Don't rush the rain

There’s something about the rain that can remind of us his presence.
There’s a peace that comes in the quiet of it. 
The rain brings a hush, a stillness. 
A whispered reminder of contentment.

If you didn’t stop to see it or listen to hear it, you might miss it.
But it’s there, falling gently-every drop sent to nurture, to quench, to satisfy.
Without the rain, there is no growth. 
Life cannot be sustained without it.

Sometimes we want to rush the rain. We’re too busy. We don’t have time.
Not so with nature. Nature never rushes. It remains. 
Nature waits to absorb every nutrient the rain will bring.
Somehow nature trusts the rain and its goodness.

Like the rain brings the nutrients to nature,
His presence brings the nurturing our souls long for.
Every drop of his presence is meant to sustain us. 
There is no substitute that can satisfy.


Don't rush the rain. Be still. 
Trust his timeliness and rest in his goodness.
There is beauty in his perfect provision.
His presence is life.

Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?
Do the skies themselves send down showers?
No. It is you, O Lord our God.
Therefore our hope is in you,

for you are the one who does all this.
Jeremiah 14:22

May He come down like rain upon the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
Psalm 72:6

One morning last week, I was watching and listening to the rain gently falling
and it reminded me of God’s presence. While there are certainly times that we feel God’s presence, there are also times when we have to stop and remind ourselves that we can also KNOW his presence.

Encountering God’s presence isn’t just an experience. Experiences are not bad things, but they
generally come with expectations that are often tied to emotion and circumstance. 
For this reason, experiences can become misleading if we aren't careful.
His presence is not confined to a particular church building or service. It is not dependent on a certain worship song, sermon or prayer.

Biblically centered worship reminds us that his truth stands secure whether we feel it or not.
The truth and promises of his word are not dependent on our circumstance or location. 
His truth remains long after feelings and emotions fade.

His presence is something to KNOW. (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 43:1-3; Matthew 28:20)

As a Christ follower, you can be assured of his presence because he lives within you. 
He is always with us, so he is everywhere we are.
Knowing that can change everything!

At Five Oaks, our services are Biblically-centered. Each service is formed around specific movements that prepare our hearts to listen and respond to God’s word, so that we can live our lives on mission by bringing the story of God to life. These movements translate to our every day lives and equip us to find our place in God’s story as we seek to worship him with our whole lives by learning to be disciples who make disciples.

-Aimee Thornton
Worship Team
























































Purpose in the desert

The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.
In their wandering, they became so focused on themselves and their circumstances, 
they forgot that God was with them. 
God’s chosen people forgot who they were and they forgot who God was.
Though the Israelites wandering would eventually lead them to their freedom,
there was purpose in the desert that went beyond their destination.

Our deserts have purpose too. Our wilderness wandering isn’t wasted.
We don’t have to know where it will lead to know that God is working.
He is for us. He is faithful. We can trust in his goodness and his plan.
Sometimes in our hurry to get to the relief of the rescue, 
we miss the sweetness of his whispers while we wait. 

When we lift our hands and our eyes in worship, 
we are reminded of who he is and who we are in him.
As we worship, our focus is shifted from self to the One who satisfies. 
He is our all sufficient sustainer. 
He remains our Savior regardless of the climate or season we find ourselves in.


When you've been in the desert, you feel it.
Dry, thirsty, and dusty from the lack of water
there is no mistaking your location.

Here in the desert, patience is difficult and the enemy is real.
Whispered lies of defeat are amplified because what you hear around you is empty.

Hope is swiftly hollowed out by the weight that brought you to this wasteland.
How did you get here? What are you doing here? 
Did you take a wrong turn?
Does it matter?

You're here. 
You can choose to close your eyes when the wind picks up
and the grains of sand are beating against your fragile skin. 
You can choose to lay down in defeat and despair

when the thirst is killing you and the heat is too much, 
but pretending you are somewhere else
doesn't ever make it so.

The only way out of this desert is through it, 
and you're not getting out of here alone. 
Lift up your eyes. Lift up your hands. 

The rain is coming. 
You have already been rescued. 
Let him pull you out.

He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.  Hosea 6:3

-Aimee Thornton
Worship Associate

Editor's note:  In addition to leading our weekend worship, Aimee also creates the liturgy for our weekend services.

Worship leader update

Much prayer continues for discernment and wisdom for who will be called next to help lead us in worship. We have our search team assembled and have hit the ground in our search.

We have made connections with some incredible potential leaders already! So, we ask for your prayer in the process. We are taking resumés and videos from potential leaders over the coming weeks.

