April 2019
"Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” Isaiah 56:7

Let us bring before the Lord our prayers of thanksgiving, petitions, and intercession. God is faithful in hearing the prayers of an obedient people. We gather together in unity and love, raising our voices before the throne of grace.

Highlights of February Sermons at Park SDA Church

“Let Me Die”
Sermon by Pastor Greg Carlson
March 2, 2019
Scripture Reading : Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

The sermon and scripture pertained to Romans, Chapter 6, “I am crucified with Christ...” Is this a one-time event, or multiple? The answer is yes, its both.  We are crucified with Christ, but die daily. A completed act, then a continuing state. No longer do I live, but Christ lives in me.

Famous Minister, George Muller, of Bristol, England, was quoted as saying, “There was a day I died, utterly died.” He had been converted, but only came into the full surrender of the heart after his conversion four years later. Being thus filled with the Spirit, he learned more about the Scriptures than he had since his conversion four years earlier.
Resurrection has to be proceeded by a crucifixion.

  • Christianity is the only religion whose Founder’s tomb is empty.
  • One of the great paradoxes of Christianity is that you must live in order to die.
  • We must fully surrender our will to God. This is our part and only we can do it--voluntarily.
  • God fills us with His Spirit. That is His part and only He can do it.
  • Because God gave us free will, He self-limits Himself.
  • The only way we can find ourselves is to lose ourselves in Christ.

According to Paul, Christ takes the place of the carnal ego, and He is in control of my life. This is Sanctification. Sanctification, wholly, completely, is the work of faith. We are justified through faith and sanctified through faith. But we cannot reach our goal by human effort.

Galatians 5:19-21 The dividing characteristics of the works of the flesh.  

Galatians 5:22-26 The uniting characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit takes time to grow. The Bible uses the singular “fruit”. Love is the greatest uniting characteristic. Love is the root of all the rest.

Love – Sanctification means perfect love.
Joy – Is the reflection of our spiritual health. A joyful Christian is a strong Christian.
Peace – When we are filled with the Holy Spirit we know that He can handle an emergency that comes into our lives.
Longsuffering – Patience, especially with others.
Kindness – One of the best demonstrations of love.
Goodness – It is demonstrated in the positive things you do. It is love in action.
Faithfulness – Can also be translated as Faith, but faithfulness is the better translation.
Gentleness – The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a gentle dove. We should have the eyes like a dove, not a hawk.
Self-Control – Keep our whole life under the control of the Holy Spirit. Unconditional surrender. Are you willing to be made willing? Challenge: Consider your motive.

What is the price of this experience in our lives? Everything. If you’re struggling to surrender, pray that you will be willing.
"The Holy Church"
Sermon by Pastor Greg Carlson
March 9, 2019
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:25-27

25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

Sanctification through the Holy Spirit:

There have always existed two extremes in the position of Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification.  One is that we will never be good enough, so why even try—or once saved, always saved. The other is that we must attain perfection. 

How do we find balance between liberal and conservative that is Biblical?

Three different aspects of Sanctification:

1.      Ephesians 5:25, The provision – through the death of Christ. Christ shed His blood not just to save us (justify us), but to sanctify us.
2.      Ephesians 5:26, The prerequisite – in the washing or regeneration, through the Word. Immediate experience, but also the work of a lifetime. Coming to Christ every day.
3.      Ephesians 5:25, The purpose – how we, as a church, as presented to Christ as His bride. The reason Christ died was to present the church to Himself, blameless. The cleansing process through the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed, sweet communion with Jesus, in the heavenly realm.
Ephesians 1:13 – Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Greek meaning – to “stamp” or “mark” with a seal.

God has self-limited Himself. He cannot stamp us with the Holy Spirit until we have given ourselves to him and make that commitment.

Ephesians 1:14 – The Holy Spirit is a down payment, a guarantee of our inheritance. Can also mean an engagement ring. A promise that we will remain faithful to each other. If we accept, the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts. If we accept, it is vitally important that we remain faithful.

We need God’s perspective in our lives. Be on our knees and in God’s Word. We need to seek and search for Him and ask Him, Lord, what Your perspective for my life? What is Your will for my life? God puts a very high premium on us having a clean heart and living a holy life.

Are we completely holy and living a sanctified life? Are we willing to be willing?
“The Search for the Spectacular”
Sermon by Pastor Greg Carlson
March 23, 2019
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:17-20

17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Pastor Greg began his sermon by asking a series of rhetorical questions that relate to our Christian experience.

  1. Would you rather die than be healed by the devil or would you rather die?
  2. Would you rather burn at the stake than give up your faith, or would you rather give up your faith than burn at the stake?
  3. Would your rather continue in defeat in your Christian life until God can give you the victory, or would you rather the devil give you the victory now?

Matthew 24 outlines end of the world events and signs of the Second Coming, focusing on one thing that will take place before Jesus returns. 

