Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,  
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;  
Great is Your faithfulness.  
Lamentations 3:22-23 


One of the hardest things for me about this time of year is the anticipation. I don't know if I'd be this anxious for Christmas gifts and Christmas dinner if it wasn't for the buildup. The trees have been up for weeks, the songs have been playing for months (at least in MY headphones they have), and the recent arrival of colorful wrapped boxes and bags full of food have me counting down the seconds in my head. Christmas is more than just a single day; it's the climax of a whole season of sights and sounds and smells and spirit.

The anticipation must have been hard for the Jewish people as well. For years, they had heard the stories and studied the prophecies. The Messiah was definitely coming, and He couldn't get there soon enough. They didn't just want Him; they needed Him. They were tired of the evils and oppressions they faced on a daily basis. They wanted to be set free. When you study through the Old Testament in the light of the New, however, something awesome stands out: when everything seemed dark and dismal and hopeless in Israel, God did something to reveal Himself and give them the faith they needed to press forward. His love shines through.

As we finish our current series, The Good News Books, and look ahead to what's coming up, there's a story in the Gospel of Luke that tells us that maybe our next step forward is to look backwards. After the resurrection, a pair of unnamed apostles were walking to Emmaus and suddenly a stranger was walking with them. They talked as they went along, and it became clear that they had no idea why Jesus died. So this stranger, Christ Himself, gave them a Bible study starting back in the Books of Moses and the Prophets and showed how it all taught about Him (Luke 24:27). While we don't know what stories Jesus used, or heard how He explained them, we still know that we can't fully understand the ministry of Jesus without understanding how the Old Testament reveals Him. Join us starting in 2019 as we study how "Love Shines Through".


             Pastor Michael Taylor 
P.S. We recently created a Facebook "group" (different than our standard Facebook page) for the church family to engage each other with things going on throughout the month. We celebrate milestones and significant accomplishments, plan trips to the park, and even play games together. To request access to this group, click here.

For some reason, most of us think we are turning over a new leaf when we put up the calendar for the next year. Will 2019 be any different for us? Will we lose weight? Eat better? Exercise faithfully? Spend more time in the Word? Pick up our socks? Read to the kids every day? Help our neighbors? Read the Bible through?
Stay off the phone/Facebook/Instagram/video games/computer? Get more rest? Avoid Amazon? Stick with the budget? Make the bed every morning? Not yell at bad drivers? Be faithful in tithes and offerings? Hold our tongues? Volunteer? Learn another language? Visit people?  Be Jesus in Jeans. Say I love you to those I love? Pray before I make decisions? Pray for the people I say that I'm praying for? Make a new friend? Be a better friend/son/daughter/husband/wife/mom/dad/employee/boss/church member? Trust the Lord? Share the Good News?  
The list of things we ought to do, even want to do, is endless. However, only 8% of people keep the resolutions they make. Why is meaningful change so hard? 
Take 1 minute and 41 seconds to watch this video on revolutionizing resolutions  - those that will really make a difference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYj0TrgD9bc
JANUARY 9-19, 2019
Sponsored by the Ministerial Association, General Conference of SDA 
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3  

Welcome to Ten Days of Prayer 2019! We are so thankful that we can start this year with prayer. God has worked many miracles in past years as we have sought Him in prayer and fasting. The Holy Spirit has wrought revival, conversions, renewed passion for evangelism, and healed relationships. Truly, prayer is the birthplace of revival!  
We believe your life and the lives of those you pray for will be changed as you join fellow church members in praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, whom the Father has promised to give to those who ask Him. Here are just three responses from those who participated in the last Ten Days of Prayer:
Stay tuned for how PPSDA will be participating in the 2019 Ten Days of Prayer. Take a look at the website https://www.tendaysofprayer.org/ and contact Shawna Henry or Jan Steffen with your ideas or willingness to help.
For the daily readings and specific suggestions, access https://www.tendaysofprayer.org/ to strengthen your individual and corporate prayer lives. What could God do with PPAC if we spent 10 days in prayer? What could God do in the world if our church spent 10 days in earnest prayer? Let's find out!
Here's how it can work for each of us at PPAC!
  1. Choose a partner or group of people to pray with for 10 days (doesn't sound that hard, right?)
  2. Commit to praying each day with your prayer team. This may be face to face, phone call, or video chat - be creative! (You could do this, right?)
  3. Use the daily theme, texts, and prayer suggestions as a guide for your prayer session. (Sounds like a good idea, right?)
  4. Visit the PPAC Praise and Prayer Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/192822667814292/?ref=bookmarks or www.tendaysofprayer.org for prayer thoughts and ideas. (You are on Facebook anyway, right? And the official website is FULL of ideas that will strengthen your prayer life, right?)
    5.  Expect the Holy Spirit to fill you! (And we know He is eager to that, right?) 

