Walking by Faith



Faith is the answer to fear. Moses was paralyzed by fear (Exodus 2:14), but it is by faith that he made the bold decision to walk away from a life of fear. His decision to leave the pharaoh’s palace did not make sense. He had power, prestige and security of material provisions. All that was right in from of his eyes, but he chose to “leave behind” Egypt (Her. 11:27) for the sake of the “invisible.” This was an act of faith. Blessings are not an outcome of our calculations and logical formulas, but of our boldness in “leaving behind” our Egypt.


Building Hope. School is out for summer break, and the Building Hope project is going full speed! Not a day is wasted. Workers are crawling all over the roof. Please pray for their safety. More funds came in in the last two weeks. We are still short about $20,000. Let us all get on board and contribute to this awesome project. Thank you, church!

Last Sunday our men came together early morning for breakfast and fellowship. Marty Miller of Blueprint for Men presented “Marriage Tune-Up for Men,” practical tips for keeping a marriage healthy and running strong. Here are a few photos from the event:


Community Services. Here is an appeal forwarded to me by Lucas Patterson from the Samaritan Center: “I know this is last minute but we are needing help this Saturday night on the dock bringing in donations. They will begin at 9:30. Those who come do not have to stay the whole time. If you could spread the word that would be great. Our normal people will be out of town and we are just trying to get anyone who would be willing to come. A quick makeshift group.” Bethany Hills, Volunteer Coordinator

Have you met our summer intern pastor? She is already actively engaged in the ministry of our church. I do not want any of you to be surprised if you see this young lady knock on the door of your home or if she gives you a friendly pastoral phone call. I asked Jaude to write a short paragraph about her ministry, and I am attaching her picture to this blog.

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“My name is Jaudé Barboza (pronounced Jaw-day with a soft J). I am a senior in the Theology program at Southern Adventist University. My husband, Jaime, and I met there, where he is a junior in the Pastoral Care program. I am from Washington State (the southwestern part) and he is from Washington D.C., but of course Southern brought us together. We both have testimonies that we hope to share over the course of our time at Ooltewah SDA because they are too long to tell here, but I can say that God has led us miraculously thus far and we are excited to see where He will continue to lead us, especially as we help at Ooltewah SDA Church. I enjoy cooking, hiking, reading, hanging out with kids and animals, organizing, and laughing hard with friends and family. In doing the Lord’s work I want to show the hope that I have found in the gospel—how God is for us and not against us—in the midst of a world that is quickly fading and desperately needs Him.”

IMG_1521This is Georgia-Cumberland camp meeting week. Pastor Matthew is in the Juniors division team, and I’m in the Security ministry. A lot of people from our conference churches are there to be spiritually energized by the offered seminars, messages and simple christian fellowship. I was glad to see many of our church members at the nightly programs. The Conference offered me an eight minute slot at evening meetings to talk about the miracles of the evangelistic work in Eastern Europe. I feel humbled by this invitation, but excited to share the miracles of God’s work through the Light of Hope ministry.

This Sabbath we will have both worship services in our church at regular times. We are offering you the option of attending one of the services at your home church as well as participating in the camp meeting program. I hope you know that there will also be Sabbath afternoon seminars, a 4pm Concert, and a 7 pm worship service.

See you tomorrow,


A New Creation



Galatians 6:15 “ Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.” “The patchwork religion is not of the least value with God. He requires the whole heart.” (EGW, Letter 31a, 1894). Can I experience the new creation today or is it the reality of the future? (Rev. 21:5) If you struggle with this question we can study it together this Sabbath morning as I continue the “Spirit-Filled Life” sermon series. 


This has been a busy week for our church, full of wonderful events and programs. On Sabbath afternoon Pastor Matthew officiated Caleb Robertson’s baptism; that same night the church and school came together for Connie Reynold’s retirement party, and Erick Hicks and Joelle Pester celebrated their graduation. 

On Sunday several of our church members came together to help the Haughee’s with their outdoor building project. Love in action is clearly seen in the photos below:

Monday night I attended the sweetest graduation ever. Twelve precious children graduated from OAKS Kindergarten! Teacher Kathy planned a wonderful program with Pastor Matthew presenting the message.

The Tuesday night Finance committee met to review a new Fiscal year budget for our church. The committee proposed to increase our OAKS subsidy by $1,000/month bringing it to $9,000.  This recommendation was accepted with no hesitation. Once again I witnessed a great spirit of common mission and purpose between the school and the church. To balance the budget the committee considered lowering some other expenses like utilities (pray for a warm winter 🙂 ) and repair/maintenance (we’ll need more volunteer work). The proposed budget was unanimously approved by the church Board which met that same night.

