Our Compassion Service was POWERFUL with the story of PETER…
3,777 stories were listened to at the Compassion Experience.
650 children were sponsored over the weekend.
IT IS A BLESSING TO SEE GOD MOVE HERE AT OAKWOOD!
Compassion International has already parked their two 18 wheelers at Oakwood in preparation for our Compassion International Experience Weekend April 25-27. As we come to Jesus and recognize the need for His Love in our own lives, we cannot stand back while the poor and forgotten may never feel the touch of the love of Jesus.
Step into the world of a child growing up in poverty. It takes 30 minutes to experience Compassion’s Change the Story interactive display coming soon to New Braunfels. Space is limited – reserve your spot now.
Culture is constantly changing. We all have questions about how to apply TRUTH to our DAILY LIVES. Many of our Oakwood Staff find great help in the daily articles and seasonal devotions the Denison Forum provides.
Personally, my first encounter with the man, Dr. Jim Denison, was at Dallas Baptist University where he literally answered ANY and EVERY QUESTION that a whole bunch off College Baptist Theology Students were throwing his way. He not only answered them, but kept the room pretty quiet after one or two questions. He is a knowledgeable man and is dedicating his live to aid people like you and me on the journey of faith.
Dr. Denison writes a cultural commentary available at www.denisonforum.org/subscribe. His free daily commentary is distributed around the world to 87,035 subscribers in over 200 countries. He writes for The Dallas Morning News, contributing weekly to the “Texas Faith Forum” and is a guest columnist for the The Christian Post.
He has also taught world religions for 25 years with four seminaries. He has spoken in China, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, Europe, Israel, Greece, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Turkey and served as a short-term missionary to East Malaysia, in Southeast Asia. He also leads frequent study tours in Israel, Greece, and Europe.
Here are some more facts about Dr. Denison:
Dr. Denison currently serves on the board of the Baylor Health Care System and as Chair of the Advisory Board for Dallas Baptist University. He teaches Ph.D. seminars and graduate-level classes for Dallas Baptist University and serves as a teaching fellow for the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. He has taught on the faculty of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and at McAfee School of Theology, and has served on the boards of Dallas Baptist University, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University.
Prior to founding the DFTC, Dr. Denison was pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church, a 10,000-member congregation in Dallas, Texas. He also pastored churches in Midland and Mansfield, Texas, and in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Dallas Baptist University.
The Denison Forum on Truth and Culture (DFTC) (www.denisonforum.org) exists to engage contemporary culture with biblical truth. As a catalyst for moral and spiritual renewal, DFTC is joining God in building a global movement of culture-changing Christians.
Easter Services 5 & 6:30pm Saturday, 8, 9:15, & 10:45am Sunday. No Fusion 9:15am Bible Study.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.. Isaiah 53:6
This verse was read to me as a VERY YOUNG CHILD by my mother. She had an ABC’s Children’s book that took each letter of the alphabet and tied in a scripture. “A” began with “ALL WE..” and the rest of the scripture followed. As we journey to the Cross again this Easter Season, I have come back to remember the beginning of my personal relationship with Jesus. Simply asking the question, “What is sin?” and talking about what Jesus did for us on the Cross led my mother and I to a little brown, mushroom stool where I knelt down and asked Jesus into my heart. Now, 30 years later, I come back to the beginning again, and remember the powerful journey to the cross that Jesus took in order to take a sheep, like me and like you, that has gone astray. He not only found me, but he saved me from the one who would like to steal, kill, and destroy my life. He promised me abundant life when he took my iniquity, my sins, and fully paid for the world. He is the GOOD SHEPHERD that laid down His life for us. He KNOWS His sheep and His sheep KNOW Him. On top of all that, that powerful sacrifice of the GOOD SHEPHERD is trumped by the powerful authority that He has to take His life up again. The only one that has the authority to lay down a life and take it up again is Jesus Christ. He is all about raising dead things to life. I am thankful this season for what Jesus did for me. I am also reminded about the powerful NEW LIFE we have in Christ.
Do you feel like you have gone astray? Do you feel like your life is moving toward dead things? Is there something that you need to give to Jesus, so that, in His authority, He can bring NEW LIFE? As we Journey to the Cross this week, remember the powerful work Jesus has done in your life. Remember that He is GOOD. He wants us to have ABUNDANT LIFE, and where there is evidence of sickness, pain, a broken relationship, or destructive behavior, there is a GOOD SHEPHERD ready to move us from our OWN WAY and lead us to THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE.
