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Keene Church Live Services - May 18, 2019 - YouTube
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Keene Church by Kitty Evans - 1w ago

“With God we soar like eagles” – Keene Adventist Elementary School motto. (School established January 1893)

God Himself took charge of His people, took Jacob on as His personal concern. He found him out in the wilderness, in an empty, windswept wasteland. He threw His arms around him, lavished attention on him, guarding him as the apple of His eye. He was like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly. God alone led him; there was not a foreign god in sight. Deuteronomy 32:9-12, Message

Gazing toward the sun by day or viewing the moon on a clear, star-pierced night, if you’re lucky you’ll see eagles flap and glide along blue thermal currents at 35-45 miles an hour. Soaring upward, propelled on their seven-foot wing span in ever-widening spirals, they seem to suddenly vanish, escaping through the roof of the sky. Then, spotting a white speck from miles distant, they plunge at breathtaking speed past forested mountain crags to snatch fish from splashing river rapids or the sparkling sea–dinner for hungry eaglets back home. Oh, to be so free and powerful! . . . Perched high on a twisted, bony branch, an eagle, observing you with vision roughly that of a human peering through six-power binoculars, seems not so much to look at you but to see into you! Oh, to see life with an eagle’s clear vision! . . . Sporting dark-rimmed yellow irises, yellow beaks, and yellow boots, eagles in flight automatically adjust their intricately created feathers into shapes that respond to different pressures from the air. . . . Oh, to be so adaptable! 

But wait. Eagles are not free. If they succeed in starting a family, they are forever bound to their nest. They build it sturdily, tenderly adding to the same nest year after year using materials such as sticks, mosses, pine needles, grasses, and feathers until the nest may be 12 feet deep and five feet wide, creating a cozy home for their young. When the eaglets are old enough, their parents gradually bring less food to the nest–incentive for the eaglets to hunt on their own. When the fledglings wobble at first flight, their parents are close by to give them a lift . . . A striking metaphor illustrating God’s care for us! (Source: “The American Eagle,” Beyond Words Publishing)  

“Even youths will faint and be weary,” said the prophet Isaiah, “and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (40:30, 31)  Practically and theologically, how does one “soar like an eagle?” How is learning to hope in God like a fledgling bird learning to fly? Compare verse 31 with Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:10-11. How has God “caught” you when you have fallen instead of flying? In what way is He teaching you to fly now?  Here’s a miracle: Even when you are not waiting for the Lord, He has not forgotten His covenant with you! The beautiful assurance of God’s care quoted in our opening passage from Deuteronomy follows hard on the heels of Moses’ no-nonsense reprimand to God’s people for their breach of covenant with God. But God is faithful. He didn’t abandon His covenant with Israel when they faltered. He called them back into relationship with Him. He will keep His covenant with you, too. Trust Him!  “With God we soar like eagles.” 

I will thank you, O God, in front of all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May Your glory shine over all the earth. Psalm 108:3-5

This Sabbath

Keene Adventist Elementary School’s 2019 8th Grade graduating class will lead our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Pastor for Children’s and Family Ministries Travis Patterson and Eighth Grader Samuel Infante will present the message. Annelise Mora will play a flute prelude for first service. During second service Pastor Patterson will baptize Lexi Rosenthal. Danna Salazar will tell the children’s story for both services. Alejandra Munoz will call for the offering, which will support Keene Church Ministries and Operations, during first service, and Andrea Waterman will call for the offering in second service. Diego Saminiego will offer prayer for first service and Sophia Patterson will pray for second service. DaQualyn Duncan will read Scripture for first service and Matthew Castro will do so for second service. The 8th Grade Handbell Quartet will play the offertory, and the 8th Grade Marimba Ensemble will perform before the message. Karen Savignon will play piano and Zuleica Savignon will play the organ. The first service choristers and the second service praise team will be Sophie Jahn, Celeste Galvan, Rashard Isreal, Tomas Lopez, Zephanny Parilla, Dominique Thomas, Sofia Zamleduch. Instrumental Ensemble: Flute: Annelise Mora. Clarinets: Ivory Bradwell, Miriamyelie Gonzalez, Lexi Rosenthal. Tenor Saxophone: Ian Ruch. Trumpet: Danna Salazar. Handbell Quartet: Ivory Bradwell, Lexi Rosenthal, Danna Salazar, Henry Valderrama. Marimba Ensemble: Ivory Bradwell, Alvin Kimanga, Tomas Lopez, Ian Ruch, Danna Salazar, Henry Valderrama, Vusa Tshuma. Steve Bradley will serve as Deacon in Charge.

Young Adults, Pastor Michael Gibson will continue his sermon series, “Ten Steps from Eternity,” at The Middle Service at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall. This week he will discuss “His 12, Your 12.”  Come and enjoy great music and fellowship. Visitors are very welcome!

Traveling Light – Release the burdens you were never meant to bear. Come and join Connections Sabbath School’s new book study beginning today, 10:15 AM in Gathering Place Room 106!

Attention Sanctuary Sabbath School teachers. We invite you to join an important planning meeting today at 2:00 PM in Room 106.

Pathfinder Investiture is today in our Sanctuary at 2:30 PM. Everyone is invited! God bless you, Pathfinders! We are proud of you!

Vacation Bible School teacher training will take place in the Fellowship Hall this Sabbath afternoon from 4:00-6:00, and on May 21, 6:00-8:00 PM.

Pam Tucker presents “Sounds of Grace” in concert tonight at 7:30 in our Sanctuary. Bring your family and friends for an inspiring vesper treat!
 