On Wednesday night there was standing room only in the Fellowship Hall where OAKS celebrated its 8th grade graduation. Unfortunately a number of families had to participate in the graduation program via live stream on the Sanctuary screens. An excellent graduation address was delivered by teacher Janel. I felt proud of our school. Thank you, principal Shelly, for your leadership, creativity, and boldness. Thank you, OAKS staff and teachers for your commitment, love to the students, and quality education program.


That same night our new intern pastor, Jaude, led the Prayer Meeting in my office. Thank you, Jaude Barbosa, for your hard work. I know that this week has been overwhelming for you; it gave you a good taste of what being a pastor is all about. 🙂

I usually do not use my blog for announcements, but here is something I do not want you to miss:

“Let’s get out of debt! Becoming totally debt free.” Living debt free is to teach people we come in contact with the secrets of true financial freedom and how to avoid the credit traps that cause people to fail financially.  This debt free strategy is a two prong approach; 1. Get completely out of debt, including your mortgage. 2. Never use credit again! Our member Richard Gerber was in the banking industry and taught this two part strategy in a 16 week course for over 50 years. He has condensed the program to four once a week classes. Class will start on Monday, June 17th at 6:30 PM in the Juniors Sabbath school classroom. The sign up sheet is available in the foyer. If you have any questions please contact Richard @ 501-253-0686.



STEWARDSHIP – “We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God’s ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow human beings, and by returning tithe and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. Stewards rejoice in the blessings that come to others as a result of their faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 23:23; Rom. 15:26, 27; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; 9:7.)”

This is the last Sabbath of the month. We need a serious boost in our local church budget giving. Would you consider testing the Lord and giving double of what you usually give for the local church ministries?

MEMORIAL DAY – (or less commonly called Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. … Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, particularly to honor those who died in military service (Wikipedia).

Memorial Day is Monday, May 27. Please take the time to pause and pray for the families who have lost loved ones while serving our country.



Thank you, Mom

MESSAGE. Over the last few years I have experienced an evolution of the Mom concept. My mother who had been enjoying her independent life is now in our home. She is not able to take care of her physical needs, but every time I walk into her room she lights up and asks me if maybe she could fix a meal for me. She loved feeding her family, and even now she has a hard time agreeing with her physical limitations. Thank you, God, for my Mother.

I married a young lady. She became my closest friend and a caring co-worker in ministry. But soon I realized that she is also a wonderful mother. Day and night for the last 34 years she has been lovingly teaching our four daughters how to cook exquisite meals, how to plant a garden, to be a gracious wife, to love God, and to accept people the way they are. She knew the most successful teaching technique – teaching by her own example. Thank you, God for the sweet mother of my children!

Life is a fast paced journey. It didn’t take long to see how two of my oldest daughters metamorphosed into graceful and loving mothers. Stacey has quickly learned how to live on 3-4 hours of sleep, how to creatively feed her son Pierce with only vegan products, how to teach him to pray before every meal, and of course how to be an expecting mother again with a 14 month old toddler. Dasha is still enjoying her last few weeks of carrying her future baby in her womb. Like a caring mommy-bird she moved her family into a new apartment, assembled a crib, neatly filled all drawers with onesies, bodysuits and blankets. Her apartment is already glowing with a mother’s love. Thank you, God, for my daughters!

This weekend is just another opportunity to hug your grandma, mom, wife, daughter, and to let them know that they are special, that we love and appreciate them. From what I have witnessed so far it is not an easy job.


Last Sabbath was a busy one for our church and for our home. Two worship services, lunch at home with Richard and Sherry Gerber, Doctor Barry Tryon, his wife Lilly and Lilly’s mother Karen. It was during lunch that I learned that Dr Tryon is not only a bible scholar but a master of a vineyard. His passionate stories about growing grapes inspired me to start my own vineyard 🙂 . Right after lunch our house was filled with church elders and their families. It was at that elders’ meeting, listening to the joyful hum of mingling leaders that I praised God for blessing me with the most awesome church in this conference.

That same night SALT training took place at 6 pm and “Singspiration” @ 7pm.

