The Testimony of Jesus

church-window-light-svetlana-sewellThrough the years, God has given revelations of His will for His people through those with the gift of prophecy. “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants through the prophets” (Amos 3:7). The gift of prophecy was active in the ministry of Ellen White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Her book The Desire of Ages has been acclaimed as one of the mo
st spiritual treatises ever written on the life of Christ. Her works clearly portray Christ as fully God and fully man. Below is one of her powerful statements on the merciful character of God:

The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Saviour’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings,–all are enlisted in behalf of man’s redemption.

Oh, let us contemplate the amazing sacrifice that has been made for us! Let us try to appreciate the labor and energy that Heaven is expending to reclaim the lost, and bring them back to the Father’s house. Motives stronger, and agencies more powerful, could never be brought into operation; the exceeding rewards for right-doing, the enjoyment of heaven, the society of the angels, the communion and love of God and His Son, the elevation and extension of all our powers throughout eternal ages–are these not mighty incentives and encouragements to urge us to give the heart’s loving service to our Creator and Redeemer?” (STC, p 21)

I invite you to join me tomorrow morning for a study of the Testimony of Jesus Christ – the Spirit of Prophecy.

PHOTOS. Here are a couple of photos from last week’s baptism. What a wonderful Sabbath morning it was!



Please note that tomorrow, October 31st, the second service will be held in the fellowship hall due to participation of the OAKS band.

Happy Sabbath to you,



MESSAGE. This week many of us remembered sincere Millerite Christians who were waiting for the Second coming of Christ on October 22, 1844. Jesus did not return on that day, but out of that movement was born a church that preaches the Three Angels’s message to “all nations” around the globe. As we move forward in full fueling the Great Commission let us always learn from the faith example of our forefathers.
“In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what God has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.
We are now a strong people, if we will put our trust in the Lord; for we are handling the mighty truths of the word of God. We have everything to be thankful for. If we walk in the light as it shines upon us from the living oracles of God, we shall have large responsibilities, corresponding to the great light given us of God. We have many duties to perform because we have been made the depositaries of sacred truth to be given to the world in all its beauty and glory. We are debtors to God to use every advantage He has entrusted to us to beautify the truth by holiness of character, and to send the messages of warning, and of comfort, of hope and love, to those who are in the darkness of error and sin.” (EGW, TM, 31)


  Ooltewah Timberwolves had a great campout last weekend. Even the weather cooperated with our Pathfinder club! Here a brief report and a few pictures from Cory: “Wow, What a beautiful location and what a Spirit filled weekend. This had to be hands down one of the best views we have ever had at a campsite. The Cumberland Ridge stretched out for miles and amazed the handful of clubs who shared the hilltop in Birchwood. During our worships we were reminded by Pastor Aubrey that our God is a God of power and that he wants to change our lives. We recommitted ourselves to not be ashamed but to go out like our heroes from the Bible and change our world. Thank you Pastor Aubrey for speaking Gods message to our kids.
My teeth are still chattering from the cold. The wind came up over the bald we were camping on and the 40 degree nights felt much colder. But you couldnt be upset when you looked at the breathtaking sunset and star filled sky. The time spent doing activities with our neighboring Pathfinder clubs was really special too and we made new friends with our local churches kids. God is good and we are so blessed by these type of outings.” Cory Goss.

OAKS. Here are some photos from the grandparents day at OAKS. Thank you, Shelly and your wonderful school team.


. I invite you to witness two baptisms tomorrow morning during the second service. The candidates are Darren Downey and Hannah Crawford. Don’t miss this wonderful celebration.

THE THANKSGIVING SPIRIT. We have been given commandments to help us prepare in every way to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. He has given us a way to thank Him for our blessings. Willingly paying tithes and offerings is one way we thank Him. As we pay these offerings, we show that we love Him and will obey His counsel. Thank you, church for faithful support of our local church budget. If you truly love your church family you’ll remember not only to bring your tithe, but you will faithfully and generously support our local church ministries and programs by contributing to the LOCAL CHURCH BUDGET. This is the only way we can support OAKS, Sabbath school programs, various church ministries and make our church look clean and warm.

. I am very thankful to y’all for your prayers during my short trip to Russia. There was no time to care about jet leg 🙂 I started the Sabbath day at 9 a.m. in a Moscow church and left the building at 9:30 p.m. The next day meetings continued in Tula, about 200 km south of Moscow. It was a full day of preaching and planning meetings for the upcoming evangelistic meetings in Perm in March of 2016. Monday night I was already back at home, just 1.5 miles away from my beloved Ooltewah church. It was a blessing to carry this mission to those dear people who were deprived of the Gospel for over 70 years. Today, the Russian Orthodox Church is closing doors for the mission work in Eastern Europe. While there is still limited freedom in that part of the world we need to do what ever we can to help them find hope in Jesus.

 Have a blessed Sabbath! See you tomorrow morning,

Living by Grace

Dear Ooltewah church family,

IMG_2216MESSAGE. “There are two errors against which the children of God — particularly those who have just come to trust in His grace — especially need to guard. The first…is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything they can do, to bring themselves into harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility…

The opposite and no less dangerous error is, that belief that Christ releases men from keeping the law of God; that since by faith alone we become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption…If the law is written in the heart, will it not shape the life? …Instead of releasing man from obedience, it is faith, and faith only, that makes us partakers of the grace of Christ, which enables us to render obedience” EGW

MINISTRY. It’s now been almost a week, but the Belarus choir music is still ringing in my ears and in my heart. Those who stayed for the fellowship meal were blessed with a prayer song before the meal and a piece of music performed using empty bottles! Those bottles were of different shapes and sizes, from gallon size to tiny pharmaceutical vials! 🙂

This was the first time this choir sang in an SDA church. They were deeply touched by your hospitality and graciousness. This was a good witness to what Adventists are all about.

