"He who has the Son has life..." -- 1 John 5:12
TOGETHER -- WE'RE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ARIZONA CONFERENCE
It is a pleasure to share with Arizona constituents and friends the many wonderful things happening within our Conference. May you catch our vision for winning men and women, boys and girls to Jesus!
The Perfect Ten, Part Eight
"The Sabbath a Delight"
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." (Isaiah 58:13-14 New International Version)
I said I was going to move to the fifth commandment in my last devotional. However, my wife reminded me of something that happened to me when I was doing my paramedic training that really shows how God works with those who honor His law. So permit me just one more week on the fourth commandment.
Like most boys, I wanted to be a fireman. As I grew older and reached adulthood, that shifted slightly to being a paramedic, partly because I wanted to not just save people from a burning building, but I wanted to be able to relieve their suffering as well.
As it turned out, I took the training to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). In those days there were three levels of EMT with the highest level leading to becoming a Mobil Intensive Care Paramedic (MICP). In that training there is a section of classes on how to use equipment for extricating victims of vehicular accidents. Most of that section was taught in a classroom, however there was one long day of "hands on" work scheduled in an automobile scrapyard.
That one day of field work in the scrapyard where we would learn how to use the "Jaws of Life" among other things, was scheduled on Sabbath. As a young Adventist Christian I wanted to get some advice as to whether or not this was something appropriate to do on the Sabbath. I got mixed messages. Some said it was okay because you were there to learn how to save lives. Others said since it's not really the act of saving someone's life it's not really fulfilling Jesus' words, "It is lawful to heal on the Sabbath."
I have to admit I was confused. So I prayed and asked God what I should do. Then the pastor of my church said he would write a letter for me requesting that I be permitted to take the training on another day. I shared the letter with the teacher and the administrator of the program and they both said that there is no exception or exemption given for this part of the training. If I did not participate in that training event I would not pass the class and be certified as an EMT.
I was upset but in my heart I knew I was doing the right thing. So I continued taking my classes right up to the day of the heavy equipment training.
Friday before test day I asked the instructor, "What happens if you have bad weather and can't do the class tomorrow?"
He answered, "Well, we always keep the Sunday after the scheduled date available as a rain makeup day."
So that's when the "Holy Boldness" came upon me and I said, "I'll see you Sunday."
He looked at me and said, "You've got to be kidding. There is not a cloud in the sky and the forecast for tomorrow is warm, clear, and sunny all day."
Then I told him again, "I'll see you on Sunday because God wants me to honor His Holy Sabbath."
Saturday came and it was sunny until about 8:45 am (15 minutes before the scheduled start time). Then the clouds rolled in and it started raining -- at first just a drizzle, but in just a few minutes it became a torrential downpour. The instructors had to send the class home and told them to be back Sunday at 9:00 am.
When I showed up Sunday morning I remember the feeling of joy I had when my instructor walked over to me and said, "I've heard the story of God parting the sea for Moses, but I didn't realize He saved that water to drop on my training event for one crazy kid taking an EMT class."
I was blessed once again. That's the God we serve. He knows what we need and will do whatever it takes to get us there.
I love that line in Isaiah 58, right in the middle of the passage about the Sabbath when God says that if we will honor that day, then you will find your joy in the Lord!
PRESIDENT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL
March 1, I was in the office all day with the usual appointments and calls to kick off a new month. This was a month of many evangelistic meetings so I attended one of our many series in the Phoenix area.
Friday night I was at the Sedona church with Pastor Jack Robinson and Evangelist Richard Halversen to witness the great meetings they were holding. God truly blessed with over a dozen precious souls who joined the church through baptism.
March 4, I attended the Apache
Junction meeting held by Pastor Van Bledsoe and AZ Conference Executive Secretary Jose Marin. Again it was wonderful to see God at work as a good group of individuals made decisions to be baptized and follow God all the way.
The week of March 5-9 was spent primarily at the office in meetings and appointments.
