January 27, 2020
The Commandments and Faith of Jesus
By Russel F.
Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
What are the Commandments of God, and what is the Faith of Jesus? We all know the Commandments of God are the Ten Commandments. And we all know that Jesus kept all ten of those Commandments of God. That was the basis of His faith: to do the will of God: first love to God and then love to man.
The Ten Commandments define, in summary form, what love to God and man is; and how we are to go about this love toward our God first, and then our neighbor. This Law of Ten Commandments, then, is the eternal Covenant between God and His people that was not to be broken by either party. For the keeping of this Covenant, God gave promises of health, increase, and prosperity.
It was on Mount Sinai that Christ, the Great “I AM” Himself, spoke with His own mouth, and then wrote with His own finger these Ten Commands as His Covenant of engagement and ultimate marriage to His people, prefigured in the symbol of the New Jerusalem. As we read about this marriage in Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Is this referring us to a City, the New Jerusalem, or to people arrayed in fine clean and white linen? Again we read in Revelation 21:9 “…Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. (10) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” Surely we can see, Christ would not marry an inanimate unresponsive literal city made of precious stones and building materials! More surely His delight, and His covenant would be with those who have made themselves ready to inhabit the City as His Bride: the New Jerusalem: His pure and holy people with whom this everlasting Covenant is made.
The Faith of Jesus
If the preincarnate Jesus, the “I AM”, God of both Literal and Spiritual Israel, first spoke and then wrote the Ten Commandments on stone as the recorded Covenant between Himself and His Israel; then we should expect that same Jesus Christ, in the flesh, would continue to keep His covenant – His Ten Commands – with Israel, even while in the flesh, though His people were not faithful to it. Here then, must be found the Faith of Jesus: the keeping of the Covenant in the flesh of the Saints of God while the time of Judgement at the end is ongoing; announcing to the world the time of the Judgement and the fall, and call out of Babylon by those who are practicing the faith of Jesus, as told in Revelation 14.
Colossians 1:27 “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (28) Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” This is how we have and keep the faith of Jesus! It is “Christ in you!” How then does Christ come into me? It is daily before the Lord putting away our faults and sins by the blood of Jesus, and the confession to Him of them; daily being baptized – dying to self, being buried with Christ, then resurrected into new life BY HIM.
Dying to self: that is crucifixion with Christ. But no man can crucify himself; no man, being dead can bury himself, and certainly, no man can resurrect himself! It has to be done for you by Someone who is able to do these things! Confession and repentance, dying to one’s self and being raised into a new life is the daily miracle each one of us must have done for us to have and to practice the faith of Jesus! It is not a thing, a CHANGE, we can produce or cause to happen by our own willing it to happen. It must be done for us – daily! This takes time with the Lord God to examine ourselves and commit all to Christ’s keeping. It takes time with the Lord to die to self and be raised with Christ and go with him through the day. Salvation and deliverance from sin does not come by the will of man, but by the Spirit of God. “Not by might nor by power…..; but by my Spirit!”
When we are born of the Spirit, then we can follow Christ into the Holy Place of His Sanctuary and have the lamps of our own body temple filled with Oil. We can also obtain there the extra oil for our flask that the wise will need to go with Christ at the shout, as the door of salvation is about to be shut and human probation closed. It is also there we can eat the Bread of Life, drink the blood of Christ, pray for our friends, relatives, and even our enemies, and present our own requests to God. And after that, we can follow Jesus beyond the Second Veil into the Most Holy Place into the very presence of the Father, where Jesus and the Father are carrying on the Judgement of the Living and those who die during this time. There we can take part in our own Judgement of being purged, purified, and made white by searching ourselves by the Holy Spirit who will bring to our remembrance hidden things we should give to God; discovering and uncovering our past sins before the Father and Jesus. In this daily practice we will find freedom. “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten.” Revelation 3:19.
January 20, 2020
By Craig K.
How very quickly 2019 has passed into history. How many things have changed dramatically in the lives of our Church Family? Certainly, not everything has turned out the way we think they should have. Most of those things we couldn’t do anything about anyway. Many of us have reached the place, age-wise, where we can no longer do much that we once found so easy to accomplish.
But, realistically, if the pattern of our lives all along has been to faithfully do our best in every way, we can look back on it all and sum it up as “very good,” or a “job well done.” Most of you know what I am talking about when I refer to “good,” but in case you have forgotten, God’s perspective on “good” is very different from ours. His perspective on “good” has to do with serving the purpose for which it or we were created. The creation story makes that point clearly.
I shared this concept on the first Sabbath of this past January when Pastor Avi had me preach. Becoming aware of this concept has been one of the most important Biblical insights that I have become aware of through my Bible study. I don’t think that it was an accident on God’s part that it was introduced at the very beginning of the Biblical narrative.
It started there and with every act of our Creator as He brought into existence one thing after another and declared it “good.” Crowning it all with the creation of mankind and calling that, “very good.” The Hebrew word for “good” is tov and it has to do with the fulfillment of purpose. Something or someone who is “good” means ‘that they are where they should be, and they are doing what they were created to do.’ Basically, that would be ‘to honor and glorify God.’
So when we talk about it being a ‘good year.’ it means that we have lived lives that have fulfilled our purpose for being here. And more than that, we can be assured that when it all wraps up, we can hear the words of Jesus as referred to in Matthew 25: 21 and 23. “Well done, thou “good” and faithful servant,” it will speak to the fact that we have consistently lived our lives ‘in the place we were put and did what we were created to do’ that resulted in God being glorified and honored each and every day. May that be our continued experience in the year to come is my prayer for each of us!
December 30, 2019
By Avi M.
There are many incredible and fascinating stories that Jesus experienced first-hand. Personally, I have many favorite Bible stories which include stories of courage, healing, powerful miracles of hope, spiritual restoration and revival.
We find in Matthew 14:22-36 a captivating real-life experience for a few experienced sailors/fishermen. Jesus had just fed 5,000 men, besides women and children. Seeing and experiencing this awesome miracle, one disciple came up with the idea of crowning Jesus King right there and then. But Jesus had no intention of becoming an earthly king. He also had a much more significant lesson plan for his disciples.
As soon as Jesus found out about the plot, he forced the disciples to get into a boat, commanding them to go before Him to the other side of the lake. Once in the boat, the disciples began to discuss the events of the day, not realizing that a very dangerous, life-changing storm was fast approaching and they were going to be caught in the middle of it. All of a sudden the boat was being rocked harshly by the wind and waves and the disciples found themselves struggling to keep the boat afloat and not drown.
Moreover, Matthew 14:25-27 says “Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “it is a ghost!: And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer!”’
I’d like for us to consider a few questions from these passages: Where was Jesus this whole time? Was He so busy praying that He didn’t notice the disciples struggling to keep afloat? What time is the fourth watch of the night?.
First of all, Jesus had been aware of the adverse situation the disciples were facing. How? While up on that mountain the disciples had been “Under His Watchful Eye.” Not once did He take His eyes off of them. Although distance separated Jesus from His disciples as He was talking with great fervor with His Father, those 12 men were never far from His care.
Generally, the fourth watch was between the hours of 3 a.m. – 6 a.m. The storm was fierce, the boat had been taking in water, the disciples had been toiling all night long, exhausted physically, mentally and fearing for their lives. How much longer were they able to continue on? Apparently not much longer. Then again, in that violent storm, maybe when hope had vanished and fear had set in, Jesus appears to His disciples in the darkest time of the night which is 5 minutes before dawn. Why is this period of time important? Let's remember, these men no longer had the physical strength to continue trying to save themselves, they thought all was lost (dark and gloomy season).