23 Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or “There!” do not believe it.
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

One thing is clear, the enemy is almost going to succeed to deceive the elect. What is the basis?: Signs and wonders (sensational & spectacular). Even the enemy can perform signs and wonders.

In Luke 10, the disciples were impressed that the devils were subject to them in Christ’s name. Jesus replied that He saw Satan cast out of heaven. What is the most important thing to heaven? Converted hearts, ready for heaven. The greatest of all miracles are transformed hearts and lives. 

Signs and wonders experienced in the last days:

  1. The undeniable sense of power that your senses can relate to—deceptions at the end of time will be based on our senses.
  2. You will see the miraculous, supernatural things you can’t explain.
  3. Supposed great interest in the Bible, Jesus, and the uplifting things of God.
  4. Great emphasis on love as our greatest need, accepting others beliefs, based upon happiness.
  5. A more exalted form of religion, faith, and a deeper experience into things you’ve never seen or heard of.

Are these things proof of the power of God at work?

Pastor Greg read from the Spirit of Prophecy, The Great Controversy, pages 554 and 558 about Satan utilizing spiritualism to pervert the senses of all who are not shielded by divine power. Even the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and will misrepresent love, reason, and charity as a false counterfeit for his purposes.

How can we know the difference? The Great Controversy, page 464 “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children.” The devil will endeavor to hinder this movement by introducing a counterfeit to deceive multitudes before the genuine revival.

What are we going to do about it? Our greatest need is a return to primitive Godliness. Keeping God’s Commandments and having a deeper experience with God. Manifested by the Holy Spirit with great spiritual gifts, through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. 

Two safeguards in order to detect what’s right and what’s wrong:

  1. Clothed by the righteousness of Christ.
  2. To be so fortified by the truth of God’s Word that the delusions of Satan shall not be accepted.

If you’re sincerely searching for truth, God will not allow you to be deceived.
“What Doest Thou Here”
Sermon by Pastor Greg Carlson
March 30, 2019
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 19:1-9

19 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a [ a ] broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

5   Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an [ b ] angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on [ c ] coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7And the [ d ] angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

9And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah is one of only two men mentioned in the Bible who escaped the sentence of death, pronounced on Adam and his descendants. Elijah was a man of great faith and prayer, grasping the promises of heaven. But as with all mankind, Elijah didn’t have a life of sinlessness. His record of his God-given message of apostasy, as well as his dismal failures are recorded as special lessons for our generation. 

1 Kings 19 chronicle Elijah’s flight into the wilderness from Queen Jezebel.  The message “What doest thou here Elijah?”, came at a time of great personal failure in his life. Elijah had just witnessed God’s power in defeating the 450 prophets of Baal after 42 months of bitter drought, a call for Israel to return to the Lord. But upon Jezebels sentence of death in retaliation for the loss of her false prophets, Elijah momentarily took his eyes off Christ and focused on his own problems, overcome by fear. The cause of every failure is the lost sense of the presence of God.

God spoke to Elijah in the mouth of the cave, recounting His mighty power in Elijah’s missions as a prophet. God then asked, “What doest thou here Elijah?” God had not sent him to this place of despondency. 

Elijah’s message is the last message. What are we, the church, doing here? We would do well to make the message to God’s servant of old a personal one. We have work to do. We must begin in our own family, community, neighborhood, and to the world. The purpose of us, as God’s remnant church, is to glorify God. And a manifestation of that glory is seen in our unselfish ministries for the souls of those around us.
Below are photos of the Children's program on March 30th. Children for Kindergarten, Primary, and Juniors classes were presented. The children sang songs, recited memory verses, and certificates were presented to the Kindergarten class. Special thanks to the leaders, Charles (Kindergarten), Elwina (Primary), and Grace (Juniors).
Rojan Mathew - Mission Trip to Panama
Rojan Mathew, of Park SDA Church, will be going on a mission trip to the Chiriqui provinces in Panama, on June 29 - July 9th and is looking for anyone who is willingly open-hearted in giving toward toward his cause. Any donation or support in any way is greatly appreciated. The following informational letter from Rojan outlines the mission:

"One of our Chesapeake sister churches across the bridge, New Hope SDA Church is planning a mission trip to Panama in July, 2019 for high-school-age young people and I am hoping to join them. We will be going to the eastern mountains of Panama and working among the Ngobe-Bugle Indians. They are some of the poorest people in Central America and have many needs. We will be working on church and school projects during the time we are there.

I'm excited about going on this trip and am writing this letter to ask your help. The cost of the trip is $1,700 per person. I am hoping that you share in my enthusiasm for this ministry. If you are interested in supporting this mission trip, please consider making a donation. Please make your checks out to Rojan Mathew or cash, and please give directly to Rojan.

