Spiritual Fitness

Screen-Shot-2012-05-28-at-11.26.48MESSAGE. 1 Timothy 4:8 “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

We certainly live in a health-conscious world. Everywhere we turn we see advertisements for fitness equipment, nutritional supplements, health food, gym memberships, and more. Many people are obsessed with taking care of their bodies—and it’s for a good reason, because our lives depend on it!

But even though our physical health is important, Paul reminds us in the above passage that our spiritual fitness is even more important than our physical fitness. We do not want to neglect our bodies. But even more so, we must not neglect our spirits.

MINISTRY.  The SEASON OF CHANGE meeting this Thursday looked like it was everybody’s birthday! There were 57 widows plus 9 helpers. Informational speaker, Lori Oliver, helped the ladies learn more about Essential Oils. A huge Thank You to Sarah and Emma who played for us during lunch. Donations reached $246, which means two new sewing machines for widows in India. What a blessing it was! Thank you, Lupina and your awesome team for leading out in this important ministry.

PATHFINDERS. January has been a busy month for Pathfinders.  Here is an update from Cory: “We began with an overnight lockin at the church.  The club went to the Southern pool and practiced swimming skills and then prepared their rockets for a cold Sunday morning launch.

The cold didn’t stop our most extreme backpackers from enjoying the outdoors. One week later we went with a group of 12 to Prentice Cooper State Park and had a wonderful time in the beautiful Hemlock Branch site.  The views from Snoopers Point were breath taking.

Our meetings have included some really interesting activities such as Black Smithing, Cooking and Rocket building.  This week we begin preparations for our Pathfinder Sabbath on February 10.  We hope that everyone will plan to come support our kids and see their talents showcased.  A large thank you to everyone who has purchased fruit from the club this year and a thankyou to God who has blessed us with such amazing kids.”

CEREAL BARREL. You can see the bottom of the Cereal Barrel in our church lobby. Not a good sign 😦 We need your help especially during the cold season. All cereal donations are being distributed among the needy families via the Samaritan Center. Your help is needed and greatly appreciated. Thank you, Julia Easter, for keeping this project running.

PRAYERS. Here is the latest update from pastor David Bissell: “At Houston now, preparing for Proton or radiation therapy.  Will be home Friday and probably begin 6 weeks of treatment on Feb 5.  Still some difficulties eating.  Takes 30 minutes to an hour.  I must eat to keep nutrition coming in and maintain weight.  Pain is temporarily reduced for now 🙂  Praise the Lord.” Your church is praying for you, David!

Roger Wolf is scheduled for a biopsy this afternoon. Prayers, please. Let the Lord give courage and peace to our dear Roger.

Giving. January sets our spiritual pace for the rest of the year. I’m praying that we show faith in our tithe and offerings on this last Sabbath of January. Let us come prepared to give our best to the Lord tomorrow morning. If you prefer to use the online option you will find a link to AdventGiving on our church website www.ooltewahchurch.org

Business meeting. I hope you remember about the annual church business meeting. Many of our department leaders prepared reports which will help you learn more about different ministries. The meeting starts at 6 pm. We will try to finish by 7 pm.

Worship God


MESSAGE. Psalm 29:1-3 “Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” The amazing thing is not that God invites our worship, but that He accepts from us what He does not need. The more we study God’s Word, the more we begin to understand He is leading us to the attitude of worshiping Him, because in His presence is where we rightly belong. Whether we realize it or not, we need to worship—and God wants our worship because He wants what’s best for us.

MINISTRY. This past week pastor Matt and I were attending the Southern Union pastors’ conference in Orlando, FL. Not counting the 9 hour drive each way I thoroughly enjoyed the meetings. “The Gospel Changes Everything” theme of the conference helped us all reshuffle the priorities of our pastoral ministry. I pray that here at Ooltewah we continue to focus on the Gospel proclamation. Jesus is coming soon and His grace needs to reach every soul in our community.

The freezing temperatures of early January tested the endurance of our church heating units. Five of them failed. However, Steve Bremner was on top of these issues and as of today most of them are fixed and running. One is awaiting some ordered parts. Thank you, Steve, for your proactive approach. The cold weather is coming back, but it is cozy and warm inside our church. We are ready for the service tomorrow morning. It looks like the chance of snow has been canceled for tonight and we will have clean and ice-free roads for church on Sabbath morning.

I would like to highlight a Concert for January 20. Pam Tucker will sing at our church starting at 4:45. Invite your friends and neighbors.

PRAYERS. On behalf of the Ooltewah church I extend sincere condolences to the Stevens unnamedfamily. Dorothy Elaine Stevens passed early Monday morning. She has been a long time member of our church. Please, remember her family in your prayers. Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14, at the funeral home. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. on Sunday, at the funeral home with Pastor Michael Pettengill officiating. Burial will follow at Collegedale Memorial Park Cemetery.  “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” 1 Thess. 4:13-14

Happy Sabbath. See you tomorrow.

Our Spiritual Diet


MESSAGE. The world’s spiritual junk food gradually became the source of our spiritual nourishment. It invaded our attitudes and behaviors, systematically weakening us as it produced the spiritual disease. A major problem is that human nature compels us to focus almost totally upon the physical. God provides us with “wilderness experiences” to let us know that there is a spiritual aspect to life that requires feeding and maintenance just as surely as the physical.  If we have the right source, the nourishment will be good. Otherwise, the situation is hopeless. Our source of nourishment must, of course, be God.

I encourage you to to make a New Year’s resolution to change your spiritual diet and to eat the healthy manna coming from heaven, from Jesus Himself.

MINISTRY. The Week of Prayer meetings are coming to an end this Sabbath night at 6 pm. Those who found time to attend either morning or evening sessions have been blessed with the message of Jesus serving as our High Priest. He is interceding on our behalf daily before the throne of God. Prayer and study were the main elements of the meetings, however it was also fun to find hot herbal teas and muffins and to fellowship with one another while it was freezing cold outside.

OAKS had a good start after Christmas break. Our church and school campus came alive with lots of kids bravely running around in the arctic cold weather. The school board met last night and voted on three important action plans. The first action plan will help us outline the vision for OAKS for the next five years. The school board will keep us posted on the progress of the action plan and more details will be shared at the church business meeting on January 27.

The new issue of the church newsletter is available in digital format on our church website. Click here if you want to read it online . The printed version of the newsletter will also be available at church tomorrow morning.

Don’t forget about Singspiration tomorrow at 5 pm. and of course the Agape Feast tonight at 7 pm.


PRAYERS. Elaine (Dorothy) Stevens has been transferred to Hospice of Chattanooga. She feels better after an unfortunate health related episode on New Year’s Day. Elaine is very appreciative of your prayers.

Sondra Chilson’s graddaughter Heather needs lots of prayers as she’s battling a very aggressive type of cancer.

David Bissell’s surgery went well. He is still in the hospital. Future treatment options will be considered in the next few days based on the biopsy results. Praying for you, David, day and night.

I’d  like to express our sincere condolences to Tim Mountcastle whose nephew Allen passed last Friday. You and your family are in our prayers, Tim.


Happy Sabbath!