Church Family Newsletter | November 12, 2022
Decalogue: Covenants (Part 3)
In the ongoing fulfillment of the covenant and the prophecy God made with Abraham, the Book of Exodus opens with Abraham’s offspring multiplying rapidly in Egypt with some estimates exceeding 1.5 million souls. We have skipped over the blessings that God brings to the Egyptians at the hands of Abraham’s great-grandson, Joseph, and the prestigious positions the Jewish people held as a result.
In all, Jacob had seventy descendants in Egypt, including Joseph, who was already there. In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation. But their descendants, the Israelites, had many children and grandchildren. In fact, they multiplied so greatly that they became extremely powerful and filled the land.
Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. He said to his people, “Look, the people of Israel now outnumber us and are stronger than we are. We must make a plan to keep them from growing even more. If we don’t, and if war breaks out, they will join our enemies and fight against us. Then they will escape from the country.” Exodus 1:5-10 NLT
The new Pharaoh found this cultural encroachment a threat to both his ego and his power and in an effort to curb their influence he enslaves God’s people, and they cry out to God to rescue them. God hears them and sends Moses — an Israelite who miraculously survived the ethnic cleansing and infanticide of the new regime to be his instrument of divine power. Although he vehemently protests his inadequacy and unsuitability, God empowers Moses to lead the people out of Egypt and toward the land God promised to Abraham.
“… Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt." But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” Exodus 3:10-12 NLT
I am sure you will be familiar with the “negotiations” between Moses and Pharaoh which culminated with the first “Passover” which has been memorialized by Jewish people ever since and at which Jesus announced the finalization of God’s covenants with mankind.
After a harrowing escape, with Pharaoh’s chariots in hot pursuit and the waters of the Red Sea piled up on either side of them, after two months filled with signs, wonders, and miracles, the people reach the foot of Mount Sinai, where God shows up to revisit the promises he made to Abraham. I encourage you to reread the story told in Exodus 19.
Acting as the representative for all of Israel, Moses ascends the mountain to hear the terms of God’s covenant with the people.
Then God gave the people all these instructions:
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:1-17
We, today, know these instructions as “The Ten Commandments”, which form the basis of moral law in our society, but we must remember that in essence, they are an amplification of the terms of the covenant that God gave to Abraham. They include the boundaries, witnesses, and stipulations of that covenantal form.
God promises to make Israel into a holy kingdom of priests that will spread his blessing and glory to all the nations. He instructs Israel to obey all the laws given at Mount Sinai, promising to bring blessings if they follow his commands and curses if they ignore them (see Deuteronomy 28). However, God further adds to the covenant blessings:
Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Exodus 34:6-7 NLT
To provide remission for sin, God sets up a priesthood and sacrificial system as a forerunner of its ultimate fulfillment in the sacrifice of Jesus. The witness of this expanded covenant is to be outwardly reflected in the way that the Israelites live, keeping the commands and, most notably, observing weekly Sabbath rest (see Exodus 31:12-18).
In this Mosaic covenant, we are introduced to an idea that was totally foreign to the people of Moses’ time: God was personally interested in his chosen people and wanted to provide resources and boundaries making it possible for them to please him.
Let us praise Him because He has further expanded that covenant through Jesus so that we recognize He is interested in us as individuals!
Next time: The Covenant with David.
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
Staff Appreciation Day
Encore Trip to Six Flags
CAMEO's Guest Speakers
Harley-Davidson Club Food Run
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Corps Cadet Brigade Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Adult Sunday School - Library
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:15 AM - Time of Prayer - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Food and Fellowship - Fireside Room
- 12:30 PM - Youth Music Rehearsals
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Rooted: Small Discipleship Group - Library and Zoom
- 7:00 PM - Songsters Rehearsal - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Senior Band Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: The Ark Encounter - Zoom and Library
- 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Thanksgiving Food Box Distribution - Concord Corps
- 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Thanksgiving Food Box Distribution - El Sobrante Social Services
SATURDAY - Divisional Music Rehearsals - Suisun Kroc Center
- 9:30 AM - Del Oro Chorus Rehearsal
- 11:00 AM - Del Oro Brass Rehearsal
- 1:15 PM - Divisional Youth Chorus Rehearsal
- 2:30 PM - Divisional Youth Electives Rehearsal
International Prayer Focus
This initiative of turning our thoughts and prayers towards the same part of the world at some point in the same week is a beautiful way to unite us as a global Army family and I thank you for the commitment that you each give to this.
The Prayer Focus requests for November 2022. We will be praying for the following territories:
31 October - 06 November 2022 | Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Territory
07 – 13 November 2022 | Mali Region
14 – 20 November 2022 | USA Southern Territory
21 – 27 November 2022 | Norway, Iceland and the Faeroes Territory
USA SOUTHERN TERRITORY
Territorial Leaders: Commissioners Kelly and Donna Igleheart
- Pray for all Officers, Soldiers, Employees, and Volunteers who are engaged in our Christmas service and fundraising efforts for an extra measure of His strength and wisdom that all who see them will see Christ.
