FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… September 28, 2017
Last Sunday was a special morning service. During the service we honored Helen Williams for her 16 years of service in our children’s ministries at Olivet. She came to us as an inner city missionary from Metropolitan Baptist Church here in the city. She worked with us, organizing Whiz Kids, Team Kids, Kids Across America, and summer day camps, and she also helped with whatever needed to be done as a church staff member. She recently retired, and we wanted to show our appreciation for her, so we gave her a very nice plaque and a bracelet. She was honored at Metropolitan Baptist Church this last Wednesday as well. We thank God for her and her important work amongst us.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… August 31, 2017
We enjoyed our second bluegrass / gospel jam last Saturday evening. The Graystone Bluegrass Revival sang five songs and then sat in the circle with us and played and sang along with us. There were young kids there with guitars and violins and old guys like me with banjos, mandolins, guitars, fiddles, harmonicas, stand-up bass, and even a seven-year-old girl with a juice harp. I introduced a new song that my grandsons and I wrote titled “Pull Your Pants Up!” It was a big hit. We had a lot of fun, and it was well worth taking the time to come. I look forward to The Texans coming next Sunday evening. They are excellent Christian entertainers and worship leaders who will be a blessing. Plan to be there with us.
Last Sunday I began a new series of messages as a follow-up to my message two Sundays ago, “Thinking Biblically.” The first message last Sunday was “Right Thinking About the Bible.” Next Sunday’s message will be “Right Thinking About God.” The series will also include messages about man, Creation, Satan and angels, plus Heaven and Hell. We will see what God’s Word tells us about these topics so we can think about them biblically according to God’s worldview. The series is all about learning to live our lives according to what God’s Word tells us is true.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… August 17, 2017
Last Sunday I finished our series on the Olivet Baptist Declaration of Dependence on God. Many of you signed the declaration that acknowledges our total dependence on God for our existence, our salvation, our sanctification, and our call to grow His kingdom. Our theme verse is John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” In other words, Jesus is our life source and our power source for every aspect of our church body’s ability to function in His behalf. That being true, our stated motto is, “If God does not do it, it will not get done. If God is not doing it, it should not be done. May God do through us what only He can do.” Only God can give life. Only God can save souls. Only God can change us into the image of His Son. Only God can increase His kingdom through us. By having expressed this dependence on God, I am excited to see what God will do through us as we work to be faithful to His leadership amongst us as His church.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… July 27, 2017
Last week our president, as the Commander in Chief of the military, sent out a directive that transgenders will no longer be allowed to serve in the military. Economic reasons were given as the major reason — the cost of surgery, time off from active duty, the ongoing medications of hormone therapy following surgery, and then there is the added cost of medical needs if complications arise. The cost would be staggering to our defense budget. As I think about the president’s declaration, the realization comes to me that Jesus said that His second coming would take place when the moral depravity of man would once again rise to the level that it was “as in the days of Noah.” As a person who has lived 71 years on this earth and grew up in the post-WWII era when faith, family, community, prayer, Bible reading in public schools, and moral restrictions on radio, TV, movies, and magazines were all seen as the way things ought to be, the acceptance of sex-change operations as normal is beyond my comprehension. Having to have the president do away with sex-change operations in the military should be a wake-up call to all of humanity that our so-called civilization is moving in the wrong direction. The only answer is the salvation and sanctification of mankind where a change of heart and a change of mind are the only way we can get back to sanity in our so-called social order. Our prayer as the people of God needs to be, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… July 13, 2017
Last Sunday was a very important service. For the message, I read the Olivet Baptist Declaration of Dependence. It is a declaration of our church’s total dependence on God for our existence, our salvation, our sanctification, and our call to grow God’s kingdom. In the declaration I included several Bible references that support the statements made. I signed the declaration in front of the church and invited the church members to sign it as well. I also made copies available for people to read if they wanted to get clarification before signing the document. I hope all of our church members will sign it. By stating this declaration of our dependence on God publicly, we have made it clear that we believe if God is leading us to do something, He will make it happen through Him as we obey. John Roberts got it right when he led us to sing Trust and Obey, because that song communicates the spirit of our declaration. When we trust God and obey His leading, we will see Him do great and mighty things through us.
I want to give a warm and hearty welcome to Joy and her daughter, Amanie, who have been reunited with Joy’s parents, John and Grace Wambugu. I am so thankful that she and her sisters, Lois, Holly, and Best, were willing to sing for us Sunday, given the fact that Joy had just arrived Friday evening, July 7th. We are glad they are here and pray God’s best for them in their new home.
We also want to welcome the In the Gap summer missionaries who are staying in our facilities for a week while they go to different parts of the city to do Bible clubs. One of the clubs will be at McKinley Park, not far from us.
Next Friday and Saturday will be the Reclaim America for Christ conference at First Baptist Church of Moore. Doors will open Friday evening at 6 pm and Saturday morning at 8 am. I will have my Operation Truth booth set up during the conference.
