d818ef274aba9a9f330ac00abad3ea33Thus let us rest awhile from toil and care,
In the sweet sabbath of this autumn calm,
And lift our hearts to heaven in grateful prayer,
And sing with nature our thanksgiving psalm. (Kate Maclean 1880)

Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!” Angels listen as I sing my thanks. I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: “Thank you!” Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word. The moment I called out, you stepped in; you made my life large with strength.

When they hear what you have to say, GOD, all earth’s kings will say “Thank you.” They’ll sing of what you’ve done: “How great the glory of GOD!” And here’s why: GOD, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.

When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, GOD. Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now. (‭Psalm‬ ‭138‬:‭1-8‬ MSG)

SABBATH WORSHIP. Tomorrow is the last Sabbath before Thanksgiving. I invite you to join one of our worship services to celebrate God’s goodness to us. Our early service will be beautified by Sarah Bremner’s baptism. Sarah went through the whole course of Bible studies and made a decision to celebrate God’s love by giving her life to Him.

My message for both services will be based on the Gospel of John chapter two. God is willing to make a miracle of grace in your life. Are you ready to acknowledge that “you are running out of wine?”

e66e3c3f6d5c3587f538bf1febdaf99bCHURCH LIFE. The storm on Wednesday  was really bad. Guess how I know that? We only had four individuals come to prayer meeting last Wednesday night, and two of them were visitors :-). I hope everyone was safe and well. The storm was really bad. My van almost sank in one of the huge puddles that turned into a lake. Next week’s Wednesday weather forecast looks sunny and warm, but there will be NO prayer meeting on November 25. I hope you’ll have a wonderful time preparing for Thanksgiving with your family and friends. I realized that I have 28 unused vacation days through the end of this year!!! I’ll take a few vacation days next week, but I’ll be in town. Feel free to call or text if you need a prayer or have an emergency situation. Our family Thanksgiving dinner will be simple and quiet. Stacey and Dasha will be visiting their in-laws with their husbands. Dasha Victoria and Barby, our hungry Southern students, will come home to celebrate Thanksgiving with us :-).

We had a really good board meeting this week. I want you to know that you have great church leaders. They love the Lord and love His people. Please pray for every church board member, they need God’s guidance in fulfilling their manyfold ministry duties. Our church treasurer Rita Rogers shared with the board an excellent financial report. Once again I praised the Lord for the faithful stewardship of our church members. Your local church budget donations provided funding for every one of our church departments including OAKS. THANK YOU!

Remember our Fresh Financial Start goal of 60,000? As of this week we are at 29,000! Praise God for every dollar donated toward this goal. We all want to see our church in a healthy, stable financial condition. If you have not donated towards the Local Church budget or Fresh Financial Start you can do it this week. Try just $1… it will surely make a difference.

Tomorrow night I invite you to join a Thanksgiving Vespers program. You’ll see me in an Old Testament priestly robe. Snacks and dessert will be offered after the program.


Thank you so much for your prayers for Anita’s grandson Matthew. His heart valve is now closed and the EEG shows normal brain activity. Please continue to pray for Matthew and his family.

Here is a Facebook post by Jacqueline Stovall: “My family and I were in a car accident last night. No one was hurt. I can’t say the same about my car. It could have turned out so different. I am thanking God for our deliverance. So may good people stopped to help. Keep me and my family in your prayers.”

LIGHT OF HOPE MINISTRY. November newsletter.

See you tomorrow,


God’s Best Gift

Don’t you see that children are GOD ’s best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. (‭Psalm‬ ‭127‬:‭3 MSG) “Jesus was the pattern for children, and He was also the father’s example. He spoke as one having authority, and His word was with power; yet in all His intercourse with rude and violent men He did not use one unkind or discourteous expression. The grace of Christ in the heart will impart a heaven-born dignity and sense of propriety. It will soften whatever is harsh, and subdue all that is coarse and unkind. It will lead fathers and mothers to treat their children as intelligent beings, as they themselves would like to be treated.” (DA, 515)

November 14 is the OAKS Sabbath. Both services will take place in the Fellowship Hall. Shelly Turkenkopf, our school principle, will speak for both services.

Last Tuesday OAKS put together a wonderful Veterans’ Day program. Here are a few pictures from that day:

FRESH FINANCIAL START. We had a great beginning towards our Fresh Financial Start goal. Imagine a debt free church with all the church ministries funded and a positive balance… By God’s grace this can be our Ooltewah SDA church effective January 1, 2016. We agreed on the goal of $60,495. As of today this number dropped to $54,848. Good start. I pray that we will all strive to achieve this goal. This Fresh Financial Start (FFS) line has been added to the online tithe envelope.