January 9:    Day 1 - To Know and Believe
  • Is 49:15
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; the filling of God's love and passion; outreach activities locally and globally; spiritual revival for SDA college and university students
January 10:  Day 2 - From the Inside Out
  • John 3:3
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; those in spiritual and mental prisons; SDAs who will serve God by loving others; missionaries who work in Middle Easter countries
January 11:  Day 3 - The Greatest Battle
  • Jeremiah 29:13
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; perseverance through hardship; caregivers for elderly and/or sick family members; SS/Personal Ministries Departments
January 12:  Day 4 - The Value of Surrender
  • Luke 15:7
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; fully surrendered hearts to live in obedience to God's word; daily baptism of the Holy Spirit; loved ones who have lost their faith
January 13:  Day 5 - The Privilege of Partnership  
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; refreshed hearts for those in ministry; guidance for Centers of Influence, health and family programs, Pathfinder clubs around the world; young adult involvement in ministry in church and community
January 14:  Day 6 - The Gift of Repentance
  • 1 Peter 5:6
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; Adventist schools; children; wisdom to reach secular cultures; unreached people groups
January 15:  Day 7 - The Glory of the Purpose
  • Matthew 25:40
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; protection for vulnerable children and teens; urban missionaries; heart burdens of members at PPAC
January 16:  Day 8 - Through the Valleys
  • Psalm 34:18
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; victims of circumstances and/or addictions; medical missionaries; more prayer warriors in our church
January 17:  Day 9 - A Strength Greater than Doubt
  • 2 Timothy 1:12
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; love in our homes; stronger faith in God; church members to grow in God's Word
January 18:  Day 10 - Let Go of the Thorns
  • Philippians 3:13-14
  • Pray for PPAC Decision 2019; church leaders locally and globally; grace to forgive those who have wronged us; revival of godliness; our children
January 19 - Sabbath:  A Deeper Experience  
  • Be at church for a special time of prayer, baptisms and blessings
  • Join your church family for PPAC Decision 2019 (see next article)
  • And KEEP ON PRAYING - with or without your prayer partners


One of the major topics for our prayers is PPAC Decision 2019. As we consider the needs and future of PPAC, each member and family needs to pray earnestly for God's guidance. The Master Plan Committee has been struggling and praying over some of the felt needs of the church for many months; the lack of space for fellowship meals, Sabbath School classes, storage, Pathfinders, and of course, the sanctuary at times. Now it is time to listen to the church, as it is led by God.

Plan to join your church family for a special evening of brainstorming and planning on Saturday evening, January 19 at 6:30, which is also the end of the Ten Days of Prayer. We will close the Sabbath together in a special prayer for our church before we begin the evening's discussion.

Put January 19, 2019 on your calendar right now!!!

The holidays are over, but the needs of people in our community continue. Here are some ideas:
1.  Adopt-A-Teacher: Please consider donating to the three teachers PPAC is sponsoring this year. These funds will not only encourage the teachers, but will benefit the children in their classrooms, as well. Here are two of our adopted teachers.
2.  United Christian Services is seeking donations for families in need of Crisis Heating Assistance, which is no longer supported by DHHS. UCS says they have twice as many requests this year.
3.  Clothing donations to Lydia's Closet are still welcomed, particularly children's clothes, socks and boots.  https://www.facebook.com/lydias.closet.ucs/  
4.  Talk with Donelle O'Connor and Jan Steffen for more ideas of how you can be involved with your community.
Whether you give at church by marking your tithe envelope or give on line, your donation is so important. Mark Community Services or Member Assistance.        