On Wednesday night the church gathered for the business meeting. After a thorough discussion and good questions the church unanimously voted on the  OAKS roof and AC units renovation project. For the last 12 months we have been raising funds for the “Building Hope” project. Here is one important detailed which made me really proud of our church. The total cost of the project is $190,000 (with the increased amount for contingencies). We are $29,000 short, but the church agreed to move forward by faith. Let the Lord’s name be glorified in our midst as we raise the additional $29,000 by July 15. We all can be a part of this miracle. Please pray about making a contribution to the “Building Hope” fund.

Here is what Tui Silafau, SALT Outreach Coordinator, shared with me this morning:

“Our SALT staff and mentors have been very blessed by how welcoming you all at the Ooltewah Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is our prayer this summer that we continue to build a stronger bond together and with the community. One of the blessings that we received in getting to know you all is when our SALT Outreach Coordinator and one of our former students attended the Seasons of Change luncheon. It was a blessing to meet the 40+ ladies that attended this luncheon. We are looking forward to participating more in the events that church has and we are more than happy to help in any we can!”

THE PRINCIPLE OF ACCOUNTABILITYA steward is one who manages the possessions of another. We are all stewards of the resources, abilities, and opportunities that God has entrusted to our care, and one day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what the Master has given us. ~ Stewardship.


Janel Jensen had surgery on Wednesday. Praying for her full recovery.

Janet Goss needs full recovery after a bad fall.

Darlene Turner – health concerns.

Pastor Matthew and his family. This is pastor Mathew’s vacation week and they are traveling all the way to the West Coast.

Happy Sabbath! I’m planning on seeing y’all tomorrow morning.

Pastor Peter


On Saturday evening, May 18, 2019, beginning at 7:30 pm the Chattanooga First Seventh-day Adventist Church invites you to hear internationally acclaimed Gospel recording artist, Steve Darmody share a free 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 more! Invite your family and friends to this free concert.

Ooltewah Vacation Bible School is just a few weeks away. Please sign up to help. Also invite your family and friends to register their children online. Here is the online registration link: https://www.ooltewahchurch.org/vbs-registration


Walk by the Spirit


MESSAGE. As Christians we often live under the impression that God is withholding His Spirit and that we need to earn the right to receive the Spirit. This perception leads to a life wasted in a frustrating pursuit of something that has been already offered to us. The Word of God assures us that Christ has already sent His Spirit. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” John 16:7 (see Acts 2:4).  The Spirit is given to us. It is now up to us to receive the Spirit and live under the guidance of the Spirit. We know of the Spirit, but we are called to “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). What is this “walking” all about? This Sabbath morning I’m starting a new sermon series entitled “A Spirit-filled Life.”


Last Sunday’s Church Yard sale was a truly wonderful event. The sales total was $2,400. All the money raised will go to support the Pathfinder club trip to Oshkosh. Thank you, church! With all the hard work late Saturday night the ‘yard sale’ crew found a creative way to lighten their task but trying on a donated wig 🙂 Try to guess who is who in the wig… :-). On a serious note, a heartfelt THANK YOU goes to Janita and Jackie Rose, Lupina Haney, Greg Wilson, Nancy Smiley, Gwen and Michael Doucomes, Marichu and Brent, Janet and Tim Goss, Sue Wiley, Mike Haughee, Sharon Hoover, Judy Davis, and Edymar and Sarah Penagos, who worked till 1 am setting everything up for Sunday morning. Some hardworking men from the Men’s Ministry team provided a delicious breakfast, others were hanging out under the “FOOD’ area sign (see the proof below 😉 ). What a great way to connect with the community around our church, and also to help our children with the upcoming trip. Thank you, church!


Pastor Matthew and the Youth Team continue their monthly Friday night vespers and the number of those attending is growing.

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Pathfinders had a fantastic weekend camping at Cohutta Springs last weekend. Here is what Aaron shared with me:

“This year’s Camporee was one of the best ones that I can remember. We had nice sunny days and cool nights with very little rain. The kids had a great time with the activities, programs and playing in the creek. Three of our girls had special music at the Friday program and they sounded amazing. It is always fun to hang out with the kids and staff on these outings. We were all blessed.”


PRAYERS. Praying for Adele Dahlberg and the family as Richard has passed this morning.


God has blessed this church with a strong prayer ministry. On Thursday our sanctuary was opened from 8 am to 3 pm for the National Day of Prayer. A prayer service was held at 9 am. We prayed about our community and our nation.

Right before the service Connie Jones showed me a bag filled with prayer requests from the OAKS students. Twice a week our Prayer Team gathers these requests from the students and prays over them. What an awesome way to show our love and care for the OAKS kids.