Over the next couple months, we will have some guest worship leaders coming to help out and lead us in worship. We will keep you updated to when a leader is leading as one of the final candidates for the position.

And as always, if you have any questions. Feel free to email me:

-Jonathan Haage
Pastor of Worship Services
Small Groups Pastor

We hope you don't notice.

Andrew mug.jpeg

I’ve never felt compelled to sit down and write a blog post. in the back of my mind I’ve always thought blogs are for people who have “arrived”. They are for people who can say: “Look at what I'm are doing! I have it all figured out! If you want to be successful, do it like me!” 

Turns out there is no such thing as having “arrived”. If you’ve arrived, you’ve stopped learning; you've stopped striving to be better. 

It is in this spirit that I write. With humility. Knowing that we will never “arrive”. Knowing that we may not even resemble the vision we are striving towards, but sharing my heart for technology in ministry. 

High Production; Low Visibility

Technology is everywhere. We can’t avoid it. In fact, it’s a carrier for almost all mass consumed information. Whether it be a printing press or a sound system, technology touches nearly every facet of our lives. In fact it’s so pervasive, there are only two situations in which we notice it: If we are making a show of how awesome it is, or if it is so poorly utilized that it sticks out like a sore thumb. Our goal at Five Oaks is to sit right in the middle of those two extremes. We want to be so good, you don’t notice. 

Our lighting is not here to wow you; It’s here to direct your attention.

Our projectors are not here to have you on the edge of your seat; They’re here so you don’t have to bury your head in a hymnal.

This is a challenge for one reason: people are different. An audio mix that is completely immersive for one person is distractingly loud to another! 

Ultimately, technology should be the unnoticed vessel that carries the story of God out to the masses! And that's our goal: that you don't even notice.

-Andrew Carey, Production Manager

As the Worship Team gathers

I want, I want, I want… I was just reading this to my wife, she said, “that’s a lot of ‘I wants’”……so yes, I might be acting a bit like a 4 year-old here….oh well, I’m just being honest…. :)


It’s 12:45 pm on a Saturday afternoon…the worship team is starting to show up for rehearsal…mics are being checked…guitars are being tuned….

I want there to be joy.  I want people, including myself, to be grateful that we get to do this…that it’s a privilege, not a right…I hope we’re joyful.

I want excellence. I expect it from myself and from each person on my team.  I wanna play the songs the best that we possibly can.  I want our brains to hurt by the time the rehearsal is done because we’ve been thinking and concentrating so much on what we’ve been doing…..excellence.

I want a pure heart…a pure heart in myself and in every person on that platform.  A heart that seeks Jesus.  A heart that wants to lead people to Him.  A pure heart….I want this above everything else. 

See ya this weekend. 


News from the Worship Arts Team

Hey! Welcome to the Five Oaks Worship Arts blog! We are looking forward to getting to share with you all a bit more of who we are and why we do what we do. We might even throw in a funny story or two once in awhile for your amusement….like that time during the service a couple weekends back when someone got a little dizzy and nearly fell over, prompting her to grab her equally unstable mic stand. Yep. It was a near display of something NOT described as graceful. :)

Our Worship Arts team is made up of a variety of people who give of their time and talents one or more weekends a month to serve any number of roles in our weekend services. We are a diverse crew with different gifts serving together with one common purpose— We love Jesus and want to give God glory by bringing praise and worship to him and leading our church body to do the same.

We all have different styles and preferences of worship, and every so often that leads to some interesting conversations. Not long ago, I was asked by someone how a person leading worship could be sincere in their outward expression (in this case, hand raising) week after week. While genuine worship is a matter of the heart and is not for us to measure, this was a reminder to me that we worship God because of who he is, not because of how we feel. We serve an unchanging, ever faithful God. He is worthy of our praise!

See you on the weekend!


Our worship is not based on feelings alone.
We praise God because he is worthy of it.
He is worthy of our praise.
This is true regardless of our personal day to day circumstances.

We come before him with all that we have.
We lift our hands, we cry out, 
we lift our voices and our eyes, because of who God is.
He is worthy.

Even if we can’t see past our hurt;
even if we can’t see past the struggle;
even when we don’t understand,
we know that he is still God.
He is still good.

So we lift our hands and we praise him anyway,
regardless of our fleeting feelings.
The truth is why we continue to praise.
The truth is not disingenuous.
His truth is not based on our feelings,
or lack of understanding, or level of trust.

The truth of who God is, the truth of his promises --  are fact.

We choose to praise.
Our lives are not perfect. Our praise is not insincere.
We aren’t fakers. 
We are worshipers.

He is worthy of our praise because of who he is.
He is worthy of our worship. 

Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
Psalm 145:2-3

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5