GriefShare is a widely-used and effective national program https://www.griefshare.org/ facilitated locally by our own Vicky Merrills, MSW. The group meets twice a month in the Fireside room. The curriculum can be accessed at any point, so it isn't too late to join.
After a 6:15 supper, the participants spend time watching a video of common experiences and specific, effective strategies and sharing thoughts, feelings and progress.  
If you have a friend who has grief to share, this is a perfect opportunity for connecting them with our group.  The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 6:15 - 8:15, supper provided!
Are you interested in helping someone out? The Owens family has some needs on an occasional basis. Check with Pauletta if you are available to help.

"Jesus in Jeans" is looking for projects, providing assistance for those who need help:   
  • Projects around the house
  • Occasional snow shoveling
  • Rides to or from appointments
  • Rides to the grocery store or shopping
  • Occasional babysitting 
  • A friendly visit
  • A meal or bag of groceries
  • A Christmas greeting
  • A simple repair
  • Collecting supplies
If you or someone you know could benefit from this type of service, please contact Pauletta, either at the church or privately.


Are you interested in sharing a special song with your church family in 2019? If you play an instrument or sing, take a minute to pick a song and sign up for a Sabbath in January - March. Maybe you would like to get your family or a group of friends together and share your praises. Music is a special part of the service and we know the Lord speaks through music. Don't hide those talents under a bushel - SHARE THEM!
Get in touch with Jan Bermingham to secure a date.
All are welcome to join us on Sabbath mornings, 10-11:50am, in the sanctuary, for a chapter-by-chapter study on Revelation, led by Jim Merrills. The lessons for the 1st Quarter of 2019, entitled "The Book of Revelation" will lead you into a deeper study of the book. Please let Barb or Randy know if you need a hard copy of the Adult S.S. Lesson or you may access the lessons online at https://www.sabbath.school/LessonBook or https://absg.adventist.org/current-quarter. Additional resources, including videos and podcasts, are available on these sites. What is more important than spending three months digging into Revelation?  
There are a number of other resources available through the ABC, such as the companion study book, or commentaries ( Revelation, by Ranko Stafenovic and God Cares, Vol. 2, by C. Mervyn Maxwell, to name a couple).  
Also, Jim Merrills, the host of the Facebook "Revelation" group, will be sharing additional insights and illustrations throughout the quarter. Join his group and benefit from the discussions.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/60336139095/  
#knowhim2019 on Instagram
Are you all about Instagram? Would you like to use Instagram in your devotional life?  
Participate in the #knowhim2019 challenge on Instagram. It's a 31 day posting for January. Our own Michelle Odinma and Gwyne Kramer are off to a good start. You will want to check out their posts, then add your own. 
Just post your reflections, scriptures, or prayers with the hashtag and at the end we'll see what everyone has discovered about God.  
It is not too late to get started!
Is this the year you take steps to improve your health? Health Ministries will be challenging us to focus on a new healthy habit each month.   