As 2019 comes to a close, let us pause and reflect back to the beginning of 2019. How has this year been for you? Were there storms in your life? If there were, how did you react in the eye of your storm? Only you can answer these questions.
When the storms of hopelessness, grief, misery or sorrow assail us and we are beaten down emotionally and/or spiritually by adversity, may I suggest to you three important points:
Jesus never takes His eyes off of us, we are “Under His Watchful Eye.”
2. We are never far from His (Jesus) care.
3. I mentioned that the darkest part of the night is five minutes before dawn. Why is this time important? Because in the gloomiest time when we are in the midst of the sea and the winds and waves of doubt, anxiety, concern or distrust are buffeting our lives, Jesus appears to us saying, “Be of good cheer or have courage!”
Have courage, remember how Jesus has calmed the storms of your life. And lastly, I’d like to leave you with this thought: He (Jesus) is full of unfailing love & faithfulness.
December 23, 2019
Submitted by Elayne Z.
In all my running around, in all my crowded life, as I try to find more things and more activities that will make God pleased with me, Micah 6:8 creeps in and defuses all my noble but erroneous intentions. The prophet has put it very simply, very eloquently. Look at this verse….what do you think I could bring before the Lord of the universe? What? With what could I hope to impress him? And what will be the teachings and heritage that I leave with my children? What will be their overall impression of how God would have us walk in this world? I think this is the beauty of the passage: No greater theology. No ten-point sermon. No list of self-improvement plans. Just the simplicity of truth. Three things. Three things that cover the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount:
What does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
And to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
Every child in kindergarten knows what justice means. (We share our blocks. If one person gets juice, we all do.) Every toddler knows how to love kindness and mercy. (That’s right, kiss the baby gently…aww, that’s good.) And children also happen to be quite good at walking humbly with God. Maybe it’s because they haven’t done anything “great” yet for God. Or maybe it’s because in their young lives they haven’t offended God so badly that they feel the need to make up for it. Whatever the reason, children have a wonderful ability to accept the gifts of God at face value, without feeling pride or embarrassment.
We as “mature” adults struggle with it. But the more we can walk humbly with God - accepting his wonderful goodness to us, his tender graciousness toward us, his unfailing mercies that are new every morning - the more we can turn to others and love mercy…and do justice. And encourage our children to do the same.
Written by Debby Boone
December 16, 2019
By Jerry Z.
We are celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace. He is the Prince of Peace that passes understanding.
This peace is known by those who have truly accepted Him as their Prince. It is a peace that comes from knowing the forgiveness of your past (Psalm 103:12), a peace that sees you through today’s trials and temptations (Phil 4:6), a peace that assures you of a future with Him in the everlasting realms of His grand creation (John 14:2).
Hallelujah! Amen! Merry Christmas!
December 2, 2019
By Monica B.
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Turning to walk away, something flew past my head and crashed into the wall just in front of me. Turning back I faced him. He was shaking, with accusations made in broken words as his anger turned to blind rage and took full control. All this was supposedly my fault because my husband did not want me going on a backpack trip with my Dad and cousin. How dare I even suggest it!
Grabbing my keys, I fled our home and drove away. Not knowing where to go, and knowing he would try to follow me, I did a zig zag pattern to where I worked. Hurriedly parking my car in the warehouse instead of my usual spot, I closed and locked the bay door behind me. Slipping out the back door, I cautiously made my way to the first bank of trees and disappeared into the wooded countryside.
“God I need You, I need You right now,” I sobbed.
How did this become my life? After college, I married a man that was an upright member of our church, had started and was head of Prayer Fellowship, active in ministry, always ready to encourage and uplift the weak and needy. How different things were behind closed doors, where force, blame, shame and coercion were used to rule me.
“I need Your peace, Lord, the kind this world cannot give, the kind of peace that only You can give.”
Why was it that this “man of God” sabotaged my ministries at church? He wouldn’t even let me go to the Women’s Retreat at Leoni Meadows, disabling my car to ensure his desired outcome?
Wandering back onto a dirt road that led between the lakes, I let myself become aware of the stillness of the morning. I reached out to my precious Savior. “Oh God, You promised never to leave me nor forsake me, please let me know You are with me now.” No sooner had the words left my lips, when the road turned, and before me lay the most beautiful carpet of little yellow flowers spreading out before me, backlit by the morning sun.
“These flowers are my special gift just to you, My child,” a clear voice spoke into my consciousness.
My body relaxed, peace filled me, and an incredible awareness surrounded me. I was not alone, I was loved beyond measure, and I would never be forgotten.
Sometime later, having separated from my husband and living far away, I still wrested with the fear that he had so thoroughly installed in my subconscious. Now, scared to be in public and even buy groceries, I wondered if I ever would be able to get out from under this shadow of fear. Working with a trauma recovery counselor, I was telling of my daily struggles, when I was asked a simple question, “Where is God in your story?” This surprised me, coming from a non-believing counselor.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “God has always been and is with me, without Him I would have never gotten this far.”
This question, “Where is God in your story?” wouldn’t leave me. Day and night it would repeat in my head. Not long after, a piece of paper from childhood dropped from my Bible with my Dad’s handwriting, “Perfect love casts out all fear - 1 John 4:18.” Obviously, I needed more of this perfect love in my life! And the only love that is perfect, with full proof provided on the cross, is the love of God.
Slowly I learned to look to God at the first hint of fear, before it could take root. To simply ask Him to fill my view so I could not see anything else. The song, “Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go” soon became a tune often found on my lips. Prayers recounted the Red Sea parting experienced by the Israelites, as I asked God to do it again.
God seemed to lead me down a path to face many of my fears. While holding down a good job I wrestled with uncertain housing, sometimes not knowing where my next meal would come from, and almost non-existent funds. Yet God did not let me down. I always had a roof over my head and food to eat. Why was it that every time I went shopping for the absolute necessities, I would find them on the featured sale of the week? Over the next several years, God proved I can trust Him with everything, absolutely all my needs, wants, wishes, desires, and dreams. Let this old world take what it wants, I know there is only one thing I need to fill me with peace and joy, my precious Savior.
Eight years after leaving California for my safety, I find myself back here. God led me in a path I could have never imagined, and when I gave up looking for a new partner, He gave me someone who treats me better than I ever thought possible. Where my "No" is respected and honored, without fear of repercussion. Having genuine freedom within a relationship is priceless; just look at what Christ did for us to maintain our right to say, "No."
Fear is an ugly thing, and I know I am not the only one that has wrestled with it. If you are wrestling with some fear or worry today, I have one question for you. Where is God in your story? Please consider inviting Him into your experience in a whole new way today. Let Him fill you with His perfect love and lead you down His path to peace, no matter how much this old world falls apart around us.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-32,35, 38-39
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
November 25, 2019
By Lisa C.
The Plymouth Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. Prior to that, they would have a day of fasting and prayers of thanksgiving.
The Wampanoag Indians joined them in 1621 and celebrated it as a feast, contributing most of the game for their feast.
Canada celebrates its own Thanksgiving in October.
The Thanksgiving holiday was established as a national holiday in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, after a 17-year letter writing campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale. (Sarah Josepha Hale also wrote the song, Mary Had A Little Lamb).
Over 24 million people fly during this holiday, but 91% of travel is by car.
46 Million Turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day.
Macy’s established its first parade in 1924 in New York City. The honor of a character appearing the most is Snoopy.
