Dear Central Oaks (Part 10)

Today is the official beginning of a new season of life for many of us. I’m not sure when fall starts, but new routines begin on the Tuesday after Labor Day because that’s when everyone is back in school.

Keep the Fortune’s, Walker’s, Riggs’, Wells’, Cox’s, Tehya, and Rose in your prayers as those individuals or families are starting new routines catalyzed by school. Also remember Gary Faust as he begins teaching again this year.

Sunday we vote on whether or not to welcome Chris Hsieh as associate pastor. The vote will take place at 12:30 after the service in the auditorium. All members are encouraged to stay and cast your vote. It will be done on paper ballots. If the vote passes by a 2/3 majority of those members voting, we will then consider an amendment on the rest of the year’s budget for Chris’ salary and ministry costs for teenagers.

Chris has already obtained a ping pong table for the student ministry. I asked him what happens if the vote doesn’t pass. He said it belongs to Central Oaks no matter what!

Gary Howard’s mother passed away yesterday. She didn’t live too far away, so some of you may want to attend her funeral (if there is one). Gary said he’d share the arrangements when they’re made. Also, Ken Allen’s father passed away a little while ago and a service is being held for him on Saturday at the church formerly known as Maple Grove Bible Church or 15 Mile Baptist. It’s at 2PM.

Yesterday I had the thought of how the Lord might want to use us during this tumultuous time. Of course He wants us to speak of Him and perform good deeds. But I wonder if right now the Lord wants us to be a people who provide peaceful stability to those around us.

So many are on edge because of all that’s happening in the world. The virus, Afghanistan, politics—without the Lord it can be overwhelming. Many have become alarmists. It’s as if the majority of the thoughts of our culture are in ALL CAPS!!

But of course, we don’t have any need to be alarmed about anything. The Lord has given us a spirit of peace, security, and stability. This is not shocking to us because Jesus said things like this will happen. In fact, He said it would go from bad to worse until the Day.

We need to be a calming presence in our neighborhoods and workplaces. We need to be the people who spread peace, not anxiety. We can spread peace in the things we talk about, the tone we use in conversation, and the things we share on social media. This kind of demeanor might even open doors for us to speak of the Prince of Peace and how our neighbors and friends can know Him.

I really appreciate prayer time on Wednesday nights. You all are doing really well with that. I also appreciate very much your receptivity to the combined class we had on Sunday morning for adults. You were attentive and seemed eager to participate in a growth group (starting next week!), the events we’ll have church-wide, and the Life Explored Course happening this fall. I pray the Lord uses these things for Him, and that He blesses you through them.

Aren’t you thankful that the Lord spared Danny and Cathy Shields and Steve and Darlene Walker from their bouts with COVID? Personally, I’m not ready to say goodbye to them yet! I pray He does the same with Glenda Cumbee and Scott and Robin Adkins.

Well, I had better get to studying for Wednesday night’s teaching and Sunday’s sermon. Please reach out if you need prayer or anything else.

The Lord is gracious,

Pastor Jacob