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FROM THE WORD

The Molting of Man

I wonder a lot.  I am not sure sometimes if it’s a bad thing or not.  I wonder about things in nature like trees, bees, and chimpanzees.  The world around us is an enchanting place, full of wonder, splendor, and color.  There is one thing that has gripped my mind in recent weeks. It’s about a lobster, yes, a lobster. 

Lobsters are one of the largest crustaceans.  Some other well-known crustaceans are crab, krill, crayfish, shrimp, scampi, and even barnacles. Yet, none of these compare in overall mass to the lobster.  The largest lobster ever recorded was found along the coast of Nova Scotia in 1977.  It weighed 20 kg or a little over 44 pounds. It was measured at over a meter long (39+ inches) in overall length!

I wondered, how does the lobster or any crustacean grow to be such an imposing size? Well, lobsters molt in order to grow, that means they must shed their carapace. The carapace is the hard upper shell of a crustacean or turtle. The lobster will grow to the size of the carapace.  Once it reaches the size of the outer shell, it will feel discomfort, pain, and stress on its body.  Once, it is too much to bear, the lobster will split the carapace in two, and will pulls its body through first, then its claws, its legs and its tail. Once through, the lobster is as soft as gelatin.  At first, the new carapace is very flexible and not very solid. It will harden with time. Approximately a month is needed for the carapace to harden completely. After having molted, lobsters are 15 to 20% larger than before and their weight increases approximately by 40 to 50%.

Such a fascinating sequence of events for the growth of such an interesting creature!  What is even more fascinating is the spiritual “likeness” that the lobster and other crustaceans have with human spiritual growth.  The lobster feels the need to molt, or grow, only when the pressure of his shell gets so unbearable that it must be broken to continue growing. 

For man, we “molt” as well.  It is through the crucible of trial and affliction that our new Christ-like character begins to form.  His character will become our “shell” or shield to ward off our enemy.  Like the lobster we must go through difficult, stressful, even painful times in our walk to “grow.”  James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”  Why? James 3 and 4 provides the answer. “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” 

The lobster likely doesn’t moan, groan, or complain when it needs to “grow.”  I wonder what would happen if we let God have his way with us? I wonder what would happen if we would accept trials as they are?  I wonder what would happen if we were joyful during trials?  What kind of people we would be? What kind of church would we be? This I know, we would be closer to Jesus and each other than ever before. We would have a heart for those struggling through their trials, and show them with Whom they can find comfort. I wonder, is that what we want? 

Michael Butler, Youth-Young Adult Pastor

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CENTRAL CORNER

This Week (May 2 to 7): 

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

• Tuesday @ 7:00 PM – Prayer Meeting with Pastor Michael Butler (John 18:19-40)

• Wednesday @ 7:00 PM - Spanish Group Prayer Meeting

• 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 – Richard Anger

• 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

• Sabbath @ 2:00 PM – Light Sacramento!

Upcoming Events

Light Sacramento!: As a part of Discipleship University, starting Sabbath, May 7 @ 2 PM, a practical evangelism training class will begin which is designed to look at effective means and ways to reach our city for Jesus. You don’t have to be a people person or an extrovert to be a part of this exciting venture as we seek to Light Sacramento! Just bring yourself, walking shoes, a change of clothes, and a dish to share for fellowship lunch. For more information, please contact JeAnn Davis at (209) 200-6138.

Youth Week of Prayer: Guest speaker, Garrison Hayes from Andrews University, will be sharing his experiences and thoughts on what the foundation or “Groundwork” for our Christian walk should be. It starts May 9 at 7 PM in the Sanctuary and then May 10-13 at 7 PM in the Chapel. You won’t want to miss this time of fellowship, fervent prayer, and meaningful topics relevant to youth and young adults alike! Refreshments provided. All are welcome.

Church-Wide Potluck & Ministry Fair: It’s that time of year again when we get to enjoy each other’s company and learn a little more about the ministries at Central. Plan to join us for the whole day on Sabbath, May 14. Bring a dish to share and stay for Light Sacramento with Elder Del Dunavant after the ministry fair. You won’t want to miss this!