Pacesetters is a student leadership camp led by Glowing Heart Ministries, out at Focus Pointe Base Camp in the middle of Alba, Texas. The purpose of Pacesetters is to disciple and kick-start a new generation of youth who will go back to their homes, schools, churches, and communities and represent Jesus Christ in the way that they show true leadership to those around them. This idea is emphasized during Pacesetters through the idea that true leadership begins through genuine, selfless service to others.
I attended Pacesetters for the first time as a shy, 14 year-old, freshman in high school, not knowing how much of my future life would be built around that camp and the people involved in it. Pacesetters was unlike any other camp experience I had ever had: a whole week spent having team and personal Bible studies, worship and teaching times, kitchen duties, and community service. Pacesetters was a week of taking the focus off of ourselves and putting it on those around us. This was exemplified by the way all the teams took turns cleaning the kitchen and doing the dishes for one another, or the various ways groups would go into small neighboring communities to serve. I was surprised by how much fun it could be working outside, cleaning bathrooms, or doing dishes alongside people who loved God and wanted to serve him joyfully.
I would date my first Pacesetters experience as being where I was really encouraged to become serious about serving God. I had always felt subconsciously that I would just wait until I was grown up to be a full-fledged Christian, but that idea was challenged by all the God-seeking, genuine students I saw around me who were just as young as I was! I remember being surprised during the evening services (led by Glowing Heart) at how free and genuine the worship was of those peers standing around me. I believe that week was also the beginning of my true love for worship and the music behind it, as well as my inspiration to serve others in the footsteps of Christ. Needless to say, I loved Pacesetters, as did so many other students, and came back every year throughout high school. I went through the leadership track during my third Pacesetters, and returned for my fourth summer as an official Glowing Heart member.
Pacesetters is one of Glowing Heart’s yearly highlights; something that we spend months preparing and praying for. The schedule is jam-packed with teachings, discussions and worship, and outdoor activities, which for us means lessons to write up, music to learn, and outdoor work during prep week. While there is a lot going on, there are plenty of times for fun during Pacesetters, such as recreation in the mornings and the various games of Ninja and Chugga-Chugga that go on during free time. The students run short on sleep, but get an extra dose of worshipful reflection, opportunities to serve, solid, Scriptural teachings, and encouraging friendships.
Out of everything we do, the evening worship services and the community service projects are probably my favorite times. It’s so much fun to see my students willingly step out of their comfort zones and enjoy talking to strangers or getting their hands dirty while cleaning up gardens or animal shelters. I love getting to see it from the leaders’ perspective now, to see DSC_0564the different ways in which students are challenged and grow from year to year. Because Pacesetters is a place where God is experienced, the camp feels like a second home to a lot of the students who return every summer. I have only to look around during the week of camp to see that sense of unity and excitement for serving God in those around me, and I’m incredibly thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of Pacesetters Leadership Camp.
– Amber Watson, Soprano Vocalist
Andy Mineo – About the Artist
Whether he’s on stage bringing an audience to its feet with his riveting performance or off stage fielding interview questions with a potent combination of intellect and wit, it’s obvious Andy Mineo is a born communicator and hip hop music is his instrument for reaching the masses. “It is absolutely undeniable that hip hop is becoming the universal language,” Mineo says expressing an unbridled enthusiasm for his artistic vehicle. “It’s so influential because you are able to say so much in a short period of time. The essence of hip hop is the boldness of it so you’re able to be exactly who you are. You are able to say exactly what you want. You represent exactly what is deepest and dearest to you and people respond to that. They respond to that realness.”
That musical authenticity, heart for people and keen insight into the human condition coalesce on Mineo’s Reach Records debut Heroes for Sale. “We make heroes out of a lot of things,” he says. “We make heroes out of people. We believe ourselves to be greater than we really are. We make ourselves look like heroes to other people. What I really wanted to do is show the brokenness of the heroes that we create and the heroes that we try to be in order to show that there is ultimately only one great hero.”
To underscore that message, Mineo was willing to strip back the layers of his own life and be honest with his audience. “I get really transparent on these songs,” he confesses. “I want to let people see into my brokenness in hopes that other people would identify with that and ultimately know that they don’t have to be great. Their God is. Also I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to show off my love for hip hop. I wanted to try some things. You’ll see a bunch of my big personality come out. I let people see who I am.”