Saturday, July 22, from 5 pm to 8 pm, we will sponsor our first bluegrass jam in the dining hall. It is free and open for anyone to come and jam or just listen to the music. It will be a lot of fun!
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… June 8, 2017
Last Sunday I finished the series on the 10 appearances of Jesus after His resurrection that took place for a period of 40 days prior to Pentecost Sunday, which was last Sunday. Steve Malinowski has been videoing the messages and putting them on YouTube. You can go to the church’s website, olivetbaptistokc.com, and pull up the messages there if you missed a Sunday or want to see any of them again. I really enjoyed doing the preparation for these particular messages on the appearances and the meaning of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. We have strong eyewitness accounts that justify our belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and through the power of the Holy Spirit we have His power to overcome fear, temptation of the flesh, and to recognize false teachings and false religions that Satan uses to try and lead us astray. I hope the messages have been a help to you in strengthening your faith.
We now have examples of the kinds of hats Betty Gresham can put the church logo on for you to purchase. I plan to buy at least three that are different and can be worn with the kinds of clothes I have. The cost is $10 each; all of the proceeds go toward reaching our goal of $150,000 for our Next Generation campaign. Think of it. For every 100 hats we sell, that is another $1000 toward our goal. What is just as important is the publicity value for our church. As we have hundreds of Olivet Baptist hats being worn all around Oklahoma City, people will know Olivet is alive and well.
I want to remind you about the upcoming bluegrass / gospel music benefit concert Saturday, June 17, in the church auditorium at 6:30. The doors will open at 6 pm. It is a free concert, but an offering will be taken on behalf of our widows and orphans in Kenya. We need to finally get the HIV clinic up and running so it can help support the kids we are helping. There is going to be some really good music, and it will be a lot of fun. Make plans now to come. Put it on your calendar, and invite your friends and neighbors to come. It will be a good time.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… June 1, 2017
The older I get, the more important Memorial Day becomes to me. As a Vietnam veteran who has had a full and meaningful life after surviving the war, I am reminded of all those who went to Vietnam with me who were not able to come home again or who came back maimed in some way. My memories cause me to appreciate the high cost of freedom. The fact that the Vietnam War became an exercise in futility causes a heartfelt sense of remorse for what seems to have been a waste of young lives who were only trying to be faithful citizens to their country. The frustration is multiplied by the removal of our troops from Iraq that led to the takeover of that country by Muslim militants and totally erased the value of the sacrifice made by so many more faithful Americans who were willing to go and fight for not just our freedom, but the freedom of those living in tyranny. Afghanistan will probably end the same way. There is one thing that gives me a feeling of satisfaction that not all was lost in the Vietnam War, and that is all the Vietnamese people who were able to escape from the tyranny and come to the U.S., where most have become solid American citizens. Seeing Vietnamese people living in freedom in America helps to justify for me what has become a historical tragedy. There are wars that must be fought to stop the onslaught of evil, but if they are to be fought, they must be fought to win.
Regardless of what comes, life goes on for those of us who remain. The only life that is worth living that has a genuine future is the life lived in service to Jesus Christ and the increase of His kingdom. That is what we are doing at Olivet. We are serving Jesus Christ with the objective to increase His kingdom by providing ministries that give us an avenue to share the gospel with those our ministries touch. That is why we serve; that is why we give; that is why we pray. I thank the Lord for each of you who give your time, talents, and finances to keep our ministries going.
We need some volunteers to help with our kids whose parents attend on Wednesday evenings. We will not run the buses again until next fall, but we still need to provide activities for the kids who come with their parents . Please get in touch with Craig Miller if you can help.
Continue to give to our Next Generation Campaign. We need to put a new roof on the gym building before the storms of winter come. Remember, we want to leave the tools of our facilities in good repair for those who come behind us, so the work can go on long after we are gone.
Plan to attend our concert for orphans in Kenya here at the church on Saturday, June 17th, at 6:30 pm in the auditorium. The doors will open at 6 pm.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART… May 4, 2017
Last weekend was a bit of a disappointment for me. It all began with one of the worst Oklahoma storms in recent history. 80-mile-an-hour winds can do a lot of damage, so much so that the governor declared it a statewide disaster. It was certainly that. Donna Huddleston found a tree laying over on her house. A large window was blown out in the gym foyer, and power lines were down in several sections of the city. It made getting around on the streets and highways slow going for most of the day. It certainly impacted the attendance of our Operation Truth Conference, and Champions for Christ was cancelled. In spite of the storm, I was disappointed in the conference attendance. We had 30 who came, and from all indications those who came felt it was well worth their while. The presentations gave a wealth of important information that can be used to strengthen one’s own faith and be passed on to those needing answers to many questions that can be answered. There is such a conflict between what secular education and media are espousing and what the biblical worldview shows us is true. I am disappointed so many missed out on the growth in faith experience.
