It wasn’t captivity that tested Daniel’s integrity, it was privilege. John MacArthur
God is sovereign! Daniel never forgot this. Born during the middle of Josiah’s reign, he grew up during the king’s reforms. He probably heard Jeremiah preach, and later quoted the prophet (Daniel 9:2). This childhood grounding stood Daniel well when, four years after Josiah’s death, Nebuchadnezzar became king of Babylonia and swept through Judea–which had returned to its evil ways–taking many of Jerusalem’s wisest men and most beautiful women to Babylon as captives, including Daniel and his friends, who were probably still teenagers. This was classic Nebuchadnezzar victory strategy: Bring home the brightest and best, feed them well, expose them to top academic discipline, give them new names that honored Babylonian gods. Leave the poor back in the homeland and let them live peacefully there. This system fostered great loyalty from conquered lands and insured a steady supply of wise and talented people for civil service. (Adapted from Life Application Bible, Daniel 1)
Daniel, whose Hebrew name meant “God is my judge,” put up with his pagan name Belteshazzar, which honored Bel, the chief Babylonian god. He welcomed higher education. But he drew the line at the king’s food, resolving not to eat what God had forbidden. Perhaps the meat was of the type outlawed by God’s command about unclean foods (Leviticus 7:23-27), or maybe the food had been offered to foreign gods. “Daniel’s decision constitutes a basic part of genuine integrity and the uncompromising life: you must draw lines where Scripture draws them. If the truth of God’s Word opposes the world’s wisdom on a certain issue, you must align yourself with God’s Word. . . . If Daniel wanted to abstain from eating and drinking what the king provided, he could have gone about it a number of ways. . . . But Daniel, having made up his mind, chose the route of open boldness. ‘He sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.’ (Daniel 1:8). He was respectful, but unbending. That’s called courage. . . . If you’ve fallen into a pattern of compromise, confess it as sin to the Lord. Repent and look to Daniel as an example of unwavering integrity. Then seek the Lord’s help to live like he did.” (gty.com)
The book of Daniel is a series of stories and visions. If you were a librarian, where would you file this book: Under history? Poetry? Dreams? Politics? Mystery? If your faith were on a continuum, with one end marked “Icy Cold” and the other end “Fiery Hot,” where would you stand? Why there?* When God revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its explanation to Daniel, this young man of great integrity made clear where he stood:
Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for He has all wisdom and power.
He controls the course of world events;
He removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the scholars.
He reveals deep and mysterious things
and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
though He is surrounded by light.
I thank and praise You, God of my ancestors,
for you have given me wisdom and strength.
You have told me what we asked of you
and revealed to us what the king demanded. Daniel 2:20-23
*Serendipity Bible for Study Groups
Pathfinder energy will invigorate you at Keene Church this Sabbath! Your Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will preach for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Pastor for Family and Children’s Ministries Travis Patterson will dedicate Noah Greyson Perez Branham during the 11:30 service. Emily Varela will tell the children’s story, Zachary Rogers will offer congregational prayer, Dulce Alvarado will serve as chorister, the Pathfinder String Ensemble will play the offertory, and Iliana Anaya and Sasha Patterson will lead the Pathfinder Pledge, Song, and Law. This Sabbath’s offering will support Keene Church Ministries and Operations. Steve Bradley will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults Pastor Michael Gibson continues his sermon series, “The 12 People You Love,” for Elevate’s Middle Service in the Sanctuary at 10:15. Everyone is welcome to attend this service, which is designed for Young Adults. “Welcome Home!” they’ll greet you. “There’s always room for one more!”
Today’s pulpit flowers are provided by the Southwestern Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who will hold their constituency meeting at our church this Saturday night and Sunday.
Keene Community Food Bank is happening this Sabbath! Come to the Annex at noon to volunteer or at 1pm to receive food. See you there!
In memoriam – We are sad to report that our church member Patricia Miers, mother of Rachel, Sam, and Heather, passed away on August 20. A memorial celebration of her life was held at the Barnes’ barn on her birthday, September 13. Please remember her family and friends in prayer.
Life Groups (see the board near our Welcome Desk for details)
9/21 – The Professor Says….in Room 104 at 4pm with Dr. Campbell
9/22 – Kayaking at 5:30 pm (meet in church parking lot)
9/22 – Gardening Group – 7pm at the Annex
9/24 – Grief Support Group with Sonia Vergel – 7:30pm in Room 106
9/25 – Trivial Pursuit, 8pm, Annex
The Professor Says… Please mark your calendars for September 21, October 19 and November 2 at 4pm in Room 104. These are the dates when professors from Southwestern Adventist University’s Theology Department will present a topic and lead discussion on that topic. Dr. Campbell will present in September, Dr. Rico in October, and Dr. Azevedo in November. Please check the poster at the Welcome Desk for full information.
