To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive. – Robert Louis Stevenson
As you strolled to your car after Wednesday night Bible study this week . . . or walked your dog along a country road . . . or gazed skyward from your back fence at home, did this year’s first full moon dazzle you speechless as it hung in the night, adorned by a spray of glittering stars? Did your heart, in response, stretch through the universe to touch your Creator, who longs to be your traveling companion from here to eternity? The first full moon of the year is dubbed “Wolf Moon.” Some say that poetic Native Americans named this stunning winter celestial jewel, while others believe the wolf idea was Anglo Saxon. Wolves do howl in the direction of the moon, more so in the early months of the year than on summer nights. They point their faces toward the sky for better acoustics, because projecting their howl upward carries the sound farther. For good measure during this January 10-11 Wolf Moon–depending on the time zone–there will be a penumbral lunar eclipse over Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. This takes place while the moon moves through the faint, outer part of Earth’s shadow when the sun, earth, and moon are imperfectly aligned. When this happens, the earth blocks some of the sun’s light from directly reaching the moon’s surface and covers all or part of the moon with the outer part of its shadow. Unlike solar eclipses, which can only be seen along a narrow path from a small part of the earth, eclipses of the moon can be observed all across the night side of earth.
Our Creator–God of the details, and also God of the big picture–will amaze you with both miracles throughout 2020. You’ll travel–figuratively, if not always literally–through densely wooded forests that open onto wildflower-strewn meadows and fish-spangled lakes . . . along rushing waters, dry riverbeds, and refreshing streams . . . encountering sandy beaches, scorpions and rattlesnakes, armadillo antics, cactus and birdsong, mountains and valleys, colorful sunrises and sunsets. Make God, and His service, your lodestar. Only when spiritual preparation is completed can the opposition be met. Pray for the gifts of discerning (1 Cor. 12:10) so you can expose the “false prophets who have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1-3) and the “unfruitful works of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11). As you do this, God will fulfill your purposes to do battle in His name. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” asked the Apostle Paul (Romans 8:31). And, “Who shall separate us from the love of Jesus? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35, 37).
King David, preparing for battle, wrote a psalm “for the choir director” to lead singing when God’s people confidently gathered around their army as it went to work. David’s poem inspires our prayer for you this year:
In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May He send you help from His sanctuary
And strengthen you from Jerusalem.
May He remember all your gifts
And look favorably on your offerings.
May He grant your heart’s desires
And make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory
And raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.
Now I know that the Lord rescues His anointed.
He will answer from His holy heaven
And rescue by His great power.
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
But we boast in the name of the Lord our God.
Those nations will fall down and collapse,
But we will rise up and stand firm.
Give victory to our king, O Lord!
Answer our cry for help. (Psalm 20)
What are you looking forward to least in the coming year? How do you prepare for a challenge? “Horses and chariots” were the potent technology in David’s time. What is the equivalent today? What does it mean to trust the Lord instead of weapons in our modern world? What challenges are you facing today for which you need group prayer? Call on your Keene Forever Family to uphold your hands over the battle as did Aaron and Hur for Moses. You can trust God for the 21st Century, and for eternity!*
Your Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will preach for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. His topic will be: “Leave Off!” Pathfinder Bible Experience recitations will be provided during first service by Genesis Zuniga and Daniel Mendoza, and during the 11:30 service by Andrea De Leon and Melea Hwang. Doug Bowyer will bring an announcement about the Keene Adventist Elementary School gymnasium, and April Snyder will tell the children’s story. Pastor for Administration Rick Weaver will make the offering appeal, which will support Texas Vision. The Hwang and Eclar families will provide worship music and songs of praise. Southwestern Adventist University Vice President for Spiritual Development Russ Laughlin will dedicate baby Cora Rose to the Lord during the 11:30 service. Tony Zbaraschuk will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults, your Pastor Michael Gibson will present “Powerfully Powerless” during Elevate in the Sanctuary at 10:15. The Scripture will be Luke 11:1-4. Wonderful music will encourage and strengthen you, as will your yummy breakfast at 9:30. The Bible Lab will resume January 18 at 11:30 a.m. in the Chapel with a new series, “Life in the Wilderness: From Exodus to Promise.”.
