faithful witness blog

Every week Pastor Mark McAdow and other staff members write their thoughts about current events, church happenings, and other topics of interest, all from a spiritual, Biblical perspective.  To view older blogs from the current year, please click here.

Seeking and Finding

April 21, 2017


by Morgan Kennedy


As I reflect on Holy week my heart is still so full! I love that we were expectant and excited to sing praises to our victorious King on Easter morning. We set our hearts and minds on Him and He was our one desire. I would like to encourage you all to keep that momentum, that excitement and mindset. He is still alive, so we should always come into His presence full of awe and wonder like children staring at the beauty of our King.


"One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple" (Psalm 27:4). This has been my prayer for a while now, that I would truly fix my eyes on Him and stay in His presence every moment of every day. I believe when we look to Him we'll know Him and become more like Him. So I encourage you to be worshippers who worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Make Him the first priority in your life not just on Sunday, but also Monday through Saturday.


We can prepare our hearts for worship when we spend time with the Father in His word, in prayer, and in personal worship - this is crucial to our spirit.  If we all came prepared to worship Him, letting go of anything that hinders us from Him, imagine what He would do and the ways that He would move and how we would respond? It would be incredible! Friends, God desires to speak to you, to help you, and guide you. He is for you and He loves you. He is so worthy of our praise, our attention. I urge you to earnestly seek His presence and behold His beauty every single day . . . that is when your life will change.

 

Blessings,


Morgan Kennedy

What Have You Sacrificed Lately?

April 14, 2017


by Pastor Mark McAdow


Today is Good Friday.  As we've followed the events of this Holy Week, we've already celebrated Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem with our Bishop Jimmy Nunn on Palm Sunday and shared The Last Supper with the Lord and each other yesterday on Maundy Thursday ("Maundy" is Latin for "mandate," reminding us to love and serve as Jesus humbly demonstrated by washing the 24 filthy feet of his disciples).  Today is Friday.  We as Christians have the audacity to call it "Good Friday" because it is the Day Jesus Christ died for your sins and mine.  God alone is good and He alone could pay the price for our sins.

 

It is only "good" because it fulfilled God's ultimate plan to pay our death penalty through the precious blood of Jesus, "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"(John 1:29b).  The Jews didn't kill Jesus, though they have been blamed for centuries.  The Romans didn't kill Jesus, though they carried out the death sentence to kill his body.  You see, The Bible says clearly, "The soul who sins dies."  Jesus has no sin, so in reality his soul could not be killed, according to Christian pastor and author Wayne Jacobsen.  He died in the flesh, but not the spirit.  No one took Jesus' life; he willingly surrendered it out of love for us.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice.  He submitted to death for a "moment " to overcome death for all eternity!  That's the great news of Easter Sunday that takes the sting out of Good Friday.

 

What have you sacrificed lately?  Did you give up something for Lent?  I did but it was no real sacrifice.  Did you invest more time in personal Bible reading and devotions or give more of yourself away to others?  Have you made a sacrificial Easter offering? Was it a true sacrifice?  I have to ask myself, "What have I truly sacrificed for Jesus lately?"  In a word, nothing -- unlike the Egyptian Christians killed last Palm Sunday morning in suicide attacks.  Nothing compares to the sacrifice He made for us.

 

Come tonight at 7:00PM to experience "The Service of Shadows" as we remember through Scripture readings and music from our First Church Choir, directed by Morgan Kennedy, and special guests the meaning of Good Friday.  "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8).  Remember Christ's death and be thankful.


Yours in Christ's great love, 

 

Pastor Mark

 

Be sure to join us this Sunday April 16 at 10:45AM for Easter Worship as we proclaim again, "He is Risen.  He is Risen Indeed!"  Bring your family and friends for this great Day of Worship - the greatest of the entire year!  Blessings to you and yours.

Holy Week Beginning One Day Early This Year!

April 7, 2017


by Pastor Mark McAdow


Though Holy Week traditionally begins on Palm Sunday, which is this Sunday, as good "Sooners" or "Pokes" we're beginning a day early this year!  It's not a Fall Back or Spring Forward thing, but a "Reach out" in love opportunity!  Tomorrow morning, Saturday April 8 at 10:30 AM we're hosting a Kid's Devotional Time and free Easter Egg Hunt at Gatewood Elementary School at 1821 NW 21st Street (just south of OCU on Gatewood Street).  You will remember we have a van ministry to pick up students on Sunday mornings in the Gatewood neighborhood and our Whiz Kids Ministry partners with Gatewood School.



 


Lisa, Morgan and members of our Children's Council have planned the games and activities for the morning.  I'll be sharing the story of "The Resurrection Eggs"--I bought a NEW dozen to share (I even ate an egg omelet and egg salad sandwich for lunch in preparation)!  It should be an "egg-citing" time for all!

 

We'll have an Easter Egg Hunt outside after the Devotional time in the Gym for elementary age children in the neighborhood.  We will also be serving popcorn and lemonade for all involved!  What a great way to begin Holy Week--giving to others in Jesus' Name.  Bring your kids or grandkids and join in on the fun!

 

This Sunday, April 9, we will be blessed to welcome our new Bishop Jimmy Nunn to First Church.  Our children will begin our service waving palm branches and singing and Bishop Nunn will be bringing the morning message.  We will host a Reception for him immediately following worship in the Welcome Center Plaza.  Thanks to each of you who have donated and stuffed Easter eggs for this outreach and are bringing cookies to share on Sunday too!  This will be a festive beginning to Holy Week!  See all the great worship Services planned for next week here or on our church website at www. FirstChurchOKC.

 

As we consider the special week ahead, let me conclude with these few words from The Apostle Paul to the Christians at Galatia, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).  Keep your eyes on the cross!

 

Yours in Christ's Unconditional Love,

 

Pastor Mark