I love to draw. One of my favorite styles of art is caricatures. This is the a style of art that distorts the face and or bodies of the person you are drawing. If you have ever been to a fair, you will likely find someone there in a booth drawing people with abnormal eyes, oversized noses, or ears as large as their head. We look at these pictures and usually laugh.

I was in Santa Cruz not long ago with my family. My daughter liked the idea of getting a drawing of us together as caricatures. We sat down for 30 minutes as the talented young lady drew us together. I got home and wanted to draw my own caricature of my brother’s children and my daughter.

One day, long after they left, I was walking by the picture and it struck me. “Truth!” I said. Now, I may have lost you, but hang in there. The definition of truth is “something that is in accordance with fact or reality.” What does this have to do with caricatures? The premise of drawing a caricature is to emphasize certain parts of a person's face or features of their frame. The point for the artist is to create a real-ish type of representation of a person; not a true, accurate, or realistic representation of the person.

The definition of integrity is, “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” Many of us, unfortunately run into people who are their own artist's drawing caricatures out of life. These people are those who will artfully, painstakingly, and for their own profit, distort the reality of a situation, a person's character, or perhaps even their own lives. They accentuate the parts that benefit them. They emphasize one aspect of truth over another, making the reality of any given situation warped and twisted. Have you ever met someone like that?

Maybe your name has been dragged through the mud. Maybe your reputation has been marred by partial truths or misrepresented words or over-exaggerated expressions. It has happened to all of us. What will we do when our position, job, livelihood, our status, place, or character are called into question?

The Bible has ample advice on dealing with critics or false witnesses.

"Be quick to hear" (James 1:19). This can be hard to do because our emotions rise up and our minds begin to think of ways to refute the other person. To be quick to hear means we really do try to listen to and consider what the other person is saying. We don’t just write it off. Even if it seems unjust or undeserved.

"Be slow to speak" (James 1:19). Don’t interrupt or respond too quickly. Let the other person finish. If you speak too quickly you might speak rashly or in anger.

Be slow to become angry. Why? Because James 1:19-20 says the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Anger won’t make someone do the right thing. Remember, God is slow to anger, patient, and long-suffering with those who offend Him. How much more should we be.

Don’t rail back. “When [Jesus] was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Talk about being unjustly accused! Yet Jesus continued to trust His Father and did not revile in return.

Give a gentle response. “A soft answer turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Be gracious even to those who offend you, even as God is gracious to us when we offend Him.

Tell the truth. When you walk with God, you will find you have to make tough decisions. You may have to share hard things others may not like. This does not mean you shrink from telling the truth.

Integrity: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” There will be times in your life doing the right thing will cost you financial gain, professional prosperity, friends, colleagues, and much more. NONE is more costly than integrity. If we lose our integrity, what do we have left?

I challenge you, hold on to integrity. Be honest even when it is frowned upon. Be truthful even when others ask you to weaken your position for the sake of unity. Be faithful to God even at the expense of your livelihood.

I pray that as trials and affliction assail you (and it will until Jesus comes) you will stand for the right though the heavens fall. May God bless you and keep you until his soon return.

“But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me" (Psalm 26:11).

Pastor Michael Butler

(This is will be last contribution Pastor Michael will be making to the Happenings. Pastor Michael and his wife Kristine will be moving to the state of Washington to continue ministry there. Please pray for them as they make this transition.)


Discipleship University Continues!

Join us on Sabbath, October 6 @ 2 PM in Central's Camellia Room as we continue to study the gospels together, along with the combined reading of The Desire of Ages and Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing. 


Choir Rehearsal Has Begun!

Central's Music Ministry invites all choir members – new and returning, aspiring and retiring - to join them for their Christmas season rehearsal each Sabbath at 2:30 PM in the Sanctuary. Please bring a friend and your voices!


New Church Directory!

Make your portrait appointment today! Each participating family will receive a free 8x10 portrait as well as a printed copy of our new church directory. You can sign up at saccentral.org/lifetouch, or you can call 1.866.756.0281. It's that easy!


Light Sacramento - Fall Edition

Join us on Sabbath, October 13 @ 2 PM in the Camellia Room as we prepare to again Light Sacramento with the truth of God's Word. Maps & literature provided. Just bring your enthusiasm, smiles, walking shoes, and a friend.


God's Family Reunion

Central's Family Life Ministries presents this one day event on Sabbath, October 20 starting at 11 AM. Join Ray & Elizabeth Rengifo as they present a unique program encompassing single life, dating, marriage, and parenting. 


Food Pantry Needs...

Central's Food Pantry is requesting coupons for baby products, food, personal hygiene products, laundry products, winter clothes and coats, blankets and kitchen items. Please call Barbara Ralls at 916.880.0164 for drop off details.


Operation Joash Update #8

We thank the Lord for how He is leading us as we seek to restore the church building and property to its original condition. Check out the stats on the image to the left. Click on the image to learn more about Operation Joash.


Amazing Prophecies CDs Available!

Order a set of this amazing 12-night prophecy series recently conducted by Pastor Chris Buttery. Topics include: "The Curse of the Forbidden Prophecy" and "King of the North Rises". Call 916.457.6511 to get yours now.


Click on the Calendar to find out what else is happening at Central this month - from Sabbath speakers, to events, plus much, much more!



Watch Us Television!

Watch Receiving The Word on Sacramento Faith TV (www.sacramentofaithtv.org): Sunday-11 AM; Tuesday-11:30 AM; Wednesday-9:00 PM; Friday-9:00 PM (Pacific Time). Also watch on Firstlight Broadcasting (www.firstlight.org.nz)


Central Happenings is published by the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6045 Camellia Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95819 www.saccentral.org

Sacramento Central Ministry Team: Chris Buttery, Lead Pastor; Mike Thompson, Associate; Fred Dana, Associate; Michael Butler, Youth-Young Adult; JeAnn Davis, Bible Instructor

Central Happenings: Chris Buttery, Editor; Chrystal White, Copy Editor/Distributor