Our church

In memoriam –  Our longtime church member James Lynn Bothe passed away in Keene last Sabbath morning at age 94. He is survived by his son, Richard Bothe and wife Twyla, of Keene; daughter Jan Gibbons and husband Bob, of Plano; grandchildren Chad Bothe, Kim Picchi and husband Jay, Alex Banton and wife Amanda, Marty Strickland, Carson Gibbons and Meredith Gibbons, and numerous great grandchildren and other family members. His wife Mary Donna (Ball) Bothe preceded him in death. A veteran of the United States Army, Jim owned and operated General Insurance Service in Keene for many years. A private graveside service was planned at Keene Memorial Park Cemetery. Please remember the Bothe family in prayer. 

For those Keene Church members that are delegates for the Texas Conference Constituency that wish to ride the CTA bus on May 19, please plan to be at the CTA parking lot and on the bus so we can depart promptly at 6:30 AM.

Motorcycle breakfast – May 19, 9:00 (26th if it rains on the 19th). Meet in the church’s upper parking lot!

Wednesday night Bible study – James Winegardner will continue our study of “Hebrews – A call to faithfulness.” We’d love to have you join us in our Chapel at 7:00 for fellowship and discovery!

Women’s Spring Tea – Women’s Ministry WINGS will host a spring tea to all women in our church on June 2, 11:00 AM in the Annex. Cheri Gatton, Idaho Conf. Women’s Ministries Director, will discuss “What Gives You Joy?” Bring your favorite teacup! Pr. Cheri will also speak at Camp Meeting!

“KIDS Eat Free this Summer” Did you know that summer is the hungriest time of the year for many children in our community? We need your help! We’re starting a new program, partnering with the Keene Independent School District, to provide backpacks of food for children in Keene. Here are the items that will be needed from May through July:

  • Peanut Butter: 1 12-16 oz jar; Jelly: 1 12-16 oz jar; Ramen Noodles: Box of 6; Fruit Juice: Box of 4-6; Fruit Cups: 4-6 pack; Applesauce: 4-6 pack; Oatmeal (instant): 1 box; Mac and Cheese: 1 box; Ravioli/Spaghettios: 2 cans; Cereal: Box of 6 (individual portions); Granola Bars: Box of 6; Mixed Veggies: 2 Cans.

Please drop any of these items off at the church office. For details, please contact the church office at 817-202-6450.
Vacation Bible School registration continues today! Visit our booth in the Gathering Place or register at vbspro.events/p/keenesdachurch. VBS be June 10-14, 6:00-8:30 PM. Families are invited to enjoy the fun as we visit Athens and learn of Paul’s adventures. Registration is required.
Teacher training, Fellowship Hall May 18, 4:00-6:00, May 21, 6:00-8:00.
VBS Wishlist of Needed Items
Donations can be dropped off in the age 0-2b Sabbath School room with Michelle Karmy. Info: Sarah Coulter 540-908-9428.

  • Supplies:  2000 jingle bells, 12 bags dried beans, staples, 250 glass jars, masking tape, brown shoe polish, clear sealer, tarp, craft sticks, self-adhesive jewels, washable crayons markers, hole punchers, modeling clay, 1-inch dowels, assorted rubber stamps, animal puzzles, stuffed animals 
  • Décor: Large sheets, large heavy blankets, greenery/vines/silk plants, cardboard
  • Food: Linkettes, crackers, hummus, fruit, olives
Our schools

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.

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.

  • Congratulations, Kindergarteners, as you graduate this Sunday evening at 6:30 in the Sanctuary!
  • KAES Graduation, Sanctuary, May 23, 7:00 PM

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.

  • Parent Appreciation is Friday, May 24, 7:30 PM, Sanctuary
  • CTA Baccalaureate is Sabbath, May 25, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
  • CTA Graduation is Saturday night, May 25, 9:00 PM, Sanctuary
Our community

A Memorial Day service will be presented Monday noon, May 27, at Keene Cemetery. A free brunch for veterans and community will be served from 10:00 to 11:30 at the Cemetery Chapel. Veterans, we appreciate you!

Summer Camp –  There is still space available at Lake Whitney Ranch for ages 7 to 14 and 18 to 35 (Teen Week is full). Consider sponsoring a young person to attend camp this summer. It is a life-changing experience as the campers get to know Jesus as their personal friend while participating in fun activities. Find more information at txyouth.org. Click the “Summer Camp” tab at the top.
 

In conclusion

Helen Grace Lescheid tells of a chaplain who was paddling down a river with a friend. “To one side, high on a cliff, sat a bald eagle, its white head feathers glistening in the sun. As we watched, it soared into the blue sky, then swooped into the water, thrusting its strong talons into a big fish.

“But then, the eagle got caught in the rushing current. Up and down it went with its beak firmly in the fish. Then both fish and eagle were sucked under the water. Why doesn’t he let go of the fish, I thought. Why does he insist on keeping it?

“We were startled by a commotion downstream. ‘The eagle,’ I shouted. ‘It’s come up again.’ Sure enough, the majestic bird had broken free of the fish and the deadly torrent and headed for the surrounding rocks. For a moment the bird rested in the sun preening its soggy feathers. Then it spread its enormous wings and rose above the tree tops into the sky.

“‘Aren’t we like that?’ the chaplain asked. ‘At times we feel sucked down into life’s raging torrents.’ Is there something that’s dragging you down? Like the eagle who wouldn’t let go of the fish are you hanging onto a weight of resentment or bitterness or unrealistic expectations of what life should be like? Release it. It’s a weight that will drag you down into despair. Let the spirit of the Risen Christ buoy you up and give you strength to rise above your circumstances.

