photo by daveynin from flickr

Editorial by Gary Gibbs

On a warm fall morning last year, I awoke to Pennsylvania’s beautiful rolling hills and mountains enshrouded in a thick fog. That day, the familiar landscape, just a hundred yards away, vanished in the mist. Similarly, as we enter 2021, the months before us are hidden in mystery. Its blessings, opportunities and dangers will only come into focus as time lifts the veil.

Story by Eduardo Monteiro

After the Great Disappointment of 1844, something remarkable followed. Those who had experienced it endured many challenges, but they were not alone. An invisible presence of the Almighty led them by the hand. With renewed strength, they preached the eternal gospel within their immediate circles of influence, neighborhoods, towns and regions, until the message reached the entire country and beyond.

Erica Keith, a member of the Germantown church in Philadelphia, grew up reading Bible stories. “While I learned some good lessons from the stories, many of the stories focused on the men of the Bible,” remembers Keith. As an artist, she realized she had the ability to create images of the women in the Bible whom she envisioned. This year, Keith decided to produce the Women of the Bible 2021 calendar (pictured).

Want More Copies?

For those interested in ordering additional Year of the Bible Words of Life devotional books, call (800) 447-7377, and ask for the “Columbia Union Devotional.” Each book costs US $5, plus shipping, while supplies last. Take advantage of this 50 percent discount, through January 31!

For those wanting more copies of the 2021 Columbia Union Calendar, call (800) 447-7377, and ask for the “2021 Columbia Union Calendar.” Extra calendars are free, with only the cost of shipping.

Didn’t Get Your Book or Calendar?

Given the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s history and distinctive focus on the second coming of Jesus Christ, it’s not surprising that, during tough economic times, after natural disasters or amid seasons of great uncertainty, many members speculate how “near” the end is. The Visitor team talked with four pastors and captured excerpts of their perspectives.

Cesar Gonzalez, pastor of Chesapeake Conference’s Cambridge and Beacon of Light churches on the Eastern Shore of Maryland

Learning about iconic Bible characters while having fun is the purpose of Heroes 2 for its players. The game is expected to be launched in January 2021. It will be free, with an interactive quiz, and where the characters ask questions about their own stories to the user.

Players will start their journey in Genesis, with 12 questions about the first heroes, Adam and Eve. The more “experience points” a player has, the more heroes are unlocked until they get to John, in the book of Revelation. Each game consists of 12 questions easy at first, but as the game progresses, the questions get harder. Players will be able to challenge family and friends by sharing a simple link.

“Scripture is full of examples of how the most insignificant and humble acts of faith become the spark that releases the miraculous acts of God’s power,” says Ramos. “There are no circumstances so dark and overwhelming that God’s people, advancing under His command, cannot overcome.”

Story by Cynthia Mendoza

Do you have a desire to be used by God for the building of His kingdom, but you’re not sure where to start? He is ready and willing to give you what you need. Here are a few simple ways, gleaned from Rubén Ramos, vice president of Multilingual Ministries for the Columbia Union Conference and other leaders to get started.

Pray. A lot.

Before doing anything else, start by praying intentionally. Ask God to impress on your heart who to pray for, and what to pray for. Ask for His guidance in determining how He wants to use you. And then be open to His leading. Don’t compare yourself to what anyone else may be doing. God uses every person in different ways.

For such a time as this