Partakers of the Divine Nature

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MESSAGE. Tomorrow morning we will participate in the Communion service, which we also call the Lord’s Supper. On the night before the betrayal Christ offered His disciples the symbols of His body and His blood. He invited them to “take and eat, … drink” (Matthew 26:26-27) the bread and the wine. Agreeing with the historical fact of Christ’s death and resurrection does not bring the salvific and transforming power of God into our life; It is only by ‘eating and drinking’ Christ that we experience the infusion of His divine nature into our hearts and minds. This is the only way that a sinner becomes a partaker of the divine nature of Christ. The qualities of His nature gradually  push out hatred, pride, and unforgiveness. His spirit changes our impulses. What was foreign and unthinkable to us becomes our nature. We start accepting people who we resented before; we enjoy  serving those who we never shook hands with before; we pray for those who we never wanted to talk to in the past. These are signs of the divine nature taking control of our being.

MINISTRY. Two weeks ago over thirty ladies from our church attended the GCC Women’s Ministry retreat at Cohutta Springs. Julia Philips got an award for bringing the highest number of women from a single local church. Good job, Julia! Here is a photo from the retreat.


Lupina Haney is reporting that at the Season of Change meeting yesterday they had over 50 ladies enjoying the Cupcake Club gluten free cupcakes and the songs by the 6 sisters. Mom Kyla Dean gave her testimony about their business and their singing. The girls were semi-finalists on America’s Got Talent. The widows were blessed by them.


The Cereal Barrel Ministry needs your support. The barrel is running low. Please remember to bring a box of cereal to help a struggling family in our community. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? So too, faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17

Love in Action. Edymar Penagos sent me the following short announcement:We had a wonderful turn out and time at Mikes house. We made real progress and the finish line is in sight. If you are able and willing to help, please contact Mike Haughee 423-488-4848 or myself Eddie Penagos 813-541-2184. We are planning to meet again soon to hopefully wrap up this project.”

This Sunday is the Big Church Yard Sale event. Please come and meet people from the community. Let’s make friends and bring good items for sale. All proceeds will go to support the Pathfinders’ trip to Oshkosh.

Since January we have met our local church budget goal every month! How wonderful. God is truly blessing our church. We are able to support every ministry. Tomorrow is the last Sabbath of the month. We seem to be a bit low after the first three weeks of the month. Let’s allow God to make a miracle tomorrow!


  • Please uplift in your prayers June Kennedy who needs God’s help in her recovery after a stroke two weeks ago.
  • Please pray for the Pathfinder Club as they are camping this weekend.



Since my last blog post we had a wonderful time celebrating Dasha’s baby shower. We were also joined by our eldest daughter Stacey who is also expecting. Please keep them in your prayers.


The Power of the Cross

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MESSAGE. “Christ’s death proves God’s great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father’s love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.” (EGW, AA, 209)


Melita Palmer shared a bitter-sweet story with me from the Juniors’ SS class: “Last Sabbath the Juniors class said their good byes to Julie MacLafferty. She has been helping out in Juniors and the kids really enjoyed her.  They gave her a beach bag filled with ideas she will need for Florida. Included in the bag was a sand pal that all the kids signed.”


Cory Goss brings the sweet spirit of heaven into the Primary class when he leads the song service. Thank you, Cory, for your genuine love to the kids in our church.


The nominating committee had its first meeting last Sunday morning and met again on Wednesday night. We have an excellent group of people. Please pray for God’s guidance through this important task. Please, talk to any member of the committee if you are interested in serving the church in any capacity. Our dynamic and fast growing church needs your engagement.

Sanctuary Choir and Brass for Worship will be presenting the 3rd annual Music Review Program this Sabbath afternoon at 4:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall. 

Here is a message from the choir director, Larry Otto: “These groups practice once a week and present music for the church service once a month, almost exclusively for our Ooltewah Church. That means we do not travel around to other places and sing or play our songs there. Neither do we sell CDs. So, because we like the songs we have learned, and want to play and sing them one more time in real time before the season ends, We will Review them once more for the benefit of those who would like to hear them again before the season comes to an end. So, you are invited to join us this afternoon for a truly unique, worshipful presentation of many of the songs we have presented this season. Come and worship with us through music sung and played.”