You are not meant to be tumbling in the undertow, you are meant to soar. Because Christ lives in you, you can live triumphantly.” (thoughts-about-god.com

Soar joyfully in the everlasting way, friend! (Psalm 139:24)

Your Keene Church Pastors
 

Psalm 91
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”
(New Living Translation)

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Keene Church Live Services - May 11, 2019 - YouTube
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Keene Church by Lillianne Lopez - 2w ago

Waaaaay back in the early ‘80s, my brother was a newly minted pastor in Houston, Texas. During those early years he delivered a couple of sermons that have stuck in my mind for all of these years.

One of those sermons was based on a purely hypothetical question that, at that time, felt so extremely unlikely that it was almost a joke:

What would you do if you knew you had seven minutes to live?

That’s not a sermon anyone would preach in our post 9/11 world. I believe there would be little of the congregational interaction that occurred when my brother preached this sermon – people jumping to the hypothetical spirit of the question and calling out ideas – but a general solemn, introspective silence as members of the congregation as they contemplated the very non-hypothetical reality many faced during the 9/11 attacks.

We learned in the most horrific ways what people said and did when they realized that they were about to die…and remembering still breaks my heart, for more than the obvious reasons.

“Kevin Cosgrove, a 45-year-old father-of-three, was still on the phone to emergency services when the South Tower collapsed. … ‘Come on, I can barely breathe now – can’t see. It’s really bad, it’s black, it’s arid. We’re young men, not ready to die.’

“Melissa C. Doi was a graduate of Northwestern University, with dreams of becoming a ballerina. … The terrified young woman phoned 911 from the 83rd floor of Tower 2.

MD: I’m going to die, aren’t I?

911: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, say your, ma’am, say your prayers.

MD: I’m going to die.

911: You gotta think positive, because you gotta help each other get off the floor.

MD: I’m going to die.

911: Now look, stay calm, stay calm, stay calm, stay calm.

MD: Please God…

“Melissa Harrington Hughes was only in New York for one day on business. … ‘I just wanted to let you know I love you and I’m stuck in this building in New York.

‘There’s lots of smoke and I just wanted you to know that I love you always.’

“CeeCee Lyles, a mother-of-four, was one of the flight attendants working on board Flight United 93.

“CeeCee, the rest of the crew, and the passengers aboard the plane decided to try and overpower the hijackers, in a bid to stop them crashing the plane into another building.

“This is the message that CeeCee’s husband found on his voicemail.

“‘Hi baby. I’m, baby, you have to listen to me carefully. I’m on a plane that’s been hijacked. I’m on the plane, I’m calling from the plane.

“‘I want to tell you that I love you. Please tell my children that I love them very much. And I’m so sorry baby. … there’s planes that have been flown into the World Trade Centre.

“‘I hope to see your face again, baby. I love you.”

“Brian David Sweeney was a passenger on Flight 175, one of the planes hijacked by terrorists on 9/11 and flown into the World Trade Centre’s South Tower.

“He left a voicemail for his wife Julie that day.

“‘Jules, this is Brian. Listen, I’m on an airplane that’s been hijacked.

“‘…I just want you to know that I absolutely love you.

“‘I want you to do good, go have good times – same to my parents and everybody.’”[1]

Now, please don’t think I’m faulting anybody anywhere for what they do when faced with death. I have no idea what I would do – very possibly, absolutely nothing. But as I thought about these messages and the responses that my brother got all those years ago … well, lets just say, sitting in a safe, air conditioned church, we often believed that we would spend time telling the people around us about their need for Jesus. I realize now that that is extremely wishful thinking. And yet, …

“If you saw the movie “Titanic,” you know much of what took place 87 years ago tonight, when the ship that even God couldn’t sink, DID sink. Of the 1,528 people who ended up in the icy water, only six were rescued. But did you know that one of those six was actually saved twice that night?

“His story is an inspiring reminder that there’s more to life than mere survival.

“To tell this man’s story, though, I have to first tell you about another man, a Scot named John Harper. Harper, a minister of the Gospel, boarded the Titanic with his six-year-old daughter, Nana. He planned to travel to the Moody Church in Chicago, where he’d been invited to preach for three months. When the ship struck the fateful iceberg and began to sink, Harper made sure his daughter was placed into one of the lifeboats. He then began what would be the last evangelistic work of his young life.

“As the freezing waters began to fill the ship, Harper was heard shouting, ‘Let the women, children and the unsaved into the lifeboats.’ Survivors reported that Harper took off his own life jacket and gave it to another man. ‘Don’t worry about me,’ he reportedly said, ‘I’m not going down, I’m going up!’

“When the ship began to sink, more than 1,500 passengers jumped or fell into the icy waters. As they gradually drowned or froze to death, Harper was seen swimming from one passenger to another, pleading with them to accept Christ.

“Only six of the 1,500 people struggling in the water were later rescued, including a man who later identified himself as Harper’s last convert. This young man had climbed up on a piece of debris. Harper, who was struggling in the water near him, shouted out, ‘Are you saved?’ ‘No,’ the man replied. Harper then shouted the words from Scripture: ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ The man did not answer, and a moment later he drifted away on the waves.

“A few minutes later, the current brought the two men back together. Again Harper asked, ‘Are you saved?’ Once again, the answer was ‘no.’ With his dying breath, Harper shouted, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’ He then slipped under the waves for the last time.

“Then and there, the man he had witnessed to decided to turn his life over to Christ. Four years later, at a Titanic survivors meeting in Ontario, Canada, this man tearfully gave his testimony recounting how John Harper had led him to the Lord.” [2]

Who knows, maybe there were folks on those airplanes or in the towers who were leading people to Jesus with their last breaths … I kind of hope so.

