In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by Him, and without Him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in Him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Paused at the cusp of two decades this week, you might stroll—in imagination if not for real–on a Gulf Coast beach reveling in windswept rocks, sand dunes, coastal grasslands, and inlets alive with birdsong, all protected by one of Texas’ towering, storied lighthouses. Surf rhythms whisper: What will the 2020s bring?The lighthouse rekindles December’s glorious celebration of Jesus in your heart. You feel safe entering the new decade led by His perfect light that cannot be overcome. I’d like to be a lighthouse, your heart responds, shining the Master’s saving grace to help others to safety. The National Park Service’s description of its faithful sentinels of the sea suggests a good purpose to you: “A lighthouse is a tower with a bright light at the top, located at an important or dangerous navigation place. The two main purposes of a lighthouse are to serve as a navigational aid and to warn boats of dangerous areas. It is like a traffic sign on the sea.”
Jesus, the Creator of galaxies, waters, lands, plants, wildlife, men, and women, said: “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12, 9:5); I am the bread of life (6:35); I am the gate (10:7); I am the good shepherd (10:11, 14); I am the resurrection and the life (11:25); I am the way, the truth, and the life (11:25); I am the true vine (15:1). Do you ever feel that your own life is too complex to be understood, let alone equip you to help others? Remember, Jesus created you! Nothing is impossible for Him.
If you really wanted to impress someone that you loved them, would you a) rent a billboard; b) send a video; c) flood the city with leaflets; d) send someone to explain; e) go yourself. (You know which action God chose. . .) What impresses you most about God? a) He always existed; b) He is the light (nothing hidden from Him); c) He sent His son to live with us as a human being (the incarnation); d) He gave us the right to become His children; e) He really wants us to know Him; (f) He is the Creator and Sustainer of life. (Serendipity Bible for Groups, John 1) Whatever resonates most with you, set your light aflame from His eternal light and carry it to others throughout the 2020s!
Carry the Light, carry the Light
Go and tell the children they are precious in His sight
Go and preach the gospel ’til there is no more night
In the name of Jesus Christ, carry the Light
Over the mountains, into the valleys,
Crossing the ocean, I’ll carry the light.
And through the darkness, to all the hopeless,
For all the broken, I’ll carry the light. (Mark Harris)
Your Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will speak for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. His sermon title is “Prayer Together.” Cordell Vanhoose will tell the children’s story, and Pastor for Administration Rick Weaver will call for the offering (supporting Texas Vision this week). Pastor for Children and Families Ministry Travis Patterson will dedicate baby Noelle Wilson during first service and will baptize Chloe Griswell during the 11:30 service. Pastor for Young Adults Michael Gibson will dedicate baby Daniel Olivera during the 11:30 service. Head Elder Ken Jones will offer congregational prayer during first service, and Scott Houghton will offer prayer during the 11:30 service. Devin Grady and Matthew Gums will play for the 11:30 offertory. The 2019 Christmas Tree Offering, taken to the Christmas trees in front of the Sanctuary to benefit restroom upgrades, will be during the opening hymn during the 9:00 service and during songs of praise, led by Keene Worship Band, during the 11:30 service.
Young adults, your Pastor Michael Gibson will bring the message “Did You Forget?” to Elevate in the Sanctuary at 10:15. This is part one of a new series, Teach Us to Pray. Enjoy breakfast at 9:30! The Bible Lab continues on January 18.
To Know God – Join Connection Sabbath School at 10:15 in Room 106 through January 4 to study Morris Venden’s classic little book that explains how to not only know about God, but to know Him, enjoying a personal and positive relationship with Him. What a great way to transition to 2020! Come in!
One week left! We will be collecting photos for our church directory for only one more week. Stop by the lobby during church to get your photo taken this Sabbath, or submit your photo at http://bit.ly/KeeneChurchPhotos.
Come to Bible by Design at 2:30 p.m. this Sabbath and hear about another book of the Bible, hit the high points, and leave with an artistic overview created by you! Room 107.
Church office holiday hours – The church office will be open Monday, December 30 (9-12, 1-5); and Friday, January 3 (9-12). We will resume regular office hours on January 6.
Do you have year-end giving questions? Our Treasurer can help you. When the office is closed (see our holiday hours listed above), feel free to call Jose Aparicio at 682-702-4260. You can put your 2019 donations into our night drop box until midnight December 31. Thank you for your generous financial support in 2019. May God continue to bless you in 2020!
