Don’t you just love the Word of God? Martin Luther once said, “No clearer speech has been heard on Earth than what God has spoken.” I’m seeing a greater hunger for the things of God in our fellowship. People asking questions about scripture. Discussions about the Word of God in the hallways. People buying books and resources to help them study. It was one of my prayers as I came in the door almost eight years ago. Thank you, God for hearing and answering my prayer. God is good and faithful, isn’t He?
Every church has needs and ours is no different. Recently, many of you have been asked to consider serving in different areas. First, let me thank you for listening to the needs and considering if God wants you to be the one to serve in a specific area. Secondly. Thanks goes to all who have stepped up and said yes. God has called us to serve Him, not to sit and soak. My prayer is that every area that has a need will be met. If I could serve in every area, I would. It takes everyone doing their part. Let’s be faithful in these days.
I want to remind you that beginning this fall I will preach a series from the first eleven chapters of Genesis, I have titled “In the Beginning, God”. It is going to be a fantastic study! Begin to invite your friends, neighbors and family. Everyone has questions about the beginning, so come be a part of discovering what God’s Word has to say about it.
Coming soon on Sunday nights, I will do a series on Islam and Muslims and their activity in America.
Thank you for showing your support to Linda at her retirement celebration. She is well deserving. She started working here on November 24, 1999 and her full time position will end June 29, 2018. She gave us 18.5 faithful years. We wish her and Larry the best in the years to come.
We also want to welcome Toni Boyst and Lindsay Cochran on board as our new secretaries. Toni will be here Monday through Friday from 8 to 12 and Lindsay will be here Monday through Thursday from 1-4. Toni’s title will be General Secretary and Lindsay’s will be Media Secretary. Linda will be here on Monday afternoon and her title will be Financial Secretary. Please make these new ladies feel welcome.
Beginning on Sunday mornings, this Fall, I will preach a series I’m calling “In The Beginning, God”. It will cover the first eleven chapters of Genesis. This will be a great time to invite guests. I will cover topics like: How old is the earth? Did God create the world in six days? What does the Bible have to say about Dinosaurs? These are just a few topics we will look at.
We are working on a complete security plan for the church. Ricky Thrasher with Georgia Baptist Mission Board just evaluated our campus and is sending his findings at no cost. He was pleased to see we had some procedures in place already.
One of the areas we need to work on is a medical team. If you are a nurse, certified in first aid or some other part of the medical field and would be willing to be a part of this team, please sign up on the bulletin board.
The trip to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter was absolutely amazing. I would recommend it to one and all. The highlight for me was hearing Ken Ham. He is the president of “Answers in Genesis” and the Creation Museum. Ken wrote a book in 1987 and has rewritten it in 2012 called “The Lie” He and Henry Morris are the two main forces combating Evolution.
We must know the lie that is being taught and we must understand the truth from God’s perspective. After the completion of our study through Matthew, I will begin to teach through Genesis. It will be a fantastic study. I will begin it this fall. This will be a great time to invite friends and family to our services.
Well, men, it is June and June 17 is Father’s Day. The Women Blessing Women’s ministry are paying us back for the breakfast we prepared for them by preparing breakfast for us. It will be at 8:00am on Father’s Day. They are asking us to sign up on the bulletin board. All men, 18 years and older, are welcome. I will have a special message that morning called, “God Give Us Faithful Men”. We will not have evening services that day due to the extra activity.
Recently I have had different Sunday School teachers tell me about the increased participation in their classes. Now that thrills a preacher’s heart! It is a sign that people are hungering and thirsting to know the truth, and that what is being taught is of interest to them. I am thankful for every Sunday School teacher we have. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them for what they do.
I was looking through a book that was published in 1994 (24 years ago) and it was so relevant for today. It talked about the post-Christian era of America. I thought if that was true in 1994, how much more true it is today. By outward appearances, America is healthy, prosperous, educated, but might I add...educated liberally, our economy is recovering.
