Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 11/17/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #84

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #84. I hope your week is going well as we dial in closer to Thanksgiving Day.  I hope you are taking time each day to write/say/express what you are thankful for.  I know I am thankful for you.

At this stage, I do not plan to have a MM next week since it is a short week and Thanksgiving Day and its celebration will be uppermost in most people’s minds. I’m guessing the last thing you will need is one more thing to occupy your time. J So I am going to try to get as much in this edition as possible.

I think uppermost in the minds of some is the upcoming Thanksgiving Lunch we are offering on Thanksgiving Day from 11-1:00 at the Lions Club. We had a tremendous influx of people this past Sunday who signed up to help out in some way. Thank you so much for rallying around this venture.

  • I interrupt this MM to make an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. As of today (Wednesday), we have only 14 requested meals. We can add in the local workers (police, sheriff, gas station attendants, etc.) and still fall short of what we have had in the past. We, of course, have no clue how many will come to the Lions Club for a dine-in meal. We should know by Monday how many meals will be needed.
  • If you are unclear about what I just said, please call the church office to ask Diana. She knows more than I do. J And if you know of anyone who might need a meal, please call the church office (812.828.9840).
  • From Diana: Jeanna & Marcia have requested that the food arrive at the Lions Club between 9-10 a.m., hot and ready to be served. If you have questions, please contact Jeanna (812.821.7776) or Marcia (812.821.7786) for more information! J

Thanks again for volunteering to cook and serve in some way.

 

This next item is a tough one to write about, let alone explain it in writing. Except for last year’s pandemic, we have offered The Giving Tree during Christmas to make sure local children were able to celebrate Christmas. Here’s how it works: We are given names of families who are in need of help to provide gifts for their children at Christmas, and those names are adopted by folks from OVCF. It is all done anonymously, but the greater joy is found in giving. This year we have brought back The Giving Tree but as of this writing no names have been given. Diana wants the names by this Sunday so it gives her time to make the tags of items needed/desired by the children. The staff met Monday to talk about it and we are unable to explain why no names have been given, although we have our speculations.

  • ANOTHER IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!! This Sunday is the last day to give names to Diana of children in need. If no names are given, we will shut down the Giving Tree for the year. HOWEVER, if you come in contact with a family who needs help for their children in the next couple of weeks for Christmas, please contact Diana. Thanks to your generosity all year long, the church will be able to meet their Christmas need.

 

Speaking of Christmas gifts: Monday afternoon Pastor Ryan, Diana and I took the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to Sherwood Oaks in Bloomington (the collection site this year). Final tally is 64 shoeboxes for children! That is absolutely phenomenal. Thank you so much for your generosity and making it possible for children to hear the message of the Good News of Jesus’ birth.

Tuesday morning during my Encounter Time, I read the following story. I want to share it with you:

There was once a young girl diagnosed with a rare disease. Her days quickly went from going to school and playing in the yard to lying in hospital beds tangled with tubes. The doctors ran test after test and concluded she needed an extensive blood transfusion to survive. But finding a matching donor was going to be tough. The parents were tested, but the results came back negative. She had a little brother, and he was a match because they were family. The parents kept that information to themselves until there was other option.

One night while tucking him into bed, they told him. They didn’t ask him directly to do the procedure because of the pressure that would put on him. But reading between the lines he asked, “Can I have the night to think about it?” The next morning he told his parents he would do it. Soon the siblings were sharing a hospital room with tubes running between their beds. As the transfusion was about to begin, the little boy waved the doctor over.

“Yes?” the doctor asked. The boy asked, “How soon will it be before I die?” You see, the little boy thought that by helping his sister, he would have to give up his own life. And he said yes anyway.     Live in Grace-Walk in Love, Bob Goff (#320, p. 371)

I’m thinking I don’t need to make the application. You already know it.  Can there be anything greater to be thankful for than for God’s indescribable gift? I think not.

This Sunday completes my series on Attitude Check, on making sure our attitude is one of gratitude. The Sunday following Thanksgiving Day I will be preaching a series entitled “Expect the Unexpected.”

One more thing: on behalf of Pastor Ryan, Diana, and myself, thanks to the anonymous person who blessed each of us with a card. Please accept our thanks.  We love you and are thankful for you.

Have a great and meaningful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. And please don’t forget the “Giver of every good and perfect gift.” (James 1:17)

 

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 11/10/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #83

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #83.  I hope your week is going well and you are enjoying these beautiful fall days. This will be one of those “random” messages. Lots to say but no special order in any of it.

