Henry Loftin Legacy

I recall meeting Henry Loftin for the first time at Pacesetters Camp in High School. Some family friends invited me to come to camp, and I found myself with a close family of college students in a ministry called Glowing Heart. It was not by chance that God led me to Pacesetters Camp at Dallas Baptist University my Junior Summer in High School. I had many thoughts about my life in Christ, but for some reason Pacesetters was like the fertilizer to the seeds of 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. That first night, I remember Henry speaking to our group and challenging us to get our relationship right with Jesus at the front end of camp, so that Jesus could work in us for the rest of the week. I remember that God impressed on me His compassion for the lost and the lowly so much, 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.

DBU Memorial Day Celebration

Little did I know that the Lord had a plan for me to join Glowing Heart Ministries in 1998. Henry became more than a camp director or speaker to me. He invited me and everyone on the team to be his family. That family is one that has experienced many days of traveling from church to church, leading to serve as Christ served, love with all our hearts, and experience the life-changing power of the Name of Jesus across the ends of the Earth.

Israel Trip 2001

Not only that, but Laura and I met at DBU and spent many days learning the same ministry through Glowing Heart Ministries. Henry counseled Laura during our “famous break up.” We worked hard to not let our “love life” interfere with the ministry we were doing. Henry taught us to be above reproach and serve others in all that we did. HOWEVER, when the stuff dropped and Laura and I had that time of separation, Henry said something to the sort of, “Next time, give me a heads up when you are about to do something like this.” Henry was someone safe that Laura could run to in a time of trouble. That is why, when we did realize we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together, we had no doubt that Henry would be the one to officiate our marriage. That was right here in New Braunfels, Tx, by the way! We brought the whole Glowing Heart team to do the music, many were bridesmaids and groomsmen, and we knew Henry would be the right person to share the Gospel to our friends and family attending our Holy Matrimony happening at First Baptist Church that hot day of August 3, 2002.

August 3, 2002

I have personally been thankful to the Lord that my place as the Middle School Pastor at Oakwood has given me the ability to continue to share that same legacy Henry shared with me. The blessing is the legacy of Christ passed down from generation to generation. As we remember Henry’s life, we cannot move far from the Good News of Jesus Christ. That is because he was a remarkable example of what Jesus looks like in today’s time. Here are some clips we had from Middle School Pacesetters Camp this past Summer. #henryloftinlegacy

Middle School Camp – June 2021

First Step – KNOW

The Oakwood Student Ministry has taken the Do-Nut theme to the NEXT LEVEL!!!
First Step – KNOW

Step 1 – KNOW

We started off this Promotion Sunday in the Middle School Ministry (MSM) casting vision in a creative way for our three main steps we take in Middle School.

Here you go – KNOW, GROW, SHOW.

Yea, it’s simple, but I believe these are thoughts we need to have as we walk toward making Jesus #1 in our lives.

‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:11-13‬ ‭Speaks to one aspect of the KNOW step…

“And this is the testimony, that 

that God gave us eternal life, 

and this life is in his Son. 

Whoever has the Son has life; 

whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.”

Just like the void of a Do-Nut, we have a GOD-Sized Hole in our hearts that can only be filled with Eternal Life. According to 1 John, it is super simple. JESUS fills that HOLE with ETERNAL LIFE!!!! What I enjoy about John is that he decided to write 1John so that everyone can truly KNOW how to have ETERNAL LIFE.

Do YOU KNOW that you have ETERNAL LIFE?

Great, that is the first step to KNOW, GROW, SHOW.

By the way, we have to give a shout out to Theresa at the Shipley Do-Nut shop on Loop 337. She totally gave us the run of the place and allowed us to take clips to show on Sunday Mornings for this series. I even found myself taking an “impromptu” order for two Kolaches at the window!!!

