Written by Dr. Sally Lam-Phoon Women’s Ministries director

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Women’s Ministries Emphasis Day


June 13, 2009

“Worshiping from the Heart”


Written by Dr. Sally Lam-Phoon

Women’s Ministries director

Northern Asia-Pacific Division


Produced by Department of Women’s Ministries

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


My Dear Sisters:

Joyful greetings and blessings to you. In your hand you hold the Women’s Emphasis Day Resource Packet for 2009 titled “Worshipping from the Heart.” Much time and prayer have gone into the creating of this packet and even now as you receive it our prayers are with you.

The packet for 2009 was prepared by our Women’s Ministries director for the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, Sally Lam-Phoon. I know that at each step of preparing this material Sally has sought God’s guidance and wisdom and so we send you this packet knowing that God has put His seal on it.

God calls for each of us to “worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24 KJV). And so, on this special day for women around the world we are calling each of you, our sisters, and our brothers, to worship God with all our heart and soul; to give Him first place in our lives and to live so that others will worship Him also.

As you share this information with our sisters in the church pew we ask that you also share with them some information about Women’s Ministries around the world. This year we are asking that you emphasize and pray for our sisters in Inter-American Division, North American Division and Northern Asia-Pacific Division.

In addition to the information to this packet you can visit our website at www.adventistwomensministries.org and download a PowerPoint and a script on “Women’s Ministries around the World.” Click on “Special Days” then on “Women’s Emphasis Day.”

We extend a special “Thank you” to all our church leaders and their teams that work each year to ensure that this day is one of renewal and rejoicing for our sisters. We, at the General Conference Women’s Ministries department send our love and prayers to each of you and rejoice with you at the great work that God is doing in our lives.

Joyfully,

Heather-Dawn Small

Director

Table of Contents

Page
About the Author 4


Featured Divisions 5

Worship Service Outline 8


Sermon Outline 9
Sabbath Morning Sermon: “Worshiping from the Heart” 11
Children’s Story: “Tammy’s Decision” 19
Responsive Reading: “Worshipping from the Heart” 21
Ellen G. White Quotations 22

Women’s Ministries: How You Can Be Involved 23



About the Author
Sally Lam-Phoon is the director for Children's, Family and Women's Ministries, as well as Shepherdess coordinator for the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD).  She has been a partner in ministry to Pastor Chek Yat Phoon, who is the Education Director for the NSD. They have two grown daughters.  Her main aim is to be a channel for God's blessings to flow to others, as well as to help women and young people discover their potential in Christ.

 

Featured Divisions



  • Inter-American Division

  • North American Division

  • Northern Asia-Pacific Division



Inter-American Division
Gloria Trotman, Director of Women’s Ministries

Territory: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, and Venezuela; comprising the Caribbean, Colombian, Cuban, North Mexican, Puerto Rican, South Central American, South Mexican, and West Indies Union Conferences, the Central Mexican, Dominican, French Antilles-Guiana, Guatemala, Haitian, Inter-Oceanic, Mid-Central American, and Venezuela-Antilles Union Missions, and the Belize Union of Churches Mission.

The Department of Women’s Ministries in IAD has been enhanced by the faithful, diligent work of our directors and church members. While there have been many initiatives promoted, the areas of emphasis in this report are the following:
Certification. Certification training continues to be emphasized. The training now includes the addition of our latest level. This certification has been of all-around benefit to our ladies. The training has also been extended to our Community Services workers in some unions.

Literacy. The literacy program is moving gradually in areas where there is a great need. ADRA is our consistent support.

Evangelism. Our ladies are aggressively engaged in evangelism. Large numbers (in some cases 50%) of new converts are baptized through the efforts of our women.

Community outreach. From the beginning of this quinquennium, we have emphasized the importance of outreach. Though special inspirational cards, magazines and invitations to programs, we have worked on our outreach passion. An innovation in outreach has been introduced. Our ladies have been ministering to children of incarcerated women. Children of homeless families have also been helped financially and emotionally.

Education of women. This is having amazing results. Our women are motivated to pursue educational opportunities. There are large numbers of applications for our scholarships. We are grateful to the General Conference Women’s Ministries Department for the scholarships we have received year after year. The IAD is relentless in its passion to see our ladies equip themselves for life.
Among the areas of concern that are being targeted are the following:

Intimate violence. We are extending the Abuse Prevention Day interests. Thousands of brochures on various aspects of intimate violence have been purchased for distribution to our churches and communities.


