From the Desk of the Lay Director – Dec. 2013

emmaus christmasWell, I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving holiday and survived black Friday if you chose to brave it (I was in a deer blind as far away as possible from shopping of any kind). Now we turn our attention to Christmas, which the retailers have had their attention on since about July….I know it isn’t my imagination that every year it seems stores start to put out Christmas decorations earlier and earlier. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love everything about Christmas, but I think the retailers miss the point of it being the birth of our Savior and even take advantage of the fact that it is one of the “sacred” religious holidays to increase their profitability. This year as you shop for your loved ones and friends, I would like to encourage you to go just a small step further. All over Lubbock and the surrounding communities there is a need for YOU.

I don’t know what that looks like for you individually, but I ask you to search your heart, then search your community and see where you can help out. Maybe it is physically serving somewhere. Maybe it means you provide gifts for some sort of Angel tree participant that can be readily found around town and in churches. Maybe you know someone personally who is struggling with finances or family problems that you can invite to your home to eat or better yet fix them an entire meal and take it to their home. Ask your church what they are doing to serve the community this giving season and find out where you fit. If you can’t find a place, contact me and I will help you get connected somewhere. I promise you there is a place for YOU.

As we look toward the end of this year, I want to personally thank each of you for your participation and service to our Emmaus community this year. We have a thriving successful community because we have involved, loving people and I am tremendously blessed to be serving you in this capacity. I have been very encouraged with some of the changes we have made as a community this year, but also how you have all responded. I love seeing all your bright shining faces at community and our Fourth Day events, so a very heartfelt Thank You for being committed to making this community all that it is.

I look forward to seeing all of you Dec. 5th at Brownfield FUMC at 6:30! I know this is a bit of a drive, but remember all of the out-of-town folks that faithfully come to Lubbock each month. I pray a very Merry Christmas for all of you!!

Love and blessings,
Chad Oglesby

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Nov. 2013

Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. ~Genesis 27:2-4

CONFESSION FROM A DEER HUNT – 11/3/2013

Deer stand mediumNovember has taken on a whole different meaning for me the last three years. I grew up hunting, but it was always small game. Dad took me deer hunting one time when I was 13. We woke up waaay too early, froze nearly half to death and never saw a deer, so I told my dad that I was just fine hunting the squirrels and rabbits we usually hunted together.

Fast forward 25 years to one of my best friends inviting me to go hunt deer on my birthday with him. I am now hooked. I love the outdoors and spending time with my son in deer blinds. This weekend was once again opening weekend. I decided that I needed some alone time with God. I had my alarm set for 4:30am , but woke up at 3:00am ready to go. I felt God saying, “c’mon, up and at ‘em, I am ready to spend some time with you.” I got ready and headed off to Dickens.

I drove in, got everything ready at the blind, then started walking to the feeder to put out a little extra corn. Not sure if any of you were out at 4:30 Saturday morning, but it was pitch black. No moon, no light sources anywhere for miles where I was and the sky was brilliant with stars. The feeder was only 100 yds or so away from the blind, a walk I have made many times, but after a couple of minutes it became obvious to me that I must have walked right past it. I began to backtrack to where I thought it should be to no avail. I had become disoriented in the darkness and unsure which direction I was even facing. This is something that just doesn’t usually happen to me.

I walked around for probably 25 minutes trying to find my way with my head-mounted LED light. I even took my key fob out of my pocket and began pushing the lock button every ten feet or so hoping to hear my pickup. I was lost, plain and simple. This realization was only a little discouraging to me as I knew I could just stay where I was until the sun came up and know instantly where I was, but would obviously have ruined a good hunt.

Then I realized that what I had hoped would be some alone time with God had become just about me and my desire to hunt deer. Then I began to pray. I prayed for God to forgive me of my selfishness (again). I prayed for my beautiful family. I prayed for many extended family members and friends. I then prayed for God to help me find my way back to the blind. I was still hitting the key fob every ten feet. God told me to put it in my pocket, so I did. I still had my LED trying to light my way. God told me to turn it off. I argued that one for a minute (it was PITCH black remember…) I very clearly heard again to turn it off and trust Him. This time I obeyed. After a couple of minutes of me staring in wonder at the stars, I began walking again. Within ten feet I found the rd I was looking for, within another ten feet I was standing at the feeder. I put out my extra corn and went and sat back in the blind in tears. When I finally trusted God instead of trying to do it all on my own, He led me right where I wanted to be to begin with.

Sorry for the long story, but I truly feel that God wanted me to share this. My prayer for all of you is to have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families!

