Wednesday Memo

Hi Five Oakers,

There are several things I want to share with you today.

#1 – Get a recap of the service with highlights of our prayers, readings and songs here.

#2 – Here’s the baptism video. We’re doing our baptism differently this week. Should be a great celebration. Not too late to sign up. Just call the church office.

#3 – Here are your comments from the Communication Cards last weekend:

  • I want to thank my Five Oaks family for your care, concern, prayers and generosity during the last month as we are working through the losses as a result of our house fire. God bless you all.
  • Instruments were too loud for me – hard to have a worshipful heart.
  • Thank you Dan and Worship Team for sharing your gifts with us! Henry, great guidance for living our lives. Thank you.
  • When I picked it up, my pew Bible fell open to Luke 18-20 (p. 751). Guess that means people have been using it during all the Luke messages. [A pastor friend of mine who was visiting recently was impressed that people all around him were digging into their Bible’s during the sermon.]
  • Just feeling very blessed today. Thank you for your worship. Glad to be part of it and God’s kingdom.
  • The “Killing Jesus” slogan is so sad  to our hearts (each time we hold or see this program). We understand the meaning and intention behind it – but how many more weeks of it? [I really do appreciate how badly this makes you feel. Eight more weeks. Sorry. I wish we all had this kind of sensitivity when we think about this.]
  • Thank you for the inspiring music! Best interpretation of Christ coming I have ever heard. Very encouraging to keep us focused on what is truly important (our relationship with Christ).
  • Thank you for the “silence” at the beginning of response – beautiful. [Yes!!! I loved it.]
  • Rock of Ages – wonderful – great steel guitar – wow. 
  • Dan, super job leading the worship team! Such a nice job, we appreciate you. Wonderful, wonderful message. Steve Johnson thanks for adding the humorous story! I do want to get lost in the wonder of God; I’ve been there many times. Dan thanks for building in the musical, no words, prayer/reflection time. “Deep and Wide” great song! [Yes, Dan and the team did a wonderful job of leading us in worship. Great, great service. And Steve is a story factory. I’ve got others to tell but I might not always mention his name. When you hear, “A friend of mine told me about a time…,” good chance it’s one of his stories.]
  • Wonderful worship! Thanks Dan and group. Extremely powerful, wonderful message Henry. Thank you for standing by who you are. We love you. [I love you guys too!]
  • Henry, great passion in the sermon today, keep it up!
  • I like how our small group is following Group Life – we do the study M-F and hear the Saturday message and then meet Sunday – it helps me. [Completely unsolicited testimony…I think. I should probably make sure Kent didn’t put him up to it. Actually, our Adult Ministries Director, Kent O’Grady, notes that the best way a small group leader can put discipleship front and center in their ministry is to constantly encourage their small group members to reflect on the Bible daily. And the best way to encourage that is to use our daily Group Life for their small group. I agree.]
  • Can the scripture verses for the sermon be published in the worship program e-mail? It would help to read through the entire passage prior to the message in order to gain context to the message. [Deb Carr is on it.]
  • It would help people participate in the prayer web station if we have some cards on the web. It’s empty so it’s hard to be the First or Only person putting up a prayer request. It’s also hard to be anonymous.  [I’ll talk to Dan Lukas about it.]
  • Naomi and myself just want to give the church thanks for all you’ve done for us. The luncheon was great. Love you.  Tom & Naomi Brown [Tom and Naomi have been caring for our facility for years now but they are retiring. They have not only done a wonderful job, they are a blessing to be around. Our staff had a going away luncheon for them and prayer. We’ll miss having them here every day. We have hired one of our members, Dave Casmer, to be our Facilities Director. Dave has served as our assistant treasurer for years, one of the more demanding volunteer roles in our church. The facility is in good hands.]

#4 – Here’s the sermon in 10 tweets, Luke 21:5-38, “An Unconventional Guide to the Apocalypse”:

  1. The return of Christ & the New Creation are about as important & foundational as anything else in the Bible.
  2. Goal: To cut through the complexity and confusion so you can experience the comfort and the challenge of anticipating the Second Coming.
  3. When it comes to all the speculation on the Second Coming, I prefer to focus on what Christians have believed in all places through the ages
  4. I’m profoundly self-centered, so I’m suspicious of any teaching that puts my country, my time, my self at the center of the God’s plans.
  5. Jesus implies it’s okay to be cynical about end time predictions. After all, he didn’t even know the timing.
  6. There is no suffering at the end of time that could top what Christians have already suffered.
  7. Urgency created by Christ’s return any moment is the same as the possibility of dying any moment. Either way, we'll be accountable to God.
  8. Jesus experienced the end time terrors on cross: bore witness, sky darkened, earth shook, God turned his face away in judgment for our sins.
  9. “Don’t be obsessed with getting healed, Ed. You’ll lose your focus. Get lost in the wonder of God, and who knows what he will do for you.”
  10. If the bottom has fallen out, you already greatly anticipate his return & you'll be like Steve's aunt saying, "Where have you been!"

#5 – This coming weekend we take a deep dive into Luke’s account of the Last Supper.

Blessings to you, Pastor Henry