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Monday Memo - August 12

Leslie and I have been away a few days to celebrate our 40th anniversary. WOW!  We are grateful for our journey together and what God has taught us about love, perseverance, and grace. Interestingly, 33 of those 40 years have been spent here in Johnson City with many of you - who have been a great source of encouragement to us. Thank you!

Just before we left, I bought 10 tickets for Joe Castillo. Joe, a finalist in last year's America's Got Talent, will be doing two shows this Sunday night at 4:00 and 6:30 pm. So far I have given away three to a neighbor and have promised some to others whom would likely not visit a church for other reasons. I want to encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity, by not only coming yourself, but by inviting a friend or neighbor, and by praying. Tickets are available online and at the table in the lobby on Sunday, and if tickets remain, at the door.  Follow the link to see the article in last week's News and Neighbor.

Another great opportunity for men is a week from Saturday on August 24th when Inky Johnson comes to visit our area and GFC. This former University of Tennessee football player has an inspiring story that will impact any man you know. Tickets for this breakfast event are $8 each and are also available at the table in the lobby on Sunday or online.  Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'Register Here.'

I'm looking forward to seeing you this Sunday as we continue our STALLED? get moving again series!

P.S. Our three services seemed to go well last Sunday. Both the 9:15 and 11:00 were relatively full, having a good balance between the two, and 150+ attended the 12:30 service. Thanks for your flexibility and commitment to the progress of the gospel over your own convenience.

Grace and peace, 

Tom Oyler
Lead Pastor   


Looking Back

"Stalled? get moving again:  Busyness"   Luke 10:38-42

It’s ironic isn’t it? Sometimes the faster we try to go the more stalled we become. Busyness can be a deadly sickness to our spiritual growth and it has infected us in epidemic proportions in our culture. But what do we do about it? Is it even possible to slow down? As Martha learned from her conversation with Jesus, the key is what you choose to focus on.


One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.

          ~Sidney Howard

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.

          ~Lin Yutang

Keep in mind that you are always saying “no” to something. If it isn’t to the apparent, urgent things in your life, it is probably to the most fundamental, highly important things.

          ~Helen Keller

Busyness rapes relationships. It substitutes shallow frenzy for deep friendships. It feeds the ego, but starves the inner man. It fills the calendar, but fractures the family.

          ~Charles Swindoll

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

          ~Jesus, Mark 8:36


1.    Make a list of anything in your life that tends to pull you away from being with Jesus.

2.    As you look at your list, what are the things you can give less focus to? Are there things you can eliminate entirely?

3.    Of the things on your list you cannot eliminate, how might you begin to do them with Jesus?

4.    What choices will you make this week to help you be less distracted and more focused on Him?

Looking Ahead

"Stalled? get moving again:  Isolation"   Hebrews 10:24-25

It is something contrary to our nature. That’s why solitary confinement is a form of punishment. God said, “It is not good that man be alone.” (Genesis 2:18) Yet, for some reason, especially in recent years, we are choosing isolation. As someone has said, “We are all in this alone.” And alone we stall. Our tank runs dry. Let’s see what God’s provision is for us who are “alone.”


1.    Hebrews 10:24-25 reveals so much about our tendency towards isolation. Use the space below to write out these verses word for word. Become a scribe!

2.    Notice the repetition of the phrases “since” in vs. 19 and 21, and then the “let us” in vs. 22, 23 and 24. How does this context affect the way you see vs. 24-25?

3.    What does the “let us consider…” tell you about the “need” and intentionality of meeting with one another?

4.    Why do you think the author puts the command in the negative (not) in v. 25?

5.    What does the word “habit” imply?

6.    What is the opposite of “not forsaking…” according to v. 25? How does this surprise and inform you?

7.    What is the incentive to come out of isolation and to start encouraging one another? (see the end of v. 25)


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