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Volume 4 Issue 2

Fall/Winter 2017

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elcome to 2018! God has been good to us, both individually and corporately. Isaiah 63:7 says, “I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel…,”(NKJV). There are three main highlights for 2017 that I remember:

The month-long celebration of our 110th year Anniversary. This experience was truly a blessing in fellowship and fundraising. We got a chance to celebrate our ministry as a church with friends and members alike. Special thanks to the Anniversary Committee for all of its hard work.

Finalizing the Campus Wide Master Plan. The building committee, church board, and the church in business have come together to make our new vision. We have a plan to renovate our bathrooms. This is very important for our members and we pledge ourselves to make sure that we are making more progress in 2018.

“Jesus is the Answer Evangelistic Series.” This was one of the first of its kind. All English speaking churches from the Southeastern Conference came together to put on a three-week meeting at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Kent campus. We praise God for the 50 plus baptisms!

In the year 2018, God has placed a focus on my heart for our church: Physical (Health) Prosperity and Financial Prosperity!!!!! God is already working! We are asking all church members to listen out for more information to follow.

As you can see we are very busy doing our Father’s business. But we cannot accomplish any of our goals without you! YOU are the church! WE are the church! As good stewards let’s be found faithful when our Master comes so that we can hear from Him, Well Done!

Pastor

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e have made great strides since the beginning of 2017-to God be the Glory! Great things He has done! We have experienced God’s goodness through evangelistic efforts resulting in numerous baptisms, and a vision for a campus wide renovation. We have had new babies added to our family, we have experienced growth in Youth Ministry, and enjoyed togetherness picnics as a church family. By God’s grace let us continue to grow together, love and support each other, and walk in His light and love. As we embark on a new year, many of us have set new goals or made resolutions. We have resolved to manage our health, dig deeper in God’s word, and get closer to family and friends. I pray that by God’s grace, we’ll continue to be successful in our efforts; aspiring to achieve the wonderful things He has in store for us as we continue to follow His leading. Let us expect to experience a greater, deeper, closer walk with the King of Kings in 2018 as we await His Glorious return. “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh,” (Luke 21:27-28).

Editor 2


Features Year in Pictures

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Offer Unto God Thanksgiving

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17 Ways to Stretch Your Paycheck

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It’s Important to Exercise

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Jacksonville Churches Unite

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The New Year

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James Weldon Johnson

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help thee. Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show help thee, saith the Lord, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in Israel.... When the poor and needy seek water, and there is thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.” none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers We should ever remember that thanksgiving is the fruit of true, in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: “I will willing obedience. The Lord is the object of our worship, and to make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of praise his holy name shows respect for his efficiency. God says, water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.” “Faith is the substance of and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith relies tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: that they may see, upon God as being able and willing to save to the uttermost all and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand who come to him. As we speak of God's power, we show that of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath creatwe appreciate the love that is so constantly shown us, that we ed it.” are grateful for the mercies and favors bestowed on us, and that the whole soul is awakened to a realization of God's glory. What greater encouragement and assurance than this could the Lord give his loyal, commandment-keeping people? Have we not The absence of praise and thanksgiving pleases the enemy of every reason for changing our attitude toward God? Is it not our God. The line of demarcation between those who utter the holy duty to show the world that we appreciate the love of Christ? As name of God in blasphemy, and those who praise him with heart we produce the fruit of thanksgiving, we bear living evidence and with voice, is clear and distinct. He who is truly converted that by connection with Christ we are placed on vantage ground. will glorify God as he beholds the wonderful things of his creaGod is the fountain of life and power. He can make the wildertion, the brightness of the sun, moon, and stars, the changing ness a fruitful field for those who keep his commandments; for it beauty of the heavens. To him all nature will declare God's is for the glory of his name to do this. Thus he witnesses to mighty power. He will be led to give glory to His holy name. Christianity. He has done for his chosen people that which Isaiah tells us what God is doing for us. “Behold my servant, should inspire every heart with praise and thanksgiving; and it whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have grieves him that so little praise is offered. He desires to have a put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the stronger expression of praise from his people, showing that they Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be know they have reason for manifesting joy and gladness. heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anyjudgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy light of men.... He was in the world, and the world was made by God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphim, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and hold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.... I the Lord his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will (Continued on page 15)

