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Tab-A-Letter On-Line Edition
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 Good Samaritan, a True Friend
We can be a true friend to ourselves. We can fulfill the second greatest commandment: “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt. 22:39). How do we do that—rid ourselves of biased, egotistical, prideful beliefs that actually hurt us more than they hurt others.  We treat ourselves well. We don’t wrongly criticize, condemn, justify, or hurt ourselves. That does not mean that we don’t acknowledge our weaknesses and work to improve them. But it means that we deal compassionately, are gentle with ourselves–as gentle as the Samaritan was with the wounded man binding up his wounds. We can bind up any of our own wounds.
We can also be true friends to others. A true friend is one who treat others – everyone – with kindness, which meets the needs of others with compassion.
We can be more like the Samaritan, who disregarded the race or religion of the wounded man. We can wipe away prejudicial barriers. This includes reaching out and being friendly to people who are not in our little group or “clique.” We may find wonderful friendships we may have otherwise missed.  We can be kind to someone who has treated us poorly. We can start the healing process because, as Jesus said, “If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that” (The Message, Matt. 5:46).
We can see God as our Best Friend. Getting our relationship right with God will bless all of our other relationships. Let’s be the friend we want to have. Let’s be “Good Samaritans.”
Vicki Skinner, Bible Worker
 
Yo Youth from David Tenold
Doctrine without Christ converts the intellect, while Christ without doctrine converts the heart.  So what kind of conversion does our heavenly Father desire to see among His professed followers? What does He deem more important?  Is God more concerned about the conversion of the heart? Or is He more concerned about the conversion of the mind?  Since God doesn’t do things half way, He wants to see His children converted in both spheres-heart and mind.  When Christ healed the sick, they were healed in mind and body.  There was no partial healing; no healing of the mind without the body and no healing of the body without the mind.  In the story of the demoniac, Jesus restored his mind and healed his body from all the physical scars that came from being under the control of Satan.

There are two primary truths we are called to proclaim at the end of time.  First, we are to proclaim the truth about God’s character. Our heavenly Father is not responsible for sin, suffering and death.

An enemy of God is responsible for this.  In light of the tragedies we see in our world, God can be completely trusted.  He does care about His children.  He is a God of infinite love.  And second, we are to proclaim sound doctrine to the inhabitants of the earth before the return of Christ.  There is much ignorance and confusion among professed Christians regarding many important doctrines that are connected with who God is and how He operates in the universe (hell, Sabbath, sanctuary). God has raised up our church to correct any false pictures people may have of God (Revelation 12:17; 14:6-12). Only those who are converted in heart and mind will completely trust God and will stand during the final events of earth’s history. The important message that will unite sound doctrine with the truth about God’s character and how He operates in the universe is Christ our righteousness. This will be the golden thread that runs through both. And this will be the message that challenges and prepares the world for the coming of Jesus.
 
 
God's Growing Church!
In 1863, the year the Seventh‑day Adventist Church was organized, there was one Seventh‑day Adventist for every 356,000 people in the world. Today there is one Seventh‑day Adventist for just under every 400 people in the world. It took our church 107 years to reach its first million members. Today, we baptize one million people every year. We have nearly 25 million people attending our 70,000‑plus churches all over the world, in over 200 countries. God is at work! The Holy Spirit is moving in some remarkable ways.                             **Source:   Adventist World
 
We Are Helping from Shirley Finneman
Thanks to the pioneer Baptist missionaries to Burma (Myanmar) and their translating the verbal language of the Tidim into a written language using the Roman alphabet, we have a beautiful way of communicating with our Brothers and Sisters here in Battle Creek.  It was the Baptists who put together the Tidim hymnal and still print it today. (Only when you see the Burmese writing do you appreciate this gift.)
How to break the language barrier?? We decided to put copies of the Tidim hymns and English hymns side by side in a folder as well as children’s songs. Two new families were willing to open their home for this pilot project.  We pray for the out pouring of the Holy Spirit to open our minds and teach us.  Then we sing the great hymns of Faith in Tidim then English.  Now we are learning the sounds of each other’s language and with understanding!  Instead of learning the names of objects one by one as most classes in English teach, we are learning great truths, broad language laws, sentence structure, sight reading and speaking the language with courage.  We are also bonding by the shared experience of learning, growing, praying and singing together. As we learn each other’s language the avenues of friendship are enhanced.   This is just the beginning, for as one learns the alphabet (by faith alone!) all the knowledge and resources of that language are opened for ones understanding.  What a treasured experience God has given to us all in sending our brethren from Burma to Battle Creek.
 