Some very special upcoming events which need your attention:

  1. This coming Sunday is the last day to bring in your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Monday the three of us (Pastor Ryan, Diana and I) will be taking the boxes to Sherwood Oaks church in Bloomington. As of Monday morning, there were two boxes left to be filled. If you would like to take one or both of the remaining boxes, please call Diana at the church office and she will make arrangements for you to pick them up.  I am so excited OVCF responded as we have. We will have a total number of shoeboxes for you next week!
  2. Thanksgiving Day is quickly approaching where we will be serving our community a meal from 11-1:00. They have three opportunities to receive a meal. We can deliver it. We can make it available for curbside pick-up. They can come to the Lions Club and eat inside. We can really use your help though. We still have some turkeys and hams unspoken for to bake, as well as some empty spots for providing food. Sign-up sheets are on the back table for you to indicate what you would like to bring, OR you can call the church office (812.828.9840) and tell Diana what you would like to prepare. She has the list to inform you where we need help. We need several people who will help assemble the delivery and curbside meals. Also, I need some who will help with deliveries.
  3. The Giving Tree is something we had to set aside last year due to the pandemic. Diana has a heart for the children in our community to have a Christmas they will remember. She gathers names of children (via their families or folks who know them) who need help in providing for Christmas. You can do two things to help make it successful. One, you can provide names of children who need help with Christmas gifts this year. Two, you can take one or several of the tags provided and purchase the needed gifts. Every year we have done this I have been amazed how much of a heart you all have for the children/families of this community. From giving names to buying gifts, your heart shows through. I anticipate this year will be no different. Look for The Giving Tree on November 28. Please start giving Diana names now if you know of a family who needs help. She needs all the info by Sunday, November 21.
  4. Whether we provide Christmas breakfast is still up in the air. The deadline to let me know if you want to coordinate that is Sunday, November 28th.

 

Life is a highway…or is that a puzzle? I guess that depends on who you talk to.  This is more of a personal note to you. Winter comes and it is sometimes hard to get outside. Then again, it might not be hard to get outside; it might be more of “who wants to go outside?” So we find things to do inside. For close to 20 years one of my winter hobbies has been doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Whether the snow is flying or it is just downright too cold to go out, I find my relaxation is doing puzzles. One of my favorite puzzles to assemble are train puzzles. I’ve done several Titanic puzzles over the years. I have several Back to the Future puzzles. But, and it is a seriously important “but,” there is only so much wall space. Jo is not as fond of my puzzles as I am so she has said, “No” to new interior decorating of our walls with jigsaw puzzles. Can you honestly believe she would do that to me? Wouldn’t you just love to walk into a house where all the walls are covered with train puzzles? No?  You’re no help. J Anyway, I have over 20 1000 piece train puzzles sitting in boxes. I assembled them, then after she looked at it and grunted, “Looks nice,” I took them apart and put them in Ziploc bags in the original boxes. I am looking for a good home for them. They are trains of all kinds with all different scenes. If you would like to work a jigsaw puzzle as a family or individual, I would love to give them to you. You can take as many as you want as long as you will work them. And here is the kicker: I don’t want them back. You can glue them or put them back in the Ziploc bags and save them for another day or pass them along to someone else.  And by the way, I do have some already glued that I’m willing to give to you to decorate your walls. J Just let me know and I can show you what I have by texting pictures to you.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner (do I hear some cheering from the student and teaching section as you read that?), I hope you have remembered to take some time to write down what you are thankful for.  I can choose to be grateful or to grumble. I can choose to praise or pout. I can choose to count my blessings or complain about what I don’t like.  Do you remember the scene in Forrest Gump when he is sitting at a bus stop and offers a lady a chocolate? He says, “Momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”  Forrest’s momma was right. I love chocolate, but I don’t like nuts in my chocolate. I try to avoid them whenever I can.  We are hit from life on all sides. Some things we simply can’t avoid.  But I have noticed how much better life is when my attitude is one of gratitude for the simple things God has blessed me with. Family. Friends. Job. A ride on a bike. A night with friends. A good book (or a puzzle). Relaxing with Jo. Eating pizza or ice cream, especially that! J Simple things which to some people mean nothing, but to me screams, “Blessings!”  I am grateful for you, my friends. November is an anniversary for me, Jo and Diana.  Jo and I moved here in November of 2005. Diana and I started the same time (she actually shadowed MJ a week earlier). So we start Year #17 this month. I am thankful for the prodding wife and the long phone calls with Caleb Petree which started this train rolling.  (For those of you not familiar with that story, I will tell it next week in MM#84). I can hear the excitement in your breathing already!!  Anyway, back to reality.  Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to express your thanks to God. Start today. In the meantime, know that I love you all.  Have a great rest of the week.

Pastor Bill

P.S.  Big congratulations to Caleb Hutchison on achieving his lifelong goal of becoming a conservation officer!!

