Robert Zollinger Talks About Small Things
Listen to Robert Zollinger's sermon
Sabbath services at the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on July 6, 2013 began with a Sabbath School song service led by Rebekah (sophomore), Stephany (sophomore), and Matlin (junior), accompanied by Donna Kanna on the piano. The opening song was “Trust and Obey”. Cheryl Orser welcomed everyone. Arman (sophomore) had prayer, and read the scripture reading.
Jonathan (senior) read a mission story. Sammy (senior) and Christian (Southern Adventist University student) collected the Laurelbrook Missions Offering, which helps with the expenses of those who go on Laurelbrook mission trips. Shantel (senior) and Gabby Winans sang “Live Out Thy Life Within Me” and other hymns as a vocal duet. Cheryl Orser had a few thoughts on “Abiding in Christ”, the congregation sang “Hiding in Him”, and Cheryl Orser had the closing prayer.
Following are some notes on the Cheryl Orser’s remarks:
The group then split up into two Sabbath School classes to study a lesson on the need for revival in the church. Sharon Oxentenko taught the adult Sabbath School lesson in the church sanctuary. Rick Carr taught a student class “behind the glass” (in a room behind a glass wall at the back of the church sanctuary).
- Abiding in Christ means being responsive constantly to the Holy Spirit.
- Galatians 2:20 “ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
- Ellen White says that the angels would really rejoice if all of us were connected to God by the Holy Spirit.
- There are four gifts if we are connected to Christ. The first is that we experience joy in spite of problems we may have. If we have problems, the Lord gives us strength.
- The second gift is an everlasting peace. When we keep connected to Christ and keep trying to perfect our characters, we have this peace.
- A third gift is protection. Psalm 91 has many verses alluding to this protection. No trial comes to us unless it is by God’s permission.
- A fourth gift is God’s perfect plan for our lives. God will instruct us and teach us where and how to go.
- Ellen White says that God prepares a special place where we are to work for God.
Following are some notes from Sharon Oxentenko’s lesson study:
At 12:50 Ron Oxentenko had the announcements. According to the schedule, there will communion next Sabbath during the church service. If it is raining, the evening meeting will be in the church.
- Revelation 3:14 “ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;”
- Revelation 3:15-16 “15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
- Ellen White says that the eye salve we need is the ability to understand whether what we are doing is in line with what God wants us to do.
- God has purposes for His rebukes – make us righteous and holy.
- God often uses our spouses to bring His rebukes home to us even if we really don’t like it.
- In each message to the Seven Churches, God gives Himself a name that concerns what that church is struggling with. To the Laodicean church He says that He is the Witness to that church’s thoughts of being above any need to repent and change.
- The Laodicean church had a problem with self-exaltation, with trusting in forms and ceremonies, with believing that they had all the truth.
- Satan believes that those who are more interested in pleasure than spiritual things are his best helpers.
- Revelation 3:18 “ I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”
- 1 Peter 1:6-7 “6 ¶ Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
- While we are tempted, we should be looking towards eternal things and Jesus. This tells us whether we really believe what God says.
- The white garments are the righteousness of Christ, which we get after confessing and beginning to forsake our sins. Sometimes we think we can do things better than Jesus can.
The church service began with an introit by Donna Kanna on the organ. Robert Zollinger had the opening prayer. Ron Oxentenko welcomed everyone and then announced the opening hymn - “The Lord in Zion Reigneth”. Ron Oxentenko then had the Morning Prayer and called for the offering, which was for church budget. Verdun (junior) and Harry Winans collected the church offerings. After the congregation sang the doxology, Sammy (senior) prayed for the offering.
Mrs. Ruthie Zollinger told a story about her daughter Joy Lynn and her dog Snoppy. One night she couldn’t find Snoppy. So she prayed and then ran to the cooler (earlier in the day she had gotten apples from the cooler). The dog was just patiently waiting for Joy to show up. We need to learn to go to Jesus first.
