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Spring is in the Air

 Dear Church Family,

       As I write this article the temperature is supposed to be in the upper 70’s.  “Spring is in the air”, as the saying goes.  With Spring, the birds sing, flowers bloom, trees put forth their leaves, kids play, people go outdoors to enjoy the freshness in the air.  It is a great season.

       My thoughts move to the church life.  It seems that the church as a whole has seen its greatest growth during March, April and May for years now.  With that in mind, let me encourage every person to do several things during these months.  First, be faithful to the Lord’s house, second, invite as many people as you can to come with you to Sunday School and worship, and third, pray much during this time for God to move during these days.

   To help during these months, we will have three special days.  We will have a phone blitz campaign to try and have more people in Sunday School than we have had since I have been here.  One hundred twenty-five will be our goal.  Then we will have a “Fill a Pew” Sunday with every seat filled in  worship.  Last, but not least, will be Easter Sunday.  We will begin with our Sunrise Service at 7:00am, church-wide breakfast at 8:00am, Sunday School at 9:15am and worship at 10:30am.  There will be no evening service.  We encourage you to spend that time with your family.

   When it is all said and done, may this be one of the greatest seasons Oakland Baptist Church has ever seen.

Serving the Savior,

Pastor Mike

 

2012

 Dear Church Family,

       A few Sundays ago I shared with the church all God had allowed us to accomplish in 2011.  I then shared plans for 2012.  I shared how we need to continue to build on worship, prayer, witnessing, discipling and fellowship.  I am calling 2012 “The Year of Commitment”.  As we think of strengthening these five areas, it will take commitment.  We will need to take advantage of every opportunity we have in each of these areas.  I asked each person to be here one more Sunday than the year before,  I said I would lead out in that effort.  I cancelled my trip to the  Pastors’ Conference this year so I could be  here.

I see the Lord working in so many ways. People are reading their Bibles more, studying Christian    material, praying more, witnessing and ministering to others.The church is being the church.

We have some opportunities before us. The purchase of a new bus, the building of a building to free up space to be used for Sunday School and other things we will be sharing as the year progresses.  All of these things will require money. We all need to be faithful to our Lord in giving so we can accomplish all He has for us to do.

Serving the Savior,

Pastor Mike

 

Reflections

Dear Church Family,

       December went by so fast, but was so busy.  Every time I turned around I was at another party.  The Live Nativity was such a blessing. God bless all of you who had a part in making it a success.

       At the end of every year, I reflect on accomplishments, failures, goals met and not met.  I think of how I obeyed God or disobeyed Him.  It is a way that helps me to evaluate my life.  Then I pray, asking God to reveal the truth of it all and asking Him for details to plans I believe He is giving me. 

      I am always amazed at how good God has been to me.  I am amazed at how good God has been to Oakland Baptist Church this year.  God has blessed in so many ways. On Sunday, January 8, in the morning service, I will be sharing “The State of the Church” message.  We will review 2011 and I will lay out plans for 2012.  I am asking every church member to be present that day.  God bless each of you.

Serving the Savior, Pastor Mike

 

Thanksgiving to Christmas

Dear Church Family,

       Thanksgiving just came and went.  I was reminded of Psalm 105:1-5: “O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name and make known His doings among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; meditate on and talk of all His marvelous deeds and devoutly praise them.  Glory ye in His holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.  Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face ever more.  Remember His marvelous works that He hath done; His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth.”  We truly are a blessed people.  My prayer is that we would all develop a thankful heart everyday of the year.

As we move towards Christmas, things become extremely busy for us all.  Take time to pause and reflect on what the season is all about - our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Think of the symbolism of the candy cane: 

· Its shape is the crook of the shepherd, one of the first who came.

· The lively peppermint flavor is the regal gift of spice.

· The white is Jesus’ purity, the red His sacrifice.

· The narrow stripes are friendship and the nearness of His love.

Eternal sweet compassion, a gift from God above, the candy cane reminds us all of just how much God cared.  And like His Christmas gift to us, it is meant to be broken and shared.

Serving the Savior, Pastor Mike

 

Improvement

 

Dear Church Family,

        When I think of our revival meetings we just had with Rev. Tim Millwood and Music Evangelist, Jeff Cleghorn, two things come to mind: 1. God is awesome and 2. God is in our midst.  I believe we are going to see God do some amazing things because of the obedience of His people.  As a matter of fact, we already are.  Last night after the Sunday night service, a young man gave his life to Christ in my office.  Many joined the church in October; almost 60 people (both men and women) have signed up for the Bible Study, “Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days” by Kay Arthur.

God is blessing, however, there are always areas we could improve in.  One of those areas is in Sunday School attendance.  We have seen an 11% increase in attendance over the last year.  We are at one of those cross roads that I have mentioned from time to time.  In Sunday School, it is the cross road of being faithful in attendance week after week.  We are working hard to move departments and we are making improvements throughout our facilities to make them more attractive and usable.  In the days ahead, space will become a challenge and everyone’s cooperation will be needed in order for us to move forward.