President Truman pardoned the first turkey in 1947 and it has become a tradition for each president to pardon a turkey since then.
On this coming Thursday, many will be celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends. Menus are planned, travel is in progress, and the prospect of gathering together fills us with excitement and joy. But some will be experiencing this Thanksgiving for the first time without a loved one. The holiday season can be a lonely time for many as they miss those who were such a large part of themselves. Our hearts join with yours…….. And so our prayers go out for each one of you, that the peace of God will fill your hearts with thankfulness. That you will have safe travels wherever you are going, and that God will continue to bless you more than you could ever imagine!
Happy Thanksgiving to the Lord for all He has done!
November 18, 2019
Contributed by Betty L.
"Antonio Stradivarius lived in Italy from 1644-1737. The violins he made are now the most prized instruments in the world because of the rich, resonant sound they produce. But Stradivarius did not use expensive wood for his violins. Instead they were carved from discarded lumber. Stradivarius was very poor and could not afford fine materials like his contemporaries, so he picked up waterlogged pieces of wood from the dirty harbors where he lived and cleaned them up. From such trash he created instruments of rare beauty. Today we know that while that wood floated in those dirty harbors, microbes were eating out the center of those cells, leaving just the fibrous infrastructure. The hollow chambers made the wood more resonant. From wood that nobody wanted, Stradivarius produced violins that everybody wants. And that is what God does with us. God wants to transform the trash of our lives into the treasured image of his Son, Jesus Christ, making us instruments of beauty and grace." From Way of Life #19, page 2
November 11, 2019
Contributed by Janet M.
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
We cannot but look forward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may look on what is past as well as on what is to come, and say, “hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” “As thy days so shall thy strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25. The trial will not exceed the strength that shall be given us to bear it. Then let us take up our work just where we find it, believing that whatever may come, strength proportionate to the trial will be given.
And by and by the gates of heaven will be thrown open to admit God’s children, and from the lips of the King of glory the benediction will fall on their ears like richest music, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34
Then the redeemed will be welcomed to the home that Jesus is preparing for them. There their companions will not be the vile of earth, liars, idolaters, the impure, and unbelieving: but they will associate with those who have overcome Satan and through divine grace have formed perfect characters. Every sinful tendency, every imperfection, that afflicts them here has been removed by the blood of Christ, and the excellence and brightness of His glory, far exceeding the brightness of the sun, is imparted to them. And the moral beauty, the perfection of His character, shines through them, in worth far exceeding this outward splendor. They are without fault before the great white throne, sharing the dignity and the privileges of the angels.
In view of the glorious inheritance that may be his, “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. He may be poor, yet he possesses in himself a wealth and dignity that the world could never bestow. The soul redeemed and cleansed from sin, with all its noble powers dedicated to the service of God, is of surpassing worth; and there is joy in heaven in the presence of God and the holy angels over one soul redeemed, a joy that is expressed in songs of holy triumph. Amazing Facts Daily Devotional, October 16, 2019
November 4, 2019
By Christel W.
In 1944, I was a young girl of about 13 years old. The war was getting dangerously close to us, because the Russians had pushed into Germany. We lived in the countryside between Hamburg and Bremen. There were no young men to protect the women and children, only the older men, “Opas” (Grandfathers). One day my mother said, “Girls, get dressed in your warmest clothes, we are going to leave.” You see, before my father had to leave for the war, he had told my mother, “When the war gets close and it gets dangerous, just leave. Don’t take anything with you, just take the children and leave!” So we girls and my brother got dressed and left. My aunt was living with us and so she came with us too.
It was an hour’s walk to the train station where they had trains designated “non-destination” for those who didn’t have a place to go to. We were transported to the country where they placed us with a farmer and his wife, who were told they had to take us in. There were six of us: my aunt, my mother, and 4 children: 3 girls and one boy. And of course we helped wherever we could, my mother saw to that. But pretty soon the fighting got close and we could see the red sky at night from the war and my mother decided it was time to leave again. So some of the military who were stationed there escorted us to a narrow body of water, a part of the North Sea, which was partly frozen over. We had no food and no money, only the clothes we wore, and so the soldiers gave us whatever food they had on them since we were so hungry.
We started walking across on the ice and it was very cold and wet and soaked into our leather shoes, so my mother asked if my little sister could ride on one of the wagons that was crossing. Well, no sooner had my mother placed her on the wagon, she jumped off and came running back. Right after that, the horses pulling that wagon fell through the ice which wasn’t frozen hard enough and the whole wagon and people sank because there wasn’t any equipment to help them, just hands, and that wasn’t enough to rescue them. After that my mother kept a close eye on us because there were thousands of people crossing the ice. Once a day we got a sandwich and maybe a cup of hot chocolate, that’s all we had.
That night we came to a big red brick building that had lots of straw on the floor and that’s where we slept. It was called a “rescue place” and thousands of people had gone before us. We slept in our coats, hats, and shoes, otherwise they would have been taken. The next morning we had to leave, we had to keep moving. So there was a little rickety train and they took us to the next station, where there were people everywhere……oh so cold and no food, no water, not anything. So they put us on the next train and it took us to Berlin.
Well, it was dangerous in Berlin and they took us to a bunker, and said we’d have to go down in there for our protection from the bombs. But just then a man came and said that if you didn’t have a destination, there was a train departing Berlin soon. In order to get on the train, you had to have two or more children. So my mother took two of us children and my aunt took the other two children and we were allowed to board the train and leave Berlin.
After many hours of riding on the train which was so cold and cramped, it finally stopped in a little town like Camino, maybe a little bigger. There were lots of farmers and wagons to load up all the people and distribute them among the people in the town, and we went home with one of the people there. They had a nice clean home, and in the back room there was a lot of straw on the floor where we slept all packed together like little herrings because there were not enough beds. We stayed there at that place for quite some time until after the war ended, and my mother helped with cooking or whatever was needed.
Six years after the war, my mother got a card that my dad was alive and in Dallas, TX as a prisoner of war picking cotton. He was 3 years in America and 3 years in the U.K., but we were eventually reunited.
Throughout this whole ordeal, God was with us, protecting us: When we crossed the ice, it was cloudy and no planes could bomb us. The military wasn’t supposed to help civilians, but they helped us and gave us a little food. We never got frostbite, our shoes didn’t wear out, and we had shelter along the way. The only thing we got was head lice! I know my mom must have been praying through it all, because it was a miracle that we made it and our family was eventually reunited. God is good!
October 21, 2019
Contributed by Barbara J.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19)
James Harrison is an Australian man who holds the world record for blood donations, having donated blood over 1,000 times. When Harrison was 13 years old, he went through a major surgery and required 13 liters of blood. Afterward, realizing that donated blood had saved his life, he pledged to begin donating his own blood when he turned 18. Soon after he started donating, it was discovered that his blood contains a rare antibody that can save babies from dying of Rhesus disease-a disorder where the Rh-positive blood of the mother is incompatible with the Rh-negative blood of her unborn child.
Rhesus disease often results in a miscarriage or stillbirth and sometimes causes brain damage in newborns. Harrison was asked to undergo a series of tests to help create a vaccine for the disease. Since then, the Anti-D vaccine created with his blood plasma has been given to hundreds of thousands of women. It’s estimated that Harrison’s blood has saved around 2.2 million babies-a gift that has affected the lives of several women close to Harrison. Joy Barnes, a worker at a Red Cross blood bank where Harrison has donated, received the vaccine after having two miscarriages. She said, “Without him I would never have been able to have a healthy baby.” Best of all, one of the babies saved was Harrison’s own grandson!
