Who is Your God?

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MESSAGE. 

“‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’” (Jeremiah 7:23). Following God cannot be a hobby or an event in our daily schedules. It is a matter of wholehearted commitment, where His presence and His Spirit fuel our every action and our every thought. All our daily activities should center around our relationships with God. He needs to be the priority and the essence of our whole existence. Without true love that kind of commitment will inevitably fall apart. That is why Yahweh calls Himself a “jealous God” (Ex. 34:14). He will never be happy with a part-time marriage. This Sabbath morning I invite you to continue our study of the key themes of the Book of Jeremiah.

MINISTRY.

OAKS. This morning I had the privilege of speaking for the weekly service at OAKS. It always impresses me how our students fill up the full sanctuary. We are truly blessed to have a great and active school. They are successful not only in the area of spiritual growth, but show high academic achievement. Check out the photo below to see the number of straight A students who received a certificate of achievement. Thank you, teachers, for your excellent job!


Here is another great report with photos from Lupina Haney. “Season of Change celebrated The New Year 2020, All Birthdays for the year and the Chinese New Year. We served sparkling bubbly, Vegetable Fried Rice and Mixed Vegetables with Tofu (catered by our friends at China Kitchen), Asian Coleslaw and for dessert Cupcakes, ice cream and fortune cookies. I thought we might have lots of leftovers since I plan for 60 but we ordered more and it was a good thing-we had 85 in attendance. Thanks to all who made today’s party a wonderful delicious experience.”


Evangelism. November’s evangelistic meetings generated lots of new Bible studies. I’m receiving reports from many of our church members who continue to study with the seminar participants. This is truly encouraging. It shows that our church believes in evangelism. There will be a meeting tomorrow at 4:30 pm for all who give Bible studies. Please make an effort to attend the meeting. Thank you, Mike Doucoumas, for the excellent coordination of this important part of our local evangelism.


Cereal Barrel. The Cereal Barrel looks great. It is actually overflowing with your donations. Thank you, all who Brough your gift. Let us remember that many families in our community need your help daily. Every donated cereal box finds its way to a grateful family thanks to the Samaritan Center distribution system. Please remember that this is the ongoing need.


Church and mission growth needs. Following last year’s business meeting the Building committee has been working with the architect on conceptual drawings for the new sanctuary and lower division Sabbath school classes. Two weeks ago the Building committee met to review the submitted drawings. After a thorough discussion the committee voted unanimously to recommend the expansion concept to the church business meeting. The church finance committee and Board members will be meeting in the next couple weeks to prepare a proposal for the business meeting. These meetings are open to the whole church. I would want as many of you as possible to come to pray with the committees, and to participate in the discussion of the proposal. The dates for these meetings will be finalized early next week. I will share them with you in the church bulletin and in my blog next week. The Spirit of God has been leading our church to this day. He is bringing more and more people to our church every year. I have no doubt that He will help us see how we may broaden our ministry to the local growing community and to the members of our church family.

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Local Budget. I do not remember the last time I made an appeal for the local church budget giving. You all have been supporting our local needs generously every month last year. So far we had a slow start. This is the last Sabbath of January. Let us all pray for a miracle and contribute faithfully and wholeheartedly tomorrow to the local church budget account. I believe that we all can be a part of this miracle!

Happy Sabbath! See you tomorrow,

Peter

All Things New

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MESSAGE. The day is coming when Christ will proclaim “I make all things new.” We will see the new Jerusalem, we will hear a New Song, we will learn our New Names. All that is yet to come, but as we enter into 2020 we can allow Christ to start these “new things” in our hearts and homes. New attitudes, new words of kindness, a new spirit of service, new initiatives in extending forgiveness – all that can start now. We do not need to wait until the New Earth to see what a “New Me” can look like. Let this be a year of new and wonderful things for us all.

MINISTRY.  Sabbath Celebration. The first service of the last Sabbath of the year was beautified by many wonderful moments. Emma Jospehs and Ken Lue Phang joined our church through baptism. Pastor Matthew and Dr. Reynolds officiated the baptisms. Nick and Elena Gorev joined the church through profession of faith. They have been attending our church for the last four years and now they are officially part of our church family! Praise God for our new brothers and sisters! It was truly a morning of spiritual celebration. I had a full six minutes to preach my sermon 🙂 !


It was a special Sabbath for our family. Our eldest daughter Stacey and her husband Javan presented their youngest son, Caspian, for a prayer of dedication. It was quite an emotional day for Galena and I when our whole family came together for this celebration.


Cory Goss had a great children’s story for both services. All the kids were fascinated by the live lizard. Thank you, Cory, for a wonderful spiritual lesson and for your creativity.


Jenny Spicer shared a few photos with me of the Youth vespers/Christmas party. They decorated cookies to donate to a homeless ministry. They clearly had a great time!


PRAYERS. Today is Rick Bank’s birthday. He is the Head Deacon of this church. Let us wish Rick a happy birthday and say a special prayer for him.


Galena and I celebrated the beginning of the New Year by watching the sunset on December 31 right across the road from our house. It was a clear and beautiful night. We want you to know that we love you and are grateful to God for the time when we can serve our dear Ooltewah church family. Happy New year to y’all 🙂


Just a reminder: Join the Agape Feast Tonight @ 7 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Unknown