Column Archives

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART…. July 28, 2016

  It is Monday morning as I am writing this article to you. It is July 25th, the day of my birth. I am now officially 70 years old. I preached a message last Sunday titled “What About Miracles.” I made the point in one of the sections in the first chapter of my booklet, The Existence of God, that miracles in the Bible which continue to this day reveal the existence of God. The Lord led me to preach a message on miracles to help us all be open to the way God uses miracles as attesting signs that confirm the gospel of Jesus Christ as coming from God. God uses these signs to help unbelievers come to faith in Jesus and to encourage us believers to continue to be faithful in sharing the gospel with those around us when we have the opportunity. I wrote in my journal this morning that I am believing the Lord will make Acts 16:19-20 the theme of the rest of my life as your pastor and His servant. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, and He will confirm the gospel message as I and our church are faithful to proclaim it in every way we can. I am looking forward to what He is planning to do amongst us.

I am excited about Marie Cole leading our ladies in the F.R.O.G. study August 13th. Talk about miracles. Marie is one living example of God’s working amongst us, answering our prayers. She is the perfect messenger for God to use in the study, Fully Rely On God. It is my prayer that all our ladies will attend this life-changing encounter with the Lord.

   I want to say welcome to our Sudanese brothers and sisters. We have started a Bible study and worship time for them on Saturday evenings in Abbas Ishmail’s home. We will be giving them a housewarming soon. Be ready to give something to help them set up housekeeping in their new home in America.

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FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART…. July 14, 2016

Last week we sent a group to Walden, Colorado to help a sister church with VBS.  They also helped with food distribution to the small town citizens.  There were three professions of faith during the week.  This week In The Gap volunteers, 40 people, are staying in our church and doing backyard Bible Clubs all over the city.  The church is buzzing with activity.  Last week, John Wambugu started an International Sunday School class with some of our Burmese church members and Christian legal aliens coming from Sudan through Egypt.  Also, Heart and Hand needs volunteers to do some remodel work on one of our apartments.  Jim Newkirk and Tom Christian are getting ready to do repair work on one of the other apartments.  We have a lot going on.

We need to be in prayer for the families who lost loved ones who were police officers killed in the Dallas shooting last Friday night.  The shooting is just another indicator of the wrong direction our country is moving in.  Yes, black lives matter, but then so do all lives matter, including police officers who are trying to do their jobs to uphold the law and protect innocent lives.  The real problem in America is not racism or terrorism:  it is the judgment of a holy God on a nation that has turned its back on Him.  We no longer pray in our public schools.  We teach atheism through evolution rather than creation to our kids.  The traditional family is under attack while more and more kids are growing up without a father in the home and no values are being taught.  The only hope for this nation is repentance and restoration by God back to His Word and ways.  That is what we call revival.  Can it happen?  Yes, it can.  God can do anything when His people pray.

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FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART…. June 23, 2016

June is almost gone. The longest day of the year is past, the summer solstice on June 21, which means we move into the hottest portion of the year. Our youth are at camp, and next week our group will be going to Colorado to do VBS for a church there. The Sew and Sow class is also off to a good start.

Vickie Drake and Arlene Smith gave a report on their Singing Church Women trip to Latvia last Sunday. I appreciated what Vickie had to say about the country being unchurched due to its communist history as a part of the now broken-up Soviet Union. It is hard to imagine how the vast majority of people, especially young people, have no concept of God, let alone Jesus Christ. But Vickie’s point was well taken that we as Christians have a responsibility to stand against the atheism that is gaining ground in our own country.

John Wambugu and I are getting ready for our next trip to Kenya in September. Last year we went in August, but we found it is less costly to go after August. We will do another pastor’s conference where I will present the teachings out of the four booklets I recently self-published, God’s Answer to the Question of Evil, God’s Purposes for Marriage, Genuine Christianity, and the most recent The Existence of God. We will also meet with our clinic’s and orphanage’s board of directors to receive the annual report. It is our hope that the HIV clinic will be moved to the new building, and we will be ready to house the orphans there as well. We need your financial help to make this trip. Our tickets are $850 each. There will also be hotel and food expenses. Please pray for us, and give what you can to help increase our work with orphans.