The Discipline of the Word


MESSAGE. So as we commemorate Memorial Day as Americans, let us do it with profound gratitude for the extraordinary common grace given to us when men and women laid their lives down for the sake of America’s survival. And let us remember the past evils that we may not repeat them in the future.

SABBATH MORNING MESSAGE. “Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”― Charles H. Spurgeon 

This Sabbath morning I’ll share part two of the Path to Discipleship series. My sermon topic is “The Discipline of the Word.”

[June 2nd our church will have both services at regular times.]

MINISTRY. The May 19th Sabbath was another high Sabbath at our church with Pastor Matthew baptizing Seth Haubrich. Congratulations, Seth!

Season of Change had another awesome get together this week. Lupina always has a creative way of bringing encouragement into the lives of our dear widows. When the scheduled presenter for the meeting didn’t show up because of the traffic problems Sarah and Katie Bremner stepped in and blessed the group with wonderful music. Enjoy a few photos below.

This Sabbath we’ll honor our OAKS graduates as well as several high school graduates. Congratulations to our OAKS Kindergarten class! Congratulations to our OAKS 8th grade graduates: Alex Bell, Jack Bell, Destiny Bissell, Gabriel Cole, Kelvin Cranfield, Katie Crisp, Aspen Davis, Seth Haubrich, Johnny Houghton, Noah Patterson, Rylan Patterson, Seth Robertson, John Sandin, Sasha Schwark, Kaitlyn Vasquez, Zander Vasquez, Ivan Waldrop, Benjamin Wright, as well as Ben Phillips and Christy Bartlett who graduated from other schools. Below are some awesome photos (unfortunately I do not have Ben and Christy’s photos… sorry)

PRAYERS. Roger Wolfe is practically unresponsive. Prayers for peace and comfort for Paula, please.

Nathan Turner fractured his tibia and is having surgery today. Please pray everything goes well.

Pray for all who have given their lives for our freedom. 


Running the Race


MESSAGE. Jesus does not call us to be churchgoers; he calls us to be disciples. Disciples live a life of discipline. Discipline is a daily commitment to do what is not easy or natural. If it is natural or easy, it is not discipline. We do not like discipline because it’s hard! It hurts! There are no shortcuts to spiritual growth. You can’t get there without serious training. Starting this Sabbath and through the next few weeks we will be studying the disciplines which enable us to grow in maturity in our Christian life and keep us faithful to God’s will.

MINISTRY. Men of our church have some exciting plans for this Sunday. Here is a word from Edymar: “This month, instead of breakfast on 5/27, we will be meeting at the annual Ruritan car, truck and motorcycle show (see attached flyer). If you have a car, MC or truck, I encourage you to register it! Last year, Jason Smiths dad entered his monster truck and he won his class! (See attached photo). The plan is to meet at the Hardees on Shallowford Rd at 730am for breakfast. Once we finish eating, we will head to the show. Please plan to arrive at Hardee’s at 730am (breakfast will be covered by men’s ministry), so we can be at the show no later than 815am.”


OAKS. This was a busy week at OAKS. Tuesday night was Kindergarten graduation. They were super cute at their ceremony. Wednesday night there was a big celebration for the eighth-graders. Congratulations to our eighteen graduates! We will meet them on May 26 during the second worship service. Today was the last day of school at OAKS. This morning the regular Friday chapel service was replaced with a special spiritual celebration program combined with awards. Thank you, pastor Matthew, for the uplifting song service! Thank you, Shelly, teachers and staff for the outstanding school year!

Last week while writing the blog I did not have a photo of the baptism service from May 5. Here it is below. How wonderful to see three young men giving their life to Jesus! Thank you, Matthew for giving them Bible studies through the last several months.



Sue Brown had a surgery on Wednesday morning. The surgery went well and she is back home. Pray for her full recovery.

Ellsworth McKee had a surgery also on Wednesday morning. Everything went well. Ellsworth was discharged that same day. The family appreciates your prayers.

Roger Wolfe was taken to the hospital this week where the doctors are trying to control his pain. Please, keep Roger and Paula in your prayers daily.

Happy Sabbath! I plan on seeing you tomorrow.


The Bread of Life

MESSAGE. This Sabbath our church will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s miraculous provision for people’s physical needs pointed to the greater truth — that He was the Bread of Life and that His body would be “broken” for them and for us. Every time we eat the bread and drink the cup during the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded of our Lord’s great love and provision for us.

MINISTRY. Last Friday night was the Pathfinder Club investiture program. I was not able to attend the event, but I enjoyed their Facebook pictures. That night Amy and Cory Goss announced their transition from Ooltewah Club leadership to the Conference wide Pathfinder Club committee. Three years of Cory and Amy’s leadership has been a huge blessing to our youth. They truly have a heart for young people. A heartfelt THANK YOU to the Goss team for their excellent ministry! Aaron Brewer is now the new club director. I invite you to pray for Aaron as he will be providing guidance and training to the Pathfinders.