Women’s workload. This is still an area of concern and needs assistance.
It is the prayer of the Inter-American Division that our ladies experience a thorough preparation to make them successful candidates for eternity.

North American Division
Carla Baker, Director of Women’s Ministries
Territory: Bermuda, Canada, the French possession of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the United States of America, Johnston Island, Midway Islands, and all other islands of the Pacific not attached to other divisions and bounded by the date line on the west, by the equator on the south, and by longitude 120 on the east; comprising the Atlantic, Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, Columbia, Lake, Mid-America, North Pacific, Pacific, Southern, and Southwestern Union Conferences.
Your sisters in the North American Division have the following prayer concerns:
Evangelism: 2009 is the Year of Evangelism in NAD. Local conference and church Women’s Ministries departments are planning dozens of evangelistic meetings during the year.
Convention: In September we will hold our second division-wide convention in Dallas, Texas. Our first division-wide convention was in 1998 in Toronto. With the downturn in the economy, we are praying that God will open the way for 1,500 women to attend.
Heart Call”: This is our ministry to win back women who have stopped attending church. Several conferences and many local churches are using the English and Spanish Heart Call resources successfully to let non-attending women know that we love them and want them back. We are praying that God will impress more churches to become involved in this much-needed ministry.
Northern Asia-Pacific Division

Sally Lam Phoon, Director of Women’s Ministries

Territory: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, People's Republic of China including Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, Republic of Korea, and Taiwan; comprising the Japan and Korean Union Conferences, the Chinese Union Mission, and the Mongolia Mission Field.

The army of women are marching forward by the grace and guidance of our Master. There remains much to be done in terms of training and mentoring women, equipping them for greater service as the time draws nearer for our Lord’s coming and the need to spread the gospel becomes increasingly urgent. We solicit your prayers for NSD as the women join hands with the men in doing our part in fulfilling the gospel commission. Please join us praying that:



  1. The women will experience a spiritual revival individually so they can hear and sense God’s call to them in terms of outreach and mission.

  2. The women will have the courage to rise up when they are called for service, trusting the Lord to supply them with the spiritual gifts necessary for the tasks ahead.

  3. Leadership training and mentoring will move forward in the power of the Spirit to equip women for their part in the harvest.

  4. God will move the rock of patriarchy in His own time and according to His great plan so women who are empowered will be able to serve in leadership positions, particularly in women’s ministries. (Currently the Korean Union is the only place in the world where men still serve as women’s ministries leaders in their five conferences).



Worshiping from the Heart

Worship Service Outline

Call to Worship

Scripture Matthew 15:8-9

Opening Song

Pastoral Prayer Please keep in mind the special needs of women in

  • Inter-American Division

  • North American Division


  • Northern Asia-Pacific Division

  • Your local congregation

  • Women’s Ministries around the world

Offertory Reading

Offertory Song

Responsive Reading Ephesians 1:3-8

Special Music

Children’s StoryTammy’s Decision”

SermonWorshiping from the Heart

Closing Hymn

Closing Prayer

WORSHIPING FROM THE HEART

Sermon Outline

By Sally Lam-Phoon



Scripture Reading: Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV)

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”




  1. INTRODUCTION

A. Background to Matthew 15:8-9

B. What does “worshiping from the heart” mean?

1. Story of Lenny

2. ‘Heart’ means ‘mind’

C. The three A’s of worship

1. Adoration

2. Attitude

3. Action



  1. WORSHIP IS ADORATION

A. Isaiah 6:1-8

1.Worship in the presence of God

2. Feel unworthy and sinful, deserving of death

B. Christ the medium of blessing between God and man

C. No basis to boast

D. Infusion of His grace

E. Study of Adventist membership re personal devotions and family worship.

1. GC Study, Quality of Personal and Church Life

a. 45% have personal or family worship

b. 50% of our teens and young adults leave the church


2. Valuegenesis—a study on why teens leave the church

a. Teens know the Bible facts but don’t have a personal relationship with God or Jesus

b. One response was the production of GraceLink, a series of new Sabbath School quarterlies for children