Lastly, let me say what a joy it has been this past year serving alongside you dear folks.  You are truly a blessing to my family and me.  I look forward to many more years together serving our Lord and Savior.

Serving the Savior, Pastor Mike

 

Together We Build

 

Dear Church Family,

        In a few weeks we will be finishing up the series, “Together We Build” in the book of Nehemiah.  It has been a great study of how God took a man and placed a burden on his heart for the people of Jerusalem and for the rebuilding of the walls.  The people heard the Word of God read and they repented and worshiped God.  They then committed to separate themselves from the world and unto God.  God led them to sacrifice unto Him.  That is revival.

We have been praying for revival and believing God for revival.  Do all you can to be here October 2-5 for our meetings with Rev. Tim Millwood and Music Evangelist, Jeff Cleghorn.

There is a lot taking place at Oakland with renovations, new ministries, and people joining on a regular basis.  With all of the things going on, it will require all of us to do our part.  We must not slack up, but stay engaged while the spiritual winds are blowing.

I will begin a new series on Sunday mornings in a few weeks called, “Life”.  Be thinking about someone who is lost that you can invite.

Serving the Savior,

 Pastor Mike

 

Blessed by God

Dear Church Family,

        As I sit at my desk this morning, I am praying, thinking, and meditating on the goodness of God and how blessed I am. The Lord saved me and called me to preach.  He blessed me with a great wife and family.  He blessed me with a wonderful church to pastor.  The Lord guides my life and forgives me when I do wrong.  He loves me beyond measure.  He promised me a perfect place to live when I die.  What more could a person ask for?  “Thank You, Lord!”

Thank you, church, for your faithfulness to be at church each week eager to hear from heaven.  Thank you for your spirit to serve.  It seems that whatever you are asked to do, you do it.  You are a loving, caring body and I thank God for each of you.

I want to encourage you to be in prayer for our upcoming Revival meetings with Rev. Tim Millwood and Music Evangelist, Jeff Cleghorn.  Ask God to begin preparing you to receive His message in your heart, and pray that God will prepare these men to be used of God when they are with us.  When Revival comes, there will be repentance in the people of God.  Lives will be changed and I believe, as a result, souls will begin to be saved.  Let’s believe God in these days for these things.

Serving the Savior, Pastor Mike

 

As we look toward Fall...

Dear Church Family,

        We are coming down the final stretch of summer and many have been away on vacation, family reunions and just doing what we do during the summer months.  Everyone needs to get away from time to time to relax and get refreshed, and just to get a break from the daily routine.  My family and I sure enjoyed our time at the beach.  As relaxing as it was, I was glad to get back home and see you folks, and to get back to the work God has for us to do.

As we look toward the fall, let me encourage you to be at Sunday School and Church Worship Services every Sunday.  Beginning, August 28, we will begin a Sunday School Campaign that will last through October 2. 

October 2 will be Homecoming Sunday.  We will have Rev. Tim Millwood here to preach.  That will also be the start of Revival services through Wednesday night, October 5.  Music Evangelist, Jeff Cleghorn, will be with us leading music.  If that’s not enough, our Women’s Ministry will kick off with a banquet and guest speaker sometime in the fall.

I’ll see you Sunday with Bible in Hand.  I love you, church.`

Serving the Savior,

 Pastor Mike

 

What's to Come

 

Dear Church Family,

        We had a great week in Vacation Bible School.  God blessed us with over 50 children to minister to.  The children gave $300.00 to support our Association’s “Christian Social Ministries” which ministers to 5000 families each year.  “Great job!” to all who participated in making VBS such a success.  Be in prayer for the families who are unchurched that we will be reaching out to through G.R.O.W.

Starting Sunday, July 17, I will begin a new series on Sunday mornings entitled “Together We Build” out of the book of Nehemiah.  Please make every effort to be there and bring someone with you.

Nehemiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible.  It’s a book filled with hope and promise.  It’s a book about God’s people coming together.  It’s a book about “victory”. I am absolutely convinced that God desires to bless Oakland Baptist Church.  I know He will when we join our hearts and our hands together in cooperation with Him.

Also, on that Sunday, we will be asking the men and women to fill out a survey that will help us custom build a ministry that will best meet your needs.  As God helps us develop these ministries, I believe He will save many souls through them.

Serving the Savior,

 Pastor Mike

 

Foundation

 

Dear Church Family,

        Many years ago I was working on a couple’s house and I noticed that the foundation had settled and the house had shifted on it’s foundation.  I told the couple and they called in a structural engineer to take a look.  He determined that they would have to dig down to remove the bad dirt and put in good dirt in order to shore up the foundation.

        After examining every area of ministry, I have discovered some foundations that need to be shored up.  Over the next six months we will take the necessary steps to create solid foundations in every area. 

      The foundation is the first thing that is built when constructing a building.  It is the most important as it will determine the stability of the entire structure.  Having the right people in the right places in a church can make the difference as to how a church grows.  I believe God has the right people here at Oakland and will bring more in the days ahead.  Let’s make all the adjustments necessary to shore up the foundation so we can begin to see the structure take shape.

Serving the Savior,

 Pastor Mike

 

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