Ron Oxentenko Talks About the Changes in Life
Sabbath services at the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church began with a song service led by Lorealle (sophomore). The opening song was “And Can It Be”. Laura Perez welcomed everyone, and Grace and her father Craig read the scripture reading and had prayer.
Abby and Grace collected the Laurelbrook Missions Offering, which goes to help students and staff members go on mission trips. Danielle and Craig Perez then sang for special music.
Danielle Perez then had a theme talk. All through academy and part of college she resisted the Spirit’s prompting. Then she went canvassing and discovered that she had to be closer to God to answer people’s questions. She went to Souls West, Pacific Union Conference’s evangelism program. She then became a Bible worker for a church in Central California – she considers this experience one of the most rewarding of her entire life. After this experience, she went back to Souls West to work.
Craig Perez concluded the Sabbath .School program with prayer. Sharon Oxentenko taught the adult lesson study in the church sanctuary.
- She knocked on one door. A professional lady answered and was about to brush her off when Danielle showed her a picture of the Second Coming. She had seen the picture last night in a dream. She bought The Great Controversy. She knocked on a door in a double-gated community. The man brushed her off. She prayed for him, that he would accept Jesus. A year later she passed the house again with a group of students. The man started to brush off her student again, and the student started pleading with the man. He bought the book.
- It is uncomfortable to knock on doors. She called a person to ask about Bible studies, and the young woman started lapping up the information. Another time the woman and her aunt, who lived near Danielle, studied the Bible together. Every time she studied the Bible with the young woman there was a new person present, a very unusual occurrence. One of the women was excited because she used to be a Seventh-day Adventist.
- One woman attended the study on the state of the dead and the study on health. Then the lady’s husband died. Later Danielle contacted her, and the lady thanked her for sharing these two topics with her since it gave her assurance when her husband died.
- One businessman had tons of questions for her and had studied Adventist doctrines. He had studied these doctrines to break Adventist doctrine down.
- Martin Luther once said that he wished to live in repose, but God had put him in the midst of tumult and revolution. Many feel the same way. God is still working in the USA.
After the lesson study, Charles Sarr made the necessary announcements. Prayer meetings are going to be moving more toward individual Bible studies in the homes sometime in October. Studies in the church will continue as well. Dr. Conrad Gill’s wife has a continued problem with her knee so Dr. Eugene Brewer from California will be taking his place next Friday evening and Sabbath. Sharon Oxentenko reminded everyone of the staff potluck at the Laurelbrook Lodge today. If anyone came, he/she must bring his/her own plate.
After Donna Kanna played an introit, Ron Oxentenko had the invocation, the congregation sang “Tell Me the Story of Jesus”, and Charles Sarr had the Morning Prayer. Charles Sarr then called for the main offering, which was for the church budget. Harry Winans and Gio (senior) collected the church offerings.
Harry Winans told the children two stories about a young man who discovered the wrong way. The young man had an older brother. The young man enjoyed going down the hill in a wagon with his family. Unfortunately, this meant that they didn’t know about the traffic coming from behind. A cousin one day acted as lookout when going down the hill. The cousin slid into the driver, and the wagon crashed. That was the first bright idea this young man had.
Then the young man got another bright idea. He got other people to help him drive his dad’s old truck down the hill. But when it was time to apply the brakes, it was discovered that the truck had no brakes. The driver decided to put the truck in a radical left turn. The truck hit a plow along the road. The young man beat out the dent in the fender and not tell his dad. His dad figured out what the young men had done. Not every idea that comes into our heads is a good one. By the way, the young man was Harry Winans.
London Lee read Psalm 119:105. The congregation then sang “Lord, In the Morning” for special music. Ron Oxentenko spoke on the topic “The Journey”. The congregation sang “I Surrender All”. London Lee closed the service with prayer.
Some of the photographs for this article were taken by Arman (sophomore).
Personnel Other Than Students:
Charles Sarr – head church elder, head of the academy music department, teaches computer science, head campus tech person
Craig Perez – works in the business office
Danielle Perez – Craig and Laura’s daughter currently working for Souls West, Pacific Union Conference’s evangelism program
Donna Kanna – teaches instrumental and vocal music lessons
Harry Winans – works in the Laurelbrook Nursing Home maintenance department
Laura Perez – academy girls’ dean, wife of Craig Perez
London Lee – Laurelbrook campus chaplain, teaches the academy seniors Bible
Ron Oxentenko – Laurelbrook president
Sharon Oxentenko – physical therapist, manages student activities, Ron Oxentenko’s wife
Following are some notes from the sermon:
- Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
- This generation has perverted this command – multiple partners, no marriage…
- Ellen White says that a young person not out of his/her teens is a poor judge of the person he/she should marry.
- The last of three great decision a young person makes is the selection of a person to spend life with.
- 1987 was the year Ron saw Sharon a lot on New Year’s Day. They decided to go to a Florida beach and talk. The students told Ron that marriage starts with a special proposal after sundown on a special day. Finally, Ron asked the special question – would Sharon marry him?
- Recently Ron asked Sharon if she thought much about what she had to give up to marry him. She hadn’t.
- Sharon said “yes”, but Sharon went back to Belize where she was a student missionary. Ron stayed in Texas, finishing up what he needed to do.
- Then Ron began his journey. One of his aunts put him on a bus that he was to ride for days to get to Tennessee.
- He realized that his decisions would be his own and wrote a letter of thanks to the aunt and uncle who had helped him during his college years.
- Sarah had died so Abraham wanted to have his servant find a wife from relatives back in his old country.
- The people you surround yourself with are often the people among whom you will find someone to marry.
- The servant wanted to know how to deal with a problem if the girl didn’t want to come.
- Genesis 24:6-8 "6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again."
- Abraham’s response was that God would prepare the way for a girl to come.
- Genesis 24:14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
- The servant planned to get a drink from the girl God had chosen.
- Rebekah came, did the sign, and was asked if she would go.
- Genesis 24:57 "And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth."
- Rebekah agreed to go.
- Genesis 24:63-67 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
- Isaac was out on a prayer walk. Rebekah got off the camel, veiled herself, and became Isaac’s wife.
- Our journey down a new school year starts tomorrow. The first decision you may make is to follow Christ. The last of the three decisions is to select a life companion.
- Hosea kept rescuing Gomer from her problem – like God does.
- God kept picking up Mary Magdalene again and again.
- The shepherd goes out in the night to find the one black sheep despite the fact the sheep deserved everything that happened to it.
- The Lost Son wants to get rid of his father (representing God), but the father forgives him and welcomes him home.
- As you begin your journey this year, God is standing there asking you to follow Him before you started on all these important questions of life.
- Hopefully, your answer will be like Sharon’s – YES.