Standing Out for God

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Growing up in a communist country as a Christian I was always looked upon as the “odd one”. It was not something I enjoyed. We all want to blend in, to feel that we belong to those who we study or work with is. This was not an option in my case. Attending church, believing in God’s existence, following a Christian lifestyle was putting me in the spotlight. With all the pain of being rejected and ridiculed I was learning to stand for my faith and my identity. This is actually our calling wherever we live.  As the children of God we should “not conform to the pattern of this world” (Rom. 12:2). Let us learn to live according the values of the Kingdom of God. 

This Sabbath morning I am preaching about how to Stand Out For God. 

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Health Ministry leaders of our church along with the evangelism committee agreed to start an eight week Reversing Diabetes seminar led by Stephen and Karen Wickham. They plan to start the program on March 25. To make this seminar happen we need lots of volunteers willing to help once a week on Thursday nights. Volunteers will serve as greeters, table hosts, food sample coordinators, etc. The full list of the volunteer positions needed to be filled will be available in the church lobby this Sabbath morning. If we do not get enough help we’ll have to postpone this program. Please sign up! This will be a great way to invite people from the community and to help them find a better quality lifestyle.

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This Sabbath night is our church’s turn to help at the Samaritan Center. I am looking forward to a great time with many volunteers who already became our regular team members. 

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Here is a great update from Edymar about our church’s Men’s Ministry:

“That’s a wrap! February came and now it’s gone. How would you rate it? Same old, same old? I pray that is not the case. As I continue to marinate on the following three principles: practicing rigorous authenticity, surrendering the outcome and doing uncomfortable work, things that may have seemed uneventful or even meaningless, take on new light. For example, the last men’s breakfast on 2/28 had no agenda, just fellowship and food. Sounds rather uneventful, even meaningless, doesn’t it? I say nay! 

As the morning progressed, I watched and listened to the men interact while cooking and then eating. I could hear new bonds forming and existing ones strengthening. Some men found new purpose while others had theirs reaffirmed or further developed. At first glance, the kitchen and dining hall appeared to be filled with a bunch of hungry men chomping down on some delicious grub but in reality, there was much more going on. The morning was filled with iron sharpening iron. I saw men who were eager to connect to, grow with and support other men. I heard men that decided they were not going to be Ok with the same old, same old, men who made the decision to practice rigorous authenticity, surrender the outcome and do the uncomfortable work. Yes, all that was achieved over some delicious breakfast with “no agenda” all because these guys chose to connect.

Men, as most of you know by now, we are launching small groups specific to men and the challenges they face in the next few weeks. The groups are already forming and I pray that you strongly consider participating. If so much can come from a breakfast with no agenda, imagine what can happen from a focused group of guys looking to grow closer to God and each other? To sign up, click here. I look forward to spending more time with YOU as we pursue a stronger connection to our Lord, Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ.”

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Please be advised that last Sabbath, February 27, we had a person with a positive COVID19 case in church attendance in the sanctuary for the 9 AM service. Those who were in close proximity to the infected individual are aware of this case. They are in self-quarantine and will not be in attendance this Sabbath morning. 

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Church bulletin, Adventist Giving and other helpful links are available on our church website www.ooltewahchurch.org 

Unfortunately I cannot send my blog directly to your email address any more. If you are interested in receiving my weekly updates you will need to subscribe to it on the blog home page. Here is the link http://www.pastorkulakov.com . In the right section of the page you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address and subscribe to the future post notifications. The good thing is that you’ll the the option of unsubscribing anytime when you are tired of my messages 🙂 

See you tomorrow. 

pastor Peter

 

Brotherly love.

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Every life is important. Every soul is needed. It is for this reason apostle Paul compares church to a living body. My body would  be incomplete even without the most tiny part of it. Let us learn how to treasure one another. We find our wholeness is belonging to one another. As the cells of our body live only by being connected with each other, our spiritual life depends on the unity with all the other souls of our church. 

