MESSAGE. “You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13 NKJV In this commandment, God establishes Himself as the sole and sovereign giver, sustainer, and taker of life. “You shall not murder” was not designed to give His children the right to choose. Rather, it was designed to make one thing very clear: Do not kill. Murder is the taking of life! And every life, beginning at conception, is not only given by God, but also taken by God at His choosing.
“All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for “whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer”); a selfish neglect of caring for the needy or suffering; all self-indulgence or unnecessary deprivation or excessive labor that tends to injure health—all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.” EGW, PP 308
This Sabbath morning I invite you to study the sacred and solemn message of the Sixth Commandment.
MINISTRY. Last Sunday delegates from the Georgia-Cumberland Conference gathered together in Cartersville, GA to hear reports from the leadership of the GCC and to elect conference administration for the next five years. This was our mini General Conference. It was good to see hundreds of our brothers and sisters from our wonderful conference. Pastor Ed Wright was re-elected to serve as the Conference president. All Vice Presidents were also reelected to continue serving our sisterhood of churches. I invite you to pray for our leaders and administrators. They carry many heavy responsibilities and have to make important decisions about the ministry of our many churches. When I read weekly email updates from pastor Wright I get the impression that he lives out of his car or at the airport. He is always on the go. Let the Lord grant safety and wisdom to our conference leaders. On a personal note, I’ve now worked exactly 15 years in this Conference. I fell in love with it and want to retire here. 🌟👴🏻
The Wednesday night Prayer Meeting attendance was absolutely wonderful. I counted close to forty people. For the next four months the book of Genesis will be our study material for the “study” segment of the prayer meeting. I just want to emphasis that we do pray a lot on Wednesday nights. That’s why we call them “prayer meetings.” I hope you’ll also consider joining this midweek service.
Young-In-Heart Group got together for lunch yesterday at City Cafe in Cleveland. It was fun to eat with this awesome group of people who love to eat, share jokes, talk about “the best is yet to come,” and willing to encourage and support one another.
On Thursday Noah Banks asked to spend the day with me for his school job shadowing assignment. I was certainly happy to have this handsome young guy help me through the day. We spent some time in a prayer session with our church Prayer Warriors. After the prayer we packed gifts for the Hunter school teachers. After counting all our gifts we realized we were thirty short so we drove to Walmart to buy the additional ones. On our way to the Hunter school we also stopped by the Samaritan Center to staple the “blessing cards” to all these gift bags.
Following the school visit we went to Collegedale LifeCare to visit Harold Spicer and Dorothy Champion. From there we drove to Cleveland to join the Young at Heart group. On our way back my wind shield wiper broke, but we still made it safely back right in time for Noah’s orthodontist appointment. I hope Noah will still want to be a pastor after our day together. 😎
THANK YOU. Thank you, church, for your faithful support of our local church budget. We met our April budget goal! Let me encourage you to try the Lord and see how He can bless you in a marvelous way if you show faithfulness in bringing your tithes and offerings. I’d like to remind you of the challenge of contributing at least $15, if possible, per member per Sabbath to our local church budget. Think about the many ministries that will be supported by your contributions. Think about the smiles on the faces of our OAKS teachers, the happy eyes of Pathfinders and Adventurers, needy families receiving assistance from the Benevolence fund, elderly being encouraged at Change of Season lunches, etc, etc… This is just a glimpse of the many blessings you bring to this church through your faithful stewardship.
PRAYERS. Please, pray for Jerilyn Faulkner. She had to go through some tests and procedures yesterday. She’s back home but very weak.
This morning I received the following tragic news from Michaela Lawrence Jeffery, Advent House (UTK) Chaplain / Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) Director: “… one of our ACF members, Bridget Thompson, was involved in a car accident and passed away this morning. We ask that you please join us in lifting up the Thompson family and the UGA ACF family in prayer during this difficult time. Bridget and her sister, Brittany, were both active with ACF. Bridget’s death is a huge loss to a student community still mourning the loss of another student who died from cancer last school year.”
Blessings. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.