How can I get to the place where my first thought in a crisis is not about myself, but about sharing Jesus? I have to think that a big part of that is spending the safe moments of my life creating the habit of talking about Jesus – not just when I’m in church, not just with my Christian friends, but in every situation of my life so that when I am faced with the surety of death, the words, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” will come spilling out of my heart.

That is my prayer; is it yours?

Lillianne Winegardner Lopez    5.10.2019

How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life.

Admiral James T. Kirk

Don Spangler, also known as Spanky, retired from Southern California Gas Company in 1998. One of the first things he did was to throw out all his suits and ties. Spanky planned to retire to a life on the river, wearing shorts or bathing suits.

Spanky spent his days on the Colorado River, boating, water skiing, and partying with his friends. He was also building his dream house. Spanky lived his fantasy life for five years. Right after moving into his huge new home, he found out he was dying. A year later, at age 60, Spanky was dead.

Spanky had always lived larger than life. His booming voice and large 6-foot-3-inch frame, made him a monstrous presence. Wherever he went, a party followed, even at a child’s soccer practice. When he partied, he wanted the music at top volume. When he bought a boat, he wanted it to be the fastest. When he got interested in salt-water fish tanks, they had to be huge. He rode anything that went fast—high-powered dirt bikes, dune buggies and boats with super-charged hydro engines. He was fanatical about his equipment. It had to be the best, and it had to be perfectly maintained. His cars had to be black or white, and his boats, bathing suits, and caps had to be red. It was a declaration of his love for life. Robin Hinch writes:

Death didn’t come as easily to Spanky as life. He could not acknowledge the seriousness of his illness and called it “just a little inconvenience.”

“Next week, I’ll be back on the river,” he insisted toward the end.

And he did not, as the famous Dylan Thomas poem suggests, “go gentle into that good night.”

Spanky, in fact, fought death for hours after his family assured him it was okay to let go. And at the very end, he threw his arms up over his head, as if to ward off the angels that were coming for him, and uttered one last word: “NO!”

Robin Hinch

Weep not for me, but for yourselves. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, through the mediation of His blessed Son, receives me, though a sinner. We shall meet to sing the new song, and remain everlastingly happy.

John Bunyan

I am ready to die for my Lord that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.

Thomas à Becket

I go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from school. I feel so strong in Christ.

Adoniram Judson

I will see Jesus; I shall see Him as He is! I have had the light for many years. Oh how bright it is! I feel so safe and satisfied!

Sir David Brewster

If it were God’s will to raise me up [from this sickbed], I should like to preach from the text, John 3:16. Praise be to the Lord.

Henry Moorhouse

My affections are so much in heaven that I can leave you all without a regret; yet I do not love you less, but God more.

William Wilberforce

Beyond the grave comes heaven. Well, it will be strange to find myself in Heaven, but it won’t be a strange Christ–One I’ve known these many years. I am glad He knows me. I have a deep peace, which you know.

John Nelson Darby

Most of the death row inmates were in their bunks wrapped in blankets, staring blankly at little black-and-white TV screens, killing time. But in one cell a man was sitting on his bunk, reading. As I approached, he looked up and showed me his book—an instruction manual on Episcopal liturgy.

John Irving, on death row for more than 15 years, was studying for the priesthood. John told me he was allowed out of his cell one hour each day. The rest of the time, he studies.

Seeing that John had nothing in his cell but a few books, I thought, God’s blessed me so much, the least I can do is provide something for this brother. “Would you like a TV if I could arrange it?” I asked.

John smiled gratefully. “Thanks,” he said, “but no thanks. You can waste an awful lot of time with those things.” For the 15 years since a judge placed a number on his days, John has determined not to waste the one commodity he had to give to the Lord—his time.

Charles Colson

The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. That is the verse on which I am now dying. One wants no more.

Brownlow North

This letter was written by Southern Baptist Missionary to Iraq, Karen Watson, prior to leaving for the Middle East. The letter was dated March 7, 2003. Karen was killed, along with four other missionaries, on March 15, 2004.

Dear Pastor Phil and Pastor Roger:

You should only be opening this letter in the event of my death.

When God calls there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn’t called to a place. I was called to him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, his glory my reward, his glory my reward.

One of the most important things to remember right now is to preserve the work….I am writing this as if I am still working with my people group.

I thank you all so much for your prayers and support. Surely your reward in heaven will be great. Thank you for investing in my life and spiritual well-being. Keep sending missionaries out. Keep raising up fine young pastors.

In regards to any service, keep it small and simple. Yes, simply, just preach the gospel….Be bold and preach the life-saving, life-changing, forever-eternal gospel. Give glory and honor to our Father.

The Missionary Heart:

Care more than some think is wise.

Risk more than some think is safe.

Dream more than some think is practical.

Expect more than some think is possible.

I was called not to comfort or success but to obedience….There is no joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving him. I love you two and my church family.

In his care,

Salaam,

Karen

Jesus called the other day to say he was passing through and [wondered if] he could spend a day or two with us.

I said, “Sure. Love to see you. When will you hit town?”

I mean, it’s Jesus, you know, and it’s not every day you get the chance to visit with him. It’s not like it’s your in-laws and you have to stop and decide whether the advantages outweigh your having to move to the sleeper sofa.

That’s when Jesus told me he was actually at a convenience store out by the interstate.

I must have gotten that Bambi-in-headlights look, because my wife hissed, “What is it? What’s wrong? Who is that?”