c. The four dynamics of GraceLink

i. Jesus loves me

ii. I love Jesus

iii. We love each other

iv. Jesus loves you, too

d. Our direct connection with Jesus results in a changed attitude


  1. WORSHIP IS A CHANGED ATTITUDE

A. Worship unites

B. It should be a celebration

C. It should be a delight

D.It is all of me offered up as an offering



  1. WORSHIP IS ACTION IN MISSION

A. An infusion of grace resulting in action in mission

B. Story of Sana

C. Story from Women’s Ministries Bi-division Convention


  1. CONCLUSION

A. The three A’s reviewed

1. Adoration

2. Attitude

3. Action

B. The call of Revelation 14:7—Worship Him

WORSHIPING FROM THE HEART

Sermon

By Sally Lam-Phoon



Scripture Reading: Matt 15:8-9 (NIV)

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.


INTRODUCTION

It was at the time of the Passover. Jesus, aware of how the Scribes and Pharisees were trying to arrest Him at this Feast, decided not to show up with His disciples. Determined in their mission to trap him, the Pharisees tracked down Jesus and the 12 disciples and came with accusations that the disciples didn’t wash their hands before eating, thus breaking Jewish tradition. Instead of defending Himself and the disciples, Jesus pointed out the importance of the spirit of the law rather than the long list of do’s and don’t’s that the Scribes and Pharisees promoted. The list was so long that for Jews, a life time was too short to learn the hundreds of rules associated with ceremonial cleansing. It was against this background that Jesus quoted from Isaiah this scathing rebuke: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” Matt. 15:8-9 (NIV)

How are we worshiping God? Are we like the Scribes and Pharisees? Do we simply speak like Christians, while our hearts are far from God? What does “worshiping from the heart” mean?
Lenny was seeking for truth by attending a charismatic worship service. As the congregation was led into singing and prayer and the speaking in tongues, emotions were stirred. A few worshippers fell to the floor in a trance, being “smitten” by the Spirit. There was crying and moaning for sins. The atmosphere was emotionally charged. Is this an example of worshiping from the heart?

In Hebrew, the word “heart” is used interchangeably with the word “mind.” A Bible dictionary explains:

The thinking processes of man are said to be carried out by the heart. This intellectual activity corresponds to what would be called mind in English. Thus, the heart may think (Est. 6:6), understand (Job 38:36), imagine (Jer. 9:14), remember (Deut. 4:9), be wise (Prov. 2:10), and speak to itself (Deut. 7:17). Decision-making is also carried out by the heart. Purpose (Acts 11:23), intention (Heb. 4:12), and will (Eph. 6:6) are all activities of the heart.1

Hence, when we worship from the heart, it involves our rational thinking processes, a purposeful choice, a deep understanding, not merely a touchy, feely response that makes us break down and cry. It is not an emotional high that comes and goes without producing any change for the better. While there is an emotional side to worship, it is guided by our mind, a mind trained to stay centered on Christ.

Perhaps a simple yet profound understanding of “worshiping from the heart” may be boiled down to the three A’s of Worship: Worship is adoration, worship is an attitude, and worship is action.


  1. WORSHIP IS ADORATION

Isa 6:1-8

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (NIV)

Worship brings us into the very presence of God, and our first reaction is like that of the prophet Isaiah. It’s much like standing on a stage with all the spotlights focused on us. We are blinded like the apostle Paul on the road to Damascus, and as we adjust our eyes to the glory of the Lord, we dare not even look; we cry out, “Woe is me! I’m done for! Because I’m a sinner, I’m unclean.”

The creature comes before the Creator, and we are convicted of our sinful human state; we are convinced that we need help. We see how unworthy we are. We begin to put everything in perspective. We cringe before our God as we realize how dark and desolate our hearts are.