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Midweek Message 11/03/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #82

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #82.  Given the spirit of the month, I want to thank you for inviting me into your life, (or is that your inbox?). 

November and December seem to be busy months for everyone and that includes the church. While we don’t have the typical Thanksgiving and Christmas pageants and events, we seem to find ourselves really busy and occupied with various events.  I thought I would highlight a few of them for you. 

But first, something of extreme importance.  As we have announced, the offering for our 17th anniversary was split evenly between missions and the building fund, except where otherwise designated.  Now that all the figures are in, I am happy to say that we were able to deposit $3000 into our building fund and $3000 divided up between 8 missions. That equals $375/mission. My math has always been suspect and if you were here Sunday or listened online, you heard me give the figure of $350. Yeah…when God was handing out “pre-birth gifts” math was left off my list.   Anyway, here are the 8 missions who were blessed by your generosity:

  • Hilltop Christian Camp
  • The Britt, Cook & Furr families from Chi-Alpha (IU campus ministry)
  • Campus Life/Youth for Christ 
  • New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center
  • Revive Liberia
  • WRE (Weekly Religious Education) for our elementary schools 

Thank you for your generosity in making this all possible. 

Okay…now to the “stuff” that is happening. This will give you an up-to-date as well as a future in-the-know outlook:

  1. Operation Christmas Child is in full swing. Pastor Ryan, Diana and I were so excited to see all the boxes gone and many of the unassembled ones picked up. The deadline for bringing the boxes to OVCF is 11/14. On Monday, 11/15, we plan on delivering them to Sherwood Oaks church in Bloomington. Because of many of you, children around the world will not just receive some gifts, they will also hear about Jesus in their own language. I see that as a win/win. 
  2. Thanksgiving Day we will be offering a FREE Thanksgiving meal to our community from 11-1:00. As in the past we will use the Lions Club as our base of operation and will offer meals three ways: in person; delivery; and (newly added) curbside pickup. This meal is free to anyone who requests it or comes in person. If you know of someone who would love a home-cooked meal for Thanksgiving, please call or have them call the church office (812.828.9840) no later than November 22nd.  We are in need of volunteers who will fix certain dishes, as well as help in other areas. The sign-up sheets for those are on the table in the back of the church auditorium. OVCF is providing turkeys and hams this year, along with the pans to bring them (and side dishes) in. Want to help cook one? Please contact the church office and we will make sure to get those to you. If you have any questions please contact Jeanna Srinivasan (812.821.7776/ daisymay85@gmail.com) or her mom, Marcia Morris (812.821.7786/ logcabincook.@gmail.com). 
  3. The Giving Tree. Last year the pandemic changed our plans (as well as thousands of others) and we donated some money to Tri Kappa for their Christmas Shopping for kids effort. This year we are reinstating The Giving Tree because we want to help local children receive Christmas gifts (and many of you asked about it).  Diana is in charge of this (and it is close to her heart) so after this Sunday’s announcement, I will offer more information here next week. Stay tuned!! 
  4. One last one (honest). Every year we’ve offered a Christmas breakfast for the community from 7-9 at the Lions Club. After staff meeting Monday, it was requested that we reinstate it this year. But here is the deal: there is no one to coordinate it. We need someone who will step up before the end of November to say, “I will coordinate it” for that breakfast to happen. If you would like to do so, please contact me. 

We have tried not to burn you out with program after program during the months of September through December, but these have been favorites down through the years so we want to offer them again since our community needs this help. They work because of you!! 

I read an article last week by Rebecca McLaughlin that I thought was super-insightful and very, very helpful. It is easy to get into our own worlds on Sunday morning, leaving others out, especially new people. Here is the beginning of the article:

“Sorry to cut you off!” I’d just started connecting with a close friend at church. I was eager to catch up. But as she talked, I noticed a woman sitting alone, thumbing through her service sheet. 

Honestly, I wished I hadn’t seen her. Interrupting my friend would be rude. It’s good for me to invest in friends! Someone else will likely spot that woman. These were some of the excuses that ran through my head. But the woman was clearly new, and for all I knew, not a believer. So, reluctantly, I interrupted my friend. 

As soon as I sat down with the newcomer, I thanked God I had. Raised Catholic, she hadn’t been to church in over a decade. Her fiancé had just broken up with her right before their wedding, and she needed something else in life. I took a risk and asked if she’d like to come to our community group. She said yes. She’s been coming to church and Bible study ever since.   If you would like to read the rest of Rebecca’s article, just click on this link (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/make-sunday-mornings-uncomfortable) and it will take you there. We have all been there. Let’s change how we act when we see a visitor or someone we don’t know.   I love you all. 

