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Morning Manna

Lately, I've been reading through Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5. It's a power-packed book!

One morning while reading, I came across these pertinent thoughts: "The preaching of the gospel is God's chosen agency for the salvation of souls. But our first work should be to bring our own hearts into harmony with God, and then we are prepared to labor for others." {5T 87, 88}  

We know that we need Christ before we can share Christ; we need to be converted, etc. But this is a little different says we need to be in harmony with God. Being "in harmony" means having the same thoughts and opinions and living as He does. (It's a step beyond simply being forgiven!)

Then there's an example of a man who thought he was "with God"—who considered himself to be on God's side—but who wasn't in harmony. "When rebuked by the Lord through His prophet, Saul stoutly asserted that he had obeyed the voice of God; but the bleating sheep and lowing oxen testified that he had not."

Saul claimed to be an obedient believer, but his claims didn't make it true. He claimed to be loyal, but his actions denied it. How might we "assert" that we are loyal to God, that we are in His army, when we're not actually in harmony with Him? Here are some answers which aren't too hard to apply to our private lives: "In the same manner do many today assert their loyalty to God, but their concerts and other pleasure gatherings, their worldly associations, their glorifying of self, and their eager desire for popularity all testify that they have not obeyed His voice. . . . The consistent Christian is not only a new but a noble creature in Christ Jesus." {5T 88}  

I want my Christianity to be more than an assertion. I want to live in harmony, obedient. I want Him to make me not only new, but noble! Then, I'm prepared to labor for others!

Blessings to one and all,
Cheyenne Reiswig

From a post in YD's Morning Manna devotional sharing group.

Of All the Week the Best: Peaceful Activity

This activity is best when done with a group of people. Each person should have a Bible with a concordance in the back. Other helpful materials would include a Strong’s Concordance, an Index to the Writings of Ellen White, and an assortment of Spirit of Prophecy books.

On Sabbath afternoon, after prayer, give each person a pencil and a paper. Tell them they each have 20 minutes to find out all they can about PEACE. During this time, everyone should work quietly and individually.

Those Juniors, Part 14: Tempting to Teach, # 1

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: It is deduction that is easier; it requires little thought, and the teacher does the explaining. But it is induction that makes a lasting impression on the students. Teaching should be a process of retaining knowledge, which is best done through induction.

Referring to the clever way in which the unjust steward prepared for his future, Christ said, “The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.”1  We do not understand that Christ was approving dishonesty, but He was commending the ability to think ahead and plan. It is evidently possible to learn something good from a bad man.

The Cost of Love

by Kezzia Keener

I must admit it: I didn't quite know what I was asking for that day as I knelt beside my bed, asking God to teach me to love like He loved. Honestly, though, it didn't occur to me that maybe I should examine the cost a little more. I only knew that I had come face to face with Love Himself, and I just wanted to love like Him. 

About a year passed, and I found myself revisiting the topic. Progress in love seemed slow to me, and each day I seemed to find more and more things that I needed to surrender to Him. I still desired to love like Him, but the effort involved in learning His way seemed overwhelming. I’d gotten distracted along the way, making it seem even harder. Needless to say, my sense of failure left me feeling depressed. 

I thank God that He didn't leave me to my own devising. In the months since, I have begun to understand a little better what it means to “love like Him.”

I mean, who but God could come to a pile of filthy rags and rotting sores that smell very strongly of death, and simply love with a love strong enough to hold me—and all my unrighteousness—close to His heart, and call me His, beautiful, forgiven—before the transformation.

I don’t understand this love. I don’t begin to understand. But I still want to love like Him.

I know it won’t be easy. I’ll have to surrender and throw out and confess and struggle, but He’ll give the strength I need. My life is in His hands. I am His, and I can trust Him to make of me what He wants me to be. When I partner with His almighty power, there are no impossibilities.

My prayer has changed a little bit. Now I’m asking Him not just to teach me to love like He loves, but to purify me (with fire, if needed) and cleanse me from every stain. I still don’t think I know where this prayer will take me, but I want Him in my heart, forever, no matter the cost. So may I be broken if He may be glorified, and may His fire burn all my heart’s dross so His love can be mine.

Power Within

by Arthur T. Pierson

Thousands live above 12,000 feet in the Andes of South America, and mountain peaks soar as high as 22,000 feet. In such a place, it took quite an effort to lay train tracks. But at last the day came when an engineer drove the first locomotive up through the mountains of Bolivia.* Native Bolivians from all across the mountainsides heard of the great engine and traveled many miles to see it.

One group of Indians came all the way from the Amazon basin to see the strange sight. Finding the engine stationary on the tracks, they sat back on their haunches and discussed what this monster could be. “It is made to go,” one observed. Another said, “Let us make it go.” They got out their ropes and hooked them onto various parts of the engine, and then about 30 men began to pull. With several great heaves, they managed to move the locomotive six yards. Standing back to see what they had done, they exclaimed, “Ay-ay-ay-ay Tatai Tatito! The great and little father has given us power to do a wonderful thing!”

The next day, the engineer shoveled coal into the firebox. Hitching two cattle cars onto the engine, he invited the Amazon Indians to step inside. Then, opening the regulator, the engineer let steam into the cylinder, which began to move the piston and the wheels of the locomotive. The Indians shouted with surprise to be carried along at ten miles an hour, instead of slowly dragging the engine themselves!

Steam engines, of course, were not made to be pulled by human power. Instead, the power to propel them comes from a fire within. The same can be said of effectual, fervent prayer. We don’t move Heaven by working up human zeal; instead, God moves us by placing the Holy Spirit within. Then, as we pray, the Spirit helps our human frailty, giving us divine earnestness to pray for things that match God’s will. With the power of the Spirit within, we can know that the Father hears us and will grant our petitions!