Sammy (senior) then read the scripture reading from Zechariah 4:6, 10 “ 6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”
Heidi (sophomore) played a flute solo, accompanied by Donna Kanna on the piano. Robert Zollinger spoke on the topic “Despise Not the Day of Small Things”. The congregation sang “There Will Be Joy By and By”. Sammy (senior) closed the service with prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Cheryl Orser – retired missionary to Africa, retired Laurelbrook staff member
Donna Kanna – taught music lessons to Laurelbrook students and staff members during the 2013 school year
Harry Winans – one of the maintenance men for the Laurelbrook Nursing Home
Robert Zollinger – retired Laurelbrook president and board chairman
Ron Oxentenko – Laurelbrook’s president
Sharon Oxentenko – Ron Oxentenko’s wife, physical therapist
Following are some notes from the sermon:
- The scripture reading was a message from God to Zerubbabel, the governor of the Jews during Persian times.
- The Samaritans were part Jews and part other nations. These people intermarried with the Jews and became the mixed multitude.
- The problem Zerubbabel was having was with the mixed multitude. Today the problem we have is with those who are not totally converted.
- It was about 15 years that the Jews couldn’t build the Temple. Finally, the Lord told Zerubbabel that He would work things out. By this time Darius was in power; he sent a decree to finish the Temple.
- The second part of the message concerned little things. When the foundation of the Temple was laid, the older people wept because they thought this little thing that would be the Temple was vastly inferior to Solomon’s Temple.
- Ellen White, Counsels to Teachers says that the Lord demands faithfulness in the small matters as well as the large things. Many people don’t accomplish anything because they are waiting for big things they can do.
- Do our best with what lies nearest and watch for things that God’s Spirit seems to indicate needs to be done.
- Our faith grows by faithfully following the smallest experiences. Often we walk on by, paying no attention to the little things we could have done.
- When Mr. Bob’s youngest brother was born, his mother died. With eight children, the father was going to put them up for adoption, but an aunt intervened and took the children to her small Colorado farm. His aunt was the kind that when she wanted something done she saw it was done.
- This aunt also made sure that all the children had chores and were encouraged to make something of themselves.
- 14 people slept in a four-room house with two bedrooms, the six brothers sleeping in one small room. Mr. Bob often comforted his younger brother (who slept in a dresser drawer), teaching him the value of helping others.
- The eggs Mr. Bob collected were important since the family lived on what they grew. Two or three of the small boys often worked together to pull the weeds in the corn.
- Ellen White says that people should take an interest in their environment. Weeds should be kept out of fence rows, and the garden should be neat and clean.
- At age eleven, Mr. Bob stayed on the farm by himself when his two brothers went with the aunt as she went to her job building caskets. He was left to tend the carrots.
- The Straws were starting the Little Creek School so Mr. Bob’s older siblings were sent there. His older sister came to Colorado and collected Mr. Bob and his brothers despite the father’s opposition and took them to Little Creek where they again lived in crowded conditions.
- Much later he went with a group to the Dominican Republic where lack of water near the buildings was the same problem he had had encountered during his early Little Creek days. So he built a shack with running water piped from the creek.
- Later he stayed with Granny Baker. She pushed Mr. Bob into playing a clarinet. Later he substituted for Professor Straw as band leader.
- Earlier experiences prepared him for situations later in life. Little things, no matter what they are, are valuable.
- Young people learn the value of little things by experience now. At Little Creek he learned to thoroughly mop a floor and still can do it.
- What matters is the attitude you take toward small experiences.
- Ellen White in The Great Controversy says that God directs the work on earth of His people with each person having a part to play in His work. Each is giving wisdom to know what to do. Each person can support others with that talent. God also gives us sufficient time in which to do it.
- Ellen White says that men don’t understand what needs to be accomplished by the tasks God has given them to do. They don’t understand who it is supposed to help or how it is supposed to help.
- We don’t comprehend why we need to do what we are given to do by God.
- Don’t despise the little things. Be a simple humble person loving others like Jesus did and does.