Arizona Connect - Az Conference President

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A Communiqué from the Office of the President
 
November 2018
 
"He who has the Son has life..."  -- 1 John 5:12
 
 
 
TOGETHER -- WE'RE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ARIZONA CONFERENCE




It is a pleasure to share with Arizona constituents and friends the many wonderful things happening within our Conference. May you catch our vision for winning men and women, boys and girls to Jesus!

 
 
 
DEVOTIONAL 
 
The Perfect Ten, Part Fourteen
The Seventh Commandment     
"Thou shalt not commit adultery." --Exodus 20:14
 
This commandment deals with more than just the physical act of adultery. While it certainly brings judgment on those who have committed that act, it is really pointing out a deeper flaw in our characters, that of "infidelity."
Jesus said: "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." --Matthew 5:27-28
 
Wow, strong words from the gentle, loving, Savior, Jesus. Well, there was certainly a reason for those strong words. He knew the nature of mankind. He certainly knew what God said through the prophet Jeremiah, "The heart is deceitful (some versions say wicked) above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" --Jeremiah 17:9 Again a very strong warning to watch our hearts.  
 
If we go back to Matthew 5, we find that right after Jesus' warning against lust He says, "If your eye offends you pluck it out!" --Matthew 5:29. Friends it doesn't take a genius, or like my mom would say, "a rocket scientist," to figure that Jesus is making a connection between these two statements. In other words the best way to avoid lust, which could eventually lead to the physical act of adultery, is not to place yourself in a position to be tempted with the "eye."  
 
 
In 2018 this is not easy to do. The TV and movie industries as well as advertisers all over the world know what sells, so they bombard our senses with things that could cause our "eyes" to lead us away from our precious Lord Jesus.
 
So friends here is a simple solution to this dilemma. Replace the bad with good. Was that too simple? OK, let's make it plain. Fill your mind with things that will uplift and strengthen so when the temptation comes along you will have the ability to resist.
 
Remember we are told by the apostle Paul, "By beholding we become changed." So let's behold Jesus and be changed into His image.  
 
 
THE PRESIDENT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL
 
 
The first week of October was a great week for me because I spent most of the week visiting with pastors. I'm truly thankful for the men and women God has placed here in Arizona to serve in His work. We also had a pastor's meeting that week with a strong emphasis on outreach and what God can do to make our churches stronger and more vibrant.
Hiking with my son-in-law Dr. Harrison Filler, DDS
The weekend of October 5-7 I was blessed to have my daughter Becky and her husband Harrison visiting from Birmingham, Alabama. That Friday Harrison and I took a hike that was more of a climb than a hike to the top of Flat Iron just outside of Apaché Junction.
I narrowly escaped stepping on a four-foot long diamondback rattlesnake. You can imagine I was pretty careful with my steps the rest of the trip! Harrison's conversation from there on dealt mainly with how would we deal with a snakebite evacuation if that happened.
October 8-10 I was back in the office. On the 10th we had a real celebration. Our dear colleague who works as Administrative Assistant in the Regional Ministries Department, Chauve Niyonizigiye, a native of Africa,
was reunited with his wife and daughter after a four-year separation. Chauve has worked diligently to get permission from the US immigration offices to get them here from Capetown, South Africa. After many prayers on their behalf, Linda and Malise are now here. To celebrate, our office family gave a house warming party on Chauve's behalf. Thanks Rosemary Abrahams for putting this together.

 
A happy Chauve with daughter Malise and wife Linda. God answers prayers!
On the 11th I flew to Michigan for the General Conference Annual Council meetings. The week started great with an emphasis on remembering the pioneers and the great work they did by the grace of God to establish this last days church movement.
 
