Jesus, the Coming King

hqdefaultMESSAGE. “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you… ” Matthew 21:5.

Jesus who came the first time as a humble servant is coming again as King of Kings. He is coming to eradicate sin, pain, and death. His is the Kingdom of Light free from the darkness of corruption, abuse and inequality. The seeds of His Kingdom can sprout in our hearts and minds even today if we allow Him to be the King of our lives.

MINISTRY. Last Sabbath night our church elders met to brainstorm about effective ways of reaching out to the community. It was noted that we have many excellent ministries and programs but for the most part they are targeting our own church families or their friends. Even though this is necessary and wonderful the Lord is sending us to go beyond our church campus. I was very encouraged to see that all the elders share this vision and want to see certain tangible changes in our church ministry.

39409684_10216461901557944_4732189941621063680_nThat same night the Sabbath School council met to review our current SS needs. One of the main concerns expressed by  those who attended the meeting was the growing attendance in all classes. SS classes are getting too big. The current SS classes are not meeting our needs. The committee reviewed a proposal for a new Sabbath School wing with potentially eight new classrooms. This proposal was discussed by the Building committee on Sunday morning and presented to the Church Board on Monday night. The Board unanimously approved further study of this concept. The Building committee was authorized to find a professional architect to work on the preliminary drawing and an approximate budget for the new Sabbath School Wing. When the Building committee does its homework the concept drawing and estimated budget will need to be presented to the Church Business meeting. Sounds like an exciting new journey. I invite you to pray continuously about this new vision for our Sabbath School.

slide_21For the last few months our Sabbath worship service attendance continues to grow. We are blessed with many new members who want to be a part of our church and school ministry. Unfortunately the existing sanctuary cannot accommodate everyone who comes to worship. Many remain in the lobby behind the closed doors of the sanctuary. Every week I hear sad stories of our members and visitors who came, but could not hear or see anything during the service. Last Sabbath I received a record number of cries for help from those who remained behind the closed doors. The Church Board felt responsible to act and to respond to the pleas for help. It was decided to move the second worship service into the Fellowship Hall effective September 29, that is next Sabbath, which happens to be the OAKS Sabbath.  Last night I was thinking about the beautiful temple in Jerusalem. Pilgrims traveled from distant counties to worship in that temple. However, Jesus gathered His church on the grassy hill under the open sky. The blessing of the presence of Jesus was not in the temple, but by the lakes and on the slopes of Galilee. I have no doubts that where we gather to worship Jesus there His presence will be among us.

502443Let me draw your attention to an important community event which will take place on October 7. Here is more from Lucas Patterson: “In Tennessee alone, more than 1,100 people took their own lives in 2017. And on a global scale, suicide claims more lives each year than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. But why is it that we don’t attack this problem the same as we do others? Do we protest loneliness? Prosecute those who push others into the margins by alienating (or ignoring) them? Take up a love offering to help those dealing with the deep wounds of losing a loved one to suicide? Nope. In fact, we hardly talk about it at all … especially in faith circles.

And if you suspect I’m exaggerating, let’s take our own church as an example. Using an incredibly small sample size of results from the online suicide survey included in Pastor Kulakov’s email a few weeks ago, I can tell you that one third of our respondents have either thought about suicide themselves or otherwise directly been affected by it. Equally sobering is the fact that only half the respondents said they would tell a pastor or another church member if they were deeply depressed or having suicidal thoughts. Think about THAT next time you’re making small talk and someone says their week was “fine” but their face and body language testify otherwise.

So what CAN we do? Our church’s Community Services and Health Ministries teams are working together to promote “Out of the Darkness,” a suicide prevention and awareness walk in Chattanooga October 7 (1 p.m., Enterprise South Park). The one-hour walk’s primary goals are twofold: building community among those affected by suicide and raising funds that allow the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to invest in new research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support survivors of suicide loss.

If you want to participate in the walk (either in person or as a virtual supporter) you can sign up online. We’ve set up anOoltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church team that we’d love for you to join. And although you can walk without paying a dime, we encourage you to make a donation and/or fundraise via social media to help us meet our $2,500 team goal. Please consider partnering with us on this important project and call/text if you have any questions: 423-582-1678.”

