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Pastor's Point - March 2023

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Dear Church Family,

I just want to begin by saying God is so good!! There are so many things that we have to be thankful for as a church and I just want to take a moment to give God praise.

The Acts Sermon Series
Of all of the series of sermons that I have shared throughout the years, I believe I have had more feedback and testimonies from this series of messages than almost any others. It has taken us some time to make our way through the book of Acts, but it has been worth it. Along the way we took some breaks to speak from other portions of scripture about important topics that related specifically to our church family, but I wanted to make sure that we made it through the whole book of Acts because of the richness of the content, and the recurring themes which are important to interact with so we can understand their importance. I pray that we will remember that we are EMPOWERED to be witnesses, we are GUIDED to complete the task of seeing others CONVERTED, and that as we walk in faithfulness, we will be willing to be PERSECUTED for the cause of Christ if it is ever required of us.

The New Student Ministry Space
I thank God for this new ministry space that is going to be used to help disciple the students of our church. Our church family has been faithful to give sacrificially to allow us to develop this space. It is a beautiful space perfect for our students as well as for our church family to use for the glory of God! We also had faithful volunteers from our church who gave countless hours of service to physically work on the room. We have seen multiple generations give to, work on, and be invested in by the work taking place in this new ministry space. God is so good to us!! We are ready to receive our new Student Pastor as God brings him to us in His timing. Keep praying for our search for him! God is so good to us!

The New Children’s Ministry Space
We are in the early stages of developing this space as we renovate what used to be our student ministry room, and former sanctuary as well. This space is going to be a blessing to children as it will provide a dedicated space for large group meetings and children’s worship. This space will be outfitted in such a way that it will be able to host different parties and events as well. Be listening for ways to volunteer to work on this space as well as to financially give to make this a reality. God is so good to us!

North Campus Update
As you may know we have a brand new roof on our gym at North Campus which is a huge blessing! We also have plans coming together to take our next steps of renovation on the North Campus as we prioritize the many needs that these buildings have. Ultimately these buildings are going to be nice, functioning facilities that will allow us to continue to reach out and grow! And while that work is coming we still have the blessing of using the beautiful acreage up there for outdoor ministry activities like our community wide egg hunt, church picnic, summer camp, mother’s day out, and more events coming in the fall. God is so good to us!! There is so much more that could be said, from our steady stream of guests on Sundays, to our full class of 20 people coming to our Discover Oakhill to learn about church membership. We have had a very successful year of UPWARD basketball and cheer this year as well. We have 20 children that we are following up with who either trusted in Christ as Savior or have questions about doing so. God is so good to us!!

I am so excited for what God has for us in the remainder of this year and out into the years to come. Let’s make it our aim and goal to walk in faithfulness to God, and in love with one another as we live for God’s glory!!

I love you and I love being your pastor!!!

Posted by Alan Scott with

Spare Change - March 2023

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Fighting Fair: 5 Steps to Resolving Conflict with Your Spouse

Do you fight with your spouse? It might be a small skirmish or an all-out war but at one point or another you will have a dispute with your spouse. Since conflict is inevitable, we need to come to some kind of agreement on how we should address these quarrels. You might be saying, “Hold up, Pastor Bryan! Shouldn’t we be striving to avoid fighting?” Avoiding conflict is not a biblical idea and often leads to resentment over time. Look at what the scriptures says:

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Conflict must be addressed if we are to follow scripture. However, most couples do not fight fair. Instead of having a Christlike mindset, we seek to hurt the other person. We seek to win and conquer our spouse until they relent and recognize that we were right all along. We fight from a place of intense emotion and sometimes manipulation. All of this is a sinful way to resolve conflict. We need to learn to fight fairly! Here are some steps to resolving conflict in a biblical way:

  1. Reconciliation is the goal: We must remember that reconciliation is the goal. We should always be seeking to restore the relationship with our spouse. Our model for dealing with conflict is how Jesus Christ has treated us. Instead of letting us stew in our sin and receive our just punishment, He came to seek reconciliation through the cross (Romans 5:10).
  2. Be quick to listen and slow to speak: Communication is assumed and you must learn to share your heart with your spouse. One key part of communication is listening. The Bible tells us in James 1:19 to be quick to listen and slow to speak. It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we talk. You must listen to your spouse and understand where they are coming from before any conflict can be resolved.
  3. Watch your words: When you do talk, be careful with how you talk to one another. Remember, once you say something, you cannot take it back. Even if you say sorry, the thing you said is out there. Do not resort to calling names, swearing, or using accusing language. It doesn’t help when you are attacking your spouse with words; you will most certainly regret it later on. According to Ephesians 4:29, we should not let any corrupt talk come from our mouths. Also, we see in James 3 an example of how powerful the tongue is in tearing down or building up.
  4. Deal in facts: When we fight emotions can rise quickly. We need to remember that emotions are important, but they can mislead us if we are not careful.  We must deal in the facts and not emotion. Try to talk through the facts of the situation when you fight. Take a break from talking if the emotions get too high. Also sitting down at the same table rather than standing toe to toe helps. According to Ephesians 4:26-27 we can be angry and not sin. The sin happens when our anger produces hatred in our hearts, which usually results in shouting, withdrawal, and resentment. 
  5. Run to forgiveness quickly: Forgiveness is the most important part of reconciliation. Once again, we look to Christ as our example. Colossians 3:13 says, “...if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” How can we not forgive our spouse when we have been forgiven so much by our Lord? If you refuse to forgive your spouse, you need to do a heart check. I understand that sins have varying consequences and work must be done to complete reconciliation.  I am not saying that forgiveness is easy or quick, however, we must be working toward forgiveness if we are to fully reconcile conflict with our spouse. We can bring glory to the Lord if we address our conflict in a biblical way!

For more on communication in marriage check out the Families for Life podcast Marriage series at oakhillbc.org/f4l

Posted by Bryan Gotcher with

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