Dear Church Family,
Finally the building has begun. They are getting ready to pour the concrete and after Labor Day they will put the steel up. The weather has been good and God has shown His favor on us. Remember to pray for the workers and the opportunity to share with them.
Stephen Littleton started working Monday, August 22. He is an asset to this church. God is going to use Him mightily here. Pray for him as he transitions in setting up his office and working to develop and implement the things I have given him to do. He is available for counseling by appointment. He is truly gifted in this area.
The Lord has been saving our children and that thrills me. “Thank you” to all who pray for our children and Children’s Ministry. We need teachers in Sunday School, leaders and listeners in AWANA, those who can sing and have some understanding of music to work with our Children’s Choir. I’m praying that God will call many out to serve in these areas.
Three words identify what we are about at OBC: “Worship, Witness, Work”. I want to focus on “Worship”. As believers, we should worship our Lord everyday. He deserves and requires our devotion to Him. When we gather together, we do so to worship Him together. Many of us are a part of making sure that those who come together to worship have a worshipful experience...Pastor, Music Director, choir, special music, musicians, sound people, video people, camera people, etc. Each of us must take our responsibility seriously. The Pastor must study to be ready, the choir must practice faithfully, and every other person involved must bring their “A” game when they come. Let’s all be prepared, be ready, and be alert to the One we do what we do for, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s do all we can to have the best worshipful experience we can have.
Dear Church Family,
At our last church conference, I presented a plan of bringing Stephen Littleton on staff as Minister of Education in a part-time position. I gave two weeks for you to think about it and to ask any questions you might have. This Sunday, July 31st in the evening service, we will vote by secret ballot. I believe bringing Stephen on staff will allow us to move beyond where we are as a church. I believe God wants to do something here at OBC, and I believe that now is the time. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do. It will take faith and obedience and commitment.
It has been a chore getting the new building started, but we are about there. We are waiting to sign the loan papers and then building will begin. Pray for the safety of the workers and for the opportunities to share Jesus with many of them. Pray that God would receive glory through all of the things that will take place when it is completed.
During our Tuesday prayer meetings, there are times when we intensify our praying for visitors and when we do, more and more visitors show up. Recently I had a choir member tell me that they observed during the greeting time, a visitor standing alone while people were shaking other’s hands. This cannot happen. The purpose of greeting time is to greet our guests. We must be alert, looking for, and doing everything in our power to talk to our guests and to thank them for being here.
There are packets of five cards each out at the Welcome Center. I keep some in my wallet and give them to people every chance I get. Please pick up a pack and keep them with you and look for opportunities to give them to people and invite them to church.
Dear Church Family,
In studying Paul’s letters, I’ve become aware of the priority of gratitude in his life and ministry. In fact, apart from our Lord, I don’t believe there ever was a more grateful man than Paul. He thanked God in private when no one else was looking, and he expressed his gratitude in public. He certainly did it in written form. Listen to what he said as he wrote to the Philippians: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:3-6). Paul prayed for the church at Philippi every opportunity he had. I want to say to the church at Oakland, that I feel the same way Paul felt. It is my prayer that the work God has begun, He will continue until He returns. I praise the Lord for you folks. God is at work here. I believe the best it yet to come. We must be faithful in these days as we see the hand of God move.
A word on the building. The list of details that the city requested from the designers of the project have been worked out. The building should begin real soon. Continue to pray for all involved in the project. Please be faithful to give regularly to the project so we won’t have a lot of debt hanging over our heads. This is not the only project we need to do. We will need to renovate the old Fellowship Hall into Sunday School rooms. We need to purchase a piece of property on Corder Road so we can create an entrance into the property for safety and convenience. Much to pray about and believe God for. God is able!
Dear Church Family,
I just received the final guaranteed price on the building at $772,896.00 which is under the original price. We, as a church, approved $780,000. They are getting the building permits and we are working to finalize the loan. Construction should begin in a few weeks. Thank you for praying and giving. Keep on doing both as we see this building erected for His glory.
