On line edition-Tab-A Letter
SOWING AND REAPING WITH JOY! From Pastor Rob Benardo
Five down and two to go. Do you have our acronym memorized yet?
“S” - Spiritual renewal, the
“P” - Planned nurture, the
“E” - Effective training, the
“C” - Community outreach, the
“I” - Inspiring worship, the
“A” - Analytical reaping, and the
“L” - Loving fellowship.
This month we look at “Analytical Reaping”. It was nearing the end of Paul’s second missionary journey and the trip was not for the faint of heart. It was a 100 mile trip from Philippi to Thessalonica following the via egnatia all the way in a south-westerly direction. Even though Paul and Silas were treated shamefully in Phillippi, their hearts were set on the great metropolis to come.
In 1 Thessalonians 2 we read, (1)“For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, (2) but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.” This effort to evangelize the region there was powerfully successful as we read that; “some of them (Jews) were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.” But wherever successful evangelism came in the early church, persecution came also, although the disciples were so enamored with the love of Christ that they would call it “light affliction”.
We know this as Acts seventeen verse five tells us, “But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people.” The preaching of the Word in evangelism was so mighty there that the unbelieving Jews were led to confess that Paul and Silas were those who had “turned the world upside down” (verse 6), freeing the people from their idols and turning them to the joy (even amid persecution) of serving the living God. Paul’s message by the way, was a Christ centered presentation of prophecy!
Although Thessalonica was what we could call highly “unchurched”, what can we learn about the early church’s situation that may aid us in reaching Battle Creek for Christ? Well first of all, we need to establish something. We are called to GO and to GROW. Jesus said in the great commission that we were to “go” and that he would be with us and empower us. That means “go” to foreign missions but it also means to “go” to those in Battle Creek with the gospel. We are still reaping the benefits of the first evangelistic series that was done since I have been here, as we had three visitors related to that series come last Sabbath.
We too need to “grow”. We need to “grow” or prepare those in Battle Creek for the end of the world which is soon to come. We also need to “grow” or prepare them for the end of their life which could happen in a moment. They need to “grow” to see themselves as greatly beloved by the one who is “altogether lovely”. As we do this we will find that we also will “grow” ourselves. One of the best ways to come closer to God is to allow Him to work through you in the saving of someone else. It assures us of His presence and power and brings us joy- even though it may cost us something like our time, our money or even our tears.
“When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them. The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad. Restore our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalms 126:1-6). If we are willing to weep if need be, we are promised that joy will follow in the bringing in of the harvest. We must work together to spread the seed, to water and nourish, and to harvest for the glory of God. As our time on this earth draws soon to a close, why not spend and be spent for Him? Why not let tears of conflict and toil turn to tears of delight? God has given all that He could in pouring out His life in Christ for this world, for you and I. Now He is waiting to us to tell them about it!
PATHFINDER CLUB UPDATE
In May we finished up our Pathfinder year. We held our yearly Investiture Service to celebrate our achievements (thank you for those that came out to support our kids!). We also participated in the weekend Fair held at Camp Au Sable. It was a fast and enjoyable Pathfinder year. If you are interested in having your 5th - 12th grader join next year, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Hope you have a safe and blessed summer!
Brad and Tracey Hall, Directors of the Battle Creek Pioneers
WHAT ARE YOU LIVING FOR by Lorrie Rietman
Recently my Dad's mother who was 93 years old passed away. We made a quick trip to New York state to attend the funeral and spend a couple days with my family. My parents have been having a rough time. Literally 3 days before dad's mother passed away, my mother put her mom (who is 95 and my last grandparent) into an assisted living facility specific to Alzheimer’s and dementia individuals. This was extremely emotional as she had to essentially trick my grandma who has no idea what is going on. So, we were happy to offer support and bring some smiling small faces to cheer my parents.
While we were there we stayed at my living grandmother's house. It was strange as everything was the same but she no longer lives there. My grandmother has lived in that house for around 70 years and so it is filled with a lifetime of memories and experiences. My grandfather had built or renovated every detail of the house. The walls and rooms are filled with pictures, decorations from trips they had taken, passed-down furniture... As I looked around at her home, I was deeply impressed with how our lives here are truly like a vapor as James 4:14 states.
We spend our lives accumulating "stuff", memories, accomplishments...for it to be all left behind or taken from us in the end. Three of my grandparents have lived past 90 which is such a wonderful thing and yet, it is not enough. As fulfilling as their lives have been, there is still the pain of aging and then death which leaves wounds and sorrow. At the end it does not matter the accolades on the wall, the trips that have been taken, or the money in the bank. All of that is for the remaining family to sort through, decide what to keep, donate or throw away. What may be precious to me in this life may be thrown away the day after I die. It does not matter. It will not last. We are but a vapor.....this life is not fair and not enough.
