Midweek Message 02/22/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #145. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day to read this edition of the MM.

Please remember to pray for our Educator of the Week, Brady Tragesser. He is the Special Education Director at S-OCS.  While I’m at it, let me remind you to pray for all our administrators and teachers. This is a stressful time for all of them. I’m sure they are looking forward to Spring Break which will be coming in a few weeks.

I asked you in the last MM to pray for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. The last number I heard was over 43k people have lost their lives, but as recently as Friday they were finding people still alive.  I had a friend who read the prayer request and the article which was attached in the link I included and he sent me some figures which were eye-opening. “The expected death toll from the earthquake is the size of the total population of Elkhart and 25 times more than Spencer.” It is hard to put that into perspective when we live in a small town but maybe that would help. I did receive a nice thank you from Valarie for asking you to pray and she was going to let her friends in Turkey know we are praying for them. The impact of our prayers will be felt all over the world.

Please keep in mind the diaper drive for New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center. The last “official” day will be Sunday, February 26th. That does not mean they or we won’t take the donations after that date. I had someone ask about ordering them and then having them delivered to the church address. That works also. That is an option for you if you are one of those folks who hate shopping. NB does a good work for folks of all ages, color, ethnicity and need. Please consider helping. They have given us a list of specific needs:

  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers, size 3 and up. Pampers and Huggies brands are especially needed due to skin sensitivities.
  • Pull-ups, ALL sizes needed.


Thanks ahead of time for being willing to help.

This coming Sunday is a big day for us! Ryan and Mala Croft will be here to present a short update on Hilltop Christian Camp in both services. After their presentation in the second service, they will making a further presentation to the young people about camp and conclude with a special treat. I’m sure most of you know it, but our very own Youth Pastor, Ryan East, is dean of two weeks. He does the Junior High Wilderness and Senior High Wilderness weeks at camp. He gets a lot of help from his wife, Hope, as well as several other adults from OVCF. If your teens love camping and “roughing it,” then they will want to know more about the Wilderness Weeks with Pastor Ryan. All that to say we hope to have a number of young people become interested in attending Hilltop this summer. The church helps each camper with at least ½ of their fee (there is a scholarship form to fill out). Please talk to Pastor Ryan or Diana to see how the church can help, and to obtain the scholarship code! ☺

I don’t know if you were here or listened online Sunday but I preached from Revelation 5. One of the responses to “the Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” was done by the four living creatures and 24 elders who were falling down (similar to bowing) and singing. This past week I read the following devotional I’d like to share with you. It is by Marvin Williams in Loving God Loving Others published by Our Daily Bread-(p.37):

The ancient Greeks and Romans rejected kneeling as a part of their worship. They said kneeling was unworthy of a free man-unsuitable for the culture of Greek and appropriate only for barbarians. Some scholars regarded it as an expression of superstition. Aristotle called it a barbaric form of behavior. This belief, however, was never held by God’s people.

In Psalm 95:6, the psalmist indicated that kneeling expressed a deep reverence for God. In this verse he used three different Hebrew words to express what the attitude and position of the worshiper should be.

First, he used the word bow. This means to sink down to one’s knees, giving respect to the Lord. The second word he used was worship, which means to fall prostrate as a sign of honor to the Lord, with an associated meaning of allegiance to Him. The psalmist then used the word kneel, which means to be on one’s knees giving praise to God.

According to the psalmist, kneeling in God’s presence is a sign of reverence rather than a barbaric form of behavior. The important thing, however, is not just our physical position but also a humble posture of the heart.

He finishes with this: our attitude in worship matters far more than the position of our worship. (some editing was done to shorten it)

I know the Scripture from the past two weeks and again this coming week has dealt with worship, but it should make us wonder why. I think it is because we have taken worship so much for granted that we need to be reminded of its importance. Anyway, I hope this prepares you for Sunday. And remember the challenge I gave: please read chapter 5 and pay particular attention to the three hymns found in verses 9-13.  Pray for the Scripture to speak to you this week.

This coming week is the last of the first part of the series on Revelation. I’m going to take a two-month break and focus a series on To and From the Cross. The first Sunday of May I will be back at Revelation 6 (and that is when it will get…”interesting”). In next week’s MM I will give you the sermon titles for the months of March and April.

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

Pastor Bill


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