- Candidates – Pray for God’s people to answer the call of God upon their lives to be full-time ministers of His gospel as officers in The Salvation Army.
- Faithful Witness – Pray that our officers will set examples in speech, life, love, and faith while facing challenging cultural attacks from the Enemy.
- Leadership – Pray for our territorial leaders as they assume their new roles. Commissioners Kelly and Donna Igleheart as Territorial Leaders effective September 1st. Colonel Deborah Sedlar as Territorial Chief Secretary effective January 1, 2023. Colonels Ralph and Susan Bukiewicz as they transition to USA National Headquarters as National Chief Secretary and National Secretary for Personnel.
- Youth – Pray for our youth and young adults that they engage in the territorial focus RAISE; to raise up our youth in Evangelism, Discipleship, and Leadership.
- Commissioning 2023 – Pray for the Reflectors of Holiness as they prepare for their commissioning and for the Evangelism and Discipleship Conference to be held in conjunction with Commissioning.
- Pray for seekers and souls to be won in every community where the Army flag flies and the gospel is shared.
Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.
The Light Will Come: A 28-Day Advent Journey for Families
Imagine a December spent savoring the true joy and awe of Christmas.
This 28-day journey is for families interested in a simple, meaningful celebration (even if you’ve never observed Advent before).
It will help your family take an unhurried approach to the season by:
Diving deeper into understanding the true wonder, mystery, and excitement of God sending his only Son, Jesus, to the world.
Connecting the celebration of today with the promises of Scripture.
Unwrapping the true gift that Christmas brings to each one of us.
Making more of the reality of who Jesus is as our source of hope, peace, joy, and love.
Setting aside time to look forward to his arrival with increasing expectations.
Doing good together.
Creating meaningful memories with your family this season.
Along the way, we'll send you a simple, daily email to help guide you through this Advent journey, starting the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27.
To sign up, click here:
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.
TC's Kettle Challenge
Important dates, rules, deadlines, links & ideas
- The challenge will take place on either Friday, December 2nd or Saturday, December 3rd.
- Challengers may include Western territory officers, soldiers, employees, advisory organization members, Echelon members, volunteers, and local celebrities/media personalities.
- Any four consecutive hour shift is allowed on the two challenge dates.
- Sign up by close of business (local time) on Monday, November 28th.
- The challenger must ring the bell for the entire four hours at one kettle location.
- Shifts must be tagged #TCKettleChallenge22 in Kettle-Web.
- All donations must be made in person at the kettle. (no pre- or post-stuffing)
- Post ‘day of’ photos and/or videos to your personal and corps social media pages and the Kettle Academy Facebook Group page.
- Report #TCKettleChallenge22 income in Kettle-Web by close of business (local time) on Monday, December 5th.
How to sign up for the TC’s Kettle Challenge (Traditional Kettles)
Because we’ll be tracking registration and reporting via Kettle-Web, the Corps Officer or Corps Kettle Coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that all challengers’ shifts are properly tagged with #TCKettleChallenge22 in Kettle-Web.
If you're ready to accept the TC's Kettle Challenge...
- Volunteers may sign up for the TC’s Kettle Challenge via the Volunteer Opportunities site at https://volunteer.usawest.org
- For more information about Volunteer sign-in, click this link.
- For more information about Volunteer registration for a kettle shift & participation in the TC’s Kettle Challenge, click here.
Note: When a volunteer registers for a shift and enters “Please sign me up for the #TCKettleChallenge22” in the Additional Information step of the process, the person in charge of the opportunity will automatically receive an email notification. The person in charge of the opportunity will need to properly tag the shift with #TCKettleChallenge22 in Kettle-Web.
If you're managing kettles and need to tag TC Kettle Challenge shifts...
- To add the #TCKettleChallenge22 to existing income entries in Kettle-Web, click here for a link.
- To add the #TCKettleChallenge22 to new income entries in Kettle-Web, click right here.
- Set up your Online Kettle/peer-to-peer fundraising campaign at this link.
- The campaign starts November 1st and ends at midnight December 31st, so set up your kettle now so you can get started!
- Results will be tracked automatically and announced by January 6, 2023.
The TC is planning to sweep all three competitions! But he wants to acknowledge and recognize our top efforts.
1st Place (for each of the three categories)
- Three-day getaway for two out of San Pedro
- A 70” TV for the corps/unit represented
2nd Place (for each of the three categories)
- Two-night stay for two at Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes
- A 70” TV for the corps/unit represented
Plus, an article in New Frontier will feature the Top 10 in each of the three categories.