Dear Central Oaks

We didn’t have to make Meredith wear a hood on our walk to school today! That means it’s getting warmer! What a wonderful thing!

I hope you all are enjoying God today. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. God’s presence is a place of safety, solace, and ultimate joy. There is no fear, uncertainty, or anxiety in God’s presence. Like Moses was allowed to see the “back” of God, we are allowed to experience a small piece of the presence of God through the Spirit of God living in our hearts. Isn’t it wonderful?

The Lord is not going to let us go, church. He died for us, rose again to give us new life, has sent His Spirit into our hearts, and is ruling the universe right now, waiting to return until the time the Father says, “go.” We can trust in Him as we wait.

You’ll never regret doing what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

Thank you to Ken Millen, who finally got it though my head that he wanted to do something around the church building (it took him 2-3 times telling me). He’s working on some projects the trustees have set out for him. Ken is a very welcomed addition to our church. Steve Thrasher II, Ken’s former pastor, told me, “Ken is one of the godliest people I know.” Praise God!

Welcome back to the Mitten, Diane Perkola! Florida ain’t got nothing on us! (*cough, well . . .) Thank you for bringing Rose with you! We missed you both!

I’m glad many of you have chosen to get the vaccine for COVID. While I don’t see a specific requirement in Scripture for us to get vaccines (there’s freedom in areas of conscience), I do see it as a wise thing and a practical way to love your neighbor. When the time comes, I will be getting whatever vaccine I am offered, although I anticipate being one of the last people.

Joanna Walker and I have made some plans for Easter. Last year we weren’t able to celebrate. (Remember, we weren’t even allowed to leave our homes around that time last year!) We are having an Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter Sunday. This year we’ll be having a separate hunt especially for children with special needs. If you know of a family that would benefit from that, reach out to them (of course, every family is welcome that day no matter which hunt they participate in). Oh, to help promote that event, we’ll be “egging our neighbors” again this year—hiding eggs in yards with one egg containing the story of easter and an invitation to the hunt.

Sunday will be the last message from our “Forgiven and Forgiving” series. I pray God has been using it in your life and continues to do so. Have you forgiven that person or those people yet? A week from Sunday I’m leaning toward starting a series in Mark in which I’ll preach all the times that Jesus healed someone. That should be fun. The Lord is so amazing.

If you will, pray for Lynsey and me. We are considering how to steward some things the Lord has brought into our lives. Specifically, I’m considering returning to school to further my education on preaching. I hope to become a better preacher and perhaps equip myself to help others become better preachers as well. While this wouldn’t require us to move, we need God’s wisdom.

God’s Word says in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Remember our mission: to help people follow Jesus. How do we do that? By (1) praying for God to change people as we (2) share His Word and (3) our lives with them. Stop now and pray that God would help your lost friend or neighbor take one step closer to Jesus. Commit to speaking God’s name in a conversation today, asking God to open a door for His Word. Invite someone to church with you on Sunday.

If our God is for us . . .

Pastor Jacob