The Breastplate of Righteousness


We are engaged in a spiritual battle. There is no escaping it. The question is: do we want to win or lose on the battlefield of life? Satan tries to defeat us with accusations, but we can be confident of our standing before God, because of the righteousness of Christ. Paul speaks of the breastplate of righteousness in Ephesians 6:14: “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (NKJV). “It is impossible for man to save himself. Christ’s righteousness alone can avail for his salvation, and this is the gift of God… Let faith take hold of Christ without delay, and you will be a new creature in Jesus, a light to the world. Christ is called “The Lord our righteousness.”” (EGW)


I thoroughly enjoyed the Singspiration service last Sabbath night. My soul kept rehearsing Psalm 150:

“Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.”

Thank you, Ron and Joan Malloch!

Unfortunately, we did not have very many members attend the annual business meeting, but those that came heard a number of excellent ministry reports. Thank you church ministry leaders for your commitment to serve. God bless you as you continue to reflect the character of our Saviour in your ministry. 

Rita Rogers presented a solid financial report witnessing to the fact that this church is faithful in bringing tithes and offerings for the advance of God’s work in this area and in many other mission fields. Thank you, church family! 

Monday through Thursday Pastor Aubrey and I attended Georgia-Cumberland Conference Ministers’ Meetings at Cohutta Springs. I am sincerely grateful to our conference leadership for the many excellent presentations helping us grow spiritually and professionally. Sadly, I missed some of the sessions because of the flu. As y’all know we have a very generous church … even cold viruses are being shared around. 😁

On Thursday morning I was invited to speak at convocation for the School of Religion. What a great group of students and professors we have at Southern! I certainly did not forget to promote our own Ooltewah church 🌟. That same night I attended the Samaritan Center board meeting and once again was impressed with a solid operation of this charitable organization. God is blessing this ministry in an awesome way. I believe we need to be building a stronger partnership between our church and the Samaritan Center. It is less than a mile away from us. The Friday night HOPE  Bible study class is a good start. By the way, the class is meeting there tonight at 6:30 to continue the Thunder in the Holy Land series. Everyone is welcome to attend.

This Sunday is the first day of the Health Ministry “Fresh Start” program. Don’t we all need to excercise more? Are you walking at least 10,000 steps a day? I’m competing with my wife and my son-in-law, Kevin, in reaching this goal daily 🏃 using my Fitbit. So far Galena is beating us both. I’m considering walking to church instead of driving. 😀

With just four weeks away from the opening night of the Light Of Hope meetings in Moscow, I am asking you to pray daily for our church members and leaders in Moscow. The meetings in Ukraine will start on March 3. The pastor of the Mariupol church emailed me yesterday asking for help with food for those that are invited to the meetings. There are currently over 100,000 refugees in their city from the Eastern Ukrainian war zone. Many of them have lost everything and have no income. 

PRAYERS. I trust you remember to continue your prayers for Elaine Stevens, Shirley Stevens, Steve Collins and Dorothy Champion. 

Please pray for our new President Donald Trump and his wife. Let the Lord give them wisdom and guidance in the mammoth responsibility of leading our nation to a greater stability, prosperity, freedom and respect for human rights. 

RESOURCES. Check out the new look of our church website

Do you have a Facebook page? Do you remember to visit our official Ooltewah Church Facebook page? Your review may help new visitors get an objective picture of our church’s spirit.

Online giving is also available on the new website. Just FYI. When you use online giving there are no fees charged. The church is receiving the full amount of your contribution with no commission charged. 

Enjoy this beautiful summer day in January.

See you tomorrow morning,


The Belt of Truth

MESSAGE. John 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” Jesus, praying to the Father, gives a clear and straightforward definition of truth: God’s Word. The Holy Bible (Scripture—the word of truth) was given by the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). The Greek expression translated “inspiration of God” literally means “God-breathed!” He actively and fully inspired the Bible to reveal His truth to us.

His promises, His commands, His word—they are all truth, plain and simple. After all, “The LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27). If God says something, there is no force that can stop Him from doing it—we can rest assured that it will be done. 

1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” As Christians, we are to test all things and then hold on only to that which is good—the truth—discarding all else. Tomorrow morning I invite you to study with me the crucial importance of the belt of truth in our spiritual battle with the enemy of God.