I read recently about the veteran tightrope walker who, after demonstrating he could push a wheel barrow filled with sand across Niagara Falls on a tightrope with the people applauding his stunning ability, asked for a volunteer. Not one of the spectators moved. Finally, a little old man raised his hand and stepped forward and said, “I’ve seen what you’ve done, and I’ve heard what you’ve said. I believe you can push me across, so I’ll do it.”
Everyone in the crowd held their breath as the wheelbarrow was rolled over the falls and back again. The crowd’s roar was deafening as the little old man emerged from the wheelbarrow. The tight rope walker said to the man, “Thank you, sir, for your faith in me.”
Everyone in the crowd said they believed the tightrope walker could carry a man across the falls in a wheelbarrow...only the old man demonstrated real faith by climbing into the wheel barrow. Real faith backs up our words with action. I want to be one who gets into the wheelbarrow. I want to have actions to my words. It’s easy to say we believe, but the truth lies in our action to what we say we believe. I’m believing God for great and mighty things at OBC. Will you join me?
Dear Church Family,
Thank you for passing out the church cards with the “TrueLife.org” information on the back and inviting people to church. Let this become a habit. There will be a basket in front of the Welcome Center with the cards in it. Please pick up another set and give them out to people you come in contact with. Let’s believe God for a harvest of souls. God has called us to reach out to people. Let’s be faithful to our Lord.
Remember this Sunday, May 1st is “Hallelujah Sunday”. We have completed one year of giving to our “Building Together As One” Building Campaign. To celebrate, I’m asking each of us to reach deep into our pockets and give a Hallelujah offering, both to the general offering and to the Building Fund.
I want to thank each of you who participated in the Sunday School Mentoring Classes over the last nine months. It is absolutely critical that we not just soak up the information, but that we put it into practice. Every class should be organized to minister to each person to the fullest extent. Growing this church can’t just be my desire, it must be every member’s desire. Let’s contact, contact, contact. It does make a difference. As long as there are people to reach, we cannot become satisfied.
Would you put these things on your prayer list? Begin now to pray for our Revival meetings in November. Pray for the construction of our new building. Pray for each ministry of the church. Pray for God to raise up the right people to serve in the upcoming year. Pray for me, that I would know God’s plan for this church and for my studies as I seek God for the messages He would have me deliver, and for the power to deliver them.
Dear Church Family,
Easter Sunday is always a special day at Oakland, but I believe this one will be a special, special day despite the chance of rain. If it is raining, we will have our Easter sunrise Service in the Sanctuary. That will be followed by our Annual Easter Breakfast. Our Deacons are preparing for a lot of people, so make plans to come and eat. Then everyone will be attending Sunday School, followed by our morning Worship Service. I will be baptizing several people. This is also Tom and Pam’s last Sunday with us. And unless it is thundering and lightning or just pouring down rain, we will have a Groundbreaking Ceremony following our morning service. You don’t want to miss it!
Beginning April 3rd, I will take a break from the book of Matthew to preach a series I’m calling, “Doing Church”. The series will end on May 1st with the first anniversary of our “Building Together As One” Building Campaign. I’m asking each of us to reach deep into our pockets and let’s give a “Hallelujah” offering on that day...to the general offering and to the Building Fund. God has much work for us to do as a church and most of it takes financial resources.
I want to ask you to be praying much for God’s power to be poured out in our services, for deep conviction of sin and hearts of repentance. Pray for visitors who are here every week. Pray for the spiritual temperature of our church. Pray for me as I study and prepare God’s messages for us. Pray for laborers for the harvest, for workers in His vineyard. Pray against the enemy, Satan. Pray for souls to be saved. Pray for God’s will to be done at Oakland. Lastly, pray for each other.
I read recently that we are always asking God to answer our prayers. “Wouldn’t be nice if, just for once, we would answer one of His prayers”.
Dear Church Family,
I just finished meeting with Parrish Construction and going over the plans for our multipurpose building. They are going to send each phase of the building out for bids from the sub-contractors. If everything goes as planned, they said they would begin the construction in the middle to end of April. They are allowing seven months for completion. We could and should be in it by December of this year.
Be much in prayer during these days of construction for good weather, safety for the workers and for no glitches! It is a must that we are faithful during these days in our giving-in our tithing and in our building fund giving. After it is finished, it will still need to be paid for.
