A Note From the Pastor

Pastor Don Profile Shot

I just love the Olympics, I always have.  Linda and I sat at home, and ate our dinner in front of the t.v. while we watched the opening ceremony of the games in Rio this past weekend.  The music, the lights, everything about it was great.  I even learned a little bit about the history of the host country, Brazil.

I’ve always liked the parade of nations where all the countries competing parade through and are introduced.  Some countries have many many athletes like America, we have the most with 554 delegates. But there are other countries like Tuvalu, who have only one delegate.  Then there’s the way all these countries dress up in their native attire. I still think it’s kind of weird that Bermuda always wears Bermuda shorts!  (Is that the best they can do?)  But this year in the parade of nations, there was something I had never seen before!  A new category was introduced, and it wasn’t a new country, but a category called “Refugees!”

These were athletes who for one reason or another were forced to leave their native country, and given the opportunity to compete under the Olympic flag.  One announcer put it like this… “Before it was like they were running away from evil that seemed to be everywhere!  This gives them the chance to run toward a finish line that they can actually see!

All this made me start thinking how Peter said, “we don’t belong here, we are strangers in a hostile land” (1 Peter 1:1-2.)  We may not like the way it sounds, but we’re nothing more than refugees ourselves, who’ve been given a temporary place to stay.  And as Paul said while were here we’ve been asked to run the race to the best of our ability.  To do the best we can, for the Glory of Christ!  There will be many distractions, and the race will be long.  But if that’s what we’re called to do… so we need to do it!

By the way, that sportscaster also said that none of these refugees had a real chance of getting a medal.  But their satisfaction would be in competing and doing what they were meant to do!  So maybe we won’t become famous or get any medals for practicing our faith and running the race.  But like the man said our joy should come in doing what we were made to do!  And that is to love and serve Him. And by the way, that closing ceremony will be like something we can never imagine!

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A Note from the Pastor

Pastor Don Profile ShotI was having lunch the other day with Terry Corbitt, the Director of Pace Preparatory Academy.  For those of you who don’t know… that’s the pre-school located on our church campus which teaches 2-4 year old children.  We eat lunch together about once a week to catch up and discuss the latest activities.  While we were eating she was telling me about the chapel service she had led for the kids, which took place earlier in the week.  She said she told the story, about Jesus turning the water into wine.  She went on and explained how she had taken 2 pitchers, one full of water and one empty.  Well almost empty… there was red food coloring hidden out of sight in the bottom of the empty pitcher.  So when she filled that empty pitcher, it turned dark red, right in front of their eyes! This was a great way to show these young children, how Jesus turned the water into wine. Every one of these young kids were amazed… their eyes lit up… it was incredible!  When Mrs. Corbitt asked them what they thought.  One young boy, shouted out “This is great… Jesus can do magic!  Then Mrs. Corbitt explained the difference between a miracle and magic, but afterwards, all she was really sure of was that the kids walked out of there believing Jesus could do some really cool things.

What I thought was interesting though was how she told me some of the teachers were still talking about that little boys comment later in the day.  Some were even talking about it later that night over dinner.  They were discussing the differences between the word “Magic” and “Miracle” and now I’m talking about it a week or so later.  Because I believe, when anybody gets excited about something that Jesus does, people are going to talk.  And it doesn’t really matter if your 3 or 73!  Especially at this time of the year, when we are talking about Jesus coming out of that tomb alive!  That was the ultimate miracle!  And I can’t wait to see what those little kids have to say about that one!

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A Note from the Pastor

Pastor Don Profile ShotI love our neighborhood at Christmas time! The minute you turn into our little subdivision, it seems like something magical happens.  Almost every house is lit up, the trees are wrapped in lights, and there are blow-up Santa’s and snowmen in people’s yards. Now some houses don’t have extravagant light shows, but most have something on their doors and windows that is a unique expression of the Christmas spirit for their family.  And every night when I drive home from the church, I take a deep breath when I see all these lights and decorations, and realize how very much I enjoy this time of year.

But one of the things we need to be careful of is that during this wonderful season of beautiful lights and gifts, we not allow ourselves to be distracted from the real gift of Light that God sent us in His Son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus can to bring light to a world that lives in darkness… and show us the way. The lights like the ones in my neighborhood can either distract us …or remind us… of that incredible light we have in Jesus.  They can take us to a fairy tale world that is no doubt lots of fun… but disappears at the end of the month. Or they can remind us of the light God sent to this world, to point us to God, and give us eternal life.  And we all know “that Light,” doesn’t go back in a box at the end of the month, but lives inside us forever!