A Word from Pastor Matthew: “This weekend I’ll be attending the Engage Youth Leadership Training Convention at Cohutta Springs. Two of our youth leaders, Jenny Spicer and Sarah Penagos, will also be attending. We hope to learn a lot and come back to Ooltewah with lots of great ideas for youth ministry!

maxresdefaultAlso, next week is our OAKS Week of Prayer. We will be introducing our spiritual theme for the year: “I Stand for You.” Each morning I will be encouraging our students to stand for God, even in the little things, even when you are the only one standing. We’ll end the week with an appeal for kids to give their hearts to Jesus, join a Bible study class, and perhaps even make the decision to be baptized. Please pray for our staff, our students, and also parents who may be attending. We want God to pour out His Holy Spirit on our school in a special way during this week.”


  • People who suffered from hurricane Florence
  • Carolyn Phillips, whose mother passed away on Thursday
  • Judy Miller, Barbara Smith’s cousin, currently in the ER.
  • Martha Williams, health concerns
  • Herb Weise

Jesus, Lord of Lords


MESSAGE “They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will triumph over them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and He will be accompanied by His called and chosen and faithful ones.” Revelation 17:14

There is great power in trusting Jesus as our only Lord. It clears the way for our security to be based solely on Him, not on our circumstances, or other people, not on ourselves, or our own ways of thinking.

This Sabbath morning we will study the true meaning of Jesus’ title “Lord of Lords.”


Season of Change Appreciation Luncheon. Lupina Haney shared with me the following sweet update: “Our team of Hostesses, Table Decorators, Kitchen Angels and Ministry Elders had a chance to talk, relax and be waited on.
Special thanks to Charlene at The Tea Cottage on Hickory Valley for the beautiful atmosphere, table settings, and food (especially the homemade ice cream)!”

Thank you, Lupina, for your leadership and dedication!

Julie Philips is reporting that this week a group of ladies from our church came together for the Women’s Ministry dinner at the Student Park Pavilion. Everyone had a great time.  Who would not be on fire after a hot dinner catered by Salsarita’s :-). Thank you, Julie! I pray that this ministry continues to grow and bring encouragement and hope to the ladies of our church.


Last Sunday morning the men of our church opened a new chapter for the Men’s Ministry. Read Edymar Penagos’ update below:

“God is on the move, are you ready to step out in faith and follow him? Warning, it may get difficult. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” John 15:18.

Last Sunday, we had our first prayer breakfast at New Life SDA church on Main St. I am still overwhelmed and humbled by how full of the holy spirit the meeting/breakfast was. We shared a little about ourselves over a delicious meal and afterwards, discussed ways the two churches men’s ministries (New Life and Ooltewah) could work together. 1 Corinthians 12:20 NIV says; As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Men, in ministry there is no us and them. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. In a world that is becoming more divisive every day, it is clear that the message we share and the lives we live, must be one of unity. It is important that we do not see other Christians as “them” or other ministries as “them”. WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER. We are one body under Christ.

Attached is a photo of a few brothers who answered the calling and together under God’s leadership want to make a difference in the church and community around us. At the breakfast, Pastor Mills spoke of God’s mighty men. In the attached photo I believe we have the nucleolus of what will become an army of God’s mighty men.  An army that wants to working together, locked in arms, loving those around us.

Brothers, I urge you to pray and ask for God to lead you. He is working all around us and He wants you to share in the joy of being His servant.”


Chattanooga Community Kitchen. According to information gathered from local service providers, over 4,000 individuals experience homelessness each year in Chattanooga, with over 1,000 homeless children in public schools.  Each night, an estimated 600-700 individuals sleep outside or in shelters, with nearly 200 of them being families. Chattanooga reflects national trends when it comes to the rise of homelessness among families.  Over the last several years, the number of homeless families has increased nearly 300%.

Very early Sabbath morning, September 8, a group of volunteers from our church arrived at the Community Kitchen downtown to prepare breakfast for the needy individuals. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures to share, but I heard that that morning food was served to almost three hundred people! Isn’t this what Christ called us to do? I pray that this spirit of service continues to grow in our church family.



