Oaks Church

      Our tall white steeple and red doors call out to the community that all are welcome to come and feel the love of Christ and the love of our church family. Our worship services are on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with adult Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. For our youth, we have #OAKZ. Our mission statements are Extending God’s Call – Empowering God’s People – Easing Human Need. We are located at 1576 Chantilly Lane, and our telephone number is 713-682-2556.

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       Please place a star or sticker on you calendar for Sunday, August 17th. During the service we will be having a special blessing on all of the students’ back packs and teachers’ and education administrators’ work bags. Following the service we are having a catered bar-b-q lunch. If you insist on bringing something, please bring a dessert to share. Invite family, neighbors, and friends to come!!

       Oaks’ Facebook site is almost ready!!! Please stay tuned for when it is done and be prepared to like us!!!



children playing


Bell choir practice is on Wednesdays from 5:45 - 6:45 pm. However, we are taking the summer off.

Adult choir practice is on Wednesdays from 7 - 8 pm.

AUGUST 2014

NOELIE’S NOTION
“ARE THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO YOU?”

       PLEASE, PLEASE, DON’T STOP READING THIS ARTICLE!!!! This article is not what you think it is. Just read this paragraph, and then if you are not interested in what it says, stop reading it and go to the next article. Yes, as I wrote in the January newsletter, Noelie’s Notion for 2014 is focusing on our spiritual health. Each month I will be using one of the questions posed by Donald S. Whitney in his book Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health. Our question for August deals with our interest in the spiritual disciplines. Yes, a regimen of prayer, reading the Bible, Bible study, going to church, and service can and will contribute to spiritual growth, but that is like saying milk, vegetables, and chicken will contribute to our physical growth. In his book Messy Spirituality, Michael Yaconelli writes, “Physical and spiritual growth cannot be reduced to mechanics. I’m all for getting the mechanics right, but spiritual growth is more than a procedure; it’s a wild search for God in the tangled jungle of our souls.” A little bit later he writes, “I want to give you some important non-principles of growth which are guaranteed to help you understand that there are no guarantees in the spiritual life, except for one: the longing for Jesus Christ is always underneath our every desire.” Here are his four non-principles.

       First, spiritual growth encompasses a lifetime of decisions. Spiritual growth does not result from one mighty decision, a once-and-for-all commitment to God. Making this decision is important, but it is just the first of thousands more decisions that involve our spiritual growth. Some of our decisions will bring us closer to God, and some will move us farther away. But both kinds of decisions contribute to our relationship with God.

       Second, spiritual growth looks different for each of us. It would be nice if it was a steadily climbing line, but it is not. Life just isn’t like that. If we were to graph spiritual growth, for most of us it probably would look something like this:

Instead of giving value judgments to the high and low points of our graph, let us use words like waiting, starting, learning, etc. In this way we can treat ourselves more kindly in regard to our spiritual growth.

       Third, give God 60%. Sometimes a 60% commitment to God is 100% of all we can give. God recognizes the seeds of growth in what we are giving God. God will be with us for whatever percentage we can give to God, which just might motivate us to give God more.

        Fourth, reluctant growth is still growth. No matter how much we have grown spiritually, we still need to grow more. Our overarching goal is to be more and more like Jesus and that will not be completed until we are with Jesus in heaven.

       For me, these four non-principles relate to the spiritual disciplines. We start with good intentions and then we stop. We might say to ourselves, “Well, if I can’t give God 100%, I should just stop all together.” God is so much more gracious to us than we are to ourselves sometimes. Theologian Henri Nouwen defines discipline like this: “The word discipline means the effort to create some space in which God can act. Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up.” So, perhaps with this new definition of “discipline” and the four non-principles of spiritual growth, one can perhaps grow into the importance of spiritual disciplines.

Something to think about and pray about.
In God’s love and joy,
Pastor Noelie

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