MIDWEEK MESSAGE #73
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #73. Do you realize I have said that same phrase for 73 times? I’m thinking I might have to come up with something new. But until I do, I’ll just say, “Thanks for letting me ‘enter’ your day.”
First, I want to thank all of you for your kindness this weekend. I saw it on several occasions. A little bit later in this MM I want to share with you a conversation I had with an old friend Monday night. But I want to draw the attention away from me at this point and focus directly on you. You deserve it. This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity and emotions.
- The loss of Lynn Arnett brought out lots of hugs for Madi and Diana. The number of people who came through the funeral home Thursday night and the amount of folks at the funeral on Friday showed that a lot of people loved Lynn, but it also showed the love you have for Madi and Diana and her family. I always like it when there are so many people who come through to speak to the family that I feel totally free to leave. Believe me, there have been times I have stayed through all of the visitation because very few people came to pay their respects. I didn’t want the folks to feel alone or defeated. But there was certainly no worry about that this time. And the meal the ladies put together was absolutely wonderful. Was the family tired? You bet. But the love and care put in by our people was refreshing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (From Diana: Yes! Thank you all sooooo much! We are overwhelmed by your kindness! J)
- Pastor Ryan’s father went to be with Jesus Friday evening around 9:36. I saw many of you reach out and hug him when you found out. I’m thinking that is what family does. I’m speaking for myself, but those hugs are worth gold when someone is hurting.
- You made Mike, Trisha and Ryan feel welcome. Given the suppressed immune system Mike and Ryan have (especially Ryan), they had to wear masks around folks. His nephrologist highly suggested that Ryan wear a mask anytime he is around a crowd inside. But I saw many of you still talking to them and listening to their story and testimony. I know many of you had other plans for the weekend, so I know you were unable to be here. (That means I might not talk to you the next time I see you). I jest, of course. It was recorded so you could watch the live stream if you care to. The second service was a tad shorter than the first due to their “practice” in the first service. 🙂 Thank you so much for making them feel welcome.
As for me, it was good to reconnect with them the past 6 months or so after not seeing them for 17 years. Mike and Trisha attended the church in Sandusky, Ohio that I pastored for a very short time, then they left in the Fall of 2004. Brooklyn, their daughter, was one when they left. Mike has now served with the Dublin, Ohio police force for 17 years. I introduced them to Janna and they began attending the same church. I left Sandusky to come here in November of ’05 and rapidly got involved with my heart here. It wasn’t until Janna told me about Ryan that I reconnected with them. Now you know the history, in case you wondered, “How in the world does Bill know them?” I guess it is true that you never know whom you might influence and connect with.
Here are a couple of items you can put in your memory bank because we will revisit them:
- Don’t forget “17th on the 17th!” OVCF will celebrate her 17th anniversary on October 17. Please put that on your calendar and plan to come join us. Unfortunately, due to space we will still have to have two services, BUT we do plan for a pitch-in following the second service. We are brainstorming some ideas for that day so more info is to come. I can tell you my sermon for that day is Let Me Remind You from Mark 14. Please plan to celebrate with us that morning.
- As much as it pains me to say, we are keeping an eye on the whole COVID thing again. The recent uptick in cases has put OC in the orange. At the beginning of last year’s fiasco, we told you that we wanted to be safe. At this point, we are good to go. The elders will be meeting September 13th for our monthly meeting and that will be a point of discussion. Would you please pray for us as we seek God’s plan for us?
My last thought to share comes from a conversation I had with an old friend (as in time not age) on Monday night. I had texted him about a book I thought he had at one time and wondered if he would consider selling it to me. I was speaking with someone who has a “bucket list” desire of hiking the Appalachian Trail. This book was about a man named Bill Irwin, who hiked the trail. Oh, did I mention he was blind and did it with his guide dog? Anyway, he decided to call since he was driving home from Indy. We talked for 20 minutes. Our conversation ranged from the book, to COVID, to why I got the vaccine, and to a situation and people we are both familiar with. He said something to me in the course of our conversation about the latter subject which stuck with me. He said this: “Bill, I don’t know the church you pastor but I sure hope they are praying for you. It is an ugly world out there (especially morally) and you need all the prayers you can get. Satan wants to destroy the church and you.” That is not verbatim, except for the italicized part. He is right. I am asking. No, I am begging you to pray for me. Daily. I am asking you to bombard heaven with prayers for me-my marriage, my family, my health, my shepherding, my leadership, but most of all, that my love for Jesus will burn hot. No one knows how much time they have left on the earth, but I do know that whatever time I do have I want my life to be lived for Him. I want to stand firmly on the truth of God’s Word. I want to be bold in my proclamation of Him, especially from the pulpit. And I want to be an example to others.
Thanks for reading my ramblings this week. I pray you have a good rest of the week. Love you all much.