Sabbath baptisms. Last Sabbath pastor Matthew officiated baptisms for three young men: Scott Strydom, Will Bell, and Donovan Quiros-Crider. There was great great celebration in heaven on that day and definitey at our own church! Praise God for their decisions. (waiting for the photos of the baptisms. If I get them later tonight I’ll add them to the blog.)

The Bridge at Ooltewah Ministry. “The Bridge at Ooltewah is an Assisted Living center for seniors. Every Sabbath afternoon, it is our privilege to share the gospel through music, prayer, Bible studies, and fellowship with the residents. They are encouraged when we spend time with them and share the love of Jesus.

At the front desk, a resident asked Marichu McCutcheon if she could take him to the bank. The receptionist reminded him that someone from The Bridge could take him. No, he insisted, he wanted Marichu. Why? Because she is like family to him.

Heidi Pino enjoys going to The Bridge because the residents are like grandparents to her. She was also elated when she was reunited with her third grade teacher, who is a resident there.

Our volunteers receive such a blessing from ministering to the people at The Bridge. And you have the opportunity to join in this blessing. We need more volunteers to help. Prayerfully consider giving one hour a month—just 12 hours a year—to this ministry. If the Lord is impressing you to serve, call the church office at (423) 238-4619.

I would like to personally thank Sharon, Sarah, and Katherine Bremner; Ed and Heidi Pino; and Brent, Marichu, and Ethan McCutcheon for your service and support. God bless you!” ~Steve Bremner

I need to add a sincere THANK YOU to Steve Bremner for his commitment to this ministry. Some weeks when there is not enough help Steve may get frustrated, but he never gives up! God bless you, Steve. It was really nice of you to take your team out to eat. They all look happy in the photo below.


Blessing cards. The Ooltewah church joined hands with a number of other churches in Hamilton county to express appreciation to the teachers and staff of public schools. Our church along with the Samaritan Center prepared over a hundred goodie bags with a prayer of blessing card in each bag. I should say that this was an overwhelming project for just two precious ladies of our church, Lupina Haney and Barbara Smith. They had to show great creativity being limited in the available financial resources. Hours and hours of shopping and half a day of sorting and stuffing on Sunday. On Tuesday, Carleen Zalabak (after a night shift at work), Barbara Smith, and pastor Matthew joined me in delivering the bags to Harrison Elementary and Hunter Middle schools.


Pete Rogers is recovering after open heart surgery on Wednesday. Prayers are appreciated.

Cathy Sabo is feeling much better after her back surgery. We hope to see her back at church soon. Please, pray for her full recovery.

Let Us Praise God


MESSAGE. “Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!” (Ephesians 1:5)

MINISTRY. Love In Action project. Men of our church do not only have hearty breakfasts on Sunday mornings, they actually go and act on their high calling! Read Edymar’s report below and see the photos of our men and women helping a family from our church.

“We had the privilege to shows God’s love with action yesterday and boy, did we have fun helping our sister! Matthew 25:40, 45 says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We all need help sometimes, and like a family, we help each other. I believe that these love in action projects are important to God, He is very clear on loving and doing for others.

1 John 3:16-18 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions (this can also be our time) and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

Thank you to all who were able to attend yesterdays love in action service. You made a huge difference in our sisters life by completing several items on her “to do” list. We worked hard and had fun while growing closer together as a family. I firmly believe that what we did yesterday was church. I am so grateful to have you all in my life, bless you and may this bring glory to our father and friend, Jesus Christ.

Bible seminar. God blessed us with a wonderful time during our spring Bible seminar. It was a true joy to see our church members and visitors faithfully come to every night of the meetings. Sabbath morning was a highlight! The beautiful music presented by the Message of Mercy was absolutely uplifting. Their children’s story song fascinated not only the kids, but engaged the whole church. Unfortunately, at the second service we ran out of room for those who came to worship. The balcony and even the church foyer were completely packed. We do need to start seriously thinking about the future expansion of our sanctuary. The baptisms brought joy to our hearts. See a few photos below taken by Melita Palmer. This Sabbath there will be three more baptisms! Scott Strydom, Will Bell, and Donovan Quiros-Crider will celebrate their spiritual birth. Pastor Matthew will officiate the baptisms. Let us keep in our prayers these new young members as they start their walk with Jesus.

The violin recital was well attended on Sunday. There was a good number of visitors there. Steve Bremner shared a photo with me. See below:


PRAYERS. Rich Oliver’s niece, Rachel Gamble, passed away this week. Her funeral took place on Wednesday. She was only 22 years old. Please pray for comfort for the family.

Have a blessed Sabbath day,