So I covered the receiver and told her Jesus was going to arrive in eight minutes, and she ran out of the room and started giving guidance to the kids—in that effective way that Marine drill instructors give guidance to recruits. …

My mind was already racing with what needed to be done in the next eight—no seven—minutes so Jesus wouldn’t think we were reprobate loser slobs.

I turned off the TV in the den, which was blaring some weird scary movie I’d been half watching. But I could still hear screams from our bedroom, so I turned off the reality show it was tuned to. Plus, I turned off the kids’ set out on the sun porch, because I didn’t want to have to explain Jon & Kate Plus Eight to Jesus, either, six minutes from now.

My wife had already thinned out the magazines that had been accumulating on the coffee table. She put Christianity Today on top for a good first impression. Five minutes to go.

I looked out the front window, but the yard actually looked great thanks to my long, hard work, so I let it go. What could I improve in four minutes anyway?

I did notice the mail had come, so I ran out to grab it. Mostly it was Netflix envelopes and a bunch of catalogs tied into recent purchases, so I stuffed it back in the box. Jesus doesn’t need to get the wrong idea—three minutes from now—about how much on-line shopping we do.

I ran back in and picked up a bunch of shoes left by the door. Tried to stuff them in the front closet, but it was overflowing with heavy coats and work coats and snow coats and pretty coats and raincoats and extra coats. We live in the South; why’d we buy so many coats? I squeezed the shoes in with two minutes to go.

I plumped up sofa pillows, my wife tossed dishes into the sink, I scolded the kids, and she shooed the dog. With one minute left I realized something important: Getting ready for a visit from Jesus is not an eight-minute job.

Then the doorbell rang.

Doug Mendenhall

Our God is the God from whom cometh salvation. God is the Lord by whom we escape death! Into Thy hands I commit my spirit; God of truth, Thou hast redeemed me!” Martin Luther

[1] Kayleigh Dray, “Remembering 9/11: The final messages sent by victims of the Twin Towers attack,” Closer Online, 07 09 2015,  closeronline.co.uk/real-life/news/remembering-911-final-messages-sent-victims-twin-towers-attack/

[2] Charles W. Colson, “Twice Saved – On the Titanic,” faithHUB, faithhub.net/twice-saved-on-the-titanic/

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Keene Church by Kitty Evans - 2w ago

Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider He has thrown into the sea.” Exodus 15:20

You will go out with joy and go forward in peace.
The mountains and the hills will burst into singing,
and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Isaiah 55:12 

We recommend that you read all of Exodus 15 and Isaiah 55! In Miriam’s day, Israel had been held captive a long time. Then, at the Red Sea and beyond, life was a roller coaster of twists and turns, victory and defeat, just as it is now! So how should we respond? With praise!  God “inhabits (is enthroned on) the praise of His people” (Psalm 22:3)!  In an essay titled “A Word About Praising” in his short book, Reflection on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis wrote: “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of  the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with.” 

Sam Storms blogs: “God’s pursuit of our praise of Him is not weak self-seeking but the epitome of self-giving love! If our satisfaction in God is incomplete until expressed in praise of Him for satisfying us with Himself (note well, with Himself, not His gifts), then God’s effort to elicit my worship . . . is both the most loving thing He could possibly do for me and the most glorifying thing He could possibly do for Himself. For in our gladness in Him is His glory in us.” 

Festooned as we are in flamboyant wildflowers and lush green cathedrals this May, you might delight in praising God by praying some Psalms outdoors! Check our suggestions at the foot of today’s newsletter!
 

This Sabbath

Our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, will preach for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. Keene Worship Choir will exalt God with several magnificent choral numbers, accompanied by Johnson and Lerie Dellosa at the organ and the piano. Pastor for Administration Rick Weaver will inform us of Johnson County’s support for our senior citizens, and Southwestern Adventist University Vice President Russ Laughlin will tell the children’s story. Young Adults Pastor Michael Gibson will call for the offering, which will support Adventist Development and Relief Agency. Mickey Johnson will offer congregational prayer. During second service Russ Laughlin will dedicate baby Spencer Shockey, and Pastor for Family and Children’s Ministries Travis Patterson will baptize Nate Bradley. Chad Hutchinson will serve as Deacon in Charge.

Young Adults, Pastor Michael Gibson begins a new sermon series, “Ten Steps from Eternity,” at The Middle Service in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00. Today’s topic is “Why Jesus Wants You to Leave the Church.” On May 18 Pastor Gibson will discuss “His 12, Your 12,” and on May 25, “Living Life in 3D.” Come and enjoy music, prayer, and friendship, too!

Traveling Light – Release the burdens you were never meant to bear. Come and join Connections Sabbath School’s new book study beginning today, 10:15 AM in Gathering Place Room 106!

“Bible by Design” Today and May 25 – Pastor James Winegardner continues a creative Bible overview from 2:30-3:30 PM in Room 106. Come and join in! This group meets on the second and fourth Sabbath every month.

Keene Worship Choir’s 2019 Church Choir Festival is today, 6:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Our guest choirs are from Tyler, Texas. Each choir will share sacred music and join KWC in anthems that will touch your soul and lift you up toward the Savior. Doors open at 5:30 PM.  
 

Our church

Breakfast Club – Women’s Ministry invites you to mingle at our monthly Breakfast Club at 8:30 AM Monday, May 13, Olivia’s Restaurant in Keene. Drop in, buy your own breakfast, and get acquainted with other ladies!

Grief Recovery – May 14, Room 106. Info: soniavergel@yahoo.com.