MSM FIRST TIMER TIPS

Here are a few FIRST TIMER TIPS:

Promotion Sunday is August 8.
See you at 9:30am in the Student Pavilion
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
  • WE MEET DURING THE 9:30am SERVICE If you come at 11:00am, we suggest that your student serves with Oakwood Kids or attends Main Service with the family. 
  • THE STUDENT PAVILION IS THAT GARAGE LOOKING PLACE AROUND BACK: That is where Middle School Students meet + we give FREE SHIPLEY DO-NUTS, pretty much EVERY SUNDAY.
  • You Don’t Check Your Student In.   Just send them to the Pavillion!
  • You Don’t Check Your Student Out.  When our time is over, around 10:40am, students are dismissed and find their parents ON THEIR OWN.
  • Plan a MEETING PLACE after MSM Time. Take a moment ahead of time and plan a place to meet up.  For example… “Meet us in the Mission Hall” or “We will probably be picking up little Johnny from the Children’s building, so meet us in the foyer” or “Meet us at the car, but don’t get hit by another church member’s car” or “Go ahead and just go home with another loving church family that will feed you and house you and take you to school” (maybe not the last one)
  • We have loving Adult Leaders. Every Adult Leader present is happy to help you and your student.  We are a team and LOVE YOUR KID TOO!
  • During the School Year we break out into Small Groups by Grade and Gender: These Small Groups are Relationally Oriented for group discussion that relates to the Talk Time with Pastor Brandon (Pastor B).
  • LASTLY WE LOVE YOU AND YOUR KID: I know this transition is different and can seem overwhelming as a parent or as a new Middle Schooler.  With all the stress and Chaos or change, we want to help your student make Jesus #1 in their lives.  The truth is… I have seen great movements of God in our Student Ministry and I KNOW without a doubt that He has way more investment in the life or your kid than even You or I do!                                                                                                                                                       PASTOR B

THE LAST QUARTER OF SUMMER

SUMMER IS NOT OVER YET

Time is beginning to count down. The School Year is just around the corner. We are finishing Vacation Bible School out strong… BUT IT IS NOT OVER YET!

August 8 is Promotion Sunday. New 6th graders join us on Sunday Morning at 9:30am in the Student Pavilion.

August 13-14 is LOCKAPALOOZA!!! We end the last quarter of Summer with a BANG! Friday Night at 7pm begins in the Student Pavilion with guest speaker, Duncan Campbell, some games and hang out time, and we hop on the charter bus to transport to BLAZER TAG ALL NIGHT LONG. Don’t worry, we make it back safe and sound 7am on Saturday Morning.

Need Wisdom… JUST ASK

As we hit the MID-SUMMER mark, we stand with one foot in the laid back, vacation mode, and another foot leaning toward the start-up mode for the new school year. School practices of various kinds begin, sales for school supplies remind us that new times are coming (even if we try REALLY HARD to put that thought off). As I look forward to meeting new faces that enter into the Oakwood Student Ministry for the first time as well as seeing everyone back home after trips and adventures of the Summer, I come back to something that is BASIC, yet easy to look over.

WISDOM IS FROM GOD.

We seem to run to Google or ask Siri what time the game is, how the weather might be, or how to spell that SAT word that we keep forgetting. We tune into the 24 hour news and gain insight on world happenings and wonder how we can live our lives in reaction to the circumstances around us. We choose to find what works best for our kids and ourselves when it comes to education. That might be working on study habits, worrying over getting a certain teacher that seems to be a great match for our kid, or choosing to take a whole new adventure of learning (didn’t we do that during the shut down?). The point I am all too easily revealing is that we have so much information at our disposal, that we may forget the need for the most simple ASK.

ASK GOD FOR WISDOM.

With all the information at our fingertips, we still find ourselves stepping in holes, repeating mistakes or even offenses, and wonder how such an educated mind of a human being that we are can slip down the slippery slope of life as fast as we can. Again, WISDOM is from GOD and the key is, that we must take time in our daily comings and goings to ASK FOR IT. Maybe it takes some time for you and me to realize that WE LACK WISDOM. Quite possibly, those repeated circles you are running in remind you of something. ALL OF US LACK WISDOM. WHY? WISDOM IS FROM GOD.