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Proverbs 3:27-28 The Message (MSG) – Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God’s hand for that person. Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time” or “Try me tomorrow” when the money’s right there in your pocket. ~ Stewardship

PRAYERS. This week June Kennedy had a stroke and was taken by ambulance to Erlanger hospital. By God’s grace her recovery is going well and she is being transferred to LifeCare of Ooltewah today. Please continue your prayers for June. Thank you, John Sabo and Mike Haughee for joining me for the anointing service on Monday.

Our sincere condolences to Edwin Reynold whose mother, Betty Reynolds, passed away in Portland, OR, at the age 93. Our comfort is in the sure promise of Christ’s soon return.

Last Sabbath night our church member Herb Weise passed at the age of 82. His wife, Janet, is requesting donations to OAKS in Herb’s memory. He had a heart for Christian education.



On Friday evening, April 19, 2019, beginning at 7:00 p.m. the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church invites you to hear internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist, Steve Darmody, share a free Good Friday Gospel Concert entitled “Road to Calvary.” The event features songs about Calvary and the Cross.  .  

The door to the Fellowship Hall will open at 6:00pm for those eager to have best seats.  As the auditorium fills we have a wonderful Meditation Prelude planned. 

We need each of you to help.  In the foyer, and available during the week from the church offer, are full size posters, mini-poster/postcards, and personal invitation fliers. 

Take large posters to businesses, restaurants, and community spaces to ask the proprietor to allow you to display the poster.  Keep several concert fliers with you at all times to share with a personal invitation to friends, neighbors, and work associates.  

The mini-posters/postcards can go up around town almost anywhere.  Be creative – stick it in a window at the mall, or tape one to your office door at work.   Or many can start mailing them to your friends. These can also be addressed and mailed as postcards as a follow-up contact to the individuals you have already invited.  

We are being very cost conscious about marking this event.  But it depend on you being our postal service in taking posters and fliers into the community.

This is personal ministry at its finest.  You will discover this to be a very easy personal ministry activity.


Proclaim His Name

Group of Diverse Flag Painted Hands Raised

MESSAGE. “To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with Him.” -William Carey.  The Psalmist is challenging us in Psalm 105:1 “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”  This world is God’s world. Every tribe and every nation belong to Him. (Ps. 89:11). The only way to be successful in the Gospel Proclamation is in embracing those who we want to lead to Jesus. Their culture may be different, their clothes may not be from Walmart or Macy’s, they may love eating durian fruit or caviar. Christ is sending us not to convert them into our culture, but to share with them “what He has done” for us and for them. Embracing them is learning from them, appreciating their peculiarity, and loving them with the love of Christ.



Last Sabbath we witnessed a beautiful baptism where pastor David Bissell baptized his grandson Isaiah.

Last week I shared with you only one photo from the Youth Vespers. Here are three more taken by pastor Matthew. I hope next time even more of our youth will join the Vespers.

Here is a great report from Noah Banks. (the unedited and the uncensored version 🙂 ) “On March 30th a group of over 30 young people gathered at the Cantrell’s house for a wonderful fellowship meal where good food was eaten, games played, and friendships begun. The collegiate/Young Adult class has decided to host a potluck every month to open our church to Southern University. Our class is all about bringing in new people and teaching them how to lead in their local church. We, as a class, want to close the gap between the older and younger generations. We want to foster a friendship that will make them feel welcomed instead of persecuted. At every meal and activity our class hosts we invite in new people so that they know they have a family here in the Ooltewah SDA church while they are far from home. So, I ask our church to please pray for further guidance in our class and that God may bring those looking for a church to us so that we may welcome them into our family.”

Beautiful photos, great ministry! Thank you, Noah.

