Our Awesome God

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetMESSAGE. “I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “Lord, the great and awesome God… ” Daniel‬ ‭9:4‬ ‭ That’s how I felt this morning when I saw the beautiful sunrise. There are still beautiful fall colors on some oak trees around our house. The sky was deep blue. The sun was like a massive gold sphere. Although the scenery itself was breathtaking, my feeling of awe had more to do with God than with the spectacular beauties of nature. I had the sense of being in the presence of the One who created these wonders. I found myself saying, “This is only one wonder on one small planet in a universe that includes billions of stars and distances measured in terms of millions of light-years. What an awesome God!”

This sense of awe is healthy and should fill us with fear, gratitude, and love. Fear, because such a God is not to be trifled with. Gratitude, because He reached down in grace to save us from our sins. Love, because by loving us first He enables us to love Him in return (1 John 4:19).

MINISTRY. Thanksgiving Service treat at the Ooltewah SDA church this Sabbath morning, November 25. Ms. Paulette Jumalon will sing for both worship services. Paulette traveled as a featured soloist to San Antonio, Texas with UNITED for the 2015 General Conference where she was blessed with the opportunity to sing with Javier Gonzalez and Yolanda Innocent.

Ms. Jumalon was awarded first and second place in the Riverside Opera Guild Vocal Competition and the Marguerite Marsh Vocal Scholarship Competition in 2013 and 2014, respectively. She enjoys teaching young vocal students in her private studio and is an active teacher at La Sierra Academy of Performing Arts and in her own studio in Loma Linda, California.


Ooltewah Men’s Ministry is a huge blessing to our church. Here are a few important updates from Edymar:

Haney Hungry Hombres:

Do to the hectic holidays, the men’s breakfast has been canceled for November and December. But don’t you worry, it will start back up in January and it will be bigger and better!

Habitat For Humanity (Faith House):

For those who wanted to but couldn’t be there last month, no worries! We have another opportunity to serve, February 11. If you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible.

Edymar Penagos 813-541-2184, edymarpenagos@hotmail.com

Men’s Sabbath School Class:

“Today, more than ever, the world needs godly men. Men who will step up and courageously lead at home, church, work, and in their communities. That’s the message of Stepping Up. In a world where too many men are shrinking back, Stepping Up gives men vision and tools to live godly, courageous lives”

Every Sabbath morning at 10:15am over in the School (Connie Reynolds room).

Edymar Penagos 813-541-2184, EdymarPenagos@hotmail.com

Mountain Bike Small Group:

If you are interested in joining this informal small group, please reach out to David Denton or Edymar Penagos.

Thank you!

I would like to highlight these three fine gentlemen that showed up early to help Lewis Bertus’s mom who is moving to Alabama load the U-Haul. Please see attached photos.

Thank you, Noah Banks, Andrew Burgess, and Rick Banks for coming out at the last minute to help one of our sisters pack and load up. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, Lewis Bertus was not able to be there to help his mom load the U-haul but these fine men showed up early and eager to help. They worked hard and did it with a smile. Their desire to help and positive attitude is commendable. Thank you God for such fine men.

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men– men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.” Education, p. 57

PRAYERS. Please continue to pray for Bill Brown, Michael Simmons, Jerry Lastine, and Mary Best Morgan.

See you tomorrow morning,


God Is On Our Side

grateful_7286c1MESSAGE. I’m thankful for all of “God’s benefits” (Psalm 103:2). The first one listed by the Psalmist is God’s forgiveness. He is the One “who forgives all your sins” (v.3). Even if others haven’t forgiven us, even if we haven’t forgiven ourselves, even if we are still living with the consequences of what we’ve done, God’s forgiveness is thorough. Jesus Christ and His death on the cross paid the whole price for our sin. Because of Him, we can be as completely clean on the inside as we are on the outside.

“Forget not all His benefits”. This coming week I invite you to be Thankful for the God who is on our side, the One who forgives.

MINISTRY. While I was on a mission trip to India I had no technical capability to update my weekly blog. It felt weird not to talk to my church via my Friday pastoral message. Last Friday I was still in “parallel universe” mode: trying to overcome my upper respiratory infection generously shared with me by my new Indian friends, forcing myself to try and sleep when its dark in the US (daytime in Shillong) and catching up on many visitations. I hope to get back to my regular weekly blog schedule starting this afternoon :-).  Not everyone could hear my report from India last Sabbath. For you I’m adding a link to some photos from our mission to Shillong, India. The Lord has richly blessed this evangelistic effort. There was great joy in heaven when 30 dear souls got baptized and over 50 are preparing for their baptism in a Bible study class. I am sincerely thankful for your prayers and your support. Ooltewah church has once again proved that sharing the Good News of Christ’s soon return is our priority.

While traveling I received a nice email update from Cory Goss. Here are some excerpts from his message: “Things are really busy right now with the Pathfinders, we just finished the regional campout and now this coming weekend is the teen challenge at Cohutta Springs.  Our teens will be learning bridge building skills.  Not just with their relationships but literal bridge building.  They will be assigned an area of the creek that they will have to build a bridge to get the entire club across.  It should be very entertaining.   They will also be learning how to build their relationship with God and family and friends.  Our teens always come away with a blessing from Teen Challenge.

Within the next couple of weeks we will be collecting food again, doing a backpacking trip, and a Junior outing to Cohutta Springs; all before Christmas. On Sabbath afternoon, November 11th, the Pathfinders will be picking up the non-perishables from around our community and bringing them back to the fellowship hall for sorting and packing up.  This is the perfect time for families who need the help to come and fill a box or two from our pantry before we take the remaining food to the Samaritan Center. The best time for them to come by the fellowship hall would probably be 4:30 that day.”

Thank you, Cory and your excellent Pathfinder club team, for teaching our children to love God and to care about people in need.

Last week the Season of Change ministry welcomed over fifty regular participants. The food was absolutely great. The spirit of fellowship was absolutely wonderful. Below are a few photos from their event.

The Veterans Day program put together by OAKS was a wonderful way of expressing our gratitude who served and continue to serve our nation. That day many OAKS students performed not only at our own church but at several other locations. Thank you teachers, students, and staff! Here are a couple of photos:



Prayers of praise for Howard Kennedy. He is back home.

Prayers for Bill Brown and Michael Simmons who were in car accidents. Bill had surgery. Now he’s back home. He’ll need lots of prayers as he has a long path to recovery. Praise God that both of them are alive and Michael is also doing well.

Mary Beth Morgan appreciates your prayers and visits.

Jerry Lastine is still at Ooltewah LifeCare. I assured him of our prayers.

Blessed Sabbath day to y’all.