GOD GIVES WISDOM GENEROUSLY.

God is no device that we must subscribe to. He is not a podcast to listen to. He is not a news anchor on location somewhere, waiting for the next chaotic storm. He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth, and He contains this stuff called WISDOM. Wait a minute? He holds it, but does not desire to keep it! He GENEROUSLY GIVES without the added disapproval for asking. He is ready and willing to pour out WISDOM on YOU if you just ASK.

Of all the things this world has to offer, and you have sought after, HAVE YOU ASKED FOR WISDOM?

No matter how much society changes, the container of WISDOM is still GOD. He helps us know what to do with the overload of information and chaos we consume on a daily basis. The simple fact is IF YOU NEED WISDOM, JUST ASK.

Sharenting: Solving the Problem of Parents and Kids on Instagram

Original Article Here – Growing Leaders is a great resource for Parents of Gen Z students!

By: Tim Elmore

It all started when April, Christine’s youngest daughter, was five years old. Christine knew April would be their family’s last baby and wanted to document each milestone and comical moment of her childhood. By the time she was ten, April was avoiding photo ops; shying away from the camera. By 13, when she had a phone of her own, April witnessed on social media just how much mom had posted on both Facebook and Instagram. She felt violated.

Eventually, as a teen, April requested her mom stop sharing photos of her. It was embarrassing and drew sarcasm from her friends. Christine, of course, was surprised. “But this is what everyone does, isn’t it, sweetheart?” she asked. “You post pictures, too. Why wouldn’t you want your mother to do the same?”

This is a scenario that happens millions of times every year.

Sharenting is Parents Sharing Too Much on Social Media

What happens when the heartfelt ambitions of parenthood meet the ubiquitous opportunities of social media? That’s the subject of “Sharenthood: Why We Should Think Before We Talk About Our Kids Online,” a new book by Leah Plunkett. Plunkett argues that “sharenting” happens any time an adult in charge of a child’s well-being, such as a parent or a teacher, transmits private details about a child via digital channels. The problem, of course, is that even though we may be the parent or guardian, kids are human. They’re vulnerable, and they know that a picture posted is now “out there” for anyone to see at any time in the future. The debate over “sharenting” remains: is it a right or is it a request we make of our kids?

Don’t think this is a big deal? Check out this statistic:

“Studies estimate that by 2030 nearly two-thirds of identity-fraud cases affecting today’s children will have resulted from sharenting.”

When moms and dads post information, they’re often not thinking long term. They’re simply thinking about the responses they’ll get online. But short-term thinking almost always costs someone in the form of unintended consequences.

Neighbors of mine tell me their kids (both teens and young adults) have all but vetoed any sharing of facts or photos that include them without consent. Ironically, one 19-year-old, Seth, reminded his mother that she had discussed “digital citizenship” with him when he was in high school. Now, it was time for her to learn the lesson as well. Managing what we “sharent” is the adult version of being good digital citizens. 

The Potential Price Tag

Indulge me to offer some costs to sharenting that we may not have considered:

  1. Stalkers may pick up details on your children, and manipulate them later.
  2. Your kids may develop an unintentional distrust in your judgement as a parent. 
  3. It can lead to identity fraud and the distribution of information among strangers.
  4. It may cause your teenager to withhold information from you. 
  5. Sharenting exposes children to the larger digital world without their consent, robbing them of a kind of agency. 

According to Plunkett, “The underlying problem with sharenting is the same with many adult-world surveillance and privacy issues: the bargain we have made in exchange for these services is that we surrender our data and choose not to imagine the worst-case scenarios. Not only that, it removes your child’s choice to never be on social media.” 

More and more students are choosing this route. They see the downside. 

In my opinion, too many of us are posting our life instead of living our life. Too much time and energy is spent on spinning our story on social media sites to appear happy, wealthy, or beautiful and it costs our loved ones’ reputation. 