But God does not invite us to worship Him from our hearts and then leave us there on the floor, a pile of dirty rags. He reaches out and lift us up. Ellen White describes it beautifully in her book In Heavenly Places

As we approach God through the virtue of Christ's merits, we are clothed with His priestly vestments. He places us close by His side, encircling us with His human arm, while with His divine arm He grasps the throne of the Infinite. He puts His merits as sweet incense in a censer in our hands in order to encourage our petitions. He promises to hear and answer our supplications. Yes, Christ has become the medium of prayer between man and God. He also has become the medium of blessing between God and man. He has combined divinity and humanity.2

As we stand in God’s holy presence, there can be no self-exaltation, and no boastful claim, only a crystal clear picture of who I really am—the creature before my Creator. What a humbling experience! In worship we discover our true identity. J. N. Andrews said that “the true ground of divine worship, not only on the seventh day but of ALL worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures.”3

As we stand there in our worthlessness, as we feel Christ’s comforting arms wrapped tightly around us, we feel an infusion, much like a blood transfusion. His grace comes coursing through our veins to assure us that we are forgiven, and we dare to come before God’s presence, His awful throne, not because we are worthy but because Jesus is worthy; not because we have a right to but because Jesus has reclaimed that right on our behalf so that we can receive the full benefits of being sons and daughters of the Heavenly King.

But how do we as church members reflect this belief in worshiping God from the heart? How do we regard personal devotions, family worship and corporate worship? A study conducted by the General Conference entitled Quality of Personal and Church Life provided the disturbing statistic that only 45% of our church members have personal and family devotions. As we look at this, the words of Matthew 15:8, 9 ring in my ears: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (NIV)

Does it sound like Satan has been successful in diverting our attention? He knows that when we forget to worship, we are deprived of the blessings that God has prepared for us; he knows that when we forget to worship, we thwart God’s purpose in our lives; he knows that when we forget to worship, we actually choose to cast our lot on his side.

While Satan has been successful in getting us so busy and distracted that we don’t take the time for personal devotions and family worship, he has also crafted an insidious attack on our youth. He has in his crafty ways attacked our teenagers and young adults. “No, no,” Satan says. “No, don’t forget to worship. Yes, go to church every week. Go through the motions because you need to do this so you can go to heaven. Force your children to go as well. Yes, sit in church as a family, wear your smiles, do the minimum, but maintain your church membership. Be an Adventist—but only on the seventh day; forget about it the rest of the week.” Ah, Satan knows that when he gets us to attend worship services as a routine, without the heart, that he is effective in destroying us and our children.. Yes, I believe the sad statistic that only 45% of our members have personal or family worship is related to another even sadder statistic shown by research—the fact that 50% of our teens and young adults are leaving the church!


The Valuegenesis Report (1990, 2000) is a landmark study conducted by the Adventist Church on why our teens leave the church even though they have grown up in Adventist homes, and attended Adventist schools and churches for as long as they can remember. In that study it was discovered that perhaps one cause was our focus on teaching Biblical knowledge in church and Sabbath School instead of modeling to our children true worship, in other words, how to worship from the heart. Many of our teens knew Bible stories and Bible facts, but they had no connection to the God of the Bible.4

We learned from these studies that simply knowing and doing was somehow missing the mark. Knowing without a heart and doing without a soul is where Satan wants to keep us all—in the same way that he blinded many of the scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day. It is taking away 50% of our teenagers; it is robbing the church of an awareness of its mission to the world. Doesn’t this call for crisis management in our church?

Praise God that because of this in-depth research by Roger Dudley, the Adventist Church was moved to take action. One of the outcomes is a brand-new production of children’s Sabbath school quarterlies called GraceLink. This new concept has been so effective that the adult quarterlies now reflect the same outline.

Captured so beautifully in the GraceLink concept is the essence of what it means to worship from the heart. The curriculum is based on four dynamics which summarize a full understanding of Christianity.5

What motivates us to become Christians and keeps us in a relationship with Jesus is God’s grace. For the children this idea is expressed as JESUS LOVES ME.

When we understand that Jesus knows all about us, our sins, and our pride and yet He still loves us, we respond in worship. And worship isn’t just what we do at church or what we do morning and evening at home. It’s all of our life lived as a Christian—the choices we make, the way we speak; the things we buy, read, eat, or watch on TV; how we spend our time, money and energy.

For children this is expressed as I LOVE JESUS.

These two points sum up the vertical love relationship.

The other two dimensions treat the way we relate to those around us—those in our own family, and our church family, which is Community. For the children this is summarized as WE LOVE EACH OTHER.

The fourth dimension is our relationship to those outside of our family and church. This is service, and for children it is expressed as JESUS LOVES YOU TOO.

