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Rocks From The Jordan

The 4th chapter of Joshua tells of when God parted the waters of Jordan for Israel to pass over into the Promised Land. Following this, God commanded that twelve stones from the riverbed be piled together as a memorial to His miraculous guidance. It is good for us also to leave memorials along the path of life’s journey; memorials to look back upon in remembrance of God’s watch care and leading.

I will never forget the day that my heart burned within me as I viewed again one such rock pile.

The event took place a few years ago while visiting my dad in England. While meandering down one of York’s medieval streets we stopped a moment to discuss something. Looking behind me I suddenly realized I was standing right outside a former hardware store where I had worked 35 years before. A rush of memories and emotions flooded my mind and heart. They took me back to the days when I was 20 and chasing the dream of stardom in a rock band. The hardware store was just a day job until our band made the “big time.” But it was the narrow wooden door, close to the main door that really caught my attention.

Behind that narrow door, inside a narrow room, stood a symbolic rock pile to God’s leading in my life. It all took place one Monday morning as I was recycling cardboard boxes. I already had some sort of belief in God and read the magazine, Signs of the Times, every month. While learning about the second advent, I had no intention of getting too serious about religion. I figured it was somehow possible to believe while still seeking worldly fame and fortune. 

But then it happened.

A very impressive thought about becoming a minister suddenly surged up into my consciousness. Not only that, but something else inside me responded as an answering cord, desiring to be in harmony with such a call.

I continued ripping up cardboard and eventually the impression faded and was gone. Life moved on and I still busied myself chasing the vain dreams of a starry eyed worldling. Eventually I became a fully surrendered and converted Christian. I walked away from the smoke-filled bars, dance halls, and singing in a rock band. God called me again to serve Him as a minister and it came to pass in His good time.

However, I will never forget standing outside my old work place where 35 years before God had first called me into His service. As powerful as that initial impression was, I didn’t realize it was the voice of God speaking to my heart. I thought it was my own mind engaging in a wild and impractical fantasy. Only later as I looked back did I recognize the guiding of His hand – directing my steps upward to His high calling while I was still a confirmed profligate. What a merciful God!

Standing outside that old narrow door with my dad, I thought quietly (though he never guessed) of the rock pile that lay within. A most profound memorial of God’s guidance in my life. It will always remain there. None can ever move or destroy it. Through His grace I became what He called me to be. 

From that old Roman city that I still know so well I was destined to finish up in Sacramento, California. On that Monday morning of long ago I never dreamed of such a thing, yet it all came to pass. I praise God for that!

It has taught me the importance of never forgetting God’s providential leadings. We should never forget to raise those rock piles in memory’s hall and be inspired anew as we ponder our Father’s working in our lives. He who has faithfully guided us in the past will continue to do so as we trust, obey, and go forward at His bidding.

“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do into them and not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

Mike Thompson, Associate Pastor

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CENTRAL CORNER

This Week (June 27 to July 2): 

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

• Tuesday @ 7:00 PM – Prayer Meeting with 

• 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 – 

• 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 @ 1:00 PM – Guest Fellowship Lunch 

• Sabbath @ 1:00 PM – Book Ministry Luncheon

• Sabbath @ 2:00 PM – Discipleship University

Upcoming Events

Teen Day Camp starts this week, from June 27 to July 1! A lot is planned. Serving in the morning, and in the afternoon we will be going swimming, river rafting, hiking etc. Please contact Pastor Michael if you have any questions. 

Healthy Plate Presents: “Controlling Your Blood Pressure Naturally” Monday, June 27 at 7 PM in the Chapel. All are welcome!

New Prayer Meeting Theme: Do you know what important event happened in 1844? Do you know how Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the Bible developed and who discovered these wonderful truths? What does 1844 mean to you? Come to prayer meeting Tuesday nights and enjoy our story. 

