A Clean Leper

leperMESSAGE. Do you ever feel that your sins make you a leper? That you are out of place among your Christian friends? You feel in yourself that you are shut out from the fellowship of your church. You cannot pray their prayer nor sing their hymns. You do not experience their joys. This is actually the fearful part of the leprosy of sin— “for all have have sinned”; we have accepted the sores and the exclusion as part of our normal life. In Mark 1 we read as Jesus performed another miracle. A leper became clean. He could not change his condition. There were no doctors or healers to help him overcome his illness. Christ meets the leper. Christ touches the leper. He becomes clean. The leprosy of sin is a wide-spread plague in this world. Satan wants to keep us in his leprosarium, but if we run to Jesus we will hear His powerful words: “Be cleansed!”

My Sabbath morning message will be taken from Mark 1:40-45.

OAKS. The first day of school went well. I heard that there were no tears. Even our new kindergartners felt safe and happy while away from their moms and dads. 🙂 Tomorrow we will have a prayer of dedication for the school staff and teachers during both services.

CONNECT.  Last week we voted Melody Higgs into our church family. Jason’s membership transfer is in the bulletin for this week. We are thrilled to welcome Jason, Melody, and Annie into our church. Here is a short statement sent to our office by Melody:

“We were married right here at Ooltewah SDA in March 2014. We love to make music, compose art, build puzzles, and spend quality time doing these things together with our sweet daughter, Annie. Annie is starting kindergarten at OAKS this year and we couldn’t be more proud!
We both grew up in the SDA Church and appreciate its important message to our current and future generations. We love Jesus more than anything and try to do our best to walk closer to Him every day!”
higgs
Next week I will introduce you to Jerry Lastine, who transferred his membership from Illinois, and the Phillips family that moved here from Florida.
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LEARN: Pastor Aubrey asked me to include this info into this week’s church update:
 Single Mom’s and Kids Retreat”
“S’MORE Camp (Single Moms’ & Kids Retreat) is taking place August 26-28. It is a FREE family weekend for single moms and their kids. It will take place at Cohutta Springs and it’s a great time to receive emotional, physical, and spiritual support. Each family is given a basket of snacks, and the kids are elated to find a “special gift” with their name on it in their cabin. Activities include family-style worship, Bible stories, games, crafts, and music. Moms enjoy a seminar just for them and creating a decoration for their home!
Please call the Conference office at 800-567-1844 ext.342 if you’re interested in attending.”
HELP. BUSINESS/SERVICE/HANDYMAN DIRECTORY:  Men’s Ministry has decided to put together a directory of business men and women, services, and handyman abilities in our local Ooltewah Church.  If you own a business, or have skills/business expertise or talents that you think could be helpful to our members, please send your name and business/skill/service that you could provide to Pastor Bissell at docbissell@gmail.com.  Provide your email address and business phone number.  You can also contact me at 423-284-6945.  Deadline for submissions is August 31.  Thank you.
SHINE. One of the first impressions that a church gives a passerby is its church sign or marquee. I have good news. Builders and brick masons are getting ready to pour concrete and start building a solid structure for our LED church sign on Amos Rd and an OAKS LED sign on the right side of the school.
A separate donation was received by our church for a large (15’x10′), tall (30′), double-sided, illuminated sign to be installed on our property by Interstate 75, where thousands of drivers will see the Seventh-day Adventist name and logo daily. The Building committee will meet on Sunday morning to review the proposed concept for the sign and present it to the Church Board on August 22.
Here is the proposed concept from the local Valley Signs company.
I-75sign
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CELEBRATE. The Bryan, Daniel and Darin Bissell families cordially invite you to attend the 50th Anniversary Celebration of our parents, David and Jeanette Bissell. WHEN: Sunday, August 21 at 1 PM.  WHERE: Ooltewah Adventist Church Fellowship Hall, 9209 Amos Rd.  POTLUCK AND PROGRAM:  Please bring a dish or two and celebrate with us!  Cake and refreshments will be provided.  Questions, well wishes, and RSVP can be sent to Bryan@truth-is-life.org or you can call him at 319-826-2608.  For further info see https://www.facebook.com/events/484606911730654/ No personal gifts please.  Donations to OAKS WORTHY STUDENT FUND gladly accepted.

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PRAY. Please pray for Velma Todd. A car hit the corner of her house. She had to move out while the house is being repaired. She needs our loving support.
Peggy Bell had surgery on Wednesday. Here is an excerpt from her Facebook post: “Well my day was different than planned , starting feeling bad Monday afternoon after eating my dinner , was sick all day yesterday , was not able to sleep either night from the severe pain, had not been able to eat since Monday!! Long story short, I got in to see my primary dr this morning around 9:30 am , after some test and exam he sent me to the ER and around 6: pm I was in the OR having my gallbladder removed!! Got in a room around 8 and should be able to go home tomorrow!!”  I talked to Peggy a few minutes ago. She is back home and thankful for all the prayers and phone calls.
“O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation,
And gather us and deliver us from the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
And glory in Your praise.”
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting. (1 Chronicles 16:34-36)

Blessed Sabbath day to you,
Peter

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