PRAYERS. Please, uplift in your prayers:

– The Goss family. Tim and Janet are with Tim’s father is Wisconsin. They are sending their greetings to our church family and are thankful for your prayers.

– The Recchia family. Renee’s mother passed away last week. The funeral took place in Texas on Tuesday. Let the Lord give comfort and safety to Renee and Dan as they’ll be traveling back home.

– The Houghton family. Lance’s father passed away early this week. Heidi and Lance are in our prayers at this time of loss. We know that God is faithful to His promise and He is coming soon to reunited our families separated by death. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4‬:‭16‬ NIV)

– Anita Shelton is thankful for your prayers for her grandson Matthew. Here is her latest message: “Matthew is much better, but not out of the woods yet. We so appreciate all the prayers from the church family and ask that they continue. We should be home before next weekend.”

– Julie Philips: God’s guidance and protection.

“Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.” (G.B.H.)

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭12‬ NIV)

See you tomorrow morning,


Jesus – the Logos of Hope

Logos_2MESSAGE. When we see the immense suffering in our world, it is easy to feel despair. Our hearts cry: “Where is God and what is he doing?” Yet the incarnation dispels doubt by proving there is purpose behind all that happens. The Creator has entered his creation to ensure his purposes are fulfilled! In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3

Ephesians chapter 1 connects hope and purpose.

“Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” (Ephesians 1:4-12)

God has a plan and purpose; his power ensures his will and purpose is carried out; and that gives persevering hope to the believer.

MINISTRY. Huge THANK YOU to the OAKS band for a wonderful Sabbath program on October 31. For the second worship service we had more children than adults. Their music was professional and uplifting.
This weekend the Pathfinder Teen club is on a camping trip to Cohutta Springs. No wonder a strong storm is expected tomorrow 😉 . We’ll be praying for our children’s safety.
The Nehemiah project is bringing a blessed transformation to our church facility. The new roof is up, new pews have been installed, and this week new, weather efficient windows have been installed on at least two sides of the church building. The rest of the windows will be installed next week. The best part are the new front doors! You will love these glass doors. They bring a totally new look to our church. Thank you church family for showing a wholehearted support of this renovation project. God’s house should be worthy of our loving Creator. In the next few weeks we’ll work on the new plants and landscaping around the building. I need to apologize for the dirt around the church. The doors and windows installers were finishing their job late this afternoon. We’ll make it look pretty and tidy by the next Sabbath. (Your help would definitely be appreciated :-))
Thank you, David Denton, for fixing a leak on the metal roof above the church office! Finally we’ll need to shower at home instead of the Earlyteens’ SS class ;-). Here are before and after pictures:
THANKSGIVING. One of my favorite holidays is just a couple of weeks away. I love Thanksgiving because it reminds me of the Heavenly Father who deserves all the praise and gratitude. We show our thanksgiving by bringing our tithes and offerings to the Lord’s house. In the months of October you showed your faithfulness to the Lord by your local church budget giving. We met our budget goal! That means that every one of our church ministries will receive funding for their programs and activities. It also means that we’ll be able to write a check to OAKS for $8,000 and a check to Collegedale Academy for over $2,000. This shows that we love our children and care about their Christian education.
fresh-startHere is another challenge that I would like to present to our church. I invite you to be a part of the Ooltewah Fresh Financial Start program. If we jointly contribute $60,495.54 by December 31 we’ll start 2016 fully in black (even with $1.00 in the reserve fund!). If you except this challenge you may mark your contribution in the tithe envelope as FRESH FINANCIAL START (or simply FFS). Every dollar contributed to the Local Church budget in November and December of this year will also be applied towards this fund. The Finance committee will keep us updated weekly on the progress of reaching this goal by December 31, 2015. Can we do this? By God’s grace we can, but only if we all except this spiritual challenge and strive to reach this goal for our Father’s glory.
OAKS life. Here are a few photos of the OAKS students activities. Thank you pastor Aubrey for spending a day with the students at Wesley Woods camp.  Please, remember to praise the Lord for a good number of the OAKS students who expressed a desire to be baptized. Aubrey, Ron, and I started three bible study groups helping these children get prepared for baptism.
PRAYERS. Please pray for Anita Shelton’s grandson Matthew. He was born a few days ago but as of now he is in the ICU in critical condition. On top of this a memorial service for Anita’s mom will take place this Sunday at 1 pm at our Fellowship hall. Let the Lord bless Anita and Don as they go through this tough period in their life.
Prayers needed for Betty Chastain who fell and is in a lot of pain now.
Adam Garrett is soliciting our prayerful support as he is going through additional medical tests.
June Howard is feeling stronger but not quite ready to come to church. We’ll be praying for June also.
See you tomorrow. Happy Sabbath.