|Theological Hmm: Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity. It is not always obvious when and where to take action. Some people spend their entire lives waiting for the time to be right make an improvement. The punchline is clear: people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. - James Clear|
- WE ARE PLANNING TO REMAIN OPEN FEBRUARY 27 AND FOLLOWING @ 9:30am but remain under the state of Ohio mask mandate. Which means everyone at church 10 years of age and older must wear a face covering of some kind (free and available at the doors) except officiants in a religious service, those with a medical condition or disability and those communicating with someone with a disability. The church has been cleaned and signs posted. Some pews will not be available. Hand sanitizer is available at the doors. If you're not sick, immuno-compromised, previously exposed to Covid 19, and are willing to follow these recommendations, you're welcome to join us!
BUT IF LUCAS COUNTY GOES PURPLE we will once again close all in person services (including children's Sabbath schools) and go back online. So call the church office (419-882-6200), check the Ohio Public Health Advisory site, church website, or Facebook page BEFORE you leave for church this week and in the future. Only tech team and participants leading worship are invited to church if / when Lucas County goes / remains purple to help us stream worship via Facebook Live, Church Website, and Church Roku Channel.
CHRISTVENTISTS SERMON SERIES CONTINUES THIS WEEK The apostolic church in Acts learned to hold tightly to Jesus and the teachings of Jesus. And thus became known by their love for Jesus and the world God so loved. Join us in person / online / Roku / dial in telephone Zoom.
NEW MEETING ID FOR LISTENING TO SABBATH SCHOOL AND CHURCH ON YOUR PHONE If you (or a senior you know) have limited or no internet access but want to listen to Sabbath School (9:30am) and church (11am) on your phone, you can call 1 (312) 626-6799 (*long distance charges may apply) and enter Meeting ID 974 0616 4323. When prompted, please also add the password: 4909.
MEMBER SURVEY Do you have a prayer request? Bible question? Would you like a visit? Phone call or video chat? Would you like to get involved in some ministry at Toledo First? Would you like to receive automated church updates via phone or text message? A new member survey where you can submit this info is now avail on our website.
CHRISTIAN MEDITATION When you hear the word meditation, you might immediately picture yoga pants and incense, sitting cross-legged on the floor and humming to yourself. But actually, Christian meditation has been used by followers of Jesus for thousands of years to draw closer to God and experience His presence in their lives. This meditation from Luke 9 is a reflection on finding comfort in knowing that you can do more than cope with the loss; you can choose growth. And if you like it, you can search your app store for Encounter App and freely subscribe too.
VIRTUAL RACE RELATIONS SUMMIT ERROR The Columbia Union Conference Virtual Race Relations Summit meeting was previously advertised open to the public. However, we received word that this was in error and was not available to the public. They informed us, however, that recordings of the presentations from the three seminary professors will be available in the future. Stay tuned! Will make those available when possible. Sorry for the mix up.
HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS During Black History Month, Chuck Burkeen from Creative Ministry says we often hear stories of near-miraculous military victories by black Americans. From Harriet Tubman’s work as a Union spy and guerrilla platoon commander in the Civil War, to the Tuskegee Airmen’s stellar record in World War II, the stories of heroic patriotism are numerous. But there’s one group who may not be as well known: the US Army’s 369th Infantry, the Harlem Hellfighters. Against all odds, the Harlem Hellfighters won the distinction as the most decorated US regiment of World War I.
VESPERS CONCLUDE FEB 27 at 6pm. This week, in The Chosen Episode Eight: I Am He, we see Jesus gather the other disciples as He begins earthly ministry and He talks to the woman at the well. So good!
YOUTH DAY MAR 6 will feature youth leading worship. We will be singing their songs and listening to their sermons and encouraging their growing faith in Jesus. Join us!
MIKE'S FORTUNE COOKIES I’m creating sixty second devotionals. You can watch the fourth one here if you wish.
SEVEN THINGS DOGS TEACH US ABOUT GOD Sandra Blackmer shares these in the recent edition of Adventist World magazine.
- Unconditional love - Dogs love and accept us as we are. They don’t care how intelligent we are or what we’re wearing or whether we messed up at school. They just look at us adoringly and plop down contentedly by our side. God tells us to love one another as He loves us (John 15:12). I think a close second would be to love one another as our dogs love us.
- Total trust - Dogs don’t stress about where their next meal is coming from, or question whether I’ll be there to take care of them. The focus of their love, faith, and trust in us is complete. It’s the type of trust we should have in God, who truly never fails us (Isaiah 12:2).
