May 5-11

Message: Do you have a favorite color? a favorite flavor of ice cream? candy bar? Do you have a favorite musician? a favorite uncle? a favorite child? How about a favorite sports team? a favorite brand of clothes? shoes? We all have favorites. But did you know that favoritism is a sin? Join us as we continue through the book of James with Scandal #2 – Favoritism is a Sin. We will also have a special tribute to Moms and a testimony from Lexie Dornburg!

Prayer: I’ve been thinking about what a special place Riverview is. A place where we recognize that authority in decision-making is given from the bottom up and not taken from the top down. A place where we treasure each opinion and seek to grow and lead through shared leadership and consensus. Thank you for your commitment to make Riverview and our community that kind of place! Here are some of my thoughts:

Matthew 20:25-2825 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”                                                                                        

“The holy principles that God has given are represented by sacred fire; but common fire has been used in place of the sacred. Plans, contrary to truth and righteousness, are introduced in a subtle manner on the plea that this must be done, and that must be done, because it is for the advancement of the cause of God. But it is the devising of men…         The high-handed power that has been developed, as though positions had made men gods, makes me afraid, and ought to cause fear. It is a curse wherever, and by whomsoever it is exercised. This lording it over God’s heritage will create such a disgust of man’s jurisdiction that a state of insubordination will result.  The people are learning that men in high positions of responsibility cannot be trusted to mold and fashion other men’s minds and characters. The result will be a loss of confidence even in the management of faithful men.                                                                The spirit of domination is extending to the presidents of conferences. If a man is sanguine of his own powers and seeks to exercise dominion over his brethren, feeling that he is invested with authority to make his will the ruling power, the best and only safe course is to remove him, lest great harm be done, and he lose his own soul, and imperil the souls of others. “All ye are brethren.”                                                                          This disposition to lord it over God’s heritage will cause a reaction unless these men change their course. Those in authority should manifest the spirit of Christ. They should deal as he would deal with every case that requires attention. They should go weighted with the Holy Spirit. A man’s position does not make him one jot or title greater in the sight of God, it is character alone that God values. Letter 55, 1895

“Sometimes a man who has been placed in responsibility as a leader, gains the idea that he is in a position of supreme authority, and that all of his brethren, before making advance moves, must first come to him for permission to do that which they feel should be done. Such a man is in a dangerous position. He has lost sight of the work of a true leader among God’s people. Instead of acting as a wise counselor, he assumes the prerogatives of an exacting ruler.  God is dishonored by every such display of authority and self-exaltation. No man standing in his own strength is ever to be mind and judgment for another man whom the Lord is using in His work. No one is to lay down man-made rules and regulations to govern arbitrarily his fellow laborers who have a living experience in the truth. Testimonies to Ministers p.491

“It is dangerous work to invest men with authority to judge and rule their fellow men. Not to you nor to any other man has been given power to control the actions of God’s people, and the effort to do this must be no longer continued…” Letter 290, 1907 p.2, 3

God has given to each individual judgment, and this gift He wants His workers to use and improve. The president of a conference must not consider that his individual judgment is to be the judgment of all.  In no conference should propositions be rushed through without time being taken by the brethren to carefully weigh all sides of the question.  Because the president of a conference suggested certain plans, it has sometimes been considered unnecessary to consult the Lord about them. Thus propositions have been accepted that were not for the spiritual benefit of believers, and which involved far more than was apparent at the first casual consideration. Such movements are not in the order of God.  Many, very many matters have been taken up and carried by vote, that have involved far more than was anticipated, and far more than those who voted would have been willing to assent to, had they taken the time to consider the question from all sides.” Letter 340 1907

Exodus 19:6 – And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 – 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[c] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Revelation 14:12 – “Here is the patience of the saints, here are they which keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.”

Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts.” Acts of the Apostles, p. 12

Please join me in praying!!!

Things Happening: This was an historic week for Riverview Community Seventh-day Adventist Church for two reasons. First, (if pledges are included) we paid off our new parking lot scheduled to be built in the month of June. Second, we initiated the creation of a new Pathfinder Club and Riverview Bible Bowl Team!!! This is the first time that Riverview will have a Pathfinder club and we are very excited! (Our club will not try to duplicate the wonderful Pathfinder program being operated up the road in Greeneville (of which our kids are happily a part) but rather to supplement that experience for kids who want to belong to a Bible Bowl Team as well! Erika is leading this venture fresh off the heels of her experience with the Kingsport Pathfinders who achieved 1st place at the Bible bowl nationals this year.)

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Thank you Erika for your visionary passion to make Bible scholars out of our children!
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Jerry Brendle is amazing! Thank you for re-painting my office so it looks less like a cave!

If you were at the GAA Constituency Meeting, you know that Lexie Dornburg, Allyson Boyce, and the rest of SA did a great job with the music and Chris Small blessed us all with the devotional.

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Had a great time play board games with Carissa Kohne, her boyfriend Thomas, and our neighbors Blane and Lisa!

Personal: This week Anna and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! We went for ice cream. 20170508_143828

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