Living a Pure Life

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“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)   David said in the Psalms, “Create in me a clean heart O God.”  (Ps. 51:10). The more you grow in purity of heart, the more you will see God.  You will begin to see Him in all areas of life.  You will see Him in worship, see Him in his Word, and even when you face trials and temptations you will see God and His presence in your life.  This is easier to say than to do.  Just about the time you might feel you have victory in an area of life, Satan goes on the attack to trip you up.  However, do not lose hope my friends.  God is with you.  He is stronger than anything in this world.  He can give you the power (through the Holy Spirit) to overcome sin and temptation.  It is true that we will never attain perfection until the return of Christ but don’t allow Satan to have victory in your life.  Rely on God and give Him the glory for great things He has done.

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Edwin Reynolds is reporting on the Health Ministry project: “The Reversing Diabetes seminar on Thursday night was a great success. The Wickhams presented on carbohydrates (pro and con), which was very helpful and informative. High-fiber lasagna made with brown rice noodles and black beans was served for everyone to illustrate a good balanced carbohydrate. It was not only healthy but quite tasty. Beside the 31 participants present (3 were absent), there were 8 spousal support people and visitors, and 35 volunteers. There was a lot of discussion at the tables between coaches and participants afterwards. The spirit was very good, and some commented after the seminar that this was the best, most practical seminar they had attended. Others have noted that it is well organized and runs smoothly. Changes are made each night to improve efficiency. We are grateful for the many volunteers who have worked hard to make this seminar a great success. I would add regarding the sack-lunch program that things went well also on Monday morning. We had plenty of help as the fifth-grade classroom came over and helped. We have gotten increasingly efficient, and are usually finished and cleaned up before 9:00. Thanks especially for the regular helpers that we depend on in order to keep things going even when the students are not available to assist us. The next sack-lunch event is on April 19. No need to call ahead. If you would like to help, just show up and we’ll put you to work.”

 

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OAKS board met on Thursday night to make a historic decision. Here is a brief report from Shelly Caswell, our school principle: “In 2 Kings 6, the story is told of a school of the prophets that was too small. The students took the initiative and asked Elisha for his blessing to go and cut down trees to build a larger school. “The disciples of the prophets said to Elisha, “The place where we’re staying is too small for us. Let’s go to the Jordan River. Each of us can get some logs and make a place for us to live there.” When I read this story, I am reminded that having enough room to educate children has been a challenge since the times of Elisha. It’s encouraging that God has always led in providing materials and opportunities for our schools to fit more students.  

OAKS is embarking on an exciting journey of expanding the lower grade program to have each grade in single teacher classrooms. This will open up many more seats for students in our community who want to come and enroll in the unique, God filled program that we offer. Last night, the OAKS operating board voted to open a new classroom next year to accommodate more students in the elementary program. Enrollment for next year is already the highest in the history of OAKS, which is a tremendous blessing considering the pandemic dropped enrollment to 100 this last school year. There are some risks that come with this expansion, but God has clearly opened the doors, and we are continuing on our “faith walk” at OAKS.  Thank you for your continued prayers for OAKS. More information will be provided as details emerge. For now….tell your friends and neighbors….”the school of the prophets is expanding…..come and join us!”

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On Tuesday night the Building committee met to review modified plans for the church building project. We had a thorough discussion. Lots of details were reviewed by the committee members. The modified version of the expansion helped to reduce the construction costs by a considerable amount. The committee voted to recommend these plans to the church Board. A special church Board meeting is scheduled for April 12, @ 7 PM. There will be only one item for discussion: church building plans. All church members are invited to attend. This will be a good time to hear the building committee report and to ask questions. Please keep this big project in your prayers.

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William Dean Hall, is being dedicated tomorrow during the 11:30 AM service. William Dean is the youngest baby in Aaron and Alisa Hall’s family. Aaron’s father, pastor Richard Hall, will officiate the ceremony. Praise God for this sweet family.

