It’s Time to Pray

DAY OF PRAYER. You are called to set aside Friday, July 1 as a day of prayer and fasting. Let us unite in petitioning heaven for a mighty outpouring of His Spirit throughout our conference so that we can work in harmony with our Lord’s great last-day movements on earth. “So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.” Ezra 8:23.

“Nothing can be more helpless and yet more invincible than the soul that feels its nothingness, and relies wholly upon the merits of a crucified and risen Saviour. God would send every angel in heaven to the aid of the one who places his whole dependence on Christ, rather than allow him to be overcome.” Signs of the Times, January 12, 1915.

The Ooltewah church will be open for a season of prayer this Friday, July 1, from 6 to 8 pm.

MESSAGE: “Those who honor me — I will honor” (1 Samuel 2:30). All of history attests this. Those nations which have honored God, and circulated His Word, have been most blessed by Him. Those churches which have preached His Truth and depended on His Spirit have been the fruitful and flourishing ones. Those individuals who have honored His Son and followed the Scriptures have enjoyed most peace and joy in their souls.

God is reminding us in Malachi 2 that Levi was faithful to Him; Levi’s tribe revered God and stood in awe of His name. Because of that the Lord blessed them with “a covenant of life and peace.” Isn’t that what we want for our nation? How can we expect this blessing to be granted to this land? This will be the topic of my message this Sabbath morning. Please read Malachi 2.

MINISTRY. This week the OAKS gym was buzzing with dozens of kids playing basketball. Not all of them knew how to play basketball, but this camp helped them to learn some new technics, or at least the basics. A heartfelt thank you to E.W. Dempsey for coming up with this initiative. Thank you pastor Aubrey for all your efforts in making this camp a success.

Here is a brief note from Aubrey: “This past week we had a basketball camp for ages 9-13 and it went great! The kids learned various skills throughout the week and about God as they worshipped together each day. They had positive attitudes and encouraged each other every step of the way. We had 34 kids attend our camp and many are excited and looking forward to attending our upcoming VBS.

YOUTH MINISTRY. “Bible Themed Lego Competition and Fundraiser: July 17 from 6-8pm the youth will be putting on a Lego competition in which YOU can get involved. No matter the age, we are encouraging involvement across the board. It will be a Bible themed Lego competition and you must have your creation completed before the start time. If you need a copy of the rules or have any questions, please contact Pastor Aubrey. It will also be a fundraiser for gifts for children at Erlanger Hospital. All donations and proceeds from food sold will go towards purchasing gifts for these children.” – Aubrey

VBS. Our next big event is the Vacation Bible School. Please pick up VBS flyers this Sabbath morning and share them with your friends and neighbors. This will be an excellent program for the kids. If you have a Facebook account please go to the official Ooltewah church Facebook page and share the VBS post on your own page. Spread the word… Here is a link to our church Facebook page:

PRAYERS. Please uplift the Schwark family in your prayers. Connie’s mother passed away last Sunday. Pray that the Lord grants them comfort and courage during this trying time in their life.

I am asking you to pray for a young lady, Kristy Kelly, from my apartment complex, who fell off the third-floor balcony this afternoon. She was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital. Kristy and her family are close friends of Danielle Ware. I just talked to Kristy’s mother, she is asking our church to pray for her daughter. Kristy is out of surgery, but in a coma and in critical condition, but her mother believes that God can save her life.

Please pray for the Seventh-day Adventist church in Russia. A new bill restricting religious freedom and any kind of missionary work has been approved by both chambers of the Russian Duma (parliament) and if signed by the president will come into effect on July 20.

PRAISE. In a circular letter to the Governors of the several States in June, 1783, George Washington wrote:

“I now make my earnest prayer that God would have you and the States over which you preside in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate the spirit of subordination and obedience to government …; and, finally, that he would be most graciously pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. (Morris, p360, Federer, p646, and Barton, pp 108f)

Happy 4th of July weekend to you, my friends! Let us remember to always thank the Lord for the blessings we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America!


An Offering Worthy of God


MESSAGE. It’s easy to worship God on the outside while stubbornly keeping territory from Him on the inside. Jude writes about outwardly religious people who use religious activities to cover the reality of their sinful lives: “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain” (Jude 1:11). We can faithfully serve God, sing His praises, and give sacrificially to His work. But God doesn’t want any of that without our pure hearts.

Does the Lord take priority over our plans and dreams? Is He worth more than the sin that tempts us? When we express to Him that He is more worthy than anything or anyone else in our lives, it’s an offering He won’t refuse.

This week I am starting a new three part sermon series based on the Book of Malachi. Tomorrow morning is Part I “An Offering Worthy of God”.

MINISTRY. Below is a short message from pastor Aubrey. She’s been out of town since Tuesday on a special mission. We are praying for you, Aubrey!