Wednesday night Bible study – James Winegardner has just introduced a compelling topic: “Hebrews – A call to faithfulness.” Be in our Chapel at 7:00 on May 15 for the second night of this new Bible study! We had a great turnout last Wednesday night! Come early!

Postum with a Pastor! Stop by Mountain Coffee, Keene, on Thursday, May 16, 4:00, enjoy a cup of Postum, and visit with Mary Ellen Winegardner!

Finance Committee – Thursday, May 16, 7:00 PM.

Attention Sanctuary Sabbath School teachers. We invite you to an important planning meeting Sabbath, May 18, at 2:00 PM in Room 106.

The Retirees Fellowship will meet Thursday, May 16, at 5:00 PM in The Annex. The meal will be catered by the Chisholm Trail Academy senior class, and the entertainment will be Terry Darnell and Friends.

Coming soon! Watch for more information!

  • Motorcycle breakfast, May 19, 9:00 (26th if it rains on the 19th). Meet in the church’s upper parking lot and enjoy the ride..
  • Women’s Ministry Spring Tea is June 2 at 11:00 AM at the Annex. You’re going to love it! Ask those who attended last year!

For those Keene Church members that are delegates for the Texas Conference Constituency that wish to ride the CTA bus on May 19, please plan to be at the CTA parking lot and on the bus so we can depart promptly at 6:30 on Sunday morning.

“KIDS Eat Free this Summer – Did you know that summer is the hungriest time of the year for many children in our community? We need your help! We’re starting a new program, partnering with the Keene Independent School District, to provide backpacks of food for children in Keene. Here are the items that will be needed from May through July:

  • Peanut Butter: 1 12-16 oz jar; Jelly: 1 12-16 oz jar; Ramen Noodles: Box of 6; Fruit Juice: Box of 4-6; Fruit Cups: 4-6 pack; Applesauce: 4-6 pack; Oatmeal (instant): 1 box; Mac and Cheese: 1 box; Ravioli/Spaghettios: 2 cans; Cereal: Box of 6 (individual portions); Granola Bars: Box of 6; Mixed Veggies: 2 Cans.

Please drop off any of these items at the church office. Info: 817-202-6450.

Keene Camp Meeting – May 29 to June 1
We need help baking pumpkin bread.  If you can, please sign up at the information desk, grab a can of pumpkin and a recipe card! Thanks!

Vacation Bible School –June 10 to 14
Vacation Bible School registration starts today! Visit us at our booth in the Gathering Place or register online at vbspro.events/p/keenesdachurch. Our VBS program will run June 10-14 from 6:00-8:30 PM. Families are invited to enjoy the fun together as we visit Athens and learn of Paul’s adventures. Each attending member must register. Hope to see you there!
VBS teacher training – 4:00 – 6:00 May 18 and 6:00 – 8:00 May 21 in the Fellowship Hall.
VBS Wishlist of Needed Items
Donations can be dropped off in the age 0-2b Sabbath School room with Michelle Karmy. Info: Sarah Coulter 540-908-9428.

  • Supplies:  2000 jingle bells, 12 bags dried beans, staples, 250 glass jars, masking tape, brown shoe polish, clear sealer, tarp, craft sticks, self-adhesive jewels, washable crayons markers, hole punchers, modeling clay, 1-inch dowels, assort. rubber stamps, animal puzzles, stuffed animals 
  • Décor: Large sheets, large heavy blankets, greenery/vines/silk plants, cardboard
  • Food: Linkettes, crackers, hummus, fruit, olives
Our schools

Chisholm Trail Academy Gymnastics Homeshow is tonight at 8:30. Everyone is invited, admission is free, come out and enjoy! 

CTA Constituency meeting:  May 12, 6:00 PM at the Academy

Keene Adventist Elementary School Constituency meeting: May 13, 7:00 PM, at the Elementary School.

KAES Piano Recital – Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 PM, MaBee Center.
 

Our community

Pam Tucker presents “Sounds of Grace” in concert on Saturday night, May 18, 7:30 in our Sanctuary.

Contagious Faith will have an English/Spanish worship concert May 18 at 7:00 PM at Joshua Spanish Koinonia, 1733 Conveyor Dr. Free admission, doors open at 6:30 PM. Merchandise / CDs available!
 

Our finances

FY 2018/2019 Ministries and Operations budget: $767,808.00
Donations Needed by May 31, 2019 – $703,824.00
Donations Received through May 4, 2019 – $631,297.11
Amount still needed this month – $ 72,526.89
Sanctuary HVAC (air conditioning) total cost – $550,000.00
Sanctuary HVAC project donations received thru May 4, 2019 – $328,706.52
Amount still needed – $221,293.48
KAES gymnasium project total cost target (phase 1) – $750,000.00
Southwestern Union Conference Support – $ 75,000.00
Texas Conference Support – $150,000.00
Keene Church donations received through May 4, 2019 – $241,669.44
KAES direct donations – $391,669.44
Today: ADRA Disaster and Famine Relief; Next Week: Church Budget
 

In conclusion

Would you like to start a retreat with Jesus? Pray a Psalm in its nature setting!  Bill Gaultiere suggests:

  • Sit near a tree and meditate on Psalms 1 and 92
  • Take a walk with Jesus on a path, considering Psalm 16
  • Look up at the night sky and contemplate Psalm 19
  • Pray by a fountain or any flowing water and meditate on Psalm 36
  • Listen to “the Deep” in God calling to you through Psalm 42
  • Pick a quiet spot by a lake to be still with Jesus and pray Psalm 46
  • Find a rock–a large one to sit on or a small one to hold–and read Psalm 62
  • Find a drought-tolerant plant and, studying Psalm 63, ask God to quench your spiritual thirst
  • Sit in a greasy area and consider how you, like the grass, need continual water to live (Psalm 72:6)
  • Read Psalm 104 and listen to how beautifully the birds praise their Creator!