Hall Family

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Next Sabbath, April 17 is the opening night of the Light of Hope satellite evangelistic meetings in the Russian language to Eastern Europe and Asia. I feel humbled by this huge responsibility. It Is Written provided assistance with the prerecorded portion of this event. The “live” portion will be uplinked from my office daily at 12 noon, (7 PM local time in Moscow). In the next few days my office will be converted into a broadcasting studio. The program will continue daily from April 17 to April 24. Please pray for the people who will be watching and learning about the hope in Jesus on the other side of this planet.

Here is a promotional video in the Russian language 🙂 https://youtu.be/lWk7Ct8J-v8

Happy Sabbath,

pastor Peter

From Death to Life

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Greetings,

Christ had to die to set me free from the condemnation of sin. He chose this path because of His great love for His children. His resurrection became the guarantee of my victory over the darkness of sin and death. Stop hanging on to your own ways of victory. Our weapons will fail. Our recipes for happiness will prove to be wrong. Jesus is standing at the opening of His grave and offering us the joy of a new life. Give up your pride. Die to your selfish ambitions. Experience the joy of your own resurrection by the power of the same Spirit that brought Jesus back to life. “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11)

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Last night we had the second session of the Reversing Diabetes seminar. Here is an update from Sylvia Hyde: “The program went really well with the content.  People who wanted to just see what it was about decided to come back and buy the materials!  We’re still trying to figure out how many came because some walked in and didn’t sign in and then decided to get materials and come. We had about 65-70 people including the volunteers.  31 participants as I can tell at this point.  The lentil soup was delicious and the people really seemed to enjoy it.” 

I wish I had some photos to share from the seminar. I will definitely try to take some pictures next week.

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Lupina Haney has been supporting the ladies from the Season of Change Ministry in many wonderful ways since they stopped their in-person monthly gatherings. This is the latest update from Lupina: “Tinker Fairies Cottage in Ooltewah created 150 cards for Season of Change. This is our Spring mail out for the widows since we have suspended our in person gatherings.” How thoughtful and sweet! Thank you, Lupina. 

I invite you to pray for OAKS. The enrollment this year is so high that the school board will meet for a special planning session next week. I am glad that our school leadership team is united in the vision of serving to the needs of the kids in our community. Let God’s will be done.

The Building committee will meet on April 6 to review the modified version of the church expansion plans and budgets. The committee’s recommendation will be taken to the Special meeting of the Church Board on April 12. This meeting will be dedicated to just one item: church expansion plans review and recommendations. I invite all church members to attend this meeting at 7 PM. We will have a discussion and time for prayer before the final recommendation is voted for the church business meeting later this month.

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Read an encouraging message shared by Edymar Penagos, the Men’s Ministry leader:

“There were over 65 men who showed up to the Rock-Solid men’s retreat last weekend. The storms did not keep them from seeking fellowship with God and each other. I personally left reinvigorated, focused, and empowered to serve God with all of my being. 
 
Men, God has won the war! Praise Him! But there are still battles to be fought. “For our struggle is not about flesh and blood but against the rules, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12. These battles are about salvation. He is not asking us to take lives, He is asking us to lay down our own lives for others. His justice is about saving lives, not destroying them. That is why God sent His only son to die for sins He did not commit. We must follow His example and do the same for others. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. But rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others” Philippians 2:3-4. “
 

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Tomorrow is the Samaritan Center volunteer Sabbath night. I seek your help and support. Unfortunately both of your pastors will not be able to come tomorrow night. We need additional volunteers to step in and take our spots. Thank you in advance. For the last several months we have been having a steady group of those who are willing to help. Please plan to come at 8:30 PM. 

Singspiration with Ron Maloch will take place this Sabbath in the Sanctuary at 7 PM. The Fellowship Hall is reserved by the Southern Adventist University students who attend our church. Their parents are coming to spend this weekend here in Ooltewah. The students are planning to have the afternoon and the evening program together with their parents.

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More info and helpful resources are available on our church website: http://www.ooltewahchurch.org

See you tomorrow! Praise God for the Living Savior!

pastor Peter

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