Arizona Connect - Az Conference President

A Communiqué from the Office of the President
October 2018
"He who has the Son has life..."  -- 1 John 5:12

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 Thirteen
The Sixth Commandment     
"Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13
As I said in my article last month, killing is more than just taking another person's life physically; it can also be the act of hating another so much that you wished them dead.  
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment." Matthew 5:21-22
Let's take this a little further. Can killing -- the breaking of the sixth commandment -- also be something more like "character assassination?"  
In my 35 years of ministry I have observed many who would never so much as touch a weapon, but would verbally abuse and destroy other people. Some do this with the direct approach by simply being mean and attacking others with their words. Others do it behind their backs with gossip and what the Bible calls "backbiting."
There is a unique and powerful short section of the book of James that says, "no one can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:8  
Wow, what a strong statement from the brother of Jesus. James goes on to say "out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing."
Remember this simple point -- there is more than one way to kill someone. If we are believers in Christ we would never even think of ending someone's life in the physical sense. But think to yourself, "how often have I used my words to inflict pain, or to kill another human being for whom Christ died."
Let's speak to and about each other in positive ways. When we do this we are indeed obeying the commandment of our God.
When I was a young man, my dad would say, "Son, if you don't have anything good to say about someone, then just don't say anything at all!"
My wife, Lillian, gave even better advice when she said, "If you can't think of anything good to say about someone, pray that God will bless them because they are one of His children!" 
September began the way it has for 20 of the last 24 years. Every Labor Day there is a softball tournament just outside of Portland, Oregon that I have been a part of for nearly a quarter of a century. It was a blast and I had so much fun! And to my surprise, I actually hit well. It's always fun to hang out with friends I haven't seen all year and some I haven't seen in many years. What a blessing it is to have Christian fellowship.
That same weekend I attended the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church's annual spiritual concert and program which was hosted by our own Bobby McGhee. I am always amazed at what a blessing I receive from this program. As usual it was standing room only with people from far and wide coming to participate in this great event.
Bobby, Casper, Lucky and Robin McGhee
With all the fabulous musicians and great speakers you might be surprised to hear that the highlight of the program for me was to hear Bobby and Robin's kids Lucky and Casper sing with all their hearts to a room of hundreds of people. If that was me at their age, I would have died; but what a great job they did.
Unfortunately, I was only able to play softball on Sunday since I had an issue to deal with, and so I flew back to Phoenix on Monday. The rest of that week I was involved with appointments at the office.
On Sabbath, September 8th, I gave the sermon for the Scottsdale-Thunderbird Church. I had a great time at Sabbath School and I was truly blessed with Chuck Biggs' lesson and class discussion. The church service featured several TAA students, which always blesses my heart. I'm so thankful for Thunderbird as it provides opportunities for young people to be involved in church as well as learn how to be productive in our world today.
Most of the week of September 10-14, I spent in meetings with the Pacific Union on the beautiful campus of La Sierra University. With GC Annual Council and NAD Year End Meetings approaching, we had much to discuss. Most importantly we needed to pray for God's guidance for His church.
Welcome Pastor James Boundey
On Sabbath, September 15th I had the great privilege of introducing Pastor James Boundey and his wife, Beth, to the Parker Church at 9:00 a.m. and then the Lake Havasu City church at 11:00 a.m. Pastor James preached a wonderful message and the churches were very excited to have their new pastor in town. Let's continue to pray for them as they transition to this new district.
Lillian Keyes
On Sunday September 16th I celebrated my wife's birthday with several close friends at Troy and Heather Anderson's house. I am grateful for all the dear friends we have. We celebrated her birthday a second time a couple of days later with our friends Allen and Rene Morehouse of the Mesa Palms Church.
The week of September 17-21 I was busy in and out of the office with various meetings and appointments. I drove over 1,000 miles that week.
