Ava Seventh Day Adventist – Judy Ulrich

An Amazing Rescue – Twelve thousand feet above Phoenix, Arizona, Debbie Williams with half a dozen of her friends (all experienced divers) dove through the open door of an airplane into the clear blue sky   planning to link into a midair formation. A few seconds into her free fall, Debbie went into a fast dive to catch up with those below her, but she miscalculated and slammed into another diver. The 50-mile per hour impact knocked her unconscious. She plummeted toward earth with her parachute unopened. Jump-master Gregory Robertson forced his body in a “no-lift” dive – head tucked into his chest and arms flat at his sides. Reaching a speed of 180 miles per hour, he caught up with Debbie, grabbed her reserve cord, and yanked it hard. The chute opened and she drifted slowly to the ground. 

We’re rushing headlong toward an impact with the end of time and a lot of people are unconscious. They don’t realize that Christ’s second coming is rushing up to meet them. But God has planned a midair rescue described in Revelation.

Connie Opeka shared the message this past Sabbath titled, “Revive Us Again.” Julian Allen read the Scripture reading, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”  Psalms 85:6

Connie shared some of her personal testimony and her past experience of being strong in the Lord and  walking by faith. But, with the passing of time, life became much busier and soon she felt the need for personal revival. She attended ARME Bible Camp recently in Kansas and shared her experience there and how the messages she heard, and the prayer sessions she participated in caused “heartburn”!  You know how you get heartburn sometimes after eating?  Well, after feasting on the Word of God and seeing new pictures of Christ through various characters and stories in the Bible, Connie experienced heart burn such as the disciples mentioned in Luke 24:32. “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?”  Needless to say, she came home revived!

Besides her personal testimony, Connie shared some of what she learned in the hope that we could get a glimpse of what is possible to enhance our Bible study & personal devotions and increase our love for His Word.

“We have purchased the field of truth because of the treasure that is hidden therein. The rich gems of truth do not lie on the surface. You must dig for them. Take your Bible, and compare passage with passage, and verse with verse, and you will find the precious jewels of truth. You should put the precious gems of light in a beautiful setting and hang them in memory’s hall. Shall we not arise and work diligently in the strength of Jesus for the treasure we have so long neglected? {RH, April 16, 1889 par. 5}  

We hang pictures of our family in our halls and on our walls don’t we? We love the memories! This is the basis of Bible study and very similar to the old memory game – Concentration. As we study we can find “matches.” You’ve heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words?! It is true. God has given us many pictures in His Word. Hang those pictures in memory’s hall. Then as you study further or just meditate on the “picture” you will begin to see similarities between the story you’re reading and the pictures that you have “hanging” in your mind.  

We took a quick look at the main characters in Genesis – Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.  We saw pictures of Jesus in each of these characters. 

To give you an idea, we will share a few things showing the parallels between Joseph and Jesus. Joseph was sent ahead, betrayed actually, but sent to prepare a place for them.  At the end of Genesis there was a grand family reunion. They had to go to Joseph to survive the coming famine, but they don’t recognize him. Before Joseph lets them into the place he has prepared for them he has to investigate or test them. He is looking to see if his brothers have changed. So, he sets Benjamin up, the youngest brother or we might say “the least of these.” What would the brothers do? Joseph was innocent, and they betrayed him. Benjamin appeared to be guilty.

Many of us would talk about Benjamin like a dog. But the brothers go to Joseph and take on the sin of someone else, even though they were innocent. How do we treat “the least of these?”

Are we feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, lodging for the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and those in prison?  “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  (Matthew 25:35-40)

Joseph’s brothers were ready to go to prison for someone who appeared guilty. They had changed and were reflecting the character of Christ. Store these new pictures of Christ in memory’s hall and look for matches in the story of the plan of redemption. May we have this love!  “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  John 13:35  

We invite you to visit the Community Services Center located on the church property – open every Tuesday from 10:00 – 2:00.  Year-end totals for 2018 per Gwyn Downs are 2,039 people served; 15,185 items given away; and 912.25 hours given by our volunteers. We appreciate your donations and support and look forward to serving our community in 2019. 

If we can be of assistance to you, please call 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!