This week I had my last mentoring session with the SAU theology department students. our church has been blessed by the ministry of Jaude and Jaime Barbosa, Julie MacLaferty, Mark Philips and Michael Luchak. Julie and Mark are graduating this May. Congratulations!


After sharing a devotional with the Collegedale Academy staff and teachers this early morning I headed to our church where OAKS had their weekly chapel. The program was presented by the 8th graders. We are blessed to have young people like these in our church and school. My special Thank You to Aaron Hall, their teacher!


This week our church property was neatly mowed by Jim Easter. Thank you, Jim! Looks great.


PRAYERS. This has been a tough week in our church family; Christine Bee lost both of her parents in a matter of 48 hours. Our church member, Herb Weise, who has been struggling with bone cancer for the last couple of years, is at his last breath. Both families need our support and attention. Pastor Matthew has been helping the Bee family with their travel arrangements to California. It was not an easy task on top of all the other responsibilities that he had this week. Thank you, Matthew! Please, pray for both families.

A few days ago our dear Mike Haughee shared the following encouraging post on his Facebook: “Today is April 1st. Since January 2 I have had a roller coaster of a year. But through all of it my family, friends, people I don’t know and especially God have brought me through it. Today is three weeks since I stopped chemo and two weeks since radiation was done. Appetite is coming back and a little energy. Having trouble sleeping but spoke with a nurse today and I think I have something to take to help with that. It has been a cough that when I lay flat comes on and unless I get in an upright position it continues. This is causing a back pain. I am taking care of that with my chiropractor this afternoon. Been walking and lifting some hand weights to get my energy level up. I am drinking plenty of water and eating is getting there as well.

The neatest thing happen yesterday. A bunch of guys from our church came over and are finishing a shed and my privacy fence. They were awesome. Got the hard part done so now it’s to make the panels and we will be done. God has sent so many awesome people in my life. I am glad you are one of them. Thank you again for your support and prayers and may God bless you and yours!”


Network 7 Media Center Media Missionary Weekend is this weekend at Ooltewah! We are hosting the Mission SONlight producers and special guests, Dr. Rodrigo Silva (Brasilian archeologist), Magnify and Pastor Christopher Beason (Mission SONlight host). Programs begin tonight, Friday at 7pm, then both services tomorrow morning. There will be a special joint Sabbath School time with Dr. Silva and Dr. Gary Wagner (Operation Time Box) presenting a panel discussion on Bible History. Dr. Silva will also present a Biblical Archeology seminar in the afternoon at 2pm, following a potluck planned especially for those attending the seminar. If you are interested in a private donor dinner with Dr. Silva on Saturday evening please visit with Christopher Beason of Network 7.

unnamedOn Friday evening, April 19, 2019, beginning at 7:00 pm the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church invites you to hear internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist, Steve Darmody share a free Good Friday Gospel Concert entitled, “Road to Calvary.”
Come enjoy some of the greatest Gospel songs and Hymns on Calvary and the Cross.  Hear songs like, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Were You There?”, The Old Rugged Cross”, “At the Cross” and many more!  Doors to the Fellowship Hall will open at 6:00 pm.  There will be a special hour-long program of meditation for those who come early that leads up to the concert start time of 7pm.  There will be a gift drawing of a dozen or more items before the concert begins; featuring two beautifully framed, autographed prints of the Nathan Green painting entitled, The Crucifixion. Other items include books, and the complete CD collection of Steve Darmody. So come early and register upon arrival.
Thanks to the support of Steve’s sponsors this concert is FREE, so COME EARLY to secure a seat.  A love offering will be received at the close of the service.
Steve Darmody is a renowned baritone and award-winning Gospel recording artist, Steve Darmody appears often on many Christian television networks around the country, including TBN, 3ABN, and HopeTV. He has appeared on all the Voice of Prophecy Family Reunion videos and has performed at venues ranging from The Pentagon and the US Senate to the Washington Cathedral and the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Having performed nearly 3,500 concerts and recording eight CDs his ministry spans 38 years. Steve continues to travel internationally while also working locally as a Real Estate agent with Keller Williams Realty.