To Know God by Morris Venden continues in Connection Sabbath School book discussion in Room 106 until January 18.
Bible by Design – Hear an overview of a book of the Bible while you create a guided artistic overview of that book. This class is led by James Winegardner on the second and fourth Sabbaths of the month at 2:30 p.m. in Room 107. Now beginning on New Testament.
The memorial for Cindy Shirley will be held this Sabbath at 3 p.m. in our Chapel.
Methuselah Ministries – Join this group that brings joy to senior community with visitation. Meets Sabbath afternoons at 3 p.m. for six weeks, beginning on January 11 at Samaniegos’ house. (methuselahministries on Instagram for details)
SpokenFor will bring a mix of classic southern gospel, contemporary Christian, and country gospel music this Saturday evening at 7 o’clock in the Chapel. Please join us for a wonderful evening of ministry in song!
Remembering Bob Cavender – Charles Cavender, 90, died Thursday morning, January 2, 2020, in Cleburne. His memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 12, in Keene Church Chapel. Rather than send flowers, please make a charitable donation to his alma mater, Union College.
The bathroom restoration has begun! During the restoration, the men’s bathroom by the fellowship hall will be closed. Please use the restroom on the Sanctuary side of the church. We apologize for any inconvenience.
10 DAYS OF PRAYER – January 8-18: For these ten days we are opening the prayer room for prayer during church services on Sabbath and during church office hours on weekdays. If you need a prayer partner, we will also have the prayer team available to pray with you at 5:30 p.m. “Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.” [STC p. 47]
The Women’s Ministry invites you to mingle at our monthly Breakfast Club on Monday, January 13, at 8:30 a.m. at Keene City Station. Drop in, buy your own breakfast, and get acquainted with other ladies!
The Senior Fellowship Group will meet Thursday, January 16, at 5 p.m. at the Annex. The meal will be catered by Chisholm Trail Academy Puerto Rico Mission Trip. Entertainment will be performed by Dorla and Samuel Aparicio. Anyone 60+ (retired or not) is invited to visit and join the group. Please call Esther Konrad (817-517-5865) or Dottie Robinson (817-556-3199) by Tuesday, January 14 at noon for reservation or information.
Gary Edwards will bring a night of gospel praise next week, January 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Doors open at 7 p.m. Invite a friend and enjoy a wonderful concert!
Attention Deacons! There will be a deacons’ meeting in the Gathering Place on January 18 at 3 p.m.
We are forming a safety team for the Keene Church and will have a meeting on Sabbath, February 1 at 3 p.m. in the Chapel. If you are interested in learning more about the safety team or in helping, please plan to attend this important meeting.
We have an urgent need for someone willing to teach the 3rd grade Sabbath School class. If you’re willing to join the Children’s Sabbath School team and help serve, please contact Pastor Travis or Pastor Rick.
We are looking for a new leader to coordinate bereavement meals for the Keene Church. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Rick at email@example.com or 817-657-2044.
Want to meet new people and play an important role in our church? We are looking for additional greeters to join our greeting team. It’s fun and is a great way to meet people! If you are interested, please contact Sipho Ndebele at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Rick at email@example.com.
Small groups are starting for the new year! Check “Life Groups” below for details! Watch for special emails and check the Life Groups board in the church lobby!
Senior Healthy Cooking Class starting on Sunday, February 2 at 3 p.m. at the Annex. This class will meet twice a month through February and March and will be two hours. The cooking classes will focus on healthy, easy to cook meals. This class is free but will have limited space of 25 attendees. If you would like to attend please contact Pastor Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motorcycle Breakfast Group – Come enjoy a ride to breakfast, enjoy fellowship and then the ride back on January 12, February 9, and March 15 at 9 a.m. Meet in the church parking lot. Contact Ian Curnow, 817-614-9369.