 
Church Family News
CONGRATULATIONS: Andrew Sit Soe, son of am Ciang and Maung was baptized March 15 by Pastor Bayani Pastrana.  Andrew is 11 years old and a student at Lakeview Middle School in Battle Creek.
 
 
GET CONNECTED on facebook at Battle Creek Tabernacle SDA Youth” and “BC Area Young Adults.”
 
Nominating Committee Office Changes
You are aware by now that the church body voted to ask our current officers to keep their current responsibilities one year longer, so we could allow for the possibility of the new senior pastor being in place for that process.  We appreciate each of you who are planning for that! 
 
PLEASE NOTEIf you hold a church office or position that is chosen by the Nominating committee and do not feel for whatever reason that you can continue on in this position past June 30, when your term would have ended, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHURCH OFFICE and leave a message or let our secretary, Candy Ledoux know.  She is making the final list of offices that need to be filled.  As far as possible, we would appreciate knowing, no later than the end of April.  Thank you for being prompt and helping us in this way.  We will not be filling any offices this spring unless we hear from you with regard to a need for that to happen for your specific office or situation.

And again, THANK YOU to each one of you for your faithful service in the past, and a big THANK YOU as well to those of you who are willing to continue on and help us for an additional year!  You are a blessing!
 
 
Missing Members
Do you know the whereabouts of the following members that have been missing since 2005:  Sandra and Schellie Caswell, Tonya Harris, Angela Lewis, and Fred Simmons?  Call the church office if you know how to contact these members. 
 
 
Church Business Meeting
Our annual Church Business Meeting, for the purpose of going over and voting on our budget for the year ahead, will be immediately following a short meeting of our Church Board, and will take place on Monday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.  This meeting is for every member and will give you a chance to look over our budget or ask any questions you may have.  We are looking forward to seeing you there. 
 
Could you use more money in your pocket each month?

The average Federal tax refund for 2012 was more than $2,803.  That means, on average, taxpayers who get refunds let the IRS take about $240 more out of their paychecks each month than the government deserves.  But here’s the good news: You can put an end to that withholding, fatten your paychecks and still get a tax refund at tax time. 
 
All you have to do is file a revised 2014 W-4 Form with your employer. The information on the W-4 determines how much federal income tax is withheld from your checks.  The more “allowances” you claim on the form, the less tax is withheld from your pay.
  
           Submitted by Chris VanderWaal (Stewardship Secretary)    
 
 
February 2014 statement totals:
Revenues:  $30,364.96; Expenses:  $28,145.48
resulting in a gain of $2,219.48
 
Year-to-date as of February 2014: 
Revenues:  $212,350.51, Expenses:  $219,152.60
giving a loss of $6,802.09; GRAND LOSS $75,644.61
 
 

 

 

 

Why Urban Gardening?

There are three fundamental things we all need; Air, Water, and Food. Right now we still have air and water (although they are not at their best); however, growing our own food is not only good for everyone and easier than you think, but we can heal our earth and our children by learning about and practicing gardening and permaculture in our city.
 

What Urban Gardening Creates

     1. Urban gardening is fun, easy, and brings people together in a community setting. People share, work together, and learn from each other.
     2. Trading and bartering seeds and food can lead to better eating habits, a stronger community, and happier, healthier individuals.
     3. We learn from one another and become more sustainable. Everyone has something to share, whether it be knowledge or physical strength, it is welcomed by someone around us.    
 
