Wouldn’t it be interesting, if a Facebook friend were to invite us all to name our favorite river, to embark on what would surely be a global adventure, a geography lesson? There would be no casual answers. Rivers are elemental. They flow close to the heart. Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the Trinity River, luminous in moonlight, meanders southeastward to Trinity Bay, emptying into Galveston Bay. Not far away the Brazos River, called the Rio de los Brazos de Dios (“The River of the Arms of God”) by early Spanish explorers, is the eleventh-longest river in the United States at 1,280 miles from its headwater source at Blackwater Draw, New Mexico, to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande, once described by Will Rogers as “the only river I know of that is in need of irrigating,” holds its own as one of the five longest rivers in the United States. “Yet segments of the Rio Grande remain among the most spectacular in America, including two designated National Wild and Scenic River stretches, a pair of National Monuments, and a National Park. After wending its way through some of the top trout waters in southern Colorado, the Rio Grande tumbles into a cavity of sheer-walled canyons carved from the volcanic rock at New Mexico’s Taio Pueblo.” (americanrivers.org) . . . The longest rivers in the world are the Nile in Egypt (4,132 miles); the Amazon in South America (3,977 miles), the Yangtze in China (3,950 miles), Yenise in Russia (2,167 miles), and our storied Mississippi River (2.348 miles).
But here’s the river we treasure most:: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and from the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the Tree of Life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:1, 2. “The water of life is a symbol of eternal life. Jesus used this same image with the Samaritan woman (John 4:7-14). It pictures the fullness of life with God and the eternal blessings that come when we believe in Him and satisfy our spiritual thirst (see 22:17). These trees of life are like the tree of life in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:0). After Adam and Eve sinned, they were forbidden to eat from the tree because they could not have eternal life as long as they were under sin’s control. But because of the forgiveness of sin through the blood of Jesus, there will be no evil or sin in the city. We will be able to eat freely from the tree of life when sin’s control over us is destroyed and our eternity with God is secure.” (Life Application Bible, Revelation 22)
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit,
whom those believing in Him would receive;
for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
This morning Senior Pastor James Winegardner continues our sermon series, “What the Bible Says About . . .” during our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Music will be presented by Tony and Bethany Seery, Trent Muse, and Kate Summerlin. Young Adults Pastor Michael Gibson will tell the children’s story, and Chester Baker will offer congregational prayer. Pastor for Children and Family Ministries Travis Patterson, along with Keene Adventist Elementary School student Nathan Lazarus, will call for the offering, which supports North American Division Evangelism this week. Chad Hutchinson will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults! Jocelyn and Martin Shaw will speak for The Middle Service at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. The music will be wonderful, as always, and you’ll love the fellowship you find at Elevate!
A few Resurrection Pageant tickets and posters will be available in our Sanctuary foyer this Sabbath. You can also visit local distribution points or order online at www.keenechurch.org.
A memorial service for Morris Cummings, husband of Alice; father of Chrissie (and Alan Weis); grandfather of Kilory, and Nikki (and Ben Calderon) will be held in the Chapel today at 3:00.
Southwestern Adventist University’s Hal Wright Science and Religion Lecture Series continues this afternoon at 4:00 in the Mabee Center, featuring Jason Lisle, founder of the Biblical Science Institute. His topic: “Understanding Genesis.” All are invited to this thought-provoking lecture!
“Pilgrim’s Progress” preview tonight! – Family Ministries is sponsoring a free screening of the soon-to-be released movie adaptation of John Bunyan’s Christian classic at 7:00 in the Annex. Recommended for children 8 and up. Inspiration and fun for the whole family! Refreshments provided and a love offering will be taken. Info: https://pilgrims.movie.
In memoriam – We are sad to inform you that Elizabeth Aldava, wife of Manuel Aldava and sister of Zoila Barroso, passed away on March 24. All are invited to her service at Rosser Funeral Home, Cleburne, on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 PM, with a visitation hour beginning at 1:00 PM. She is survived by her children Albert Aldava, Daniel Aldava, and Nancy King.
Embracing Singleness, sponsored by Women’s Ministries for young single women who want to come together for fellowship, thought-provoking presentations, and discussion, will meet Sunday, March 31, 3:00 – 5:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Speakers are Danae Songy and Laura Rosado. Soup and refreshments will be served. Worship credit available to SWAU students.
