March 2019
"Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Isaiah 56:7

Let us bring before the Lord our prayers of thanksgiving, petitions, and intercession. God is faithful in hearing the prayers of an obedient people. We gather together in unity and love, raising our voices before the throne of grace.

Highlights of February Sermons at Park SDA Church

“Authentic Prayer” Sermon by Pastor Greg Carlson
February 2, 2019
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-8

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

  • If we want to continue as a successful congregation, we must be a praying congregation. 
  • Jesus identifies true prayer in Matthew chapter 6, and explains the difference between hypocritical and authentic.
  • A hypocrite’s goal is not to pray, but to be seen.
  • Get alone with God. Shut the door to wrong motives and temptations.
  • Make it real, not a repetitious ritual.
  • When you pray, not if you pray... Be consistent and take it seriously.
  • Authenticity is not trying to impress others, or God. Authenticity does not try to get God to do something for us. We can’t manipulate Him.
  • Prayer is about a relationship. It is at the heart of a loving relationship with Christ, opening our lives and inviting Him within. Think about the Gospel of Grace.
  • Pray for others, letting your heart break and bleed, as did Christ’s when he prayed for us.
  • God answers prayer in His own way, in His own time, out of His grace, with His love. He knows what is best for us and we must trust Him.
  • His always answers one of three ways: yes, no, wait.
  • “It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.” ~ The Great Controversy, page 525.
For additional sermons, click on the "Park Online Sermons" button at the end of the newsletter.
"Who is Able to Stand?" Sermon by Elder Jerry Wilson
February 9, 2019
Revelation 6:12-17

" I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.   And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains,   and said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'"

  • Who is able to stand?  Those who are wrapped in the robe of Christ’s righteousness. How do we get this robe? Through repentance and surrendering all to Christ.
  • What is the Seal of God? The Sabbath. How do we obtain the Seal of God? By obedience and following the Word of God. 
  • The 144,000 represent those who are overcomers because they follow the Lamb, and not the world, obtaining victory through Jesus.
  • A converted heart is a converted life.
For additional sermons, click on the "Park Online Sermons" button at the end of the newsletter.
"Cold, Hot, or Lukewarm?" sermon by Elder Mark McDonald
February 16, 2019
Revelation 3:14-21

Elder McDonald's sermon examined the Church of the Laodicans.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15,16

  • To be hot means completely surrendered in the service to Christ.
  • To be cold means to be openly and conspicuously aware that you are separated from Christ.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17

  • To be spiritually “rich” means you have great faith.
  • To be “increased with goods” means you are self-righteous.
  • To be “in need of nothing” means you think you have all knowledge.

“I counsel thee to buy of Me gold, refined in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white garments, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.” Revelation 3:18

  • The spiritual “gold tried in the fire” is faith, made pure, and by testing, trials and tribulations (1 Peter 1:6-7; Gal 5:6)
  • The “White Raiment” is Christ’s righteousness imparted to us (Rev 19:8)
  • The “anointing of the eyes with eye salve that thou mayest see” means spiritual discernment being restored to the mind and the conscience being made sensitive to sin again.

“Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and dine with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:20,21
For additional sermons, click on the "Park Online Sermons" button at the end of the newsletter.
“Worldwide Oil Shortage” sermon by Pastor Greg Carlson
February 23, 2019
Matthew 25:1-13 – The Parable of the Wise & Unwise Virgins

Matthew 25 is a continuation of Matthew 24. It is important that we make the connection to the previous chapter and its spiritual lessons and prophecies.

Matthew 25 begins with the preparation of a wedding and wedding feast by ten virgins, as they anticipate the arrival of the bridegroom. They do not know the hour of his arrival, but they know it is soon. Anyone who awaits the Lord’s return is an “Adventist”.

The virgins represent two groups of professed Christians. Wise & foolish, prepared & unprepared, watchful & unwatchful, prudent & imprudent, real & apparent, genuine & the counterfeit. Both groups are awaiting the Lord’s return. Both groups profess a pure, Biblical faith. Both groups have their lamps -“Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet…” Both have heard the call. All ten are expecting the Lord to return and are waiting in the earth’s last hour.

While both groups sleep, no difference is seen to the human eye. All ten are essentially correct in doctrine. All ten have heard and responded to the message on the coming of the Lord. And all ten are equally faulty.

Christ tells us that the foolishness of the foolish consisted in their lack of oil. And the wisdom of the wise consisted of having sufficient oil. It is not the lack of understanding the Word of God, it is the lack of oil.

The foolish are genuine, earnest, and understand final events. They have a sincere regard for the truth. All this, but without the Holy Spirit. 

At midnight the call of the faithful is heard, “Behold the bridegroom comes, go ye out to meet him.” Both groups are started and taken by surprise, and all must answer the summons without delay. The foolish, unprepared virgins are shut out. They knock and plead, but the master replies “I do not know you.”

