August 2023 Column

Rhythms of Life

Follow His Lead

The very thought of change in different areas of our lives can be unsettling. We all want to know what is going to happen next! What if the vicissitudes of life taught us about life and how God wants us to live life? There is a spectrum of experiences life is filled with that we should begin to embrace. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon realizes a plethora of understandings through his journey of questioning why and how life works. Solomon lands his plane of exploration with the fact that the most important thing in life is “to fear God and obey his commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Before he arrives at that conclusion, he shares with the reader the importance of embracing the rhythms of life (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Solomon’s ultimate realization is that the most important thing in life is “to fear God and obey His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). This fear is not about being afraid but rather acknowledging the awe-inspiring nature of God and humbling ourselves before His wisdom and providence. By aligning our lives with God’s commands, we find a path that leads to fulfillment and purpose.

Understanding this idea of divine alignment allows us to be in tune with the rhythms of life. God has a general purpose for all of his children as he “hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4). Because of our individuality and uniqueness, there is a specific purpose for each of us to live out as “The Lord says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalms‬ ‭32‬:‭8‬). We must begin to ask God to teach us and help us along this pathway. Walking fully in the multifaceted purpose God designed for our lives is key to having the right mindset on how we see the rhythms. No longer will we be off beat or “lacking rhythm” as we accept divine direction to coincide with the rhythms of our lives.

Life is full of movement, fluctuations, vacillations, and variations that occur regularly. God wants us to understand that it’s ok to experience change and to allow him to accompany us in midst of the life shifts, ups and downs, crying and laughing, mourning and dancing, through it all! The reason for the rhythms are to realize, reflect, and reshape our relationships with God. Be encouraged today to let God dictate the pace of your rhythms as you learn about life and how God wants you to live life.

Questions for Discussion

What would life be like without rhythms?

How can we use the rhythms of life to get closer to God?

How can you help someone navigate the rhythms of life?

Let us be encouraged to approach life with a sense of wonder and openness. Let us embrace the changes as opportunities for growth and learning. Instead of resisting the natural flow of life, let us align ourselves with God’s will, knowing that He has a purpose for each season we encounter. May we find strength and peace in the knowledge that we are not alone in our journey and that God’s loving presence guides us through every twist and turn.

Contributors

Editor
Xiomara Perdomo

Xiomara Perdomo

Assistant to the President for Mission

Writer
Joffre St.Hilaire

Joffre St.Hilaire

Orlando Chapter Director

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David Asscherick

David is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.

Keynote Speaker

Benjamin Lundquist, host of Rise & Lead, will headline 2023 AYP Convention.

Benjamin Lundquist is a top motivational speaker and one the leading voices for leadership development and empowerment. He is passionate about helping students and professionals see their worth and value, see themselves as a leader, and see their potential to change the world. The message he shares is motivating, relatable, and highly practical. Audiences are challenged to take extreme ownership of the unique gifts and opportunities they have. He is an international speaker and host of Rise and Lead Podcast which has been downloaded in over 110 countries providing aspiring and experienced leaders of all ages with world-class content and conversation. He frequently speaks at corporate and faith events, universities, and high schools.

Identity in Christ | Breakout Track

April is currently an associate pastor for discipleship at Keene SDA church. She is enrolled in a dual graduate program for Public Health and MDIV chaplaincy. She enjoys working with different ministries that highlight service, hospitality, and life enrichment. 

Her hobbies include traveling, reading, music, and extreme sports. An introvert at heart, she enjoys moments with close friends and in the quiet. Her and her husband, Blake Snyder reside in Burleson, Texas.

Purpose & Calling | Breakout Track

Ann Roda likes to describe her life as one long adventure with God. She began her career as a registered nurse in OB then transitioned into healthcare administration. Then, God unexpectedly redirected her path to the Adventist Theological Seminary, for an MDiv, and into pastoral ministry. She spent 15 years as a church pastor in Marietta, Georgia and Fulton, Maryland. Six years ago, God had another adventure for Ann, and called her back into the health care ministry, serving with Adventist HealthCare as Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care. 

This position is the perfect combination of both pastoral ministry and health care. Ann is married to Jose Hernandez, a licensed professional counselor. Ann and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, and traveling.

Relationships | Breakout Track

Stephen and Felecia Lee are partners in the mission. They share a mutual passion for young adult ministries and using their talents to share the Gospel online and through speaking engagements. Stephen helps individuals and businesses function more efficiently through time management and productivity techniques. Felecia is a full-time homemaker and also the founder of the New Wives Club. 

In addition to this, she runs a program teaching women of color how to learn principles of faith through natural hair care. They live in New Hampshire and speak in different places on topics related to singleness, courtship, communication, evangelism, and faith.

Spiritual Health | Breakout Track

Shawn is passionate about generations coming together! She grew up in a four-generation family business and knows, from first-hand experience, that when people of all ages work together, everyone wins!

She has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Nebraska and is an award-winning sales and marketing professional. Her professional certifications include being a member of the John Maxwell Team and DISC Behavioral Consultant. Recently she published her first book “Strategies for Generational Inclusion at Work.”

Communities | Breakout Track

Michael Gibson currently serves as the Lead Pastor at the Keene SDA Church where he most previously served for four years as Pastor for Young Adults and lead Elevate, a growing and thriving young adult community in Keene. Michael is married to Melissa and they both enjoy the outdoors, long walks, and traveling to new, unexplored places. 

Most days, when he’s not teaching, preaching or studying, you’ll find him playing disc golf or working on home renovations with Melissa. They recently welcomed their son, Micah Eden, into the world last October and ever since, life has taken on a whole new meaning. Above all, Michael and Melissa have a passion for discipleship and telling others about the incredible God they serve. For them, the gospel boils down to loving God and loving people.