“Hello from Clarkston!
This week I’ve been down in Clarkston, GA with Women and Family Ministries of GCC. There are about 20 women here from all over the conference including our very own Mary Angelin Wagoner and her daughter Rachel. Our goal is to reach out to refugees in this area since Clarkston is the most diverse sq. mile in the nation and there are hundreds who need help. We have held a VBS and hosted a huge clothing drive in which hundreds of men, women, and children came through and received a week’s worth of free, gently used clothing. It was a fast week indeed but a huge blessing. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue.”


FREE BASKETBALL CAMP. Just a reminder about the 3 Point Play FREE Basketball Camp that will be held at OAKS next week (June 27-30) for girls and boys ages 9-13.




If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and
pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will
hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their
land. 2 Ch 2:14

Please come and join us as we pray for our nation, our legislators,
and our families.

This special time of prayer will begin at 6:00pm on July 1, 2016 at
the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church.

We have been asked to especially remember the deliberations over
California Bill 1146 on discrimination, and it’s outcome.

Tithes-Offering-VerseLOCAL GIVING. My prayer is that we see a serious breakthrough in our local church budget giving. Tomorrow is the last Sabbath of the month. Let the Lord touch our hearts to meet our monthly goal of $22,000. This is the ONLY way we can support our school and many wonderful ministries of our beloved Ooltewah church.

PRAYER AND PRAISE. I praise God for our church members who find time during the week to take care of our church garden, to cut grass, to water plants, change light bulbs, fix broken light switches, etc, etc! God bless you, my friends. The Lord knows your names and he knows your commitment to see His House kept in order.

RESOURCES. Do you know that you can donate tithe and offerings online? The link is on our church website at

Every week our church bulletin is posted on the church website under the COMMUNICATIONS tab. Here is the direct link

See you tomorrow morning,




MESSAGE. The gospel reveals God as “a faithful Father.”  Many New Testament passages teach this truth. Jesus appeals to our innate sense of what fatherhood should be in order to reveal clearly the kind of Father our God actually is. Though we are born in Adam and inclined towards evil, we understand that good fathers should give gifts to their children. Moreover, we who are fathers, despite our wickedness still give gifts to our sons and daughters. If, despite our sin, we want to bless our families and do right by them, how much more does our perfectly good Father want to bless us? I invite you to find the answer together with me tomorrow morning as I will be sharing the message from the Word of God.

MISSION. It is good to be back home. Galena and I had a blessed experience in Prague where we had the privilege of joining over three hundred Russian speaking Seventh-day Adventists for a few days of spiritual revival. Many traveled from the other countries including Greece, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, etc. I was asked to speak on the power of the Holy Spirit. Slavic people love long messages and day-long services. I am grateful to God for giving us enough energy to go through every day of the meetings. In the next few days I will post more photos on the Light of Hope website and Facebook. But here are a couple:

Two weeks ago, while many of you were having a great time at the Conference camp meeting, our head elder Steve Bremner preached at our own church for both services and officiated the baptism of Pedro Fernandez. Steve studied with Pedro for several months and these studies resulted in the celebration of Pedro’s baptism. Along with Pedro that same afternoon pastor Jose Nieves baptized Pedro’s daughter Angel Kreger.  I feel bad I missed this joyous occasion. Below are a few photos from the lake baptism.

Last weekend our youth went camping. Pastor Aubrey shared an exciting report of that camping experience. I am glad that they are back safe; tired, but spiritually charged for their mission in our community.

Tomorrow is the third Sabbath of the month. That means everyone is invited to stay for the church Fellowship meal. Please, bring items from our summer menu 🙂 salads and sandwiches.

I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to the church grounds team. Even as I type this message Chris is mowing the lawn. Imagine doing that in 95F heat. Thank you Chris, Darren, and the Bissells. Thank you Janet Goss and Luda Petrenko for watering the plants. Please, forgive me if I missed someones name here. God bless you for your commitment!

Because of the camp meeting Sabbath we need to catch up on our local budget giving. Please pray about doubling your regular offering amount tomorrow morning. We need to fund our church ministries well! Don’t we feel blessed when we support the work of God’s church? We live in a very troublesome time. We want many others to find Jesus as the only answer to the problems of this world.

PRAYER. I am asking for your prayers for the young and elderly in our church. Please pray that the Lord strengthens our church families. Pray for those that are ill and lonely.

PERSONAL. After the meetings in Prague, Galena and I had a few days off. We refused to drive. For a whole week we simply walked, read books, ate tons of European pastries and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. The unfortunate incident of fatally short-circuiting both of our iPhones in a rented car turned into the blessing of staying away from the rest of the busy world. We relearned how to spend time together without our eyes glued to the screen of our mobile phones. 🙂 Try it for a few days! It is a refreshing and liberating experience.

I will see you tomorrow morning.