Elizabeth Castle Talks About Memorable Life Moments
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on September 5, 2015 began with an introit by Polina and JD (juniors) on the piano. Elizabeth Castle had the Personal Ministries Corner. The pope is coming to the United States this week. He plans to talk about conservation of the land and preservation of the family – all by keeping Sunday as a sacred day. Also a county clerk in Kentucky who refused to grant same-sex couples marriage licenses due to her religious beliefs. The ministry of music and testimony in the nursing home means a lot to those who are finishing up this life. Rodney Herra followed with prayer.
Bob Gustafson followed with the announcements. Vespers this evening will be at Indian Council up near the old barn area. Ron, Sharon, and Becky Oxentenko are transferring their membership to the Pikeville church; this is the first reading.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”. Bob Gustafson then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Inna (senior) then called for the offering, which was for the local church budget. Terrence White and Clifton Brandt then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Inna prayed for the offering.
Marissa (9th grader) told the children a story. Arielle (junior) then read Matthew 5:13-16 “13 ¶ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Wendy (exchange student), JD (junior), and Stephany (senior) sang a vocal trio for special music, accompanied on the piano by Evelyn (exchange student). Elizabeth Castle started discussing the topic “Mirror Moments: Measuring Up”. The congregation sang “Live Out My Life within Me”. Elizabeth Castle had the closing prayer.
The boys were away on their Purity Weekend. In addition to the pianists, a group of musicians accompanied the service on violins, flutes, and other instruments.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Bob Gustafson – Laurelbrook men’s work coordinator / Laurelbrook vice-president
Clifton Brandt – works with Laurelbrook’s sewer, water, and boiler system / local head church deacon
Elizabeth Castle – works in the Laurelbrook Nursing Home
Rodney Herra – local head elder / works with the Laurelbrook auto body program
Ron Oxentenko – former Laurelbrook president and business manager
Terrence White – local church deacon / works in the Laurelbrook vehicle shop
Following are some notes on the sermon by Elizabeth Castle:
- Ellen White says that we have nothing to fear if we don’t forget how the Lord has led us in the past.
- She remembers both her physical birthday and her spiritual one as well. On her spiritual birthday, she was listening to a Bible study about the woman at the well.
- Five times this lady had been told that she was worthless. Now Jesus was giving her new hope.
- Elizabeth grew up a good girl, obeying church and family. At this point, she was telling God she could make it on her own. This at this Bible study she realized that only Jesus could take away her sin and give her the new birth.
- Many Bible promises highlight her life. John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:”
- She became a child of God with a new beginning and a new job – reconciling people to God and to each other.
- Ephesians 2:8-10 “8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
- Philippines 3:20 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
- What does it mean to be a member of God’s kingdom?
- Jesus was baptized in A.D. 27. Then He called His disciples. Matthew 4:18-20 “18 ¶ And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left [their] nets, and followed him.”
- Jesus didn’t call the disciples until the spring of A.D. 29. In early summer, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.
- People had seen Jesus’ ministry and miracles and wanted to be part of it. So Jesus spent time preaching the Sermon on the Mount to show what His kingdom entailed.
- What were the characteristics of those in Christ’s Kingdom?
- Matthew 5:1-3 “1 ¶ And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 ¶ Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
- We are not good enough to be in the Kingdom, but Jesus enables us to be there.
- Matthew 5:4 “Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” We see our imperfections.
- Matthew 5:5 “Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness means acceptance of God’s dealings with us as good. But are we really done rebelling?
- Matthew 5:6 “Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
- This area only receives 26-27 inches of rain a year.
- Only when we realize how famished we are do we really appreciated God’s mercy and truth.
- Matthew 5:7-8 “7 Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
- If we extend mercy to others will we receive mercy and forgiveness ourselves.
- We must be pure in our minds, letting go undesirable character traits.
- Philippines 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”
- Does this mean that we should read a Christian novel with its casual mention of God?
- If our motives are pure, then our lives will be pure.
- We get to see God now in His working out His plans in life.
- Am I willing to be cleansed of every imperfection?
- Matthew 5:9 “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
- We are not look for ways people can persecute us but work for a peaceful spirit and to be at peace with everyone. Jesus died for our enemies. 2 Corinthians 5 says we are ministers of reconciliation.
- Matthew 5:10 “Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” There is a strain when we put God first. God gives us enough grace to get us through problems.
- Matthew 5:43-48 “43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
- We will not hold contempt or anger or bitterness against others. Do we want to love our enemies this way?
- Matthew 4: “43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48 AV)
- Matthew 5:49 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
- When she became a Christian, it was some months before she became an Adventist.
- She realized that God is on trial and that she had the privilege of being a witness for God with her life.
- Ellen White says that the closer we get to Jesus the more we see our sins and imperfections.
- Today is a time we can all look out – the pope is coming to start the process of the passing of the Sunday law.
- Reflect on your journey with God.