MINISTRY. The first Sabbath of the year reminded us that it is still winter in spite of 65F today. At eight in the morning our church parking lot was covered with snow and ice. Honestly, I was concerned about our church members’ safety and was planning on preaching to myself. To my amazement we had a great group of brave members who dared to drive to first service. Not only did we have a sermon, but also a song service, and even a children’s story (Thank you, John Sabo!). The GCA choir could not make it to the second service, but they will definitely come sometime in the near future. Understandingly, we were low on our weekly church budget giving, but I pray that tomorrow morning we’ll double our weekly goal. 

Your Josiah’s Restoration donations have already made a huge difference in the Music room of our school. When you get a chance please, ask the OAKS staff to give you a tour. What a blessing it is to see how our church cares and supports our school!

Do you want to hear more about our church’s ministry in 2016? Then come to the annual church business meeting tomorrow night, January 14, at 6 pm. However, there are several other things taking place in the afternoon. Singspiration at 4:30 pm and a  Prayer Meeting from 5:30 to 6:00 pm. Wow, big day, right?

Prayer Warriors’ lunch at the Chilson’s house has been postponed due to Sondra’s illness. 

Thunder in the Holy Land study group is moving back to the Samaritan Center effective tonight. The meetings are being held every Friday at 6:30 pm. Mark Philips is leading the study tonight. 

Please, mark your calendar for the War Room film showing at our church on January 28 at 6 pm. 

Did you remember to register for “A Fresh Start” program? If not, please contact Sylvia asap either by phone or email: 423-531-6181,  More info here .



Light of Hope. We are practically four weeks away from the opening night of the Light of Hope meetings in Moscow and after that in Mariupol, Eastern Ukraine. Lots or prayers are needed. I have no doubts that God’s Word will touch many hearts not only in the church building in Moscow, but also of those who will be watching via TBN-RUSSIA. What an incredible historic opportunity! If you want to support this mission you can mark your donation as Light of Hope in the tithe envelope. More pictures and information here

PRAYERS. Dorothy Champion is back at Memorial hospital. She is very weak and in a lot of pain. Dorothy’s family is asking for your prayers.

Elaine Stevens fell early on Sunday morning and injured her shoulder. She may be immobilized for the next 12 weeks or so. Elaine has a hard time getting up. Your phone calls, visits, help with cooked food would be very much appreciated. 

Cathy Sabo had a medical procedure on her knee. It went well. Cathy is feeling good and greatful for the prayers.

Connie Jones will have a procedure on her knee next week.

RESOURCES. The church weekly bulletin is available on the church website. Click here for the bulletin

An easy way to give your tithe and offerings is right on our church website. You can fill out the online tithe envelope the same way as you do the paper one. There are actually more departments and  ministries listed there. Check it out. It is safe and secure. Choose ONLIVE GIVING from the menu on our church website

ON A PERSONAL NOTE. Last week we cleared our lot. This week we closed on our construction loan. Next week we expect to see the foundation being dug 😃. Please, pray for us. We feel it is time for us to have our own home in Ooltewah. 

Happy Sabbath. See you tomorrow.


A Heart of a Warrior

MESSAGE. As we are starting a new year we hope for a smooth ride through the next twelve months. And I pray that our hopes come true. However, I want us to be alert so we can avoid the traps of the enemy. In Eph 6:12 Paul gives us a warning “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].”

He is saying that our battle is not with the person who does not believe like we do or those who ridicule us and belittle us for believing in Jesus Christ or even for questioning His reality… Our battle is not with an out of control government, judicial system or society…our battle is not even physical. Our battle is spiritual warfare.

This Sabbath morning I’m starting a new sermon series which will help us learn how we can be battle ready. Please read Ephesians 6:10-17.

“And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan?—By the Word of God. Only by the Word could He resist temptation. “It is written,” He said. And unto us are given “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Every promise in God’s Word is ours. “By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” are we to live. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the Word. All its strength is yours. “Thy word,” says the psalmist, “have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” “By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” ” (EGW, ST August 23, 1905, par. 7)

. Our church WILL BE OPEN tomorrow morning for both services. Actually, the Georgia-Cumberland Academy Camerata consisting of 25 singers and musicians is performing during our second service. Please, do not drive to church if the roads around your house are slippery and you do not feel safe. 

Pastor Aubrey was planning a Youth church for tomorrow, but because of a death in the family she had to fly out of town to attend the funeral service and be with her family. Please, pray for Pastor Aubrey and her family. The Youth is invited to join the service in the sanctuary to hear the GCA camerata and to stay for lunch prepared for the GCA students. This will be a great way for our youth to learn more about the GCA academy.