I thank God for the fact that we are starting our children on the right footing, a life centered in worship of our God—personal time alone with God, at the throne of our Father with Jesus our Brother who has embraced us with His human arm and linked us with His divine arm. This kind of connection gives us a brand new attitude and perspective.


  1. WORSHIP IS A CHANGED ATTITUDE

True worship from the heart should unite, it should be a celebration, it should be a delight. Our expression of this delight may vary from culture to culture, but the Lord does not consider the varied formats. What He sees is each person’s motive deep in the heart, the desire to know Him.

Philippians 4:4, 6-7 (The Message Bible) says,

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!…Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. 6

William Temple suggests that worship is a spiritual journey: “Throughout our growth as Christians, worship is a duty; as we advance, it becomes a delight; and at all times a true act of worship is the fulfillment—for a moment—of the true destiny of our being.”7

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God,” says the poet in Psalm 42:1 (NIV). Our time with God should be exciting. However, many struggle with how to spend—or enjoy spending—that private time with God? We squeeze in ten or fifteen minutes, watching the clock to be sure we can say we have had our private devotion. Some approach this time with the same enthusiasm as brushing teeth or taking vitamins. Perhaps it does begin this way, but it should never remain this way. As we spend time with God, getting to truly know Him, worship becomes a delight, and an hour, two hours, three hours may go by without our even noticing the time.

“We ought to come to God expecting pleasure. We should come to worship and to our quiet time, not because we ought to but because we deeply desire and even crave the benefits of time with the God of the universe.”8 Could it be we are too easily satisfied and hence miss out on the full blessings of spending time alone with God?

When we worship God with our hearts, this delightful attitude colors our disposition, the way we think and the way we relate. It impacts our beliefs, values, and behaviour, our praise, prayer and Bible study and our decisions about life-style choices: friends, school, church, home, hobbies, sports, entertainment, etc.

Romans 12:1, 2 (NIV) reads, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”9

The Message Bible puts this in a most concrete way: “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”10

Yes, you offer God your whole life, your every decision, your whole self, your entire collection of feelings, actions, ideas. Brain, nerves, muscles, drives, instincts, perceptions. Life—it is me offered up—all of me.11



III. WORSHIP IS ACTION IN MISSION

When we worship with our hearts and spend quality time with our God, grace is infused into our very being, a little at a time from day to day, and this grace flows out of a knowledge of the Word that is dynamic and changing. The doing is an outflowing of the intense moving by the Holy Spirit within the heart rather than being merely a show we put on for others to see.

True worship calls for change that begins with me right in my heart. As I worship Him, I hear God telling me where His needs are, where His mission lies, where I need to change and adjust to what He wants me to do. As a result, we will be knowing with a heart and doing with a soul, reflecting a deep passion that spreads like fire because true worship from the heart results in action. Worship results in mission.

Sani’s story illustrates this. A victim of severe spousal abuse in Mongolia, Sainbilig (Sana for short), a medical doctor, was partially paralyzed when her husband bashed her head against the wall. Later, soon after her conversion in 2004, she had the opportunity for rehabilitation in Ulaanbaatar. When she returned to her province, the Lord placed a burden on her heart to reach out to other disabled people like her. She wrote a proposal to set up a rehab center. Then for two years this proposal sat on her desk.

When I met her at a Women’s Ministries campmeeting in August 2006, Sana was moved by the retreat theme, ‘Touch a heart; tell the world!’ She shared with me her dream of starting up a center for the disabled. To make a long story short, today we have such a center in Hutul under the supervision of the Women’s Ministries Department of the Mongolia Mission Field. Because of her physical ailment, Sana has been in and out of the hospital, but she keeps praying, and God sends her good friends (all non-Christians) to carry on the project. When she began this project, she was the only Adventist in that area, but today the center serves 40 disabled families who meet to worship every Sabbath. On August 16, 2008, five people from Hutul were baptized. God called the weakest of the weak, a disabled woman in Hutul, as she worshipped God from her heart. Yes, worship does result in action, action in mission!

At a recent Women’s Ministries Bi-division Convention in Bangkok, more than 1,000 of us met and worshipped together. Later, a participant sent me an email declaring that the group had been infected with a new vision for service. They came, they worshipped with their hearts, they renewed their attitude and heard the call of God to go. Yes, if we worship with our hearts, we leave compelled to take action that results in mission.