To illustrate this crucial concept I’d like to share with you men’s ministry updated shared with me by Edymar Penagos: “On Sunday February 21st, the Love in Action arm of the Men’s Ministry department swung back into action…but first…breakfast! Before heading the worksite, a small group of the men joined together to fellowship and fuel up for the day with a Hardy Hardees breakfast!  Now off to work!

The men’s ministry Love in Action group joined together to aid in rebuilding of some decking that was in much need of repair.  Some of the decking had seen more sunsets than most of the crew that arrived to assist and had become unstable and unsafe for future use. 
 
Included in the repairs was a handful of steps and handrails leading to the front door of the property, a complete reboarding of the properties most used deck, careful replacement of the boards most in need of repair on the properties highest deck and the steps and two rotten boards on the rear deck of the home.  In total some 360+ feet of deck board and handrails were replaced.  In addition the crew determined that a few extra boards needed to be replaced and that a post and footing were needed to help support one of the elevated decks that had begun to show some sagging issues.  With these extra pieces on order from the lumber yard, a small group of the team is set to return to the property to finish the updates and ensure that the decks remain safe and functional for another 50 years!
 
A special thank you to Barbra Smith for the hardy lunch! We could taste the love that was cooked into that wonderful meal. Isn’t there something special about sitting together in fellowship while breaking bread after a satisfying day of serving?
 
Men, weather permitting the Love in Action program will continue to operate over the next month or so with a few more decking and other projects that are already on the calendar. We welcome anyone interested to come join us as we use our time tools and talents to help assist those in need around us. Many hands make for light work! 
 
Additionally if you know of a family, church member or neighbor who could use a hand with minor repairs and projects around the house please let us know so that we can consider how we can be of the most assistance to the most people!
 
Thank you to all the guys (and gals) who took the time to come out Sunday to serve our sister, and for Matt Geraghty for the LIA recap. (See attached photos)”
 

Thank you, gentlemen, for showing to us an example of the spirit of love and service.

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Please remember in your prayers Leone Peden. Her husband, Arthur, is at the final days of his earthly journey.

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Don’t forget to check out the church website http://www.ooltewahchurch.org for the additional resources and links.

Happy Sabbath and hugs,

pastor Peter

The Law of the Lord

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Greetings,

God’s Law is given not only as a safety railing to keep us from from falling, but as a “delight” (Ps. 119:47) after a successful climb to the top of the mountain. Join our worship services tomorrow morning and we’ll study more together about the importance and the blessing of the Law of the Lord. 

This morning I had a joyful experience of speaking for the OAKS chapel. Most of the students were in their classrooms participating over YouTube, but the Kindergarten class was in the sanctuary. They sang a few songs before the message. Their engagement during my short sermon was outstanding. They all had something to say or to share. What a bright group of students! 

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A couple of days ago I got a phone call from Iris Morgan. Iris is the one who started a “meal train” for the Bremner family. For those of you who may be new to our church Steve Bremner was diagnosed with cancer, recently had two surgeries and currently is in radiation treatment. Iris had an excellent system of food deliveries to the Bremner’s. I was absolutely impressed how Iris thought through every detail. There are a number of church families who prepare meals and deliver them to the Bremner’s porch every day of the week. Iris mentioned that there may still be one or two spots available for those who would like to join this wonderful ministry. Please contact Iris directly at 248-202-9111. A heartfelt Thank You to all who are helping this dear family. 

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Men’s Ministry is going full steam in various directions. Here is an excerpt from Edymar’s weekly update:

” Love in action: We will be at Barbra Smith’s house this Sunday replacing deck boards. We have plenty of help for this Sunday but still need more volunteers for the next two projects. Please text or email me if you are available to help on 2/28 and or on 3/7. We will be replacing deck boards on 2/28 and building a deck on 3/7. 

Guys Time out (GTO): Put it on the calendar! We had so much fun the last time that we decided to do it monthly. Please plan to come out for a no agenda meal with some brothers in Christ on 2/25. We will meet at Molcajete at 630pm. Hope to see you there!  