The Pathfinder Bible Experience teams each were awarded first place at the Union PBE event on Sabbath, April 23, and are subsequently qualified to attend the North American Division PBE event in Rockford, Illinois, on April 27. To bring our 12 PBE members and select Pathfinder Staff members will cost approximately $3,500 for travel, food and lodging. We graciously ask that you consider donating to allow our PBE teams to compete at the NAD level and the final PBE event of the year. Please specify the donation apart from general Pathfinders donations. Thank you for your generosity and support to our Pathfinder program.
88.3 The Journey Spring Sharathon is Tuesday, April 2 – Thursday, April 4 (6:00 AM – 7:00 PM) and Friday, April 5 (6:00-10:00 AM). If you’d like to volunteer, we would love to have you join us! You may call 817-556-4751 or email email@example.com to get on the schedule. Please lift us up in prayer during the days leading up to and including Sharathon.
From Hurt to Hope – death…divorce…depression… On Tuesday evening, April 2, at 7:00, you’re invited to the Annex for a grief recovery discussion with Bonnie Parnell, David Slee, Ingo Sorke, Tony Torres, and Bill Kilgore..
Wednesday night Bible study – James Winegardner will explore the glorious final chapter of Revelation this week! Come to the Chapel at 7:00!
Seniors, mark your calendar! April 4, Senior Share is coming to the Annex! Senior Share is a free Food Bank for seniors with fresh fruit/vegetables and dairy. Tell your friends and family!
Mobile Health Clinic comes to Keene Church! Texas Health Huguley will offer free or low-cost healthcare services on the first Thursday each month 9:00-11:30 and 12:30-3:00. Info: 817-568-5378.
Join the Journey – Evangelistic Series starts April 6 in Elevate and continues April 7-10 in the fellowship hall at 7:00 each night. Presented by Hazel Marroquin. Bring a friend who needs to know Jesus!
General church fellowship potluck is April 6 after second service in the Fellowship Hall. Bring lots of side dishes, salads, and dessert–the entree will be provided! Be sure to mingle and get acquainted with others who attend! Thank you! We look forward to seeing you there.
Masterpiece, a class similar to “Painting with a Twist,” is brought to you April 6 at 4:30 in the Annex! If possible, bring your own 11×14 canvas.
Come to Game Night April 6, 7:45 in the Annex. Bring your favorite games and snacks for a fun evening. Sponsored by the Social Committee. Popcorn will be provided.
We will have a short business meeting on Wednesday April 10 at 8:00 at the Chapel. We will start shortly after Wednesday night Bible study.
Resurrection Pageant needs donations of water, individual drinks and packaged snacks. Please bring to the church office lobby. If brought the week before the pageant, they can be left at the Fellowship Hall, near the kitchen. Thank you for your help!
Camp meeting is coming May 29 – June 1! Learn all about it! Look up keenecampmeeting.com!
Needed for Vacation Bible School 2019 – Here are a number of items we are looking for to decorate for VBS. Of course items can be donated or simply borrowed if marked appropriately to be returned. We need white and solid colored sheets, large blankets, greenery, vines, baskets. Items can be dropped off at Sabbath School room ages 0-2b. Thank you so much for your help to make VBS a success.
Would you like to talk with a pastor? Contact our church office at 817-202-6450 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A pastor will talk with you at any time.
Keene Adventist Elementary School
- KAES is Breaking New Ground! Join us as we celebrate the Gymnasium Project Dedication and Groundbreaking this Sunday, March 31, at 302 Pecan St., Keene. School tours begin at 10:30 AM. The ceremony is at 11:00 AM. Refreshments to follow.
Southwestern Adventist University
- TODAY, the Hal Wright Science and Religion Lecture Series will continue, featuring Jason Lisle, founder of the Biblical Science Institute. His topic: “Understanding Genesis.” You are invited to this thought-provoking lecture, 4:00 PM, Mabee Center.
- Fruition Lab, a faith based conference for innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs, is April 4 at the Mabee Center. Hear from alumni, network, and enjoy a tasting menu from Cris and John’s Vietnamese/Mexican fusion. The evening ends with a pitch event and a chance to win $1,000. Tickets are available at Eventbrite/Fruition Lab/Southwestern Adventist University.
