Hi Five Oakers,
There are several things I want to share with you today.
#1 - Get a recap of the weekend services with highlights of our prayers, readings and songs here.
#2 – Are you praying for me, that I might proclaim the gospel clearly during our family series in September? Please pray for me and for the person you would love to see attend. This series is not just for parents. “To Raise a Family” is about what the Bible says to all of us in the church about raising a family. It takes a church to raise a family. We're in this together.
#3 – Your mission field is where you work and live. I’m praying for you as you seek to share your life and faith with others and as you invite some to attend the series.
#4 – The brick work on the new street sign is about done! That sign is going to look great! The rest of it goes up in mid-September.
#5 – Family worship this weekend. That means we’ll only have classes for kindergarteners and younger. Your kids need to experience grown up worship from time to time. And you can help them participate, especially during Communion. Go as a family and pray a simple prayer together after taking the elements. If you’re not use to praying except at meals and the thought of it freaks you out, memorize something simple and pray it from your heart. You can do this!
#6 – We had about ten folks come to the Story of God Ministry information meeting on Saturday to see how they might be able to help run that ministry. My biggest hope is that of our folks at Five Oaks get a vision for how they can use this ministry to reach their friends for Christ. By expanding the team, we will be ready to expand its reach.
#7 – There’s still room to help make lunch at the Dorothy Day Center on Saturday, September 7. If you’ve never done this, it’s a great event. You will be glad you did it. Contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or mark your Communication Card this weekend.
#8 – Best training event I’ve ever been to led by Sarah Bowers for Kids Hope mentors. It was great and I can’t wait for the new year to start. I’ll be going on my third school year with the same mentee.
#9 – Here are most of your comments from the Communication Cards:
- Such passion and love in your sermon Henry. Thank you.
- Great worship set.
- Ken and Libby – your words at the beginning of the service were filled with biblical truth that challenged me to surrender some issues I am holding on to. God used you both to touch my heart. May He bless you as you serve in ministry here at Five Oaks. Henry, one of the best sermons by anyone I’ve heard EVER.
- Pastor Henry’s messages are more meaningful to me than any I have listened to I my almost 70 years. Thank you for helping me. [It’s amazing when long unanswered questions are addressed in a way that makes sense biblically, logically and emotionally. I often feel that way in my own personal study, preparing for a sermon.]
- Great message Henry, thank you for bringing God’s truth and HOPE to our community. Thank you Worship team! Awesome praises to God!
- Great worship set gang. Powerful message on the plagues sent on Pharaoh to illustrate obedience, judgment and worship. Thank you.
- Thank you Pastor Henry for your message on the “true and real” God of the Bible.
- Thanks for the reminder to worship God and not pursue other false hopes. Jeremiah 29:11-13.
- Brilliant message. Ties the Old Testament passage to the One who is the focus of the whole Word of God, Jesus Christ…
- Thank you so much for offering gluten free communion bread. It is awesome for my daughter to be able to have communion with everyone. [How about those gluten free mini donuts the Fizel’s made for the Women’s Ministry table? Wow, they were good. Actually, I thought they were the best I’ve had. Now if they could only create fat free and sugar free mini donuts that taste just as good and are made from only healthy ingredients! Might have to wait until heaven to have those.]
- In the September series, please address well – why the Bible is true – not just stories passed down. Have any antiquities been found showing evidence of the plagues, for instance? Will the series be available on CD/DVD? That would be great! (with notes too?) [The September series will be focused on family. All the sermons in every series are available online, but we don’t produce CD’s or DVD’s. Sorry. As far as I know, no archeological evidence of the plagues has yet been found. However, there was no historical evidence of the Davidic kingdom until relatively recently either, but it was only a matter of time before it was found.]
- Summer 2014 – 5 p.m. worship, Saturdays. [Probably. And dinners, too!]
- [We also received and noted a couple of comments regarding improvements we can make to the worship service. Thanks.]
- "The Elantrians were lax gods. the didn't really care if the people worshipped them--they were secure in their divinity."
- Every man’s fantasy God. Helps u when you need him, keeps company when u want him & doesn't care when you ignore him. Not the God of Exodus
- The plagues account has the perfect trifecta of things people love to hate about God: judgment, obedience & worship.
- Judgment is meant to save you. The judgment of plagues was not just for the Israelites but for the Egyptians & the world.
- The plagues are a symbolic presentation of how disobedience unleashes horrors into the world. Obedience protects you.
- You don’t accuse a doctor of trying to control you when he tells you what you have to do to survive and thrive.
- God doesn’t call us to worship to meet a need in him. He calls us to worship to fulfill the deepest need in us.
- The fantasy god doesn’t exist. It's no different than other hopeful fantasies. Why expect this one to be true?
- The fantasy god can’t exist. A god who doesn’t care if u worship him is a god who doesn’t care. He won't be there when you want or need him
- The plague of darkness & God's wrath fell on Christ on the cross. "He was unmade on the cross so he could remake you and me."
#11 – Got this email after the sermon on serving and volunteering.
Are you at all familiar with My Little Pony? I don't imagine you are but as a girl child of the '80s, I adored them. There's been a serious reboot a few years ago. Why do I bring this up? A theme in the series is the "cutie mark" which identifies each pony. In the new series, when a pony tries things and finds their talent, they earn their "cutie mark" and the only way to earn it is by trying things. It would be a lot easier to know what our spiritual gifts are if we had marks appear when we tried them. I'm glad that we don't have it that easy though. I wanted to share this with you because it seemed like a great visual way to explain spiritual gifts to someone, especially children. There's a trio of ponies in the series that don't have their "cutie mark" yet and throughout the series try all kinds of ridiculous things in order to earn it. They have learned a lot of what they aren't good at and yet they keep trying. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone tried everything to find out what they were meant to be doing?
Blessings to all of you, Pastor Henry