“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15 Have you ever imagined the fun that Adam and Eve must have enjoyed as they tended the Garden of Eden before sin transformed “tending” into toil that beads sweat on our brow, stresses our mind, and ties knots in our viscera? Did they create fanciful art–a topiary garden here, a garland-entwined arbor there? Did they plant tulips intermingled with bluebonnets and daffodils beside dazzling brooks that teemed with playful fish? Calves, cubs, and caterpillars, recently named by the first man on earth, romped across undulating landscape while eagles and canaries surveyed the planet’s first birds-eye view! How about the amazing vegan meals the first newlyweds prepared together, delighting in food color combinations, textures, flavors and aromas for the first time? At night, did they go stargazing and think of their counterparts on distant planets that God had mentioned during their cool evening walks? Fresh from the Creator’s hand, all was very, very good! . . . Work will be fascinating beyond our imagination in the New Earth that God is preparing for us, too–enough to keep us learning, growing, rejoicing, and glorifying God through all eternity! You might enjoy spending some time this Labor Day weekend researching your Bible about the amazing plans God has for us when He takes us to our heavenly home–soon, very soon!
Sin invaded Eden, and work got harder. Still, labor brings meaning and adventure to our lives, rewards us with satisfaction, and benefits everyone through mutual service. What an magnificent array of occupations our Creator has made available to us–ideal for infinite varieties of talents and gifts! Each one of us is valuable, has a God-given purpose, and is needed. Jesus said, in John 9:4, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” Jesus knew that night was coming; His death was not far off. Then it would be too late for any act of earthly compassion. “But is this not the lot of all of us?” asks Roger Fredrickson. “The opportunities we have this day to do God’s work will pass.” Let’s be bold in Christ today! Historical giants of holy boldness abound. George Müller, a Christian evangelist and director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024 orphans during his lifetime and established 117 schools which offered Christian education to more than 120,000 children–all this without ever requesting financial support or going into debt. He was in constant prayer that God would touch the hearts of donors to make provisions for the orphans–and God came through every time. Look up Müller’s story on Wikipedia! . . . Empowered by God, Ellen G. White and other founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church boldly built medical and educational missions and institutions around the world to bring Christ’s love to all people. Each venture has an exciting story. Look up the histories of our hospitals and schools! Lots of boldness there!
Right here in Keene, right now, our church members and schools are boldly moving forward to help our neighbors in Houston and other Texas Coastal Bend communities get back on their feet after Hurricane Harvey’s havoc. Read more about it in our report on Hurricane Harvey relief efforts outlined farther along in this newsletter. Boldly jump in! “Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise.” – Horace
“Oh Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees.” – Rudyard Kipling
Our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, has invited Southwestern Adventist University students to suggest topics about which they would like to hear a sermon on the first six Sabbaths of this school year. You will remember that as requested, he spoke on “Loneliness” last week. This week Pastor Winegardner will preach about “Boldness in Christ” during our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Karyn Mertz will tell the children’s story, and Sipho Ndebele will offer congregational prayer. Andre and Cinthia Azevedo will provide special music during first service. Felicia Christie, Kelvin Del Valle, Jonathan Louis, Jennifer Ramirez, and Nwanyl Ukegbu will present second service music. Lerie Dellosa will minister at the organ for both services, and our Pastor for Worship and Discipleship, Allison Handal, will serve as first service chorister. Dennis Habenicht will serve as Deacon in Charge. This week’s offering will support Texas Vision.
In The Middle Service with Elevate in the Fellowship Hall at 10:15, our Pastor for Young Adults, Albert Handal, will preach about “Two Children, Two Paths” as he continues his series on Galatians. There’s great music, too! Young adults, this service is designed especially for you! Come on in!
Parents, here’s a Sabbath School class for you! PRAYING FOR YOUR CHILDREN offers different methods to systematically surround your children with prayer and watch the Lord miraculously move in their lives. Two groups–Parents of Children under 18 and Parents of Adult Children–will meet in Gathering Place Room 106 at 10:15 Sabbath mornings starting today! To help us order adequate study supplies, kindly RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org right away!