A native of Syracuse, New York, Mineo grew up in a single parent home and was a troubled kid who was kicked out of public school because of his anger issues and aggressive tendencies. Sports and music became positive outlets for Andy’s excessive energy. “I was more involved in basketball and football until one of my friends and I just started rapping as a joke,” he remembers. “We used to buy singles because we couldn’t afford anything else. When you’re 10 years old and you’ve got two or three dollars, you buy the CD single instead of the whole album. The CD single would have instrumentals, so we would just write our own raps to the instrumental on the CD. That’s kind of where my love for it began. My buddy got a program for the computer and we were recording in my living room. I put together my first rap and I fell in love with it the moment I heard myself on the beat. I said, ‘Man, I want to do this forever!”
Mineo became a hard-working young entrepreneur and not only recorded his own raps, but started a studio in his house where he recorded other young hopefuls. He became a local hero and at 17 had money, success and everything most young guys are looking to achieve. “When I got to about 15 or 16, I got all the equipment I needed to not only record myself, but have my friends come over and I’d record them,” he says. “Other people got wind of that and said, ‘Hey I’ll come over and I’ll pay to let me record,’ so I started doing that. The business kept on evolving. I started making more money and bought more stuff, moved it into my basement and built a full studio with one of my friends, who was a carpenter. We created a little ghetto basement studio. That’s how I made my money all throughout high school.”
Yet even with Mineo’s worldly success, there was still an emptiness and restlessness in his heart. He found what he had been looking for when his sister Mary went to work at a church camp one summer and took Andy with her. “I was surrounded by loving people,” he recalls. “There were a couple of guys that invested in me that summer, shared the gospel with me, showed me what it is to follow Jesus, and that’s when I had my first real encounter with Jesus.” When he returned home, it was hard to grow in his faith. “All throughout high school it was really difficult to follow Jesus without having any community,” Mineo says. “I didn’t have any home church. I didn’t have any men to disciple me. Nothing. When I went to college is when I started to get that. In college, I got away from the situation I was in. God put me there and he put me around a bunch of people that loved God, people that looked like me and talked like me. They were into hip hop like I was and it was really a blessing to meet some of these guys.”
Mineo met producer Alex Medina (Lecrae, Trip Lee) who encouraged the young artist to check out T.R.U.C.E. “It was a group of young people that would gather on Saturdays to work on performing arts for the purpose of evangelism,” he says. “I got invited to come check them out at a rehearsal and there was a whole bunch of men there, people my age, and they all loved God. They were an encouragement for me to start walking with God again. They showed me that I could use my gifts for him. I didn’t have to live the way I was living. I didn’t have to make the music the way I was making it. I could actually use everything that I have for Jesus. I got connected with people that showed me that I could do more with my life and my music.” Mineo traveled with T.R.U.C.E. and began making a name for himself with such projects as Sin is Wack Vol. 1. Soon others were enlisting Mineo to add his considerable skills to their projects. He’s been featured on Tedashii’s Blacklight, Ambassador’s Stop the Funeral, Flame’s Captured and Lecrae’s “Background.” “That was the first song we collaborated on and since then we started to build a relationship,” Mineo says of working with Lecrae. “He came to New York and we shot a music video for it. We started to realize that we both had a similar vision, a similar mission in what we wanted to do with our music. They were looking to sign a new artist and I just seemed to be the right fit so I signed with Reach and it’s been a heck of a journey ever since.”
Fusion Oakwood Middle School has been tracking with the Church during the IE series. Beginning in the Kickstart Room last week, we had the opportunity to worship with Travis Kiers and the new High School Worship Ministry Team. It is amazing seeing High School Students INVEST in Middle School students in a positive way. Our challenge to the students regarding INTERCEDE was to break up in School groups, write names of friends that need to hear about Jesus, and pray for them specifically.
Colossians 1 was our guide in prayer last week:
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
What if we spent time each day, specifically INTERCEDING with that?
My prayer is that this generation gains knowledge of God’s will, wisdom beyond their years, learns to please God and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. I also pray that students begin to strategically build relational bridges in order to bear the weight of the Gospel of Jesus. Our teenagers have so much INFLUENCE at this time in their life for the Kingdom of God. INTERCEDE with me for this generation!