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An Amazing Fact – In February 2013, a sinkhole formed under Jeff Bush’s bedroom in the town of Seffner, a Tampa suburb, as he turned in for the night. He screamed out for help to his brother Jeremy, who ran into the bedroom to see that Bush and all his furnishings had vanished into the earth. Although rescue efforts were immediate, Jeff perished and his remains were never recovered. Hillsborough County, on Florida’s west coast, is part of an area known as “sinkhole alley”.  Sinkholes are a common problem in the state, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, due to the fact that Florida lies on bedrock made of limestone or other carbonate rock that can be eaten away by acidic groundwater, forming voids that collapse when the rock can no longer support the weight of what’s above it.

We were blessed this past Sabbath and Sunday to hear Doctors Thomas and LaVerne Jackson share several messages during their marriage seminar, Preserving the Sacred Circle.  Dr. Thomas Jackson shared “If the Foundation be Destroyed…”during the worship hour where after telling the story above about the sinkhole reminded us that the Bible is the only sure foundation for us to build our lives upon. The Scripture reading was Psalms 11:3 read by Matthew Perlee.  “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

Dr. Jackson shared how Satan is attacking the family which is a foundation established at creation. (See Genesis 2:18-25) Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are “the issues of life”; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depends upon home influences.

While many excellent principles from the Bible were shared, one key principle came from Psalms 62:5. “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”  We go into marriage with expectations and end up disappointed because we are looking for a person to make us happy.  A successful marriage does not come by two incomplete persons or halves making a whole.  We must be whole or converted first.  Adam was alone, but not lonely.  Alone is a physical state while lonely is an emotional state. Eve was not created to fill a void in his life. They each had their identity in Christ. Both were created with the capacity to love and to be relational like our Creator.

Adam represents or is a type of Christ, while Eve (the bride) represents the church.  (See Ephesians 5:28-32). Marriage was designed to protect the heart of God. Eve was formed from Adam’s rib for a reason. Ribs protect the heart.  Marriage (holy matrimony) is not about being happy, but being holy.  A conversion experience is a prerequisite. We are promised a new heart experience in Ezekiel 36:26-27.  The world needs to see a revelation of God’s love through each of us.  This is our responsibility and purpose.  We do not have this love naturally, but this love of Divine origin is available to all.

Love is a misunderstood word today as we use it for so many things, like “I love pizza.”   We don’t understand God’s love for us. Our special music was by 7 yr. old Julian Allen who beautifully sang a very appropriate song, Gethsemane.  This describes the love that allowed Jesus to endure the cross. As we celebrate the resurrection may we dwell more fully upon this love! An enduring love! (Psalms 110:5) An everlasting love! (Jeremiah 31:3)

After a delicious fellowship meal, Dr. LaVerne Jackson shared Preserving the Wife/Mother Role then her husband shared Preserving the Husband/Father Role.

On Sunday, the two messages were entitled, The Healing Power of Forgiveness and Communication & Conflict.  The cross was a recurring theme as we reflected on the love of God for us…willing to die for us in the midst of our rebellion.  Our pride was shown as the major problem in conflict and we looked at the humility of Christ as our example.  We are called to die to self daily and in the moment when our will is crossed.  This is how we are to humble ourselves and take up the cross and follow Jesus to Calvary.  (See James 4:10)

This poem by Rosamond E. Herklots was shared as we discussed forgiveness.

“Forgive our sins as we forgive” you taught us, Lord, to pray;
but you alone can grant us grace to live the words we say.

How can your pardon reach and bless the unforgiving heart
that broods on wrongs and will not let old bitterness depart?

In blazing light your cross reveals the truth we dimly knew,
what trivial debts are owed to us, how great our debt to you.

Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls and bid resentment cease.
Then, bound to all in bonds of love, our lives will spread your peace.

We were encouraged with renewed purpose and tools for our marriages and plan to have the Jacksons back for further edification.

Please join us this Sabbath, the 22nd, as 4 His Glory presents the worship service in song at 11:00. We will have a fellowship meal afterwards in addition to the scheduled 1st and 3rd Sabbath fellowship dinners.  For more info about these young musicians see http://www.4hisglorymusic.org/

The Community Services Center located on the church property gives away clothing every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00. In the month of March 110 people were served, 1081 item given away, and ten volunteer gave 60 ¼ hours.  We are in need of donations and most anything is accepted. We appreciate your support enabling us to assist those in need. If you are interested in volunteering to help please contact us.

If we can be of assistance to you, please contact the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343.  Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook!

May God bless and keep you!

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