General church fellowship potluck will be held today in the Fellowship Hall after second service. Please bring lots of all-American food and friendship to enjoy with our University students and other guests!
Water ministry continues through September 9! Here are two ways you can be involved in our water distribution to homeless people in Fort Worth: Bring cases of bottled water to the church office, or join us in the Fellowship parking lot at 3:00 Sabbath afternoon. Thank you!
The church office will be closed on Monday, September 4. Enjoy your Labor Day holiday!
Ministry Leaders Summit: Sabbath afternoon, September 9, 1:00, at Pastor Travis’ house. Bring a dish for potluck and then share in prayer, fellowship, and planning together!
Your friends at Study, Prayer, and Fellowship (SPF) hope you’ll join us next Wednesday night at 7:00 in the Chapel! Pastor James Winegardner will lead our exploration of John 14:15-31, and of John 15 in which Jesus discusses the vital connection of the Vine and the branches.
A New Life Bible School: I am new to my walk with God. Everything I read in the Bible is revolutionizing my mind. Thank you.” – Student
Keene Adventist Elementary School is a ministry of Keene Church and provides Christian education for children grades Pre-K through 8th grade. KAES offers music, technology, and PE to round out a strong academic program. KAES phone: 817-645-9125
Chisholm Trail Academy’s goal is to create a safe educational environment that fosters the development of a relationship with Jesus, promotes a life-long love of learning and service, and nurtures the optimal growth, potential, and character of each individual student. CTA phone: 817-641-6626
CTA Senior Consecration will be held next Sabbath afternoon, September 9, at 3:00 in our Sanctuary.
Amazon Smiles: You can help CTA worthy students any time you shop at Amazon! Sign up with Amazon Smiles program by using the following link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/75-1327520. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to CTA. Thanks for your participation.
Southwestern Adventist University is home to a diverse student body educated by personable professors in a Christ-centered environment. The strong academics, family friendly attitude, and spiritual emphasis creates a campus that is perfectly situated to provide students with the atmosphere and tools necessary to obtain a degree and live a life of substance and service.
Texas Conference Women’s Retreat is postponed: The Women’s Ministries Retreat scheduled for September 15-17 in Houston has been postponed until Spring 2018. More information will be shared once the new date is solidified. Thank you for your understanding! Please continue to pray for all those affected by this storm.
The Full Plate Living 90-Day Wellness Challenge starts September 11 at 6:00 PM at the Annex. We welcome participants that want to work on improving their health through improved nutrition, physical activity and whole person wellness. Additional information is available in the lobby and online at https://www.swau.edu/wellnesscounts. Registration opens August 25th. This program includes methods for reversing diabetes and helping those who struggle with health concerns, overweight issues, and pre-diabetes. Sponsors: Keene Wellness Team, Keene Church, SWAU Nursing Department, and Texas Health Huguley Hospital.
Senior citizens can enjoy free admission to the Texas State Fair! Keene Church will provide bus transportation to the Fair on Thursday, October 5, for our members aged “60 and better” if enough interest is expressed. Bus fare is $10 each. If you’d like to go, please email email@example.com any time, or phone the church after September 12.
Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief
Keene Church Office has been inundated with various groups who are attempting to relieve the pressure on families who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Look for a bulletin insert this Sabbath that gives you information as to the various projects and the organizations who support those projects. Each organization has its own focus, and we, the pastors of the Keene Church, encourage your participation in alleviating the suffering of your Texas Family. There will be additional projects added to this list as time goes along.
First project for our church is to supply buckets and utensils for cleanup. That will cost around $10,000. Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church Disaster Relief is partnering with Southwestern Adventist University, Texas Conference Adventist Disaster Relief, and others in this project. Our focus is raising the $10,000. As you read through this you will see the focus of other organizations. Some cases are about this project; others are entirely different.