Our 2019 Christmas Tree offering will be used to add a family friendly and handicap accessible bathroom, and to remodel the men’s bathroom by the fellowship hall. The Christmas tree offering will be received during the carol singing at our 9 and 11:30 worship services. You can place the offering on the Christmas trees on either side of the stage. Thank you for helping us update the women’s restroom in the fellowship wing a few years ago. Let’s do the same for our men, and for those who need a convenient handicap-and-family restroom.
We will have an Agape Feast and Communion Service on January 3 at 5 p.m. in the Annex. Please bring your favorite soup or bread, and join us for this special event as we begin 2020 together.
General church fellowship potluck will not meet on January 4.
There will be a potluck and meeting in the Upper Room for all leaders/teachers of the children’s Sabbath School classes, along with our fellowship meal leadership team, on January 4. Please let Dorie Cruz or Michelle Karmy know if you are unable to attend.
The Bible Lab will resume January 18 with the new series “Life in the Wilderness: From Exodus to Promise.”
A special, different Masterpiece, will meet on January 4, 4:30 p.m. in the Annex. Come and fellowship with friends, enjoy an afternoon devotional, and create a masterpiece!
If you are interested in having a complete set of SDA Bible Commentaries, one of our church members has a set to donate. Info: Pastor Rick, email@example.com.
You can help simplify life for a new parent! Mommy Meals needs committed volunteers to cook (or purchase) and deliver a fresh meal to new parents. This is a wonderful entry point ministry for our Children’s and Family Ministries. If interested, contact the leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are in the process of planning Life Groups for the new year. If you are interested in leading a small study group (we can supply all the materials), having one at your home, or have an idea on an activity small group, please contact Mary Ellen at email@example.com
Chisholm Trail Academy 401 S. Old Betsy Rd., 817-641-6626
Keene Adventist Elementary School 302 Pecan St., Keene. 817-645-9125
- KAES is now enrolling for January 2020. If you have a three-year-old and are interested in a Christian-based preschool, register at Keene Adventist Elementary School. You can visit our website at kaes4kids.org to register or visit our school office. Please feel free to call us at 817-645-9125 if you would like more information.
Southwestern Adventist University 100 W Hillcrest St., (817) 645-3921
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-202-6231.
Senior Share is Thursday, January 2, at 1 p.m. in the Annex. We are always in need of volunteers, so join us at noon!
SpokenFor, “one of the most prolific gospel ministries” in Texas, will bring a mix of classic southern gospel, contemporary Christian, and country gospel music to Keene Church Saturday, January 11, 7 p.m. There’s more than just the music in their concerts. You can feel the Spirit move. Bring a friend!
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.
The Keene Police Department is selling 2020 calendars at the Police Department front desk, the Adventist Book Center, Mountain Coffee, and Keene Independent School District. All proceeds are used to support Keene families needing assistance over the holidays.
There’s an easy way to help expand the New Life Bible School’s ministry to inmates! Simply put your idle DVDs to work by assigning them to Prison Libraries via our Bible schools! Please tag your gifts “Keene Bible School DVD Ministry.”
Know anyone who needs food and can’t wait for our monthly Food Bank at the Annex? Send them to the Keene Church! During our normal church office business hours, we have started a “mini” Food Pantry at our office. We offer a selection of staple and packaged foods.
“Eternal, infinite, unlimited, Jesus was, is, and always will be the Maker and Lord of all that exists. And then He came in the flesh to a speck in the universe called planet Earth. The mighty Creator became a part of the creation, limited by time and space and susceptible to age, sickness, and death. But love propelled Him, and so He came to rescue and save those who were lost and to give them the gift of eternity. He is the Word, he is Jesus, the Christ.” (Life Application Bible, preface to John) The true Light, which enlightens everyone, has come into the world. Like John the Baptist, let’s be witnesses that testify to the Light, so that all might believe through Him. (John 1:9)
Happy New Year, Forever Family! Carry the Light!
Your Keene Church Pastors
Christmas afterglow: O Holy Night
O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O Holy night, O night divine!
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is Peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us Praise His Holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
In 1843, the French city of Roquemaure had their church organ completely renovated. To celebrate the newly finished organ, the parish priest made the local poet, Placide Cappeau, write a poem in French. Composer Adolphe Adam would wrote music for the poem in 1847, and the song was translated to English by John Sullivan Dwight.