The Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church service on April 28, 2018 began with the congregation singing a verse of “The Savior Is Waiting”. Mark Kent had the Ministry Corner. There are now two local Adventist radio stations, the one in Dayton broadcasting 3ABN. This station may have a tower bill of $350 a month. In Pikeville, the station shares space with a local station. It has a low antenna but reaches all of Pikeville and part of the way to Crossville. That station has been playing classical music.
Ricardo Reid welcomed everyone and made a few announcements. Students from Wildwood have come to present the gospel of health. At vespers at 5:00 p.m. David and Kristina Armstrong will have a special presentation of their work in Nepal. Pray for the seniors who are in Mexico building churches in areas where they haven’t worked before using equipment that hasn’t been used in a long time.
Mark Kent played an introit. The congregation had a silent invocation and then sang “The Lord Is My Light”. After praises and requests for prayers, Tapiwa Marawanyika had the main prayer; the congregation responded with “Hear Our Prayer, O Lord”.
Thanos (junior) then called for the offering. Daryll and John Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local conference advance. The congregation sang the doxology, and Thanos prayed for the offering.
Angela Volpe got the children to try to blow up a balloon in a bottle. Rather impossible. The bottle represents peer pressure. Christ takes away this peer pressure so we can live our Christian lives.
Samantha (sophomore) then read Daniel 1:12-14 “12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. 14 So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.” Mark Kent sang a vocal solo, accompanying himself on the piano.
Tapiwa Marawanyika discussed the topic “Prove Thy Servant”. Kathleen Quitoriano sang a song of meditation, accompanying herself on the guitar. Tapiwa Marawanyika had a short appeal to those who are rebelling against God’s diet and had the closing prayer.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Angela Volpe – works in the academy office / soon to be married to Mark Kent
Mark Kent – Laurelbrook IT person / soon to be married to Angela Volpe
Ricardo Reid - local head church elder / works in the Laurelbrook Nursing Home
Tapiwa Marawanyika – from Wildwood, an institution in North Georgia specializing in training medical missionaries / Laurelbrook retreat speaker a couple years ago
Following are some notes on the sermon by Tapiwa Marawanyika:
Whenever you pick up a book, it is important to read the introduction to the book.
Ellen White says that all Adventist institutions should stand out as a witness to the world.
Most people do not like change.
Daniel 1:1 “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.”
The book begins with Judah, supposedly God’s, and Babylon, Satan’s kingdom.
Daniel 1:2 “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.”
The Babylonians surrounded the city and cut off supplies. Judah was allowed to fall into Babylonian hands. It looked like God’s kingdom has lost, and God was inferior to the Babylonian gods.
Daniel 1:2-4 “2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god. 3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring [certain] of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; 4 Children in whom [was] no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as [had] ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.”
Daniel 1:5-7 “5 And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. 6 Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel [the name] of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.”
Daniel and his friends had each a name-change, culture change, change of identity, change of diet and language.
The king appointed them food.
A clay tablet records Jerusalem’s capture. The Judean king was put in place by the Egyptians, the Babylonian king mentioned by God as “His servant”.
Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
Proverbs 23:1-2 “1 ¶ When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: 2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite.”
The Babylonian king was not a person you said “no” to.
Daniel 1:9-13 “9 Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. 10 And the prince of the eunuchs said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who hath appointed your meat and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse liking than the children which [are] of your sort? then shall ye make [me] endanger my head to the king. 11 Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.”
Babylonians liked evidence. Daniel would do what God wanted him to do.
“Pulse” – plant-based diet.
In California, an Adventist company took over a prison and would offer prisoners a vegan diet. The state had a return rate (to prison) of 95%. But the Adventist-run prison had a return rate of less than 2%. The prison was divided in half – one half with standard California prison diet and rules, the other half would run with the Newstart diet and anger management and Bible studies.
85% of the prisoners chose the Newstart side. That side had no racial divisions with good fellowship. The prisoners found the food was helping their health.
Daniel 1:14 “So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.”
Daniel 1:15 “And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.”
The state shut down the prison eventually.
Note that Daniel benefited physically.
Daniel 1:17 says that Daniel and his friends benefited mentally also.
Ellen White says that Daniel and his friends honored God – and God honored them.
Daniel followed God’s counsel not to eat meat.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” The glory of God is His character.
Exodus 34 outlines God’s character.
Most of us want to represent God right. By not yielding God we are undermining what God is trying to do with our characters.
Even under pressure, Daniel reacts in a way that glorifies God.
God wanted to make Israel an example of Himself to the world.
He wants us to accept His character and His ways now rather than later.
Isaiah 7:15 “Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.”
It is time for each of us to believe what God says regarding diet.