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gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.... And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” As the grace which is in the soul flows out to others, more grace flows in to be given back to God in willing offerings. The people of God need to be aroused to let their light shine forth. Christ said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” God's people should be an animated people, filled with joy and gladness because they behold him who is invisible to the eyes of the world. Our tongues should be used to express the appreciation in our hearts for God's goodness. Thus God requires us to return to him gratitude offerings. But this is not the only way in which we are to praise God. We are to praise him by tangible service, by doing all we can to advance the glory of his name. By improving our intrusted talents, we are to offer God thanksgiving. We are to glorify God by keeping his commandments. Christ said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more.” Feeling no need of me, it is seeking for the perishable things of earth. “But ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” How plain is the distinction here drawn between the two classes. Worldlings place their whole attention upon the gaining of worldly advantages. The mind is filled with the selfish thought, How can I secure these advantages for myself? How can I obtain more money? This is the god man worships. Men do not stop to think of the riches of which no earthly power can deprive them. They see not Christ, neither know him. They do not realize their great need of a Redeemer. They do not pray. They put Christ out of their lives as much as possible.

the love and wonderful charms of Christ. They can never feel lonely or comfortless. “At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?” Let all mark the answer. “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Wonderful indeed is this promise. Do we comprehend it? When a man becomes one with Christ, he has the mind of Christ. He is no longer antagonistic to God's law, but lives in obedience to all his commandments. He walks in the footsteps of the Saviour. But should he walk regretfully, because in his union with Christ he is called upon to practice self-denial and self-sacrifice? Think of what the Prince of heaven did to manifest his love for the Father and for us. He resigned his position as Commander in the heavenly courts, and clothed his divinity with humanity, that humanity might lay hold of humanity, and divinity grasp the throne of the Infinite. This he did to perfect the redemption of the human race. Those who receive him are adopted into the royal family as sons and daughters of God. They are made heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, to an immortal inheritance. Have they any cause for regret? Christ has declared that the cross which makes the line of demarcation between his people and the world so distinct is not a cross of discouragement, but a cross of salvation. Love for the Saviour will lead us to acknowledge this. God has given human beings all that ministers to their happiness, and in return he asks them to lay their gifts and offerings on his altar. Shall we disregard this requirement? Shall we fail of offering God praise and thanksgiving in word and deed?

This selection is from a Thanksgiving article published November 20, 1900 in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now the Adventist Review).

“But ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.” Christ is with his children, enlightening their minds and leading them to call upon him. As they do this, he hears their prayers and purifies their hearts. They see him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They do not walk in accordance with the ways of the world. They ask God for Christ's sake to help them, and they receive the help they ask for. They are gifted by God with power to see 15


Start Saving Now: Based on calculations from the saved money and ate healthier, this should be U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, just $100 invested today and an additional $5 added to that pot a month will yield you $2616.22 over a 30-year period with just two percent annual interest. So, even if your current paycheck is a few zeros from where you’d like it to be, any money you put into an interest-bearing account now can make a major difference in the future.

Shop For the Holidays a Year in Advance: A simple way to save money on things that tend to add up, like decorations, wrapping paper, and ornaments is to buy them a year early. That $15 ornament will be discounted to a fraction of the price starting the day after Christmas, and holiday wrapping paper goes from multiple dollars a roll to mere cents when the holidays are through.

enough incentive to throw on an apron and whip out those pots and pans.

Stick to a Shopping List: Whenever you go to the grocery store without a list, it can be tempting to grab additional items that are on sale. Doing this can mean your grocery bill goes from a few dollars to a Kardashian style shopping list. To avoid those impulse buys, stick to your shopping list . Shopping lists can make your finances more manageable.

Take a Bottle of Water With You: If you’re serious about saving money, start taking a water bottle with you everywhere you go. If you only buy one bottle of water a day, you’re spending approximately $547.50 each year.