It's always a privilege to be with NAD President Dan Jackson.
The actual business meetings took place from October 14-17. They seemed to be well attended with great reports from around the world of how the church is growing.
The main meeting on Sunday the 14th dealt with the topic of should we vote to establish compliance committees to deal with areas where the church is out of policy with certain issues. There was a lengthy explanation given as to why and how these committees were set up, then the floor was open for discussion.
While the vast majority of speakers (I counted about three to one) spoke against establishing these committees, the vote was taken and passed by about 60 to 40%. This left most of us feeling as though we were losing our focus on the mission of the church, to win people for Christ, instead of spending too much time on "policy" issues. I left thinking and praying that my church would reignite the passion it had when the pioneers were alive.
I got back to Phoenix late on the 17th and the next two days had a lot of appointments and catching up to do.
Fresh water to Kenya
On October 20th I spoke at the Payson church and was privileged to attend my dear friend Sharon Judd's Sabbath School class. It was great. I also was inspired to hear all that the church has done through the ministry of Darryl and Mary Jo Oft's project to bring fresh, pure water to the country of Kenya, Africa.
God is really blessing this little church. There was a great children's story about hiking unprepared that went perfectly with my message. All in all it was a great Sabbath.
 
 
That evening my wife and I experienced the Assyrian style wedding of my next door neighbor's son. It was truly a celebration. I have never experienced anything like it. May God bless this newly married young couple.
 
Reggie Leach, our AZ Team, and I bid Jose Marin farewell.
Monday, October 22, the office staff gave Executive Secretary Jose Marin a farewell luncheon at our favorite Italian restaurant, Arrivederci's. It was a joyous occasion as we remembered the fun times and great accomplishments Jose has brought to our lives. But we are all sad to see him go. We wish the Marin family God's richest blessings as he and Cynthia begin their work at the Northern California Conference.
 
Karen Matambo
The following week was a normal office week that concluded with a great event we called the New Believers Retreat. It was great to spend the Sabbath up at our camp in Prescott, Arizona with believers from around the Conference who are new to the faith.
Dr. Joe Kidder
The speakers we were was blessed to hear included Dr. Joe Kidder from Andrew's University, Karen Matambo, our own Conference Bible worker, and Tony Jasper, pastor of the Prescott/Dewey churches.
I gave the early morning sermon and was amazed at the great response of these new believers to want to strengthen their own walk with God as well as help others draw close to Him. Special thanks to Jose Marin, Carolina Flores, and Manny Cruz for putting this great event together.
 
Pastor Stuart Harrison
Finally I'd just like to share a touching event I attended which was the memorial service for our dear Pastor Stuart Harrison. It was held on Friday night the 26th. Some asked the family, "Why Friday night?" The answer was this was his favorite part of the week. He loved Friday night gatherings with family and friends, singing to bring in the Sabbath hours.
The service really highlighted what a wonderful man Stuart was, and the many testimonies confirmed that as well. We will truly miss Pastor Harrison, but we know we will see him again at the resurrection. Praise God for that wonderful promise.
 
 
 
 
 
CONFERENCE FINANCES
 
   
 
August:          $1,109,745         an increase of $142,552  
September:    $1,196,416         an increase of $38,090 
YTD:               $10,516,783       an increase of $920,138
 
Year-to-date we have a 9.59% INCREASE. PRAISE GOD! Thanks to all of our members for their faithfulness.
 
Reggie Leach
Treasurer 
 
  
 
 
Launching the Power of Prayer in Your Church
 
"Launching the Power of Prayer in Your Church," a valley-wide prayer rally was held at the Camelback Church. The event featured speakers Karen Matambo of It Is Written and Elder Jose Marin, who spoke on the Power of Intercessory Prayer. Representatives from various church prayer ministries teams attended and received resources to prepare for the upcoming initiative "10 Days of Prayer" Jan. 9-19, 2019. Every local church in our Conference is encouraged to participate in a way that works best for your local congregation. Resources can be found at www.tendaysofprayer.org or call 480-888-6983 to have a packet sent out to your church.
 
Pictured are representatives from the Glendale SDA Church Prayer Ministries Team who participating in "Launching the Power of Prayer in Your Church."
 
 
AZ Conference Prayer Call (Weekly)
Every Wednesday, from 7:00 am-8:00 am all are welcome to call in to our weekly prayer call-in conference where we pray for our Arizona Conference leaders, pastors, churches, congregations, communities, schools, ministries, and special prayer requests. Please mute your phone when not speaking.
 