*About a century ago.

From The Missionary Review, Volume 30, 1907.

Memory Text for August 24–30

Key Thought for Lesson 9, "Praying in the Spirit"
We must have the help of the Holy Spirit if we want access to the throne of God. To have the gift of the Spirit, we need a complete surrender of our wills and ourselves to God.

Memory Text:
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

Project: Memory
“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

Healing or Healer?

A couple of weeks ago in prayer, the Lord gave me a beautiful thought. I was praying for healing for my family through a tough situation, and He brought this text to mind: "But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2).

That's when I realized that instead of begging for healing, I should ask for Him to be present. Jesus' great desire is to gather us under His healing wings "even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings" (Matthew 23:37). When our lives are hid in Him, He brings healing. But to ask for healing apart from Him is pointless, because He is the healer.

So I've changed my prayer, because healing isn't really what we most need after all. We need Him!

Have a blessed Sabbath!

Cheyenne Reiswig

Those Juniors, Part 13: Matters of the Mind, #2

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: Concepts, percepts, judgment and reasoning are powers that must be taken into account when teaching. Deduction and induction are the two great principles of teaching, induction being the more beneficial of the two.

Let us take two examples from arithmetic.

An Example of Deduction
TEACHER: This morning, class, I want to show you how we can prove a multiplication problem by the rule of casting out the nines. The rule is: If you add the digits in the number to be multiplied, then subtract all the nines that you can, and write down the remainder, then do the same to the multiplier and also to the product, the product of the remainders opposite the number and the multiplier, after subtracting the nines, will equal the remainder opposite the product. Read the rule again, to make sure it is clear, and now let us demonstrate it on the board. We will multiply 176 by 24: 

Prayer in the Science Lab, Part 2

by Cheyenne Francis Reiswig

Dr. Randolph Byrd is a heart specialist, and he’s also a researcher. A little over 25 years ago, he conducted a study that kicked off the medical community’s interest in researching prayer. The study focused on the effects of intercessory prayer, or prayer offered for someone else.

For subjects, Dr. Byrd used 393 patients in the Intensive Heart Care Unit at San Francisco General Medical Center. Computers randomly decided which half of the patients would be prayed for, and which would not.1 Throughout the study, the patients and their doctors remained unaware of who was in which group.2

Memory Text for August 17–23

Key Thought for Lesson 8, "Confidence!"
We need to study the Bible so we can know God’s will. Then, we can have confidence that God gives us what we ask, as we pray according to His will.

Memory Text:
“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him” (1 John 5:14, 15).

Project: Memory
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).

Of All the Week the Best: Colors in Nature

Ever wonder what the world would be like if everything was brown? Or green? Or purple? The many colors in nature are only another example of God’s thoughtfulness and love.

Those Juniors, Part 12: Matters of the Mind, # 1

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: In order to effectually keep the attention, a teacher or instructor at times may use attention traps—things that will keep the interest. Classroom management is an art: and absolutely necessary to avoid outbursts and deflected attention.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.”1 The word “train” indicates that character building is not the work of an hour or a day but a continued, sustained process. While this is true, however, we must not overlook the influence of a single word or act.

Are You One of the Ye's?

by R.A. Torrey

I was a young pastor in my first pastorate. A lady in my congregation faithfully attended church, but she refused to become a member. The mystery deepened when I discovered that she used to belong to the church, but had withdrawn her membership. I decided to find out the problem.

Memory Text for August 10–16

Key Thought for Lesson 7, "Anything Whatsoever!"
When we truly believe on Jesus, we trust Him with every part of our lives—and He gives us whatever we ask.

Memory Text:
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13, 14).

Project: Memory
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).

Of All the Week the Best: Dioramas!

For this Sabbath activity you need to be out in nature—a great place to be on Sabbath! This activity is most enjoyable when several are involved. Bring your Bibles and your creativity.

After asking God to bless your activity, separate into groups of two or three. Each group should choose a certain aspect of God’s character (see Exodus 34:6, 7; Psalm 145:8, 9; Lamentations 3:22, 23; etc.). They should then pick a story from the Bible that illustrates the character trait. Now it is time to create a scene (a diorama) from the story using natural materials at hand.

Those Juniors, Part 11: Tricks of the Trade

by Eric B. Hare

Last week: Juniors want variety. They want to be loved. They want to feel secure and appreciated. They want to be recognized. If you want to be successful, you must show by deeds, not words only, that they are important to you.

Attention Traps
It is said, “There are tricks to every trade.” It is certain that we who teach juniors can learn some tricks that will help us hold the attention and recapture it after a conflict with some intruding interest.

In Touch

Dear Young Disciples,

The advertisement in the back of the magazine read, “One hundred dolls for $1!” I was intrigued. I loved playing with dolls, but I had only a few. Imagine possessing 100 of them!

Memory Text for August 3–9

Key Thought for Lesson 6, "Our Father's Pleasure"
When we keep God’s commandments and strive to please Him in all that we do, He is able to give us whatever we ask for in prayer.

Memory Text:
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).

Project: Memory
“Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21).

Mission Update

by Emily Heagy
Former YD designer now serving in Cambodia

My friends and I meandered along the trail that ran beside the broken-down remains of a Buddhist temple. It was a school holiday, so we were free from our teaching duties for the day. To get to know the area a little better, we had decided to explore the Angkor Wat complex here in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We finally reached our real destination at this particular temple site: a large lake with trees and birds and bushes. It was such a peaceful sight!

However, we were not alone. Two little local girls, laden with trays full of postcards, bracelets, fans and magnets, came to us with pleading eyes and simple English. "Do you want to buy this? This one—one dollar!"