Love and blessings,
Chad Oglesby

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Oct. 2013

De Colores!!

What a great walk men’s walk #89 was! A huge thank you to Jason Lindeman and Steve Colbert for leading what truly for me was the BEST WALK EVER! I never cease to be amazed at what God does on these weekends. I got to see lives transformed right before me….again. What a blessing…

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:12-13

Old SchoolI do want to address some concerns over sponsorship. It has been brought to my attention by a couple of people that some of us are still carrying on the “old school” traditions of Emmaus. There are NO secrets in Emmaus. If your pilgrim wants a minute by minute breakdown of everything that goes on during the weekend, give it to them. You can tell someone about candlelight, but can you really explain it? If a pilgrim’s spouse wants to attend send-off but has not been on a walk….take them with you. Same for closing.

There are still people who believe Emmaus is a cult or a secret society because we still have some folks who act like it is. This is not what Emmaus intends. Please, please be open and honest with the folks you sponsor as well as their families.

There have also been a couple of cases where folks have gone home early because they absolutely didn’t want to be there. That is poor sponsorship, plain and simple. Please don’t sign people up to merely fill seats. Emmaus is designed to build leaders in the church. Please pray fervently for those you intend to ask and ask God to reveal those people to you who will not only benefit the most, but who will be beneficial to their church as well. There may be those who have never attended a sponsorship training and just don’t understand how it is truly supposed to work.

Shelly Travis is the committee chair for our sponsorship committee. If you have any questions, please contact her or myself if you can’t reach her. You can attend a babe chick meeting before our community gatherings. We teach sponsorship at each one of these. Sorry, end of my rant on sponsorship.

Thank you Llano Estacado community for your faithfulness and your commitment to making our community the best it can be!

Love and blessings,
Chad Oglesby

From the Desk of the Lay Director – Sept. 2013

LaborDayWhatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. ~Colossians 3:23

This scripture is what I use at my job, especially on the tough days. Today, though, is Labor day. A day when summer ends and fall is ushered in. A day to celebrate with family and friends and enjoy a little time off. We went to the lake with some good friends, got to hunt some dove with another good friend and just had a very relaxing weekend. My prayer is that all of you were able to relax and enjoy some of that time off as well.

September is a very busy month for our community. We have a young lady’s journey kicking off the same night as our community gathering this week on the 5th. Next week is a young men’s journey followed by a men’s walk the week after. Please make every effort to attend send-off, candlelight and closing for each of these if possible, but certainly for at least one of them.

Thank you for everything that all of you do to make Llano Estacado a thriving community. There is still room on both flights and the men’s walk as well for more caterpillars and pilgrims so if the Lord has placed someone on your heart to ask to sponsor on a Walk or a Chrysalis Journey, get them signed up today!

I look forward to seeing you at Community this Thursday Sept. 5 at Aldersgate UMC starting at 6:30, but I hope many of you will also go out to Mercy Center and support the send-off for the young ladies as well. Be blessed!

Love and blessings,
Chad Oglesby

From the Desk of the Lay Director – August 2013

Summer VacationBack to school….already? The words any child or teacher dread are very quickly upon us. I know that my kids have greatly enjoyed their time off for the summer filled with church camps, trip to TN and just all around fun and being lazy if they wanted to be.

Isn’t that how our relationship with God is sometimes if we are all truly being honest? Don’t most if not all of us take a summer break from God? I don’t mean our daily relationship that we have. I am talking about our disciplines and practices that we use to maintain that relationship. I know I for one can become quickly lackadaisical in some of my worship practices.

Sometimes it is my scripture reading, sometimes my prayer life gets shoved back a little as life gets busy. Sometimes my church attendance even suffers as days and weeks go by.

I would encourage all of us that if we have taken a “summer break”, let’s make the commitment to become involved again. Get back to our quiet time at least once a day, make your church home a priority…..every week, pray without ceasing.

Commit to dong these things through the upcoming school year and see how God will bless each of us. I would also ask you to pray for our teachers, administrators and children as they all start back to school. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.-Titus 3:14

Don’t forget women’s walk #126 starts Aug.1st as well as the H.S. boys and girls Chrysalis at Ceta Canyon. Please pray for the success of this walk and these flights as well as the team and pilgrims/caterpillars. Also we would love to see all of you at send-off, candlelight and closing. If you have not been involved in Emmaus for a while or if you attend every function, we welcome you and hope to see you soon.

Love and blessings to all,
Chad Oglesby