- Find joy in simple things. Going for walks, chasing a bird in a field, sniffing myriad things along a trail—dogs live such small moments to the full, with no thought of the stresses and worries of life. They truly reflect Jesus’ words: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34).
- We’re not alone. Dogs are faithful companions for the years we have them with us, but God offers us companionship for eternity. "I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you" (John 14:18).
- Patience. Dogs don’t nag or harass me but wait patiently for our next walk. We, too, need to wait on God’s timing—but, sadly, I’m usually not as patient as my dogs. "You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near" (James 5:8).
LOVE OFFERING If you weren't able to give but still want to help Cherry Street house the homeless, please mark your tithe envelopes accordingly or return to church office before end of February.
SIX WEEK GROUP BOOK COPIES IN CHURCH OFFICE You and your circle of influence will enjoy reading One Miracle After Miracle: The Pavel Goia Story. $5 copies are now avail in church office while supplies last.
DOCUMENTS: QUESTIONS ON DIET AND FOODS All the resources and notes including last week's handout from the sermon series Questions on Diet and Foods are now avail.
PLANT STRONG SHEPHERDS PIE? Costco's February magazine included a couple planstrong recipes I want to try. One substituting mushrooms for beef in Shepherd's Pie and another using sweet potato and cauliflower in lasagna. Will let you know how it goes! If you wanna try too, the recipes can can be downloaded here.
THE FOOD PANTRY IS WELL STOCKED! A big thank you for all the generous donations.
HOW TO WATCH SABBATH SCHOOL AND CHURCH ONLINE Search "Streaming Channels" in Roku enabled SmartTV's for "Toledo First SDA Church" OR tune in to the church Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/tfsda.org/ OR tune in to church website at https://www.toledofirstadventist.org.
CHILDREN'S SABBATH SCHOOLS Cradle Roll (0-2) and Kindergarten (3-6) meets in the school (but will be canceled if Lucas County goes purple). Primary (7-9) meets in the fellowship hall, and teachers request that all children wear masks if able to. Juniors (10-12) will meet in their usual classroom at the same time in the daycare area and Youth (13+) will continue meeting in the Youth room. Singspiration for all ages remains in sanctuary and begins at 9:30am.
IGLESIA ADVENTISTA DE TOLEDO CONTINUES @ 11AM in church fellowship hall (but may be canceled if Lucas County goes purple). Tenemos servicio en español en la sala del comedor todos los sábados de 11-1:15.
TEXT EM ALL The company that allows us to record and send periodic 30 to 60 second voice updates from church also provides texts now. Soon everyone who has previously received calls will also receive a message via text (unless you opt out or provided or landline number).
TWO WAYS TO HELP TJA WITH YOUR REGULAR SHOPPING 1) Amazon Smile: Simply by starting your Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com and selecting Toledo Junior Academy as your charity of choice, a percentage of your purchase will go to TJA. 2) Kroger Community Rewards: You can link your Kroger card to Toledo Junior Academy and the school receives a small donation with every purchase. You will need to create a digital account at kroger.com. Once your account is created, you simply go to the "community rewards" section on your account page and search for Toledo Junior Academy in the organizations. Thank you for your support!
MISS A MESSAGE? Did you know you can read the sermon notes via Google Docs by clicking this link for Pastor's Mike's Sermons?
FORECASTING HOPE MOVES TO YOUTUBE Previously published links for Forecasting Hope expired NOV 15, 2020. But the good news is the entire Forecasting Hope Series is now avail on DVD (see church office) and on YouTube (click previous link).
PREPARING FOR ADOLESCENCE We listened and discussed all the topics in this book / audiobook with both our son and daughter before they became teens. Topics include avoiding feelings of inferiority, handling peer pressure, drug abuse, puberty, sexual development, menstruation, masturbation, romantic love, overcoming discouragement, sound decision-making, and handling independence. Please do not be too shy to discuss these things. Highly recommend Preparing for Adolescence.
SAVE THOUSANDS ON TUITION TO ADVENTIST COLLEGE Did you know students can clep out of many college courses saving thousands of tuition dollars and maximizing their time at Adventist college by studying Saylor Academy's free online courses at their own pace, paying to take a comprehensive exam, and transfering credits to participating universities? Go to https://www.saylor.org/about/ for more info!
