What a powerful Sabbath School lesson this week! Have you been enjoying this quarter's theme as much as I am? Every day's lesson has truly driven home God's word to me this week, which is to have my life be one of praying fervently, specifically–and most importantly–faithfully. Each day, there seemed to be a quote of sheer gold that just lit a fire in my heart, and I couldn't read any further until I had prayed. One of my favorite quotes was in Thursday's lesson where it said, "when we pray for others, we become a channel of God's blessing to them". Let that sink in for a moment. When we pray for others we become a channel, which is absolutely remarkable, because a channel is the term used for a body of water that joins two other bodies of water allowing them to interact with one another! So, when we pray for others, we become that channel that enables God and that person's interaction!
I'm reminded of an incident when doing inner city ministry in downtown Chattanooga: Every Friday and Sabbath afternoon, a group of us would go into the city–into a neighborhood known for its violence–and put on a program for the kids of the neighborhood. While the program was happening, I'd often go and visit with the parents and see if there was any way I could offer a word of encouragement or to pray with them. One individual, who went by the name Pookie, was standing off to the side, and his demeanor screamed at me not to approach him, but I felt impressed to walk up and introduce myself. I hadn't seen Pookie around before, and so I–with perhaps holy courage–walked up and introduced myself. Pookie shared how he wasn't really interested in what I was trying to accomplish and the conversation quickly died. But before leaving, I felt prompted to ask him if I could pray with him. He very reluctantly agreed–probably thinking that this way I would leave sooner. In that prayer, I just asked God to guide Pookie and make His presence known.
Several weeks went by, and each time in the neighborhood, I would look but wouldn't see Pookie. Finally, one Sabbath afternoon when arriving, I spotted Pookie, and this time I didn't need to walk over to him because he was walking towards me. He called out to me, "hey you're that guy who prayed with me several weeks back!" I didn't really know what to expect, and before I could gather my thoughts, he'd positioned himself directly in front of me. What he shared next I could only explain as an act of God. He shared how when we first met he was angry because he had just been let go from his job, he'd had to move into this neighborhood because it was the only place he could afford, and his girlfriend was giving him problems. But after we prayed, he said that some things he couldn't explain started to happen. He'd been given a job on the spot, his financials were trending up, and his girlfriend and he had reconciled. I then smiled ear-to-ear and told him that was God's blessing.
After a couple more weeks, and an attempted bible study, I never saw Pookie again. But when reading this week's Sabbath School lesson, I couldn't help but think of him and the many others whose lives are impacted by our intercessions for them. Who is it that you're currently interceding for? Every night at 8 pm on the prayer line, we gather to pray for others and our church. Would you plan a day this week and join us? Prayer changes things, and praying together as a church brings us that much closer to one another.
See you tomorrow, either in person or online. Happy Sabbath, Church!
Prayer Line EVERY Night @ 8 pm: Phone 515-603-3162; Passcode 960362#
JULY 25: Vespers on the Lawn @ 6 PM AUG 1, 8, 15: Directory Photos AUG 8: Celebration of Graduates SEPT: Gospel Communities begin! SEPT 11-13: Pathfinder Camporee
Please join us tomorrow as Pastor Luke continues his sermon series about God’s extraordinary love for imperfect people. The premise of the series is how the Bible is made up of individuals who were imperfect, yet God accomplishes so much through them by His Grace. It’s to help us embrace being human beings in process because God gives us Grace. Hope to see you there—but 6 feet apart! :-)
Family Photo Directory
Do you know every Alpharetta Church member by name? Do you know how to contact everyone? Likely not! To remedy the situation, and to bring us closer in fellowship with our brothers and sisters, we will be creating a digital, password-protected church photo directory! The first three Sabbaths of August, Curtis Hall will take a photo of you and/or your family after the service. We encourage all of you to participate!
Face coverings are encouraged on the church property for your safety, and others! Free masks are available in the Foyer. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt. 22:39
The Alpharetta Adventist Church is now fully reopened!
As of June 12, the State of Georgia lifted the Stay at Home orders for all Georgians. So, as we begin to come back to church, we’d like to ask that you please review our in place safety measures. Just click here. If you’re in an elevated At Risk category and don’t yet feel comfortable returning, we’ve got you covered!
Masks or face coverings are encouraged at church.
Our streaming Worship Service is presented LIVE at 11 a.m. on our YouTube page each Sabbath. Gather the family and tune in for a special time of worship, prayer, praise, inspiration and relevant teaching with your Alpharetta church family, and enjoy the Sabbath!
Lower Division children’s Sabbath School classes have not yet resumed at the church. Stay tuned here for more info. In the meantime, you’ll find handy links to lesson guides on our website under the “Kids” tab.
Please continue to keep in touch with each other, particularly our sick or elderly members. Let the church leadership know if there's anything we can do to help. We're here for you. See below for contact info.
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 NASB
OFFERING We'd like to remind you that giving is critically important—now more than ever. Please continue to generously support the Alpharetta Church with your offerings, and support our worldwide denomination through your tithes. You can easily give online here.