sharing my hopes for their future.

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (Prov. 3:5–6, NLT).

Becoming a widow has presented challenges that require my total dependence upon God. It set me on a journey that I never expected to take, nor would I have chosen—but God is in control. I said, “OK, Lord. Take it all, but please don’t let my car break down.”

One day, I noticed my vehicle inspection was overdue, so I scheduled an appointment to renew my sticker. During the inspection, they also took care of a rattling sound that the car was making and ran a diagnostic test for a “Check Engine” light. When they finished, the repairs were more than $1,000!

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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9, NKJV).

As I write this, our world is in turmoil. Nightly protests still rage around our country after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. In this new reality, I wondered what Google could teach me about peace. A .51-second search revealed 1.34 million hits! People are hungry for peace!

As I glanced over many of the summaries, I learned there are articles about the Peace Corps, peace prizes, peace poles, a peace college, peace endowments, peace gardens, peace institutes and peace protests. There are women for peace, Jews for peace, Buddhists for peace, religions for peace, musicals for peace and children for peace.

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“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11, NKJV).

All my life, God has called me to trust and obey Him. I had no idea how old I’d be when I got married or if I’d have children or what my career path would be, but He did. Referring to Him giving us a future and hope, Jeremiah goes on to say that we are to seek, find and search for God with all of our hearts. And that’s exactly what I did.

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“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you will be also” (John 14:3, ESV).

I have heard this beautiful verse read many times in sermons. Preachers strive to describe what Jesus is preparing in heaven. Apparently, Jesus has a great construction company, and He has been building luxurious houses for the redeemed for more than 2,000 years. But the reality is that the verse just prior says, “In my Father’s house there are many dwellings.” So what did Jesus go to prepare?

Third-graders Lucas Saintil and Hector Flores post prayer requests on a cross.

Story by Rod Olofernes

At the beginning of March 2020, Lake Nelson Adventist Academy (LNAA) completely changed. Yet amid clouds of doubt and uncertainty, God bestowed His blessings and shined His light of mercy, grace and love on His children, evidenced by LNAA opening its doors in the fall.

At the start of the pandemic, even meeting in person was in serious question. But recently, God allowed them to celebrate a Week of Prayer.

Story by Chesapeake Conference Staff

Last evening, the Chesapeake Conference Executive Committee elected Andre Hastick to the position of Chesapeake Conference executive secretary. Hastick accepted the call, filling the vacancy left by Jerry Lutz, who was recently elected to serve as Chesapeake Conference president. The executive committee convened virtually for the session, chaired by Elder Lutz.

Hastick began his ministry in Chesapeake in 2011 when he accepted a call to serve as pastor of the Aberdeen (Md.) Seventh-day Adventist Church. Two years later, he went on to serve as pastor of the Reisterstown and South Carroll Seventh-day Adventist churches, both located in Maryland.

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“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Rev. 21:1, KJV).

The apostle John’s description of the new earth says there will be “no more sea.” The seashore is one of my favorite places. For me it has been a place of recreation and relaxation. I have many fond memories of family vacations at the ocean when I was a child and later with my own children—collecting seashells, watching dolphins play, riding waves with my boogie board. Now, as an adult, I still enjoy the sea whenever I can; I especially like snorkeling and sailing. So, this foreboding forecast of “no more sea” is a bit disappointing.