Call in number: 712-432-6100
Participant Passcode:39014015
 
If you cannot join us, please forward you prayer requests to azprayers@gmail.com or text 480-888-6983.
 
NAD "All-Night" Prayer Call (Monthly)
The first Thursday of every month finds Prayer Warriors from all over the North American Division praying together over the phone. All are welcome. Please mute your phone when not speaking.
 
Thurs Nov 1 
7:00 pm-3:00 am Arizona Time
Call in Number: 404-891-6338
Access Code: 772937#
 
 
 
 
 
GOOD NEWS TV   
    
    
 MOVING ON THE DIAL! 
 
  
 
We've been worried about and preparing for a mandatory move for two of our TV stations over the course of many months. It has seemed like such insurmountable challenges for us, and now the moves are virtually completed. What a miracle indeed. We want to take a brief moment to Praise the Lord as we share with you a few highlights and the conclusion of this experience...
 
1) YUMA STATION MOVES TO CHANNEL 24 
 
Traveling from as far as Portland, Oregon and Fort Worth, Texas, our crew descended on Yuma late on a Wednesday evening in August. Although not a very pleasant experience working for a full day in the scorching sunny day of the Sonoran Desert, we successfully finished building this station with a new transmitter, filter, and antenna about a month and a half ago. With the exception of my own visit to the ER followed by an overnight stay due to a sharply elevated heart rate as a result of what was likely heat exhaustion from that first day in the sun, everyone is safe and healthy. There is a much  bigger story behind all of this, but I will leave it at that for now.
 
We pray that this signal from the station, which broadcasts both our English and Spanish channels 24 hours/day, will reach many more viewers than it did before. (Yet another miracle that needs to be shared at some point in the future!) We have tested and confirmed that there is a strong signal being received in various locations of Yuma (203K population), including the western portion of Yuma, which is about 100 ft. lower in elevation than the remainder of Yuma where our antenna is broadcasting from.
 
We also tested and confirmed a good signal in San Luis (210K combined population between Arizona and Mexico), which is a city on the border of Mexico about 20 miles SW of the tower site in Yuma. The majority of this city is in Mexico, and we saw that there is a large percentage of antennas there. The signal for the station is now redirected to not only reach Yuma, but we are hopeful it will also reach Mexicali (996M population) and El Centro (163K population) to the west, which are about 40 and 50 miles away from the tower, respectively. Since the terrain is generally flat and there is a gradual slope down from the tower site to these two metro areas, we have the greatest chance of them receiving our signal. We are hopeful/prayerful that the Lord will help as many as possible in all of these different populations to find our channels and start watching as the Holy Spirit works in their lives.
 
We did have to return to Yuma about three weeks after going on the air due mainly to a crisis situation. The FCC called to tell us the US Marine Corps base located near Yuma had contacted them to complain of interference they are receiving on their two-way radios being used at their live firing range. They said the interference started at the same time we started broadcasting on our new frequency, so things did not look good. The Marine Corp reported the interference was a combination of country music and Christian talk show. Since ours is exclusively SDA Christian programming, some of which could be considered talk shows, it was obvious that we could be involved in causing the interference. The FCC gave us a very short time window in which to investigate the problem, confirm whether our signal was involved, and resolve it or they would personally take action. We had to move fast!
 
We are thankful to report that we confirmed rather quickly that our station is not involved in causing this interference to the Marine Corps. However, during the testing process to make that determination, a major piece of our equipment failed, which took the station off the air for several days. The parts to solve the problem were expedited to us though, and we are thankful to report that we are now back on the air at full power again. Praise the Lord!
 
