The Gospel of the Kingdom

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MESSAGE. There are some things in the prophetic Word that are clear and unambiguous. Christians are told to be on the alert (Matthew 24:42). They are told not to fear, but rather to comfort one another no matter what the circumstances because Christ will bring all things to a good end (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Believers are instructed that because Jesus will come again, they should be busy cultivating in themselves holiness and godly conduct (2 Peter 3:11-15). But the most repeated instruction given to Christians about the Second Coming of Christ, is that true followers of Jesus should renew their commitment to make Him known to others. In a world estranged from God, a world where sin is prevalent, the preaching of the Gospel is always relevant.

Tomorrow morning we’ll study how the preaching of the Gospel points to the closeness of Christ’s soon return.

MINISTRY. Pastor Aubrey asked me to share with the church her farewell message.

“Family,
It’s hard to believe that my time here is up. These last two years have been some of the best of my life.Thank you for showing me such love, care, kindness, and joy. You have helped make me the person I am today and I’m eternally grateful. I love you all and will miss you greatly, you are my family. My prayers are with you always.
Love,
Pastor Aubrey”


Last Friday night was truly an uplifting spiritual experience. The Agape Feast brought our church together to celebrate God’s love expressed in Christ’s broken body and His spilled blood. Thank you, Chester and Cathy for the ministry of music. Thank you, Lupina and your team for the beautifully arranged Fellowship Hall and delicious bread and fruit on the tables. Thank you, Rick and all the deacons for making all the necessary preparations for the ordinance of humility. Below are a few photos taken by Alisa Hall.


OAKS. On Wednesday morning our church school opened its doors for one hundred and twenty-six students! Eleven more than last year! I was absolutely blessed watching families bringing their children to the first day of school. We have excellent staff and teachers at our school. Thank you, church, for being so supportive of OAKS. I also noticed that our “prayer angels” were present on Wednesday morning praying in the school hallways. It is not by our “might and not by power” that OAKS prospers, but by power of the Holy Spirit poured upon the school every morning. This morning as I spoke for the OAKS chapel my heart was leaping with joy seeing the church filled with over a hundred children.


Sarah Penagos shared with me the following message about the Sabbath night vespers: “The mission report was well attended and people were very engaged. The question and answer time was great, with multiple questions and true interest in the mission school. I received much positive feedback and Steve and Judi were blessed to be so welcomed and engaged by our church family! … Here is a link to the video about the school in Kenia https://vimeo.com/107954981 ”

PRAYERS. Last week I learned of Gene Troax’s passing. For many years Gene served as our church elder and as a school board chairman. Please, uplift Gene’s wife and their whole family in your prayers. The family has planned a private burial service.

On Monday I visited Cindy Cole at Memorial hospital. She was in good spirits and thankful for a sweet annoiting service arrangened by Cynthia Witzel and officiated by elder John Sabo in the hospital chapel.

Please, pray for pastor Matthew Shallenberger and his family as they are relocating to our area. Matthew will be officially introduced next Sabbath. He will also speak for both services. I feel sad that I’ll not be here to welcome Matthew on his first Sabbath at our church, but I feel excited that Galena and I will be with our daughter Stacey and her husband Javan as they are expecting a wonderful miracle of life on August 18. 👼

See you tomorrow. Blessed Sabbath day to you!

Peter

 

Groaning Nature

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MESSAGE. This world needs hope. Struggles and pain point to Jesus as the ultimate answer to the problem of suffering. The nature that surrounds us is part of this big picture. God created nature and the animal world as a perfect testimony to His eternal gifts of life and joy. What we see today is in direct contrast to God’s loving intention. “The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God”, Romans 8:21.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, deforestation and droughts paint a grim picture of the inevitable collapse. Even the animal world groans from the pain of sin. The Book of Revelation brings us hope. The Mighty Lord is coming to create everything new. He is bringing an end to the sufferings and groans of every living being. This is a powerful message of hope that this world needs to hear. I invite you to join me this Sabbath morning for a study of the sixth sign of Christ’s soon return.

MINISTRY. Tonight, August 8, at 7 pm everyone is invited to celebrate the Agape Feast. We will have food, we will sing hymns, read God’s Word, and follow the example of Jesus by washing one another’s feet. Don’t miss this blessing.

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Last Sunday afternoon our church family came together to say good-bye to pastor Aubrey. Thank you, Avril and your team for making it a perfect event. There was lots of great food and a great cake! We all had mixed emotions. It is sad to see Aubrey move, but we’re grateful to God for the wonderful two years of Aubrey’s ministry in our church.

 


This past week I attended the Summer Pastor’s Meetings in Cohutta Springs. As always, I felt extremely blessed with the great quality of resources offered by our Conference leadership. The Conference Center itself is the best resort ever. I love walking there and taking pictures.

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OAKS. Yesterday was Registration Day at OAKS. 126 students registered for the new school year. What a blessing. Thank you OAKS staff and teachers for your great work and  Christ-like spirit.

PRAYERS. Our dear Nancy Smiley fell at a service station where she tripped
falling and breaking two ribs, hitting her face  and putting a cut
under her eye. Also bruised on left wrist, hand, and arm. Her daughter
Debbie is with her and she prefers no visits for a few days. We are
praying for you Nancy. 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Robert, TY, and Zoe need lots of prayers as they are dealing with a tough housing situation.

Betty Chastain is grateful for the prayers for her family.

RESOURCES. The church website has e-versions of the church newsletter and weekly church bulletin. Here is a link to the site: www.ooltewahchurch.org

See you tonight,

Peter