Write Down Your Monthly Expenses: Spend a

few weeks keeping all of your receipts, tracking your spending on credit cards, putting the info together at meals can be time-consuming, but doing it can save the end of the month. When you have your financial you hundreds of dollars every year. According to data info written down on paper, that number may surfrom the United States Department of Agriculture, prise you. When you take into account those small millennials are spending 44 percent of their food dol- purchases—like a pack of gum —you’re not likely to lars eating prepared and take-out foods. Researchers forget that everything you’re doing can really add up. at the University of Washington School of Public Health found that those who cooked for themselves Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store: The

Cook Your Own Meals: Preparing your own

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outer aisles of the grocery store tends to be where essentials like vegetables, dairy products, and sale items are offered, making it easier to avoid items that can harm your health and wallet. Leaving a $3.99 package of cookies on the shelf each week can save you over $200 each year, not to mention thousands of empty calories. While you’re there, don’t forget to steer clear of checkout counter. If a grocery checkout counter has candy, it’s best to avoid it. Counters with candy tend to stock other impulse items, like tabloid magazines, soda, and even eye glass repair kits. Pick up one just one $5 magazine every other week for a decade and you’ll have wasted $1300 .

Pay in Cash: Each week, give yourself a dedicated cash budget, leave your cards at home. According to research conducted at the University of Toronto Scarborough, people who paid in cash were more attached to their purchases, while a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that paying on credit cards made shoppers more likely to spend money and buy impulse items.

Turn off the Lights: Running just one incandescent lightbulb for 24 hours can cost you $17 over a year. Turn off lights when you leave rooms and your paycheck will last a lot longer than expected.

Turn Off the TV: This isn't meant to reduce your

electric bill, it’s to reduce your exposure to advertising. Research conducted by academic publisher TayBuy Generic: Breaking out brand addiction can save you thousands of dollars a year. When you look lor & Francis found that overweight people had a stronger desire to eat after seeing food advertising, at the ingredients list, on most (not all) of your groputting them at risk for increased weight gain and cery store items, you’ll quickly realize that the only difference between the store-brand hand soap, dryer spending. sheets, or antibacterial wipes and the brand-name Grow a Garden: Seed packets are inexpensive, but stuff is the price. can yield a bounty of organic produce each year. Your

Document Your Financial Goals: Research from investment of just a few dollars can lead to healthier Dominican University of California reveals that individuals who wrote down their goals were significantly more likely to achieve them versus those who didn’t commit them to paper.

eating and getting more exercise. Not only will this growing your own vegies save you money, but you’ll also save on gas.

Switch Banks: Saying goodbye to your current

bank and switching to a new bank may make you eligible for a new customer bonus, which can be a few Energy Information Administration, the average hundred dollars, and may also save you on checking American household spends approximately $2,000 each year on gas. If you carpool just two days a week, account fees. you can save up to $800 a year. Don’t Shop Hungry: Two rules for a better life:

Join a Rideshare Group: According to the U.S.

Negotiate Your Hospital Bills: Most hospitals offer discounts or payment plans when it comes to your bill. Some even offer discounts for people who pay in full or on time. If you don’t have the cash up front, some hospitals will even allow you to set up an interest-free payment plan. All you have to do is ask.

don’t go to bed angry and don’t shop hungry. When you hit the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re much more likely to make impulse purchases that can really ad up.

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is important to exercise. Exercising gets your muscles moving for a great day! When you exercise, you’re loosening up your bones so they will be more flexible. If you have pets (like dogs) that need to be walked every day, that's a good way for you to get your daily exercise. If you like playing sports, that is a great start for exercising. Doctors say it is good to get at least one hour of exercise, but doctors also suggest not to go outside during mid-day hours. When you are outdoors during the mid -day hours, the sun gives off the most heat which can cause sunburns or skin aging which is not good for your body. Eating healthy food is the primary source of getting the energy you need to exercise. Even walking around your house is a form of exercise, because you are moving your body to get to where you need to go. You help your body stay in a sufficient figure when you exercise, because you’re moving your body which is helping you lose weight. It is important to exercise, it gets your muscles moving for a great day and that's a good way to start!

