Middle School Mission Trip Details

MS Mission Trip Attendee & Parent,

Click Here for What to bring list

We are getting very close to GO TIME so I wanted to send a few reminder:

  • A few of you have not turned in your Arms of Hope medical release form – please do so ASAP. It is attached – if you signed up online this was a separate form you needed to complete.
  • Balances can be turned in up to the day of departure, but preferably in advance so we can minimize check in time on June 25th. Let me know if you do not know your balance.
  • Attached is a What to Bring list from Arm’s of Hope.
  • MEETING DATES all 12-2pm in the Pavilion
    • June 14 – Student training – THIS THURSDAY – Lunch provided so please let me know if you aren’t able to make it.
    • June 21 – Student training
    • June 24 – Parent/Student meeting
  • The GAME PLAN
    • Leaving the church at 10:30am on June 25 – Lunch on the road
    • Each morning we will have work projects after breakfast then we will have lunch
    • Tuesday and Thursday we are hosting a mini VBS for the residential students after lunch
    • Wednesday after lunch we will go back to our work projects after lunch
    • Wednesday before dinner we will host chapel time with all residents
    • In the evening we will have free time to play games with residents
    • Will arrive back at Oakwood at approximately 3:00pm on June 29 – Lunch on the road

 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 😊

In His service,

Tory Tierney
Administrative Assistant
Oakwood Church
p: 830.625.0267
a: 2154 Loop 337, New Braunfels, TX 78130
w: oakwoodnb.com  e: tory.tierney@oakwoodnb.com

Owl City Summer Tunes

Check Out Interlinc Article Here

“One of the most important relationships in my life is the one I have with my dad. I imagine to everyone else, he is just a normal guy: friendly, down-to-earth, patient, laid-back, even-keeled, a man of few words – but to me, he is a hero. I wrote this song as my way of saying, ‘Hey dad, I love ya.’” – Adam Young

No matter where he goes, Owl City mastermind Adam Young is constantly creating music. It doesn’t matter if he’s backstage before a gig or sitting in an airport terminal, the singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist will typically be penning tunes on his laptop. His third full-length album nods to that process with the highly apropos title Mobile Orchestra [Republic Records]. Following up his acclaimed 2012 studio album The Midsummer Station, the record sees Owl City progress once more, veering off the beaten path in the process. “Mobile Orchestra is all about variety,” he asserts. “In the past, I’ve set out to make albums that were designed to be a singular listening experience, flowing from track to track. This time around, the songs are like ten rabbit holes that go off in different directions. I had never approached a record like this. I wanted to clear the slate and forget what I knew in order to create a new experience. I spent two years working on it, and it had the time to grow in between every idea. That’s why there’s so much going on.”There was no rush for Owl City. These songs got the chance to evolve as he built them and then sought out the right co-conspirators. The first single “Verge” merges his bright, buoyant production and shimmering vocals with a booming soulful refrain from Aloe Blacc. It blurs the lines between electro, alternative, pop, and R&B all at once, while remaining perfect for the dance floor. “You’re thinking about those moments in life where you’re on the edge,” explains Adam. “It’s like the last day of your life as you know it, and tomorrow everything is going to change. It could be a college graduation. It could be a new career. It could be your wedding day. You’re not sure how it’s going to go, but you’re confident that you’re going to hit the ground running. We reached out to Aloe out of nowhere, and he was so gracious and kind to lend his incredible talent to the track.”

At the same time, the band steps completely outside the box altogether on “Back Home” with country star Jake Owen. “That’s probably my favorite because it was so fresh for me to try something else,” he admits. “I’ve done acoustic tracks before but never like this. I’ve been a big fan of Jake’s for a couple of years. I listened to a lot of his records, and he was a gateway into the country world. We married this pop sensibility with his voice and told a story about how it feels to come home—especially after a long trip or, in our case, tour.”