Haney Hungry Hombres: We are approaching the end of February and you know what that means! It will soon be time to grub with some hungry hombres. Mark your calendars and I’ll see you on 2/28 at 8:30am in the Ooltewah SDA Church’s fellowship hall.” 

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Here is a link to the latest Light of Hope blog post right here

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For the church bulletin and Online Giving visit our website at www.ooltewahchurch.org

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Happy Sabbath, my friends.

pastor Peter

Jesus Is Near

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Pathfinders. Thank you, David Reynolds and the Pathfinder Club leaders for the excellent Sabbath morning program. It was so good to see our children and youth actively participate in the ministry of our church. It was a special treat to have Pastor Ron Whitehead with us that Sabbath. He shared an engaging message. The night before one of the club members, Ashley Herren, got baptized by Elder Ron Malloch. On Sabbath morning the church accepted  Ashley into the fellowship of our church. Congratulations to Ashely and her family.  Here are a few photos from the Pathfinder Sabbath. 

Women’s ministry is active in sharing love and care. Last Sunday I received several photos from Avril Williams and the following report from Sharon Harrell: “Over the past few weeks, the ladies from the Women’s Ministries Team (Christy Bartlett, Eileen Lezeau, Robyn Wilson, Avril Williams, and Sharon Harrell) have been busy putting together gift bags for the girls in the Ooltewah Church ages 12 to 18.  We were able to assemble 40 bags with cookies, stationery, a book, and other small gift items for our girls. We want our teens to know how valuable they are to our church and how happy we are that they are a part of our church family! Thank you so much to Sue Wiley, Nancy Smiley, and Marlene Keaton for also helping to distribute the gifts to our girls. 

God is blessing this ministry, and we are thankful to Him for every woman and girl in our church. Each one of you is important to God. We look forward to more projects and more ministry opportunities in the year ahead. Thank you for your prayers for this ministry and for each other.”

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The Samaritan Center event was a blast! Last Sabbath evening the weather was miserable. One had to be really committed to leave their warm homes that night. Once again my weak human nature kept me stressed throughout the day. Some of our regular Community service champions were out of town. What if only a few show up? That night I learned another lesson of trusting God! About sixty volunteers came to help with the project. Some of them were under the age of eight, some were over eighty five. Whole families and single individuals all came together moved by the spirit of service. The Samaritan Center deck was absolutely packed with the donated items. A miracle happened that night. The deck was cleared in less than 45 minutes. This is what joining hands in service is all about. What a church we have! Praise God! Thank you, volunteers. Pastor Matthew shared these photos with me:

Light of Hope Ministry. Due to pandemic travel restrictions public in-person evangelistic meetings are not an option in Ukraine, Russia and other countries of Eastern Europe. Once again I received a request from the Euro-Asia Division church leadership to conduct a series of evangelistic meetings over the satellites used by Hope Channel Ukraine, Hope Channel Russia, and the Russian branch of the 3 ABN. We expect hundreds of thousands of viewers across that vast region of the world. The Light of Hope is joining hands with the It Is Written team for this international outreach event. Can you imagine that as the Ooltewah Adventist church we’ll be the platform for this Gospel proclamation? Social unrest is spreading across Russia. We live in a very special time. People need to hear about the second coming of Christ. Please pray for me as I need to work on the new series of sermons for the next two weeks. I am also praying for funds needed for this project. The total needed budget is 25,000$. There is nothing impossible for the Lord.

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Please continue to pray for Julia and Jim Easter’s health and soon recovery. Prayers go up for Steven Bremner as he is in the first week of radiation treatments. Please also remember Fred Cornell, he is at LifeCare of Ooltewah. 

I plan to worship with all of you tomorrow in person or virtually. The Spirit of God unites us all as one family of God’s children. For additional resources visit our church website @ www.ooltewahchurch.org 

Happy Sabbath,

pastor Peter

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The Body of Christ

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Each one of us is a living cell in the body of Christ. In the physical body each cell needs to be connected to the other cells. Without this connection there is no life and no growth. This is one of the main reasons Paul compares church to a living organism. If you want to live as a Christian; if you want to contribute to the growth of the whole body you need to stay connected with the other church members. Did you find this connection? “As the human body, which has many parts, is a unity, and those parts, despite their multiplicity, constitute one single body, so it is with the body of Christ.” (1 Cor. 12:12). 

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This afternoon, Friday, February 5, @ 4 P.M. you are invited to attend a service in memory of Dale Smith. Dale passed in early December. The service will be streamed on the church YouTube channel

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Last Sabbath night Evan Spicer’s father, Harold Spicer, fell asleep in the Lord. On behalf of the Ooltewah SDA church I extend our sincere condolences to the Spicer family. The service is planned for February 20 @ 5 P.M. Here is a link to Harold’s obituary page. 

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On January 27 OAKS Celebrated the 100th day of life at school! The Kindergarten and 1st-2nd grade classrooms spent the day using the number 100 in 100 ways through hands-on learning opportunities and group activities. Grades 5-6 collected 200 can goods and planted 226 vegetable plants and marigolds. With the help of the 3rd-4th grade the students colored 150 cards of encouragement for our community lunch bags in the Feed the Homeless program directed by the church. We are truly thankful for 100 days of in-person education and for the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. Our teachers did a great job celebrating such a tremendous pandemic milestone.

OAKS is also celebrating the end of our fundraiser for the Technology Giving Tree Fundraiser. As of Monday more than $12,500 has been raised, which is a little more than what was needed. Thank you so much church family for your incredible support to meet this growing need.

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Tomorrow, February 6, @ 6:30 P.M. we’ll unite our hands in service to our community. The Samaritan Center needs our help. For the last several months volunteer participation has been steadily growing. This is happening because of YOU choosing to come. Thank you for your spirit of service. 

Thank you for your generous support of the Cereal Barrel ministry. The barrel is overflowing! Praise God! More families in our community will have food for breakfast. This is how we fulfill the words of Jesus: “I was hungry and you gave Me food.” 

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Worship services this Sabbath will be led by the Pathfinder’s club. Pastor Ron Whitehead will be speaking for all three services. 

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Prayers continue for Steven Bremner. Steve’s surgery went well. He is back at home. Next week Steve will start radiation treatments. God is strong to help. Please remember to pray for his wife Sharon and the girls.

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Additional resources are always available on the church website.

See you tomorrow morning. Happy Sabbath.

pastor Peter

Sabbath rest in Jesus

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The essence of the Sabbath day can be found only in Jesus. If Jesus is not in the very heart of the Sabbath observance it turns into a legalistic ritual. This is the reason Christ calls Himself the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8). This truth is fully proclaimed in His invitation: “ “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28). Sabbath observance serves as a passage into the presence of Christ where we find rest from the burdens of sin and guilt. 

I invite you to study this important truth this Sabbath morning during our worship service times. 

Last Monday we had a  very good participation at our monthly church Board meeting. I was impressed with the spirit of unity among our church leaders.  I have no doubts that the Holy Spirit will help us to see healing of the wounds of 2020 and equip us for even stronger service to the needs of our church family and our community. It was good to hear encouraging reports from several of our ministries’ leaders. The pandemic is still here, but they are finding creative ways to lead our church forward. Among many other agenda items church board members agreed to start exploring ways to turn our church into a ‘living body’ consisting of active and growing  ‘cells’. You’ll be hearing more about it in the next few weeks as this concept is being fine-tuned by various ministries.

Here is a report from the last week’s Men’s breakfast:

As we discussed in our quick Bible study; we want to remain focused on building a more “David-esque” like faith, always relying on God’s strength rather than our own.  We also want to be wary of the traps and snares that often follow close behind, when we serve “self” and forget to humble ourselves to God.  
 
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, we learned that we are not here to run the race of life to get earthly prizes…For they all fade!  And let’s be honest, most of us have enough faded stuff in the closet or garage as it is!  Our prize is not found here, but rather it is a reservation in Heaven! where we can again Thank & Praise the Lord for all He has done for us.  I pray that we are all training in a manner to be able to stand at the end of the race and be found to have won.  Let’s also be found willing to help others train as well.
 
In that vein, I’d like to remind everyone that the small group classes will be starting in the not too distant future.  If you are interested in signing up for either of the classes we are working towards (or know someone who may be), please do not hesitate to contact Edymar for more details. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind slotting you into one of the groups.
 
Finally, we heard from our brother and friend Marty Miller of the Blue Print For Men Ministry.  Let me just say, something quick about what they do.  Last fall I attended their “Ignite the Fire” men’s retreat, my first men’s retreat ever. It was, simply put. Awesome!  I had a great experience and was able to bond with like minded Men in Nature.  I made new friends, experienced new things (Warning Hammock camping is pretty cool!) and had some amazing personal time with GOD in His Creation.  Please feel free to contact them for questions regarding any of their events, they come highly recommended.  https://blueprintformen.org/
 
 
Lastly, I wanted to say thanks again to all of you who came out and made this first Breakfast a great success.  As the Bible says “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12.  Imagine what we can do when we weave 30 men together around the braided center of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit! Matt Geraghty
 
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Next Friday, February 5, we’ll have a Memorial service for Dale Smith, who passed away in December. The service is scheduled for 4 PM in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome to attend.
 
Our head deaconess, Dina Cole and her team did a great job cleaning the church kitchen. It looks fully transformed! Thank you, ladies. Your hard work is sincerely appreciated.
 
Please continue your prayers for Steven Bremner and his family. Steve had surgery two weeks ago. This coming Monday he’ll have another big surgery. Presently Steve is on a paid sick leave. I would be grateful if you keep this in mind and try not to contact Steve with any questions related to church business. He needs some quiet time during the next few weeks. Summer Bradford will be our interim church office secretary effective immediately. Please continue to use the regular church office phone number and church office email address as Summer will be the one answering the phone and email messages.
 
Pastor Matthew and Emmalee are grateful for your prayers for Malachi. Here is the latest update: “The growth they removed was Langerhans cell histiocytosis. We don’t know much more right now, other than that Malachi will likely have more MRIs in the future to monitor his condition. We have an appointment with the neurosurgeon next week, and I assume at some point we’ll be meeting with the oncologist too, but he hasn’t called us yet. “
 
Our Sabbath morning services are being streamed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn7JBKBbM_ulSpseE11zWdw  

If you are watching regularly please don’t forget to subscribe to this YouTube channel. This will help your pastors to see the level of engagement.

Our church website address is http://www.ooltewahchurch.org . Here you can find helpful links including the weekly church bulletin, online giving and Wednesday night online prayer meetings.

Happy Sabbath! I’ll see you tomorrow.

pastor Peter

Equipped by the Spirit

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Greetings, my friends.

The current events in our nation and around the globe teach us to trust our Creator even more. He is the only One who can resolve political battles and bring healing into this world plagued with a pandemic. Satan sows seeds of hatred and dissension but the Spirit of God brings peace and unity.  Allow the Spirit to control your mind and your heart. Look into the future with confidence. This is God’s world and He will not leave us as orphans. (John 14:18)

As His church we have a mission to share the Good News of the coming King. To fulfill this mission we need to be equipped by the Holy Spirit. We’ll learn what this equipping is all about on Sabbath morning. If you cannot attend church in person you can still worship with your church in virtual reality. The Spirit of God keeps us together.

Together – this should be the most frequently used word of this year. Every member of our church needs to feel that she or he is prayed over, appreciated and needed for the ministry. Together we’ll be strong in the battles with illnesses and in social and political struggles. Please, be intentional in reaching out to a small circle of church members who need to feel the warmth of our Christian community. Use your phones, text messages, email or post cards. Let me know if you need addresses of those who are lonely. If you are willing to prepare a dish and deliver it to the front door of a church family ask one of our elders and they will give you the name and the address.

At the last church board meeting we talked about a new vision for our church building project. The pandemic of 2020 made us all aware of the fragility of this world. Does it mean that we need to stop all projects and shelter in place? Certainly not. God is in charge of the events in the history of this world and He will come at the appointed time. Meanwhile, we need to do everything possible for the growth of God’s church. The Board discussed an alternative plan where the existing Fellowship Hall will be remodeled and converted into a larger size Worship Hall allowing up to 350 seats. To meet the social needs of the church, as well as to create space for big church/school events (like graduations or concerts), it was proposed to build a new Fellowship Hall which will include Sabbath school classes, a new bigger kitchen and church offices. Currently the building committee is gathering information on this new approach to the building project. The expectation is that this approach will make the whole project considerably less costly and more manageable for our church. Please, keep this project in your prayers. You’ll be hearing more in the next few weeks. The new concept will be presented to the business meeting by early March as it was agreed at the last business meeting in February of 2020.

Men’s Ministry highlightsMen’s Breakfast 1/24/21: Attention Haney’s Hungry Hombres! Plan to join us for some great food and company next Sunday. In addition to some great food, we will have a short devotional on the importance of walking together with God.

If you would like to help prepare the food (we always have too much fun doing so), plan to meet in the fellowship hall at 7:30am. Otherwise, we will start grubbing at 8:30am sharp. Please note: we will follow all social distancing guidelines but masks will not be required.

Men’s Sabbath School class, every sabbath:  We are currently studying last day event prophecies  while learning how to live during them.

Prayers. Please continue to pray for our church members who are struggling with various health concerns. Special prayers are needed for a. Malachi, pastor Matthew’s and Emmalee’s son; b. for Steve Bremner’s recovery after surgery and his future treatments. c. David Love, who is dealing with serious health issues.

With prayers for all of you,

pastor Peter

Filled with the Spirit

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Greetings, friends!

The first week of 2021 didn’t give us a break. I was deeply troubled by the events that took place in Washington, DC on Wednesday. I saw this kind of violence in Russia in the early nineties and it is definitely not a path to peace and freedom. On Wednesday night many of our church members gathered on ZOOM and YouTube to pray for our nation. We found comfort in the words of the Holy Scriptures that this world still belongs to the Sovereign God. He promised not to leave us alone until the day He comes back to establish His eternal Kingdom of grace and justice.  “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11 I invite you to pray daily for our country. We need healing in this New Year.

I encourage you also to seek ways to break the walls of distancing and division in our own spiritual community. If you are a ministry leader or an elder, connect with the members of your group; help them find support; encourage them; engage them. We need one another. I expect this to be the year of togetherness. Be proactive in praying for one another, studying God’s Word together, laughing together and crying together. If you are interested in starting a small group of prayer and study, talk to me and I will help you to launch this ministry.

Praying for one another is a key element of this “togetherness”. This week I invite you to pray especially for Steve Bremner, who is recovering after surgery. In the next few weeks he will need to make some important decisions regarding his future treatments. I solicit your prayers for pastor Matthew’s and Emmalee’s son Malachi. He had a rough week packed with many doctors’ visits and tests. Pray that the Lord touches Malachi with His healing hand. 

COVID19 is still agressively  spreading in our nation and in our county. If you feel vulnerable or have cold symptoms you don’t need to feel  excluded from our Sabbath worship services. You can be with your church online via YouTube streaming. We’ll be praying for you. Tomorrow, during all three services Jaime Jorge will be praising God on his violin. I will continue my three sermon series on the subject of the Holy Spirit. Jan 2: Guided by the Spirit. Jan 9: Filled with the Spirit. Jan 16: Equipped by the Spirit.  

I am deeply grateful to all who came to the Samaritan Center last week. The amount of donated items was higher than I have ever seen before. About a fourth our our church volunteers finished the project in less than two hours!!! What a team! What a spirit! Connie  Reynolds, thank you for the brownies. They were delicious. Galena, thank you for the hot chocolate. We all loved it.

This morning I received a Men’s Ministry update and photos from Edymar Penagos. Here is Edymar’s message:

“So, what did you learn from 2020? Did it put things into perspective or did it cause you to feel lost? Personally, I feel as if God is working on giving me 2020 vision on what really matters to Him: His children. All of them.
 
With that said, the Ooltewah Men’s Group is going to be laser focused on two things 1. growing closer to God and 2. growing closer to each other. As Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”
 
Men, I am calling you to join me in action. I am encouraging you to stop looking to worldly leaders and solutions and instead look to God and serve Him. He and only He can direct us to what REALLY matters. We know things are NOT going to get better but we must not lose faith and miss our calling. God gave us one commission and it has nothing to do with judgment, conversion or justice. Those are His and His only to administer. We are to love, that is how the world will know we are his disciples.  
 
I watched a TED talk titled, “Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts” (hard to ignore a title like that, am I right?) and from that I took three principles that I believe mirror how we as christians should live. We ought to, Practice Rigorous Authenticity, Surrender the Outcome and Do Uncomfortable Work. As we begin to move forward in 2021, let us be real with each other, trust in God and do His will. 
 
Let’s hit the ground running this month, below are 4 initiatives the men’s ministry at OSDA will be pursuing this year and I pray that God will bind us closer together like we have never before.
 
  1. Mens breakfast (socializing and learning together)
  2. Mens sabbath school class (currently learning how we are to live during last time events)
  3. Love in Action (serving and blessing others while growing closer together in common mission).
  4. Mens small groups (we will be starting with Every man a warrior) the plan is to launch this at the men’s breakfast at the end of January.”

 

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The video below will help you see ways of supporting our church school:

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Church bulletin. Weekly Church bulletin

Online Giving. Tithe and Offerings

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See you tomorrow.

pastor Peter

The Year of New Connections

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Happy New Year, Ooltewah Seventh day Adventist Church!

Most of 2020 went under the shadow of social distancing. I invite you to make 2021 the year of new  connections. There are dozens of safe ways to grow in unity with one another. I am working on my list for this year. Make your list of ways and methods to connect with the your family, church members, colleagues, and people in the community. Cracks of distancing went too deep. Healing is still an option. Make it your mission and your goal. God is with us. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” — Psalm 147:3

You are invited to participate in the Agape Service tonight, January 1, @ 6 P.M.

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This Saturday night is our turn to volunteer at the Samaritan Center. Are you ready? 🙂 Last month it took less than an hour to finish the project. If many of you come tomorrow night we can be done in no time.

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With love and hugs,

pastor Peter

The Savior has been born to you

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“I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10

Christ came into this world to demonstrate victory over evil. This victory is ours. We don’t need to live in darkness anymore. Let us allow the light of His love to shine through our acts of kindness and words of grace. This week I’ve received many cards from our church members who expressed their sincere gratitude to the church elders who visited them in their homes and delivered to them Christmas bags filled with sweet things and devotional readings. I am grateful to God for all of our church members and for the caring leaders. 

Along with happy holiday activities we had to deal with the pain of the raging pandemic. Tennessee, unfortunately, is leading with the number of new cases. This past week Dale Smith rested in the Lord. It all started with a Thanksgiving dinner gathering and led to a large number of relatives being infected with the COVID19 virus. Dale’s mother is still very weak after the illness. I am grateful to our deaconesses and Pathfinders who are trying to help with food deliveries to Dale’s parents.

Dale Smith was dearly loved in our church. His heart was in the service to the children of our church. For many years Dale was super active in the Pathfinder Club leadership team. He will be greatly missed. The memorial service for Dale will be announced later. The family would like to see many church members attend the service, and they are willing to wait till it is safe for our church to come together. Please, continue to pray for Dale’s boys, Nick and Ben. 

Our morning service this Sabbath will be live streamed. So if you are have any cold symptoms or feel vulnerable you have the option of worshiping online. We want everyone to be safe and healthy. 

Let us find assurance in the promise of Christ’s soon return. He will be faithful to His word. His coming will guarantee the end of all pandemics, all pain and death. He will “give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord. – Jeremiah 30:17 

Merry Christmas, my friends!

pastor Peter

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