Midweek Message 03/08/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #147. It is so good to have this chance to visit with you and to share a few things which are on my heart. Thanks for allowing me into your life in this way.

Please remember to pray for our School Resource Officers Daniel “Opie” Rhinehart and Bill Browne. They do a tremendous job with our students talking with them, reading to them, and also feeding them donuts (which just happened to be the same day I went to the school to read to the K classes). Yeah, let’s talk about the effects of sugary donuts and chocolate milk on children. ☺  Pray for their wisdom and safety throughout the week.

HERE IS AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR YOU TO REMEMBER!! Make sure you set your clocks ahead this coming Saturday night. Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday the 12th.  It’s a good thing that is the start of Spring Break for S-OCS schools. I can see a lot of students trying to catch up on that hour of sleep they lost. But I know no one would ever use that as an excuse for falling asleep in church Sunday morning or failing to watch the live stream. ☺ ☺

I very seldom give a recommendation for a movie. Not only am I pretty much unable to do that because of not going, but there isn’t a whole lot out there I would put my stamp of approval on. But I’m going to break my tradition here and recommend you see one this weekend. This past Saturday afternoon Jo and I went with some friends to see Jesus Revolution at the Tivoli. I also know some of our folks went Saturday night. Since I was born in 1952, I am unashamedly a child of the ‘60s.  I was especially influenced by the music (I still like that music also). Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was not heavily influenced by the dress (bell bottoms I did wear) but not much else drew me. (Have you noticed though recently what goes around comes back around? I see some of our teens wearing bell bottom jeans! Talk about feeling old!). Anyway, during the ‘60s a movement took place in southern California then spread across the country. It was called the Jesus Movement. Chuck Smith was the pastor of Calvary Chapel, an old, dying church made up mostly of a few old people. He was challenged to open his church to hippies who wore dirty clothes, no shoes, some seldom took baths, had long hair and were very often strung out. His open door policy led to the beginning of the Jesus Movement and many of those hippies having a life changing experience with Jesus. One was a musician named Chuck Girard, a founder of the first Christian “rock” band, Love Song. (He is the father of author, Alisa Childers, whom you have head me mention before). Another one was a man named Greg Laurie. Greg was raised by an alcoholic mother. He eventually gave his life to Christ and in less than two years was preaching at a start-up church in Riverside, CA.  I have always respected Pastor Greg because even though he is the pastor of a megachurch and holds crusades like his hero/mentor, Billy Graham, he has always been down-to-earth in his approach to ministry. I have seven of his books, one of which is his life story, Jesus Revolution. Long story short (sorry I went on so long), you will not be disappointed seeing the movie. I laughed at the humorous parts, especially when an old man in the church defied walking out and went across the aisle and sat with the hippies and said, “Let’s hear it, Pastor Chuck.” I will admit tears flowed when I saw young and old come to Jesus and go down to Pirates Cove to be immersed. Tears welled up when I was challenged by the presentation of the simple but powerful truth that gripped Pastor Chuck Smith and Pastor Greg (and Cathe, his future wife). When his daughter sat down with him and told him how proud she was of him for opening the door to the hippies I about lost it (as I am right now as I type this). The movie depicts flawed people who were still used by Jesus to influence a generation. It is playing this weekend at the Tivoli. I honestly do not believe you will be disappointed that you went.

This past Sunday when I stood up to preach in the second service I was blown away. I made reference to the Jesus Revolution movie and how Pastor Chuck stood up to preach and was overwhelmed by the number of hippies who had come to hear him preach. I felt that way Sunday. So many new faces! I was humbled, scared, and would have probably cried if given a chance. WOW! You guys have done some inviting and that leaves me speechless. (I can hear the peanut gallery comments now). Someone once described evangelism as “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” I saw folks who came as a result of your invitation and that is exciting. YOU DONE GOOD! ☺

One more Jesus Revolution comment: Pastor Greg Laurie lost his son on July 25, 2008 unexpectedly in a car accident. It rocked his world…not shattered it…but rocked it good. Pastor Ryan was telling us in staff meeting a last week that he saw an interview between him and Pastor Chuck Smith. Smith knew he was dying from cancer but he said something to Greg that when Ryan shared it I had to write it down. Here it is: “Don’t ever trade what you do know for what you don’t know.” Never trade what you know about God for what you don’t know. It is common to question God’s goodness when tough times come, but don’t ever allow those doubts to override the surety of God’s faithfulness.

I have another saying I heard this week on a podcast but I’ll save it for another day.

We are about a month away from Resurrection Sunday. Please remember that we will have two services that day at the normal time: 9:00 and 10:45 A.M.  It is always a good day to invite friends and family. Also, all the offering will go to missions we support unless designated otherwise. More information to come!

I pray the rest of the week will be a good one and I hope that knowing I love you makes that week go a little bit better.

Pastor Bill


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