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Guest article by AJ Harbison

August 10, 2017 | by: AJ Harbison | 0 Comments

Pastor Dale is on vacation this week, and he asked me to write a Touchpoint article regarding some of the "what"s and the "why"s of worship at Oak Hills. He and I have been reading a book together, Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice by Bryan Chapell, former president of Covenant Theological Seminary. In the book, Chapell lays out a number of ways that the story of redemption impacts and shapes the way we structure our worship services, and our worship at Oak Hills follows many of these principles. ... Keep Reading

Grace in Silence & Solitude

August 3, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

I have asked the men of Oak Hills to read a book with me this summer, Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray. I’m drawn to this book because I want to see the grace of God lived out more and more in my life, in my thinking, in my feeling, in my marriage, in my family, in my relationships, and in my work. I hope you are able to pick up a copy and read with me. It will be the launching pad for discussion at our Men’s Breakfast on August 26. In the meantime, I want to use these Touchpoint articles to share some of my reflections as I work through Murray’s book. This is part four. Last week we considered Murray’s chapter on the “grace of sleep” and how it contributes to a “grace-paced” life. Our sleep habits reveal certain beliefs about God from which we operate. Physical rest is not the only rest that is called for by the Bible. Mental and soul rest are just as vital, as Psalm 46:10 states, “Be still, and know that I am God.” How do we give our minds and souls rest? Murray makes the case for silence and solitude.... Keep Reading

The Grace Of Sleep

July 27, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

I have asked the men of Oak Hills to read a book with me this summer, Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray. I’m drawn to this book because I want to see the grace of God lived out more and more in my life, in my thinking, in my feeling, in my marriage, in my family, in my relationships, and in my work. I hope you are able to pick up a copy and read with me. It will be the launching pad for discussion at our Men’s Breakfast on August 26. In the meantime, I want to use these Touchpoint articles to share some of my reflections as I work through Murray’s book. This is part three. Have you ever read a chapter in a book about sleep (much less than an entire book on sleep)? I don't recall ever reading much about sleep. But sleep is where David Murray starts in guiding his readers to recover and/or develop a grace-paced life. He began his book by helping us diagnose grace deficiencies in our lives, but the majority of his book focuses on ways to cultivate more grace in our daily activities. Sleep is step one.... Keep Reading

Detecting Grace Deficiencies

July 20, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

I have asked the men of Oak Hills to read a book with me this summer, Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray. I’m drawn to this book because I want to see the grace of God lived out more and more in my life, in my thinking, in my feeling, in my marriage, in my family, in my relationships, and in my work. I hope you are able to pick up a copy and read with me. It will be the launching pad for discussion at our Men’s Breakfast on August 26. In the meantime, I want to use these Touchpoint articles to share some of my reflections as I work through Murray’s book. This is part two. Last week we began by looking at what David Murray calls "grace deficiencies." These are areas in our lives where grace is not making a difference, even though we may have great knowledge of God's grace. Before Murray dives into the ways we can cultivate the transforming power of grace into our lives, he spends time helping us detect and analyze grace deficiencies. The aim in this process is to prevent total burn out and to begin to make progress in a grace-paced life.... Keep Reading

Grace Deficiencies

July 13, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

I have asked the men of Oak Hills to read a book with me this summer, Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray. I’m drawn to this book because I want to see the grace of God lived out more and more in my life, in my thinking, in my feeling, in my marriage, in my family, in my relationships, and in my work. I hope you are able to pick up a copy and read with me. It will be the launching pad for discussion at our Men’s Breakfast on August 26. In the meantime, I want to use these Touchpoint articles to share some of my reflections as I work through Murray’s book. This is part one. At Oak Hills our mission is longing to know and make known the astonishing grace of God. Within this mission we aim to center everything we do on the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ. This “longing to know and make known” encompasses all areas of our life and ministry together: worship, Bible study, fellowship, outreach, missions, discipleship, etc. In fact, we can boil down our mission to four action words:... Keep Reading

Deeds Prohibit Repentance?

July 6, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

This summer at Oak Hills we have been studying the Old Testament prophet Hosea. He is best known for his illustrative marriage to Gomer, an eye-opening lesson for the people of God about spiritual adultery. On the flip side of their (our) spiritual adultery is the faithfulness, steadfast love, redemption, and restoration of God. This story proves to be a beautiful and powerful depiction of what it means to be in a relationship with God. Take sin seriously. Delight yourself in your loving, kind, forgiving, heavenly Father. Like a multi-faceted jewel, which you can spin around and see new marvelous angles of beauty, Hosea unfolds with new angles of beauty into our relationship with God. One of those facets is how sin affects our relationship with God. We have seen that sin is rooted in the lack of knowledge of God (2:8) and that sin takes the place of God in our hearts (2:5). In chapter 5 we learn that sin actually can be a roadblock to repentance.... Keep Reading

To Forsake or Not to Forsake

June 29, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Perhaps you have a plaque or a framed picture in your home with Joshua’s words: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” It is a good mission or goal to keep for your home and family. The context of these words comes at the end of Joshua’s life and leadership of Israel. They had conquered the Promised Land (with God’s help). Now the twelve tribes of Israel are to settle in their new land allotments. Joshua gives them a final exhortation to follow the Lord as their King. He lays out the choice before them: “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).... Keep Reading

Transformed by Jolting Grace

June 22, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Hosea’s tumultuous marriage to Gomer provides a jolting picture of God’s relationship with his people. It is meant to be unsettling. God desires it to raise questions in our minds. Gomer’s unfaithfulness, used as a mirror to uncover our own spiritual unfaithfulness, is meant to break us and humble us before God. Hosea’s, and God’s, tender, gracious, and forgiving care for his bride is meant to be just as jolting. This jolting grace has the power to transform us. How does that work? Hosea 2 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible to help us understand our relationship with God. It addresses sin, the consequences of sin, God’s gracious movements to protect and rescue us from sin, God’s covenant commitment to redeem his people, and our future hope in communion with God. Verses 16-20, using the language of renewing marriage vows, give us a glimpse into how God’s jolting grace changes us. Look at these verses and then let me highlight how this works.... Keep Reading

Sin Exposed For Our Good

June 15, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Understanding our sin (how it works, how it captures the imaginations of our hearts, how to repent of it, etc.) is vital to a healthy relationship with God. Ignoring our sin, downplaying our sin, or denying our sin are all recipes for bringing decay into our relationship with God. The Old Testament prophet Hosea wrote to a people who grew complacent with their sin. Their relationship with God eroding much like a marriage relationship when one spouse is unfaithful. God called Hosea to use some vivid imagery to shake his people awake to the reality of their sin. Nearly 2,800 years later, we get to listen to this jarring message. Let this prophet open the eyes of your heart to new dimensions of your sin so that you can go deeper in your relationship with God.... Keep Reading

Longing to Know and Make Known

June 2, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

We have a packed week ahead for Oak Hills. Supporting our missions team. Joining with brothers and sisters in prayer and worship. Deepening relationships with one another through great fellowship. And ministering to kids with the love of Christ. I’m excited for each of these opportunities and how they fulfill our mission to know and make known the astonishing grace of God. I hope you are able to join us in one or more of these gatherings. Let me highlight how we pray they serve the Gospel ministry.... Keep Reading

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