Friday, August 16, 2019

Dear Church Family,

As we near the Promised Land, we sense our need for revival and reformation in our lives.  But our desire is often too weak.  Only by beholding Jesus can we find the answer to our need.  Have you ever read or listened to the Testimonies to the Church by Ellen White?  The 9 volumes serve to make the Bible very practical in our daily living.  In speaking of these precious volumes she writes:

“I took the precious Bible and surrounded it with the several Testimonies for the ddb1e577666892610e4e89386c63211cChurch, given for the people of God. Here, said I, the cases of nearly all are met. The sins they are to shun are pointed out. The counsel that they desire can be found here, given for other cases situated similarly to themselves. God has been pleased to give you line upon line and precept upon precept. But there are not many of you that really know what is contained in the Testimonies. You are not familiar with the Scriptures. If you had made God’s word your study, with a desire to reach the Bible standard and attain to Christian perfection, you would not have needed the Testimonies. It is because you have neglected to acquaint yourselves with God’s inspired Book that He has sought to reach you by simple, direct testimonies, calling your attention to the words of inspiration which you had neglected to obey, and urging you to fashion your lives in accordance with its pure and elevated teachings.” 5T 664-665.  You can read more of her thoughts on these volumes by reading chapter 81 of the 5th volume of the Testimonies. 

egw-testimonies_9vol-set_largeBeginning Sunday, September 1, we invite you to join us as we journey through the Testimonies. By listening or reading roughly 10 pages a day (20-30 min), you will have been blessed by all 9 volumes by the end of 2020. Think of it, you could read or listen through the Testimonies during your evening devotionals and through the Bible for your morning worship over the course of 16 months. Or you might continue your current Bible study plan and add the testimonies by listening while you exercise each day or go about your chores, commute, or even while you get ready for work.  Our family has been reading through the Bible for family worship for some time now and will continue our reading but have chosen to make the Testimonies our morning reading and the Bible our evening reading.  Prayerfully consider joining this initiative and watch next week for more details.

In the news:

  1. This Sabbath I will share the morning message.  We will begin a new series, this time with a behind the scenes look at the story of Esther.  Esther
  2. There will be a fellowship meal following the service with the Rojas team hosting.
  3. The Nuebrander family will lead out in a family-style worship this Sabbath evening for AYA at 7:30 p.m.
  4. There will be a school board meeting this Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the school library.
  5. This past Tuesday evening I went with Holly Carter, Brenda Crawford, and Ron Fields to worship with the prisoners at the jail downtown.   When I began with some Q&A at the beginning, I could tell that at least one of the prisoners seemed acquainted with some of our teachings.  Later as we were preparing to leave, I learned that some of them are listening to our local radio station 97.9 FM that broadcasts 3ABN radio.  One of the prisoners commented on how they listen to it each evening.  Praise God for the work that this important ministry is doing.  Brad Emde as you will recall got this going in our community a few years ago and it broadcasts atop his office in town 24/7.
  6. Just a reminder that if you get a text from “Pastor Jeremy” asking for money, it’s not me.  There is a scam going around that has affected several of our churches in the conference and has now hit us. One pastor said he received such a text with his name on it on his own phone.   One pastor contacted the FBI and they said it’s happening everywhere.  The Union sent out a notification about this earlier this week, on the same day that it hit us, and it involves a scammer using the pastor’s name and then reaching out to the congregants of that church soliciting money.  Here was just such a text that Larry Boughman received this week and shared with me.

    The above text is a sample of the SCAM that is making its rounds in our church.
  7. Each Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. and evening at 6:30 p.m. we share in singing, prayer, and Bible study together. Our study is on 1st & 2nd Peter and how to become living stones in a dying world. The class meets in the youth room. If you would like to play an instrument during the singing time, please bring your instrument and play with us. All are welcome!Peter
  8. The Pathfinder Camporee is going well and our pathfinders are having a great experience. A highlight was that last night Lilly Beth Andrus was baptized having gone up for the appeal the night before.  She has been preparing for baptism for quite some time now and last night took her stand.  As of Thursday night, we understand that around 700 pathfinders have been baptized. As an interesting side note, the David play each evening was co-written by Andy Strong who is the son of Eilene Strong.  Here are a few pictures from Oshkosh.
  9. Prayer Requests:
    • Mike Carlton suffered a stroke Monday evening but is expected to have a full recovery. His speech is improving as is his ability to move his limbs on his right side.
    • Mary Covil has been told that she has multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. She will soon begin treatments and also is scheduled for back surgery on Monday. Please remember her in your prayers. They are in Massachusetts with family.
    • Pastor Alex’s grandfather passed away on Tuesday but thankful Pastor Alex was able to be there with him in Columbia. Pastor Alex returned home on Wednesday.
    • Dr. Turk shared with me that his cancer has appeared in another place in his lung but the good news is that they can treat it with localized radiation and while they can’t totally eradicate the cancer from his body, they can treat it when it appears in the scans.  In this, we trust he can enjoy a good quality of life for many months or years to come.
  10. The church board voted to move forward with plans for prophecy meetings this coming February/March in 2020.  Our speaker will be Marcus Bates (Swearingen) from the Knoxville 1st church.  He has delivered some 50 campaigns in his ministry thus far and is a gifted evangelist.   We also voted to have another prophecy series with John Earnhardt in February of 2021 and Randy Skeete will share a prophecy series in November of 2021.

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath.

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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