Harrison says, “I’ve never thought about stopping. Never.” Even after his wife of 56 years passed away, he was back in the hospital a week later to donate. Harrison has been nicknamed the “man with a golden arm” and has received the Order of Australia medal for his contributions.
Just as 2.2 million babies would have died without Harrison’s gift, all humanity would have died without Jesus’ saving blood. It is only Christ’s death on the cross that redeems us-we can’t redeem ourselves with any amount of gold or silver. Just as Harrison planned from boyhood to donate his blood, Jesus was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” as our sacrificial lamb (1Peter 1:20). And just as Harrison never plans to stop donating blood, Jesus’ gift of salvation isn’t limited to a select few. There is no sinner that His blood can’t save!
Taken from the book: “World of Wonders” by Doug Batchelor, copyright 2012, Amazing Facts.
September 30, 2019
By Betty L.
“The famous Indian poet Kalidasa tells the story of an Indian prince who desired to marry a beautiful and gentle Persian princess. The king organized a party of trusted servants to make the long journey, arrange the marriage, and bring the beautiful princess to the young prince.
In the caravan party that was returning to India with the princess was a handsome young man, the overseer of a small band of servants, who began to pay special attention to the princess. At first the girl was unresponsive, but slowly the overwhelming charm and politeness of the young man began to steal her affections.
It was first an approving glance, then a smile, and then secret meetings outside the tent after nightfall. They shared many moments together, and soon the princess realized that she, for the first time in her life, had fallen deeply in love.
The last evening was indeed a sad one as the princess and her suitor met for what she thought would be their final time together. Her heart was inextricably bound to the young servant, and now she must wrench her love from him and give it to an unknown prince. They wept, and with broken hearts they parted.
The next day servants took the princess to the court to meet the prince who would become her husband. There was a rustle as he entered the room, but she did not even look up until a familiar voice called her name. It was a glorious moment when she raised her eyes and saw the form of her lover in princely attire, the very servant who had courted her all along the way.
The Lover of our souls came first as a servant, but today the church waits eagerly for the appearance of the Bridegroom as a prince. The church has known Him, for it is He who has led her all along the way. As you reflect on the many ways the Prince of Heaven has wooed you and won your love, it will intensify your desire for His coming and will inspire you to share this love with others.”
The Bridegroom, page 164, A World to Love
"And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:5
September 16, 2019
By Leila M.
I was making carrot cake for the baptism and potluck celebration for our new “son-in-law to be”, Gabriel. Carrot cake is a family favorite that we save for special occasions such as this. Trusty recipes are wonderful to have, and we felt quite proud (and sometimes maybe even smug) with some of these almost sacred recipes that we could rely on and then share with others, especially “healthy” ones that tasted this good.
But since it was late and I had worked all day, I was tired and wanted to shower, walk the dogs and then go to sleep as soon as I could. I looked at the recipe carefully making sure I did not leave out an important ingredient, like salt or cinnamon, or soda…..I didn’t have time for a disappointment like a collapsed cake or tasteless mess! I have had my share of cooking disasters over the years and didn’t have time for one now. Hmmmmm…. everything seemed in order, now I just needed to pour it into the greased cake pan waiting on the counter.
But something seemed to be wrong. Something was awry. But I did not know what. Glancing into the bowl, I re-read the recipe. After all, I have made this cake dozens upon dozens of times, but I knew mistakes could still happen when rushed or distracted. Putting the recipe card down I proceeded to pour the sticky batter into the pan and then I froze and laughed aloud. Something important was missing, and it was the carrots! The grated carrots were still in the food processor!
Quickly, I mixed them in, relieved with the discovery. I had almost left out the vital ingredient that made carrot cake what it is. Later it occurred to me that Jesus is the carrot in my life! Without Jesus life does not feel right. It does not taste right either. I cannot afford to leave Him out. He is the vital ingredient of my life. And just like carrot cake is better when shared, so too is my Christian walk. Sharing Jesus, like sharing carrot cake, multiplies my blessings and strengthens my faith.
September 9, 2019
By Beth B.
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7)
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:16-17)
I am a teacher at a large public high school in Sacramento County. I work mostly with students with emotional and learning disabilities, teaching English Language Arts. I am also the only teacher on campus that manages the individual education programs for students who have behaviors or mental illness that is interfering with their learning. This past year was my second year of teaching in this position, so I’m still new and constantly learning. One student and parent (we’ll call the parent K-), have been especially challenging. We have had many meetings trying to figure out the best way to support this student so he can be successful.
One day last April as I was driving to work, I turned where I don’t normally turn. With construction happening on campus and an alternate traffic flow and parking situation, I chastised myself for this mistake, because it took me longer to get parked and into my classroom. After dropping things off in my room, I headed to the staff room to check my mailbox and make copies. I was met by one of our Vice Principals who informed me that K- had been on campus just a few minutes before, looking for me! K- was very angry and was even belligerent towards the VP. Now I was grateful for my mis-turn.
As believers, we have a security detail, like the President, celebrities, or high-powered officials. We just can’t see them. Why did I make the turn that I did? It was unintentional. However, it wasn’t a mistake. The Holy Spirit guided me, unbeknownst to me. In retrospect, I was upset to think that I might have had to face this unreasonably angry person, alone, at the start of my day. But when I look at how it turned out, it is a vivid reminder that God’s “got my back.”
This is not to say that troubling encounters will always be avoided. We are surrounded by terrors. I have close friends that have discarded their belief in God because of the perceived inconsistent fulfillment of God’s promised protection and providence. “What about . . . genocide, famine, my family member who died of cancer?” they ask. I don’t have the answers, but I do know that I can depend on my Heavenly Security Detail to guide and protect me even when I am unaware of my need.
September 2, 2019
Read by Nancy Hamilton, this audio recording of Ellen White's classic book is great for morning devotional time, for listening to while doing routine tasks, or even while driving. Go to:
August 26, 2019
By Savanna B.
In 5th grade it was my turn to adopt a fluffy pal. Makensie wanted a pug, we got one; she wanted a bunny, we got one; but this whole time I wanted a cat. I needed a cat, obviously. So we started visiting a local shelter. I first fell in love with Mewtwo. He was a black, gorgeous cat with a huge attitude. He ended up biting my thumb, hard. I was incredibly heartbroken. The next few visits didn't result in a strong connection, until Cleo arrived. She was a fluffy, gray, black and white beauty! A big cat. She was friendlier than Mewtwo and I was sure this was the cat I was destined to take home.
Now, this whole time we had been praying for the perfect cat. A kitty that would get along with Morpheus (our dog) and be extremely cuddly, friendly, and overall just a good cat. Once we found Cleo we believed it was the perfect cat, so we signed the paperwork and everything we needed to fill out to bring her home the next day. I was beyond excited! I had planned on keeping it a secret, but the next day at school I told one person I was getting a cat. Word spread. That was fine, I was getting a feline friend!
School had never gone by so slowly - minutes felt like hours, and hours felt like years. After school's eternity was over, we drove to the shelter. Something was wrong, Cleo wasn't there anymore. The person working hadn't looked through the paperwork and Cleo had been adopted by someone else. I was devastated. Crushed. We didn't go back to any shelter for a few months, and we haven't gone back to that shelter since.