Then, there’s the love letter to all things nineties with none other than Hanson’s “Unbelievable.” Wanting to capture a nostalgia for the era, Adam reached out to the pop powerhouse, and they cooked up this jovial anthem. “That one is so much fun,” he says. “It goes through everything we love about that era, and Hanson fit perfectly.” Elsewhere, “Thunderstruck” with UK trance diva Sarah Russell proves utterly propulsive and club-ready. As Adam assembled the music, the entire vision came into focus in late 2014 for Mobile Orchestra. “What each of these collaborators does is so different from what I do,” he continues. “It felt so right and natural to reach outside of my comfort zone and join forces with artists away from my world. That process was awesome. Once these people got on board, it really gave the project steam. The train was finally moving.”

The train really never stopped though. The Owatonna, Minnesota native remains an avant garde hitmaker in his own right. With total album sales over 2.5 million and single sales surpassing 18 million globally, his smash “Fireflies” from 2009’s Ocean Eyes received a five-times RIAA platinum certification in addition to going #1 in 26 countries. “Good Time” featuring Carly Rae Jepsen went Top 4 in the U.S. and racked up sales of close to three million. He composed the theme song for filmmaker Zack Snyder’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and an original tune for Disney’s Academy Award winner Wreck-It Ralph, while Owl City’s music has seen placements everywhere from The Croods and Veggietales to Smurfs 2.
Even with all of the collaborations on Mobile Orchestra, everything still stems from Adam’s vision in the end. “I’ve always got that laptop out,” he remarks. “You can do so much with layering, tones, and sounds. It’s literally like an orchestra in a box. If you just take the time to breathe life into it, it can be beautiful.”

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Why I have a Passion For Middle School Camp

Wayyyyyyy back in 2000, Sarah Loftin, me, and Laura didn’t know that we would be leading students together in the yaers to come!

The amazing Spring growth combined with the consistent rain reminds me that God can do amazing things in His perfect timing and in the right season. Right now, my season of life involves two amazing kids, my wife, and all the fun as well as stress that comes with it.  As the Middle School Pastor, I also find myself reflecting on my Middle School and High School season of life.  I ask myself, what was vital to my Spiritual Growth at that stage of life?  One major part of my Spiritual Growth was Summer Camp.  I still remember my 8th grade Summer as I made public the decision to follow God’s call into ministry.  God had been planting so many things in my life up to that point, and during that season, He sprouted a passion for spending time in His Word daily.

It was not by chance that God led me to Pacesetters Camp at Dallas Baptist University my Junior Summer.  I had many thoughts about my life in Christ, but for some reason Pacesetters was like the fertilizer to the passion God had been placing in my heart.  I found a camp experience that challenged me and stretched me to not only talk about Jesus, but take action for Jesus.  I remember that God impressed on me His compassion for the lost and the lowly that I was literally WRECKED for Him.  What God had been planting in me had risen up as a Passion to follow Christ.  From that point forward, that Passion turned to many steps of action at my church.  I saw the vision for my life.  I began to understand that God could use me to help the lost and the broken where I lived.  He had begun framing me to become a Servant Leader

We have been blessed to have the Pacesetters Leadership Camp plant that same seed of Servant Leadership in our Middle School students here at Oakwood.  That Servant Leader Camp, under the Glowing Heart Ministry organization, is still based in the Dallas, TX area.  Today, it has expanded to the donated campground called Focus Pointe Camp in Alba, TX.    Our students are challenged each afternoon to serve the surrounding communities near the camp and apply what they are learning about Jesus with action.  My prayer is for students to know the heart of the Father by finding Jesus, growing deeper in that relationship and showing the world around them His Love.

The Shepherd and Overseer of your Soul

Sheep are mentioned over 500 times in the Bible.  One reason is that they play a part in relating the imagery of the Shepherd and his Flock to Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The followers of the Good Shepherd are… well… SHEEP.  With this in mind, many thoughts about sheep have come about.  First off, sheep are thought to be really stupid.  Stories I have heard involve sheep mindlessly following the other in front of them, no matter what is going on, so if a Shepherd put a staff out for one sheep to jump over and then took it away for the next sheep, the rest of the sheep would “follow the leader” and jump in the same spot.  Secondly, we hear out of Luke 15 that 100 sheep could be doing fine and then one of them might go astray, so the Good Shepherd has to run after that one that decided somehow to just wander off, even though the routine is the mindless following.

