MESSAGE. “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12. On the night of Jesus’ birth the shepherds left everything behind and went on a mission of finding Jesus. They did not wait till morning. Everything else became insignificant to them. Seeking Jesus became their priority. Later on when Jesus started His ministry he asked two of his disciples, “What are you seeking?” (John 1:38) The same question applies to us today- what is the purpose of your life? Are you seeking a better job? Better pay? Recognition of your achievements? I hope you are seeking meaning and purpose in your life through Jesus. Start looking for Jesus today. All the other pieces of your life will fit in where they belong if you find Jesus – the centerpiece.
MINISTRY. Wasn’t it fun to see so much snow last weekend? It looked absolutely beautiful around our house. I was concerned that the snow might affect our Sabbath morning services, but from what I heard both services were well attended and pastor Matthew had an incredible message. I wish I could have been in church that morning, but my Mom’s hospitalization with pneumonia kept us busy attending to her needs. I sincerely appreciate your prayers for her. She is out of the hospital, still very weak, but we are glad that she is in our home where we can keep an eye on her.
Monday night’s OAKS Board meeting was the shortest I ever attended 🙂 We barely had a quorum. This was certainly disappointing as Shelly had to present important Action Plan items to the Board. It was agreed that we will call a special Board meeting on January 4 to vote on these important decisions. At that meeting I learned that OAKS is back at 127 students! Praise God! Also OAKS students’ academic achievements are higher than at any other school of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. Another great reason to be grateful to God for our school principal, staff and teachers.
On Tuesday I had a wonderful time visiting many of our elderly members. But before my rounds I had a great time spending an hour in prayer with our prayer warriors. Several of our elders attended that prayer session also. Let me remind you that our prayer warriors meet at 8 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You will surely be blessed by joining this group.
Mary Beth Morgan looked very hopeful. She is ready to go home. If everything goes according to plan she may actually be out of LifeCare in Ooltewah by the middle of next week. Jerry Lastine is still in medical rehab. He is grateful for your cards, prayers and visits. Bill Brown sounded very optimistic after a major surgery on his leg. He is at home and Sue is his best nurse.
Many church elders joined the Wednesday night prayer meeting. The whole hour was dedicated to prayers for our church ministries and for our ill church members. Pastor Matthew was one of those hit pretty hard by the cold virus. Praying for you, Matthew.
Thursday morning I had a good time with many area pastors at Garden Plaza for the monthly East Hamilton Ministerial Association meeting. This time our group joined Garden Plaza residents for their breakfast. After the breakfast our “choir” sang them Christmas Carols. I could see a heavenly light brightening the faces of these sweet elderly people.
That same day the Season of Change Ministry welcomed 65 ladies to their December get together event. Thank you, Lupina and your awesome team, for showing the true spirit of Christ to these dear souls.
Ooltewah Prison Ministry, led solely by Steven Bremner has witnessed many wonderful Christmas miracles. Steve sent me the following text message: ” I’m exhausted. The Lords blessing wore me out. We were only going to make 100 gift bags for the prisoners but have enough to make over 200. Little Debbie donated 2 cases of snacks, and given $200 store credit at another store. We made more, we gave more, and under budget. Praise the Lord for OAKS students who put the bags together. Please pray the Steps to Christ will be allowed in.”
Thank you, Steve, the the Ooltewah church Prison ministry.
Here is a message from Edymar Penagos: “Men, As I reflect on the last twelve months I am overwhelmed with appreciation for each and everyone of you. Your giving hearts and willingness to serve humble and inspire me and others around. You are men of valor, men of conviction, men of honor and most importantly, men of God. I can personally say that it has been such a blessing serving, learning, and growing spiritually with you. You have given in many ways and I humbly thank you below for a few of your blessings.
THANK YOU for building a handicap ramp; THANK YOU getting up early Sunday morning to cook and serve breakfast to your brothers; THANK YOU for leading and participating in the men’s Sabbath school class; THANK YOU for helping our widows; THANK YOU for feeding the less fortunate; THANK YOU for investing and protecting our kids; THANK YOU for being eager to not only serve our church family but for caring and serving the community around us. I can not say it enough, THANK YOU!
I want to thank you, church, for your contributions to the Christmas Benevolence Fund. We set the goal to raise $15,000 by the end of December. I pray that we reach this goal.
Please, don’t forget about the church Christmas party tomorrow night. It will be a great way to mingle with your brothers and sisters and to make new friends. Thank you, social committee, for your hard work.
See you tomorrow for 8:55 and 11:25 services. The Church Choir will sing for both services!!!