A Night in Italy: Enjoy the tastes and sounds of Italy as Central’s youth put on a special evening for all.  They will be providing a three course meal, free baby-sitting and dinner for your children, live music and more! Proceeds will go toward Youth Ministry events including Teen Day Camp and Outreach Week this year, and a Mission Trip in 2017. Tickets can be purchased at the office. For more information, contact Pastor Michael at 916.292.2176.

Audio Board Training: On Tuesday, May 17 @ 6:30 PM, Central’s audio-visial ministry will be conducting another audio board training. This will be an intermediary class for those with prior experience. The training will be in the sanctuary.

Ministry Opportunities

Smart Thrift Help Needed: If you can give some of your time to helping at our thrift store during the week (Monday to Thursday - 10 AM to 6 PM; Friday – 10 AM to 2 PM) it would be truly appreciated.  There is sorting, stacking, processing, and lots to do. Please call the store at (916) 457-6500 to let them know when you can come in. Thank you!

Family Matters

Future of Smart Thrift: With sadness we regret to inform you that effective May 31, our thrift store ministry will close. The church board recently heard a report from the thrift store steering committee and came to the very difficult conclusion that the store had no viable future after considering the incredible financial losses the store was incurring. The church board will be working with our community services ministry to expand its horizons so that we might continue to help those in need in our community. The last clothing/furniture drop-off day will be May 6.  The last week of the store’s operation will be May 15-20. Please keep our existing staff in prayer as they look for new work starting in June. Thank you to all of you who have given your time, effort, and support to Smart Thrift over the last three and a half years of operation. It is truly appreciated.

From the Hospitality Ministry: Friends. Thank you for continuing to support our weekly guest lunch here at Central. Recently, however, we find ourselves doing more work over the Sabbath hours than we feel comfortable performing, primarily cleaning dishes. So starting Sabbath May 21 we are asking that if you bring a dish (and, yes, please keep bringing them!) that you (or a friend) collect them immediately after lunch so we don’t need to wash them. We know this will be a change from the way we normally do things, but we believe it is a step in the right direction. We appreciate your willingness to help us as we seek to make these changes.

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 at 11 AM, Tuesday at 11:30 AM (NEW TIME), Wednesday at 8:30 PM, and Thursday at 9 PM (NEW TIME) on Sacramento Faith TV (Comcast – 20; CCI – 19; AT&T – 14). 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!

Podcasts Available! If you didn't know, every Central Study Hour and worship service can be viewed and downloaded by going to our website (https://zqh.orf.mybluehost.me/saccentral/sermons). This is an easy way for you to invite friends and family to listen to important Bible messages coming from Central church. The podcasts are uploaded a week after the live presentation.

News & Events From Elsewhere

Forever One Marriage Retreat, with Drs. Pamela and Claudio Consuegra (English), and Drs. Cesar and CarolAnn De Leon (Spanish), will be conducted September 16 to 18, at the La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Montgomery, TX. Early bird registration is June 30. Visit http://www.beforeverone.org/ to receive more information.

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NEWS HEIGHTS

Resources

Happy Mother’s Day! Remnant Publications is offering their Bible in colors for your mother! Of course they have many other cover colors as well. So give your Mom the gift that will last a lifetime. It truly will be the last study Bible that she will ever need. Your choice of King James Version or New King James Version. Click here for more details.

A Friend in Siri. Abuse or rape victims now have a friend in Siri, as well as a friend in Jesus.  As of March 17, Siri, as supplied by Apple iPhones, understands the phrases "I was raped" and "I am being abused." In response, Siri puts iPhone users one click away from the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Apple worked with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, which operates the hotline, to craft this response. (Information from NAD Women's Ministries Women's Intuition Express newsletter).

Be Inspired 

Your Best Pathway to Health LA took place last week, and for the first time, the mega-clinic provided translators for 14 different language groups, largely representing the immigrant and refugee populations expected to access health care at the event. Close to 10,000 people are expected to receive free medical and dental care with the help of more than 4,000 volunteers. Watch local news coverage of the event here: http://abc7.com/1311453/

If you want others to enjoy receiving this e-newsletter as much as you do, please invite them to sign up by going to www.saccentral.org/central-happenings

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