That weekend I had the privilege of preaching at the Sahuarita church, formerly known as Green Valley. It was great to see Pastor Ron Yabut and Jennevi leading out in the worship programs of the church there. They had a beautiful service and the church was absolutely full which indicates the great work the pastor and lay people are doing.
The evening of the March 10, I was led out in our town hall meeting, along with Jose Marin, Reggie Leach, and Tanna Allison at the Desert Valley church in Tucson. God truly blessed this event. We had a great attendance and some excellent suggestions and comments came out of this meeting for the work in the Arizona Conference. It was obvious that the pastors of that community truly believe in and support Adventist Christian education.
On March 11, we had our Phoenix area town hall meeting at the Paradise Valley church. Once again the team did a super job telling how God had blessed the Conference with growth in so many areas. They also shared the challenges we are facing.
OUR CHALLENGE: The main issue, of course, was a report on the many hours of work that have gone into meeting with development groups about the Conference property. As most of you know, it is very costly to run a boarding academy. The tuition and Conference subsidy only cover about 60-70% of the actual cost of running our school. So we were reporting on the follow up we've been actively involved in after the vote at our last Constituency Meeting to do more with our Scottsdale property. Our ultimate goal is to have a continued stream of income for our academy to operate a top tier program until the Lord comes.
March 12-16 was spent in the office and at TAA in meetings. I am always amazed at how God works in these meetings when we are willing to cooperate with His Holy Spirit.
The weekend of March 16-18 was spent in Yuma with the Gila Mountain Church on Sabbath and then the Yuma town hall at the Yuma Central Church. I am very thankful for Fred and Bobby Jo Daniel who gave me a place to hang out and rest on Sabbath. What a blessing to have friends like them.
Once again we had a great town hall, and I appreciate Pastor George Boundey and his team having everything ready for us that evening. We had representatives from every church in the southwest corner of Yuma in attendance.
I would also like to give a special thank you to Reggie Leach for his hard work on the financial statements and his work with the committees that deal with the property issues.
Special thanks to Jose Marin for his positive presentations on the growth of the Conference and the future events we have planned. And a very special thank you to Tanna Allison (Alumni Relations and Development for TAA) for her report and vision casting for the direction of our academy development and the heartfelt appeal she gave us to help our school in anyway possible.
On the week of March 19-22, I attended the Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee. A lot of really good discussions took place on major issues facing the church and our world today. The Arizona Conference has been truly blessed with the funds we have received from the evangelism endowment over the years I've been in Arizona. And once again we received some funding for one of our projects that will be a blessing to one of our Conference churches.
On March 23, I joined with the VersaCare group at the Biltmore Conference Center in Phoenix and gave the devotional. I was truly thankful for the invitation by President Tom Macomber. He holds a personal place in the heart of our family since he taught my son's and daughter's Sabbath school class at the Paradise Valley Church.
On Sabbath March 24, I preached at the Prescott Church and was amazed at the attendance. Speaking with Elder Lari Long before the service, I commented, "You have no more room, that's a good problem." I am truly thankful for Pastor Tony Jasper and the leadership of that church. Seeing every seat full shows the church is definitely going in the right direction.
Thank you to Gabe Romero and his very young team of cameramen who videotaped our town hall and live-streamed it live to anyone who wanted to see it.
Since the church had an afternoon program, I was blessed to go to the home of Tom La Jeunesse and his wife, and some other family and friends, for a wonderful meal and time of fellowship.
That evening we concluded our town hall meetings at the Prescott church and once again came away with a list of suggestions for the future of our academy and the work in the Arizona Conference.
On March 25, I spent most of the day writing articles, letters, and reports for various individuals and organizations, and preparing for all our Conference committees.
Thankfully, I was fortunate to take a short hike that morning at Elephant Mountain in the Cave Creek area.
|Elephant Mountain Trail
The week of March 25-29 was committee week at the Arizona Conference. Every other month we have a week of non-stop committees that deal with just about everything the Conference does to keep running effectively for the Lord's work. I am truly thankful for the positive, brilliant, and godly Christian leaders we have serving on all of these committees.
