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

Middle School Grow

We are launching our Middle School Grow track through Google Classroom!

The Journey in Discipleship Personal Growth track has gone digital!

If you are a Middle School Student that would like a personal challenge in Growing in your walk with Jesus, Middle School Grow is for you.

HOW DOES A STUDENT JOIN IN?

Step 1 – Go to classroom.google.com and click Go to Classroom. or download the Google Classroom App on your device.

Step 2 – Join a class with a class code that matches your grade below:

  • 6th Grade Code – gupp44
  • 7th Grade Code – j8d2lxe
  • 8th Grade Code – 6t8nsi
  • Accept an invitation from Class Creator— Code doesn’t work? Email Pastor Brandon at Brandon.Best@oakwoodnb.com and he will manually invite you through email.
  • Click on the Classwork Tab
  • Watch the opening video like this one

WE are in launch mode

My desire is to provide students with a Grade Based, personal track, that challenges them to think about their walk with Jesus and gives them steps to walk through it.

We definitely understand that this is a work in progress. We chose Google Classroom due to the fact that students use it at school, it is FREE for our use, and it gives a platform for us to build on in the DIGITAL AGE we are in. We can post videos, devotional content, give links, and track “points” to see how students are progressing.

WHAT ARE THE GRADES?

Grades for the “assignments” mainly fall in the completion category. We also have the idea of challenging students to push hard at certain times of the year with prizes for the leaders in each grade.

Fusion Wednesdays Feb Series

OVERVIEW OF WHOLEHEARTED (4 Lessons)

In Wholehearted, students will explore what it means to follow Christ with their whole hearts. By looking at the examples of Christ-followers from the Bible, students will learn how to stay fully-engaged in their personal journeys with Christ, as they influence and are influenced by others. Your student will be challenged to grow as a disciple who follows Christ wholeheartedly through the ups and downs of life.

MAIN TOPICS AND SCRIPTURE COVERED

  • Lesson 1: Disciples Look Forward (Philippians 3:13b-14)

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13b-14 (ESV)

  • Lesson 2: Disciples Know Their Gifts (Romans 12:3-8)

Lesson two is designed to inform students of various spiritual gifts and help students discover their own (and each other’s) gifts and strengths. When we humbly use our spiritual gifts for God’s purposes, disciples create a strong and powerful community of believers.

  • Lesson 3: Disciples Inspire (John 4:4-26, 39-42)

When someone inspires us, we have an energy and momentum that is greater than something we could muster up on our own. Lesson three is designed to make students aware of the power of an inspiring person, and how disciples use inspiration for the good of God’s kingdom.

  • Lesson 4: Disciples Commit Wholeheartedly (Joshua 14:6-15)

Disciples follow through on their commitments—when it’s easy, and when it’s not so easy. Lesson four will challenge students to keep their commitments, even through the tough times, by learning to see obstacles and disappointments as opportunities to grow and refocus.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOUR CHILD

  • Is there anything from the past that still hurts or bothers you to think about? What can you learn from it? What promises of God can you lean on as you move forward?
  • Do you have an idea what your spiritual gifts are? I think mine are…
  • Who/what inspires you?
  • Can you think of ways (big or small) God has worked in your life that might inspire others?
  • Are there any obstacles that get in the way of keeping your commitments?

MEMORY VERSES: each lesson has a corresponding verse to memorize or meditate on

1. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13b-14 (ESV)

2. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Romans 12:4-5 (ESV)

3. Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”

John 4:39 (ESV)

4. Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.

1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV)

Believe Weekend Band

Music by: Art Wellborn  

Art comes from a long line of ministers and musicians.  His father was a pastor and his mother was the church pianist in every single church they served in, so he was raised in the middle of church and church music. He grew up singing and playing in just about every service with his two musically talented older sisters. 

Art began playing drums in his Dad’s church in fifth grade and was convinced he would be a drummer.  He then got a guitar in the sixth grade and after his dad taught him the only four chords a worship leader needs to know, guitar very quickly became his favorite instrument. 

He began leading worship for the children’s ministry and youth ministry at First Woodway in Waco, TX when he was in high school, then after graduating he joined the youth staff as the worship leader.  