Left-to-Right and Top-to-Bottom... Moses Tyler, Roger Doering, Stephen Denny, Pastor George Boundey, and Luke Skelton--seated because he was just released from the hospital
 
 
2) PAYSON STATION MOVES TO CHANNEL 34
We have also finished building the station in Payson on the new frequency and have it on the air at  full power. This project was much less complicated than Yuma, and yet it still took two full days to complete. We removed the old antenna and filter, installed the new equipment for the new frequency, and powered up the station on the new frequency without much problem. Since we were informed that our station was causing interference to a phone provider on the original frequency, we confirmed that we are not generating any interference on the frequency where they reported the problems.
 
After the installation, we also checked signal strength at a few locations in Payson, most importantly the cable TV head-end. We received a good signal in all locations. We will be contacting the cable company soon to request that they add this local channel to their standard programming lineup.
In addition to completing this installation, we also installed some additional equipment to start testing a new GNTV channel for the first time... a children's programming channel! We believe this new channel will be another blessing to our communities, and we hope it will help draw more younger families to our churches and schools. Please pray that we can raise funds to bring this channel to all Arizona communities, including Phoenix and Tucson. 


 
Subscribe to our e-Newsletter.
 
We will provide a report on some major unplanned activities happening with our channels in Phoenix through our Good News TV e-Newsletter very soon. Our work on these channels and our viewers in this metropolitan area urgently need your prayers now!
 
Amazingly, we have been receiving a flood of calls from viewers over the last several days that we've never heard from before. Several are indicating they are dependent on our channel, they watch it all the time, and one viewer that lives 35 miles from the nearest Adventist church told us that our channel is his church. 
 
Look for details in our Good News TV e-Newsletter in your email inbox. If you don't remember receiving our newsletter, then search in your spam or marketing folders to see if they are landing there. If you know you're not getting it and you're interested, simply text "GOODNEWSTV" to the number 22828 for simple instructions to start receiving them. Be sure to add info@mygoodnewstv.com to your address book so the newsletters will land in your inbox. You can also call us at 480-264-1116 or email us at info@mygoodnewstv.com and ask to subscribe to our newsletter.
 
   
Help us reach more people for Jesus today!
 
Now that we've got our stations moved to their new channels, Good News TV needs to refocus on upgrading our broadcast equipment to digital, which will help sharpen the image on our viewers TVs and provide closed captioning for the hearing impaired. All donations toward the digital upgrade will be matched up to $11,000. The overall cost for this project is $51,000. Every dollar counts! Please consider helping us with this and other important projects to reach more viewers today.      
    
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
  
Luke Skelton 
Media Ministry Director   
 
 
Thunderbird Adventist Academy Fall Festival
 
 
The annual Thunderbird Adventist Academy Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, November 3 from 6:30 to 9 pm on the TAA campus. The festival is hosted by the Student Association of TAA, but independent organizations, churches and groups are welcome to have one or more booths. For more information regarding booth availability and fees, email Nic Reichert at nreichert@thunderbirdacademy.org. We look forward to seeing you on November 3.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Arizona Connect
Ed Keyes, President
Phil Draper, Editor
Information:  480-991-6777 x 139 
Email:  info@azconference.org or phildraper@azconference.org

 
 
 
 
A Communiqué from the Office of the President
 
October 2018
 
"He who has the Son has life..."  -- 1 John 5:12
 
 
 
TOGETHER -- WE'RE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ARIZONA CONFERENCE




It is a pleasure to share with Arizona constituents and friends the many wonderful things happening within our Conference. May you catch our vision for winning men and women, boys and girls to Jesus!

 
 
 
DEVOTIONAL 
 
The Perfect Ten, Part Thirteen
The Sixth Commandment     
 
"Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13
As I said in my article last month, killing is more than just taking another person's life physically; it can also be the act of hating another so much that you wished them dead.  
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment." Matthew 5:21-22
Let's take this a little further. Can killing -- the breaking of the sixth commandment -- also be something more like "character assassination?"  
 
In my 35 years of ministry I have observed many who would never so much as touch a weapon, but would verbally abuse and destroy other people. Some do this with the direct approach by simply being mean and attacking others with their words. Others do it behind their backs with gossip and what the Bible calls "backbiting."
 