But inwardly, the soul of America is dying. Our country is suffering from acute heart failure. Our pulse for God is weakening. Our arteries of religious faith are blocked. This country needs a “spiritual” by-pass. Better yet, we need a new heart. America needs Jesus. At the deepest level, our national problems are spiritual ones.
True change must come from within. A change from the inside out. Has the Lord changed your heart? The Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be the change agent. Sadly, even the soul of the American Church is dying. Our pulse is weakening. Our arteries of faith are blocked. We are the first group who needs a by-pass. May God have mercy on our souls. May the church be the church.
On May 13, 2018, our nation will celebrate mothers. As a church, we will join the nation in that celebration and rightly so. We are to honor our fathers and our mothers.
Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
Let me exhort you...don’t just say, “Happy Mother’s Day”. Thank God for your mother. I still thank God for my mother, although she has been dead now over twenty years. I loved her while she was alive and I love her still.
Remember ladies, the men will be preparing breakfast for you on that day at 8:00am. Then we look forward to seeing our families worshiping together.
If you were not able to come to the Easter Celebration that Michelle and the music ministry presented, you missed a great time of worship. I want to say to all who had a part, “Thank you” for your dedication to this vital ministry. You were great and I thank the Lord for each of you.
“Living the Vision” is off to a great start. To date, we are at 67% committed in our pledges. We are believing God for 100%. May 6, 2018 will be our Kick-off Sunday to begin giving to the “Living the Vision” Campaign. On that day I’m asking everyone to bring a special gift to kick off our commitment to “Living the vision”. Address your giving to the Building Fund.
Posted on the bulletin board is a list of other projects to be completed. They are listed in priority order. If we all will give a little or a lot to these projects, we will see them completed one by one. If you are giving to these projects, address your giving to the Property Fund.
I always look forward to this time of year when things are blooming and the air is warming; birds are singing; and it seems that people have more pep in their step. It was at this time of year when things were coming alive, that Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose on the third day. He had accomplished what He was sent to earth to do, to pay the price for mankind’s sins. The least we can do is be in church to celebrate what He did for us. Invite friends, relatives, neighbors, and associates to come with you to our Easter Sunrise service, breakfast, Sunday School and morning worship. It is going to be a great morning. I look forward to seeing you with a smile on your face and a Bible in your hand.
Have you ever had times where you can’t find words that help you describe what you’re trying to express? Well, that is where I find myself this morning as I try to write this article.
God is so good. His mercies are new every morning. He will never leave me nor forsake me. In while I was yet a sinner, He died for me. He gave me an instruction Book to show me how to live life and how not to. He promises me life eternal. He placed me in a church that I absolutely adore. He gave me faith to believe in Him. He saved my soul from damnation. He put praise on my lips, a song in my heart. He blessed me with a great family. He teaches me truth. He called me out to serve Him. He has forgiven me of every sin. To God be the glory, great things He hath done.
When you begin to think about what God has done and is doing, how in the world can you have a bad day? Begin to thank God for all He has done for you, and I believe your day will be worth living.
I hope you have marked your calendar for our “Living the Vision” banquet on Sunday, March 18 at 6:00pm. I am asking each member to be present that evening. It’s going to be a great evening of food, fellowship, and vision for the future. Don’t miss it. Please sign up on the bulletin board or call the office and we will add your name.
Don’t miss our Easter Music Celebration on Sunday, March 25 at 6:00pm. It’s going to be fantastic! Invite people to our Easter Sunrise Service on April 1 at 7:00am and the morning service. Let’s fill the place with people.
- 2018 is off to a roaring start. I have been meeting myself coming and going. It’s not a bad thing. There is just so much going on. Everyone seems to be full of joy and enthusiasm.
- I gave the “State of the Church” message on January 7, and I talked about a new drum set and by that afternoon there was a new drum set in the sanctuary. I talked about the building needing to be put up, and Dean and other men put it up. We are in the process now of closing in the front of the building. I have been meeting with many people related to other things I talked about. I believe those other things will get done really soon.
