Dear Church Family,
Here is a beautiful new year meditation from the little book, “Upward Look.”
They desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16.
I wish you a happy new year. The old year with its burden of record has passed into eternity. Now let every thought, every feeling be that of remembrance of God’s love. Let us gather up one token after another.…
The evidence we have of God’s care and love for us is expressed in the lessons Christ gave to His disciples upon the things in nature.… The eye is not to be fastened upon deformity, upon the curse, but upon the riches of the grace of Christ that has been provided so abundantly, that we may live in this world, and act our part in the great web of humanity, and yet not be of the world. As pilgrims, as strangers looking for the bright things of God, the joy that is set before us, seeking a city whose builder and maker is God, and by beholding the provisions made for us, the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare for us, talking of the blessed home, we forget the annoyances and the fretting cares of this life. We seem to breathe in the very atmosphere of that better, even the heavenly country. We are soothed, we are comforted; we are more than this, we are joyful in God.
We could not know the gracious purposes of God toward us, but for the promises, for it is from them alone we learn what He has prepared for those who love Him. As the flowers in God’s wise economy are constantly drawing the properties from earth and air to develop into the pure and beautiful buds and flowers and give forth their fragrance to delight the senses, so shall it be with us.
We draw from God’s promises all that peace, that comfort, that hope that will develop in us the fruits of peace, joy, and faith. And by bringing these promises into our own life we bring them always into the lives of others. Then let us appropriate these promises to ourselves.… They are like the precious flowers in the garden of God. They are to awaken our hope and expectation, and lead us to a firm faith and reliance upon God. They are to strengthen us in trouble and teach us precious lessons of trust in God. He in these precious promises draws back from eternity and gives us a glimpse of the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Let us then be quiet in God. Let us calmly trust in Him and praise Him that He has shown us such revelations of His will and purposes that we shall not build our hopes in this life but keep the eye upward to the inheritance of light and see and sense the amazing love of Jesus.—Letter 27, January 1, 1886, to Dr. and Mrs. J. H. Kellogg.
White, E. G. (1982). The Upward Look (p. 15). Review and Herald Publishing Association.
In the news:
- This Sabbath we will have Elder Rick Greve with us for the dedication of our new associate, Pastor Alex. Elder Greve will be sharing the morning message as well.
- AYA will be at 5pm this Sabbath evening as the New Year begins. “Blessings Sought for in 2017” will be the theme of our last 2016 Vesper Program. Music and Sharing will blend around the ideas of both BEING a Blessing and Craving Special Blessings in 2017. Young and old will share as together we greet the New Year.
- There will be no fellowship dinner this week. Just a reminder that we are in real need for more volunteers to join a team for fellowship dinners. Your team would only participate roughly 4 times a year. Please consider being a part of this important ministry so that we can have the dinners more regularly. This is a case where many hands make light work. Call the church office at 638.5014 and leave a message for Brenda that you would like to serve and she will place you on a team.
- The health ministries committee will have a meeting at the church this coming Tuesday at 6:30pm to discuss plans for the new year. All members are asked to please attend.
- Have you ever been a little baffled by some of the mysterious passages in the book of Ezekiel. Why not join us for our new prayer meeting series set to begin this coming Wednesday, January 4 at either 10:30am or 6:30pm. We will take it chapter by chapter as we seek to understand the relevance and practical insights God has for us in this prophetic book of the Bible.
- GYC is in full swing in Houston, TX right now. While that may be too far for many of us here in Greeneville, I want to encourage you to check out some of the messages that will be appearing on Audioverse.org, 3ABN, and Facebook from this weekend. This morning I heard a wonderful sermon by Pastor Randy Skete in which he shared a wonderful study on Genesis 2:7 and the fact God chose to make us from dirt and not gold for His glory. You can watch this sermon by clicking here. You may wish to skip ahead 13 minutes where he first stands up to speak.
- Our church calendar is now accessible under the news and events tab of our church website. Also we have removed the password function on the member info section as the “instant directory” site requires its own. You can also access my weekly Grapevine via this members section as well.
- Kim Veley is looking for work in the area of caregiving and sitting for those who are either disabled in some way or elderly. If you know of someone who is looking for a good Christian lady to help in this way, please contact Kim at 423.329.6229.
- Looking ahead, here are some events coming up in January that you may want to place on your calendar:
- Jan 7 @ 11am– Pastor Alex shares preaches his first sermon at Greeneville for church. Note a special church wide fellowship dinner is planned following the service to welcome he and Suranny to our church.
- Jan 7@ 2PM & 5pm – Missionary Lynn Carpenter will share in the afternoon practical resources and methods for teaching children about Jesus. Then in the evening she will share how she has reached the children of China for Jesus.
- Jan 21 @ 11am – Maranatha Volunteers International will be presenting for the worship hour and afternoon and evening as well. You will hear exciting stories of how God is using this ministry in amazing ways around the world.
- Jan 27 @ 7pm – Alistair Huong who is the founder of Audioverse will be presenting a full weekend on Stewardship.
- Jan 28 @ 11am, afternoon and evening – Alistair Huong will share practical and relevant material as it pertains to our finances and relationship with God. He and his wife have a helpful website on this subject called savingthecrumbs.com
Blessings as you prepare for the Sabbath and the new year!
In His Service,