After I convinced my parents, we went to a shelter just down the road from the other one. I wandered into one of the rooms and a cute tortoise-shell cat walked up to me. I started petting her but a bigger cat tried to pick a fight with her, so I had to pet the bigger one. We continued to visit and I kept loving on the tortoise-shell kitty. Jade. One afternoon when my dad came home he asked, "You ready to pick up Jade?" Yes! She's been part of our family ever since, and she is the perfect cat. If we have patience and trust in God, He will answer our prayers.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
August 19, 2019
Read by Nancy Hamilton, this audio recording of Ellen White's classic book is great for morning devotional time, for listening to while doing boring tasks, or even while driving. Go to:
August 12, 2019
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:5
I love to draw and paint, and over the last few years I’ve been focusing strongly on improving my artistic abilities. Many of the things I’ve learned I have done so through online tutorials or have been shown step by step from friends or teachers. When learning something new that way, sometimes it makes sense, but other times I figure out techniques on my own through trial and error.
Figuring out things in the real world can be similar. Sometimes God shows us His plan, but other times it isn’t as clear. We may question God about why He has done certain things, but if we have patience and trust, over time He will reveal His plan to us.
By Mackensie B.
August 5, 2019
By Judy K.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you. Psalm 51:12 NLT
We may have lost our joy due to the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, betrayal by friends, the ungratefulness of children, or our own unfaithfulness to God. He is willing and anxious to forgive us of our sins and restore our joy, if we only call on Him, asking Him to do so.
Paul reminds us “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT
Jesus found comfort and joy in communion with his Father, and that should be the secret and source of our joy as well. We can claim the precious promises in His word. Truly He has provided a promise for every situation we might find ourselves in. That should continually cheer our hearts.
Let’s pray today and every day for joy, a gift of the Holy Spirit. Ask our heavenly Father to restore in us the joy of His salvation. This will enable us to smile again and enjoy abundant life regardless of the challenges that confront us, indeed the joy of the Lord is our Strength.
“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of You.
I will sing praise to your name,
O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2 NLT
July 29, 2019
By Steve G.
I have a love for trees and all that they provide us… it comes from my grandfather who would go up to a tree and marvel at them. So, when a digger pine fell on our home this year it took out a Catalpa tree that my mother-in-law gave us when we moved here 20 years ago, it was a sad day for sure. The discussion was ‘cut it down’ from another member in the family (love you honey). Standing in front of this tree I believed something great was going to happen. I’m not one to quote scripture much, but God does show us His miracles and sometimes it might be right in front of us. My family reminded me of some scriptures that are special to them and after re-reading them it sort of ties it in for
me just a pinch. I didn’t pray for the tree, but God knew what my heart wanted; we should continue to practice James 5 when we need to comfort one another. 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
God did answer my unspoken prayer. He shows that every day we just need to look around and open our eyes and be thankful for all He does, no matter how big or small.
July 23, 2019
By Mary M.
Romans 12:1, 2, 9-12
“My brothers, I implore you by God’s mercy to offer your very selves to Him; a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart. Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature thus transformed. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and to know what is good, acceptable, and perfect. Love in all sincerity, loathing evil and clinging to the good. Let love for our brotherhood breed warmth of mutual affection. Give pride of place to one another in esteem. With unflagging energy, in ardor of spirit, serve the Lord. Let hope keep you joyful; in trouble stand firm; persist in prayer.”
Help me to hold steadfast to Your hand as I travel on this journey of my life; seeing each person I meet as Your child. Teach me to extend the same grace, compassion and love that You have given to me.
July 15, 2019
By Dawn S.
It seems like yesterday, but it was actually 40 years ago.
I was a new bride, moving to a new town, into a new home, and starting a new job.
Exciting and overwhelming for a young woman of 21.
The new job was probably the most challenging. I had two years of dental assisting under my belt, but this new position required a license which I did not have.
That meant I needed to either go back to school or challenge a test. It was very intimidating and I was not feeling very confident. But I made the decision to challenge the test.
There I was, sitting in the exam room, reading the questions, realizing that over 50% of the exam was covering an area of Dentistry I had never worked in and knew very little about. It did not look promising!
As expected, the letter arrived with the bad news: I failed the test. It was not only humiliating for me to receive the news, but also when I had to break the news to my new boss. But I got through that and reapplied to retake the exam in 6 months.
The test date scheduled, I set out to learn more terminology and skills in Orthodontia. I was so stressed and worried as the date grew closer that I made myself sick.
So, I did what should have been my first line of defense: Let God handle it!
The night before the test, I tearfully asked God to help me and this is literally where He led me: Psalm 57:2 "I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me." (NAS)
He truly wanted to be called upon and was there for me!
Looking back, why did I not give it to the Lord the first time?
God wants us to let Him be part of the happenings in our life.
July 8, 2019
By Donna B.
I love to tell people who don’t know God, “You can’t tell me there isn’t a God.” This is my story:
In March of 2015, my 91 year old mother died of Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma – a rare, very aggressive and nasty stomach cancer. The doctor told us she would be in so much pain before she died that they would have to put her in a medically induced coma. I remember asking God, “What are You going to do about this?” His answer: she never had ANY pain! In spite of the diagnosis, dying and death were very peaceful for her.
Then my husband, Tom, was diagnosed with inoperable Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer in January of 2017. Everyone knows that pancreatic cancer is very painful. I asked God if He would do for Tom what He had done for my mom. He did! Tom used Ibuprofen as his only painkiller until he had to go on Hospice. Again, like Mom, dying and death were very peaceful for him. What an amazing God we serve!
July 1, 2019
By Lindsay S.
One of my favorite quotes says “Be the kind of woman (or man) that when your feet hit the ground in the morning the devil says “Oh no, she’s (he's) up.” Although I’m not sure who originated that, I love the thought. Our adversary plans carefully how to keep this world, and our lives, filled with distractions. That is all he has to do. Our minds become muddled with anxieties, worries, obligations, expectations, activities and so on… This hinders us from remaining connected to our Source of strength and peace, God. May we each be encouraged to intensify our hold on God. 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us to “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually.” Our incredible Heavenly Father loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and wants to draw us to Him. Psalm 23 reminds us He wants to lead us, to nurture us, to restore our sin-tarnished heart, and to guide us down a path of righteousness. He is fitting us now for a life with Him, forever! Until then, let us not allow distractions to take our focus. Let’s wait upon the Lord and be a force of strength in HIM that the devil dreads encountering.
Isaiah 40:31 – They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
June 24, 2019
By Donna P.
Several years ago, my best friend of 50 years, Shirley Lord, was impressed to pray for our Camino church and each member. She chose to invite others to come early on Sabbath morning and pray with her in the Mother’s Room. I’m sure she didn’t want to be there by herself, but on most Sabbaths she prayed alone. (Shirley said she wasn’t really alone – the Holy Spirit and Jesus were with her.)
After her death, I was given the opportunity to speak in Sabbath School on Shirley’s favorite topic: prayer. The book “Prayer,” by Ellen White was instrumental in the preparation for my talk. These are some of the vital aspects about prayer that I learned:
#1. Something unique happens when we come together and pray in one accord. See Acts 2:1-4.
#2. Revival will only come as the result of prayer (individual or collective). I feel the need of revival in my own life, and maybe you do too. Let’s pray about it.
#3. Satan and his whole host fear and tremble when we appeal to Jesus in fervent prayer. (p. 270 from the book “Prayer”) Can you believe you have the power from Jesus to cause Satan to tremble in fear?!!
#4. Again from the same page: “Satan dreads the prayer by the humblest saint and it is his constant attempt to keep the troubled soul away from God. There is a mighty power in prayer.”
#5. Prayer baffles Satan. Baffle is an interesting but seldom heard word these days. It means to defeat, confuse, and perplex. So prayer is an important means we have to defeat, confuse, and perplex the enemy. Let’s pray more and take advantage over him.