Thank God that He thinks so as well and gives us the Blessed Hope. This world is not all there is. The best is yet to come. He is the resurrection and the life. What are you living for? "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, here your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
SPRING CLEANING FOR YOUR FINANCES! Submitted by Chris VanderWaal
Tips to get your financial house in order
Spring is in the air.
The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the temperatures are warming. Who doesn't love this time of year? Not only does spring remind us of the beauty of the outdoors, but it also reminds us to get our homes organized—in other words, to do a little spring cleaning.
This year, though, while you are cleaning the garage, shampooing the carpet, and organizing the closets, we suggest that you do a little spring cleaning in another area of your life—your money. Regardless of what Baby Step you are on and where you are on your journey to financial peace, you've got to stay organized to win with money.
So, what exactly does a financial spring cleaning look like? We have some suggestions:
Clean out file drawers
Do you really still need that cable bill from August 1999? Seriously? You need to keep old bills, bank statements, tax documents, and other important papers for varying lengths of time. But utility bills, sales receipts for minor purchases, and ATM and bank deposit slips can be shredded after a few months.
Prune unnecessary expenses
Are you really getting your money's worth with that gym membership? Do you really need 250 cable channels? Is it necessary to have a landline and a cell phone? While you're organizing your file drawer this spring, take an in-depth look at your finances and see where you can cut back costs. This is especially important—and should be a top priority—if you are still working your way out of debt.
Update important documents
When was the last time you checked your car insurance? Your home insurance? Tax withholdings? Your will, 401(k) or Roth IRA? If it's been awhile, then now is the time to make sure you have all the coverages and investments you need. What made sense two years ago might not work for you today. In the middle of all this spring cleaning, make sure you are protecting yourself, your family and your future!
Spring is a great time to get re-energized and refocused on your financial situation before summer and all its distractions get here. The small amount of time you spend now getting your financial house in order will pay off for you in the long run.
COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTER UPDATE
The Battle Creek Adventist Community Service Center is completing another successful year of service to the immigrant community in our city. The center, located in the Burmese Center at 765 Upton street, in Springfield, offers classes in English conversation, sewing, and needle crafts. All these classes have the goal of improving English usage, social interaction between English speakers and English learners, and between the various tribes that now call Battle Creek home. We also offer healthy living classes, clothing and emergency services. Many friends we serve at the Center are mothers with young children who struggle with isolation, culture shock and problems interacting with their children’s schools, doctors, and decisions about new diet choices. They find it difficult processing the information they need for their daily life. We accommodate these young families by offering in home language classes, child care during classes at the Center and opportunities to ask questions. Being part of this Christian Community is a great experience for the group of friends we serve and for we who serve. If you would like to be part of this growing community please contact Shirley Finneman, the director of Adventist Community Service Center at 269-248-4031. We need preschool workers who are interested in teaching language to young children, sewing teachers who can work with students learning English, Bible Study leaders, Language teachers, and those who just want to meet some new friends. We also need help with clothing distribution two days a week. Come and get to know your Community Service Center this summer. Look for information about a coming open house.
CHURCH FAMILY UPDATES!
Baby Dedication - A baby dedication was held on Sabbath May 20 for Hadley Eva Sarlls. She is the daughter of Jessica (Eberhard) and Kurt Sarlls.
Please pray for and support the family of Fred Hyde who passed away in May.
The Adventist Youth Ministries Museum is looking for volunteers to help inventory, catalog and photograph the memorabilia that we have at Cedar Lake, MI, June 29 to July 21, 2017. If you can help during any of these days please contact Terry Dodge, 517-331-1346 or email@example.com
Battle Creek Academy will be having a used book sale this fall. If you have any books you would like to donate, we would be delighted to add them to our sale. We find that children’s books and story books sell the best. We will not be able to accept old text books or encyclopedias. During the summer month, please continue to sort your books. You may drop off your used books during BCA office hours. Thanks!
Cedar Lake Camp Meeting will be June 16-24 at Great Lakes Adventist Academy. Speakers include Jay Gallimore, Steven Bohr, Wes Peppers, Dr. Clinton Wahlen, and John Bradshaw. More information, applications, and order forms can be found on the Michigan Conference website, www.misda.org
Bags of Love – Please join us June 13th at 10 am in the Fellowship Hall to help us assemble Bags of Love.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR GRADUATES!
Battle Creek Academy 8th Grade: Oriel Paulino-Peña
Battle Creek Academy 12th Grade: Shadrach Grentz, Jerica Street, Madelyn Agy, Jake Essex
Great Lakes Adventist Academy 12th Grade: Molly Hidley, James Davis III
Fountainview Academy: Alexia Benardo
Lakeview High School: Conner Metcalf
Highschool: Esther Harrison
Siena Heights University: Elizabeth Washington, Paukhan Songput, Tawi Sian Sang
Andrews University: Jonathan Penrod, Shaly Torres, Amaris Benardo
Loma Linda University: Haley Essex