Advent Day 2

Hope: Week One – Day Two

Oh, that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence. – Isaiah 64:1 (NRSV)

This verse is a passionate prayer that God would interrupt the whole world. The imagery is violent and startling. If God were to act like this, there would be no denying who was in charge. The speaker is asking God to storm onto the stage in the middle of the play. God is the director. God is in charge. If things are going awry then it is God who should jump in and make things right.

But, if any director were to jump on stage in the middle of the play, then the play would be over. The only time you see the director is at the curtain call. Instead, God chose to enter the play as an actor. He came to us as a little child. A helpless baby born in a barn to a poor family.

Why might God have chosen this particular method? Why would God hold off on the big flashy entrance and come to Earth as a humble child? Well, one reason might be that if God came with thunder and lightning, there would be no need for faith. Everyone would be forced to acknowledge God as King, and God would not be sure who really wanted an authentic relationship with Him.

God might also be trying to teach us something about who Jesus is and who we are supposed to be. We are not supposed to go through the world throwing our weight around and lording over people. As Jesus followers, we are to be humble like Jesus, treating everyone as our neighbors.

Now, this prayer from Isaiah is still really helpful. It is a hopeful cry for God to act. Whenever we see terrible things on the news or we’ve experienced some evil, we should pray asking God to intervene in a big way. The amazing thing about God is that He is planning on coming back in a big way to right all wrongs and save His people. God has promised to someday jump on stage and make things right. When we reach the curtain call of this life, God will make a big appearance and things will be made right.

Advent Devo Day 1

Hope: Week One – Day One

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. – Isaiah 40:3 (NRSV)

Maybe you have heard this passage before. It is repeated in the Gospels and used to describe the ministry of John the Baptist. John was a prophet sent ahead of Jesus to prepare the way for Him. He lived in the wilderness near the Jordan River and people came from all around to hear him and be baptized. John called people to repent and get their hearts right because he knew that the Messiah of God was coming soon.

Advent is the season before Christmas in which we are supposed to prepare our hearts for Christ just like John did two thousand years ago. We are invited to take time for reflection and prayer. We are called to cultivate anticipation in our souls through worship and studying the Bible. We are encouraged to sit quietly and remember what Jesus means for our lives.

The thing is, while God is asking us to prepare our hearts for Jesus, the world is asking us to prepare our homes for Christmas. There are gifts to buy, halls to deck, presents to wrap, lights to string, cookies to bake, and carols to sing. There is so much to keep us busy and distracted that we might miss Jesus when He shows up.

So how should we prepare our hearts for Jesus this Advent? Here are a few ideas: participate in some charity work in your community, attend a special Christmas service with your family, or spend some extra time in prayer or reading your Bible alone or with some close friends. And of course, following this devotion series is something that will help too.

Believe me, Christmas morning is so much sweeter when we welcome the day having prepared for Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving from OakwoodMS Ministry!!!

Where is your heart of GRATITUDE during THANKSGIVING WEEK?

I hope there is s BIG TURKEY coming your way for this THANKSGIVING!!!

Sometimes we go about our week, do the daily thing, and forget to stop, take a breath, and fill our hearts up with gratitude for all that we have been given. Maybe this pandemic has forced subtraction in your life, so you are grateful for the addition as it may have come back to you. Then, as the days of HYBRID have brought back a busy schedule, that addition came back in a landslide. Take a moment and stop, read Psalm 103, and reflect on all the great attributes of God and His hand on your life.

‘ Bless the Lord , O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord , O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the Lord , all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the Lord , all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord , O my soul!’

Psalm 103:1-22

Take the Family Challenge and Download the Student Guide above. Read Psalm 103 as a family and reflect on all that God has given you. End the time crafting your own “Family Psalm 103,” and use it as a reminder to stop and THANK GOD for all HE has given you.

Believe Weekend 2021

Are We Having Believe Weekend?

Yes, Yes We Are.

Will it look a bit different this year?

Right Again.

Believe Weekend is January 28-30, 2021.

This is our Retreat/Disciple Now Event geared for Middle School and High School Students.

Rather than cancelling one more event, we have decided to ask the question,


#1 WE CAN meet on the Oakwood Campus with regular Covid gathering guidelines for main sessions geared for Oakwood Students as they grow in their faith in Jesus.

#2 WE CAN break out into small groups after each session for real life discussion.

#3 WE CAN provide FUN ACTIVITIES during the weekend that may happen both inside and outside the Oakwood Campus.


#1 WE ARE NOT coordinating HOST HOMES or any overnight activities. Due to the Oakwood Policy during Covid, we have held back from overnight retreats, camps, events, in order to walk wisely in the midst of the pandemic spread.

#2 WE ARE meeting THURSDAY NIGHT, FRIDAY NIGHT, and SATURDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING. This will include main sessions with Speaker, Stuart Hall and the Gladsome Light Band + a few random games and surprises.

#3 WE ARE thinking creative about outside HANGOUTS and FUN EVENTS that look like AFTER PARTIES EACH DAY. So if you are looking to hang with your friends and enjoy outside games, we are working to make them cautiously FUN.

#4 WE ARE thinking about what snacks and food may be appropriate for the AFTER PARTIES and a DINNER SATURDAY.

WE BELIEVE GOD has a word for this generation, and that is based out of John 15. He calls us to BEAR FRUIT and prove to be disciples of Jesus. …Somehow that looked like a Panda in a Pineapple suit, but you get the point. No matter the circumstance, we have the ability to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit and Love like Jesus calls us to Love.

Worried Series – Failure


As Paul writes to his younger companion, he relays various “trustworthy sayings” to Timothy.

2 Timothy 2

11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;

if we deny him, he also will deny us;

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

Trying to paint the picture in my mind, I envision a wise champion of the faith relaying simple truths that may have carried him on his faith journey. We find Paul bringing understanding through strong statements of faith. The certainty of Christ with us and living in His resurrection power. The endurance gained as the eternal perspective of the Kingdom of God will come to reign. Then, right smack in the middle, the divide between our humanity and a Holy God gives comfort in a different way. Our confession with or without Christ results in denial, as we deny Him.

Lastly, a paradox of sorts. “IF WE ARE FAITHLESS,” if WE FAIL, if WE RENIG on our side of the bargain, if WE LOSE SIGHT and miss the mark, WE DO NOT IMPACT THE CONSISTENT, SOLID, BEDROCK of our FAITHFUL CREATOR.


As you look at your past, as you remember your failures, put your hope in the one that REMAINS FAITHFUL. Find the same qualities in the Savior that gifted you eternal life from the start. Receive GRACE and REDEMPTION once again. Walk in newness of life, and find confidence again. Don’t worry, He’s got it.

Parent Cue: Anxiety Conversation Guide

Middle school has always been stressful, but research tells us that
teenagers today are facing more pressure than ever before. Juggling the
changing demands in grades, relationships, and growing responsibilities
places our teens at a much higher risk for stress. But some students are
experiencing more than stress—they are struggling with anxiety.

Click on the Download for a Parent Conversation Guide brought to you by the Parent Cue