MIDWEEK MESSAGE #149
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #149. Thanks so much for letting me into your life in this way. As a young pastor (which I am no longer) I used to spend hours driving around looking for people to be home so I could visit them. Several things changed that approach and it is no longer feasible or wise to just drive around hoping people will be home. I am truly grateful you allow me to come into your life during the week through the MM.
Please be in prayer this week for Betsy Breedlove. Betsy is our Educator of the Week and is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for S-OCS schools.
Years ago I made a decision to not complain about the weather. Sun, rain, ice, snow…it is what it is. Since I am not the Creator of it all, I have absolutely no control over what happens (despite what some environmentalists may say). God, the Creator, is the One who is ultimately in charge, so I’ve decided to simply keep my mouth shut and accept what is. (Complaining feeds an ugly attitude). This past week’s weather put that to the test. Can someone please tell me what is going on? ☺ Rain, sun, cold wind, and (ugh) snow flurries? Seriously on that last one? Then I think…it is only March and it is Indiana after all. Not too much longer…I hope. Fun fact: I wrote this part of the MM on Sunday morning during some down time. After our church worship service was over, I had someone come up to me and say, “Bill, I’m not supposed to but I’m going to complain about the weather.” Is that not funny? Or at least prophetic on my part? ☺ I’m typing this right now on Sunday afternoon and the sun is shining. I’m ready, God! Bring it on!
In keeping you informed about the Building Team and our proposed expansion, here are some updates. We have a virtual meeting in April to discuss ideas with the company we’ve been talking to and just before Spring Break we also talked with someone else who expressed an interest in being in on the process of building our addition. We are still in the planning stages of design so nothing has been set in stone. We are still committed to building the addition debt-free and I believe the current state of our economy bears witness to the wisdom of that decision. While there is probably not a one of us who would not like to meet together in one worship service, we simply cannot and will not take on a huge debt to get things done faster. I have said this before and will say it again: during the pandemic, many churches had to close or lay off staff or cut programs because of the debt load they had incurred and the lack of giving of the people. We were blessed in several ways. First, we had no debt. Second, you continued to give faithfully, allowing us to keep ministry happening. We were even able to help some folks during that time. I feel very blessed to be a part of a church fellowship that seeks God’s heart in all things, especially this: The church is not about buildings but people. I am so thankful for the leadership team I work with at OVCF who shares this vision. Thanks to Wayne Akerson, Jeff Carlson, David Robertson, Pastor Ryan and the whole building team for their belief in this effort. All that to also remind you: please keep praying for the Building Team as we seek the best route to follow for the building and wait on God to give the green light.
Speaking of the Leadership Team: did you know we spent almost 6 months studying and reworking the Mission and Vision of OVCF? It was presented by Pastor Ryan and me during our Anniversary Sunday in October. I thought I would just take a moment and remind you of our Mission and Vision (since it has been six months since it was presented).
OUR MISSION: Connecting people to Jesus
OUR VISION: (How we want to accomplish that)
- Pursuing Jesus Passionately
- Demonstrating Jesus Visibly
- Revealing Jesus Clearly
- Preparing Disciples to Obey Jesus Faithfully
These are the principles and values that we try to make sure drives our every motive and plan. If you would like to know more, please ask or you can go to our evolving web site (we are in the process of making changes to it a little at a time) and check out who we are and what we are about.
Shameless plug coming: Every day (Monday through Thursday) I write a devotional blog called Living in the Shadow. It is fresh every morning and I write from my heart. You can bookmark it on your computer or you can go to the site and sign up for an email to be sent to you reminding you of a post. You can even feel free to comment if you would like! I promise I won’t bite. ☺ I would be honored if you would consider becoming a regular reader. The address is http://livingintheshadow.ovcf.org.
In last week’s MM I wrote about the change in my preaching schedule. Instead of restarting Revelation on the first week of May, I have sensed the Lord telling me to do a series on fear and anxiety. I have titled it Faith Over Fear. Since that announcement I don’t know how many folks have confirmed that is what is needed. Frankly, I’m a little worried about it. ☺ I almost feel I’m in over my head, but then God reminds me He is taller than me. I have begun reading several books on the subject. One is I Choose Peace by Chip Ingram. Another is Winning the War on Worry by Louie Giglio. Tami recommended one to me by Louie called Putting an X through Anxiety. In “Winning” Louie writes this: “Worry is so prevalent in our society and throughout our daily lives that it often feels inescapable…Like barnacles on the bottom of a boat, worry has a way of subtly attaching itself to our thoughts. Worry often starts below the waterline, out of sight, out of the forefront of our thoughts. At first it’s just a simple what if…” (p.viii). I know fear and anxiety is a real issue for some. While I “worry” about preaching on a subject like this, I also know that God will be the inspiration for helping folks deal with the anxiety they face. Please pray for me starting NOW! Thanks.
I hope you had a good Spring Break. Have a good rest of the week. I have it on good authority there are only 42 days of school left as of today. ☺ Remember: I love you.