Come and See

Advertising is important. Gliding past the city of Fort Worth in your automobile on the Interstate, for example, this month you might glimpse a beautiful billboard inviting you to visit the Kimbell Art Museum’s “Monet: The Early Years” exhibition. A few days later, you might find yourself nestled in a Kimbell gallery among throngs of other art lovers, feasting your eyes on Claude Monet’s early masterpieces. Or, motoring along a Dallas bypass, you might spot a giraffe sculpture gazing over spreading oak trees, beckoning you to visit the Zoo. Soon you’re taking your children to enjoy a day among the animals, marveling at God’s fascinating creativity. And in 2017, it’s not just billboards that convey good information; there are countless ways to communicate on social media, the airwaves, print media, and more.

As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, by God’s grace we’ve historically crested the media wave to tell the world about Jesus’ love. Our early church leaders printed tracts and magazines; H.M.S. Richards, Sr., William Fagal, and George Vandeman were true religious broadcasting pioneers, establishing “The Voice of Prophecy” radio broadcast, “Faith for Today” television, and “It Is Written” television, respectively. C.D. Brooks and Walter Arties soon launched “The Breath of Life” broadcasts; and Braulio Perez Marcio and Milton Peverini established “La Voz de la Esperanza.” Ministries to reach “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people” (Revelation 5:9) in their own country and language arose in our church; and just a few months ago, Dwight Nelson, preaching from Andrews University, led a cutting-edge “Hope Trending” interactive Internet outreach to share Jesus with small groups around the world, with enthusiastic host families participating right here in Keene.

The beauty of small groups and local outreach is this: When introducing people to Jesus, is there anything quite as effective as a personal invitation to encounter their Savior and Lord? God takes the initiative preparing individual hearts, of course. Jesus said, in John 6:35, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.” John 6:35 And again, when Peter recognized Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus said: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 16:17 Jesus, reading hearts that were drawn to him, reached out to connect. When two of John the Baptist’s disciples asked where Jesus was staying, He invited them: “Come and see.” John 1:38-39 One of these men, Andrew, told his brother Peter: “We have found the Messiah . . . and he brought him to Jesus.” v. 41, 42 The next day Jesus invited Philip, “Follow me.” And Philip, in turn, brought Nathaniel to meet Jesus. v. 43-49. Later, when Zacchaeus, in whom God was obviously working, climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus, the Lord knew he was there and invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house so they could spend time together. Luke 19:1-10 This year, let’s watch for people who have seeking hearts, and personally bring them to church to meet Jesus, and to find a worship home with our Forever Family.

This Sabbath

In our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services, our Senor Pastor, James Winegardner, will preach his first sermon of 2017. You’ll definitely want to hear the message that the Lord has given him to bring us! Aaron and Melva Hwang and Ace and Mikki Eclar will provide our vocal music, Gigi Marquart will play the cello, and Katelyn Pauls and Trent Muse will minister at the piano. Daniel Mertz will provide the children’s story, and our Student Pastor, Josh Ramirez, will offer prayer. Cinthia Azevedo, Cecile Rogers, and Urie Rogers will join our congregation by Profession of Faith. Dennis Habenicht will serve as Deacon of the Day, and this week’s offering will be for Texas Vision.

The Middle Service will welcome you to its first gathering of the new year, with Pastor Albert Handal preaching about “New Beginnings.” Conner Mason is preparing great music for you! Come and enjoy worshiping with your young adult friends again, catching up after your Christmas break!

Ministries Leaders’ Summit is this Sabbath afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00 at Travis and Aimee Patterson’s home. We’ll have important planning for the Ministries Fair, along with good food and leadership training. Contact Pastor Travis if you can’t make it.

Open season to join Keene Worship Choir is this Sabbath through January 21. We need soprano, alto, tenor, and bass singers! Come to choir rehearsal this afternoon at 4:00 in the Chapel!

Announcements

We had a great family fitness night last Tuesday! Come join us in the Annex on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM! This physical activity focused time is for all ages and levels of ability. Enjoy a variety of ways to move and stretch, and benefit from friendly fellowship as well. Sponsored by your Wellness Team. We’ll see you at the Ministry Fair on January 21!

Your friends at Study, Prayer, and Fellowship (SPF) hope you’ll join us next Wednesday night at 7:00 in the Chapel. There’s lots to learn from the second half of the book of Genesis as Pastor James Winegardner points out exciting evidence of God’s grace that we hadn’t noticed before.