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Don

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October 2015 – Calendar, Birthdays, and Treasury Information

October 2015 Calendar

Sept & Oct Birthdays

October 2015 Treasury

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A Thank You to Troop #879

The church parking lot received a much needed face-lift from Christian Chavira and his fellow boy scouts from Troop 879 back on August 29th & 30th.  They painted new stripes and handicap symbols as part of Christian’s Eagle Scout Project.  This troop meets here on Friday nights in Kirchner Hall and this was their way of giving back to our community.  We want to thank all those who participated in this generous project.  Scout Leader: Wayne Blackmon, Assistant Scout Leaders: Dannie Davis, and Don Gregory.  Wyatt Biggs, Robbie Kinloch, Connor Bazar, Drew Mytchak, Connor O’Guynn, Emmet Hagen, Cole Freeman,  Kelly O’Guynn, Matt Hagen, Jamie McKain, David Mytchak, Lesil Gessner, Deanna Bazar, Jeanette Davis, Sam and Gardner Biggs, Connie Juarez, Amanda Campos, Alonso Palacios, Renae Chavira, Maribel Ruiz, Eduardo Ruiz, Raquel Rodriguez, Maria Ortega, Juan Ortega, Victor Ortega, Maria de Socorro Ortega, Roy Sanchez, Sandra Sanchez, Joshua Sanchez, and a big thank you to Christian for coming up with the plan.

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A Note From the Pastor

Pastor Don Profile Shot by Pastor Don Joseph

Every Sunday when I first walk into the Sanctuary, I see my friend Pat sitting on the back row, clip board in hand, checking names off her list of who’s here and who’s not.  Ever since I first got involved in church, someone was picking up lists off Sunday school doors, or helping to figure out who’s in attendance and who is not.  A Pastor I worked with one time told me we did this so we could find out who was “not there” and check on them.  But still at the end of the year, we ultimately measured the church’s success by the total number of people who had come through our doors.  Those were the people we had touched…Those were the people we had influenced with the Gospel.  But times have definitely changed!!

How many times have we said, “The church is not the building, but the people in it?”  No doubt this is true, however people can do incredible ministry through that building.  Of course everyone knows we have Renovada Meeting here (our Hispanic congregation of the D.O.C.) We also have Pace Preparatory Academy, one of the most highly respected preschools in Houston, and although they are not a “Christian” school, they do go to chapel once a week…meeting in our sanctuary.  How cool is that?  This past month we welcomed another organization into the mix… they are called KidzGrub.  KidzGrub is an after-school program which serves nutritious meals to “at-risk” children in low-income areas.  Their program is currently feeding 350-400 children every day!

In addition, we are now hosting up to 3 Girl Scout “Daisy” troops, which will be meeting in our classrooms on a regular basis.  And of course Boy Scout Troop #879 is still going strong.  They meet here every Friday evening.

Finally, we have groups such as Dialysis Support, which meets here once a month.  We even have a Tupperware group that meets here regularly.  Our area minister, who visited this past Sunday, said that maybe we were becoming more of a community center as well as a church.  I believe as we open our doors to this community, God will definitely bless us!

As the world around us changes drastically and slows down for no one.  We cannot continue to measure success the way we did 50 years ago…by just counting the number of heads present for Worship or Sunday school.  So how are we doing?  Before we answer that, let’s answer a few other questions:  Are we helping another Church to thrive?   Are we helping hundreds of children who need a healthy meal?  Are we providing young children a place to hear the gospel message in Chapel once a week?  Are we helping young women and men see and hear the message of morality and leadership so that they become good leaders themselves? Are we giving people who are ill a chance to encourage one another?  I believe the answer to this is clear.  Yes, and these ministries are blessing us in return, in ways that we would never have dreamed.

Oaks Christian Church is not doing badly at all!  But it’s not going the way I had envisioned it either.  For even with all these swinging doors…and all these activities, we must never forget our main mission is to bring people into a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ.  And maybe some will even join us for worship on Sunday and my friend Pat can write their names in her clip board…and, more importantly, their names can be written in the Book of Life!

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Thankful

Thankful

It’s a topic we often discuss around the table on Thanksgiving. But what about the other 364 days of the year? Join us Sunday as we talk about being grateful, even in great suffering.

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