When Jesus comes again we must be prepared. Christ within, through the Holy Spirit, is the only hope of reaching heaven. We need oil daily and Christ alone is the source. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Preparedness will only come to those who submit to the work of the Holy Spirit today.
For additional sermons, click on the "Park Online Sermons" button at the end of the newsletter.
Deacon Ordination Service for Noah Jackson, February 23, 2019
We are extremely proud to announce the Ordination of Noah Jackson to the Office Deacon. Noah has been serving as Junior Deacon for several years at Park, and shortly after celebrating his sixteenth birthday, he extended his commitment to God and the church. Noah is a man of character, with a plan for his life, and Christ is always included in that plan. He is an example in the church, always willing, ready, and helping. And he is an example of servant leadership, humbleness, love for his fellow man, and of service to all who walk through the door of the Park SDA Church.

Noah was raised in a loving, Christian home by Sean and Heather Jackson, and blessed by the influence of Godly grandparents, Elder David Carroll, the late Sandy Carroll, Sandy Richardson Jackson, and the late Ed Jackson. He was baptized at the age of eight.

One of Noah's passions is the firefighting. On February 4th, Noah became a Cadet at the Delmar Fire Department, fulfilling the first step in his future career as a firefighter.

We are thankful for Noah's dedication to the Lord and his willingness to serve and set an example for others. Congratulations Noah!
Obituary of Jeremy Patrick East

Jeremy Patrick East, 44 Years, of Orlando, Florida, formerly of Princess Anne & Salisbury, passed away suddenly on Saturday, February 9, 2019 in Newport News, VA. Born in Salisbury, he was the son of Michael Craig East and Marcia Arlene Williams East of Westover, MD.
Jeremy, a 1992 JMB graduate, was a US Navy veteran, having served over nine years. He was a member of the Eastern Shore FOP Lodge #62 and previously a Security Police Officer for NASA. Jeremy was formerly a realtor with Century 21 and Keller-Williams in Salisbury. 

Most recently, Jeremy was working for a hotel security management firm in Virginia Beach. He was also a tow truck operator, and commercial long-haul truck driver. Jeremy enjoyed hunting, was an excellent marksman, and a devoted Washington Redskins fan.

Jeremy is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Nancy Maria Urrutia East; three children, Hunter Jade East of Berwind, WV, Jasmin Alexis East of Orlando, FL, and Jeremy Patrick East, II of Orlando, FL; a brother, Brian David East & his wife, Nina of Quantico; father and mother in law, Joseph and Abigail Urrutia of Orlando, FL; and several other extended family members.

A funeral service was held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury. He is interred at the Eastern Shore Maryland Veterans Cemetery near Hurlock.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS, 66675.

Please keep the East family in your prayers.
Mark your calendars! April 13, 2019 at Park SDA Church!

The Annual Gathering, Eastern Shore.

This year's guest speaker is Pastor Pavel Goia, who's life is subject of the book, One Miracle After Another: The Pavel Goia Story, by Gregg Budd.

Pastor Goia is a native of Romania and is the Editor for Ministry Magazine at the General Conference. He is also the Associate Director for Ministerial, as well as a doctoral candidate at Andrews University.

Hannah's Journal
News from Hannah Wilson

We had been on a bus for the past six hours, and the back and forth, up and down roads were not only beautiful but terribly bouncy and sickening. I was fighting nausea and my annoyance at my inability to catch up on sleep due to being constantly thrown left and right after each curve (and there we so many curves) when we had to pull over because of our second flat of the drive. The first flat was a quick change, and you could tell the drivers had done everything a dozen times. And to be fair, most cars don’t come with a second spare, so it was going to be quite the wait to chase a tire down somehow.

My friends and I were hungry, sleep deprived, and over the long car ride. Luckily we stopped in a small village with a small market, small dogs begging for scraps, small shops (size to be likened unto a walk-in closet), and a small boy with a bike. He was hiding behind a building the first time we made eye contact. I went for the classic peek-a-boo tactic to which I got a smile out of, but all too quickly a loss of interest followed.

It was when he started showing off with the bike that the real fun began. He would run it around—it was more of mixture of dragging and rolling than using it. The front tire was so loose it wobbled very badly, and the back tire was so close to the side that it spent more of its time stuck or barely rolling. His sister (or at least what I perceived to be so) came and watched a bit too and eventually took back the bike (not exactly his color) and left him toyless.

When he brought out a green straw I wasn’t sure what would happen next. But when he dropped it I caught it, and with that I knew exactly what to do next. We tossed the straw back and forth, laughing and laughing when one of us missed it. Next it somehow morphed into keep-away, and I chased him trying to get the straw back.

He was happy with so little. The laughter and happiness brought from a bike you couldn’t even ride and green beat up straw off the side of the road was unbelievable! We spoke different languages, but we understood each other easily enough. We wanted the same thing from each other: a playmate to share some joy with.

When the tire finally came and it came time to leave, the little boy sat down where I had been sitting, and his face, which had previously been laughing at my dramatic dodge, was replace with a darkened, saddened expression. I hugged him goodbye and I kept looking back at him from the car.