Thank you for your help. If possible, please send your contribution by April 30. Please pray for us as we go on this adventure. I will present a report on this mission trip and take plenty of pictures and share them with you when I return. Thank you in advance.

Children's Choir
The Children's Choir, led by Keila Chatham, has been a tremendous success! Here they are pictured singing at the Genesis Nursing Home in Salisbury. Photos courtesy of Deshirl Rankins.
Game Night!!! March 9
Sabbath, March 9th, Park held a sundown worship, fellowship dinner, and game night! Fun was had by all! Thank you to the organizers and participants. And thank you, Deshirl for photo contributions.
Talents for the Lord!

A special Talents for the Lord was held on March 30th, featuring a variety of performances, including the all new Cantata!!! Thank you for singers from Beacon of Light, Seaford, and Cambridge churches for sharing their gifts in praising the Lord!

Children & Youth Leaders Enrichment Day

Elder Wesly Brouard reports that he, Sean Jackson, Elwina Antonidass, and Rojan Mathew attended the Children & Youth Leaders Enrichment Day on March 9th at the White Marsh SDA Church in Baltimore. The session highlighted Disciplining young people for Christ.
Congratulations Patra!

Park is immensely proud to announce the graduation of church member, Patra Rhyne, who received her Bachelors in Human Development and Family Studies from the American Public University System (APUS) in February of this year. Patra graduated Summa Cum Laude. She holds an Associates in Early Childhood Care, and is working on her Masters in Education. At the age of 65, her goal is to teach children. She is seen in the picture, at left. Her friend and fellow church member, Harrisa Mitchell.
Mark your calendars! April 13, 2019 at Park SDA Church!

The Annual Gathering
Eastern Shore.

This year's guest speaker is Pastor Pavel Goia, who's life is subject of the book, One Miracle After Another: The Pavel Goia Story, by Gregg Budd.

Pastor Goia is a native of Romania and is the Editor for Ministry Magazine at the General Conference. He is also the Associate Director for Ministerial, as well as a doctoral candidate at Andrews University.

Hannah's Journal
News from Hannah Wilson

When I want to empty the trash, I walk down a hill and dump it into a stinky hole where someone will eventually burn it. When we run out of water (due to running out of electricity), I take a bucket up the hill to fill it and then use it to wash my clothes or to shower. The bed I lay in feels more and more comfortable each night (regardless of the fact of my feet hanging off the edge), and tucking in and putting away my mosquito net have become second nature. I eat beans and bread every morning and curry, rice, and dal every lunch. The food is starting to actually fill me, and I have become so fond of it that I crave certain meals and get excited in line. If I have extra food, I sneakily find one of the dogs, Hero or Bruce Lee, to give it to (they love bread and milk, and eat rice and dal practically every day). When we run out of dish soap, we use laundry detergent. When I stare down the occasional rat, it no longer bothers me, and it’s now more of a social event to chase them down. If I am teaching class and it starts to rain, I just kind of accept that half the class runs to take down their laundry, and depending on the day, I might even join them in taking down my own. 

My birthday caused an exciting interruption from what was becoming the everyday norm. Here they throw a bucket of water and flowers on you on your birthday; then throughout the day, more water gets poured on you per person, so there’s really no point in changing out of your wet cloths. Someone got me with a bucket as I went up the stairs for breakfast, and as I ate, someone else emptied his water bottle on my head while I was in mid-sentence. I adored it, and even when a girl very obviously asked me to go outside the cafeteria with her, I played along and let her try to dump her water on me. 

The babysitter and I decided to roam around the school and visit the waterfall. We passed the girls as they made the bread and the boys as they chopped wood to make the bread. We passed girls mopping and sweeping the cafeteria. We passed the sewing room with the seamstress and her student workers hard at work.

The farm is a quick walk down the hill. There is no running water per se, but there is a hose that flows from the creek, and the student workers were filling their buckets and tossing water on the crops. After a detour to a gooseberry tree for nature’s version of a sour patch kid, we headed down the jungle path to the falls. A girl led us, bounding contently through the thick grass, and I followed, convinced I had just entered the jungle book. Another child trailed behind the both of us, muttering something about predators and the setting sun.

The jungle path went through tall grass and then morphed into a muddy, sloped footpath through wild bamboo. My fearless jungle companions insisted on praying for safety, and when we rounded the corner, the waterfall was there to greet us. The waterfall was big enough for one’s body to get behind and watch the water fall from the back side. We had a blast playing in the water, despite the fact that I ended up pulling two leeches off me afterward. The next day I also found a tick in my bellybutton, most likely from going through the tall grass.

My birthday ended with worship with the girls that turned into a pancake party. For dinner, the boys in our Sabbath School came over for a feast of egg rolls. My birthday was a dream. I felt so overwhelmed with blessings!

 A ll things work together,
Hannah Wilson

Editor's Note: Hannah's birthday celebration was in October, 2018.