The Power of God


MESSAGE. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace”. 2 Timothy 1:7-8

A house without power has no light and no heat. It may look like a nice house, but it’s dark and cold during winter. Apostle Paul compares us to a spiritual building. We are called by our Divine Architect to work with Him on building a strong house full of light. Examine your life and see if you are connected to the Source of Power. His power never goes out. There are no blackouts if we subscribe to His service.

Tomorrow morning in my homily we’ll study the meaning and the importance of the POWER building block.



On Wednesday night OAKS building committee met to review the progress of the school “Building Hope” project. This is an important stage in defining the scope of work and gathering bids. The project includes a new roof covering, and AC unit upgrades. There are fifteen or so units located on the roof. The roof repairs requires taking down all the units, replacing the old ones, building platforms on the roof to support the compressors and installing them back on the new roof. Big project, but we all agreed that it needed to be done. The work needs to be done while the students are on summer break. As of today we are at $140,000 in our goal to raise $185,000. There is nothing impossible for the Lord and His church. Thank you, church for your prayers and your financial contributions.

SALT. This year our church partnered with SALT for our local evangelism needs. Douglas Na’a is the SALT director. Tomorrow morning I’ll introduce Douglass and he in turn will introduce his team members. Below are their photos.  Jefferd, Tui, Noah and Evelyn are SALT bible mentors that will be door knocking in the Ooltewah area. They have experience in giving people bible studies. Their goal is to get church members trained and excited about evangelism. Please pray for them and welcome them when you see them in church. If you would like to help and volunteer some of your time to go out with them please let them know.

donation-giving-collection-cashSTEWARDSHIP – “Not only did God create everything; God owns everything (cf. Job 41:11; 1 Tim. 4:3-5). This is the beginning of all biblical stewardship principles. Your life is on loan from God. He has given you your life to steward for his glory and your good. As the owner of everything, God desires for all things to be redeemed (Col. 1:20), including people, governments, businesses, and the arts.

Said another way: God desires for everything to bring him glory (1 Cor. 10:31).”

Light of Hope. Good news! Jaime Jorge’s Russian “religious” category visa has been approved and issued. Thank you for your prayers. This will be my last Sabbath before the trip. I’m flying out on Tuesday afternoon from Atlanta. Many of you have already picked a city you’ll be praying about. If you have not done it yet I invite you to be a part of this exciting missionary journey. If you let me know what city you picked I’ll be sending you updates and photos from that city on the date when we are there. Please, forgive my team for an error with the dates in the Russian part of our itinerary. Here is how it goes:

February 28 we cross the Russian border at about midnight.

March 1 – Belgorod

March 2 – Moscow, morning and evening

March 3 – Saint Petersburg

March 4 – Kaliningrad

March 6 – Ooltewah 🙂

Here is a link to the corrected newsletter with the full schedule:


PRAYERS. We continue our prayers for Mike Haughee. Mike’s faith and courage impresses me everytime I see him. This week once again he offered to join me on my pastoral visitations. He is visiting our church members between his radiation and chemo therapy sessions. Let the Lord bless you and heal you, Mike!

Richard Dahlberg is still at Ooltewah LifeCare Center. Adel and Ruchard need our daily prayers.

See you in the morning. Happy Sabbath.


Faith In Action


MESSAGE. James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” We may know the Holy Scriptures from childhood. We may be active in our Bible study group. This does not assure success in building our spiritual house. Having the blueprints and knowing how to use construction tools is not enough for a building project. We need to get up and start working. God is the architect of your life. He gave you the knowledge and all the necessary tools. Enough with excuses. It’s time to take the saw and the hammer into our hands and to start building.

Tomorrow morning my message will be the third one in the “Spiritual building blocks” series. I hope to see you in church.


IMG_0180Here is an update on the Youth Ministry sent by pastor Matthew: “On the last Friday night of January, several of our teens and youth leaders gathered at Pastor Peter’s house for the first youth Vespers of the year. We had a good time singing, sharing stories of where we saw Jesus that week, and listening to Pastor Peter encourage us to stand out as Christians in the world. Youth Vespers will be a recurring event every fourth Friday night of the month. Teens, we hope to see you at the next Vespers on February 22, 7-9 p.m.

