Almost There

The fans are cheering and you hear your name chanted across the Olympic Stadium of the ’92 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.  If you were Derek Redmond of England you would have heard this thundering applause as you crossed the finish line. Yet, Derek didn’t receive the applause and cheers for what you might think.

Derek was slated to win a medal at these games. He had been hampered by nagging injuries as a 400 meter sprinter, but had reached the semi-final race.  Heart pounding in anticipation for the gun to start the race and then… BANG!!!  They were off and running; each athlete in the greatest shape of his life sprinting down the track at top speed. Half way down the track Derek hears a snap.  It was his hamstring.  This was not a new occurrence and even the announcers informed the crowd that “the jinx has struck again.”               

Every fiber in his body, especially the muscles around the hamstring were telling him to give up as he lay on the track hobbled and defeated.  Something told him to keep going.  As the trainers tried to assist him to the side of the track he pushed his way through and started to hop on one leg to the finish line.  The crowd stunned began to cheer him on. Derek slowed to a stop several times, but was determined to finish the race.  When it seemed like he couldn’t make it any farther his father came out of the stands, embraced him, and said, “You don’t have to do this alone.”  Derek filled with renewed strength with the help from his father made his way across the finish line and the crowd erupted in applause. 

I remember those games.  Many great storylines from the 1992 Olympics are etched into my memory.  This story in particular resonated with me as I became a Christian 11 years later.                

This life is a race. Not a race to compete with one another, but rather a race to spur one another unto love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24).  In this race there will be trials, afflictions, troubles, and persecutions as scripture has plainly taught.  When these trials come and seem to debilitate us, strangle our praise, cause us to shut down, give up, give in, remember that our heavenly Father is there and is telling us “You don’t have to do it alone.” 

As a matter of fact we will not be able to get to the finish line without Him!   Lean on the Lord, trust in Him and He will get you to the “finish line.”  A crowd of angels will cheer, encourage, and sustain you through the Holy Spirit and the words of scripture!  This reminds me of two scriptures; “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 3:14)” and “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, LOOKING unto JESUS the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds (Hebrews 12:1-3).”  Christ made it and with the help of all heaven you can too!                        

You are almost there! Press on, press together, press forward! Keep your eyes on Christ as the Father’s love envelops you! You are almost there!

 Pastor Michael Butler

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 CENTRAL HAPPENINGS & NEWS

This Week (November 2 to November 7): 

Tuesday @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study

Tuesday @ 7:00 PM - Prayer Meeting with Pastor Chris Buttery – “Exploits for God” – Acts 27, 28

Wednesday @ 7:00 PM - Spanish Group Prayer Meeting (Chapel)

Various L.I.F.E. groups (in-home small group Bible studies) take place across Sacramento. To locate one near you contact our small groups’ coordinator, Richard Anger @ (916) 681-3990

Sabbath @ 9:00 AM - Morning Manna – Jonathan Martinez

Sabbath @ 9:30 AM - Central Study Hour with Pastor Chris Buttery + Children/Youth/Adult Sabbath School Classes

Sabbath @ 10:50 AM - Worship Service with Pastor Chris Buttery

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Central Events

Revelation: On the Edge of Time is going into its final six presentations starting Wednesday night (November 4) and continuing on November 6, 7, 8, 10, and 11.  Topics yet to be presented are “the Mark of the Beast,” “Unmasking the Antichrist,” “Revelation’s Three Unclean Spirit’s,” and “Seven Great Religious Movements.” The seminars converge at the church chapel on Friday evening. There is still time to bring a friend.

Communion Service will be held on Sabbath, November 14 during the worship hour. Plan to be there by preparing your hearts ahead of time.

Central Ministries

Central's A/V Ministry is in need of your help. Every Sabbath provides an incredible opportunity to be involved in the production of Bible-based messages that are heard all over the world. Contact Michael Aldrich for more information or if you'd like to be a part of this exciting ministry (mikejaldrich@gmail.com).

Desktop Publisher Needed! Central office is looking for a member or two who would enjoy donating their time to prepare bulletin inserts and posters for upcoming events. If you have experience and are interested, please contact the church office (see back of bulletin for information).

Central Matters

Adventists in the Spotlight: With the Seventh-day Adventist Church being in the spotlight due to Dr. Ben Carson’s run for the U.S. presidency, many people are asking questions about our faith that may have never been asked before. Now is the time to know what we believe and how to share that with others. An easy way to share more about Adventists is to share the CD or DVD of Pastor Chris’ message “Who & What is the Seventh-day Adventist?” Pick up your copies to share at the CD/DVD Ministry room here at the church.

Sacramento Central Church Choir is rehearsing for our December 5 Christmas Concert. If you are interested in joining (we are especially looking for more men), please contact Eunice Aldrich at (916) 607-1282. Join us this Sabbath for practice at 4:00 PM in the Sanctuary. Please enter/exit through the north stage door only. All other doors will be locked.

Sign Interpreter Returning to Central! Robin Franzke from the Roseville SDA Church will be returning to sign for the November 14 church service here at Central. If you know someone hard of hearing or who is deaf and can read sign language, please invite them to join us for church that week.

Discipleship University reading guides for this week’s class are available in the lobby and on our website (www.saccentral.org). It’s on Job 28-42 and Exodus 1-4. Look forward to seeing you on Sabbath!

Watch us on Television! Enjoy viewing Central’s flagship programs, Central Study Hour, every Friday night at 8 PM and Sabbath morning at 6 AM (PST) on 3ABN Proclaim! Also enjoy our Receiving the Word, 30-minute programs weekly on Sunday morning at 11 AM and Wednesday night at 8:30 PM on Sacramento Faith TV. These can also be viewed on our website (www.saccentral.org) and our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/thecentralconnection). Let everyone know where they can receive timely Bible messages!

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BULLETIN BOARD - An assortment of happenings, announcements, and resources from around the Seventh-day Adventist Church

News & Announcements

Around the World

Adventist in the Spotlight: G. Alexander Bryant, North American Division Executive Secretary, was invited to appear on the Glenn Beck Program as a spokesperson from the Seventh-day Adventist Church to answer questions about who Adventists are and what we believe. The program aired Thursday morning, October 22. Listen to the interview here. On October 27, Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press, made a request for someone to share some of the beliefs of the church. Elder Bryant was very happy to accept the invitation, which was broadcast on MSNBC. Watch the interview here.

In response to increased interest, the Seventh-day Adventist church in North America today launched a new website - www.WhoAreAdventists.org – to help introduce the church to people interested in learning more.  The site provides a broad overview about the history and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, as well as background about the church’s passionate commitment to serving people across the country and around the world through disaster relief efforts, community service, and innovative health and wellness programs.

Feed one child for .50 cents a day!  The "do fast" began in 2013 to fulfill the Biblical mandate to "defend orphans" (Isaiah 1:17), hence the name "do." Participate with your children and students to help teach them the value of sharing your bread with the hungry according to Isaiah 58, which is the fast that God has chosen. The fast will be on November 14 during World Orphans' Weekend. To learn more click here.

Adventists Urged to Examine Diet After WHO Calls Meat a Cancer Hazard. The World Health Organization has declared red meat and processed meat to be a cancer hazard, confirming statements by Seventh-day Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White more than a 120 years ago and recent research by Loma Linda University. The Adventist Church’s top doctor said Monday’s announcement, the global health community’s most definitive response yet to the relation between meat and cancer, served as a wake-up call for church members to examine their own diets. To learn more click here.

Around Sacramento

Would you like to receive the SAA Weekend Report? Email Eva Mason at emason@sacaa.org. Please include your name, connection to the school, and e-mail.

Resources

Pacific Press® is offering a free devotional app called "Devoted" which is available for both android and iPhone users. Selected readings are taken from a wide range of Adventist authors and include an excerpt each Friday and Sabbath from the current Sabbath School companion book and from E. G. White Notes on the Sabbath School Lesson. You can receive it as a daily email, and also post it on your church website

Dr. David DeRose’s Compass Health Ministry is offering several important products at an incredibly reduced rate.  Click here to learn more and to see how you can receive your free book.

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