On September 22 I had the privilege of speaking at the Foothill Community Church and it was a true joy. I loved the breakfast, especially the biscuits and gravy the Clarks provided -- good healthy but great tasting food. Then there was a great Sabbath School class and church service. I was blessed by the beautiful song service and the loving atmosphere of this church.
Pastor Stuart Harrison
I was also very blessed to have an opportunity to visit with my dear friends Stuart and Patricia Harrison after church. Stuart was the founding pastor of this church. Also he, Dennis Rizzo, and Frank Wilson started the Men's Ministry retreat 20 years ago.
The week of September 24-27 was busy with important interviews with potential property developers that could help us provide funding for TAA and it's future students until the Lord returns. This has been a nearly two-year process and I'd like to personally thank our Conference treasurer, Reggie Leach, and the work of the Property Acquisition and Development Advisory Committee, as well as the Finance and Executive Committees that have also put time into this process. We still have a way to go so please continue praying for God's will to be done.
The month of September ended with an outstanding Men's Ministry retreat at Camp Yavapines, in Prescott, Arizona. Over 120 men came together to worship, pray, and learn ways to be the kind of men God would have them to be. The music led by Gary Venden and Jay Warren took us to the throne of grace. Sammy Reyes, Jose Rojas, and Greg Speck all had powerful talks about the kind of issues men really need to hear in the times in which we live.
I want to personally thank Elder Mike Ortel for the great line up of speakers, and Elder Manny Cruz for the brilliant organization and delivery of this magnificent retreat. This was one of the best retreats, of any kind, that I have ever been to. May God bless it, and may it continue to grow.
On the last day of September I spent a large portion of the day in prayer for the Northern California Conference Constituency Session.
I typically spend time praying for my colleagues anyway, but I prayed with extra intensity for this meeting because I knew they were trying to take my good friend and trusted coworker Jose Marin away from me. As it turns out that's exactly what happened.
They voted to have Jose serve as Executive Secretary for the NCC for this next four-year term. While I am totally not surprised, I am truly saddened to be losing a true fellow warrior for Christ in Arizona. May the Lord bless the Marin's work in this new chapter of their ministry.
May God richly bless the Arizona Conference Family.
(Thanks Stephanie Leal, editor of NCC Northern Lights, for these clips. PD)
Tithe is mostly VERY GOOD news this year. 
July:      $1,449,355         a decrease of $157,616
August: $1,109,745         an increase of $142,552 
YTD:      $9,320,366         an INCREASE of $882,047
Year-to-date we have a 10.45% INCREASE. PRAISE GOD! Thanks to all of our members for their faithfulness.
Reggie Leach
GNTV helps grow Tucson Midvale Park Membership
Myrna Peterson of Tucson Midvale Park Church reports that soon after GNTV began broadcasting in Tucson, viewer Steve Serbeniuk drove from Tucson to Scottsdale to find out more about our broadcast and where there was a church near his home. He also left a hand-written note at the Arizona Conference describing how a particular message touched him deeply by the Holy Spirit. The staff there recommended that he check out the Tucson Midvale Park Church. Soon he was attending every week.
Kimberla Royal also started watching in Tucson. She began coming to church each week and joined the "New Believers" class and Prayer Meeting. She also started taking the It Is Written Bible Studies.
Pastor Malcolm Douglas had the privilege of baptizing them. Myrna writes "We are thankful GNTV brought the attention of these people who wanted a difference in their lives to seek out more information and fellowship. We ask God's blessing in their lives and on GNTV."
Help us reach more people for Jesus in 2018!
Good News TV has projects to expand our reach. We are also working to upgrade to digital broadcast equipment (total cost is $51,000), which will help sharpen the image on our TV channels and provide closed captioning for the hearing impaired. All donations toward the digital upgrade will be matched up to $11,000. Won't you please help us with this and other important projects to reach more viewers this year? Every dollar counts!    
Thank you for your continued support!
Luke Skelton 
Media Ministry Director   


June Lily, a 6th grader at Glenview Adventist Academy, and her mother, Saiku, recently took their oaths of allegiance to the flag of the USA. Praise the Lord. They are members of Phoenix Myanmar SDA group headed by Bro Sam Tin (Saiku's husband and June Lily's dad).


Arizona Connect
Ed Keyes, President
Phil Draper, Editor
Information:  480-991-6777 x 139 
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