Pastor Corbin Pittman Talks About Mistakes and Environments
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on September 19, 2015 began with an introit by Min Goropse and JD (junior) on the piano. Clifton Brandt said a few words about religious liberty in the United States. He mentioned that there will come a time when the U.S. will have much less religious liberty with a national Sunday law. People will come out of the Catholic Church and give the trumpet “a certain sound” and exalt God’s Law. This Sunday law issue came up in the 1890s, and A.T. Jones’ testimony helped head off this alarming Sunday law development.
The congregation had a silent invocation. The congregation then sang “Oh Shepherd Divine”. Rodney Herra then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Rukiya Wideman then called for the church offerings. Clifton Brandt and Terrence White then collected the morning offerings while Min Gorospe, JD, and Cheyna Ashe accompanied the offerings with piano and violin music. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rukiya Wideman prayed for the offering. Rich Sutton interviewed Rukiya Wideman, who came to help with the canvassing program and do some teaching.
Stanton Rolle told the children a story about nine-year-old boy who had polio but managed to witness all the same. One day a pastor came to visit the family and taught them about Jesus. The boy asked his father if he could invite other people to hear the pastor’s Bible studies. The next week the pastor found a houseful of people invited by the boy despite his personal problems. He greeted the guests as they came and made sure they were comfortable. Sixty people eventually came to that little house and courtyard. Twenty-five people were led to Jesus, including the boy himself.
Stanton Rolle was then ordained as a local church elder by Pastor Corbin Pittman and the local church elders. Stanton Rolle asked for prayers as he assumed this new responsibility. He thanked the congregation for the opportunity to serve.
Rich Sutton read John 1:43-47 “43 ¶ The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
The Sannsonetti family sang “Majesty” for special music. Pastor Corbin Pittman discussed the topic “Can Anything Good Come Out of Nazareth?” The congregation sang “Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing”. Pastor Pittman had the closing prayer.
Fewer students were present since this was an open weekend for the students, an opportunity to go home or go to a friend’s house. There were quite a few visitors since Laurelbrook’s constituency and board meetings are scheduled for tomorrow.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Clifton Brandt - local head church deacon / works with Laurelbrook’s sewer, water, and boiler systems
Min Gorospe - wife of Scott Sterling, who helps with the academy science and math teaching /works in the school office / school nurse
Pastor Corbin Pittman – retired pastor working with the nearby Brayton church as well as the inmates in a correctional facility – the Bledsoe County State Prison
Rich Sutton – Laurelbrook president
Rodney Herra – local church head elder / works with Laurelbrook’s auto body program
Rukiya Wideman – works with Laurelbrook’s Megabook program
Sannsonetti family – Andrew works with woods and grounds / Paige works in the nursing home kitchen
Stanton Rolle – Laurelbrook business manager
Susan Athearn – works in the Laurelbrook Nursing Home business office
Following are some notes on the sermon by Pastor Corbin Pittman:
- Five men have been baptized in the Bledsoe County State Prison, and two more have requested baptism.
- Being convinced that Jesus loves and accepts you is the greatest assurance that an individual can receive.
- John 1:43-37 “43 ¶ The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
- When you come to this realization that Jesus loves you, you want to share this assurance like Philip. Then Philip looked up his good friend Nathanael. But his good friend wondered at Nazareth. Nazareth was a community in turmoil.
- Matthew 13:54-57 “54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this [man] this wisdom, and [these] mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this [man] all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”
- Unbelief and rebellion come from a refusal to believe even when there is sufficient evidence to believe. Example: the spies refused to believe God about Canaan even though God had led Israel for quite some time. Joshua and Caleb did believe.
- Jesus didn’t do many mighty works due to this unbelief by the people in Nazareth.
- Luke 4:28-29 “28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.” What a nice town!
- Jesus’ life shows us that our environment doesn’t have to define us. Another example is Joseph, who was done wrong every time he tried to do right.
- Despite these environments, Jesus and Joseph found in the Father a truth that helped them keep their spiritual integrity.
- Jesus’ disciples had flawed characters, but Jesus still chose them, chosen for what they could become in relation to Christ.
- The twelve disciples had no real cohesiveness, but Jesus chose to call them to Himself. James and John had fiery tempers. Then there was Simon the Zealot, who hated the presence of the Romans. Levi Matthew was a tax collector, the complete opposite of Simon the Zealot.
- Jesus constantly prayed for them, making a tremendous translation in their lives.
- Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
- These disciples were noted as unlearned as far as education was concerned but very sharp spiritually because they had been with Jesus.
- People do not have to be defined by past failures or circumstances or the environment that surrounds them.
- Ellen White, Steps to Christ, p. 64 says that don’t be defined by your past failures. Jesus asks us to come to Him even when we fail so we find help in time of need.
- Luke 22:31-32 “31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
- The devil has to ask permission to do certain things in your life. He accuses God of bribing a person’s allegiance as in the story of Job. God then gave the devil permission to work in Job’s life.
- Satan would love to trash all of us this morning, but he has to ask permission to reach a believer.
- Note also that Jesus had prayed for Peter and Peter’s faith. Jesus is expecting Peter’s return to Him after Peter’s terrible betrayal.
- After Peter’s betrayal, he went out on the porch of the high priest’s house and bitterly wept.
- Jesus came into the world to restore His kinsman. Peter will understand people who suffer terrible falls.
- Peter mentored John Mark and strengthened him. The book of Mark has many details about Peter, indicating that the two were close.
- Daniel and his friends made a choice not to succumb to the lure of the Babylonian way of life, made a choice to follow God. So Daniel and his friends were threatened with death. They were not defined by the environment around them.
- God can take us through trials and problems.
- Can anything good come out of the Babylon mentioned in Revelation? But God calls His people to come out of this foul environment.
- God can give even Ben Carson, who came out of Detroit’s inner city, the ability to rise above his origins despite the possible excuses he had to avoid doing what he should be doing.
- Berry Black, the Senate chaplain, was helped by church ladies to achieve what he is today.
- A homosexual deeply rooted in this lifestyle was led by God to a Christian lifestyle.
- Can anything good come out of Laurelbrook – its students, its church?
- The love of Christ will never change despite any good or bad things we have done.
- Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”
- God will take what is good is your life and make your life a blessing if we are faithful to Him. Do your present duty with all the strength you have in Christ.
- As we trust in the saving claims of Jesus, there is nothing God can have us do.