- The Southwestern Chapter of the Adventist Theological Societyinvites you to a lecture by Ángel Manuel Rodríguez, former director of the Biblical Research Institute, on Sabbath, April 6, discussing “Last Generation and Christian Perfectionism,” Mabee Center, 4:00 PM. Info: Michael Campbell 817-202-6479.
- Southwestern Acrobatic Team presents: “Acrofest Encore” featuring Burleson Adventist School, Keene Adventist Elementary School, Chisholm Trail Academy and Peterson’s Gym Saturday night, April 6, at 8 :00 PM at the Leiske Pultar Gymnasium. Come for a night of high-flying stunts, aerial skills and acrobatic strength. Free admission and family friendly.
Chisholm Trail Academy
- Welcome to CTA’s 51st Alumni Weekend!
- CTA will host a visitation day on Wednesday, April 3. All 8th grade and high school students are invited to come and meet the students, faculty and staff. Academy Visitation Day begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 1:30 PM. Lunch will be provided. For more information please call CTA at 817-641-6626 or 817-558-4404.
All Keene Cemetery constituents – The annual constituency meeting of the Keene Cemetery will be this Sunday, 7:00 PM in the Keene Cemetery Chapel. All constituents are urged to attend. Anyone who owns property or has family buried in the cemetery is a constituent.
Dr. Phodidas Ndamyumugabe, Weimar Institute Theology professor, shares his powerful testimony of how God miraculously preserved his life many times during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Friday, April 5, 7:00 PM, Country Life Church, 1001 Highland Road, Cleburne (entrance on Hwy 174).
Holy Week services, sponsored by Cleburne Christian Business Club, will be held April 15-19, 6:45 – 8:00 AM, Cleburne Conference Center, 1501 W. Henderson Street. Celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
An elderly couple visiting Keene April 9 – May 7 would like to rent a room or apartment within walking distance to Southwestern Adventist University. If you can provide temporary accommodations, please contact Tony Zbaraschuk, 817-659-3423.
FY 2018/2019 Ministries and Operations budget: $767,808.00
Donations Needed by March 31, 2019 – $575,856.00
Donations Received through March 16, 2019 – $529,901.28
Amount still needed this month – $ 45,954.72
Sanctuary HVAC (air conditioning) total cost – $550,000.00
Sanctuary HVAC project donations received thru March 16 – $303,985.48
Amount still needed – $246,014.52
KAES gymnasium project total cost target (phase 1) – $750,000.00
Southwestern Union Conference Support – $ 75,000.00
Keene Church donations received through March 16, 2019 – $232,388.44
KAES direct donations received – $315,120.79
Today’s loose offering: North American Division Evangelism; Next week:Church Budget
About the far-reaching rivers of life, Oswald Chambers said this: “A river reaches places which its source never knows. And Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness, ‘rivers of living water’ will flow out of us, reaching in blessing even ‘to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8) regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may appear to be. We have nothing to do with the outflow–‘This is the work of God, that you believe . . .” (John 6:29) God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others.
“A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then comes to an obstacle. And for a while it is blocked, yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, only later to emerge again even broader and greater than ever. Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into your life and you do not seem to be of any use to God? Then keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty. The obstacle will be a matter of total indifference to the river that will flow steadily through you if you will simply remember to stay focused on the Source. Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ–not emotion nor experience–nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.
“Think of the healing and far-reaching rivers developing and nourishing themselves in our souls! God has been opening up wonderful truths to our minds, and every point He has opened up is another indication of the wider power of the river that He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you will find that God has developed and nourished in you mighty, rushing rivers of blessing for others.” (utmost.org)
Stay close to the River, Forever Family!
Your Keene Church Pastors
Shall We Gather at the River
Shall we gather at the river,
Where bright angel feet have trod;
With its crystal tide forever
Flowing by the throne of God?
Yes, we’ll gather at the river,
The beautiful, the beautiful river;
Gather with the saints at the river
That flows by the throne of God.
On the margin of the river,
Washing up its silver spray,
We will walk and worship ever,
All the happy golden day. [Refrain]
Ere we reach the shining river,
Lay we ev’ry burden down;
Grace our spirits will deliver,
And provide a robe and crown. [Refrain]
Soon we’ll reach the shining river,
Soon our pilgrimage will cease;
Soon our happy hearts will quiver
With the melody of peace. [Refrain](Robert Lowry)