Ladies’ Breakfast Club – Come to Keene City Station on the second Monday of the month at 8:30 a.m. for fellowship and a meal together. (Women’s Ministry event)
Congregant Meals – Come and enjoy a meal together, Seniors, at 11:30 a.m. every Monday at The Annex.
Senior Exercise Program – All fitness levels welcome to come on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. at The Annex
Group Piano Class for Seniors at Dorla’s Piano Studio (3703 CR 317, Cleburne). Contact Dorla to register for Mondays from 2:30-3:15 or Fridays 1:30-2:15 p.m. starting in February. Minimum of five senior adults to begin either Mondays or Fridays. Email: email@example.com Phone: 817 832 8578
Strength & Conditioning Training – All fitness levels can come and learn to become more fit at The Annex! Group begins Tuesday, January 14 from 6-7 p.m. and runs for six weeks. Led by Jeff Quattlebaum.
Bible Journaling – Come and learn journaling as a way of Bible study. (This is not the artistic/decorative journaling.) Bring a Bible, writing instruments and a notebook or blank journal. All ages welcome. No writing experience needed! Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m. starting on January 8 in the Office Conference Room. Contact Dennis Dickerson with questions. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I Corinthians Bible Study (“Prayer Meeting”) – Verse by verse study of the book of I Corinthians led by James Winegardner beginning at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. Attenders will receive a book with room for notes.
Intercessory Prayer Group – Come and join the Prayer Team in prayer at 6 p.m. in the Prayer Room.
Hugs from His Word – Study verses in the Bible that are like hugs from God beginning January 10 at 6 p.m. and continuing every other Friday through end of March. Location is 1012 Christine Drive, Cleburne. Leaders: Danae Songy and Melissa Gibson
Keene Adventist Elementary School is enrolling for January 2020. If you have a three-year-old and are interested in a Christian-based preschool, register at KAES! You can visit our website at keas4kids.org to register or visit our school office. Please feel free to call us at 817-645-9125 if you would like more information.
Carter BloodCare will hold a blood drive at Chisholm Trail Academy on Wednesday, January 15. Appointments start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. Please call the school office at 817-641-6626 to schedule an appointment. All blood types are greatly needed!
Southwestern Adventist University’s “A Night at the Meyerson” will take place Sunday, February 9, 7:30 p.m., featuring a mass choir, saxophone ensemble, symphony orchestra, and music from featured guest composer Brandon A. Boyd. Proceeds from ticket sales support the student music experience at SWAU. Box office opens at 6 p.m. and concert doors open at 7. Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street, Dallas. Tickets are on sale now! Info: email@example.com or 817-202-6231.
Visit Thomsen Observatory next Friday, January 17, at 7 p.m.!
We need 3-5 more volunteers to help set up for our next food bank on January 18. If you are willing to help, please come by the Annex on January 18 at 7:15 a.m. It should take about 30 minutes. Contact Pastor Rick if you have any questions.
We need a volunteer who speaks English to work at Great Stuff on Sundays and Tuesdays (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) If you are interested in assisting, please contact Pastor Rick at 817-657-2044.
Need driving assistance to the doctor? to the bank? The grocery store? Keene Church Driving Ministry can help! Please contact Loree Martin at 817-933-1037 (texting preferred) and she will arrange for transportation within a 15-mile radius from Keene (and it’s free!).
A psalm for your new year:
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
And I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23 NLT
May God enrich, enliven, and inspire your travels this year, Forever Family!
Your Keene Church Pastors
O God, Our Help
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home!
Under the shadow of Thy throne
Still may we dwell secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
And earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.
A thousand ages, in Thy sight,
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night,
Before the rising sun.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come;
Be Thou our guard while life shall last,
And our eternal home!
(Psalm 90, Isaac Watts)
*Sources: Serendipity Bible for Small Groups, Psalm 20; Communicator’s Commentary, Psalm 20