Pastor Bill 

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Midweek Message 10/27/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #81

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #81. I thank you for taking the time to read this and hope you are having a great week.

 

Last week I gave a round-up of our 17th anniversary celebration. One of the steps we have taken over the past several years has been giving away our Easter offerings to missions and our anniversary offerings to the Building Fund (except for the pandemic-influenced celebration in which we gave it all to missions). This year it was decided to split the offering: 50% to missions and 50% to the building fund, unless it was otherwise designated. Now that all the figures are in the elders took the step of adding a bit from our general fund to make it an even $3000 for both.  The mission offering was divided up equally with the 8 missions we support. My handy-dandy calculator tells me that each mission will receive $375 and our building fund will now be $157,151.08. Thanks to all of you for your generosity which made this possible.  J

 

Every year we have participated in Operation Christmas Child. This year is no different. Diana announced Sunday that the boxes to pack and the information for packing them is on one of the   tables at the back of the auditorium. The due date is November 14th and since we are not a collection site this year, we will deliver your boxes to Sherwood Oaks.

 

In 2008 we started offering a Thanksgiving meal to the community.  We have had an in-person meal as well as offered delivery. Last year we had to cancel because of some virus. J  But thanks to two ladies-Jeanna Srinivasan and her mom, Marcia Morris- we will be offering the meal again. It will be Thanksgiving Day from 11-1:00 at the Lion’s Club (LC). We are also adding a new feature this year: curbside pickup. So someone can come to LC for a meal; we can deliver it; or they can pick it up. Our advertising is somewhat limited due to the lack of a paper so we will need your help. Flyers will be distributed wherever we can, but we can really use your word-of-mouth help to get the word out. Calling in advance will be necessary for delivery and curbside pickup options so tell the folks you know who would like a warm meal to call the church office (812.828.9840) to make a request by November 22.  And we could use your help in food prep. OVCF is purchasing the turkeys and hams this year, but we do need those who will volunteer to prepare them. We will also be providing you with a pan/lid to put the sliced meat in so you can bring it to the LC.  There are other ways to help. The sign-up sheets are on the back table or you can call the church office.  I don’t think I need to tell you how much this is needed in our community this year. It only takes a small amount of time to help in some way. You will be glad you did.

 

I have several prayers requests for you to remember:

  1. Gary Cunningham, Becky’s husband, received a liver transplant on 10/17. Pray for his health and his body’s continued acceptance of his new liver. Becky says he is weak but doing well!
  2. The Laws family (my friends from Ohio) have been in our prayers due to Mike’s donation of his kidney to his son, Ryan. Mike had COVID recently and despite all efforts to isolate, I found out Sunday night that Ryan has tested positive. Please pray for them.
  3. Darrin and Anitra Line are expecting their first child-a son-on May 2nd. I told Anitra we would pray for her/them. Speaking of pregnancies: please be praying for the Chambers’ and the Hutchison’s as they await their new babies.
  4. Caleb Hutchison is in week #4 of his DNR training. This has always been his dream so please remember to pray for him (and his family back home).
  5. Chris Wainscott remains in a rehab hospital in Greenwood from diabetes complications. He is a long way from home so please pray for him and his family.
  6. Jim Markland has a co-worker whose husband had major surgery on Tuesday. She has asked for us to pray.
  7. Jo and I ask that you continue to remember Tami as she recuperates from her heart attack. You might throw in a prayer for us as well.
  8. We have recently had several lose loved ones. It is always a heart-wrenching time for them.
  9. Are you remembering to pray for our law enforcement officers and military personnel on a daily basis?

 

Any church prayer list can seem endless. It is also dangerous since someone can feel left out. I would be glad to include you or your family to this list and my plan is to make this a weekly addition to my MM. And it will, of course, be as discreet as you want it.

 

Did you know your elders, along with Steve Pendleton, met this past Friday night for 2 ½ hours and the same amount of time on Saturday morning to indulge me?  Actually, I had read a book called A Church Called TOV several months ago. (Tov is the Hebrew word for good.) I wrote a study about it and asked to present it to them. I hope to present it to small groups of people soon. If you are interested in knowing more please let me know.  Or if you see me lurking in your vicinity you may want to hide! I may be wanting to ask you to be a part of it. J

 

I want to close this edition of the MM by giving my “hats off” to two people who have been going above and beyond lately. I hope you or they never tire of hearing how much I appreciate them: Pastor Ryan and Diana. Hardly any of you know what goes on all week long since it is not expected of you. You see the finished product on Sunday or Wednesday. But we make a great team and I give a large part of the credit to those two. Pastor Ryan tirelessly loves our kids and I found out at the celebration pitch-in how one family feels about him. Diana’s pay says she works from 8-1:00 each day, but I can attest to the fact that many days it goes far beyond that. BTW: check out the building display this Sunday she has put together. You’ll like it! You saw the camaraderie we have this past Sunday as we joked about my flub about Thanksgiving/ Christmas. Our respect and love for each other is mutual. I’m glad God brought us together.  I am not ashamed to say I love them both (and their families). J I know you do as well.