So does that make us STUPID SHEEP, and is Jesus greatly placing prominence on Himself and belittling humankind?

Being less and less agriculturally inclined in society today, and not in the business of raising sheep, I discovered what many people may already know.  Sheep actually have some distinct attributes that put them at a higher IQ than one can imagine.

  1.  They are right below Pigs in IQ and can be considered the same level as cattle.  MOOOOO!!!
  2.  Sheep can actually recognize facial features and remember them for years.  Take that iPhone number kazillion and one!
  3.  Sheep can pick up on different emotional states pretty easily.  (In a BAAAAAD mood???)
  4.  Sheep can also express their emotional state by the various sounds they make.
  5.  Sheep can self-medicate themselves and graze on needed nutrients depending on their current physical status
  6.  Sheep also can distinguish between voices and know when their name is called.

Wow!  Maybe sheep are smarter than we think! With all these amazing facts (and believe me there are more from sheep enthusiasts), maybe Jesus is wanting us to feel more than “stupid.”

 

John 10 paints a picture of a Good Shepherd that knows His sheep.  He calls them by name.  He protects them.  He gives them abundant life. He oversees every aspect of their lives.  In fact, He oversees the deepest part of our inward being.  The keeper of the our mind, will, and emotions.  The place that we tend to keep hidden behind the outside, natural part of ourselves.  Our Souls!

Maybe Jesus is revealing His true heart to us and the heart of the Father for mankind.  All we need to do is respond to the call when we hear our name.  He willingly lays down His life for US, the SHEEP!  Do you know His voice?

or better put… DO YOU KNOW THE SHEPHERD AND OVERSEER OF YOUR SOUL?

Peter was asked to do something by Jesus.  “FEED MY SHEEP” Those words must have echoed in his mind for the rest of his life.  After denying Jesus on the road to the cross, he finds a place of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Then he is given a noble task.  To follow Jesus and point others to the Shepherd of the Sheep.

Maybe those thoughts settled in his mind in a way that gave him the wisdom to encourage his flock with these words:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 2:24‭-‬25 ESV

The comfort we can find in Peter’s words lands on the word RETURN.  The truth is all of us have strayed away from the heart of the Father.   We have something within us that decides to wander away, even when we do a good job of following most of the time.  Peter understood the word “RETURN,” and brings comfort in this truth.  YOU CAN RETURN TO THE SHEPHERD AND OVERSEER OF YOUR SOUL.  Just as Peter did.  We all have the ability to RETURN.

Where are you today?  Wandering?  Following?  Listening to the Voice of the Good Shepherd? 

YOU CAN SIMPLY RETURN

Artistic View of the Stations of the Cross

I love to be inspired and look for creative ways to be reminded of the journey to the Cross during Holy Week.  Scott Erickson has a great way of merging today’s value in Art and the Spiritual Journey we all take to the Cross.  Hope this inspires you this week as well.

    Pastor Brandon

The Stations of the Cross began as a practice that pilgrims would have when they were retracing Jesus’ finals steps in Jerusalem up to the hill where he was crucified. Wanting to share that practice and experience with people who couldn’t make the trip to the Holy City, they created these stations of meditation that became in itself a tradition. Today, you can find this tradition on the inside of many churches.

This journey to the cross is not only a meditation of Jesus accomplishing what he came to do –  the redemption of  humanity through his own willful sacrifice – but it’s also a contemplation of Jesus silently participating in some of the worst aspects of being human.  We see him being tempted. Betrayed by a friend. Convicted in an unjust system. Pain.  Mockery.  Public humiliation.  Broken family relationships.

He was one who was not separate from our own pain.

I don’t think our deepest question is “Is there a God?”

IS GOD REALLY IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS?

check out more from artist Scott Erickson here