  • Jackie Cantrell
  • Herb Weise
  • People whose lives are devastated by hurricane Florence


Jesus, the High Priest


MESSAGE. “He [Jesus] entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). Our redemption is secured by the blood of Jesus Himself. I need Jesus as the Bread of Life for my daily spiritual growth. I need Jesus as my Good Shepherd who is able to protect me from the “wolves” of this world. I need Jesus as my High Priest to have assurance of my salvation. He knows my struggles; He knows my weaknesses, and as a gracious and understanding Priest He is interceding on my behalf.

This Sabbath morning we will learn more about Jesus, Our High Priest.


Community Services.

1. The Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church plans to participate in Chattanooga’s “Out of the Darkness” suicide prevention and awareness walk on Sunday, October 7. Details forthcoming in our church bulletin and via announcements from the pulpit. Answering these three anonymous yes/no survey questions is a 100% private way in which you can help our church gauge the scope of this issue even within our own congregation. Thank you for your help! Lucas Patterson is coordinating our church’s participation in this event. Please, contact Lucas directly if you need more information on this initiative.

2. Melita Palmer sent me the following report and a few photos: “Several church members showed up to help at the Samaritian Center last Saturday night. My kids heard the announcement in church two weeks ago and last week and kept saying, “can we go.” They had a blast last time. I brought ice cream sandwiches for all this time. When we showed up at 8:30pm, there were so many items for our group alone but as time passed more volunteers showed up from other churches and we all had fun working with others we didn’t know. Even Tony the manager showed up.  Job was completed in 1.5 hours. We all had a good time and  entertained those around us with items we would find!”

New Sabbath School Class. The Discipleship Class. On Sabbath, September 1, eleven participants met for a small group discussion held in the seventh grade classroom forming the new Discipleship Class. The purpose of the Discipleship Class is to create a
small group Bible study environment in which individuals will grow each Sabbath to become more like Christ. “On the first Sabbath of our class it was clear that everyone attending had studied the Sabbath School Quarterly, “said Mike Harrell, “and as a result everyone had something significant to contribute.” Our prayerful hope is that this will result in each individual in the group continually growing more committed to become an increasingly effective disciple of Jesus Christ. Mike and Sharon Harrell and Neal and Nancy Wearner are the class facilitators. This new Sabbath School class is just getting started, and you are welcome to join.

Discipleship Sabbath School Class


A thought shared by the Stewardship Director: “The use of wealth is the major topic of Luke 16. Wealth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on whether it is used as a means to exercise power, a tool of self-indulgence or a resource to serve others. Wealth’s danger is that it can turn our focus toward our own enjoyment, as the rich fool showed in 12:13-21 and as the rich man of 16:19-31 will show. Money is a tool. It is an excellent resource when put to the right use. It can help to build many things of use to others. But to possess money is also to hold a sacred stewardship. Our resources are not to be privately held and consumed but are to be used as a means of generosity, as a way of showing care for our neighbor, as the good Samaritan showed in 10:25-37 and as a restored Zacchaeus will show in 19:1-10.”  (Resource:


Pastor Matthew is inviting the youth of our church to attend the Vespers program tonight, September 7: “Tonight the youth will be gathering for Vespers at 7:00 p.m. in the youth room. All high school age teens are invited to come for a time of worship, singing, testimonies, and studying God’s Word. Please pray for our teens, their families, and our youth leaders! Our youth program is an important part of our church’s ministries, and we need your prayers as we lead our teens to be committed disciples of Jesus.”


This Saturday night there will be two excellent Vespers programs presented at our church. The first one will go from 5 to 7 in the Sanctuary of the church and the second one from 7:30 to 8:30 in the Fellowship Hall. Everyone is invited. Watch for more information in the church bulletin. Do you know that you can access the church bulletin online at our church website? Here is the site address

PRAYERS. Jackie Cantrell had a cardiac event last Saturday. She spent a few days at Erlanger East. Presently she is at LifeCare Center of Ooltewah. Please, keep Jackie in your prayers.

PRAISE. I praise God for the His wonderful creation. This morning’s sun rays shining through the clouds behind our house brought to my mind the words of the Psalmist: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

Here is the photo I took on my phone: