Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land . . . So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.
On April 3, 1968 (the eve of his assassination, as it turned out), Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Moses’ trip up Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, where God showed Moses the country He had promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Although Moses wasn’t allowed to cross over Jordan, God wanted His faithful servant to see the land with his eyes. (Deuteronomy 34:1, 4) From the moment Moses was born under a death sentence and rocked among reeds in a river basket, God strengthened his character through decades of varied experiences, until he was equipped to accomplish the mission God had in mind for him: Delivering His chosen people from bondage.
That’s the way God does things, you know. He patiently builds our character for the eternal plan He has selected for each of us to accomplish. You may feel that a task to which He is calling you requires a far stronger man or woman than you presently are. Don’t be discouraged! Abram, through whom God would bless all the nations of the earth, experienced twenty-five years of character transformation before his strength matched his new name–Abraham–and the responsibility for which God created him. Ellen White was a sickly child who, because God chose her and she accepted, grew the character to be a powerful instrument in God’s hands. Without much pondering, you could probably think of numerous others who illustrate this pattern.
Character building can be long and painful. Take heart! God sees your life from an eternal perspective and will take however long is necessary to grow your character for His assignment for you. The author of Hebrews challenges us: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
Our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, and one of our Southwestern Adventist University student pastors, Eliab Quinones, continue the sermon series, “Benefit of the Doubt,” in our Sanctuary and Elevate services. This week’s topic is “When We Need it Most.”
In the 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services, Brazos Chorus, directed by David Anavitarte, will bring us into God’s presence with glorious music. Bella Lauterbach will offer Scripture and prayer. Southwestern Adventist University’s Spiritual Life Chaplain, April Chisholm, will tell the children’s story. Pastor for Children’s and Family Ministries Travis Patterson will call for the offering, which will support Keene Church Ministries and Operations. Head Elder Ken Jones will offer prayer. Chad Hutchinson will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults, don’t miss great music and friendship at The Middle Service in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00! Delicious breakfast snacks will energize your bodies and minds before the sermon feeds your spirit!
Receipts for your 2018 tithes and offerings will be distributed at tables in our Sanctuary lobby this Sabbath morning. Be sure to stop by and get yours! Thank you so much for your generous financial support!
Sign up for a small group or two in the Sanctuary lobby this morning, as well! Pick up an exciting small groups brochure!
Keene Community Food Bank is today,1:00 to 4:00 PM, in the Annex parking lot! Our Food Bank is much appreciated in our community. Thank you, church family, for bundling up warmly and volunteering to help our neighbors!
Award-winning Christian vocalist Steve Green brings a concert to our Sanctuary tonight at 7:00 PM! We expect a lot of guests and suggest that you make our front pews available to them. The concert is free, so come early to find a seat farther back! You’ll be glad you came, and so will we!
Men’s breakfast is in the Upper Room this Sunday at 9:00! Men of Keene, come to an awesome breakfast with speaker Sean Harris. This event introduces Keene Men’s Ministry’s new video series—Winning at Work and Home–starting February 2!
The church office will be closed Monday, January 21 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Meals on Wheels will not visit the Annex on Martin Luther King Day.
Wednesday night Bible study will not meet on January 23.
Come to our Annex kitchen open house and Agape Feast Friday night, Jan. 25! Open House is 5:30-6:00, and the Agape Feast begins at 6:00. Bring a pot of soup and some bread to share! All in the Annex!
New members Sabbath School class: STEPS – New beginnings, taught by your pastors, begins in Room 208 on January 26!
“Bible by Design” – Last week Pastor James introduced a twice-monthly Bible study class to meet on the second and fourth Sabbath, Room 106. On January 26 and going forward, the class meets from 2:30-3:30 PM.
Rescue your treasures from the Annex now! Visit from 9:00 to noon Monday, Jan. 28, or 9:00 to noon Thursday, Jan. 31. Our maintenance team will help you retrieve your possessions before our winter clean-out.
Church Board – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 7:00 PM at Chisholm Trail Academy.
Elementary Baptismal Study – Grades 4-6, led by Pastor Travis, begins January 31 and will meet Thursdays for ten weeks in the 7th and 8th Grade Sabbath School room.
“Masterpiece,” a class similar to “Painting with a Twist,” will be brought to you by your Women’s Ministry on Sabbath afternoon, February 2, at 4:30 in the Annex. If possible, kindly bring your own 11 x 14 canvas!