I invite you to pray for their ministry in Belarus, well known for its tough religious freedom situation.

IMG_3335REVELATION TODAY. I am thankful to many of our church members helping at the Revelation Today meetings. It was so good to see our brothers and sisters welcoming visitors and helping with registration. John’s presentations are Bible-centered, interactive, and relevant to the current needs of our society. Let’s pray for every visitor attending the meetings. We need help in building relationships with visitors from our area. Please, let me know if you are willing to help.

LIGHT OF HOPE. Christ commissioned His followers to preach the Gospel to the whole world. Thank you for your prayers for our churches in Eastern Europe. They are facing serious challenges because of the limited religious liberty. The Russian government is closing doors of freedom for the Three Angels message proclamation. With your prayers and support I travelled to Russia to preach a short series of the Revival meetings in preparation for the March evangelism in Siberia. I am sending this message from Moscow. My next two days will be packed with preaching and planning meetings. On Sabbath morning I’ll be speaking at Nagatinskaya church in Moscow. You can watch it live here at 4 A.M. Chattanooga time 🙂

I’ll be back late Monday night (these are my official vacation days). This Sabbath morning elder Steve Bremner will preach for the first service and pastor Victor Czerkasij will preach at 11:25 worship service. I have no doubts that you’ll be richly blessed at either one of these services. I will miss being with you, but I am looking forward to being at my Ooltewah church every Sabbath through the end of this year.

PRAYERS. Please, pray for

– Celeste Crisby’s mother who fell and broke her hip.
– Sarah Jane Reeves, surgery.
– Steve Jones, (Betty Jones’ son) – liver transplant.

BAPTISM. Next Sabbath (Oct 24) I invite you to celebrate the baptisms of Derren Downey and Hannah Crawford. I am sure you’ll not want to miss this wonderful celebration.

With prayers for you,


Showers of Blessings

IMG_0706MESSAGE. Praying for the Showers of Blessings, “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. … They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.” (Ezekiel 34:26-27 NKJV). We have had plenty of rain in the last couple of days. There is more coming over the weekend. God is blessing our land with the “showers that come down in their season”.

Today I invite you to pray for the showers of spiritual blessings. Our people of our nation need to feel “safe in their land”. The promise is given to us, but we still remain in the “hands of those who enslaved” us. News reports and photos of the shooting in Oregon should make us realize that we are becoming more and more enslaved by the powers of evil. As Christians we are giving up on our higher calling to be a light to this world. We should not be turning our eyes away from the photos of dying students. It is our sacred responsibility to make our communities realize that God is the only answer to the problem of evil. Governments or politicians will not lead us to safety. The “showers of blessing” are ready to pour out into this world, but only if we acknowledge that Yahweh is the Lord our God.

When you are tempted to think that the world is too big and we are too small to make a difference remember about Gideon and the 300 men,  Daniel and his three friends, Jesus and a handful of followers. Our victory is not in numbers, but in full submission to God’s power. Let His transforming light shine though each one of us in the Ooltewah community.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE. I am taking four days of my vacation time. Galena and I will visit our daughter Stacey and her husband Javan. Stacey is turning 30. It will be a long drive to Florida for a very short visit, but it’s definitely worth it.  This is my first day…this is what I do when I am on vacation ;-). Working on my weekly pastoral message. To make it different and not to overburden you with reading my long encyclical I’ll communicate in pictures.

HEALTH MINISTRY. ​The Health Ministries Team of the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church and staff at Ooltewah Medical Services (OMS) hosted a free Stroke Awareness Health Fair on Sunday, Sept 27th, 2015 in the church fellowship hall. Local physician, Dr. Obadias Marquez, gave presentations in English and Spanish regarding the risk of having a stroke and measures for stroke prevention. Guests were able to go through a variety of health screening stations including blood pressure, blood glucose, and BMI calculation and receive physician and provider consults, healthy snacks, and more. We appreciate the Health Ministries Team and staff at OMS for their efforts to be a blessing to the Ooltewah and surrounding communities. (Written by Molly Recchia). To read more about the Health Fair click here.

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OAKS. Not real fire. Just learning about safety.

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PATHFINDER CLUB. Induction service. To read more about the previous weekend click here.



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PRAYER MEETING. There will be an Archeology Seminar on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 pm at the ICCM Center. The speaker is Dr. Michael Hasel from Southern Adventist University. Everyone is invited. However, if this is too far for you to drive, I’ll present a final session of the Revelation study right at our own church at the same time. We’ll also be praying about the upcoming It Is Written meetings and our personal needs.

SABBATH SERVICE. Tomorrow morning our own Youth Pastor Aubrey will preach her first sermon during both services. Let the Lord bless her and our congregation with a wonderful spiritual experience. I’ll be watching online from Florida.

YARD SALE. Remember? It is this Sunday! If it rains it will take place inside the Fellowship Hall.

yard sale

LIGHT OF HOPE MINISTRY. Need your prayers. Read more here.

It still turned out to be long. Sorry.

Be blessed. See you in a few days.