Practical Guidelines We  Can Follow

  • Step into their shoes. Consider how you’ve felt when someone posted a picture with you in it and you hated the way you looked or the way it fueled a wrong narrative. Did you want to take it down? Ditto. 
  • Ask yourself: Do you really need to post that pic? Think long term and realize that you can take all the photos you want but you don’t have to post them. Just keep them on our phone or in a digital file for later.
  • Play the long game. Consider the unintended consequences of posting. Will it alienate your children or students? Could you lose more than you gain? The further out you can see, the better the decision you’ll make today for your kids.
  • Think impulse control. Allow the idea of posting your kid’s photo to move from your limbic system (where you feel) to your cortex (where you think). Consider all the potential consequences of the post and manage your impulses.

Have you heard of “DaddyOFive,” a popular YouTube channel from 2015 to 2017, run by a couple named Michael and Heather Martin? They drew hundreds of thousands of viewers by posting videos of their parenting mishaps and their children’s foibles as they grew up. It all seemed innocent, until they were arrested on charges that it was damaging their kids.

A psychologist in the trial found that two of the children, who were nine and eleven at the time, had experienced “observable, identifiable, and substantial impairments of their mental or psychological ability to function.” Michael and Heather are serving five years of probation and the channel was deleted. The Martins’ attorney assured the court that the couple would become more “careful” with their children and social media.

Here is my question. Why don’t we care more about developing our students than documenting them?

OAKWOOD VBS SERVE OPPORTUNITY

CALLING ALL STUDENTS AND PARENTS!!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2021, 9:00 AM – Friday, July 30, 2021, 12:00 PM

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!

We need Crew Leaders to help lead children to their various stations each day.

We need Outdoor Games leaders to help Pastor B bring the energy outside during Recreation Time.

We need your prayers as Oakwood invests all our creative energy to provide a place for children to hear about the love of JESUS each day.

Middle School Inside Out Sunday AM Series

Our Middle School Inside Out Sunday AM series will focus on what Christlike character is, why it’s needed, and how to have it. Each lesson gives your student the opportunity to study Scripture and apply it to their own life. Below are the passages we are studying and the main takeaway from each lesson. We also have a key verse for each week.

Week 1 – July 11 – Good Fruit

Galatians 5:22–26

THE TAKEAWAY When the Holy Spirit takes root, Christlike character grows in our lives.

Week 2 – July 18 – Be Wise

James 1:2–8

THE TAKEAWAY To be truly wise, you need to be on board with what God wants to do with your life.

Week 3 – July 25 – Thankful

Psalm 107:1–9

THE TAKEAWAY Christ-followers are thankful for the way God satisfies our needs.

Week 4 – Aug 1 – New Clothes, New Me

Colossians 3:1–17

THE TAKEAWAY God’s work on our insides should show change on our outsides.

A Word To Our Incoming 6th Graders

WELCOME NEW OAKWOOD 6TH GRADERS

Promotion Sunday is August 8!!!


We want to welcome you all to the Middle School Ministry (aka MSM) and get you “in the know” on a few upcoming events for your student.

Sunday August 8th is Promotion Sunday– We look forward to seeing your student in the Pavilion at 9:30am.

Also, we have a Summer Sunday Big 3 OSM Night on August 15th, 6-8 pm. in the Pavilion.

Wednesday nights (we call it Fusion) will start up August 25th in the Pavilion 6-7:30pm.

                        AND

You definitely do not want to miss these FUN EVENTS your middle schooler will want to attend

*August 13-14 – Lockapalooza – this is a middle school FAVORITE. We begin at 7 pm on Friday and end on Saturday morning at 7am. Yup it is an all-nighter! Cost for event is $65  

Register Here for Lockapalooza

Looking ahead there will be a

6th grade retreat at Camp Eagle October 8-9 (registration coming soon).

Looking forward to a great year,

MSM Team