 

**Don’t forget! This Sunday is a 5th Sunday so the elementary kids will be with us for morning worship!  Nursery and pre-school will meet as usual.**

 

It is time to close. I hope there is no doubt in your mind how much I love you.

 

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 10/20/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 80

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #80.  Thanks ahead of time for letting me “bend your ear” for a few minutes. 

 

Where do I start?  I have so many things running through my mind about Sunday’s 17th so I guess I’ll just start and see where I land:

  • The 17th anniversary celebration was a success. You all adjusted so well to the different conditions.  Some of you came ready for the coolness of the morning but some of you headed for the comfort of the sun. Little did I realize the picnic tables would be much more popular than I thought they would be. I should have known since they were in the direct sunlight. 
  • It was heart-warming to see so many of you visiting and laughing together. That is, perhaps, the #1 complaint about having two services. 
  • In spite of the different conditions, I thought the spirit was good and I heard from one source that you were really singing.  From where I stood, I was only able to hear myself and trust me when I say that it was not very good! 
  • The turnout for the pitch-in was phenomenal. After only having 40-50 people sign up I only set up tables and chairs for about 60. I was wondering when Pastor Ryan and Chris Brown set up a couple more tables if that was going to be necessary. I’d say that and more were needed!  It was exciting to see so many people stay afterwards to eat, laugh, and enjoy being together. 
  • I was really stoked when Pastor Ryan set up a volleyball net and when I went outside there were at least 20-30 people involved in playing. It started out as just hitting the ball, then the young people started feeling their oats and wanted to play the adults.  6 adults vs about 100 kids. The adults won!  ‘Course there is a rumor I may be a bit prejudiced but that would be untrue. 
  • Even though it was difficult to see the possible future building plans while we were outside, many of you had a chance to see them as they scrolled on the screen during our meal.  I hope you were excited to see what the possibilities are. 
  • Your generosity still astounds me. I will include details about offering next week.

 

During my sermon I said that those I have talked to really could not pinpoint the exact first day of OVCF so that explains why we have jumped around to different Sundays in October. While we were eating, Terrie MacMorran informed me that…get this…October 17, 2004 was the exact date for the first meeting of OVCF. Is that cool or what? 

 

Here is the part I look forward to, but could also get me in trouble: the thank you part. I know it is dangerous and I wrote a bunch of names down as things happened. Please forgive me if I leave you out. It is not on purpose, but there are some folks who need a virtual high five. 

  • Zach Hogan for donating the use of his stage and sound equipment.  What a tremendous act of generosity it was! Brad Brinson and Dick Hogan came to help put the stage together on Saturday morning. 
  • Joe Pavich for going above and beyond in making the live stream a possibility. He spent hours here on Saturday, came back early Sunday, left to get his 3 children, and then return to run the live stream for us.  He had help on Saturday: his daughter, Charlotte, was a big help to him.  (And she liked my offer of peanut butter-filled pretzels…which dad okayed). 
  • Daniel Hamlin not only made the two ends for the cable, he made a special trip in from his home near Jordan Village on Saturday to get it to Joe. 
  • Pastor Ryan did a lot of ordering and helping Joe until he was no longer available because of a wedding. 
  • Diana did a lot of extra work getting all the print materials ready, as well as ordering things which were needed. 
  • My wife, Jo, was looking forward to having the Sunday off from Power Point but changed her plans to type up and do the Power Point for the songs. 
  • Wayne Akerson worked on making the presentation for the Building Team. 
  • The Worship Team-Dick and Vicki Hogan, Pastor Ryan, Jim & Diana Markland, Tiffany St. John, Cara King (who showed her multi-tasking ability by not only singing, but helping hold music for Heather so we weren’t singing “The music my friend is blowing in the wind”), and Heather Keith.  Each week a different worship team steps up and leads us. They always garner my thanks. 
  • The nursery, check-in and children’s program volunteers who graciously taught our kids. 
  • To all of you who helped afterwards I cannot say thanks enough. You helped make a long process very short. 
  • And, once again, all of you for making the celebration a special day. 

 

After a celebration of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us as a church, it is important to keep in mind what our mission is and why, I believe, God has blessed us. There are two events coming which are really important. 

