For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
In a 2012 New Year blog, English author Neil Gaiman wrote: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before . . . You are Doing Something . . . Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.” (goodreads.com)
Take some time, as you plan the year ahead, to look back at God’s faith heroes showcased in Hebrews 11. You might imagine C.S. Lewis looking over your shoulder as you examine the list. . . . These people were Doing Something, often not knowing what exactly (Abraham set out, not knowing where he was going—verse 8). Familiar with their biographies, you realize that some of their errors were just plain sinful, while others were misjudgment. “You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly; while you are making them you cannot see them,” muses Lewis. Many Biblical heroes were essentially nomads. “Our Heavenly Father has provided many delightful inns for us along our journey, but He takes great care to see that we do not mistake any of them for home,” Lewis observes. Sometimes, when God’s assigned leader lacked strength for the task, God recruited help. When the Amalekites attacked Israel, “Moses’ hands were heavy [from holding up God’s staff over the battle]. Then they [Aaron and Hur] took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.” Exodus 17:12. . . . Do we uphold one another in battle? . . . Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel [made mistakes, but] through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword . . . women received their dead by resurrection. (v. 30-35). C.S. Lewis sums it up: “Love, while always forgiving of imperfections and mistakes, can never cease to will their removal.” Step out in faith! You’ll make some mistakes, no doubt. Your Heavenly Father will purify you and do mighty things through your service because you trust in Him.
In the New Testament Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene were among many fallible individuals whom God called to spread His Gospel with passion and power. Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 12, offers wonderful counsel for this as-yet-unwritten year: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift of showing kindness to others, do it gladly.”
Last year’s words belong to last year’s language, said T.S. Eliot. Start something new!
Your Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will preach for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. His topic will be: “Radical.” Your Pastor for Children and Families, Travis Patterson, will tell the children’s story. Pastor for Young Adults Michael Gibson will call for the offering, which will support church budget. The Villania Family will provide special music for the 9:00 service, and Hania Correa and Friends will lead songs of praise at the 11:30 service. You can place your Christmas Tree offering on the trees at the front of the Sanctuary during first service opening hymn and during songs of praise at 11:30 (thank you for your generosity!) Glen Robinson will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults, your Pastor Michael Gibson’s message will be “From Loaves to Crumbs, and Everything Inbetween” for Elevate in the Sanctuary at 10:15. The Scripture reading is Luke 11:1-4. You’ll love singing with your friends during the service and enjoying breakfast together at 9:30! The Bible Lab will continue 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!
General church fellowship potluck will not meet on January 4.
Logos group meets this Sabbath at 3 p.m. in Gathering Place room 107.
This Sabbath there will be a potluck and meeting in the Upper Room for all leaders/teachers of the children’s Sabbath School classes, joined by our fellowship meal leadership team. Please let Dorie Cruz or Michelle Karmy know if you are unable to attend.
A special, different Masterpiece will meet this Sabbath, 4:30 p.m. in the Annex. Come and fellowship with friends! No canvas needed!
There will be a Visitation meeting at 5:30 p.m. this Sabbath at 217 Mistletoe Lane in Keene.
New members are welcome and needed. Thank you! – Marie Redwine
A memorial service for Cindy Shirley will be held on January 11 at 3 p.m. in our Chapel.
From Hurt to Hope – death…divorce…depression…On Tuesday evening, January 7, at 7:00, come to the Annex for a grief recovery discussion with Bonnie Parnell, David Slee, Ingo Sorke, and Tony Torres.
Ladies, take note! Our brunch that meets the first Sunday of each month will instead meet on January 19, 10 a.m. at SWAU cafeteria because the University is still closed for year-end holidays. Come and connect with other ladies and enjoy a meal together!
Wednesday night Bible study is back! Be with us in our Chapel at 7 p.m. January 8 as James Winegardner begins to uncover unexpected treasures in our inaugural New Testament study of the 2020s: First Corinthians!
The Grief Recovery Group will resume after the holidays on January 9 at 7 p.m. in room 106. Please contact Sonia Vergel at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Bible by Design will meet next Sabbath, January 11, 2:30 p.m., with Pastor James Winegardner leading an exciting twice-monthly Bible class in Gathering Place Room 106. We’d love to have you join us!
The Bible Lab will resume January 18 with the new series “Life in the Wilderness: From Exodus to Promise.”
Attention Deacons! There will be a deacons’ meeting in the Gathering Place on January 18 at 3 p.m.
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, pleast contact Sipho Ndebele at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pastor Rick at 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.
Small groups are starting for the new year! Watch for special emails and check the Life Groups board in the church lobby!
You Can Help your local Pathfinder club feed its youth. With a club this big, food donations will really help defray expenses. Please consider donating items we can use for Camping trips or an outing. Drinks, chips, canned hot dogs, apple sauce, pancake mix, graham crackers, oil, waters, syrup, lunch snacks, granola bars, vegetarian chili, baked beans, cookies, re fried vegetarian beans, salsa, ketchup, Mayo, relish, variety oatmeal packets, tetra packs of almond milk, canned fruit, spray oil, powdered drink mix, tortilla shells, etc.
You can ask for a pastoral visit by visiting the Keene Church website (www.keenechurch.org) and clicking on “Visitation Request” at the top. We’d love to visit with you!
Chisholm Trail Academy, 401 S. Old Betsy Rd., 817-641-6626
- CARTER BloodCare will hold a Blood Drive on the CTA campus 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.
Keene Adventist Elementary School, 302 Pecan St., Keene. 817-645-9125
- KAES is enrolling for January! 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: email@example.com or 817-202-6231.
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!
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.
Now that you’ve selected a template,Here’s how Paul concluded his Romans 12 “new year’s message”:
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead,
If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
Burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12 NLT
In God, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come.” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
God be with you, Forever Family!
Your Keene Church Pastors
Here I remind myself what You said over me
Here I remind my soul who You are
You said You won’t relent
Won’t let go, won’t forget
Every promise You have whispered to my heart.
As I wait, as I wait on You.
I’m gonna run and not grow weary
I’m gonna walk and not grow faint
Rise up on wings like eagles
I know with everything you’re with me
I know you’re working as I wait
Lift me up on wings like eagles
This desert holds a song I will sing on and on
You’re a river when the ground I walk is dry
You will set the crooked straight
Clear my path; make a way
You will lead me from the valley to the heights
As I wait, as I wait on You
Creator, Keeper, Life breather
Your name is greater than anything I’ve faced
Sustainer, Savior, Stronghold breaker
Your name is greater than anything I’ve faced.
As I wait, as I wait on You
I will wait, God, I will wait on You.