Midweek Message 09/22/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #76

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #76!  Today is considered the first day of Fall. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m glad life is moving along (at least for me… 🙂 ) and I know there are many who love the Fall weather, but I have a different “take.”  The first day of Fall means one day closer to Winter and I know I am definitely NOT looking forward to that. But it is what it is so I rejoice I have another day to live.

 

I want to give a shout out to the Connection Women’s Ministry this week. Sally Carlson and Hope East have really worked hard to form a ministry where the women of OVCF can “connect.” They were just getting some “legs” when COVID hit and, of course, that put everything on the backburner. Except…the prayer ministry that Adienne Robertson had started. They were meeting and praying via ZOOM. Now that things have started returning to “normal” the Connections Ministry is trying to gain some steam again. They recently had a Bunco Night which Jasmine St. John did a wonderful job organizing (so I have been told). Future plans include a Ladies’ Night Out planned for October23rd; a pitch-in Brunch on November 20th; and after a break for December, a Coffee and Chocolate get together for January 29th. If my memory serves me correctly (and that could be suspect these days), that was one of the last events they had before COVID shut everything down.  If you want to know more, Diana made cards with all the events and they are on the back table (& bulletin board by the offices).  Way to go ladies!!

 

An event which captures the whole church family is “17 on the 17th.”  OVCF celebrates our 17th anniversary on October 17th.  I mentioned Sunday that we are working really hard to make that happen in one service. Our big hang up has been finding a tent to hold 250. It seems like everyone wants a tent this Fall!!  There is no way we can expect our building to hold that many, especially in these times when people need to feel safer health-wise. Plus, we would not want to be rebranded as Sardines. The Church of the Sardines just does not have the same ring as Owen Valley Christian Fellowship. 🙂  (As an aside: did you know there was a church named “Outbreak Church”?  They changed their name when they reopened after COVID restrictions were lifted. I chuckled about that name. But you have probably already figured out I have a weird sense of humor.) Anyway, we are looking all over for a tent to use that will allow us to meet together.  Would you mind praying about that please?

 

Some more information about that day. The nursery and children’s programs will meet that day. The elders made the decision to split the offering that morning between the Building Fund and Missions, unless designated.  I like the idea. They sense an urgency in making more room so we can worship together as one body, but also the urgency in helping others take the Gospel to those who need Jesus. As of this writing we have $151K+ in the Building Fund! The Building Team is hoping to be able to make some type of presentation that morning so you can see what we are working on. So pray and plan for that day.

 

Monday night I finished reading a book by Joe Dallas called Christians in a Cancel Culture. It was very eye-opening and informative. It really got me thinking.

 

  • First, a definition. The Cambridge Dictionary defines Cancel Culture as “A way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you.” To take it further, to be cancelled really means to be silenced, forcibly shut down, or completely cut off by a friend or loved one. (p.26)

 

Sadly, this not only happens in culture (need I say more?), it also happens in the church. Those who teach an orthodox view of Christianity are often cancelled by those who want to be more progressive. We are cancelled by the culture because we are “out of step” with what is right and wrong (according to them). Many churches or pastors don’t speak up because they are afraid of offending someone. But Elie Wiesel, former Nazi concentration camp survivor once said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” I am convinced that we are being “cancelled into silence” for fear of being written off as radicals. To speak up about and against certain sins is a sure way to be cancelled in our culture. But as Mr. Wiesel hints at, “Neutrality is not an option.”  You have probably heard the saying attributed to Edmund Burke: “The only way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  IMHO, the church has three options: 1) Join in. 2) Say nothing. Or 3) Stand up and speak the truth. To me, the first two are not options. Too much is at stake these days (as it has always been). To not tell the truth puts us in the category of someone wanting to pander to culture and be “liked.” It makes us dishonest if we withhold the truth, or are evasive to avoid conflict. Not knowing how much time I have left on this earth, nor how much longer God will wait until He sends Jesus to call His followers home and separate the sheep from the goats, I have really been convicted of my need to speak up for The Truth of God’s Word more boldly when given the opportunity. Now and in the future.

 

What I just wrote will also serve as a preview of my 2022 theme: “For Such a Time…” At this point the first two series will be one called Brave from the book of Daniel and the second one called Truth Decay (Uncompromising truth of God’s Word).  More on that later.

 

Thanks again for allowing me to invade your inbox.  Until the next time, I covet your prayers for my days and ask you to pray for boldness for me. I look forward to seeing you Sunday. You are loved.

 

Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ovcf.org/ovcf_wp/2021/09/midweek-message-7-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2/