  1. Operation Christmas Child is about to launch. As soon as Diana has the material from Samaritan’s Purse she will make it available. This is just a friendly reminder that OCC is fast approaching. 
  2. We will be providing a meal for the community on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lions Club. Specific details will be coming. 

 

I see my space is up for this week. Before I go, I’d like to ask you to read two passages which I read yesterday morning: Psalm 113:1-4 and 115:1. Our whole purpose is not to garner praise for ourselves. In fact, we make a pretty small package when you get right down to it. We are, instead, supposed to deflect the praise from ourselves to God, the only One worthy of that praise. Someone might say, “Well, Pastor Bill, you did an awful lot of praising others in this MM.” That is true because I do believe people need thanked for doing good things. But ultimately, the praise goes to God for providing for us in such a good way. 

 

Thanks again for everything. I am honored to serve as your pastor. 

 

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 10/13/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 79

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #79.  Fall Break is over for most schools and “back to the old grind” is the moniker.  Many of you took off for a well-deserved time away. I hope you were able to get some sanity back.

 

Some of you are old enough remember records. Vinyl albums. After being sent into oblivion with the onset of 8-track tapes (well…we can bypass those monstrosities); cassette tapes; CDs; and now digital music, they are making a comeback. There was a saying used during the time of records: “you sound like a broken record.” I know exactly what they meant. I had records that got scratched and the needles would just repeat that word over and over.  I will warn you ahead of time that I will sound like a broken record by the time I am done because I want to talk about the 17th Anniversary of OVCF coming up this Sunday. At the risk of shutting you down as you read this, please let me give the details to you one more time (with some additional information).  Drum roll please:

  • OVCF’s 17th anniversary is this Sunday, October 17th at 10:00 a.m.
  • When you drive onto the property you will see the tent at the east side of the parking lot by the shelter.
  • Some chairs will be set up in shelter. We will have others available for you to use but encourage you to bring your own since it will be more comfortable.
  • Joe Pavich and Pastor Ryan are working hard to have the live stream working that morning. We also hope to have the projector working as well.
  • Following the sermon and communion, Wayne Akerson, one of the elders and a member of the Building Team will give an update on the new building progress.
  • The offering that day will be divided evenly between the Building Fund and Missions (unless designated).
  • The nursery and children’s programs will be happening as usual.
  • Immediately following Wayne’s presentation, we will meet in the church auditorium for a pitch-in. It is not too late to sign up for the pitch-in. Please call the church office and let Diana know if and how many will be coming. We need to let the Chambers’ know how many to cook chicken for.

 

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!

 

We do have some “loose ends” to tie up that you can help us with.

  • The tent will be here on Friday so Saturday morning at 9:00 we need your help setting up the stage (Zach Hogan is graciously providing his stage for us).
  • At the same time, we need some folks who will help move the picnic tables out and carry chairs to the shelter (but not set them up).
  • We need others who will help set up tables and chairs in the church auditorium for the pitch-in. We will possibly need help after the worship service to move tables and chairs after they are used for the children’s programs that morning.
  • We will need help at 7:30 Sunday morning to move sound equipment and set up chairs in the shelter.

 

Most of all, bring an open heart to worship and to express gratitude to God for His marvelous work in and through OVCF these past 17 years.  I can’t wait to share this Sunday with you!

 

I’d like to share the following thought with you today. Maybe someone needs it:

Bone-tired. Weary beyond belief. Asleep on his feet. Those are just some of the phrases we might use to describe how we feel. I’ve been there. So tired I can barely think. So weary it is an effort to pick my feet up and put one foot down in front of another.

I’ve been there spiritually as well. The battles have been intense. The days long, the nights short. The arm wielding the sword hanging by my side. The helmet askew; the head bowed in weariness, and yes, even defeat. The armor stripped off because I am just too wiped out to wear it. The shoes too heavy for my feet.

But from out of nowhere comes a second wind. As Petra sang it so many years ago: “I got my second wind/The Spirit is moving again.” Isaiah 40:28-31 has just happened!

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives strength to the weary, And to the one who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”  (NASB2020)

The end of myself became the beginning of Him.  The end of my strength became the beginning of His.

Physical. Mental. Spiritual. Weariness touches us all.  But so does the energy of the Spirit. I find myself rejuvenated.

Physically- the weariness gives way to intentional movement.

Mentally- a clarity comes that assesses situations and knows how to act.

Spiritually- The “light goes on” and a fresh wind blows through.

God’s Word is once again true: “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.”

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

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 10/06/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 78

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message 78. As I say each week thanks for letting me into your corner of the world. I don’t ever want to take that privilege for granted. So, again, thanks. 

