Have you noticed in your Bible study that when God personally calls one of His people, He often speaks the person’s name twice? On a harrowing (for the father) dad-and-son trek to build an altar in the mountains: “Abraham! Abraham!” To a sleepy young pastoral assistant: “Samuel! Samuel!” On the road to Damascus: “Saul! Saul!” To a prince-turned-shepherd, grazing his father-in-law’s sheep at the back of a wild acacia-dotted desert in sight of Mount Horeb: “Moses! Moses!” Here, God caught Moses’ attention when an ordinary, burning shaggy thornbush was not consumed. A burning bush was probably not unusual in the arid, harsh desert. But unconsumed? As Moses turned aside to take a closer look, God told him to remove his shoes; he was standing on holy ground, and God was about to give him a world-changing assignment. . . . Many years later, young David tended his father’s flocks on Bethlehem’s hills while his father and brothers joined the Prophet Samuel to offer sacrifices (a cover story for God’s real purpose in sending Samuel to Bethlehem). Enjoying an ordinary day doing ordinary tasks, David may have been trying out notes on his harp, composing a new psalm. Suddenly, he was summoned to join his family and Samuel, and the extraordinary occurred: David was secretly anointed to one day be Israel’s king. “God was preparing David for his future responsibilities. The anointing oil poured over David’s head stood for holiness.” (Life Application Bible, 1 Samuel 16) In review: “1. God appears in the ordinary. 2. God has to get our attention to present Himself to us. 3. In God’s presence, the ground on which we stand is always holy, and we’d better take off our shoes.” (Maxie Dunnam)
Is God trying to catch your attention through the extraordinary ordinary? “There will be times when, immersed in the ordinary details of life, you may be oblivious to the extraordinary that is right near to you. You can be in the midst of a common moment, only this time the activity is filled with the presence of God. . . . God usually speaks out of the ordinary experiences of life. Often, it is not while you are worshiping at church. . . . The moment you are born again you receive the Holy Spirit. God has equipped you with exactly what is needed for the edification of the body in which He has placed you. If you allow the Holy Spirit to work freely within you, others will be blessed as a result.” (“Experiencing God,” Henry and Richard Blackaby, pages 66 and 67)
Our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will continue his sermon series on David during our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Trent Muse will minister at the piano, and Kenton Sorke will minister at the organ. Southwestern Adventist University Vice President for Academic Administration Amy Rosenthal will tell the children’s story, and Sipho Ndebele will offer prayer. Our special music will be congregational singing from the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal! Warm up your voice to help make the Sanctuary resound in musical tribute to God’s glory! Perhaps people passing by will hear, and come in to be part of our light on a hill! Chad Hutchinson will serve as Deacon in Charge. The offering will support Adventist World Radio.
Young Adults, you’ll be inspired at The Middle Service in the Fellowship Hall at 10:15! Rick Weaver will ask the question: “Got Faith?” He’ll have lots of great insights on ways to tap into your God-given gift of faith. Anthony Rosado is planning your music!
We’ll distribute Resurrection Pageant tickets for the three morning performances, invitation cards, and posters, to our church members in the Sanctuary lobby this Sabbath morning! Stop at our table and pick up the quantity you’ll need for your family and friends who wish to attend. Starting on Monday, March 12, ticket distribution sites will be the Adventist Book Center, General Insurance, and Pinnacle Bank in Keene; Texas Conference office in Alvarado; Members Credit Union in Cleburne; and Legacy Dental in Burleson.
Daylight saving time begins after midnight tonight.
- Gentlemen, a hearty breakfast and great camaraderie will brim with enthusiasm because you’re aboard on Sunday morning, March 11, from 9:00 to 11:00 in the Upper Room! Jump in!
- A new weekly Monday night men’s discussion series starts this week, March 12, at 7:00 PM in Gathering Place Room 106. We will be following the “Authentic Man” series by Robert Lewis
Choose LIFE! (Deuteronomy 30:19) Our Spring Evangelism Series starts this Sunday night, March 11, and continues through Saturday night, March 17, at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel.Our guest speaker is Samson Sembeba. Bring your friends! Discover your God-given options!
The monthly Senior Fellowship Dinner will be Thursday evening, March 15, at 5:00 in the Annex. All members, and prospective members, are invited to bring a potluck dish as we enjoy good food, friends, and entertainment.
“Masterpiece,” an art class similar to “Painting with a Twist,” will be brought to you by your Women’s Ministry team on Sabbath, March 17 at 3:00 PM in the Upper Room. We’ll begin with a devotional message, then discover new ways to give glory to God with this creative adventure. Bring your own canvas! (SWAU students contact Mary Ellen Winegardner—firstname.lastname@example.org–to reserve a complimentary canvas!) Email email@example.com to claim your spot!
Wednesday night Bible study will be back on March 21. We’re at the perfect juncture for you to join our trip through the Book of Exodus! As the Israelites prepare to leave Egypt, Pastor James Winegardner reveals fascinating insights on God’s passion and purpose for His people as they seek the Promised Land. We meet in the Chapel at 7:00. We’re live streaming! SWAU students get worship credit, so sign in when you arrive!