- On March 18, 2018 at 6:00pm, we will have our “Building Banquet”. Each member should make plans to attend this banquet. There will be a sign up sheet on the bulletin board in February. I will cast a vision for Oakland Baptist Church on that night.
- It seems that each year, during the holidays, many go away and that is understandable. My family goes away as well. But it seems to take months to get everyone back to the Lord’s house. Folks, I believe 2018 can be our best year yet. Let’s get back to church. You are missed when you are not here. We have work to do and it takes everyone doing their part.
- Let’s invite people to church. Many all around us need the Lord and they don’t know they do, but we know they do. We can invite people to be our guests. Statistics show that 80% said they would attend church if someone they know would ask them. Let’s do the asking.
Jane and I want to thank each and every person who sent us a card with such warm words, and gifts from your heart. We are truly blessed to be a part of this great fellowship.
2017 has been a good year for Oakland. I will share more about this in my state of the church message on January 7, 2018 during the morning worship service. Again, I want to encourage you to be present that day. As good as 2017 was, I believe 2018 can be a great year. We serve a great God who wants to do great and mighty things.
I don’t know if you have ever read your Bible through, but whether you have or have not, let’s do it together this year. Linda always includes a reading schedule in the newsletter for your convenience. You may want to choose another listing - that’s your choice - but let’s be faithful to read God’s Word. It is our directional book for life. If you will read it, it will make a difference in your life and I believe others lives because of you reading it.
I have given 2018 a theme. The theme is “Commitment”. I Samuel 12:24: “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things He hath done for you.” Over this past year, I have seen many at Oakland give their whole heart to serving the Lord. I wish I could list each one and say something related to their service to the Lord and others. What would happen at Oakland if every person would give of themselves to serve the Lord, here? Only the Lord knows, but I believe instead of saying we had a good year, we would be able to say we had a great year.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we did. It comes and goes so fast.
I want to thank each and every person who participated in “the Hanging of the Green” service. What a way to kick off the Christmas season where we focus on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I will be bringing Christmas messages every Sunday leading up to Christmas. Make plans to be here and bring some friends.
You know that during this season our big event is “The Live Nativity”. I believe this will be the best one to date. I have been inviting people. I hope you have too. Pray much during these days that lives will be touched and changed for the glory of God. Pray for people’s health, that everyone that has a part will stay healthy.
From my family to yours, we want to wish each of you a very merry Christmas. We know for some this will be a tuff Christmas, but remember, “God’s grace is sufficient,” and we are praying for you.
On Sunday evening, December 31 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, we will gather to celebrate 2017 and look forward to 2018 in the Family Life Center. This is a good time to bring guests.
I have been praying and planning for 2018. On January 7, 2018, I will bring my annual State of the Church message. Unless you are sick, please be present that morning to hear what God has done and what I believe He wants us to do with Him in 2018.
God blessed in a mighty way during our Revival with Evangelist, Bucky Kennedy. As a result of what God did during those meetings, we have nine people to baptize. We will baptize on November 5 during the morning service. As far as we know, this is the most people Oakland has ever baptized at one time. It is going to be an exciting morning. Make plans to be here and bring guests with you.
On Wednesday, October 18, we had the largest crowd for a Wednesday night that we have seen. “To God be the glory, great things He hath done!”
If that wasn’t enough, we have begun our Live Nativity practices and as I looked out at those who are taking part in it, my heart was filled with joy by all of the new faces I saw. I want to thank everyone who are playing a roll in the Live Nativity, especially Mary and Nita, our directors. Let’s be praying and asking God to use this production in the lives of people.
As our numbers increase and our activities increase, I want to remind us that most everything we do costs money. We are a small church doing big things. God is blessing and we need to bless Him back with our giving. Many of you are faithful to give, others...not so much. If we all will do our part, I am confident that God will do His part.
I believe 2018 will be our best year to date. Let’s be faithful to attend, faithful to participate, and faithful to give. Let’s be faithful to pray, faithful to invite, and faithful to encourage one another. I love you, church.