Where is the Fruit?


MESSAGE. Matthew 21:19 “Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”

Like the fig tree, Israel looked good on the outside, but despite its appearance it was not producing any fruit. Because it was not providing for his people, Jesus decreed that he would let it fade, and raise up something new in its place: the Church. We are the new creation, the Spiritual Israel, God planted for those hungry to know God; let us make sure we yield a bountiful harvest.

“From the barren fig tree Christ spoke a parable that everyone should heed. Those who walk in the way of God’s commandments will be like a flourishing fig tree, full of fruit. The tree was cursed because it had only pretentious leaves, and no fruit.” (EGW, Manuscript 65, 1912)

Tomorrow morning I invite you to study the miracle of the withered fig tree. Please, read Matthew 21 and Mark 11:12-25.

MINISTRY. I hope you like the “name tags” campaign 🙂 . It is definitely helping me memorize more names of our church members and visitors. I am sure that in a matter of a few months we will stop using “the descriptive narrative” talking about a “bald-tall-middle aged-man-with-a-strong-southern-accent-coming-to-the-second-service” and will start calling him John Smith. 🙂

Sabbath School visitor bags is an awesome initiative. Thank you Sabbath school team.

Talking about our new members gift bags I want to thank Lupina Haney for her creativity and to share a sweet note that came to our office from Jerry Lastine. Here it is:



A huge Thank You to Darren Downey for the long hours spent working on our church bathroom improvements!


BABY BOTTLES. Remember the Baby Bottles campaign? Your donations were received in Romania and here is a sweet note from My Brother’s Keeper office:

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PRAYERS. Catherine, David Denton’s grandmother, is very weak. She is at her daughter’s house. Please remember her in your prayers.

Sondra Chilson is struggling with crippling nerve pain. She needs our prayerful support.

David and Shirley Stevens are in the process of moving into the Collegedale LifeCare center. Please pray for them.

Have a blessed Sabbath Day!


I never intended for my Friday email message to replace the church bulletin, and I plan to keep it that way, however this one time I am making an exception. With many wonderful activities taking place at our church and school we have gotten into the mode of spending more of our worship service time on announcements than on the sermon. I’d like us to look into some creative and innovative ways of informing our church about the upcoming events without sacrificing the Bread of Life.

Here is a list of the many exciting events planned at our church and other area churches:

PRAISE THE LORD LUNCHEON – Church family, please make plans to attend a special luncheon this Sabbath after the second service to praise the Lord for His wonderful leading in our church ministry in the last fiscal year. This luncheon is in honor of God who brought us all together. If you have a special dish of your nationality, please bring it for Potluck. Bring enough food for your family and enough to share so we can have an enjoyable luncheon.

CHURCH MEMBERS – The church office would like your current contact information. Please stop by the desk in the sanctuary hallway Sabbath, August 20, to review and update your contact information as needed.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – 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 1:00 p.m. 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.


CHURCH FINANCE MEETING – This will be held on Monday, August 22, @ 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Center.

CHURCH BOARD MEETING – This will be held on Monday, August 22, @ 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Center.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER MEETING – Please join us on Wednesdays in the Sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. as we pray and study God’s Word.

THANK YOU – I really appreciate receiving so many cards, foods, concerns, and most of all your prayers. I love you all ~ Betty Chastain

THANK YOU – To everyone who showered us with blessings and gifts at our wedding shower last Sunday. We appreciate you so much as we begin this new journey of marriage together. ~ Michael Huisman and Christina Williams

SEASON OF CHANGE – For women who have lost a spouse, we will meet on Thursday, August 25, at noon in the Fellowship Center.  Our guest speaker will be Ron Malloch, who has created a beautiful Power Point presentation on DVD called “The Heavens are Telling.” Learn what the stars are really telling us. Lunch and dessert will be provided. Please call Lupina Haney 423-400-9246 (c) or Marlene Keaton 423-591-4037 (h) to let us know if you are coming and if you are bringing a friend. This helps us for food preparation and table set up.

YOUTH VESPERS – Please come and enjoy the youth-led vespers next Sabbath, August  27, at 7:30 p.m. with Open Gym afterwards from 8:15-9:30 p.m.

Bulletin Announcements Continued in bulletin insert

“A LOANER CAR” NEEDED – Vlad Zubkov, a Ukrainian Theology Student, safely arrived to Ooltewah from Ukraine last night and is in need of a horse and buggy :-). He will be studying, learning, helping the pastors, and assisting in the church office for 4 months (till December 7). If you are able to assist with some means of transportation, please contact the church office. Vlad will pay you back in heaven.

SMALL GROUP – The small group meeting in the Reynolds’ home will resume its regular Bible study sessions on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. beginning on August 30.  All are welcome.  We will be studying the book of Revelation. Address: 5638 Barrington Country Circle, Collegedale.  Phone: 396-2348.

COLLEGIATE SS will be starting back up next Sabbath, August 27. It will take place in the School Library with Britney Verduzco as its teacher.

ADVENTURER REGISTRATION – This will be held August 28 @ 4:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Center. Please contact Becky Denton @ 432-3088, if you have any questions.

PATHFINDER REGISTRATION – This will be held August 24 from 6:00–8:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Center. Please contact Dale Smith @ (423) 715-8808, if you have any questions.

FEEDING THE HOMELESS – If you are interested in preparing and serving breakfast at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen on Saturday, September 10, please contact Lucas Patterson at 423-582-1678. Our church’s volunteer team of 8-10 people arrives at 6 a.m. and leaves by 8:15 a.m. Carpooling is available.

CHAINSAWS AND BUTTER KNIVES MEN’S RALLY – All men are invited to attend a free rally on Aug 27, at the Collegedale Community Church. This event is designed to inspire, educate, and connect men as they answer the call of becoming the men God designed us to be. Keynote speaker will be John Cosgrove, along with Marty Miller and Gary Rustad. For more information and to register visitwww.blueprintformen.org. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

S’MORE CAMP (Single Moms’ & Kids Retreat) – The conference is having the 3rd annual S’MORE Camp the weekend of August 26-28. It is a FREE family weekend for single moms and their kids. WHAT IS S’MORE? Single Moms of Real Excellence. The event is where approximately 30 single mothers and their children enjoy a weekend retreat, providing emotional, physical, and spiritual support that is often needed in these busy homes. 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.

WORSHIP CONCERT – The Highlanders from Portland, TN, SDA Church and Voices in Worship from Ooltewah SDA Church will be singing together at the Chattanooga First SDA Church on August 27. They will perform in the worship service and then present a vespers concert at 6:30 p.m. The mixed choir of 14 singers will sing beautifully-arranged hymns with rich harmonies, accompanied by piano and organ. Come and bring a friend.

REVELATION SYMPOSIUM – A symposium on Last Day Events, which aims to present the Jesus of Revelation as your Savior and Best Friend, will be held in Lynn H. Wood Auditorium (at SAU) September 2 @ 6:30-8:30 p.m. andSeptember 3 @ 9:30-6:30 p.m.

*The Accursed Fig Tree painting used in this message is by Jacques Joseph Tissot (French: [tiso]; 15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902), a French painter and illustrator.

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