Youth social – Saturday night, February 2, in the Upper Room!
Have a great time kayaking with others February 3, March 17, April 7, and May 5 at 10:00 AM. Leader: Shari Harriss, email@example.com.
Clarification: Our Grief Recovery group meets in the Annex once a month on the first Tuesday at 7:00 PM, and at Mission Hospice in Cleburne once a month on the first Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
SECOND Annual Keene Church Chili Cook-off and Cornbread Feast: Saturday night, February 9, in the Fellowship Hall. Watch for details!
BREAKFAST CLUB – Women’s Ministry invites you to our first monthly Breakfast Club at 8:30 AM Monday, February 11, at Olivia’s Restaurant in Keene. Drop in, buy your own breakfast, and get acquainted with other ladies from Keene Church!
A Night at the Meyerson, Southwestern Adventist University’s annual Music Festival concert at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, on February 10, 7:30 p.m., will feature world class artists, mass choirs, and ensembles. Proceeds support the student music experience at SWAU. Tickets: http://musicfestival.swau.edu.
ENGAGE Church Planting Conference: Burton Academy, 4611 Kelly Elliot Rd., Arlington, January 19, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Church Planters’ Bootcamp is January 20, Grand Prairie Church, 4202 Vineyard Road, Grand Prairie.
Total Member Involvement Evangelism Training in English and Spanish is at Keene Spanish Church today, 4:00 – 6:30.
Psalms Journey, a friendly southern gospel male quartet based in Forth Worth, will present a Jesus-centered concert in our Chapel next Saturday night, January 26, at 7:00. Extend your Sabbath rest for a musical evening!
InterrWellness Retreat invites you to enjoy a delicious complimentary vegan breakfast at 9:30 on January 27, and learn to cook healthy, tasty vegan meals. 3701 CR 316C, Cleburne. Reservation: 817-909-9053
Carter BloodCare’s mobile unit will be in our upper parking lot to receive your blood donations between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sabbath, February 2.
Keene’s 16th Annual Business Expo, Health Fair and Job Fair is Sunday, February 24, at Southwestern’s Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium. Admission is free. SWAU’s Nursing Department will provide health screenings and Texas WorkForce will offer job info. Booths: 817-556-2995.
FY 2018/2019 Ministries and Operations budget: $767,808.00
Donations needed by January 31, 2019 – $447,888.00
Donations received through January 12, 2019 – $407,945.45
Amount still needed this month – $39,942.55
Sanctuary HVAC (air conditioning) total cost – $550,000.00
Sanctuary HVAC project donations received through January 12, 2019 – $295,875.71
Amount still needed – $254,124.29
KAES gymnasium project total cost target (phase 1) – $750,000.00
Southwestern Union Conference Support – $75,000.00
Keene Church donations received through January 12, 2019 – $217,356.94
KAES direct donations received through November 30, 2018 – $315,120.79
Amount still needed (phase 1) – $142,522.79
Today’s offering: Church Budget; Next week: Religious Liberty
The late Peter Marshall, for years the young, dynamic pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, and until his untimely death at forty-six, chaplain of the United States Senate, asked a question: “If you were walking down the street, and someone came up behind you and tapped you on the shoulder–what would you do?” Naturally, you would turn around. Well, that is exactly what happens in the spiritual world. You walk through life, with the eternal call ringing in your ears but with no response stirring in your heart; and then suddenly, without any warning, the Spirit taps you on the shoulder. What happens? You turn around. The word repentance means “turning around.”
The tap on the shoulder is the call that brooks no refusal, the call we cannot ignore, the call that brings us to fall adoringly and wonderingly at the feet of Jesus. . . . The tap on the shoulder stops you, His voice calls you, His love draws you, His kingdom challenges you. Now you must make a decision. You cannot be neutral. You must turn around and follow Him, or you deliberately walk on away from Him. The greatest moment in life is when Jesus sees something in you that He wants, taps you on the shoulder, and says, “Come, follow me.” (Excerpts from Russell DeLong: The Tap on the Shoulder, sermonindex.net)
Is God tapping you on the shoulder, friend? We invite you to turn around!
Your Keene Church Pastors
Jesus calls us o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea;
day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
saying, “Christian, follow me!”
As of old the apostles heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for Jesus’ sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, “Christian, love me more!”
In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these!”
Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Savior, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love thee best of all.
Text: Cecil Frances Alexander, 1818-1895
Music: William H. Jude