CONSULTATION SERVICE ON ASTRONOMY SERMONS
Many workers avoid reference to astronomy in their Bible studies and sermons for fear of exposing ignorance in a highly specialized scientific area—and rightly so. However, astronomy, when the elementary principles are understood, can be an effective and inspiring support to our preaching of the third angel's message. There are few more effective answers to modern skepticism and the presumptuous pride of the human heart. There are few better evidences of the Sabbath truth via creation.
Ralph A. Wright, of Worcester, Massachusetts, founder of Astronomy Charted, is a devoted Seventh-day Adventist. For many years he has carried a burden to supply our workers with astronomy material, new discoveries, helpful statements, and especially scientific evidence demonstrating the validity of Spirit of prophecy statements on this subject.
Now comes good news. For those workers of us who have frequently wished that we might have at hand expert counsel and guidance on this subject, Ralph A. Wright, amateur astronomer and highly respected in professional circles, is making available to our workers mimeographed material on the subject of astronomy. Together with this he promises a consultation service in your preparation of sermons on astronomy. All this is available at a very nominal fee that will barely cover expenses for our brother, who has an urgent, yet unselfish burden to see this approach used more extensively in evangelistic and revival work. He has correlated all the Bible texts on astronomy, as well as all the available statements from the Spirit of prophecy. These texts and statements, together with quotations from the world's leading astronomers, will, we believe, be of great value to any of our evangelists and youth leaders interested in the subject.
For full details write to: Ralph A. Wright, Astronomy Charted, 33 Winfield Street, Worcester 2, Massachusetts.
KNOW YOUR "PRODUCT"
Arthur Dunn is credited with the following pertinent statement: "I have drilled hundreds of salesmen, and the principal weakness that I have discovered in most of them has been their failure to realize the importance of knowing everything possible about their product and getting such knowledge before they start to sell. I have often found salesmen who get impatient at the preliminary time required for the study of their product and the principles of salesmanship. They have said, 'I will never have time to tell all of this to the housewife. She is too busy.' My reply has always been: 'You don't acquire all this knowledge for the benefit of your prospect but for the benefit of yourself. If you know your product from A to Z. you will have a feeling about it that is difficult to describe. You will be so positively charged, so fortified, so strengthened in your own mental attitude that you will be irresistible.'"
A worker in the cause of God must also know his "product." He must be so familiar with every branch of the message that he will be on fire with it. Ellen G. White had this in mind when she wrote years ago in Gospel Workers, p. 105, 1915 edition, "Be sure that you know the real principles of the truth; and then when you meet opponents, it will not be in your own strength; an angel of God will stand by your side, to help in answering every question that may be asked. Day by day you are to be shut in, as it were, with Jesus; and then your words and example will have a strong influence for good."
"BOOK OF THE MONTH"
According to Religious News Service, Dr. John L. Slaughter, pastor of First Baptist church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, picks a book of the Bible for each month and asks his congregation to read it all during the month. For one evening service he preaches on the "book of the month." Attendance at this service always exceeds that of other evening services.
The pastor believes that more Bible reading is necessary for his congregation to fully appreciate his sermons.
He also has utilized other Bible reading promotions. One of these was to have members read the Bible through, using a schedule for the whole year. Another was to ask them to read once a day for seven days in a particular chapter for each week in the year. But by far the most successful has been the "book of the month" idea.
PERSONAL ACTS OF WORSHIP
An American worker is deeply impressed with the reverence exhibited in our European churches. One practice which tends to set the mood and seal the behavior of the worshiper in the house of God is the simple act of kneeling or bowing the head upon finding one's seat. It would be a breach of etiquette for a European to begin his worship before personally recognizing his God. For centuries confirmation studies in the various churches have molded the worship decorum habits of the children. These habits have spread to the colonies.
Only a few weeks ago we attended a large and popular American Sundaykeeping church where this practice seemed as natural and spontaneous a part of the service as did the singing and preaching. Here were men and women of high and low estate bowing, for the most part, humbly and unassumedly in a moment of self-dedication. I thought how blessed our own people would be if this practice were encouraged in the remnant church.
Maybe its origin was the liturgical system. However, with the removal of the central altar and imagery the practice has developed into a sweetly personal act of worship. Nothing but good can come from it. Minimizing the whispering and setting an example in reverence for our children would not be the least of benefits from the act. And would not the now-receptive spirit of the worshiper participate with meaningful enthusiasm in every part of the service? In a tense and restless age, attention to the simple aids for creative and healing worship will be sincerely appreciated by our people.