Discipleship University resumes next Sabbath, July 2, in the Camellia Room. The new reading guide covering 1 Samuel 28 to 2 Samuel 5 and selected Psalms is available on our church website. Previous study guides on 1 Samuel can be downloaded at the church website as well. 

Light Sacramento!, Central’s signature event for all, continues Sabbath, July 9 and will continue every 2nd and 4th Sabbath. 

Let Freedom Ring! Liberty Magazine editor, Lincoln Steed, will be joining us Sabbath, July 9 for church, and will stay for a Q&A in the afternoon regarding current religious liberty trends in the light of Bible prophecy. Dennis Seaton, with the Church-State Council, will be joining him. 

Agape Communion: Please note that an Agape Communion is scheduled Friday, July 8 at 6:30 PM in the Camellia Room. We hope to see many of you join us!

Family Matters

Cooling Center Site: We have decided to open up a small space on campus as a cooling center during periods of high temps over the summer months for those more susceptible to the effects of increased heat – homeless, seniors, medically fragile, etc. We are looking for individuals who would be willing to be monitors on certain days during 11 AM to 5 PM for this project. Please call or email the church office if you are interested.

Say Cheese! Photos of members/families are still being taken on Sabbath afternoons only through the end of June. To have your photo taken, please meet outside the front of the church starting at 1:15 PM to have one of the photographers take your picture. We are no longer using sign-up sheets. Thank you!

Consider Adventist Education: It’s that time of year for parents to start thinking about the next school year. Student Financial Aid applications are available at the Hostess Desk in the foyer of the church and in the main office during the week for Central members only. Please contact Pastor Michael if you have any questions regarding the application at (916) 292-2176.

Sacramento Central Prayer Ministry has conference calls open to the entire church twice daily, at 5:30 AM and 7 PM, for approximately 30 minutes. If you happen to log in during the prayer time, please do not say your name. Call 712.770.4010, access code: 361097.

Looking for Room to Rent: Mother & college aged daughter looking for house or rooms to rent in local Sacramento area (Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Auburn, Loomis, Rocklin, Roseville, Newcastle). No pets, Very quiet company. Mother works full time, daughter is a full time student going for nursing.1 inclosed garage spot would be ideal, but not necessary. Please contact Karen at (916) 501-6143. Call is okay, text is preferred due to working hours. If no answer, please leave a voicemail.

Watch us Live Stream! Every Sabbath we live stream our Sabbath School class (Central Study Hour) and worship service. If you live in a different time zone or can’t make it to your local church, go to www.saccentral.org, click on the “Live Stream” button in the middle of the screen and join us at 9:35 AM for an uplifting, Christ-centered experience!

News & Events From Elsewhere

Orangevale Adventist School is offering an affordable extended care summer program for children ages 6 to 10. The program is available June 13 to August 5. Hours are Mondays to Thursdays 7AM to 6PM and Fridays 7AM to 5PM. For more information, contact Gina Wilmot at 916-591-4411.

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NEWS HEIGHTS

Resources

SALT 365. Watch SALT 365, It Is Written's free online evangelism training. In this week's video presentation, SALT instructor Michelle Doucoumes, shares the nuts and bolts of conducting a Bible study, including how to prepare, how long to stay, what to cover during the study, and how to use your Bible study lessons in the most effective way!  Watch here - https://vimeo.com/171589603 

"Our Inspiring Heritage" is on sale this month! This DVD collection contains stories about the Adventist church. Produced by Hope Channel, learn and be inspired by stories about Ellen G. White, J.N. Andrews, John Harvey Kellogg, and more from the Adventist Heritage presentations Jim Nix (EGW Estate director) gave at the 2015 General Conference Session. Sale ends June 30.  Buy here - https://hopechannelstore.com/products/our-inspring-heritage-jim-nix 

Be Inspired 

Brexit: Just last week a significant event took place when Great Britain exited the European Union. But for the student of Bible prophecy, this event just simply confirms a 2,500 year-old prediction found in Daniel chapter 2. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Pastor Chris’ thoughts on this.

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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