Midweek Message 7/22/020

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 18

Hello my friends!  I hope you are doing well this week so far.  You know, there are times we off-handedly say, “Count your blessings. Things could be worse.” And that is a truthful statement in many cases. Case in point: how many of you have had something to say about the weather lately?  The heat, humidity and discomfort this time of the year is famous for Indiana.  I was texting Dave, my friend from Arizona, Saturday night. He has spent the past two winters in Maine because he has never not been where it is hot. California. Arizona. So he wanted to experience winter somewhere else so he chose Maine. Talk about a rude awakening! So…anyway, he started the texting by saying, “Happy Saturday. It is only 154 here today. We are turning the furnace and the oven on so we can cool down.” Did you see that? 154!!! I think he was also saying that if you can turn the furnace and oven on to cool things off it is re-a-l-l-y hot!  🙂 Suddenly, 90 doesn’t seem too bad does it? 154!! I’m still shivering over that temperature. But see? Things could be worse.  Dave is actually retiring this September and looking for a place to go in the summer and go back to AZ in the winter. Can you blame him? 154!  (That could be a typo on his text but it still boggles my mind).

Okay, you have had your positive uplift lesson for the week. 🙂  I read in the paper the other day that Governor Holcomb has said Indiana will stay at 4.5 for at least another two weeks. I appreciate his cautious, slow approach to reopening full bore. I also appreciate our leaders at OVCF taking that same approach. There isn’t a one of us who wouldn’t like to say, “This is all over. Let’s go back to the way it was.” Well, as I have said in the past, there is no “the way it was.” Not anymore. Everyone says we will be in a new normal. Life as we knew it will never again be the same. We will fight hard as a society to get back to normal, but I think we will find in all sectors of life (business, school, church, and personal) that life has changed.  Truthfully, while I mourn the loss of some things, I’m okay with forging new avenues. I think, for example, we have seen most companies function from home. I think that will become more of a trend. We have seen the church, especially OVCF, adjust to both online and in person “church.” While I miss seeing people, I have accepted that is a new reality. We will have to devise ways to stay in touch and keep fellowship as a vital part of our church community. We seek your feedback to make our online presence “more better” (yeah, I know) and to keep it fresh. So if you have any ideas then please let us know.

I’d really like to ask you to pray for Ryan and the youth program. He and the teachers/leaders are 100% trying to do the right thing about reopening. When is it safe? What will it look like? How do we go about it? Not easy questions to answer. He has met several times with his teachers (via Zoom) and they are as perplexed as he is. Why? Because there are no easy answers.  He has done a tremendous job of trying to stay involved and keeping the kids engaged.  For example, Sunday the 26th through Friday, the 31st, he and some other adults are planning on taking the Jr/Sr High to Hilltop for a week of service and study. So you might want to begin praying for them now. I appreciate that he tries to have fun with them, but to also teach them the joy of service.

By the time you get this, Jo and I will be on our way back from Ohio. Braden played his last baseball game Tuesday night (8:00 starting time…Yikes!) We will take him to IHOP for breakfast then head back home. It looks like it will be our last time to see him until Thanksgiving when we head over there. We will be spending Thanksgiving with Janna and eventually Braden. That’s a long time before we see him again. I’m not sure I can hold Jo down that long.  🙂

I’m slowly making my rounds to see people who are not feeling safe to come on Sunday. It is not a “guilt trip visit.” It is a visit to let you know I miss you and love you and understand. I realize many are not home when I do visit (afternoons) so I leave my card with a note for you.  I stopped to see some folks this past week who texted me the next day saying they don’t know how they missed me. I told them I knew their special circumstances so I didn’t knock. I’m trying to be conscious of others’ safety concerns. If I do come by and you want to sit outside/inside and chat just say so. If not, no worries. I just want you to know you are loved. I did get a real treat though. I stopped by and left some of my 3 Feet Please bears for two girls. They came outside, and with mom’s blessing, gave me several hugs. Yeah…that was a real hardship. NOT!

I’m at the end of my allotted writing space…again. 🙂 So I’ll just sign off. Love you all. Have a great rest of the week.

Pastor Bill

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