I will tell of Your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You. Psalm 22:22
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. (M.D. Babcock). . . “The orchestra is always in full swing at Estero Llano Grande State Park. You’ll hear birds singing, insects buzzing, frogs peeping, water trickling, leaves rustling, and more. Performances are held daily here in the Rio Grande Valley, about an hour northwest of Brownsville.” Did you know that Texas contains millions of acres of different types of wetlands across the state, visually resembling a stylistic cowboy? Riparian and spring-fed wetlands sprawl across our state’s vast, relatively dry center, watering plant habitats and wildlife communities that flourish along river margins and streams . . . conserving soil . . . nourishing systems that depend on each other. The Playa Lakes wetlands perch like a jaunty sombrero atop our northwest panhandle. Bottomland hardwoods, Trans-Pecos Springs, and riparian wetlands form sturdy gloves for our eastern and western extremities. Coastal marshes and prairie depressions create handsome riding chaps to the southeast; and South Texas resacas (Rio Grande River floodwater reservoirs and irrigation channels) protect our southern tip with eye-popping boots along the Gulf of Mexico. Each wetland exudes its own personality. Marshes–alive with sound, activity, and sun–are different from the quiet bayous and sloughs that swamps wrap within the marsh’s cradle. Sea symphonies crash with thunder or swirl sweet kisses onto sun-drenched dunes, while tree shapes wave like conductors’ wands under shimmering moonlight.*
You’ll notice nature’s code: Whether the environment be a desert or a lagoon, a mountaintop or a cavern, the entire natural community contributes to the life of the whole. Music is the same: An orchestra would be reduced to a discordant din if certain instruments were missing or if each musician played his or her own tune, ignoring the music score, the other instruments, and the maestro’s direction. We humans are designed to be as varied as the natural environment or as orchestral instruments. God wants us, like these, to create a mutually sustaining community, completing His glorious Kingdom in majestic harmony. After we abandoned His loving, life-giving leadership and morphed into a cacophonous nightmare, Jesus came to make things right on our behalf so we can return to the family table. Psalm 22 prophetically tells us what would be on Jesus’ heart (Matthew 27:46) as He hung on the cross for us. You might want to read this psalm tonight and see that God answered Jesus’ cry, and that through His suffering the nations would be blessed. Sing along with the poet as Psalm 22 concludes:
Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshipers;
give glory, you sons of Jacob; adore him, you daughters of Israel.
He has never let you down, never looked the other way
when you were being kicked around.
He has never wandered off to do His own thing;
He has been right there, listening.
Here in this great gathering for worship
I have discovered this praise-life.
And I’ll do what I promised right here in front of the God-worshipers.
Down-and-outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill.
Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising Him.
“Live it up, from head to toe. Don’t ever quit!”
From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses,
are running back to God.
Long-lost families are falling on their faces before Him.
God has taken charge; from now on He has the last word.
All the power-mongers are before Him–worshiping!
All the poor and powerless, too–worshiping!
Along with those who never got it together–worshiping!
Our children and their children will get in on this
As the word is passed along from parent to child.
Babies not yet conceived will hear the good news–
that God does what He says. Psalm 22:22-31 (Message)
Our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, begins a new chapter as we travel alongside Jesus with Mark during the 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. T’resa Weaver will tell the children’s story, and our Director for Discipleship, Mary Ellen Winegardner, will offer congregational prayer. Administrative Pastor Rick Weaver will call for the offering, which will support church budget. Scott Houghton will serve as chorister for first service, and the Keene Worship Band will be the second service praise team. Esther Sousa will minister at the organ. Glen Robinson will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults, Rick Weaver will speak on Psalm 22 during The Middle Service in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00. What a powerful song King David wrote about life’s peril and God’s rescue! You’ll enjoy Elevate’s music and fellowship! Next week April Snyder will speak on Psalm 72.
Children’s Sabbath School graduation is today–the assigned time of year for children to join the next-age-level Sabbath School class. Please confirm as you check in your children that their name tag reveals their new Sabbath School home. (Upcoming 6th and 8th graders are typically the only youth to remain in their current class).
General church potluck is today after second service. The University cafeteria will be closed for the holiday weekend, so please bring plenty of entrees, veggies, desserts, and friendly conversation!
If you and your child have an interest in participating in the Pathfinder Bible Experience next year, please join us today at 4:00 PM in the 7th and 8th grade room. Get details on requirements; memorization techniques, and structure. If your child is not yet a Pathfinder (must be entering 5th grade this fall) we can work on the registration process as soon as possible. Please pray for our forming teams and God’s continued blessings.
In memoriam – Theresa “Terrie” Wardle-Kibbler passed away June 3. The family invites you to join them in celebrating her life at 2:00 PM Sunday, July 7 in our Chapel.
New bulletin announcement / Sabbath School program information deadline: Tuesdays at 5:00 PM
If you visit our website at www.keenechurch.org, there is a new Submit Announcement link at the top of our home page. Our goal is that our website is the primary way to submit announcement requests. If you miss the 5:00 Tuesday deadline we will try to include your announcement the next week.
Breakfast Club – Come join us at 8:30 AM on Monday (July 8) at Olivia’s Restaurant in Keene, and enjoy breakfast and fellowship with other ladies.
Postum with a Pastor! Stop by Mountain Coffee on Thursday, July 11, at 4:00 PM, enjoy Postum or another delicious drink, and visit with Mary Ellen Winegardner!
