About Stephen Terry

Graduated with a degree in Theology and Biblical Languages from Walla Walla University. Pastored several churches in the Kansas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Heaven’s Best Gift (Zechariah)
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sheperd and a flock

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14, NIV

The Bible was written at a time when society was primarily agrarian. Prophets spoke in terms the people could relate to. Images of farm and field were easily understood, because these were snapshots of daily life. The seasons of the year revolved around planting and the gestation cycles of livestock, and daily activities often focused on the feeding and care of animals. The shepherd [...]

Visions of Hope (Zechariah)
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image003

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” Zechariah 7:9-10, NIV 

An oft-recurring theme with the Minor Prophets and echoed again with Zechariah is the plight of the oppressed. Strangely, it is not the foreigners that Zechariah is accusing of this crime. It is God’s chosen people, the Jews. Today’s parallel might [...]

First Things First! (Haggai)
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Ruins

“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:4, NIV

Very old ruins have held a romantic fascination for me. When I walk beside the ruined walls, I wonder what stories could they tell of lives lived long ago. What hopes and dreams did the people who built them have? What tragedies might they have witnessed? Were the lives of those ancient folk mundane with routine and boredom? [...]

Eager to Forgive (Jonah)
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multi-ethnic_people

“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35, NIV

As human beings, we can come to understand our relationship to God in terms of familiar bonds. We can see that we are God’s children by virtue of the biblical account of the Creation Story.1 Although God did not bear us in the womb and [...]

Lord of All Nations (Amos)
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famine

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7 NIV

It is a sad reality that in this world, many [...]

The Courage to Love
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exclusionsmall

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, NIV

The problem of how the church should relate to the world has existed from the beginning and has continuously struggled for resolution. Two conflicting viewpoints are illustrative regarding this tension. On the one hand, the [...]

Magical Christianity
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wizardsmall

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. …And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in [...]

A Tale of Two Churches
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fortress

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” Revelation 12:1, NIV

Revelation’s beautiful image of the church is easy to love. It is the image God shares with the Apostle John on the island of Patmos. God loves His church and clothes it with His grace. He has granted to the church the tremendous blessing of proclaiming His grace to the world. This does not [...]

Bang! Bang! You’re Dead!
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gunfire

“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’

The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’

Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” Luke 10:36-37, NIV

In the popular media, most problems seem to be solved by some sort of violent act. More often than not some sort of a firearm is used to vanquish the bad guys who are unquestionably evil and therefore deserve to [...]

Don’t Tug!
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grainsmall

“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.’” Mark 4:26-28, NIV

Jesus had much to say about sowing grain. He spoke about sowing it on different soils and the hazards associated [...]