I want to thank each of you who have been faithful to Sunday School over the last few months. A strong Sunday School is a sign of a strong church. If you are reading this and have not been attending our Sunday morning Bible Study, make a commitment to be here this Sunday at 9:15am.
I just finished a book by Thom Rainer called, “I Will”. He said, “We have to stop saying, ‘I won’t’ and start saying, ‘I will’. I will read my Bible. I will pray. I will encourage someone. I will get up and go to church today. I will give abundantly. I will invite someone to come with me to church.” Let’s all put on our “I will” and be faithful to our Lord.
Dear Church Family,
Recently, at one of our Tuesday prayer meetings, I heard someone thanking God for many of the answered prayers we had asked God for over the last year. God had saved people, healed people, brought people, mended broken relationships, and answered our prayers for our new building.
The Baptist Church Loan Corporation has approved our loan request and we are working to finalize the paperwork. In the middle of that process, someone outside our church wanted to give us a house that we will be able to sell and put the profit toward our building. God is good!! Our prayer is that we can break ground within a few months.
I’m jumping ahead now. Easter is March 27, and I want that day to be special. We will have our Sunrise Service, breakfast, Sunday School and I want us to invite as many as we can to come and then worship together. After worship, I want us to go down to the property where the new building will sit and with our shovels, break ground as the official start of the building. Let’s be much in prayer for Parrish Construction Company and the city as the plans get finalized and the building begins to go up.
On February 14, Valentine’s Day, we will have a Valentine’s Banquet for all adults. We will have a catered meal, and then one of the funniest men I have ever heard, “Cousin Arthur”, will bring our entertainment. A nursery will be provided. Fine food, great entertainment, and no kids! What more could you ask for? So that we will know how many to plan for, you must sign up on the bulletin board.
I’ll see you Sunday with a Bible in your hand and a friend by your side. Let’s grow together.
Dear Church Family,
How do you end a year? How do you begin a new year? Since the 80’s, I have taken some time at the end of each year to evaluate the year. I ask questions like: “What did God ask me to do?” “Did I listen?” Did I do what He asked of me?” “How was my Bible reading and study?” “How was my prayer life?” “What prayers did I see answered?” “Did I live a life pleasing to Him?” “Did I live the right example for others to follow?” “How did God change me this year?”
Once I have spent time thinking about these questions, I spend time thinking about the new year. I pray and ask God for a plan. I set goals and objections in eight areas: spiritual, mental, physical, social, ministry, life priorities, financial and emotional. The Bible says our lives aren’t our own, we have been bought with a price.
I want God to direct my path. I hope you do, too. If you are not in the habit of reading your Bible, let 2016 be your starting place. Set a goal, have a plan, pray and ask God to guide you.
I believe 2016 is going to be a God honoring year at Oakland. Make a commitment to be here and be involved. Pray for souls to be saved, and lives to be changed. Be faithful to Sunday School and worship, giving, telling others about Christ and prayer.
When Jesus returns, what will He find at your house?
“’Twas the Night Before Jesus Came” “Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house, Not a creature was praying, not one in the house. Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care In hopes that Jesus would not come in there. The children were dressing to crawl into bed, Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head. And Mom, in her rocker with baby on her lap Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap. When out of the east there arose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash! When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here. With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray, I knew in a moment that this might be THE DAY! The light of His face made me cover my head. It was Jesus! Returning just like He had said. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself. In the Book of Life which He held in His hand, Was written the name of every saved man. He spoke not a word as he searched for my name; When He said, “It’s not here,” my head hung in shame. The people whose names had been written with love, He gathered to take to His Father above. With those who were ready, He rose without a sound While all of the rest were left standing around. I fell to my knees, but it was too late; I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight. Oh, if only I had been ready tonight. In the words of this poem, the meaning is clear; The coming of Jesus is soon drawing near. There’s only one life and when comes the last call, We’ll find that the Bible was true after all!! ---Anonymous
When it’s all said and done, this is what Christmas is all about. From my family to yours, “May you have a merry, merry Christmas!