  1. CONCLUSION

This morning we have come together to give adoration to our Heavenly King. As you walk out these doors in just a few minutes, will you, in the coming week, change anything in your life as a result of worshiping God from your heart today and tomorrow? Will you demonstrate a new attitude towards your family members, your friends and neighbors? Will you be inspired to action in sharing what Jesus has done for you with those who don’t know Jesus? Adoration from the heart will change our attitudes and result in action, a call to mission, right from the heart. Let’s review the three A’s of worship. What are they?



  • Adoration

  • Attitude and

  • Action

Ellen White writes, “God calls for sincere heart-worship.”12 In these closing days of earth’s history, once again, God is pleading with us to worship Him from our hearts. Let’s respond to the first angel’s invitation in Revelation 14. Can you imagine him flying throughout the earth crying with a loud voice: “Come and worship our Creator who made the heavens and the earth, the sea and the fountains of water!”13 Worship Him, worship Him, worship Him. Amen and Amen!



Tammy’s Decision

Children’s Story

By Idalida Luna

Idalida Luna is an assistant to the Children’s, Family and Women’s Ministries Department at the Northern Asia-Pacific Division as well as helping out in Secretariatl.  She has had many years of college/university teaching experience in Peru and Hong Kong, mentoring young people and encouraging them for mission.

Tammy and Peter were very excited. Next Sunday would be Mother’s Day, and they wanted to make it a special time for Mom. They had saved their pocket money faithfully and bought nice presents that they knew for sure Mom would love. They were also planning to surprise her with a delicious breakfast in bed. Dad had helped them plan the menu and buy the ingredients. Everything was ready for the great day.

Tammy and Peter had even, very carefully, wrapped their gifts themselves. Now they just had to wait three more days to show Mom how much they loved her and how grateful they were for her love and care.

Two more days!! Peter could hardly wait. It was so difficult to keep a secret. Many times he felt like rushing to tell Mom everything and had to control himself to avoid spoiling the whole surprise.

Then something happened. Rosemary, Tammy’s best friend, called and invited her to a slumber party for Saturday night. It was Rosemary’s birthday, and her parents had surprised her with a special trip. She was allowed to invite three of her best friends to go to a resort with her and her parents. On the second day, Sunday morning, the children would go to the amusement park.

Oh, how Tammy wanted to go. She talked with Peter and told him that he could prepare the breakfast with Dad so she could go with Rosemary.

Peter didn’t think that was a good idea, but Tammy begged him until he accepted the deal.

Sabbath morning arrived, but Tammy was no longer happy. She kept thinking about Mom all the time. She felt that what she was going to do was not right.

How could she say she loved Mom when she preferred going with her friends rather than spending Mother’s Day with her mom? She had waited so long to show her mom how much she loved her, and now?

The more Tammy thought about going to Rosemary’s party, the unhappier she felt. Finally during lunch she made up her mind. She would stay because she wanted Mom to know how much she loved her.

We often say that we love Jesus. Are we showing Him how much we love Him?

Next time you are in church or at home or at your school, remember to show through your thoughts and actions that you really love Jesus. You will make Him very happy.


Worshipping from the Heart

Responsive Reading

By Maike Stepanek

Maike Stepanek is a personal assistant to the president of the Northern Asia Pacific Division.  She serves her home church in Ilsan, Korea, as a Sabbath school superintendent and is active in friendship ministry.  Her husband Bryan is the IT Manager of the Division.

Thank you Lord for loving us; forgive our stony hearts;

Please mold us, shape us, make us; wash all our unclean parts.

So oft we stand before you, giving service with our lips;

No sooner do we leave from here, our tongues change back to whips.
Lord, here I stand before you, in awe of all your love;

The grace, blessings and mercy, daily offered from above.

You know me like no other can, know all my frailties;

You know my heart and hear my prayers when I am on my knees.


Father, we need your help—to love and worship you;

Because, if we are really honest, we don’t know what to do.

Help us with our busyness and all our trepidation;

We want to stand before you, to give love and adoration.
Lord, here I stand before you, in awe of all your love;

The grace, blessings and mercy, daily offered from above.

You know me like no other can, know all my frailties;

You know my heart and hear my prayers when I am on my knees.


Help us to do our duty, let it become a delight;

Hold us up during our troubles; may we fight the good fight.

