Be sure to read the Pastor's Blog. A new blog will be posted at the beginning of each month.

If you are a member of Oakland and receive the monthly newsletters, then this will be a repeat for you.

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Are You On Track?

Dear Church,
      How is it going in the start of the New Year? Are you having that daily quiet time with the Lord each day? If you set a plan to read through the Bible this year, are you on track?
        I made a commitment to be focused more on what the Lord wants than what I want this year. We all make commitments related to all kinds of things, but many times we only commit for a short period of time and then we stop. The Christian life is more about life change. We can’t do it on our own. It’s when we surrender our will to His, that it works. You see, we must die to self daily and take up our cross and follow Him. May God strengthen us all.
Revival! Revival! Revival! That is what we need in our church, in our city and our nation. I’m asking God to let it begin in me. March 3 will kick off our Revival meetings. Bucky Kennedy will preach Sunday morning and Mike Stone will preach Sunday night through Wednesday night. I believe these will be some of the best meetings we have had since I have been here at Oakland. Both of these men are and have been pastor’s. They    understand church life and they love people. If you haven’t invited anyone yet, please do. Let’s get as many people here as possible. That will take work, but it will be worth it.
I’m believing God to pour out His spirit in these days. We are praying more, reading and listening to the Word more. There are   exciting things happening at Oakland. God honors faithfulness.    Sunday, we had a number of guests who said they would be back. Let’s pray that they would stick. May God send us many more!
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike

Reflect

Dear Church,
 
Another year has come and gone. It’s a time to reflect on our lives and what we had set out to do at the beginning of the year. Maybe it was to read the Bible through or to help others more or be an encourager to someone or serve the Lord more faithfully. It could have been to pay off debt or control your temper more. Maybe it was to read more, walk more, have a date night with your spouse, memorize a verse a month, begin to tithe or to increase giving, or maybe you were going to spend more time with family. What ever it was, did you do it?
Without objectives and goals, we will never hit them. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” We set goals for the church and we accomplished many of them. On January 6, 2019, I will give the state of the church message. We will reflect on what we did together in 2018 and I will lay out our plans for 2019. I want to ask each member to be present that morning for Sunday School and Worship. Let’s begin the New Year on the right foot. Let’s let the devil know he will not have the victory in our life. Invite friends to come with you. It’s a great time for them to see and hear what we as a church are doing.
Thank you church for your faithfulness and sacrifice of time and resources, we can do much together. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” I look forward to seeing what God will do through the people of Oakland Baptist Church in 2019.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Favorite Time of the Year

Dear Church,
 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We certainly did. It comes and goes so fast, then it’s time to move right into the Christmas season, which is one of my favorite times of the year.
        I mean why wouldn’t it be?  The Creator of the universe came to earth, born of a virgin, in a manger, with one purpose... to live a perfect life and die a sinless death, that whoever believes in Him would be saved from their sins and be guaranteed eternal life with Him in heaven.
That is the true meaning of Christmas. Each of us has the opportunity to share that with others. Many know what Christmas means and they will hear the songs being played, the signs that are up around town, but they need to be invited to church where they can hear about Jesus. Invite people during this very special season. Pass out our church cards, invite them to the Live Nativity. Let’s be faithful to do our part. Ask them to come as your guest.
This past Sunday, I talked about purchasing and installing cameras at the church for security purposes. We certainly would not want something to happen and then have to say, we should have done this or that. We need to be proactive. Let it be a Christmas present to the church.
I want to thank each person for your faithfulness, your hard work, your generosity, your love, your kindness & your fellowship.
Jane and I love each and everyone of you. We count it a privilege to be a part of OBC. We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Faithful

Dear Church Family,
Jane and I want to thank you for the kind words, cards and gifts we received for Pastor Appreciation. We love each of you and count it an honor to serve along side you in the Lord’s work.
        I also want to thank each and everyone who helped with the Fall Festival. The weather cooperated. Thank you, God! Everyone seemed to have a fun time. We were able to talk to a number of visitors. We will visit and send out letters to them. Many showed an interest in the church. Pray the Lord will speak to them about attending here.
We are entering the busiest time of the year. Let’s be faithful to Sunday school, worship services, to giving,  serving and sharing Jesus with people. Invite them to be your guest at church.
I’ve been asked by Pete’s SS class to teach a class on sharing your faith with others. I want to open this up to the whole church. If you would like to be a part of this, there will be a sign up sheet on the bulletin board. The material I will use will be continuing witness training. There are 13 lessons.
Don’t forget, November 18, we will have our annual Thanksgiving meal together. Everyone bring your favorite spaghetti sauce, lasagna, or any other Italian dish. Let’s   celebrate Thanksgiving as a church family.
On November 25, we will come together that evening for our annual Hanging of the Green. Our new members may not know what this is. It is where we celebrate the    traditions of Christmas and why.  It is also a time where we decorate the sanctuary together.  Invite people to come with you.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday with a Bible in your hand, a smile on your face and a friend by your side.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Victory in Jesus

Dear Church,
        Do you have Victory in Jesus? I was reading that hymn this morning. It’s one of my favorites. He is the victor. He gives us the victory.  “I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from    glory, How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me: I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning, then I repented of my sins and won the victory.”
        1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”         Sometimes we don’t feel victorious, do we? I’m so glad that my salvation and my walk with God is not based on my  feelings, but on facts. The facts are the Word of God. The Word of God says, anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ has victory! “
I have been in a great battle with the Devil lately. He has been whipping up on me. 1 Timothy 6:12 came to mind, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life. Where unto thou art also called, and hast professed a good          profession before many witnesses.” The Christian journey is a battle. I want you to know that I am battling for Oakland Baptist Church.  I’m believing God for souls,  faithful members, changed lives, young couples with kids, God’s house full of people who love God and are seeking Him. No debt, monies to do what needs to be done. Worship that ignites, draws and encourages people to walk with God in these days. Let’s be God’s church! I love you church!
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Many Thanks!

I was sitting at my desk having my Bible reading and prayer time with the Lord and I sensed the Lord telling me to be still, so I obeyed. As I sat there waiting on God, my soul was flooded with joy. God began showing me all that was going on in the church at Oakland.
       I thought about Sunday, how good Kitty and Bubba did with their special and how “Altared Praise” led us in worship to our King. I thought of each of our teachers and how faithful they are to study and teach each week. Our deacons are faithful to serve. Thanks to Karan for leading our women blessing women’s ministry. A big thanks to the crew that comes to mow the grass each week. There’s the ushers, the counters and those that serve in the kitchen, thanks for what you do. How about the Live Nativity, Thanks to Mary and Nita and all that participate to make it an event that people remember. Then we have ministries and events such as Children’s Church, Fall festival, Easter egg hunt, Back to school bash, Awana, Family day, Fish Fry’s. Steak Dinners, Homecoming and many more! A great big thanks to Glenn Dalton for the endless hours you have given to bring Oakland into the 21st century. I know I’m leaving things and people out, not meaning to, but thanks to every person who serves and prays.
Listen, there is so much more. Our children’s choir is starting back up, September 9 during the evening service. It is going to be great. Thanks to Debbie Bennett and David England. Our mission team is hard at work on researching how we can be more effective in our community. Thanks Pete. God is sending us some valuable people with great skills and talent. See what being still will do.. To God be the Glory. Thank you God!
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Word of God

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.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Office changes

Dear Church,
        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.
 
Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 

Genesis

Dear Church,
       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.

Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 

 

True Change

Dear Church,
        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.

Serving the Savior,
Pastor Mike
 
 
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