“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).
John Chrysostom, the noted ancient church preacher, says that the pursuer of a goal “sees nothing, he thrusts away all who impede him with great force, he cherishes his mind, his eye, his strength, his soul and his body, looking at nothing other than the crown” (ACCS). We should embrace our pursuit of Christ in this way, that we might stay faithful to Him until the end of our lives.
We’ve witnessed many wonderful blessings in this passing year, but the Lord is giving us a New Year for our ministry. Let this be a year of service to the needs of our community, a year of preaching the Good News in Ooltewah and way beyond, a year of greater love and connection in our church family, a year of greater growth in our relationship with Jesus.
Along with apostle Paul we recongnize that we have not “already attained.” There is much that needs to be done in 2017. God needs each one of us in this ministry. I invite you to set aside excuses and fears of failure and to press on toward the high calling!
Happy New Year to you, my friends!
MINISTRY. Tonight (Friday, December 30), at 7 pm is the Agape Feast celebration. Everyone is welcome. There is supper prepared for you. After the supper we will participate in foot-washing and partake of the symbols of Christ’s Body and His blood. What a wonderful way to finish this year and to start a New one.
Thank you, church, for your overwhelming support of the Josiah Restoration fund. The goal has been reached! What a miracle! What a blessing. The work of the school renovation is going full speed even through the holidays. Thank you, Ed Demaree, for your leadership and commitment to this project.
Thank you, Rita Rogers, Steve Bremner and Bradley Hyde for spending long hours this week at the office helping the Conference auditors with the work that needed to be done. Only God in heaven will repay you for your hard work.
Church LED signs are up and running in TEST MODE. It is a great breakthrough in the area of our renovations. There is some fine-tuning needed to be done on the big LED sign sometime next week. Please, be patient with a few distorted spots on that sign. The highway pole sign is also up, but the electrical work on it will be completed next week. After that it will be a “bright” witness to our church presence in Ooltewah.
Have a blessed Sabbath day and I hope to see many of you tonight.