Also, we now have regularly scheduled youth gym nights on the second Saturday night of the month, 7-9 p.m. February 8 will be the next youth gym night. Last month we had a great time playing soccer and dodgeball.

Please pray for our teens who are at Oasis this weekend. Oasis is an annual retreat at Cohutta Springs for public high school and homeschool teens. Jenny Spicer and David Reynolds are our sponsors this year. This is an important weekend for these teens where they will be encouraged to stand for God even in environments where it is often difficult to be a Christian.

Thank you for your prayers and support for our youth ministry. Your generosity makes it possible for our church to provide a growing youth ministry program, including sending teens to events like Oasis. If you have suggestions or ideas for youth ministry in our church, please feel free to contact our youth leader, Jenny Spicer, or Pastor Matt.” Matthew Shallenberger, Associate Pastor

Last Monday GCC Pastoral Ordination and Commission Committee reviewed and approved three candidates for recommendation to the Executive Committee. Among these three is our own Pastor Matthew! How exciting! I was very proud of pastor Matthew and Emmalee for successfully presenting a ministry portfolio and sharing an interview with the review committee. Along with the other two, Matthew has been affirmed for his call to ministry. After this recommendation is approved by Southern Union we’ll set the date for pastor Matthew’s ordination service at the Ooltewah church.

On Sunday morning on my way to Southern Adventist University Externship meeting and brunch I had a chance to join the Men’s Ministry breakfast for a few minutes. What a blessing this ministry is to our church! Thank you, Edymar for your leadership and inspiration! Here is a report and pictures from that meeting:  “This last Sunday (1/27), we had the first Haney’s Hungry Hombres breakfast of 2019 and boy, was it fun! See attached photos. The food was on point, and as usual, we had a great time cooking and setting things up. The fellowship in the kitchen is one of my favorite parts of the morning. For those who were not able to make it, you were missed. Side note, after the breakfast a few of us where able to help our brother, Mike Hughee with a little project at his house. (see attached pictures).

In addition to some delicious food, we spent time sharing and discussing what it means to be a man. I asked the question; what does a godly man look like? Believe it or not, this question stumps a lot of guys. With that said, Pastor Matt provided a very complete description of what a man of God should look like. To sum it up: a man is a leader, he is strong, he is sensitive, he is loyal, he is supportive, he is honorable, and he stands up for what is right.

We ended the breakfast with a 30-day challenge, the Koinonia challenge. I handed out Koinonia wristbands and challenged the guys to fellowship with God and fellowship with each other in an increased frequency over the next 30 days. My prayer is that each of you who excepted this challenge, sees and feels an increased amount of peace and love in your life. How can it not? The bible says in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. ” Edymar Penagos. 

On Sabbath night Edymar shared an excellent report about Men’s Ministry activities and goals. If you did not have a chance to see the report here is a link to the PPP presentation: Ooltewah men’s group

At the same business meeting OAKS shared a video report which I want everyone to watch. We have a great school! Please watch the video and pray for the students, staff and teachers:

Adventurer Club beautified the second service last week. Thank you, Becky and your team, for teaching our little ones to love the Lord and to be active in ministry.

Tomorrow we’ll welcome several new members into the fellowship of our church. Here they are:

Julie MacLafferty, extern from SAU


Barbara Didomenico, Rita Rogers’ sister


David and Judie Hartman. Dr. Hartman is a professor in the School of Religion from SAU, (the photo is downloaded from David’s Facebook without permission… sorry 😦 )


Dale Cady. Dale works at the Samaritan Center. Unfortunately she’ll not be in church this week.



We are exactly three weeks away from the first stop in the Light of Hope missionary journey to Ukraine and Russia. I’m hearing from more and more prayer partners willing to pray for a specific city on a specific day. Here is a full schedule of the upcoming journey: January 2019


I invite you to remember in prayers Fred Cornell and the family. Fred is inviting the church to a Memorial Service for his wife Janice tomorrow  @3 pm in the sanctuary of our church. Janice passed away on November 10, 2018.

Leland Zollinger has been moved to a rehab facility. Needs our prayers.

Dick Dahlberg is now at Ooltewah Life Care Center. We’ll continue our prayers for Dick’s full recovery.

Mike Haughee has started cancer treatment. Praying for Mike daily.

Two of our elders, David Bissell and Jackie Rose, are not feeling well. Prayers appreciated.