My dear church family, we are about to start a new Sabbath day. Let God’s piece enter into your hearts and minds.
This was a cold week. I felt like I was back in Russia but I am glad it is getting warmer :-). Aren’t we happy that winters are short and mild in Tennessee?
I know that many of you were praying about Ray Kelch, who fell during the worship service last week and had to be rushed to the ER at the Memorial hospital. Ray is back home recovering from that unfortunate fall. Lots of stiches on the back on his head, a cervical break which if loosens can paralize him, but with all that Ray continues to smile and to joke. I admire Ray’s spirit. He trusts the Lord and His power to carry him through this time of healing. I invite the church to continue prayers for Ray’s full recovery.
Good news also came from Jannifer Verdusco: “NO chemo! Praise the Lord… will probably need radiation though.” We’ll be praying for you, Jannifer. God is strong to help.
Christmas break is over at OAKS. It is great to see our children back at school. Let this be a great sememster for the school staff, teachers and the students. Rosa Lee will do the children’s story tomorrow.
I was very encouraged with the Prayer Seminar participation last Wednesday. We ascended on the first step of the Jacob’s Ladder of spiritual ascension. I hope to see even more of you climbing together next week.
Ooltewah church Evangelsim committee met this week to finalize our outreach programs and events. Health Fair in February will be our first big event in reaching out to the community. You’ll hear more from Molly in the next few weeks as the Health Ministry group is finalizing the details. Isn’t this what God’s Church is all about? I hear as Christ is still speaking to us today, saying: “Go… make disciples!”
“Growing Together” will be my Sabbath morning message. This is part II of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God series. The key scripture is taken from Matthew 13:24-30. While working on my sermon I came across a powerful statement by Kenneth Latourette in his seven-volume work on the history of the expansion of Christianity:
“No life ever lived on this planet has been so influential in the affairs of men like the life of Jesus Christ. From that brief life and its apparent frustration has flowed a more powerful force for the triumphant waging of man’s long battle than any other ever known by the human race. By it millions have been lifted from illiteracy and ignorance and have been placed upon the road of growing intellectual freedom and control over the physical environment. It has done more to allay the physical ills of disease and famine than any other impulse known to man. It’s emancipated millions from chattel slavery and millions of others from addiction to vice. It has protected tens of millions in exploitation by their fellows. It’s been the most fruitful source of movement to lessen the horrors of war and to put the relations of men and nations on the basis of justice and of peace…”
How true it is, that Christ and his church have had an enormous influence. And if only we were out and out for Jesus Christ in the fullness of our commitment, then we would have far more influence than we do. What can we do to see it changed? Come tomorrow and we’ll study together.
Happy Sabbath, my friends.