I can’t help but wonder what the mostly solitary prayer sessions of Shirley Lord accomplished. Only God knows. She prayed that Camino would be called a ‘House of Prayer.’ There are many opportunities these days to come together and pray in one accord. Let’s pray and revival will come! That’s God’s promise!
June 17, 2019
By Kim T.
Devotion: To know and to act upon our relationship with God; to be fully alive in Him; to acknowledge His presence in our lives. But devotion without prayer cannot happen. It’s like a body without breath – lifeless, a river without water, an ocean without salt. How important it is to pray now. Pray like we’ve never prayed before.
Through prayer we are granted the opportunity to know more of God and His heart and to be changed and molded by His Spirit. Nothing on earth can do this - no psychiatrist, no government, no person.
We hear much of the power of prayer, and yet this power is only found in the One who yearns for us to hear Him. Throughout the day, God is there and speaks to our hearts more than we know. Even when doing the things that life demands, God is there. In all that we are we must have a heart that desires to know Him, to hear Him. Through prayer, we will be more aware of His presence with us.
I know that I need to pray more, but more importantly I want to pray more. Why? Because I want to know Him more.
June 10, 2019
In lieu of a devotion this week, we are sending out a link to a website that we think you’ll enjoy and be blessed by. Myers Media has audio versions of: The Desire of Ages, The Great Controversy, Patriarchs and Prophets, and Steps to Christ, as well as various other recordings. They are free of charge to listen to or download. Once at the website, the top left corner has 3 lines that if you click on, a menu of the audio books opens up.
If you know of members who don’t receive our church email, please pass this along to them also. Here is the link:
May you be richly blessed!
Your Prayer Ministries Team
June 3, 2019
By Dan S.
I’ve never been asked to write a little devotional talk before so please bear with me…..
As I was thinking about winter and winters past, a song came to mind, and the title goes like this: “Lord Jesus, I Long To Be Perfectly Whole,” which has a refrain of “Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”
Many years ago, God saw that my family and I needed a change of lifestyle, and to experience God’s awesome handiwork and the wonders of His beautiful nature. To make a long story short, unbeknownst to me and my family, God would take us out of our comfort zone of city and friends, and give us the wonders of our hearts in a whole new world. God gave us a home up in the clouds at 7,000 feet in the beautiful High Sierras. Little did I know that God was calling to me, using the wonders of nature. I hadn’t thought about God or this song for many years, probably even back to my childhood. So as we experienced winter in the Sierras, I thought how after a long night of darkness and blindness from the wind-driven snow, the dawn comes. The clouds move off and the air is crystal clear. The sun comes up from the East and shines on the glistening snow crystals so brightly that it hurts your eyes. The snow looks like it’s covered in diamonds and all of a sudden the words, the thought, ‘whiter than snow, now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow” came to my mind. The song is as follows:
Verse 1: Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole; I want Thee forever to live in my soul; Break down every idol, cast out every foe; Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Verse 2: Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies, And help me to make a complete sacrifice; I give up myself, and whatever I know; Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Verse 3: Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat; I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet, By faith, for my cleansing; I see Thy blood flow; Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Verse 4: Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait; Come now, and within me a new heart create; To those who have sought Thee, Thou never said’st No; Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Refrain: Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow; Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow……there that memory of quietness, being alone, being awestruck, nothing for miles; sitting on top of the world, so to speak, and having a perfect whiter-than-snow blanket to cover a lifetime of sins in a sin-filled world.
Thank you Lord Jesus for Your glory to behold! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
May 28, 2019
By Wanda S.
I love puzzles, so through my journey in this life that God has given me, I often compare the hills and valleys, highs and lows, good times and not-so-good times, trials and tribulations, to a puzzle piece. I believe I am, as you are, a piece of God’s beautiful picture of how this world will be when He is finished. But in order to fit in the exact spot of this ‘puzzle,’ I must be a certain ‘shape.’ So God molds me and makes me by taking me through experiences that leave me with that ‘shape.’
Jeremiah 31:3 says, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I DRAWN thee."
Isn't it wonderful to know that the God of all creation takes time to make sure that we are in the perfect shape to fit, where He needs us to be, in His grand portrait because He LOVES us!! WOW.
May 21, 2019
By Linda B.
When I was in my late 20’s, we lived in Yucaipa, and I worked in Loma Linda at the Heritage Gardens Retirement & Convalescent Hospital. I would take my two older children to the Academy in Yucaipa and then take my youngest to a babysitter. I used my time driving alone to talk to God.
One day after work I was on my way to pick up my youngest son and then the other two at school. I came to a four-way stoplight at Alabama St. and what use to be Hwy 99. I do not know to this day why, but I stopped about 3 feet from the crosswalk. I was in the middle lane. A car came up on my right and pulled forward ready to make a right hand turn into Redlands. Just then the light turned yellow for the traffic driving in the other direction. I heard breaks squeal, looked to my left and saw a car which couldn’t stop, and it was coming right at me. I looked in the rear view mirror and could have put it in reverse, but didn’t have time. I sat there with my hands on the steering wheel waiting for the impact. I could see that the oncoming car was trying to correct its steering. I sat there watching as it passed my car by an inch or two, then slammed into the side of the car on my right. I heard the man make a grunting sound as it hit. I sat there stunned for more than 2 green lights.
Have you ever stopped and wondered what God has done in your life that you aren’t even aware of?
Maybe He healed you before you even knew you were sick. Perhaps He saved you from a fatal car crash that never happened. I have felt like God has protected me more times than I could count, so I can only imagine how may times He has rescued me when I was unaware that I was even in danger. He sends his angels to watch over us: Psalm 91:11 “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”; Psalm 121:3 “He will not let your foot slip--- he who watches over you will not slumber nor sleep.”
Let’s take a moment to thank God for protecting us. He is always watching over you and He’s there for you even when you don’t realize it. What an awesome God we serve!
May 13, 2019
By Kathy Jo B.
Proverbs 17:3 “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tests the hearts.”
Gold and silver must go through extremely high temperatures to be separated from the dross in which it is found. Gold needs a temperature of close to 2000° F, and silver, 1,764° F. These extreme temperatures are very necessary for the purification of these precious metals. The same is true with the purification of our characters. What temperatures are YOUR trials? Illnesses, job issues, dealing with an evil temper, bullies, wayward children, relationship with your spouse. These trials and many others can overwhelm our lives if we allow them to. Jesus has the answers we need. Talk to Him. Let Him lead. He is the Master Refiner. He watches the fire with a keen eye, and will not allow it to get too hot for us to endure. Our trials can turn into blessings when Jesus is in charge!
Psalm 66:10 “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.”
May 6, 2019
By Don H.
One’s religion and church family are an important part of one’s life. It is a place where friendships develop and we care for and look after one another. Sometimes when problems arise, some may choose to leave, for one reason or another. This is like a divorce between a man and a woman. The entire family is hurt and sad…..did we go to God first and try and work it out?
Everyone has the freedom to worship how and where they want. Joshua 1:9 has some good advice: “Have I not commanded you, be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
May our roots go deep so that when controversy and disagreements challenge us, we can stand together and not give up.
April 29, 2019
By Sybil K.
1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober be vigilant for your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
I heard a story about a lady that went to Africa and she saw how the lions try to isolate their prey from the herd so it is easier to devour them. So with us. We need to stay with our fellow believers for safety and encouragement, and close to our Savior and not isolate ourselves.