Have a praiseful prayer adventure, Forever Family!

Your Keene Church Pastors

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen

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Keene Church Live Services - May 4, 2019 - YouTube
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Keene Church by Kitty Evans - 3w ago

He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.” These were His last words. As they watched, He was taken up and disappeared in a cloud.” Acts 1:7-9 Message

Jesus’ disciples stood at the threshold of cosmic change. For three years God had walked among them, healed, helped and saved; and they were impressed! For forty days after His resurrection He met with some of them and further explained His kingdom. They still didn’t get that they weren’t just spectators to a coup. They were to live God’s kingdom into the next generations. It would happen in much the same way: healing, helping, and in the name of Jesus rescuing those who didn’t know Him. Through tumultuous centuries to come the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus, would inhabit the faithful’s ministry of love and praise. Assurance in Jesus would quench humanity’s thirst like this morning’s dew sparkling on fragrant Texas wildflowers.

This weekend Southwestern Adventist University’s Class of 2019–and other college graduates around the country–will attend dedication and baccalaureate services, hug, eat, and cheer among family and friends, and graduate at commencement services. They’ll have a basic idea what they’re commencing to–after all, they’ve been studying for sixteen or more years to get here–but much is unknown. The path is clear, though. If you’re walking daily with God, you will not have to find His will. You will always be in it, with the Holy Spirit to guide you! “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” Jesus said. “No one comes to the Father except through me.” The disciples never had to ask Jesus where they should go. They simply stayed close to Him. Too often, we’d rather follow a GPS than cultivate a relationship. We can become more concerned about our future than with walking intimately with God today. He asks us to work heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. (Colossians 3:23) There is an important difference between doing something for people and doing something for God. Working for God, as opposed to working for other people, changes our perspective as we view our endeavors in light of what He has done for us. Our toil then becomes an offering to God. (Portions of this narrative are excerpted from “The Message,” by Eugene Peterson, and from “Experiencing God,” by Henry and Richard Blackaby.)
 

This Sabbath

Speaking for our 9:00 Sanctuary worship service this morning is Hazel Marroquin, a graduating Theology student at Southwestern Adventist University. Ms. Marroquin has served you as one of our student pastors this year. Emily de la Garza will tell the children’s story, and Larry Turner will offer congregational prayer. Hailey Feese, Grace Evermore, Hayden and Juliana, Shaun Shepherd, Ryan Tharp, and United Kids Praise Team will provide music. Rick Weaver will call for the offering, which will support Keene Church Ministries and Operations. Sam Hernandez will serve as Deacon in Charge.

Southwestern Adventist University’s Baccalaureate service will be held in theUniversity’s Leiske Pultar Gymnasium at 11:30. You are welcome to attend! There will be no 11:30 service in the Sanctuary.

Young Adults, Joshua Aguilar, graduating this weekend with Southwestern’s Class of 2019, will speak for The Middle Service in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00.His sermon title is “Scared or Dared.” Next week, Elevate begins a new sermon series, “Ten Steps from Eternity.” You’ll want to be there!

Southwestern Adventist University’s Graduation Sabbath School will be held in Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium. We invite you to join them or visit the Chapel Sabbath School, the Young at Heart Sabbath School, or the Young Adults’ Middle Service here at the church. The Sanctuary Sabbath School won’t meet this week.

Attention Parents and Grandparents! Please pick up your children from Sabbath School at 11:15. We need to allow time for our teachers to clean up and join their families for second service worship. (Children left in Sabbath School may be given a free energy drink and a pet ferret…)

General church fellowship potluck will not meet in May.

“Masterpiece,” 
a class similar to “Painting with a Twist,” is brought to you today at 4:30 in the Annex! If possible, bring your own 11×14 canvas.
 

Our church

Terri Bunch from Home Instead will talk about the services they provide for seniors at our Meals on Wheels congregate lunch and Senior Exercise class on Monday, May 6, at 12:30 and 1:00 PM at the Annex.

Exercise class for seniors meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 PM in the Annex. Anyone can attend!

From Hurt to Hope – death…divorce…depression… Tuesday night, May 7, 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 –  On May 8, James Winegardner introduces a compelling topic: “Hebrews – A call to faithfulness.” Be in the Keene Church Chapel at 7:00 for the first night of this new Bible study!

Please join us for a church business meeting on Wednesday, May 8, at 8:00 PM (immediately after Bible Study in the Chapel) to finalize our 2019/2020 Church Budget.

Traveling Light –  Release the burdens you were never meant to bear. Come and join Connections Sabbath School’s new book study beginning May 11, 10:15 AM in Gathering Place Room 106!

The Keene Worship Choir invites you to come to their 2019 Church Choir Festival on Sabbath, May 11, 6:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Our guest choirs this year are from Tyler, Texas. Each choir will share sacred music with us and, together with the KWC, will bless you with anthems that touch your soul and lift you up toward the Savior. Doors open at 5:30 PM.  

Breakfast Club – Women’s Ministry invites you to mingle at our monthly Breakfast Club at 8:30 AM Monday, May 13, Olivia’s Restaurant in Keene. Drop in, buy your own breakfast, and get acquainted with other ladies!

Grief Recovery Group – May 14 at 7:30 PM in Room 106. For questions please contact Sonia Vergel at soniavergel@yahoo.com.