My God continue to bless His Arizona Conference.
February tithe totaled $1,009,607. This is a 16.36% increase.
We encourage our members to continue being faithful in giving -- always grateful for the many blessings God bestows upon His children!
One Arizona pastor recently reported that three of the last four baptisms at his church were GNTV viewers. He further shared, "It seems that there is another viewer that walks through the doors of our church about every couple of weeks."
Richard from Surprise says, "We watch your Good News TV channel every day, every SINGLE day, and we love you and your channel so much! We started watching your channel about four years ago. I stopped on your channel, and said to my wife, "Hey, they are teaching from the Bible. We'd better check this channel out!" He continues, "We kept watching, and liked what we saw. We eventually came to the Wickenburg Church, and as soon as we stepped through the door we knew, this is home! Now," Richard told us, "we host a Bible study group at our house every month."
Margie in Tucson says, "Last week I rescanned and found your channel! I wanted to call and tell you all that I can't stop watching, its fantastic! I love you! The programing is a wonderful thing, and this is the best thing that could have happened! Our society needs this so much. Thank everyone there for me, and congratulations on coming to Tucson! I found the church closest to me and plan to attend."
A viewer in Litchfield Park has been watching the channel for a few years, and she wants to be baptized. She says, "I get all of my programming from you guys. If I didn't have Good News TV then I would have no foundation at all. The Lord has recently given me victory over alcohol. I just learned last week from your channel that hell is not a place of burning forever. That was a 'game changer' for me, and I am trying to share it with everyone. This information needs to be proclaimed broadly. I send everyone I meet to Good News TV... You guys are amazing. You're always there to answer the phone for me, and I praise the Lord for you. Will you please pray for me before I get off the phone?"
Mary in Phoenix first called GNTV way back in early 2014, wanting to attend one of our local churches and requesting Bible studies. Through the years she called for more information about local church and Conference events that she saw promoted on GNTV. These included prophecy seminars, health classes, and Conference events such as a Breath of Life Revival weekend. Since then she continued to watch GNTV, take Bible studies, and attend local church services and events. Pastor Myles and her Phoenix Central Church family recently welcomed her as an official member of the church by Profession of Faith.
There are many wonderful events our local churches host. We want our viewers to know about them so they, like Mary, can come and be blessed, make friends, and be nurtured by the local church family. To promote your event to the communities of Phoenix metro, Yuma, Prescott, Flagstaff, Payson, Verde Valley and Tucson metro, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 480-264-1116.
Media Ministry Director
ADVENTIST BOOK CENTER
The Adventist Book Center Bookmobile is Coming!
The Bookmobile will be on the road through April 22!
Watch your mail and email for our full schedule, times, and specials! We have modified our "normal" bookmobile schedule, so please look closely for the dates and times for your church! For additional information or to place a pre-order please contact us at 480-991-8501 or email us at email@example.com. To view our bookmobile flyer on-line go to: https://arzcabc.adventistfaith.org and click on the Spring Bookmobile link.
Please join us for the 2018 Spring Open House Sale at the ABC!
Sunday, April 15
10 am-3 pm
Vegetarian Food Samples
One Day Only Food Specials
HUGE Used Book Sale
Special Sale Items!
Plus - spend $50 and you will receive a $5 coupon to use in May!
13405 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ
We look forward to seeing you at your church! Thank you for continuing to support your Arizona Adventist Book Center.
Thank you for supporting your Arizona Adventist Book Center.
THUNDERBIRD ALUMNI WEEKEND
The internationally acclaimed King's Heralds quartet brings to the stage a ninety-year heritage in gospel music.
April 9: 7 pm. Kingman SDA Church, 4450 N. Arizona St., Kingman, AZ.
April 14: 11 am. Camelback Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5902 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
April 1-4: Adventist WestPoint. Long Beach, CA. Adventist WestPoint is the premier ministry training event for pastors and leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Long Beach Renaissance Hotel, 111 East Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA. Info: PUC Ministerial Department, Phone: 805-413-7264.