 

I will admit right up front that some of this will sound a lot like last week. Like rinse and repeat. And no, I didn’t just copy and paste. 🙂  I am so excited about OVCF’s 17th anniversary so I thought I would let you know what we know so far. I shared this with the elders this past Monday night so they are up to date on it as well. Ready? Here we go:

  • OVCF will celebrate our 17th anniversary on October 17th
  • We will have one service at 10:00 AM. 
  • It will be outside with a 40×40 tent erected as close to the shelter as they can get it. That will almost effectively double the space available. 
  • Zach Hogan is graciously providing the stage and sound equipment for us. The stage will be set up on the inside, south side of the shelter.  (Read on for more on that). 
  • Joe Pavich and Ryan East are getting their heads together on Monday, the 11th, to work out the live stream end of things. It will take some extra work, but we feel it is necessary to continue the live stream that morning. 
  • Wayne Akerson, one of our elders and a member of the Building Team, will be giving you an update with some tentative scenarios of our proposed addition.  Please trust me when I say it will be exciting! 
  • The offering that morning will be divided equally between the Building Fund and Missions (unless designated otherwise). 
  • The Nursery and Children’s programs will be as usual. 
  • Immediately following Wayne’s presentation, we will be making our way into the building to have our pitch-in dinner. OVCF is providing the chicken from Chambers restaurant. 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP!

 

There are several different ways you can help, no matter your ability:

  1. We need people who will volunteer to help set the stage up on Saturday and move the picnic tables out of the shelter. If you are able to help, please see Dick Hogan or give him a call (812.585.2524).
  2. We need folks who will help set up tables and chairs inside on Saturday so they are ready to use Sunday afternoon for the pitch-in.  If interested reach out to me and I’ll let you know the time. 
  3. We need folks who will come Sunday morning at 7:30 to help move and set up chairs and unload equipment (remember those days at Abram Farm?). 
  4. Remember to bring your own chair if you prefer to sit in that. You may find them more comfortable since some of the seating will be ground seating under the tent. (The white chairs will sink)
  5. Sign up for the pitch-in so we have an idea of how much chicken to order. 
  6. Most of all: bring an open heart to worship and one filled with joy for God’s goodness, grace and blessings He has shown us.  Oh yeah. You might also pray for good weather. 🙂 

 

Among all the excitement there is also reality. We have many in our community, in our church fellowship, and friends of ours who are hurting. Let’s not forget them. I know it seems unfair that I would mention one over another but I’ve got a burden for some friends. Many of you had a chance to meet Mike, Trisha, and Ryan Laws in August. Ryan received a kidney transplant from his dad. All was going well until the past couple of weeks. I mentioned Sunday that Ryan’s blood count was dangerously low. Monday night I was texting with Mike and received the following: “Tests results revealed that his counts have dropped even lower…to dangerously low levels. Doctor ordered Ryan to stay home all week. No school or soccer to avoid larger crowds and prevent from contracting anything since his body can’t fight it off. Starts shots tomorrow. Will receive for three consecutive days. The shots should help boost the counts to get them in a safer range. Thank you for keeping Ryan in prayer.”  A few texts later Mike said, “We are praying this is just a bump in the road. God has done mighty work these past 20 months, we are trusting that He will continue to provide. I will keep you updated.”  I’m guessing I don’t need to ask you to pray for them. 

 

And while I’m on that subject: I want to remind you that your elders (Wayne Akerson, Jeff Carlson, David Robertson), as well as Ryan and I, pray for you each month. We started doing that during the pandemic and haven’t stopped. We hope you know how much we love you and care about you. 

 

Let me leave you with something “meaty” this week. Tuesday morning (1:00 a.m.) I was unable to sleep because of some discomfort (my encounter with the car which bruised my hand) and as I sat in my recliner with some ice on my hand, a word came to mind: “Blessed.”  I hear that word a lot. A fellow blogger always ends her comments with “Blessings.” Our sheriff always answers, “I’m blessed” if you ask him how he is doing. Diana has a t-shirt which says, “Blessed and highly caffeinated.” 🙂 Jesus used the word 9 times in Matthew 5 (Beatitudes).  The man who hit me said when he left, “God bless you.”  

 

I wish I had had the wherewithal to say, “He has. He does. He will.” I thought of that a few miles down the road. The truth is: in spite of the pain in life; in spite of the stumbles and falls; in spite of the missteps; in spite of the times of loneliness and feeling of hopelessness and abandonment which sometimes invades our space, we are blessed. 

 

I know I am. In many ways. One of which is to serve as your pastor. Thanks for allowing me to do that.  Love you all.

 

Pastor Bill 

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Midweek Message 09/29/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #77

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #77.  I hope you are having a great week and enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather we have been having. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this. 