Postum with a Pastor! Stop by Mountain Coffee in Keene on Thursday, May 16, 4:00 PM, enjoy a cup of Postum or another drink, and visit with Mary Ellen Winegardner!
 
Coming soon! Watch for more information!

  • Women’s Breakfast Club, May 13, 8:30 AM, Olivia’s Restaurant
  • Motorcycle breakfast, May 19, 9:00. Meet in church upper parking lot. 26th If it rains on 19th.
  • Women’s Ministry Tea is June 2 at 11:00 AM at the Annex, with Pastor Cheri Gatton speaking.

“KIDS Eat Free this Summer”– Did you know that summer is the hungriest time of the year for many children in our community? We need your help! We’re starting a new program, partnering with the Keene Independent School District, to provide backpacks of food for children in Keene. Here are the items that will be needed from May through July:

  • Peanut Butter: 1 12-16 oz jar; Jelly: 1 12-16 oz jar; Ramen Noodles: Box of 6; Fruit Juice: Box of 4-6; Fruit Cups: 4-6 pack; Applesauce: 4-6 pack; Oatmeal (instant): 1 box; Mac and Cheese: 1 box; Ravioli/Spaghettios: 2 cans; Cereal: Box of 6 (individual portions); Granola Bars: Box of 6; Mixed Veggies: 2 Cans.

Please drop any of these items off at the church office. For details, please contact the church office at 817-202-6450.
 

Keene Camp Meeting – May 29 – June 1

This is us! Plan now to attend Keene Camp Meeting, Wednesday – Sabbath, May 29 -June 1! Speakers include Professors Denis Kaiser, Stan Patterson, Ranko Stefanovic, Godfrey Miranda (Youth). Watch for details about schedule, food, seminars, and housing at KeeneCampMeeting.com. Invite your friends!

Vacation Bible School 
  • VBS 2019- Teachers still needed. If you want to make a difference in the lives of our young people, this is your opportunity. We are aiming to reach 180 people through our VBS program. Currently we have enough teachers to reach 105 people. Help us expand our impact. If you are available June 10-14 and desire to use your talents and skills to spread God’s love, call or text Sarah Coulter 540-908-9428.
  • VBS Wishlist of Needed Items – If you also would like to help out in other ways. Here is a list of items that we are needing to put together. Donations can be dropped off in the age 0-2b Sabbath school room with Michelle Karmy. If you would like to help with food items please text or call Sarah Coulter with your information so we can contact you as we get closer to the program date.
  • Supplies:  Markers, 800 plastic gold coins, 200 coin pouches, 24 sharpies, 24 red dry erase markers, plastic spoons, 500 paper plates, staplers, 10 hole punchers, 1000 jingle bells, yarn, crayons, markers, masking tape, 200 empty water bottles, 250 small terra cotta pots, sequins, self-adhesive jewels, play-doh, scissors, colorful pony beads, transparent tape, glue dots, colored pencils, protractors, plastic vine greenery, ribbon, green yarn, calligraphy ink,  1-inch dowel, butcher paper, rubber stamps, modeling clay
  •  Décor: Baskets, Large sheets, Large Heavy Blankets, Greenery/Vines/Silk Plants, Cardboard
  •  Food: Linkettes, Crackers, Hummus, Fruit, Olives

Our schools

Southwestern Adventist University
Congratulations, and God bless you, Graduates! Thank you for the energy, intellect, spirituality and fun that you have contributed to your community during your years of study at Southwestern Adventist University. We have appreciated worshiping with you at Keene Church, and we hope that you will think of us now and then. Please come back to visit us as you pursue and embrace the future.

Keene Adventist Elementary School

  • KAES Piano Recital “Duos & Quartets”- Wednesday, May 15, 6:30 PM at MaBee Center.
  • Eighth Grade Graduation Baccalaureate – May 18, 2019, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
  • Kindergarten Graduation – May 19, 6:30 PM, Sanctuary
  • Eighth Grade Graduation – May 23, Sanctuary

Chisholm Trail Academy

  • Graduation Baccalaureate – May 25, 11:30 AM, Sanctuary
  • Graduation – May 25, 9:00 PM, Sanctuary

Our community

Pam Tucker will present a concert, “Sounds of Grace,” in our Sanctuary on Saturday night, May 18, at 7:30.
 

eBulletin board

Furniture for sale! Are you graduating this month and moving into your own place? Getting married and furnishing your first home on a shoestring budget? Just arrived in Texas and need a few household extras? One of our church members is moving to a different state and has a variety of furniture and large appliances to sell. Info: email secretary@keenechurch.com or maryellenwinegardner@gmail.com.
 

In conclusion

“The story of Jesus doesn’t end with Jesus. It continues in the lives of those who believe in Him. The supernatural does not stop with Jesus. Luke makes it clear that the Christians he wrote about were no more spectators of Jesus than Jesus was a spectator of God–they are in on the action of God. God is acting in them. God living in them. Which also means, of course, in us.” (Eugene Peterson, “The Message,” Introduction to Acts)

Isn’t that great news, friend? Jesus is your Forever Teacher!

Your Keene Church Pastors
 

‘Tis So Sweet
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, 
and to take him at his word; 
just to rest upon his promise, 
and to know, “Thus saith the Lord.” 

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him! 
How I’ve proved him o’er and o’er! 
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! 
O for grace to trust him more! 

O how sweet to trust in Jesus, 
just to trust his cleansing blood; 
and in simple faith to plunge me 
neath the healing, cleansing flood! [Refrain]

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, 
just from sin and self to cease; 
just from Jesus simply taking 
life and rest, and joy and peace. [Refrain]
(Louisa Stead)

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