TRUTHLINK Our world is filled with dark rumors and misinformation about God that has many people either running from Him in horror or trying to serve Him like slaves. [truth]LINK.org is a unique Bible study experience that achieves a high level of doctrinal clarity while showing the centrality of God’s love to every biblical truth. All you have to do is log in and get started. With the completion of each lesson, you have access to the next topic. [truth]LINK is easy to take with you on your phone or tablet, as well, so you can pick up at any time, anywhere, right where you left off in the series. I highly recommend them for friends and family.
TEN COMMANDMENTS BEFORE SINAI? The ten commandments precede Sinai. We know this is true because references to the ten commandments exist in some form or fashion prior to Sinai. And God could not hold those breaking them accountable if there was no law (Romans 4:15).
- Genesis 35:1 (No other Gods?)
- Genesis 35:2 (No graven images?)
- Genesis 24:3 (No taking God's name in vain?)
- Genesis 2:3 / Exodus 16:28-29 (No seventh day Sabbath?)
- Genesis 27:41 (No honoring father and mother?)
- Genesis 4:7-9 (No murder?)
- Genesis 39:6-9 (No adultery?)
- Genesis 44:5 (No stealing?)
- Genesis 39:10-12,16-17 (No false witness?)
- Genesis 12:18 (No coveting?)
TEN COMMANDMENTS AFTER SINAI AND THE CROSS? The ten commandments remain. We know this is true because references to the ten commandments exist in some form or fashion after Sinai and the Cross. And God could not hold those breaking them accountable if there was no law (Romans 4:15).
- Colossians 3:4 ("Don't be greedy...worshiping the things of this world" - no other Gods?)
- Colossians 3:5 ("For a greedy person is an idolater" - no graven images?)
- Colossians 3:8 ("Now is the time to get rid of...dirty language" - no taking God's name in vain?)
- Matthew 24:20 / Hebrews 4:9 / Revelation 14:6-7 ("There is a seventh day Sabbath keeping that remains" - remember the seventh day Sabbath?)
- Ephesians 6:1-3 ("Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord" - honoring father and mother?)
- Colossians 3:8 / 1 John 3:5 ("But now is the time to get rid of anger" - no murder?)
- Colossians 3:5 ("Have nothing to do with sexual immorality" - no adultery?)
- Ephesians 2:8 ("Quit stealing" - no stealing?)
- Colossians 3:9 ("Don't lie" - no false witness?)
- Colossians 3:5 NKJV ("Put to death covetousness" - no coveting?)
WANNA N.E.W. S.T.A.R.T? Try focusing on better:
Nutrition. Protein comes from plants too!
- Get more Exercise. Walk an intentional mile every day
- Drink more Water. I like the Kroger carbonated kind
- Take vitamin D3 supplements and try to get some daily Sunshine
Temperance means abstaining from that which is harmful and moderation in that which is good
- Fresh Air especially at night if possible through open windows; implement and practice daily deep breathing exercises
Rest. Not just on Sabbath but shutting off screens earlier to get 8 hours of sleep too
Time with God. Not just on Sabbath but at the beginning and end of every day
CHILD PROTECTION SCREENING PROCESS Now would be a good time to get recertified. The new web-based platform features a training and screening system for both employees and volunteers across all conferences in the division. All volunteers and employees may register by going to: http://www.ohioadventist.org/ and selecting Sterling Volunteers on the top of the web page.
ELLEN WHITE WEBSITE The internet is a blessing and a curse. One blessing comes in the form of a new website sharing balanced Seventh-day Adventist explanations of Ellen White and the 25 million words, 100k pages, and 49 books she wrote with a third grade education during her lifetime. The curse comes from the myriad of sites sharing inaccurate or intentionally misleading conclusions regarding her ministry. Whether others find her writings helpful or not, shouldn't one make that decision on reputable sources? One of my favorite quotes from her pen is: "Truth can afford to be fair."
DO YOU KNOW HOW YOUR TITHE DOLLARS ARE DISTRIBUTED? By far the largest portion of tithes in the North American Division (NAD) stays locally. For example, this is how a $100 portion of tithes are distributed in the NAD (based on 2018 figures). $66 stays in the local conference (Ohio for us); $10 goes to Defined Benefit Retirement; $9 goes to the Union Conference (Columbia Union Conference for us); $9.15 goes to the NAD; $5.85 goes to the General Conference. This information is taken from the Follow the Funds article on page 11 of the May 2020 issue of Adventist Journey.
