“Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

In our Sanctuary worship services over the past several weeks our Senior Pastor, James Winegardner, has probed Jonah’s vivid interactions with God–his ever-present Companion–concerning God’s call to carry His message of repentance and salvation to Nineveh. Pastor Winegardner invited us to take time to experience the Holy Spirit’s renewal in our own hearts, and to share God’s grace with people we encounter in the present day. Like the prophet Isaiah, when God asked: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” rather than run as Jonah did, we might volunteer to serve!

The timing for this challenge is perfect! On October 14–just three weeks from today–Keene Church will participate in “Hope Trending: A Crash Course on How to Live Without Fear,” a nine-day live, global series of presentations by Pastor Dwight Nelson. With this unique interactive program you can help people explore how to replace their greatest fears with fresh hope for a new journey.

You may have read Dwight Nelson’s daily devotional book, “The Chosen,” when it was published a few years ago. In the readings for September 21 through 25–mirroring this very week!–Pastor Nelson identified seven witnessing principles from the story of Philip’s ministry to the Ethiopian eunuch as related in Acts 8:26, 27. You might enjoy taking your copy of “The Chosen” from your bookshelf and looking up Pastor Nelson’s witnessing recommendations for each day’s study in full. In the meantime, here are glimpses of his seven recommendations, with a key sentence from each: “1. Be open to the Spirit’s impressions and promptings. … There are crucial moments in your life when your witness to another human being will be strategic for the kingdom of heaven. … 2. Be willing to walk across the road or the room. … Make yourself available to the individual the Spirit is impressing you about. … 3. Be ready to take the initiative. … Witnessing is not about your ability–it’s about your availability. … 4. Be prepared to answer a question. … On the spot, while you and I are standing there or sitting there with that individual, we can dash a brief ‘Help!’ prayer to heaven, and Jesus promises that in that split second His Spirit will bring to us the very thoughts and words we need to respond to a seeking heart. … 5. Be mindful of the context of that moment and conversation. … If he’s asking about Isaiah 53, then focus on Jesus and Isaiah 53. . . . Don’t be like the politician and turn the conversation to your favorite doctrine. … 6. Be focused on the ultimate goal of every witness–the salvation of the individual through baptism into Christ. … An important leadership maxim states: ‘Begin with the end in mind.’ … 7. Be ready to turn around and do it all over again. … So what if we began every day with this humble, simple prayer: ‘O God, today I offer You my life and my witness. Send to me, or send me to, someone who needs to know Jesus and His truth. Amen.'” Aren’t those wonderful suggestions from Pastor Nelson as we prepare for our “Hope Trending” series? Are you interested in being involved? Come to our question-and-answer meeting on Sunday, October 2, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. You can also contact Pastor Allison Handal at allihandal@gmail.com for all the details you need to host a watch party, be a prayer coordinator, lead discussions, and more!

Concluding his sermon series on the book of Jonah in our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services this Sabbath, Pastor James Winegardner, in his sermon entitled “Haters Gonna Hate,” will explore Jonah’s surprising reaction to God’s compassion for Nineveh. You’ll be interested to notice that Jonah used God’s own gracious words, expressed when He met with Moses on a wilderness mountain and recorded in the book of Exodus, to complain about His mercy toward Nineveh. The Chisholm Trail Academy Concert Choir will present our worship music under the direction of Gary Wilcox. And we will rejoice when Pastor Russ Laughlin baptizes Paul Villarreal during second service.

In his prologue to the book of Revelation, John said “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” Revelation 1:3 Young Adults attending The Middle Service, the Bible says that you are blessed! Pastor Albert Handal’s “Positive Apocalypse” series on good news in the book of Revelation continues tomorrow morning at 10:15 in the Fellowship Hall. Come early for a good seat and inspiring music!

If the Holy Spirit has impressed you to recommit your life to Jesus in rebaptism but you weren’t here for our semiprivate service last Sabbath afternoon, we invite you to a second rebaptism opportunity this Sabbath at 3:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting wet, and bring a towel. We look forward to welcoming you!

Chisholm Trail Academy’s Student Association will host a volleyball tournament this Saturday night! There will be a vespers starting at 7:30 and the tournament will begin at 8:00. Come out for an evening of fun as the ladies show off their volleyball skills. If you have any questions call the school at 817-641-6626.

Keene Adventist Elementary School’s annual Family Fun Fest is this Sunday at Elisa Carver Park in Keene from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Every KAES class will have a booth. Come enjoy good old-fashioned fun for the whole family! All the money raised will help with classroom needs.

Raise money for the CTA Senior Blazers by eating pizza with CiCi’s! Come to CiCi’s on Monday, September 26, from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and mention CTA at the register. CiCi’s will donate ten percent of net sales to the school! Bring a friend and enjoy all the pizza, pasta, salad and dessert you want, or get it to go. Thank you for supporting our school!

Senior Center – before and after! Our Maintenance Committee is cleaning up the Senior Center. If you or your group have anything in the building, come on over at 7:00 p.m. Monday, September 26, to claim it or discuss storage options. Questions? Please call the church office, 817-202-6450.

SPF (Study, Prayer, and Fellowship) meets in the Chapel on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Continuing our study of Abraham’s life, this week James Winegardner will share insights on the story of the patriarch’s pleas for Sodom. Come join us for an exciting journey through the book of Genesis.

Southwestern Adventist University Parents’ Weekend is September 30-October 1. If you have a student enrolled at Southwestern, please join us! For a schedule, visit swau.edu/parentsweekend. We can’t wait to see you!

We will have a general church potluck next Sabbath, October 1. Do you enjoy hospitality ministry? Please bring food to the Fellowship Hall after second service next Sabbath. SWAU students would like to fellowship with you and hear your stories. Bring a dessert and something for haystack entrees. Sign up for your contribution at the Welcome Desk in the Sanctuary lobby this Sabbath! Thank you!

The book of Jonah ends with these words from our loving God: “Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Jonah 4:11

Praise God, He cares about our Forever Family, and for the hundreds of thousands of seeking hearts that need Him today, too!

Wishing you a blessed Sabbath,

Your Keene Church Pastors