God revealed so much to me from this little guy. I have a theory that appreciation is the key and the solution. Appreciation is the key to happiness, a positive attitude, the key to a content heart. Appreciation is the solution to countering jealousy, to not becoming annoyed or short tempered with things or people, and the solution to changing a negative outlook. It is with interactions like the boy with the broken bike and straw off the road that I remember that appreciation has no prerequisites. Your situation doesn’t have to meet any qualifications for you to be appreciative of it. Appreciation is a state of mind—one that keeps you from thinking selfishly. You decide whether a bike is too beat up to be played with. You decide whether to throw away the straw or get someone to play catch with it. You decide whether the stranger on the side of the road will stay that way or become a friend and playmate by chance. God showed me through the little boy that appreciation is the way to go.

A ll things work together,
Hannah Wilson
Light coming from book in woman s hands in gesture of giving_ offering. Concept of wisdom_ religion_ reading_ imagination.
Something to Think About

The God of the Old Testament
I am perplexed by people that reject God because they see His character in the Old Testament as harsh and exacting, contrasting Christ’s mercy and grace in the New Testament. They speak of Christ as being silent, even absent in the Old Testament, a shadow of the future, victorious conqueror of Satan, until He suddenly appears out of nowhere in the New Testament. They are equally perplexed when I tell them that I discovered Christ, His mercy and grace, in the Old Testament.  Where? is the inevitable response.  Everywhere!  I reply. When I hear anyone repeating the age-old rejection excuse one thing always comes to mind:  They haven’t read the Old Testament.

Before the foundation of the planet, even before the existence of sin, God the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit foresaw the introduction of apostasy and rebellion and together laid the plan of intervention, redemption, and salvation. Eternal life was the destination, but a detour must be introduced as part of the strategic plan. Immediately after sin pronounced a sentence of death, the massive restoration project was already underway with the promise of a Redeemer. Christ would exchange His life for ours. He had also purchased the right to be our advocate, our attorney, if you will, and ultimately our judge. And, as if that weren't enough, it is through His blood that each of us, from Adam on down, have been able to communicate with heaven, One-on-one.

And so Christ actively appears One-on-one throughout the Old Testament. As Sister White explains in Patriarchs and Prophets, it was Christ who walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It was Christ who was present in the pillar of fire and cloud of smoke, patiently leading the children of Israel to the promised land. It was Christ who handed Moses the tablets of the Law on Mount Sinai—inscribed in those sacred words were His character. It was Christ who spoke through the prophets, pleading with a stiff-necked, obstinate people who practiced mix and match religion, to turn from worthless idolatry and receive the rich blessings He yearned to give them. It was His gracious, loving character (the same character as His Father) that radiated through the patriarchs, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and so on. Many people are shocked to learn that Christ was not only the Savior foretold in the Old Testament, Christ was the Old Testament. And all that He did in our behalf , He did on behalf of His Father.

God's interests focus on things eternal, and the well-being of those He loves. Through many personal trials and rebellious periods in my life I can relate to those stiff-necked, obstinate people in the Old Testament. Sometimes you just have to learn things the hard way, and chastisement has a way of getting your attention. And in the wake of those vital life lessons, I’ve come to understand God’s definition of “jealousy” and exclusiveness. I can relate, as much as humanly possible, to His anger and pain.

God knows that the road some people have chosen is one of self-destruction, but He is a God of free-will. He does everything He can to save us from our bad decisions, but He loves and respects us too much to force our will. The most agonizing decision He must sometimes make is to simply leave us by ourselves. And that is the most frightening place we could ever be.

Get to know the God of the Old Testament and you will meet the God of the New Testament.

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58

Upcoming Events:

  • Pathfinder/Adventurer Meeting March 2nd from 1:00 - 4:00 PM Full uniform Class A for Adventurers only.
  • Sundown Worship, Fellowship Dinner, and Games! Sabbath, March 9th, from 5:30 - 8:00 PM. Bring a friend. See you there!
  • Elders Meeting & Board Meeting Sunday, March 10th. Elders Meeting at 8:30 AM, Board Meeting at 10:00 AM.
  • Easter Music Program Sabbath, April 20th. Anyone that would like to participate, please see or contact Sean Jackson for details.
  • Prayer Meeting - each Wednesday at 7:00 PM.
  • Nursing Home visit - 3rd Sabbath of each month, 2:00 PM (following fellowship luncheon).
  • Keila asks that all children to be dressed in black and white every 4th Sabbath.
  • Talents for the Lord - 4th Sabbath of each month, 2:00 PM (following fellowship luncheon).
  • Prison Ministry - every first and fifth Sabbath from 7:45 to 9:45 AM in ECI.
  • Bible study at the Annex every Sabbath from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (please see Jerry Wilson for details).
  • Knitting Class on Monday evenings at 6:00 PM at Park Church. See Connie Brown for details.