Psalm 91:1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
April 22, 2019
By Dorene O.
Occasionally I get to babysit my very adorable, very precocious, four-year old great-niece. I always enjoy our time together and this was going to be a whole day!
She’s always happy to come to Auntie’s house and the first thing she does when she arrives is go directly to the spare bedroom where the toys and Barbies are kept. When she drags out her favorite toys and dumps them out onto the living room floor, I know exactly what she’s going to say: “Will you play with me”? So we dress and undress the Barbies and play ‘going to the beach’ or whatever we can think of. It’s so much fun for the both of us. I love being with her and she with me. And so the day goes….lunch, maybe a walk, more playing….until Auntie is totally exhausted and needs to rest!
This time together is so wonderful but I know that it will change as she gets older. So right now I will enjoy her visits and be happy that she wants to be with me. When Daddy comes to pick her up at the end of the day, she doesn’t want to go home. I remind her that we will have another day to play together very soon. This special bond that we have is so precious and I love the happiness she brings to me.
It reminds me of the relationship our Heavenly Father wants to have with us! He wants us to delight in spending time with Him; not just occasionally but every day. And He will never tire, no matter how long we spend with Him! I want to be like a little child and bring joy to our Heavenly Father!
Matthew 19:14 “Suffer little children….. to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
April 16, 2019
By Dorene L.
It was back in the early ‘60s – the Santa Rosa Gems were headed by bus to Bishop, CA for a Camporee. Everyone was excited, talking and singing, as we headed for Highway 395. The sky was clear when we left Santa Rosa, but as we got closer to Hwy 395, it clouded up. We didn’t think much of it at that time. As we traveled down the highway, it started snowing, lightly at first, but then it became a whiteout. The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up and we had no chains for the tires. The snow was so heavy that the wipers eventually stopped working. Everyone on that school bus became quiet. You knew prayers were being sent up. Because the snow was so thick and there were no wipers, the bus driver slowed down, trying to stay on the road. He was worried that if he stopped someone would run into the bus. All of a sudden, it was like a large hand went across the windshield. It was wiped clean and stayed clear! Everyone in the bus remained quiet, digesting what had just happened.
Matt. 21:22 says: “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” We saw an answer to that promise.
Psalm 27:14 says: “Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help.” We waited for God to answer our prayer. It seemed like a long time, but God’s timing is always perfect.
Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still and know that I am God.” As we sat going over what had just happened, we knew there was God – our Heavenly Father.
April 9, 2019
By Lloyd O.
Many years ago when I was at an evangelistic series at a church, I heard the speaker say and advocate that nothing can go wrong as long as God is our Copilot. Many Amen's echoed throughout the congregation and I even added a feeble one too. It all sounded really good.
Sometime later while reading a religious publication there it was again. Even though that seemed to be the sentiment for the time, something just didn't seem right. Then it hit me like a thunderbolt: If God is the copilot, then that means I am the pilot and still in charge! I have relegated God to second place. Symbolically, I didn't even wait to land the plane. I just crashed it because that mindset had to be destroyed.
God is not the copilot, He is the Pilot!! In fact, we are not the copilot either. We are not even the navigator. The truth is that we are a passenger. In fact, most of the time, I feel most comfortable seated in Coach next to the bathroom. You see, the truth of the matter is, we are not even on the flight deck.
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I Am, the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. The Pilot, Copilot, and Navigator of Salvation Airlines is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Welcome aboard, the friendliest transportation mode available, with a perfect safety record. They will get you safely Home, guaranteed!
April 1, 2019
By Diana A.
Spring has arrived! Sunshine and blue sky. Bird songs and fresh green everywhere. Daffodils.
Life also seems to get busier this time of year. But time with our Lord must always come first. Let’s also pray for one another, especially those who are “walking through the valley of the shadow….” Even as we enjoy the springtime reminders God has given us of His coming everlasting kingdom of life and light, many are grappling with profound loss and shadows as they lose their loved ones.
There is a praise song that often plays in my head as a prayer. I’m sure most of you know it:
Soften my heart Lord
Soften my heart
From all indifference
Set me apart
To feel Your compassion
To weep with Your tears
Come soften my heart, O Lord
Soften my heart.
I have family and friends who do not feel a need for God in their lives. And I know I’m not the only one. So recently on a walk, I put new words to the above prayer song:
Open their eyes Lord
Open their eyes
From all confusion
Make them more wise
To seek Your forgiveness
To live in Your power
Please open their eyes Dear Lord
At this late hour.
Don’t give up on your family and friends, no matter how hardened they seem. God promises us in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Let’s all keep watch for those great and mighty things!
March 24, 2019
By Elaine L.
Have you ever stood and gazed with amazement at a flock of geese flying north or south, depending on what time of year it is? I always count it a special blessing when I get to witness that event. God has shown His love to us through many ways, and one way is through nature. Here is something that happened to me one day that was truly a remarkable way God spoke to me. Some of you may remember I told this story for a Children's Story a while back, but it is worth hearing again.
My buzzing story happened a few summers ago, when I was sitting at the edge of my lawn digging out weeds. I was at the end of the lawn where I could look up and see the west side of my yard, where the birdbath is. It had been a very hot and dry summer, so I always made sure my birdbath was full of water. I also knew that bees drank water from the birdbath as well, because I had observed them lined up all around the edge of the water before. As I was working hard at the weeds a couple of bees came flying up to me and circled by head two times and flew back to the side yard. I didn't really think anything about it, until they did it a second time. I thought that was rather interesting; then the thought suddenly came to me, I wonder if the birdbath is empty. I am sure it was my angel or the Holy Spirit that put that thought in my mind. I got up and went over to the birdbath, and sure enough it was "bone dry" as the saying goes. The bees were all lined up around a dry birdbath. I felt like I had let them down by forgetting to fill the birdbath that day. I filled the bath with water up to where they were lined up, and the two bees never came and circled my head after that. I kind-of chuckled to myself that they circled my head like Joshua's Israelite army did around Jericho. Somehow those bees associated me with water in the birdbath. God can use us to help nature as much as His nature can help us learn of His love.
The point of my story is, keep in tune with God's nature, because that is one way He speaks to us.
God Bless each of you.
March 18, 2019
By Karen S.
As I was praying on what to share, two thoughts came to mind-- wherever you are we are commissioned to let our light shine and plant the seeds of the Gospel. Christ calls us to let our light shine (our witness, our testimony) so that others may be drawn to Him. He has planted you where you are as you are His light. It doesn't matter the light - it may be a pen light, a candle, a flashlight or a lantern. When there's darkness, even the light from a penlight can show the path that Christ is drawing any who are listening and open to His whispers.
Similarly the second thought is about pine cones. There are different sizes of cones from small to large, some having a few seeds while others have many. Each cone is designed for one purpose-- open when they drop to the ground and release the seeds. The seeds, when nurtured with water and sunlight, grow into the trees they were designed to be. Christ asks us to plant the seeds of the Gospel. How do we do that? To share what Christ has done in our lives - our witness of Him. God will take care of watering and nurturing the seed.
Our gracious, merciful Savior asks us to shine our light and plant seeds. The Holy Spirit and our Redeemer are faithful to take care of the rest.
March 11, 2019
By Jackie O.
My attention was drawn to the story of Jesus teaching the multitude from the boat on the Sea of Galilee. After He was finished he told Simon to "Launch out into the deep." There are a couple of lessons to learn from that request, or you could say ‘command’, from Jesus.