There is a unique and powerful short section of the book of James that says, "no one can tame the tongue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:8  
 
Wow, what a strong statement from the brother of Jesus. James goes on to say "out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing."
 
Remember this simple point -- there is more than one way to kill someone. If we are believers in Christ we would never even think of ending someone's life in the physical sense. But think to yourself, "how often have I used my words to inflict pain, or to kill another human being for whom Christ died."
 
 
Let's speak to and about each other in positive ways. When we do this we are indeed obeying the commandment of our God.
 
When I was a young man, my dad would say, "Son, if you don't have anything good to say about someone, then just don't say anything at all!"
 
My wife, Lillian, gave even better advice when she said, "If you can't think of anything good to say about someone, pray that God will bless them because they are one of His children!" 
 
 
 
THE PRESIDENT'S TRAVEL JOURNAL
 
 
September began the way it has for 20 of the last 24 years. Every Labor Day there is a softball tournament just outside of Portland, Oregon that I have been a part of for nearly a quarter of a century. It was a blast and I had so much fun! And to my surprise, I actually hit well. It's always fun to hang out with friends I haven't seen all year and some I haven't seen in many years. What a blessing it is to have Christian fellowship.
That same weekend I attended the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church's annual spiritual concert and program which was hosted by our own Bobby McGhee. I am always amazed at what a blessing I receive from this program. As usual it was standing room only with people from far and wide coming to participate in this great event.
Bobby, Casper, Lucky and Robin McGhee
With all the fabulous musicians and great speakers you might be surprised to hear that the highlight of the program for me was to hear Bobby and Robin's kids Lucky and Casper sing with all their hearts to a room of hundreds of people. If that was me at their age, I would have died; but what a great job they did.
Unfortunately, I was only able to play softball on Sunday since I had an issue to deal with, and so I flew back to Phoenix on Monday. The rest of that week I was involved with appointments at the office.
On Sabbath, September 8th, I gave the sermon for the Scottsdale-Thunderbird Church. I had a great time at Sabbath School and I was truly blessed with Chuck Biggs' lesson and class discussion. The church service featured several TAA students, which always blesses my heart. I'm so thankful for Thunderbird as it provides opportunities for young people to be involved in church as well as learn how to be productive in our world today.
Most of the week of September 10-14, I spent in meetings with the Pacific Union on the beautiful campus of La Sierra University. With GC Annual Council and NAD Year End Meetings approaching, we had much to discuss. Most importantly we needed to pray for God's guidance for His church.
 
Welcome Pastor James Boundey
On Sabbath, September 15th I had the great privilege of introducing Pastor James Boundey and his wife, Beth, to the Parker Church at 9:00 a.m. and then the Lake Havasu City church at 11:00 a.m. Pastor James preached a wonderful message and the churches were very excited to have their new pastor in town. Let's continue to pray for them as they transition to this new district.
Lillian Keyes
On Sunday September 16th I celebrated my wife's birthday with several close friends at Troy and Heather Anderson's house. I am grateful for all the dear friends we have. We celebrated her birthday a second time a couple of days later with our friends Allen and Rene Morehouse of the Mesa Palms Church.
The week of September 17-21 I was busy in and out of the office with various meetings and appointments. I drove over 1,000 miles that week.
On September 22 I had the privilege of speaking at the Foothill Community Church and it was a true joy. I loved the breakfast, especially the biscuits and gravy the Clarks provided -- good healthy but great tasting food. Then there was a great Sabbath School class and church service. I was blessed by the beautiful song service and the loving atmosphere of this church.
Pastor Stuart Harrison
I was also very blessed to have an opportunity to visit with my dear friends Stuart and Patricia Harrison after church. Stuart was the founding pastor of this church. Also he, Dennis Rizzo, and Frank Wilson started the Men's Ministry retreat 20 years ago.
The week of September 24-27 was busy with important interviews with potential property developers that could help us provide funding for TAA and it's future students until the Lord returns. This has been a nearly two-year process and I'd like to personally thank our Conference treasurer, Reggie Leach, and the work of the Property Acquisition and Development Advisory Committee, as well as the Finance and Executive Committees that have also put time into this process. We still have a way to go so please continue praying for God's will to be done.
 
