Midweek Message 08/25/2021

Midweek message #72

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #72.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to let me into your (often) busy and (sometimes) complicated life.

I write with a heavy heart this week. I’m sure many of you know by now that Lynn Arnett went to be with Jesus on Sunday afternoon.  I feel hurt and pain whenever anyone I love passes away.  In spite of the pandemic and my own ordeal with COVID, God has been good. However, I have lost two men in the past 8 months who impacted me in different ways. One was a quiet, unassuming man who constantly encouraged me. Even though he was not crazy about our music (he was more traditional), he once said, “I stay for the sermon.” WOW! He has no clue what that meant to me. The other man was a jokester, an out-going car salesman (“transportation consultant” as he called himself) who made me laugh. They will be missed.

Having an older person pass into eternity is gut-wrenching for those involved. Imagine thinking you were going to lose your formerly healthy, soccer-playing 13 year old son when he is suddenly put on life support in the ICU! That is only part of the story that Mike, Trisha, and Ryan Laws (and Brooklyn, his sister) experienced and will be sharing with us this coming Sunday. Brooklyn has already settled into her freshman year at West Virginia University, so she will be unable to be here. I am simply going to allow them to tell you their story and how God faithfully stayed with them through it all. In this case, He chose to use Mike giving his kidney to Ryan to save his life. Jo and I were captivated by their story when we sat down with them a few weeks ago at their house, and I honestly believe you will be to.  They will be with us at 9 and 10:45 this Sunday. The youth will also be with us since it is the 5th Sunday.

Please keep in mind the Cookout/pitch-in scheduled for Saturday night at 6:00. Jo and I are providing the hamburgers and hot dogs and won’t be buying those till later this week so, if you would like to come, it is not too late to sign up. If you haven’t signed up, come anyway. I’m sure there will be enough food. Someone told me Sunday he would like to come but won’t because he would have to come empty-handed. I told him bring his stomach then and don’t worry about it.  He signed up as bringing an “empty tummy.” I laughed, but am glad he plans to come. You can too! Oh…we will eat inside in the youth addition since it is supposed to be in the mid-90s the whole day. The whole week in fact.

Please don’t forget Backpack Buddies this Sunday for our mission.  They are still in need of individual fruit snacks; small bags of chips, etc.; fruit cups and snack cakes. We will be collecting them this Sunday and in the future.

I told you in last week’s MM to look for a big announcement about October 17th. Well, here is your first peek. There is more to come but hopefully this will serve to whet your whistle. Besides, you can put it on your calendar as a day you don’t want to miss. We are calling it 17 on the 17th.  Many of you know what I am referring to, but for those who don’t: OVCF will celebrate her 17th year on that day.  I’m not going to say much more right now since we have not had a chance to meet about the details. However, I will share more as I know. You can also look in the church bulletin, as well as the FB page for more, and up-to-date info.

I know this will seem like a shameless promotion, but I hope you don’t take it that way. On my “Shadow” blog, I shared the following post this past Monday. I’d invite you to join the conversation there, subscribe and comment, but just in case you don’t want to or have the time, I’d like to share what I wrote:

This past weekend Jo and I made a quick trip to Ohio on Friday to watch our grandson, Braden, play his first game as a freshman in high school. We came back Saturday after the game. Driving 4-4 1/2 hours one way gives one a lot of time to think. Lately, the church family has been hit hard with “stuff.”

  • It started with me getting hit broadside on June 3rd and still working through several ETAs for the necessary part for my car.
  • One of our ladies was heading to Indy for a quilting show and a semi sideswiped her.
  • One of our young men was hit head on. His ankle is broken significantly and may require further surgery.
  • Another had a car pull out in front of him on the way to a wedding. He and his fiancée were shook up, but the car looks toasted.
  • One young lady was rear-ended as she was turning into the church lot this past Saturday. She has a concussion and will be very, very sore.
  • One of the ladies in our church family found out her 90+ y/o grandmother got COVID and they still don’t know how. She is, at least, able to get up and not lay around.
  • Our church secretary, Diana’s father went home to Jesus on Sunday afternoon.
  • A 13 y/o has been placed in a center to get help with his anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.  {Update: he was to come home Monday he is doing so well}
  • Our youth pastor, Ryan, is supporting his father during his illness with cancer.

There are more things I could add-much more-but you get the picture. As I thought about all of the “stuff” hitting us, I refused to have a pity party. I thought of Daniel and I thought of something I read this past week:

God is still God even when we don’t understand His ways.

The nonbeliever cannot sync the idea of trials and suffering with a good God.  But the follower of Jesus can. We must choose to worship God and to trust His goodness, sovereignty, and power. We remind the world around us that we are in the hands of the One who controls it all. God is still God; I am still me; and He is still in charge.

Above all: I hope you know you are loved most by God, and by me.

Pastor Bill

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