Midweek Message 06/02/2021


Hello and welcome to MM #60! I’m so glad you are reading this and allowing me to be part of your life, if only for a moment. 🙂

As I write this, Memorial Day 2021 is history.  Well, at least it is in our rearview mirror. The purpose of that holiday we celebrate each year should never be in our rearview mirror. I wrote the following on my blog Monday:

I have never served in the military. When I was in high school, registering for the draft was a law. When I was in college it was a law also. When I turned 18 on October 9, 1970 I was a freshman in college. But I was required to register so I hitched a ride from a school buddy and made my way to another town in Kentucky to do so. I was never called and to this day do not know what my number was. I was exempt because I was in a Bible college studying for the ministry.

I did not go to college to bypass the draft, even though I know of some who did. They really had no business being in that college because they had no desire to really be a pastor.  Without trying to be too judgmental, their lives showed it.

I did not know what Vietnam was all about. I was naive when it came to war and political things. Call me guarded. Call me shielded. Call me sheltered. I do know if I had been called on to defend the freedom of this country, I was willing to do so.

Others did it in my place. I am grateful.  I am beyond thankful for the men and women whom we honor today, those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  I keep thinking of those who want to destroy what we have; to take it and give it away to some lawless nation; to compromise the foundation of our great nation to satisfy their own whims; and as they do, compromise their own words to get what they want. Sacrifice does not do that. Sacrifice is no where close to the “what-I-can-get-out-of-it” mentality that dominates today’s thinking. As you consider today, think of it as more than a holiday (and in many cases) a day off work. Remember the sacrifice paid for your freedom. Here is a thought: did you worship yesterday at the place of your choice?  Try that in a socialist country.  I don’t think we are perfect and I certainly don’t worship the USA. I am not a Christian nationalist. But I am a grateful American whose Christian faith recognizes the God of all humanity as the One True God and as the One who has truly blessed us.

That is not meant to be a political post at all.  I am a registered voter but I am also not naïve enough to think that either party has it right.  I am a firm believer however, that there is only one solution to where our country finds itself right now: we are in desperate need of a revival-not a political one, but a spiritual one.

And by the way: if you would like to see the video again that I showed this past Sunday or would like to pass it along here is the link: Hillsdale.edu/tribute2021.  Copy and paste it into your browser.

This coming Sunday is our graduate recognition Sunday. We will be honoring 9 graduates (7 high school/2 college) at the beginning of the 10:45 service. What an achievement for all of them. Come out and give them your support.

The big announcement for this Sunday is the opening of a staffed nursery. As Ryan mentioned this past Sunday during our Q&A time, the nursery has been open, but really just for families to use if needed, with their own supervision. Beginning Sunday there will be volunteers in the nursery during the 10:45 adult worship only.  I can’t leave this topic without saying that more volunteers are needed. And for the purpose of safety, each worker must have a background check. (It is done at the church’s expense).  If you are interested please check with Ryan.

I know I’ve been a little “heavier” on the teaching this MM but I feel like somebody needs to read this: I finished reading a book on depression last week called Beauty in the Browns (an excellent book IMHO).  He tells the story of two of Lincoln’s most successful generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman. They both suffered from depression. Grant was drummed out of the army in 1854 because of his depression (or more accurately, the drinking triggered by it). At the outset of the Civil War, Sherman declared the Union would need 250,000 men to quell the rebellion. The media called him mad and suffering from the strain of military duties, he resigned, returned home to Ohio, and spent the time contemplating suicide. Sherman survived thanks to his family and Grant with getting back to work-to lead the Union army to victory.  “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk,” Sherman said. “And now, sir, we stand by each other always.”  (p.156-157) Standing by each other is absolutely essential in the world we live in. Contrary to popular opinion, we need each other.  Let’s stand with each other, committed to helping and loving no matter what.

Have a great rest of the week. I love you all.

Pastor Bill


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