There are many ways to get involved with the Resurrection Pageant. We need your help to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the cast and crew of 650 people! Donations of bottled water, bottled drinks, desserts, fresh food and packaged snacks are needed. Please deliver any food items to the church or Fellowship Hall no later than noon Friday, March 30. Monetary donations can be made to the church.
You’re invited to pray for the Resurrection Pageant on Thursday nights, March 15, 22, and 29 at 7:00 in the Prayer Room, which is the former Deacons’ Office. Be a part of our united prayer group meetings for the Pageant! Ursula Falle, who is coordinating Pageant prayer warriors, found this wonderful quote from Ellen G. White: “…The promise is made on the condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers, there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another. We are encouraged to pray for success, with the divine assurance that our prayers will be heard and answered…” Manuscript Releases, vol. 9 p. 303 (Letter 32, 1903, p.5)
Be sure to stop by the Resurrection Pageant table in the lobby to sign up as part of the cast or crew, or to donate.
Keene Adventist Elementary School is a ministry of Keene Church providing Christian education for children Pre-K through 8th grade. KAES offers music, technology, PE to round out a strong academic program. 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. 817-641-6626
- CTA’s 50th Alumni Weekend is Friday night and Sabbath, March 23 and 24, in the Academy Gym. Congratulations!
- CTA invites you to its first annual golf tournament benefiting worthy students, on Friday, March 16. There’ll be food, drawings, prizes, and fellowship! If you’d like to be a sponsor, put together a team, or both, contact Dan Mertz at 530-368-1316. You can pick up an application packet in the CTA office.
- Chisholm Trail Academy will host a visitation day on Wednesday, April 4th. All 8th grade and interested high school students are invited to come to CTA 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.
Southwestern Adventist University is proud to be a part of the Keene Church family. The University’s family-oriented, Christ-centered atmosphere, supported by the Keene Church, offers the right environment for students to learn and grow. These attributes, sustained by strong academics with an emphasis on service and wellness, provide students with the tools necessary to obtain a degree and live a life of service. swau.edu
- The Saxon Lecture Series in Science and Religion will feature George Saxon, retired geophysicist, presenting “Just Remember the Main Thing,” March 17, 4:00 PM, Mabee Center.
- Department of Music Recitals – March 29 and April 5, 7:30 PM, Wharton Auditorium
- SWAU Alumni Weekend is April 12-15.
Carter BloodCare mobile unit will visit us in our upper parking lot on Sabbath, March 24, 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM. Thank you for your faithful generosity that provides blood donations for our community’s wellbeing. Sign up ahead of time at the Welcome desk, if you wish!
College Savings for Your Grandchildren: What Are Your Options? Grandparents, one of our church members thinks that you might like to have this information. She says: “For me it was a huge help to get this info when my grandkids were born – I started a 529 when they were born for them and it’s surprising how fast it can add up.”
Because college education has become an overwhelming expense for students, many grandparents are helping their grandchildren with the costs. Consider the questions below before you decide which option is best for your grandchild’s college education:
- Who needs to have control of the account and who will be involved in the transaction?
- How will financial aid be affected?
- What are the tax advantages?
Here are a few options to consider with these questions in mind:
529 Plan: This plan is one of the most popular options available because earnings are tax-deferred and withdrawals are not taxed when funds are used for qualified expenses (tuition, books and supplies). Plus, you can contribute up to $70,000 annually ($140,000 for a couple) without triggering any sort of gift tax on the fund. Grandparents control the account and have the option to change the beneficiary.
Custodial Account: A UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) or UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) allows gifts and transfers to custodial accounts for minors without having to create a trust. With this option, your grandchild will gain control of the account after reaching a certain age. Currently, a maximum of $14,000 per year may be contributed to this account ($28,000 per couple) without being taxed.
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts: ESAs are similar to 529 plans; however, the funds can be used for K-12 expenses. Annual contributions to this account are capped at $2,000 and eligibility is limited to families with a gross adjusted income of under $110,000 ($220,000 for joint returns). Contributions from all sources are combined for this limit.
Cash or Gifting: Cash (or gifting) is where payment is made directly to the university and allows grandparents to give up to $28,000 per year without dealing with federal gift taxes. Before you make a decision, please talk with your financial adviser and/or tax adviser to determine which option makes the most sense for your circumstances.
Consult your tax adviser regarding tax advantages.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last,” said Jesus, as recorded in John 15:16 . . .
“You were chosen! Isn’t that an incredible thought? Out of all the wild trees of the field, God chose you, lifted you up and out of the brambles and muck, and transplanted you into His royal orchard! Now, you’ve always borne fruit, but before Christ found you, your branches were spindly and your fruit was fit only for the birds. But now that the Master Orchardist is overseeing your care, you’re growing in strength and vigor, and your fruit is holy and fit for eternity. . . .
“O Lord, thank You for choosing me and giving me new life in Christ. I don’t always see holy fruit in my life, but I do believe you are working in me and through me to bear fruit worthy of my King.” (Karla Dornacher, “Sweet as Apple Pie,” p. 10)
May your ordinary days become extraordinary in the Holy Spirit, Forever Family!
Your Keene Church Pastors
Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,