Retirees Fellowship will hold its monthly meeting Thursday, January 19, 5:00 PM in the Annex / Senior Ministries Center. This organization is open to all community retirees who wish to attend. Dinner will be a fundraiser catered by Chisholm Trail Academy. Entertainment will be a piano concert by Lisseth Pasillas. We’re in for a treat! Info: Ann Fromm, 817-645-2256.

Finance Committee will meet next Thursday, January 19, at 7:00 PM.

Next week we will hold general adult Sabbath School in the Sanctuary. We invite all of our adult Sabbath School groups to join us!

“Go MAD! Keene Church Ministries Fair” will be held on January 21 from 8:30 AM until 1:30 PM in the Gathering Place and lobby. Enjoy a general Sabbath School in the Sanctuary, themed on service. Browse dozens of booths highlighting ministries that operate out of our church. Be inspired by testimonies of God at work. Connect with a ministry that needs you or can bless you. Don’t miss it!

“Masterpiece,” an art class similar to “Painting with a Twist,” will be brought to you by your Women’s Ministry team on January 28 at 4:00 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! Limited space. Reservation contact: lorenamarin3@hotmail.com.

Our schools

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, and 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.

Save the date for CTA’s annual Music Department Valentine Banquet on February 11 in the Academy gym at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15 single, $25 couple, and are available at the school office.
CTA 5k benefiting Worthy Student Aid is March 26, 8:30 AM (race day registration starts 7:00 AM), CTA parking lot, $30 adults and $15 youth. Pancake breakfast served by CTA staff for participants, and are for purchase as well; T-shirts guaranteed if you register by March 1.
Southwestern Adventist University believes that the true measure of a university’s success is in the lives of its students and alumni. We’re dedicated to changing lives, and you can see that in the lives of service adopted by students, staff and alumni.
Southwestern Department of Music presents cellist Dan Totan in Faculty Recital this Wednesday, January 18th at 7:30 PM in Wharton Auditorium. Dan will be joined by renowned pianist, Ruusamari Teppo, the great granddaughter of Jean Sibelius. This free concert will be followed by a reception, and will feature works Beethoven, Sibelius and Shostakovich.
On Thursday, January 26th at 7:30 PM Southwestern Department of Music presents saxophonist Dr. Scott Campbell in Faculty Recital in Wharton Auditorium. Dr. Campbell will be joined by award winning pianist, Xiao Wang. This free concert will be followed by a reception, and will feature works works by Yoshimatsu, Benson, and Ibert.
A Night at the Meyerson is February 26! Tickets are on sale at swau.edu/musicfestival. This year’s event will feature your students, plus the world premiere of a new song by award-winning composer, soloist, and CTA alum Raehann Bryce-Davis!
Financial Aid 101: Our University is hosting a Financial Aid Seminar on January 18, 6:30 PM at Pechero Hall, Room 128, for parents of local students. Learn more about Financial Aid and how to afford college! Southwestern staff will help you navigate the complexities of the FAFSA, explain the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans, as well as Parent Plus loans, Pell, SEOG, TEG, and other grants. You will learn about no-fee scholarship websites and receive up-to-date information about both general scholarships and those particular to SWAU. This presentation is a must for parents of high school students. Discover how SWAU can be affordable for your student! Info: 800-433-2240.

Our community

Here’s your chance to see ancient Hebrew scrolls! We’ve arranged with Christian Heritage Foundation, located at 2 Caddo Street in Cleburne, to visit their exhibit on Sunday, January 22, at 2:00 PM. The room can hold about 50 people, so we need to know if you’ll be with us! For information contact Lillianne Lopez at lillianneus@yahoo.com.

You’re invited to a come-and-go baby shower for Pastors Allison and Albert Handal! Men and women of all ages, please join us in the Fellowship Hall 1:00 – 3:00 PM Sunday, February 5. For information call the church office, 817-202-6450.

Office announcement

Our church office will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day next Monday, January 16.

In conclusion

Dietrich Bonhoeffer–a pastor and author known for such spiritual classics as “The Cost of Discipleship”–wrote this prayer from a Nazi concentration camp: “In me there is darkness, but in you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not leave me; I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace. In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.” Quoted in “The Night Offices,” Phyllis Tickle, p. 29

Bonhoeffer also wrote, in 1928: “Where a people prays, there is the church, and where the church is, there is never loneliness.” Quoted in “Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” Eric Metaxas, p. 69

Thank you, Forever Family, for being a loving, praying church that personally invites others to know Jesus, our Light who knows the way for each one of us.

Your Keene Church Pastors