The month of September ended with an outstanding Men's Ministry retreat at Camp Yavapines, in Prescott, Arizona. Over 120 men came together to worship, pray, and learn ways to be the kind of men God would have them to be. The music led by Gary Venden and Jay Warren took us to the throne of grace. Sammy Reyes, Jose Rojas, and Greg Speck all had powerful talks about the kind of issues men really need to hear in the times in which we live.
I want to personally thank Elder Mike Ortel for the great line up of speakers, and Elder Manny Cruz for the brilliant organization and delivery of this magnificent retreat. This was one of the best retreats, of any kind, that I have ever been to. May God bless it, and may it continue to grow.
 
 
On the last day of September I spent a large portion of the day in prayer for the Northern California Conference Constituency Session.
I typically spend time praying for my colleagues anyway, but I prayed with extra intensity for this meeting because I knew they were trying to take my good friend and trusted coworker Jose Marin away from me. As it turns out that's exactly what happened.
They voted to have Jose serve as Executive Secretary for the NCC for this next four-year term. While I am totally not surprised, I am truly saddened to be losing a true fellow warrior for Christ in Arizona. May the Lord bless the Marin's work in this new chapter of their ministry.
May God richly bless the Arizona Conference Family.
 
 
 
 
 
(Thanks Stephanie Leal, editor of NCC Northern Lights, for these clips. PD)
 
 
 
 
CONFERENCE FINANCES
 
 
Tithe is mostly VERY GOOD news this year. 
 
July:      $1,449,355         a decrease of $157,616
August: $1,109,745         an increase of $142,552 
YTD:      $9,320,366         an INCREASE of $882,047
 
Year-to-date we have a 10.45% INCREASE. PRAISE GOD! Thanks to all of our members for their faithfulness.
 
Reggie Leach
Treasurer 
 
  
 
 
 
 
GOOD NEWS TV   
    
    
 MORE LIVES  
 
CHANGED! 
 
  
   
GNTV helps grow Tucson Midvale Park Membership
 
Myrna Peterson of Tucson Midvale Park Church reports that soon after GNTV began broadcasting in Tucson, viewer Steve Serbeniuk drove from Tucson to Scottsdale to find out more about our broadcast and where there was a church near his home. He also left a hand-written note at the Arizona Conference describing how a particular message touched him deeply by the Holy Spirit. The staff there recommended that he check out the Tucson Midvale Park Church. Soon he was attending every week.
 
Kimberla Royal also started watching in Tucson. She began coming to church each week and joined the "New Believers" class and Prayer Meeting. She also started taking the It Is Written Bible Studies.
 
Pastor Malcolm Douglas had the privilege of baptizing them. Myrna writes "We are thankful GNTV brought the attention of these people who wanted a difference in their lives to seek out more information and fellowship. We ask God's blessing in their lives and on GNTV."
      
   
Help us reach more people for Jesus in 2018!
 
Good News TV has projects to expand our reach. We are also working to upgrade to digital broadcast equipment (total cost is $51,000), which will help sharpen the image on our TV channels and provide closed captioning for the hearing impaired. All donations toward the digital upgrade will be matched up to $11,000. Won't you please help us with this and other important projects to reach more viewers this year? Every dollar counts!    
    
Thank you for your continued support!
  
Luke Skelton 
Media Ministry Director   
 
                      info@MyGoodNewsTV.com
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
REFUGEE MINISTRIES
 
 
June Lily, a 6th grader at Glenview Adventist Academy, and her mother, Saiku, recently took their oaths of allegiance to the flag of the USA. Praise the Lord. They are members of Phoenix Myanmar SDA group headed by Bro Sam Tin (Saiku's husband and June Lily's dad).

 
 

 
 
 
Arizona Connect
Ed Keyes, President
Phil Draper, Editor
Information:  480-991-6777 x 139 
Email:  info@azconference.org or phildraper@azconference.org