Rodney Herra Discusses New Beginnings
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on June 6, 2015 began with an introit by Beth Brandt on the piano. Scott Sterling introduced the GMI mission coordinator who talked about a Christian’s duty to help save others. He/she must give his/her entire lives to Christian ministry.
Rodney Herra followed with the announcements. The congregation selected the nominating committee to select suggested people for the various church offices. Rodney emphasized that women and students should be selected as members of this committee. The group selected Rodney Herra, Jean Talley, Rick Carr, Polina (sophomore), and Maudie Westfall. Alternates selected were Dorka Ellis, Elizabeth Castle, and Clifton Brandt. James Fisher, a former Laurelbrook student, is being baptized at 6:00 in the Ogden Road Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Lord, I Want to Be a Christian”, accompanied on the piano by Beth Brandt, Vonee’ Hemans and Cheyna Ashe on the violin, and Darius (junior) on the viola. Scott Sterling then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”.
Stanton Rolle then called for the offering, which was for the local church budget. He emphasized that we can give now, believing that God will make sure we have enough to live our lives. Luke Crawford and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rodney Herra prayed for the offering.
Scott Sterling told the children a story about finding an ink cartridge in one of his dad’s drawers. He used a paper clip and managed to get the ink out of the cartridge and on to a piece of waxed paper on the floor. His dad came home, Scott denied knowing anything about the mess, his father questioned him, and Scott finally confessed to the problem. His father said afterwards that Scott’s lying hurt him more than anything.
Cheyna Ashe, Min Sterling, and Dorka Ellis sang “I Need Thee, Precious Jesus” and “I Need Thee Every Hour”. Scott Sterling read John 8:11 “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Rodney Herra then discussed the topic “New Beginnings”. The congregation sang “Jesus Paid It All”, accompanied by the same music group that accompanied much of the service. Rodney Herra had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Cheyna Ashe – assistant girls’ dean / works with the music program
Daryll Ellis – works for nearby Majestic Stone Company / local church deacon / Laurelbrook graduate
Luke Crawford – 2015 Laurelbrook graduate
Min Sterling – wife of Scott Sterling / nurse
Rodney Herra – runs the Laurelbrook auto body program / head church elder
Scott Sterling – one of the academy math and science teachers
Stanton Rolle – works in the Laurelbrook business office
Vonee’ Hemans – academy girls’ dean
Following are some notes on the sermon by Rodney Herra:
- Genesis 12:1-5 “1 ¶ Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 ¶ So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram [was] seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”
- God wanted Abram to be the father of a great nation – reason for his birth.
- We also are born for a reason – to spread the news of God’s love to those around us.
- God didn’t tell Abram where Abram was going. None of us know where we are going, except for our destination as heaven.
- Abram didn’t question God but packed up and left.
- Genesis 12:10-20 “10 ¶ And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine [was] grievous in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou [art] a fair woman to look upon: 12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This [is] his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13 Say, I pray thee, thou [art] my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. 14 ¶ And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she [was] very fair. 15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. 17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What [is] this [that] thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she [was] thy wife? 19 Why saidst thou, She [is] my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take [her], and go thy way. 20 And Pharaoh commanded [his] men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.”
- Abram had faith previously but lacked faith in the Lord’s protection in Egypt. He was willing to sacrifice Sarah’s life in order to save his life. Too many times we don’t believe the Lord can protect us; this on Abram’s part was a half-truth and a full lie.
- Abram solved the problem of their herds by letting Lot choose the prime lands. Abram then went the other direction.
- Genesis 13:12 “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched [his] tent toward Sodom.” Do we as Christians long for the wicked pleasures of the cities?
- But we as Christians enjoy certain sins and thus want the pleasures of the urban areas. Abram really got the better of the two choices.
- There may be choices we as a staff have made or programs we have run that may not be good for the coming year. We need to make Laurelbrook what God wants Laurelbrook to be.
- Genesis 16 has the story of Sarah having a child. Abram and Sarah tried the world’s method of having a child by another woman. The plan didn’t work out with many issues they had to face.
- Abram was tested to the fullest extent. He passed the test of giving his son up.
- You can read many stories of people messing up and getting another chance.
- It’s an important point that Laurelbrook train missionaries.
- What are we really doing for Jesus? Are we winning souls for the kingdom, for the soon-coming Jesus?
- John 8:11 “She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
- Love builds; condemnation destroys. As this school year (2016) progresses, we should learn to love one another.