He went to Baylor University and continued leading for the youth as well as serving in the Sunday morning worship band from 2011-2015. 

In 2015 he moved to the Dallas area and served as a worship leader at Community Life Church. 10 months later, Art felt God calling him back to Waco to help start and lead worship for The Venue at First Woodway.

Art is married to Maddie, the love of his life, and has a dog named Tatum.

In addition to leading in The Venue, he travels with his band leading for various events.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16

Believe Weekend

Can you Help Serve for Believe Weekend?

Believe Weekend is January 25-27. Our theme is JESUS (PERIOD),and we are challenging every student to think about what they are going to do with JESUS.

We have over 300 students signed up and are planning for 500+ with our Coordinator Team.  This gives us the ability to allow the students signed up NOW to invite their friends that may not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Here are some ways to Help!  The Team has also created some online links.

  • Our Team has already confirmed 31 Host Homes, but we are in need of 9 to 10 more homes.  HOST HOME SIGN UP HERE
  • Students like to eat, and we like the personal touch that Oakwood provides through Meals at those Homes.  MEAL PROVIDER SIGN UP
  • We also have Volunteers during weekend that help behind the scenes, with clean up, food serving at Oakwood, etc.  VOLUNTEERSIGNUP
  • One big Serve Event is our Can Drive.  We would like to have extra drivers to help transport students DRIVER SIGN UP HERE
Register Here Now!https://oakwoodnb.shelbynextchms.com/external/form/3a4a3901-5edd-4a08-92bf-1b08c3944544

From Pastor B

As the Middle School Pastor at Oakwood Church since 2007, I have seen students come to Christ, move forward in their relationship with Jesus, and share the great message of the Gospel with their friends and others on mission trips and local serve projects.

My hope is for LIFE CHANGE on the INSIDE when LIFE IS CHANGING so rapidly on the OUTSIDE.  The BEST PLACE to engage Middle School Students is during the crazy world of CHANGE that they are experiencing in Middle School.

Sign up for the Parent Email List

6th Grade Sign Up 2018-2019

7th Grade Sign Up 2018-2019

8th Grade Sign Up 2018-2019

Get ready! 

The most intense stage for the family is the Middle School time frame, where the Parent Repellent comes out and the question becomes, “Who is this kid I used to know?”

  • Your sixth grade kid is moving from reflecting you and your family values to deflecting them in order to grow into an adult that will eventually look a lot like YOU.
  • Your seventh grade student could possibly be playing 20 questions with you to find his or her authentic faith and guardrails for life.
  • By eighth grade, we see this small, lovely child begin to grow into a physical adult body and correspond with you like an adult.

This is the launch pad for many things as they discover themselves, develop skills and talents, and decipher Spirituality in the process.

MY PASSION is to lead students to the heart of the Father by helping them own their faith in Jesus Christ and grow in an authentic relationship with Him.  My greatest joy has been to see the light turn on when a student begins to KNOW the Father through Jesus, GROW in their relationship, and SHOW the love of Jesus in their daily lives.

Opportunities during the year include:

  • Believe Weekend in January, when students spend time listening to the truth of God’s word and apply it to their lives.We see friends coming to Wednesday weekly meetings and Sunday Morning Weekly gatherings to have some fun with one another, but also to connect with Jesus in a relevant way geared for their age group.
  • Our Servant Leadership Camp in June gives a nuts and bolts experience of what it means to serve with the love of Jesus and reflect on the love of Jesus on a personal level.
  • We have fun events, concerts, lock-ins, and other activities that build community and give students a place to experience a loving and accepting environment.

We are on the journey together to Know God, and grow closer to Jesus every step of the way!

MOTHER & DAUGHTER MESSY NIGHT OUT

Friday, January 18, 2019, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

All Middle School & High School girls and their mothers or special role models are invited to join us for a fun evening together!

Doors open at 6:00 pm and dinner is served at 6:30.

Join us for dinner, music, an encouraging message and journaling in God’s word. (Journaling Bibles will be included for each mother/daughter in the price of tickets.) $35.00/mother & daughter; $10 each additional daughter. Space is limited so register online today!

REGISTER HERE