Laurelbrook Academy Seventh-day Adventist Church

114 Campus Dr • Dayton, TN 37321-4775

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Rich Sutton Discusses Thanksgiving

The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on November 28, 2015 began with Elizabeth Castle and the Personal Ministries Corner.   She asked people what they were thankful for – bringing them to Laurelbrook, sending the present staff members to Laurelbrook, for family and relatives, for someone still able to fight cancer.
Pedro Acre and Michelle Gustafson reported on the recent choir trip to Alabama.  Jenny Acre stepped up and conducted the bells. The choir wore black to draw attention to God and not themselves. The group went to five churches, three of those churches on Sabbath. Chay (sophomore) had a woman come up to her and thank the group for coming since that church didn’t have any regular music.  The last church had ten members but put an announcement in the local newspaper, attracting others to the church. During the journey home, Pedro’s van noticed a paper flapping on the windshield; it turned out to be a $100 check. During their tour, people came up and asked the group to put their churches on their tour list. One pastor’s wife arranged for the group to have some free time at a local sports complex.
The congregation had a silent invocation.  The congregation then sang “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”. Rodney Herra then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Darius (junior) and Scott Sterling 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. 
Lucas Johnson told the children a story from Namibia, Africa.  Some missionaries introduced a tribe to Christianity but then had to leave shortly thereafter.  A drought came up, and the tribe prayed that God would send them manna just like in the Old Testament. Sure enough, there was something white tasting like honey on the ground the next morning. This miracle lasted until the next harvest. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

Montel Johnson read Psalm 95:1-8 “1 ¶ O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD [is] a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand [are] the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills [is] his also. 5 The sea [is] his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry [land]. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 ¶ For he [is] our God; and we [are] the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, [and] as [in] the day of temptation in the wilderness.”

Pedro Acre’s children and their visiting relatives sang for special music. Rich Sutton discussed the topic “Thanksgiving”. The congregation sang “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart”.   Rich Sutton had the closing prayer.

Samantha (8th grade homeschooled student) accompanied the service on the piano.

Personnel Other Than Students:
Bob Gustafson – Laurelbrook farm manager
Lucas Johnson – works with the school web site and the boys’ dorm
Michelle Gustafson – works with the music program / vocational student coordinator
Montel Johnson – works with the academy math program
Pedro Acre – works with the music program
Rich Sutton – Laurelbrook president
Scott Sterling – works with the waste water and water systems / teaches physical science
Following are some notes on the sermon by Rich Sutton: 
  1. Psalm 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.”
  2. David wrote most of the book of Psalms.  His life wasn’t easy.  His brothers challenged his self-worth, but he turned out to be one of the best of Israel’s kings.
  3. Saul was only king for two to three years before God picked David to be the next king.
  4. When Samuel came to anoint a new king, he passed by the older brothers, but David was out taking care of the sheep.  It turned out that David, the youngest, would be the king someday.
  5. David had to patiently wait for the kingship.  Then war came, and Jessie asked David to go take food to the older brothers.  The older brothers didn’t want David there and didn’t want to fight Goliath.
  6. David’s oldest brother got mad with David because David saw the need to fight Goliath, accusing David of merely wanting to see the battle.
  7. Would you be thankful for a family like that?  David did so in the Psalms.
  8. Then David was called to be a musician for Saul despite stuff thrown at him.
  9. Then David had to flee to the wilderness for many years, but he wrote psalms despite the hardships.
  10. Note that David ran towards Goliath, not away from him.
  11. Paul in the New Testament was converted on the road to Damascus, endured all kinds of hardships, but sang in the jail despite all that.
  12. To sing praises and be thankful, you have to go through trials for the Lord. Everything we do has a price.
  13. He interviewed Terrence Anderson, who went through an accident after he accepted the call to Laurelbrook. But he praises God that their lives were saved.
  14. As they moved to Laurelbrook, he fell asleep at the wheel.  Angels kept the truck from going over a precipice and then helped him move the truck back to the road after he prayed.  They made it to Laurelbrook, praise the Lord.
  15. Ellen White says that a thankful heart is as much a duty as prayer. Our efficiency as workers will be greatly increased if we remember the times when we praise the Lord. 
  16. Rich Sutton rule – you have to praise twice before talking once about something not so great.
  17. As Israel went through the wilderness, they sang as they went.
  18. When you get in trouble, sing.  Jesus has a wonderful work for us to do – praising the Lord.

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