Millions of Americans have traveled great distances, or they’ve joyfully thrown open their doors in welcome, this Thanksgiving weekend to exchange hugs and trade stories with friends and family who know their name. There’s intimacy in a name. In Psalm 91, an anonymous poet honors four of God’s names in the first two verses! “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shelter of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust.” The secret place is the intimacy of God’s presence. We dwell in His word (John 8:31) and abide in Him as branches connected to the Vine (John 15:7-8). He invites us into His shelter! Divine hospitality! According to Martin S. Rozenberg and Bernard M. Zlotowitz, the term “shade” describes the extended sphere of protection of a dweller towards passersby and strangers. “This still holds true among the Bedouin in modern times,” they say. “Anyone entering their jurisdiction comes under their ‘shade’ and enjoys their protective concern.” (“The Book of Psalms,” p. 576)
Many of us memorized Psalm 91 as children. Through the years we have found comfort, and also questions, in its promises. “Why does evil befall believers? Didn’t it befall Jesus? The apostles? The early church? On the other hand, think about all the potential for harm in your life. Could angels be guarding you? Can you think of an instance when you were miraculously delivered or ‘protected against all odds’?” (Serendipity Bible for Study Groups) Remembering our Senior Pastor James Winegardner’s sermon series about the Armor of God, do you think the flesh-and-blood dangers from which we are protected in Psalm 91 might also be spiritual metaphors for the “principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness of this world” identified in Ephesians 6?
Have you noticed that this psalm might have been antiphonally sung by two people, with God becoming the speaker in verses 14-16?
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’
“Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear for the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
“If you make the Most High your dwelling–even the Lord, who is my refuge–then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.'” Psalm 91
Our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will preach about “Thanksgiving” for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Texas Conference President Carlos Craig will tell the children’s story. Our Pastor for Communication and Media, Devin Grady, has coordinated our worship music, and Sipho Ndebele will offer congregational prayer. Our Pastor for Ministry Empowerment, Travis Patterson, will feature our Forever Family’s “Making a Difference” through disaster relief ministry. Chad Hutchinson will serve as Deacon in Charge. Our offering will support Keene Church Ministries and Operations.
Pastor Winegardner will also preach about Thanksgiving for The Middle Service in the Fellowship Hall at 10:15. Young Adults, we look forward to worshiping with you through the Word of God, inspiring music, fellowship, and prayer! Come in!
“Stepping Up” – Gentlemen, we invite you to our men’s small group study at 9:00 this morning in Room 234 (above the Mother’s Room)!
Church Board: Tuesday, November 28, 7:00 PM, South Fellowship Hall
Wednesday night Bible study: Book of Exodus! Travel with us through this amazing story of God’s deliverance and providence to His people! We meet in the Chapel every Wednesday at 7:00. Come join the family! You’ll want to participate in this exciting spiritual adventure. Pastor James Winegardner is our guide, with lots of encouraging insights!
Violinist Jaime Jorge presents Silent Night in concert Thursday, November 30, 7:00 PM, in our Sanctuary. Come and enjoy a beautiful prelude to the Christmas season!
General church fellowship December potluck awaits you next Sabbath, December 2, after second service in the Fellowship Hall. Bring your favorite Christmas cooking and lots of warm holiday fellowship for our Forever Family, students, and guests!
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, PE to round out a strong academic program.
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.
- Chisholm Trail Academy’s Drama Class will present a sacred play titled Voices on Friday, December 1, at 7:00 PM in our Fellowship Hall. Please come out and support these youth as they share a cautionary tale of the constant distractions that are around us. A love offering will be accepted afterward.
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.
- You’re invited to SWAU’s Topping Out Ceremony for the new Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building at 10:00 AM on Friday, December 8, at the building site on Hillcrest Street. Come early, starting at 9:00 AM, to sign the beam and enjoy hot drinks and cookies!
- Come celebrate the holidays with us by enjoying a hot, cozy drink! It’s our treat! Whether you choose to stop by during a shopping adventure or just want to drop by to say hello, please come at your convenience. Share holiday cheer by inviting fellow alumni and friends. We will be at Starbucks (near Dick’s Sporting goods), The Parks Mall at Arlington, 3811 South Cooper Street, Arlington, on Sunday, December 10, 12:00-2:00 PM. If you have questions email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
The 22nd annual Keene Christmas Light Parade and Fireworks Show will be 6:30 PM Sunday, December 3 along Old Betsy Road. Parade staging is at Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium parking lot on the SWAU campus. Anything with wheels or feet, adorned with Christmas lights and consistent with the theme, ‘The Reason We Celebrate This Season,’ is welcome to participate and needs only show up at the starting time. Parade entry fee is two packages of dog food (preferably Purina) to be donated to Keene Animal Shelter. Parade entrants wanting to be judged and eligible for prizes should be at Leiske-Pultar parking lot at 5:15 PM. Parade entry information: Call the Chamber office, 817-556-2995.
Texas Conference Women’s Retreat has a new date and place: January 19-21, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio. Online registration: www.txsda.org/reg. To register by phone, call817-790-2255, ext. 2142. Registration is $160. Please make your hotel reservation soon. Rooms are $174 per night, but you can share the cost with your roommates.
Faith For Today’s Lifestyle Magazine is a half-hour television talk show focused on living a full, healthy, balanced life. You can see it on DirectTV on the NRB network Tuesdays at 4:30 PM EDT channel 378 and Sky Angle 1 on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 PM and Thursdays at 2:30 PM. Also on DISH, Hope Channel, and other stations. Info: 805-955-7681.
Keene Adventist Elementary School, Sabbath, December 2, 4:00 PM, Sanctuary
Southwestern Adventist University Music Department Christmas, Friday, December 8, 8:00 PM, Sanctuary
Chisholm Trail Academy, December 16, 4:00 PM, Sanctuary
Keene Worship Choir, Friday, December 22, 7:00 PM; and Sabbath, December 23, 5:30 PM, Sanctuary
“[Psalm 91:14-16] is the divine response to the person who dwells and lives in intimacy with the Lord. He knows God’s presence (‘on high’), God’s power (‘I will answer him’), God’s protection (‘I will deliver him’), and God’s provision (‘I will satisfy him’). This is salvation! . . . If we long for and desire greatly to be intimate with God, He promises to be intimate with us. The road to intimacy lies in self-disclosure (John Wimber). As we disclose ourselves to God, He will disclose Himself to us, and Satan will be locked out of our hearts as God’s Kingdom reigns there. This is what it means to dwell in the secret place, to be hidden and covered by the Almighty.” (Donald Williams, “Mastering the Old Testament, Vol. 14, p. 172)
Abide in the shelter of God’s presence, friend! There, you will find peace.
Your Keene Church Pastors
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: the best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
(Katherine von Schlegel)