NEWS AND REPORTS:

FOUNTAINVIEW SDA ACADEMY will present a beautiful sacred music concert at the Tabernacle Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m.  Enjoy a symphonic blend of brass, strings and woodwind instruments playing your favorite gospel classics.  Enjoy songs to be sung with youthful enthusiasm.  The concert is tailored for your friends and neighbors—with a theme to encourage us to grow closer to Jesus every day.  The school is located in British Columbia, Canada.                                 See www.FountainOfMusic.com for details.
 
Tabernacle Sacred Concert Series presents singer Michael Card in a special Easter concert - "A Violent Grace" - on Saturday evening, April 5, at 7:30 p.m.  This concert will feature a choir and string ensemble and will make the Easter season more meaningful as you listen and meditate on Jesus' amazing love.  In a career that has spanned 30 years, Michael Card has recorded over 31 albums, including such favorite songs as “El Shaddai”, “Love Crucified” and “Emmanuel” and has sold more than 4 million albums.  He is also a serious student of the Bible and has written 24 books.  Tickets to Card's concert are only $10 each and $40 per family (maximum of eight).  They must be purchased in advance.  Tickets can be purchased at the church office, by calling 269-962-1132, or by going to www.battlecreektabernacle.com and clicking on Card's link on the home page.  This will be one of our best concerts yet, and you won't want to miss it!

TABERNACLE SUPPER CLUB, PART 4:  Want to lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, feel better and have more energy?  Learn this and more at the monthly Optimal Lifestyle Supper Club Monday, April 21, 6:30 p.m., in the seminar room.  Call the church office to register.
  
 
Recipe from March 17:  TOFU EGG SALAD> chop everything (1 lb. tofu, extra firm water packed–drained, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. onion granules, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. chicken-style seasoning, 1/8 tsp. turmeric, 2 garlic cloves minced, ¼ c. vegenaise) in a food processor until desired texture.  Makes a delicious spread on whole wheat bread, topped with diced tomatoes.  Makes about 2 cups.
 
Much for a Whistle
There's a passage in Hebrews 11 that would be well worth reading again as you ponder the front page of the Tab-a-letter this month.  It speaks of how Moses was able to live his life and stay faithful to the Lord in his journey through three different phases of his life, each of which had their own trials and challenges --  the courts of Egypt, his solitary time in the wilderness and his years of leading the Israelites through the desert.  Verse 27 says, "He endured" (persevered, NIV) "seeing him who is invisible".  At every stage of his life he kept his eyes fastened upon the Lord and looked for God and His will as  a guide.
 
This was not always easy, but he knew what was truly important and lasting, and chose to make that his focus and path in life.  Ultimately we all make our own choices.  No one makes us do the things we do, act the way we act, or choose the things we choose.  Moses could have had an easier path if he wanted, but as verse 25 reminds us, He chose "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."
 
     When Benjamin Franklin was a young child of about seven, a visitor calling on their home gave him some change for his pocket.  As Benjamin was out playing later, he spied a boy blowing a whistle that caught his fancy in a marked way.  He gave the boy all his recently acquired change, and went home the proud owner of an almost new whistle.  He played with the whistle all over the house and enjoyed himself immensely,
until he later discovered that he'd given four times what it was worth.  All at once, the whistle lost all its charm.
 
As he grew older, Franklin often used this experience as a lesson to those around him.  When he saw a man or woman neglecting a duty, focusing on the wrong goals in life, or involved in activities that would prove ruinous, he would say, "He pays too much for his whistle."
 
Have you ever paid too much for a whistle?  Could it be that some of us are doing that right now?  Are the returns on our activities and decisions, or the things we are involved with or doing right now, worth the price we are paying or will pay in the future?  Are our eyes fully fastened upon God or do we let things into our lives and choose activities in our spare time that separate us or lead us away from God?  There are many whistles the devil or the world would try to sell us that cost far more than they're worth.
 
Jesus said "what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt 16:26, 27.  Some things may appear popular or bring pleasure for a season, but if they taint our character, toy with sin or lead us away from God, they aren't worth the price we will discover they cost. 
 
Don't let the tempter convince you to take hold of anything that will end up costing too much. Listen to the voice of the Spirit!  Don't take lightly the battle for your soul. That's too much to pay.  Don't pay too much for a whistle!

 
 
    Pastor Bruce
 
 

 

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