Come to Bible by Design next Sabbath, the 13th, at 2:30 PM and hear about another book of the Bible, hit the high points, and leave with an artistic overview created by you! Room 107.
You can still sign up for Wednesdays in July! Check the bulletin board near the welcome desk in our main church lobby. Bring sandwiches or salad to eat together at 6:00 PM, followed by spiritual small groups at 6:30. At 7:30 we’ll have fun classes. Enjoy!
Our water ministry will begin in July! Please bring any cases of water you’d like to contribute to this ministry to the church office.
Our Keene Church Visitation team urgently needs more volunteers to visit members in our community. Flexible days and times. If you have an interest, contact Marie Redwine at email@example.com.
A New Life Bible School needs volunteers in the office to open mail or do data entry Monday, Tuesday, and/or Thursday mornings. We also need teachers to correct lessons at home. Virginia Harder, 817-526-5556.
Check out Pastor Rick’s article about our Bible Schools in the July/August 2019 issue of Southwestern Union Record! You’ll find it on page 36. Or view it online at https://issuu.com/swurecord/docs/julyaug2019record/36.
“Our Kids Eat Free summer food” – Please drop food donations at the church office or look for designated food donation areas in the church. Thank you for your generosity!
Oct. 11-13 Church campout, Lake Whitney State Park! Enjoy nature, fellowship, and worship on the lake shore. If you don’t camp, you can still join us Sabbath for worship, potluck and Smores on Saturday night. $24 per night per site + $5 per day per person over 13. Reservations or cancellations required by Sept. 27 to Veronique, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our schools – Enroll early for 2019-2020!
Keene Adventist Elementary School – 817-645-9125
Chisholm Trail Academy – 817-641-6626
Summer Hoops Camp – July 21-25, 6:00 – 9:30 PM. Students of all skill levels grades 6th – 12th are invited. Students don’t have to be athletes; you’ll be grouped for all abilities. $70 per camper (includes camp shirt). Activities include conditioning, skills training, basketball activities, game play, prizes, guest speakers. Contact CTA office, 817-641-6626, with RSVP or questions.
Southwestern Adventist University – www.swau.edu
Come see A Lifetime of Landscapes by Lenora Payne at Chan Shun Centennial Library August 4-19. The free exhibit will feature watercolor and oil scenery paintings by the local award-winning artist. Info: 817-506-4713.
Job board – Check the job board for opportunities! Please post details if you have a job to offer or need a job! The job board is on the wall across from the drinking fountain near the church office.
Texas Conference June 2019 “Flame Light” info:
- David Montoya is the new Texas Conference Executive Secretary and Religious Liberty and Public Affairs Director. He has served as a pastor for almost 30 years, most recently as pastor of a four-church district: Uvalde English, Del Rio Main Street Spanish, Del Rio San Felipe Spanish Company and Eagle Pass Spanish. Montoya and his wife, Mary, have two adult married children and four grandchildren with another one on the way. He can be reached by emailing email@example.com.
- Nathan Krause is the new Texas Conference Ministerial Director. He has served as a pastor for 25 years, most recently as the senior pastor of the Fort Worth First church. He is well-known to Hope Channel viewers as a teacher/participant with Hope Sabbath School and as a guest on Ministry in Motion and Let’s Pray Live! Krause and his wife, Melissa (Morales), have two school-aged children: Daniel and Hannah. He can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanctuary HVAC project (air conditioning) through June 30 – $ 335,408.12
Amount still needed – $ 214,591.88
KAES Gym Project Keene Church donations through June 30 – $246,797.44
KAES direct donations through May 31, 2019 – $349,193.07
Today’s offering – Church Budget; July 13 – North American Division Women’s Ministries
“God’s loving concern does not begin on the day we are born and conclude on the day we die, but reaches back to those days before we were born, and reaches ahead along the unending path of eternity. Our only sure help comes from God whose concern for us reaches beyond our earthly existence. When faced with such love, how can anyone reject it?
“The psalmist’s private deliverance [in Psalm 22] deserved a public testimony. God wonderfully delivers us in the quiet moments when we are hurting, and we must be prepared to offer public praise to His care.
“Unborn generations are depending on our faithfulness today. As we teach our children about the Lord, so they will teach their children and their children’s children. If we fail to tell our children about he Lord, we may well be breaking the chain of God’s influence in generations to come. We must view our children and all the young people we meet as God’s future leaders. If we are faithful in opportunities today, we may well be affecting the future.” (Life Application Bible, Psalm 22)
Listen to our community’s cadence today, Forever Family. Then sing God’s song, set to their rhythm!
Your Keene Church Pastors
P.S. July is National Parks and Recreation Month! Would you like to go forth into nature with some friends . . . or sit beside a wooded brook, reveling in birdsong and poetry? Rustle up a small group to join you!
Singing I Go
The trusting heart to Jesus clings,
Nor any ill forebodes,
But at the cross of Calv’ry, sings,
Praise God for lifted loads!
Singing I go along life’s road,
Praising the Lord, praising the Lord,
Singing I go along life’s road,
For Jesus has lifted my load.
The passing days bring many cares,
Fear not, I hear Him say,
And when my fears are turned to prayers,
The burdens slip away.
He tells me of my Father’s love,
And never slumbering eye,
My everlasting king above
Will all my needs supply.
When to the throne of grace I flee,
I find the promise true,
The mighty arms upholding me
Will bear my burdens too.
* For more information on Texas state parks and their heaven-directed wildlife orchestras, look up http://tpwd.texas.gov.publicatios/pwdpubs/media.