Week of Prayer. This Monday morning, January 9, our church is starting a Week of Prayer. There will be two sessions every day: at 8 am and at 7 pm. I invite you to experience the transforming power of prayer. We believe your life and the lives of those you pray for will be changed as you join fellow church members in praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, whom the Father has promised to give to those who ask Him. You do not have to stay for the whole hour. Stop by and pray for ten minutes. 

During both sessions there will be a short Bible study. During the Week of Prayer, we will take a trip into the sanctuary and try to see what lessons we can learn from it. The subject of the sanctuary should be carefully studied, as it is one of the foundational stones of our faith and hope. It shows us the work that Christ is doing for us. It reveals to us His character. It also tells us what Christ expects from us and how we should live on earth. It reminds us that we should live with a view of eternity and that we cannot do anything in our own power. It is only because of Christ and His sacrifice that our sins can be forgiven and His righteousness is given to us.

“The subject of the sanctuary . . . should be clearly understood by the people of God” (The Faith I Live By, p. 203). “We all need to keep the subject of the sanctuary in mind. God forbid that the clatter of words coming from human lips should lessen the belief of our people in the truth that there is a sanctuary in heaven, and that a pattern of this sanctuary was once built on this earth. God desires His people to become familiar with this pattern, keeping ever before their minds the heavenly sanctuary, where God is all and in all. We must keep our minds braced by prayer and a study of God’s Word, that we may grasp these truths” (E. G. White Letter 233, 1904, emphasis supplied).


The Health Ministries team is actively preparing for “A Fresh Start.” Do you want a fresh start this New Year? Join with others in your community for a free 8 week health and fitness challenge! Experience physical, mental, social and spiritual renewal starting Sunday, January 22 at 4pm at the Ooltewah SDA Church at 9209 Amos Rd. in Ooltewah. Every 2 weeks participants will meet for group sessions to learn from and be inspired by some of the area’s most health-conscious individuals and enjoy free giveaways! Come join the Health Ministries team for this free health and fitness challenge starting Sunday, January 22 at 4pm for the kickoff event at the Ooltewah SDA Church at 9209 Amos Rd in Ooltewah. See you then!


Light of Hope Ministry. We are exactly 6 weeks away from the opening night of the evangelistic meetings in Moscow, Russia. New restrictions imposed by the Russian government make it almost impossible to invite visitors to come to the meetings. This is why the Light of Hope team made arrangements to broadcast these meetings live on TBN-RUSSIA. This is truly a historic opportunity for our church in Eastern Europe. Your prayers and financial support for this outreach is very much needed and would be greatly appreciated. The cost of the ten day contract with TBN is $10,000. I have know doubts that the Lord has a way to make this happen.

It is negative -25 degrees in Moscow today. They certainly need to hear the warming Words of Hope. For more information on the upcoming mission you can visit


PRAYERS. Shirley Stevens had surgery on her hip yesterday. The surgery went well. She is recovering well at Memorial hospital. Her family is greatful for your prayers.

Nick Wilson, who we supported for a mission trip to Indonesia, is coming home tomorrow. Unfortunately, during the trip his friend Jordan had a leg injury and had to fly to a hospital in Singapore. Nick accompanied Jordan to Singapore. Here are a couple of updates from Nick’s Facebook: 

Tuesday UPDATE! Jordan’s surgery went well. He is tired but not it two much pain. The doctor didn’t close up the wound on his knee so that it will be less prone to infection. Thursday or Friday he will close it the rest of the way and we will hopefully be on our way home Saturday or Sunday. Thank you all for your prayers! God is good!

Friday “UPDATE! Jordan’s surgery went well. He is tired but not it two much pain. The doctor didn’t close up the wound on his knee so that it will be less prone to infection. Thursday or Friday he will close it the rest of the way and we will hopefully be on our way home Saturday or Sunday. Thank you all for your prayers! God is good!

Steve Bremner has had a cold this whole week, but would not stop working at the church office. His voice turned into real opera baritone… I wonder if he may be preparing to sing tomorrow for our special music 😃. Please, pray for Steve’s full recovery. 

Dorothy Champion is still at Ooltewah LifeCare. Her condition has improved but lots of prayers are still needed. 

RESOURCES. Church weekly bulletin can be accessed by clicking here

If you are stranded at home because of the inclement weather you can use the online giving option for your tithe and offerings:

See you tomorrow,