Wednesday night Bible Study – Pastor James Winegardner will lead in the Chapel at 7.
Church Board will meet this Tuesday, September 24, at 7pm in the Annex.
Game Night! Grab a friend/family and bring a game and a snack to the Annex for a fun game night on September 28 at 7.
It is time to ADOPT A COLLEGE STUDENT for the 2019-2020 school year! Are you willing to open your home to one or more college students over the next school year, be adoptive parents, and provide a warm meal and kind words? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing.
May the Force Be with You – Pastor Rick will be teaching a mobile phone technology class for Seniors called “May the Force be With You” at the East Cleburne Community Center at 602 Olive St, Cleburne, TX 76031. The six-week class will begin on October 4 at 10am at the Library. If you missed the class in August in Keene, come join us in Cleburne! This class is a repeat of the class taught in Keene.
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, email@example.com.
Missing Camels – Two stuffed animal camels are missing from the children’s division. If you have seen them, please bring them to the two-year-old Sabbath school room.
Kids Eat Free This Fall – We’ve expanded our Kid’s Eat Free Program to support children from three schools at Keene ISD. We are currently delivering 50 bags a week to qualified children who need food. Thank you for bringing your continued donations of kid-friendly food to the church! It is making a difference in our children’s lives!
A New Life Bible School – ”I’ve been able to stay very busy in ministries with the few other Adventist believers here. I pray every morning for the Lord to use me to shine His light to others.” – Student
Keene Adventist Elementary School
- Family Fun Fest is September 29, 11am to 3pm at Elisa Carver Park, Keene. Enjoy food, games, prizes, bounce houses and much more! Open to the community! (In case of bad weather, we will move to the Chisholm Trail Academy Gym.)
Chisholm Trail Academy
- CTA Garage Sale: The Senior class is having a garage sale in the CTA parking lot on Sunday, October 13, from 8am-1pm. If you would like to rent a parking space for $10 to sell your own items, you may contact Mrs. Hall at 817-229-4998. If you would like to donate items for the sale you may contact Mrs. Hall.
Southwestern Adventist University
- International Food/Missions Fair – November 3 from 2-6pm, Southwestern will host their Annual International Food and Missions Fair in the gymnasium. Lots of wonderful international food will be available to purchase, and the money will go to a great cause! Come eat, fellowship with the community and students, and learn more about your local and international mission organizations.
- Believe it! An affordable Christian college education is not an oxymoron! Learn about: FAFSA and why it is important. Legitimate scholarship sites. Summer work match – tax free. Interest free student loans. Merit & need based scholarships. How to get 100% tuition scholarships. Sponsored by Southwestern Adventist University. Location: Southwestern Adventist University, Larry R. Moore Hall, Room 110, October 16, 7pm.
Carter BloodCare mobile unit will be in our upper parking lot on October 5 from 8:30 am to 1pm. Thank you for your faithful blood gifts that help sustain our community’s life and health!
Norse Church – the oldest standing Seventh-day Adventist church in Texas—invites you to its annual Sabbath celebration on October 12, 9:30 am in Clifton. Pastor Jerrod Songy will preach. Forever His and the Bosque River Band will provide music, there’ll be baptisms, and a fellowship potluck with fresh cobbler will follow. Bring lawn chairs! To join the morning 30-minute horseback trail ride to Norse Church contact Yddo Ortiz, 817-517-4650. For directions see the poster at the church office.
Daniel fervently prayed, confessing his sin and the sins of his people, “pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, His holy mountain. As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, ‘Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God.'” Daniel 9:20-23
“‘For you are beloved.’ Could there be any words from God more welcome than these? Daniel was in exile in Babylon as a result of his nation’s utter defeat by the Babylonians. He desperately wanted to make sense of his circumstances. So he did what he had done so many times before: he prayed. God immediately dispatched the angel Gabriel. Gabriel revealed that God had sent him to Daniel at the beginning of his supplications. God did not even wait for Daniel to finish his prayer. Why” Because God loved Daniel greatly. What a marvelous testimony! There had been times when Daniel’s love for God had been put to the test. Now, when Daniel was in need, God was quick to respond in love to him!” Blackaby, “Experiencing God,” p. 260
You, too are beloved, friend! God hears your prayer, and He will send help.
Your Keene Church Pastors
Dare to Be a DanielStanding by a purpose true,
Heeding God’s command,
Honor them, the faithful few!
All hail to Daniel’s band!
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.
Many mighty men are lost
Daring not to stand,
Who for God had been a host
By joining Daniel’s band.
Many giants, great and tall,
Stalking through the land,
Headlong to the earth would fall,
If met by Daniel’s band.
Hold the Gospel banner high!
On to victory grand!
Satan and his hosts defy,
And shout for Daniel’s band.
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone!
Dare to have a purpose firm!
Dare to make it known.
(Philip P. Bliss)