TOP TEN LIST OF JESUS BOOKS FOR NEW ADVENTISTS I'm giving each of my children a box of my fave books. We often give away Tyner's and Vendon's books as graduation gifts. Make sure you, your kids and grandkids have read these! Try adventistbookcenter.com before Amazon
- As Light Lingers by Nina Atcheson
- Searching for the God of Grace by Stuart Tyner
- Salvation by Faith and Your Will by Morris Vendon
- Surprised by Love by Elizabeth Talbot
- I Used to Be Perfect by George Knight
- It’s All About Him by Lee Vendon
- Knowing God in the Real World by Jon Paulien
- Why Didn’t They Tell Me? by Morris Vendon
- Beyond Common Ground: Why Liberals and Conservatives Need Each Other by Alden Thompson
- The Eleventh Commandment by Dwight Nelson
- The Faith I Highly Recommend by John McLarty
TOP TEN LIST OF ADVENTIST RESOURCE BOOKS I'm giving each of my children another box of my fave Adventist resource books to help them. Maybe they will help you too?
- 52 Sabbath Activities for Teen Groups by Don Pate
- Pause for Peace by Clifford Goldstein
- Light Bearers to the Remnant by R.W. Schwarz
- Questions on Doctrine edited by George Knight
- Joyful Noise by Ed Christian
- Daniel: Wisdom to the Wise by Zdravko Stefanovic
- Revelation of Jesus Christ by Ranko Stefanovic
- In Granite or Ingrained? by Skip MacCarty
- Graffiti in the Holy of Holies by Clifford Goldstein
- Ellen White Under Fire by Jud Lake
- God’s Character and the Last Generation edited by Jiri Moskala
- Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Church edited by Roy Gane
THE ADVENTIST GIVING APP We want to continue to give Toledo First the opportunity to participate in the worship of giving. While you can always do so via the church website (tfsda.org), you could also download The Adventist Giving App available in both iOS Appstore and Android’s Google Play store. Just search using the keyword “AdventistGiving” to download the App to your phone or tablet and thank you for continuing to support your local church!
FRIENDSHIP DINNERS AND FELLOWSHIP MEALS POSTPONED until further notice.
CHERRY STREET MEALS Volunteers are always needed to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner especially on Sundays and Thanksgiving. You can call Community Relations Manager Susan Graalman at 419-214-3357 or 419-214-3419. You can also email her at email@example.com.
BEST ADVENTIST RECIPE SWAP If you're looking for a favorite vegetarian or vegan recipe from academy, church, or some Adventist friend made for you, it's probably here! Search Facebook for Best Adventist Recipe Swap. Enjoy!
AMAZING FACTS DAILY DEVOTIONAL You might enjoy reading this too. Sign up here.
JESUS MOVIES The Game Changers, My Octopus Teacher, I Still Believe, Ray of Hope, The Chosen (Season 1: Episodes 1-8); A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Harriet, Just Mercy, The Apostle, The Pilgrim's Progress, Luther, Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Journey, Faith, Hope & Love, Christmas Grace; The Nativity Story; The Star; The Conscientious Objector (2004); The Ultimate Gift; Shadowlands; The Shack; Cutback; Soul Surfer; Grace UnPlugged; End of the Spear; The Mission; Beautifully Broken; Running for Grace; Steve McQueen: American Icon; The Resurrection of Gavin Stone; Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed; Is Genesis History?; God's Not Dead; Fireproof; War Room; The Case for Christ; The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry; Amazing Grace; Once I Was a Beehive; I Can Only Imagine.
GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE If you've never heard of the Geoscience Research Institute, here's their website https://www.grisda.org. Established in 1958, this organization is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church with a mission to discover and share an understanding of nature and its relationship with the Biblical revelation of the Creator God. It has all kinds of resources and articles related to intelligent design and evolution and dinosaurs and many other interesting subjects. I enjoy reading their quarterly email update. You can subscribe by clicking here and filling out the form asking to be included in their quarterly e-newsletter.
NEW SERMONS Please see church Facebook page or church website for sermon archives and more info.
- FEB 27 - Christventists Part 6: Share Sacrificially (Pastor Mike preaching from Acts 4:32-37)
- MAR 6 - Youth Day
- MAR 13 - Christventists Part 7: Give Cheerfully (Pastor Mike preaching from Acts 5:1-11)
- MAR 20 - TBA (Pastor John Hood Sr. preaching)