MIDWEEK MESSAGE #66
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #66. Thanks for letting me crash your day today. Oops that is a bad connotation there. Route 66 is associated with travel and there is that song from the movie “CARS” where they tell us to get our “kicks on Route 66.” So maybe I ought to just say, “Thanks for letting me infiltrate your inbox with my nonsense.” J
I know I said it Sunday from the pulpit but I just have to tell you how thankful I am to live in Spencer and work alongside so many caring people. We all know our community is not perfect (none is) but I saw a huge caravan of people come out this past Saturday to help serve our community. We called it “Serving Owen County Together” and it was a fine effort to team up with other organizations to make Saturday a special day for so many. The report from Aaron LaGrange was over 80 volunteers showed up for part or all of the day and we served over 800 people. We had a bunch of folks from OVCF show up to help. I know we would have had more but the change of date messed up some folks because of other plans already made for Saturday. Don’t feel too left out though. There are plans to make this an annual event. Aaron and others received many favorable comments but one I think sums it up was given to Aaron: “I have lived in this community since 1972 and I have never seen something like this done for the little people.” Of course, she was not talking about “little people,” but she was referring to those often forgotten in the push and shove of the world. When I left shortly after noon (I had something important to do for Sunday but can’t quite remember what it was), 🙂 there were already over 80 family units served. And I can’t say enough about Aaron’s part in all of this and Servant’s Heart Ministry out of Indy and all the vendors who came with them. Whether big or small, try to remember we are most like Jesus when we forgive. Hot on the heels of that is when we serve. Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.”
The next big event for Owen County is our Back to School Expo. This benefits all the school children who come to the fairgrounds on July 24th from 9:30-12:00. The only caveat is that they have to be there. It will be a drive-thru event like last year when we gave away over 600 backpacks filled with school supplies. The children don’t have to get out of their vehicles. We used to collect school supplies for our teachers but feel it is more beneficial for us to contribute to this project so OVCF has donated $500 to the Chamber of Commerce for this excellent program.
Here is a quiz for you, but unfortunately I will not be there to grade you! Question: did you read last week’s MM about the Building Team? No? Let me remind you then. The Building Team will be meeting Monday night, the 19th, with someone who has put together some designs for us to look at. The BT will look at them, discuss them, make suggestions and then continue to pray for guidance. We want to do this right. We don’t want to do something God is not in line with. We want to be functional but not overboard. We simply want a place where we can all worship together as one. There is no timeline for this to happen so I can’t say, “By next summer…” Who knows what is in God’s plan for us (besides Him, of course)? What you can do though is please pray for the BT and the elders as we try to decipher what God’s desire for us is.
Monday I was sitting at my desk reading when I decided to write something that was on my heart as a devotion for my “Shadow” blog. I know many of you don’t know I have the devotional blog and that’s okay. I share the following with you because of so much which is happening in our world today.
In this day and age of “justice this” and “justice that;” of riots; revenge; senseless killing and getting even, we need to hear and use and practice another word:
Jesus once said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” Is it saying the same to you as it is to me?
Those who show mercy will be shown mercy.
Mercy is a God-promise. Lamentation 3: 22-23 says, “The Lord’s acts of mercy indeed do not end, For His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” What does the word they refer to? Acts of mercy. Everyday God’s mercies are new. Mercy is a God theme.
Imagine if we would practice mercy instead of justice. God’s mercy runs throughout Scripture. Would there even be an Israel, a Jewish nation, if God only exercised justice and no mercy? How many times do the Israelites merit justice but instead receive mercy? On the cross Jesus didn’t say, “Zap ’em good Father.” No. Instead He said, “Father, forgive them.”
I’m in that same boat. For each sin. For each wayward look. For each idolatrous attitude. For each angry thought or word directed toward Him or someone else. Justice deserved; mercy given.
According to Lamentations 3 God’s mercy will never end. It will never cease and grace will never disappear. Each and every day I/you experience God’s mercy. EACH. AND. EVERY. DAY.
And get this! It is not warmed over, stale mercy. Every day it is new!! Can’t beat that!
“Father, each day Your mercies are new. Remind me over and over of that truth and then to absorb it. Help me to live in the light of that mercy…with you and with others.”
Two notes: First, don’t think for a minute that I don’t believe there is a place for justice. I do, but that is a topic for another day. Two, all Scripture is from the NASB 2020 translation.
I’m out of space for this week. Have a great week. I love you all.