You can help fund our $10,000 goal by donating your humanitarian gift in a tithe envelope, written to Keene Church – DR, with the notation “Hurricane Harvey.”
If you’d like to donate time this weekend, here are some options:
a)SWAU volunteers will leave for Houston this Sabbath afternoon, coming back Monday, to assist the Oaks Adventist School with clean-up on Sunday. Church family are welcome to join in as room permits. Contact person is Janelle Williams, 817-300-0267.
b) Adventist Community Services is looking for volunteers at the depot, 702 N. Old Betsy Road in Keene, this Sabbath afternoon from 2:00 to 6:00, to load bags of clothing onto a truck. Muscle is needed more than sorting;
c) On Sunday, you could donate a two-hour shift at Cleburne Community Airport Hangar 1000 to sort clothing (see “Christmas in Action” below);
d) next weekend SWAU and CTA will assemble supply buckets and could use your help. Watch for details.
Texas Conference has set up a special fund for the relief efforts as Texas Adventist Disaster Relief responds to the affected areas. If you would like to assist with a monetary, tax deductible donation, please follow this link: http://texasadventist.org/hurricaneharvey/
This Sabbath, September 2, Southwestern Union Conference will take up a special offering at churches across its territory to support ADR relief efforts as well as the special needs of affected churches and schools. Mark your offering “Hurricane Harvey.”
On Sabbath, September 9, churches across the North American Division will collect a special offering to support Hurricane Harvey relief.
Southwestern Adventist University ENACTUS has placed donation boxes for Harvest House in our Sanctuary foyer to help evacuees that are staying in hotels. All proceeds of this drive help individuals stranded in Johnson County. They need: diapers and baby essentials; laundry detergent; new packages of socks and underwear; gift cards for restaurants along I-35. Keene Worship Choir is joining in this effort.
SWAU students are helping ADR assemble disaster relief kits but they need more supplies! If you would like to help, please consider donating to www.community services.org. The supplies for these kits are very specific, approved items by Emergency Services. The best way to help is to donate money so that ADR can purchase supplies. Call 800-381-7171or write Adventist Community Services, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
Chisholm Trail Academy solicits your help in a project to help the Hurricane Harvey victims. We have obtained 50 five-gallon buckets from Texas Conference Disaster Relief to fill to their specifications. If you are able, we’re accepting donations to help purchase these much needed items. Please donate at the school by Friday, September 8.
“Christmas in Action” is receiving supplies specifically for Corpus Christi, Rockport, Inglewood, and other impacted areas in the Texas Coastal Bend. Place of Grace Sabbath School and Jerry Becker will welcome your donations in the Annex from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. this Sabbath and at the same time September 9. See our email sent last Wednesday for a list of needed items.
Christmas in Action needs volunteers to receive and sort donations at Cleburne Municipal Airport this Sunday, September 3, in two-hour shifts between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. To volunteer call 817-774-2022.
And please keep praying for our Southeast Texas and Louisiana neighbors!
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” – William Hutchison Murray
Be bold in Christ this week, Forever Family!
Your Keene Church Pastors
Master, Hast Thou Work for Me?
Master, hast thou work for me?
I would gladly toil for thee;
I have neither strength nor skill,
Yet some place I long to fill;
Tho’ my hands are small and weak,
Yet some little task I seek.
Master, hast thou work for me?
I would gladly toil for thee.
Let me learn in early youth,
Lessons from thy Book of truth;
Let me seek to walk thy ways,
Know thy will and sing thy praise;
Heart and hands to thee I bring,
Let me serve thee, holy King!
Master, hast thou work for me?
I would gladly toil for thee.
Let me daily sow some seed,
Daily do some kindly deed;
Grant thy loving help to me,
Give me perfect trust in thee;
Trusting thee to teach me how,
Let me serve thee, here and now.
Master, hast thou work for me?
I would gladly toil for thee.
(Jessie Brown Pounds)