January's challenge is to DRINK MORE WATER - at lea
st 64 ounces of water daily. Water helps:  reusable-water-bottle.jpg
  • Keep our body fluids in balance 
  • Control calories. Drinking water has no magical effect on weight loss, but it does help decrease  cravings and you won't be adding empty calories that surgery drinks are loaded with.
  • Keep your skin stay hydrated and looking good 
  • Energize muscle cells. When muscles don't have adequate fluids, they fatigue faster.
  • Your kidneys to do their job more efficiently. 
Water does a body GOOD!   
JULY 12-14, 2019
Calling all campers and day-trippers for the 2019 PPAC Summer Campout! Put the dates on your calendar right now and make sure you are available for one of the best weekends of the year. Belding is under 2 1/2 hours from Berrien Springs; just 80 miles from Kalamazoo - easily doable on Sabbath in time for breakfast or the river trip!
After 4 years in the Ludington area, we have moved to a new location for 2019.  We hope that this will allow for more day-trippers to join us on Sabbath. There are more cabin accommodations on-site for those who are not set up to camp. Here is their website if you wish to take a look.  https://www.doublerranch.com/  
We have held four chalets, and all six of the bunkhouse rooms. These are not fancy accommodations, but will take care of those who do not have a camper or do not wish to tent camp.
We plan to kayak on Sabbath on the Flat river (which is a much easier trip than the Pere Marquette), and you can bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent from the campground. We encourage folks not wishing to camp to join us for the day on Sabbath. Please note your interest on the upcoming registration form, which will be available as soon as we have pricing from the camp.
On Sunday, camp sites do not have to be empty before 3 PM (on-site facilities have a noon checkout time - but you can park and enjoy the morning with everyone else). This leaves time to play some! A 9 hole golf course and horses for trail rides are also on-site. The horse groups are fairly small, and are 1 hour in length. River permitting, you cross the river on the trip twice. Nina was 6 and rode solo - so I believe that anyone who wishes can go riding. There are maximum weight limits for the riding.
We look forward to this new location and the amenities and fun that it will provide.
Please contact Joe or Mona Sarcona for more information.  

During the month of November the Pathfinders visited the Heritage Village at Battle Creek to learn about our pioneers and an important time in our church's history. We heard and learned about the wonderful stories about Ellen White and her family, how they lived and how our church in the area was started.
Our club participated in a program at White Oaks. Kids sang, and played instruments to bring the residents a smile, music, and joy. 

Pastor Ron Whitehead, Director of the Center for Youth Evangelism, and Biggest Cheese in charge of the International Pathfinder Camporee stopped by the Paw Paw Harvesters Pathfinder meeting in December. He shared some exciting details about the upcoming Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh this next August.

Our Pathfinders are hard at work raising funds to enable the Harvesters club to make the trip. Here are some ideas on how you can help them!

1.    While doing New Year purging of your cabinets, closets and storerooms, consider DONATING SALEABLE ITEMS FOR THE PATHFINDER GARAGE SALE tentatively being planned for this summer. Details to come on dates and how to donate.

2.    Instead of taking up space with all the random coins you collect, consider DONATING YOUR COINS to the Pathfinders. Coin wrappers will be available at the church, or you can bring them in jars, bags or boxes and the Pathfinders will gladly accept them! If you wish a donation receipt, please indicate such on your donation of coins (or paper money too...)

3.    When you return soda cans, consider DONATING THE BOTTLE SLIPS to the Pathfinder club.

4.    There will be an AMAZON SHOPPING LIST created soon for the Pathfinder needs prior to attending the big event. If you donate through Amazon, Chris will issue a donation receipt that you can attach to your invoice and submit it to your accountant at tax time! This is a REALLY easy to help out! The link to the list will be shared with you soon!

5.    Be sure to attend the upcoming CHURCH BUSINESS SESSION ON JANUARY 19. The Pathfinders will be preparing and serving the meal, and will receive the catering fee as a fundraiser.

6.    While you are at the Business Meeting/Church Social, be sure to look at the PATHFINDER "OSHKOSH OR BUST" BULLETIN BOARD in the basement. There will be a visual representation of the necessary funds for various items needed - these include tents, meals, travel, outfitting the new trailer, and many other small items. 

We Harvesters thank you for your always generous support of the children of the Paw Paw Church.



January 2:           Fab 50s at Jan Steffen's, 11:45
January 5:           Pastor Taylor
January 6:           Master Plan Meeting, 10:00 am
January 9:           GriefShare, 6:00, Fireside Room
January 12:         Michelle Odinma, Fellowship Meal
January 9-19:     Ten Days of Prayer, https://www.tendaysofprayer.org/
January 14:         Finance Committee 6:30 pm
January 14:         Church Board, 7:00 pm
January 19:         Pastor Taylor, Baptism of Jacob and Nathan Elanko
January 19:         Business Meeting and Church Social, 6:30 pm
January 26:         Pastor Taylor

 Check the bulletin, watch our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/237516840175558/ , and sign up for our text message alerts.