Send us glimpses of your glory to change our attitude;

May our each and every day true heart worship include.


Quotations About Women

From the writings of Ellen G. White

“When a great and decisive work is to be done, God chooses men and women to this work, and it will see the loss if the talents of both are not combined.” Evangelism, p. 469

“We may do a noble work for God if we will. Woman does not know her power for God…There is a higher purpose for woman, a grander destiny. She should develop and cultivate her powers, for God can employ them in the great work of saving souls from eternal ruin.” Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 4, p. 642, and Evangelism, p. 465.
“There never was a time when more workers were needed than at the present. There are brethren and sisters throughout all our ranks who should discipline themselves to engage in this work, in all our churches something should be done to spread the truth. It is the duty of all to study the various points of our faith.” Review and Herald, April 1, 1880.

“If there were twenty women where now there is one, who would make this Holy Mission [one-to-one ministry] their cherished work, we should see many more converted to the truth. The refining, softening influence of Christian women is needed in the great work of preaching the truth.” Evangelism, p. 471.


“There certainly should be a larger number of women engaged in the work of ministering to suffering humanity….When believing women shall feel the burden for souls…they will be working as Christ worked. They will consider no sacrifice too great to make to win souls to Christ.” Evangelism, p. 465.
“Intelligent Christian women may use their talents to the very highest account….Wives and mothers should in no case neglect their husbands and their children, but they can do much without neglecting home duties.” Welfare Ministry, p. 164.

Women’s Ministries—How You Can Be Involved

Women are an influential force in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. When women are ministering to others, the family, church, and community receive the benefits of their spiritual strength and their ministry.

Invitation: You are invited to become involved. There are many opportunities to serve.


  • Through prayer and encouragement

  • By insuring that there is an active Women's Ministries program in your church, conference/field, union and division

  • By volunteering your talents and leadership abilities to serve in the special programs suited to your gifts.

  • Through your financial support


Programs: Women's Ministries sponsors and develops varied programs and activities, such as:
Special Days

  • International Women's Day of Prayer (First Sabbath in March)

  • Women's Ministries Day (Second Sabbath in June)

  • Abuse Prevention Emphasis Day (Fourth Sabbath in August)


Special Programs

  • “I Married a Possibility”

  • Literacy programs

  • “Prayer and Love Save”

  • Global Mission projects

  • Area-wide retreats, rallies and congresses

  • Prayer groups and prayer chains

  • Small group ministries/Bible studies

  • Church hospitality

  • Mentoring young girls and women

  • “The Widow’s Mite”

  • Leadership training


Six critical issues

There are six critical issues that particularly impact women around the world.



  1. Illiteracy

  2. Abuse

  3. Poverty

  4. Health risks

  5. Work loads

  6. Lack of mentoring and leadership training

As Christians, seeking to follow the example of Jesus, we believe it is important to do what we can to meet the needs of all people, developing trust and helping them find answers to their needs. For this reason, Women's Ministries has chosen to focus much of its attention on these six challenge issues.

These challenges provide opportunities for service for everyone in the church. Women's Ministries invites all to join together to share the Good News of the Gospel!
Although these six critical issues affect all members directly or indirectly, they impact women most strongly. For this reason, Women’s Ministries encourages all members to find ways they can help address these concerns. To address these needs is to serve as Christ served, loving and valuing humanity.
Adapted from GC Women’s Ministries Handbook.


1 Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986.

2 Ellen G. White, In Heavenly Places, 1967, p. 77.

3 J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27, quoted in Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 438.  Mountain View, CA:  Pacific Press, 1950.

4 Roger Dudley, Why Teenagers Leave the Church, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999.

5 GraceLink

6 Phil. 4:4, 6-7, The Message Bible.

7 William Temple, Quoted in Franklin M. Segler, A Theology of Church and Ministry, Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1960, p 196.

8 Dannah Gresh, Five Little Questions. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2007, p. 161.

9 Romans 12:1, 2, NIV.

10 Romans 12:1, 2, The Message Bible.


11 Eugene H. Peterson, Conversations: The Message with its Translator. NavPress, 2007, p. 1760.

12 Ellen G. White, Letter 143, (To Marian Davis, April 28, 1904), p. 3.

13 Revelation 14:7, NIV.


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