For a little background of the day, the fishermen did not fish in deep water. Deep water was scary to them, they were superstitious. Evil was in the deep waters, so they did not go there. But where did they catch the ‘catch of their lives’? In the deep water. What did they have to do to claim their massive catch? Trust it all to the Master and throw their nets into the deep water. That is where they received the blessings that could hardly be contained.
What does that tell us? Our greatest blessings are waiting for us in the scary, deep water that we do not want to go into. It means totally trusting the Master instead of ourselves.
Our Church Family is being called to enter the deep water. God is just waiting for us to throw in our nets and receive blessings from Him. It doesn't mean it will be totally smooth sailing. Hang on and enjoy the ride - this is where the excitement is. Our nets will be full and overflowing, difficult to haul it all in!
March 4, 2019
By Sheryl B.
Rain…and more rain! It has been either snowing or raining over the last several weeks. I have always enjoyed a good rain storm. I do not mind hearing the rain hit the roof or the windows of my room. There is something soothing about the sound of rain. It makes me want to head for the kitchen to make cookies or bake some wonderful smelling bread.
As a child, I did not care if I got wet during the summer storms. It was a relief from the heat. My brother and I would run around outside with our faces to the sky, arms out wide and allowing the water to cascade over us on its way to the earth. What a refreshing feeling it was!
But as I grew up, I did not want the rain to mess up my hair or my clothes. If I happen to be in town and it was raining hard outside, I would pause before heading into the downpour. I had to decide if my time was more valuable than my discomfort. I am grateful that I do not have to work in the rain.
There is one type of rain, though, that I want to be in. It is the Latter Rain. “As the plant receives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain, we are to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit. The work is to be done “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”. If we keep our minds stayed upon Christ, He will come unto us “as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Col 66.1
I want the Holy Spirit to wash over me, refresh me and change me into whatever Christ needs from me. It is a choice we all will make. Do we get “wet” or stay where it is “dry.” I choose to get wet, to lift my face up and open my arms wide for this blessing!
February 25, 2019
By Fred A.
During the past few weeks, most of us have probably had our “snow adventures,” some of them fun and others more challenging. But when the lights went out and the Internet quit, we found ourselves going back to the basics, sitting by the fire, reading, and enjoying simple life again. It was a great time to really focus on God’s Word without the distractions of instant messages, email, Facebook and YouTube.
On page 44 of the Ellen White devotional Maranatha, I read the following:
In the Scriptures thousands of gems of truth lie hidden from the surface seeker. The mine of truth is never exhausted. The more you search the Scriptures with humble hearts, the greater will be your interest, and the more you will feel like exclaiming with Paul: "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"
Every day you should learn something new from the Scriptures. Search them as for hid treasures, for they contain the words of eternal life. Pray for wisdom and understanding to comprehend these holy writings. If you would do this you would find new glories in the word of God; you would feel that you had received new and precious light on subjects connected with the truth, and the Scriptures would be constantly receiving a new value in your estimation. (Emphasis added)
I have read through the Bible many times, and every single time I discover tiny details I had never noticed before. I often check commentaries and the original languages to discover more information about those “gems of truth,” which I then add to my collection of Bible verses for future reference.
Sunday morning as the snow continued falling throughout the morning, I lay on my bed, looking out the windows, fascinated at how the fluffy whiteness transformed the trees and everything else around us. It brought to mind Psalm 51:7 “Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” And after a hard freeze, yesterday’s blue sky and sunshine created thousands of bright sparkling diamonds that left us gazing in awe!
Those sparkling gems are gone now, melted into plain water and leaving bare patches in our yard. But God can transform that water into beauty again, just as He does when we “search the Scriptures” (John 5:39). And He eagerly longs for us to spend quiet moments with Him, asking Him to make us whiter than snow.
Dear God, We thank You for promising to cover us with Your robe of righteousness, making our lives whiter and more beautiful than sparkling snow diamonds as we reflect Your love to others. Show us how to live so that we can draw others to Jesus. Amen.
February 12, 2019
By Lisa C.
Last week as the snow first started coming down, it was such a beautiful sight: large fluffy snowflakes gently settling on the ground, turning the landscape into a winter wonderland. But quickly it turned into a blizzard that was fearsome to behold. Power went out, phones and internet service went down, roads were impassable due to snow and fallen trees. Was this unexpected? Only to those who didn’t watch and listen. Weather alerts, forecasters, all were clamoring to tell us how big this storm was going to be. Some were skeptical – how many times have they predicted storms like this and instead we get a whimper? (many times) Some were preparing - gas for generators, wood, bottled water, food, supplies. So when it hit, just how prepared were we?
Our God has given us His blessed Word and His servant for our time, Mrs. White, to help guide us through and prepare us for the Final Storm. God has made sure that He has given us ample warnings of what is to come but He also gives encouragement and how to prepare. And one of the most beautiful and powerful parts of this is His promise to be with us through it all. He is constant and sure, and we know that He keeps His promises. Have we trusted in Him right now to see how faithful He is? Are we turning control over to the One who loves us the most? Trust is difficult when blizzards of life come and the list of storms is long: cancer, illness, disease, addictions, living paycheck to paycheck, families devastated, depression, loss of loved ones – each one of us has been in or is currently in a storm. But this is where God says Let me be your God! Let me show you what I can do! And this is how we weather the storms in life and also prepare for the “Final Storm” that lies just ahead: stock up on the Bread of Life, the Water from the Well that will never run dry, the Oil that will fuel us through whatever comes. Claim the promises that God freely wants to give you. Turn over everything to Him and strengthen your foundation of trust and love in the One who gave His all for us. Encourage and strengthen one another with the Word. Pray, Love, and be there for each other. And when the storms in this life pummel us, I pray that by God’s grace and strength we will be prepared.
Dear Heavenly Father – How blessed we are that you have loved us so completely. Thank you for answering our prayers in the way that only You can do – with perfect love and wisdom. We humbly come before You and ask that You would take our lives, our hearts, our wills, and transform us into Your likeness. Give us the hunger for a deeper relationship with You that only You can satisfy. May we be filled with Your Word and Your Holy Spirit each morning, so that we can meet with confidence whatever the day will hold. Thank You Father! Amen
John 4:14 John 6:35 Matt 25:1-13 Mark 6:49-50 Matthew 6:8 Matt 7:7-11 1 John 4:7-11
February 4, 2019
Greetings Church Family ~
This morning while reading from Christ’s Object Lessons, chapter 12, Asking to Give, was especially meaningful and we wanted to share the blessing of a few passages with you.
“Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit. In the early hours of the new day the Lord awakened Him from His slumbers, and His soul and His lips were anointed with grace, that He might impart to others. His words were given Him fresh from the heavenly courts, words that He might speak in season to the weary and oppressed.”
“He gives to us that we may minister to others and thus become like Himself.”
“Prayer is not to work any change in God, it is to bring us into harmony with God. When we make request of Him, He may see that it is necessary for us to search our hearts and repent of sin. Therefore He takes us through test and trial, He brings us through humiliation, that we may see what hinders the working of His Holy Spirit through us.”
These are just a few of the precious words that Mrs. White wrote to encourage us. As we focus on a deeper relationship with God, our prayer life is vital. By opening ourselves up to honest and humble communion with our Father, we allow Him to transform our character into His image. Praise God! Let’s start each day with a thankful heart full of praise – dedicating our hearts, plans, the day, our life - to Him. God has a mission for the Camino SDA church, and by much prayer and humble dedication to letting God be God, we will see His amazing plan unfold. Our prayer is that we will all be a part of that plan!
With love and gratefulness for countless blessings ~
Your Prayer Ministry Team