Another contribution to my disappointment was the fact that the Oklahoma Science Education Act, SB 393, was pulled from being voted on in the State House of Representatives. There were only 47 committed votes for it, and it takes 51 to pass a bill. There are 101 representatives in the house, so that means 54 opposed it. Sadly, what that means is that after the last turnover of termed-out Republicans, the new ones are showing themselves to be less conservative than those they replaced. We can still bring the bill up again next year, but the prospects of its passing are much less unless there is a big push to educate the legislators on the need for a stronger commitment to critical thinking in our public schools.
One of the points I made in my second presentation last Saturday is that the evolution theory taught in our public schools is just as much a religious faith as creation science is said to be. They both depend on origins that cannot be repeated from the past and thus cannot be observed to be either proven true or false; their assumptions must be accepted by faith. That means that even though creation cannot be taught in our schools because of “separation of church and state,” the religion of evolution theory is being taught under the guise of science. That means our schools have become churches teaching the religion of atheistic evolution theory in violation of the so-called “separation of church and state” Supreme Court mandate. The time is coming when God’s truth about these issues will come out, but until then I guess I will have to be disappointed.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART…. February 23, 2017
It is that time of the year when we renew our subscription to the Messenger. We want every household to receive the Messenger so you are put on the list when you become a member of the church. We ask that you give a $20 offering to cover the cost of the annual subscription. This is not mandatory but if you can help with the cost by designating $20 to pay for your subscription it would help a great deal. The Messenger is our main source of communication with our members, although you can go to our web-site at olivetbaptistokc.com and get information as well. When people ask you about our church tell them to look us up on line. There is a lot of information about our church they can learn from there.
Our new phone and security system is now in place which means we have accomplished our first goal of our Next Generation Campaign. Our next objective is the roof over the gym and dining room building. We already have $15,000 in place toward that goal which means we only need another $50,000 to finish that needed project. The roof will cost approximately $65,000 but will be a metal roof with a life time warranty that will last beyond the next generation’s use of it. I continue to watch with pleasure how the Lord works to meet our needs and more as we seek to represent Him here in Oklahoma City. Remember to place your orders for the hats Betty Greshem is making to raise money for the campaign.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART…. February 16, 2017
Thanks to Stuart Boyes for filling in for me last Sunday. I was thankful he gave a gospel presentation to begin his message and then a reminder of the importance of sharing our faith with those around us. There are so many who are not yet ready to enter eternity. They need the good news of Jesus for their salvation.
Giving thanks to Stuart reminds me of how blessed we are as a church to have the staff the Lord has brought to us. Bob Waddell, John Roberts, Helen Williams, Craig Miller, John Wambugu, Stuart Boyes, and Paul Sublett are each and everyone here because they love Jesus. It certainly isn’t about the salaries they make. Stuart and Paul are totally volunteer, and each of the others could be considered full time work with part time pay. I am humbled to be allowed to work with such dedicated servants of the Lord. Be sure to tell them thank you for the work they do.
The reason why Stuart filled in for me is because I was manning my Operation Truth booth at The Affair of the Heart, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was a unique experience. I had my three section, nine foot Operation Truth display set up there at the fairgrounds in a 10 by 10 space. I had my 9 books and poem pamphlet there for sale along with Sally’s book, and my humility coins in a picture frame. I did some selling but the main success of the project was seeing thousands of people reading the statements about the false history of evolution and the truth found in the one true biblical worldview. Some walked by with a smile of approval. Some looked like they were reading things they had never seen before. Then there were those who shook their heads in disbelief and walked on. I was able to talk with some who were willing to stop and ask questions.
Thank the Lord for the $10,000 gift to be added to our Next Generation Campaign. That jumped our total to over $31,000. I also want to remind you that you can order an Olivet hat made by Betty Gresham for $10. All the proceeds will go to the campaign. If we can sell 100 hats, that will be $1,000. That is how this campaign is going to work; everybody doing and giving what they can to help us reach our $150,000 goal. I look forward to seeing how the Lord is going to provide through His people.
FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART…. August 4, 2016
This past weekend, Sally, myself, Nathan, Amie and our two grandsons went to Dallas. Our family there wanted to give me a 70th birthday party. It was a good time. Thank you church for giving me the opportunity to experience special times like these. It is good to maintain good family ties.
I am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for the rest of my life. After hitting 70 years I feel like the Lord is going to write a new chapter in the history of my life and the future of Olivet. I have no idea what all that will be but I know it will be good. My main prayer is that we will begin to see more people coming to faith in Christ. Winning people to Jesus and discipling them is our major reason for existence. All our ministries are in place for these purposes. A great example is the Sew and Sew class and fashion show. God will use it to bring people to Him.
Next Sunday I have a special guest coming to share his testimony of how the Lord saved he and his wife and delivered him from alcoholism. He is a great example of the life changing power of Jesus Christ. Be is prayer for what God will be doing amongst us next Sunday.