  • Jim Vettese as he recovers from January 3 heart surgery - 37029 Octavia Avenue, Paw Paw, MI 49079
  • The Kniss Family, 723 E. Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw, 49079
  • Meredith (Liam) Steele - Health challenges, 616 Benson Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • Judy O'Connor, Rhonda Kimberlin, Donelle and Caleb Dyson on the loss of mom/grandma/great-grandma, Gloria Kimberlin on December 21. Judy's address - 15405 36th St, Gobles, MI 49055
  • Joyce Alburtus - Health challenges, 228 S. Elizabeth St, Lawrence, MI 49064
  • Coleen Bledsaw - Final treatments for health challenges , 5223 Mapleridge Dr, Portage, MI 49024
  • Keith Bodi - Health challenges, 24358 CR 375, Mattawan, MI 49071
  • Nancy Boothby - Health challenges, 3060 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
  • Anita Ashton - Send a card or come and visit! 6600 Constitution Blvd, Unit 8, Portage, MI, 49024
  • Giovanni Leonor - Continued recovery after back surgery
  • David Scofield - Health Challenges, 10640 Paw Paw Lake Dr, Paw Paw, MI 49079
  • Jim Bermingham's mom, Emilie Bermingham
  • Becky Lynn and Karl Driskel - Karl continues to experience significant health issues, 11031 M-60, Three Rivers, MI 49093
  • Mary Kay Bever, 4220 Leisure Lane, Apt E435, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • Lewis and Ardyth Owen, 6154 Valley Drive, Paw Paw 49079
  • new-year-header5.jpg

  • Tithe was $29,732 for November. This results in a fiscal year total that is 11.8% behind the previous year. Remember that 100% of Tithe is remitted directly to the Conference and represents 56% of our total receipts for the year.
  • Income/giving to Church Budget was $15,479 in November. Compared to our monthly target of $14,663 we are now $2,917 (6.6%) behind our goal, but 0.5% ahead of the previous year.
  • Cornerstone (capital/building projects) received $2,312 in November. It is exciting to see our various projects (Memorial Garden, downstairs bathroom remodeling) come to fruition.
  • The PPSDA Promise (education endowment) investment account has a current value of $144,623 with an additional $10,755 in the PPAC Trust account to be transferred. The annual meeting for PPSDA Promise is scheduled for early January where they will review the investments and set the contribution amount to the PPAC education plan for 2019.
  • Our reserves continue to be healthy and earning interest in the Revolving Fund at the Lake Union Conference. In total our cash on hand, general operating reserve, and capital replacement reserve have increased 7.3% comparing 11/30/17 to 11/30/18.
  • Roughly 75% of our giving (dollar value) is now coming via the web. This is certainly easier for Deacons and Treasurers as it reduces time for counting, possibility for error, and ultimately time and travel to the bank. If you haven't yet tried online giving please give it a try! Go to either: www.AdventistGiving.org--> Paw Paw Seventh-day Adventist Church; or www.PPSDA.org--> Connect--> Give. https://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANFFT1/envelope/start

Our next FINANCE COMMITTEE meeting is scheduled for Monday, 1/14, at 6:30PM with Board at 7PM. Note that this is a week earlier than our routine schedule. This is so we can have some review/discussion as a Committee and Board prior to the "Envisioning" dinner by Cornerstone on Saturday evening, 1/19, at 6:30PM. Please mark your calendars so you can participate in the discussion.

Don't miss anything that might be going on - even if you aren't there, you can be there!

Check out the Facebook page, which has very frequent updates, videos, pictures, and other posts.  https://www.facebook.com/pawpawsda

Check out the Paw Paw SDA website, http://www.ppsda.org/ where you will find a variety of information about past and upcoming events, including links to other church related sites.

The Paw Paw YouTube Channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/ppacav    
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