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at the Ephesus church, but the Holy Spirit worked, and it blossomed into a three-church, city-wide outhe Breath of Life, Ephesus and reach effort in which we not only met the communiFirst Coast International churchty's spiritual needs, but we also met its social and es in Jacksonville, FL recently participated in economic needs. " He went on to say, "Because of a collaborative effort to host the "Jesus is the our strategic alliance, we were able to share reAnswer Bible Conference" evangelistic sources and information. Our combined effort al-

meetings. The meetings were held from August 5 — 26 at Florida State College at Jacksonville's Kent Campus auditorium, where Stephen Gates, pastor of the Salem church in Pompano Beach, FL was the evangelist for the 3-week series. To prepare for the meetings, organizers and church members participated in months of outreach activities to spur community interest. One week before the event’s start, event organizers scheduled a joint prayer and evangelism rally at the Ephesus church. The rally was preceded by months of planning which included bringing in Bible workers several weeks ahead of the event to lay the groundwork. This strategic move proved to be fruitful, as one week before the series started-- before the first sermon was preached, twelve persons were baptized. According to Ricardo Daphnis, pastor of the Ephesus church, ''The initial plan was for the series to be held

lowed us to plan and make the event as convenient and accessible as possible. With the assistance of Na(Continued on page 23)

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thaniel Lyles, pastor of the First Coast International church, and Lesly Jacques, pastor of the Breath of Life church, we were able to provide nightly transportation to and from the facility, as well as childcare services during the meetings. We gave away fitness and activity trackers, gift and gas cards, books and cd's. We offered prayer and anointing services. We were even blessed with donations of school supplies and were able to host a school supplies giveaway. '

to be environments that allow the new members to study at a pace they are comfortable with. The twopronged approach of study groups backed up by a mentorship program offers new members the option of approaching a mentor to discuss items he or she may feel more comfortable discussing on a oneon-one basis. More baptisms are expected in the weeks ahead, as pastors, church members and Bible workers meet with individuals who have requested further study.

According to Clarence Wright, ministerial director for the Southeastern Conference, the event was an As a result of the outreach effort, fifty-two people extraordinary display of cooperation, resource manwere baptized into God's family. The newly baptized agement, and preaching. He further stated that Gates was the most energetic speaker he had seen members have been paired with mentors within their local congregations to assist with nurturing and in a while. Event organizers hope to keep the mospiritual growth. They have also been placed in spe- mentum going by hosting more "mission-driven" community outreach events in the coming months. cially formed study groups. The groups are intended 23


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The New Year I counsel you, my brethren and sisters, to commence the new year with a clean record. For the truth's sake and for Christ's sake, make every effort in your power to right your wrongs. Search your hearts critically, analyze your feelings, and remove every cause of dissension. If you have defrauded your brother, angels have written it against you. If you have failed to make his case your own, and to manifest toward him tenderness and compassion, you have neglected your duty, and thus it stands registered against you. Whatever have been the mistakes and errors of the pasty ear, let them be canceled now; let them not be brought into the new year, to mar the purity of its unwritten pages. Come to the Lord with hearts overflowing with thankfulness for past and present mercies, and Manifest your appreciation of God's bounties by bringing to him your thank-offerings, your freewill offerings, and your trespass offerings. The Chinese new year is sacredly kept for one week, with great ceremony. Old debts are paid, old grudges are forgiven. If an individual cannot pay his debts, his fellow men assist him, so that old accounts may not be carried into the new year. They say Joss (their god) will be angry with them if they neglect this work. Although they are ignorant of the true God, yet in these things their example is worthy of imitation, even by Christians. The worshipers of idols should not be in advance of the children of the living God. Shall not faults be confessed, and differences be put away, before we enter upon the new year ? Oh that in every church in our land there might be a settlement of old difficulties, that jealousies and wrongs between brethren might be made right ! Would not the world's Redeemer and the holy angels look down upon such a scene with pleasure ? Would not the heavenly arches ring with the sweet music, Peace on earth, good-will to men ? Let us try to set things in order among us, that we may have the approbation of Heaven. Ellen White, “The New Year�, Jan. 4 1881, Review and Herald

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Contact Us Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church 2750 W. Edgewood Ave. Jacksonville, FL. 32209 904-768-0085 info@EphesusSdaJax.org Visit us on the web at: EphesusSdaJax.org

Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church

Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church 2750 W. Edgewood Ave. Jacksonville, FL. 32209

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