 

17 ON THE 17TH

 

OVCF is celebrating her 17th anniversary on the 17th of October.  Below is probably the most comprehensive gathering of information in one place. 

 

First off…GREAT NEWS! I announced Sunday that we found a tent. Trust me when I say it was no small task. First, let me answer the obvious question: why a tent, especially when we have a perfectly fine building? To be honest, there was a desire of the staff and many others that we find some way, somehow, to be together as one body that morning. Many will be okay with having two services normally, but there was a real strong desire to have just one that morning. It has been so long since that has happened and we wanted it to be this particular Sunday. Some may be asking why we didn’t go to Abram Farm like we have in the past. Two words: weddings and logistics. October is a full month with weddings at all times of the month, so we chose not to even consider that. Plus, the logistics of getting all our equipment there, having someone do sound, setting up and tearing down just seems so daunting. So with those two factors combined, we decided to celebrate here. However, putting everyone in the current space was going to be really uncomfortable in so many ways. That is when we came up with the idea of having a tent and an outside service. What we didn’t know was how hard it would be to find a tent!! Ryan tried for several days and kept waiting for one organization to call him back. When they finally did (it was a No), he had to bow out because of other commitments. So I started calling around. I kid you not that I called all over the state of Indiana. Indy. Greenwood. Clarksville. Evansville. Terre Haute. The answer was a No each time. We were looking for a 40×60 or larger tent. None were available. We ran into Homecomings. Covered Bridge. Weddings. You name it. Finally, I found one who could rent us a 40×40 from Shelbyville! And yes, you read that right. Smaller tent and Shelbyville. But it was an answer to our prayers so I made the arrangements and Diana worked on the details of the contract.  There are several more incidentals to work out on our end-like where to put the tent which would best suit us; where to put the stage which is being provided; recording it for live stream, etc. BUT WE GOT A TENT!  🙂  Praise the Lord for that. 

 

WOW! That was one long paragraph!!

 

Second, feel free to bring a chair. If you have a camp chair or some chair you are comfortable sitting in (no recliners please…LOL) please plan to bring it. If the weather is agreeable, some of you might even choose to sit outside the tent. The least amount of chairs we have to carry out the better. Plus, they might sink into the ground. 

 

Third, prepare for a pitch-in following the service.  It has been a long time since we had a “full-on” pitch-in. Depending on the weather, we will set up tables inside and under the tent. There is a sign-up sheet on the back table for you let us know what you plan to bring. Chicken will be provided by the church. Chamber’s Restaurant will be making the chicken so we need an estimate of how many to expect. This will be a great time to catch up with people. 

 

Fourth, the Building Team, represented by Wayne Akerson, will be making a presentation of a future building. We want to keep you informed as to what we are thinking and our progress.  We also plan to put it on a “continuous loop” in the auditorium so you can get a visual picture of our thoughts for the future. 

 

Fifth, there will be a fully staffed nursery and children’s programs that morning as well.  

 

Sixth, for those who may not know, our practice has been to take our Easter offering and give it to Missions (unless designated) and our Celebration offering toward the Building Fund. Due to the pandemic, we gave the last 3 offerings to Missions (and God has blessed us immeasurably). The elders have decided to split the 17th anniversary offering equally to Missions and the Building Fund.  As I write this, we have close to $152k in the Building Fund. That speaks volumes about how many of you want a building where we can gather together in one service.  But we plan to build debt-free so every bit helps. 

 

Sixth, invite your family, friends and neighbors to join us. Cards are available at the back table for you to use to pass around. 

 

I’m excited about this special day. One sidelight: my sermon will be “Let Me Remind You” from Mark 14:1-31.  I can already anticipate a long but very satisfying day. I am sure you will want to join us!! 

 

Something other than our 17th Anniversary: I am really appreciative of the Worship Team (WT) stepping up this past Sunday and giving Dick & Vicki Hogan the opportunity to be away. (Besides, Dick also had hand surgery). Many thanks to Zach Hogan who stood in as a replacement for his dad. The rest of the WT also did a phenomenal job leading us in worship. As I say that, I want all who are on the Worship Team from week to week to know that I deeply appreciate your hearts and willingness to lead us into worship. Many Sundays I stop singing to just listen, and I get goose bumps sometimes listening to their voices and yours as praise is lifted to God. Thanks to the WT and to you for your singing. 

 

And I better sign off since I have been long-winded this week. I love you.

 

Pastor Bill 

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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

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Midweek Message 09/15/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #75

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #75!  It’s always good to meet with you on a weekly basis. I hope your week is going well. We sure have had some beautiful September weather haven’t we?  Sort of makes me sad though. That means Fall is almost here and winter is around the corner.  I know. What a downer. So let’s move on to some good stuff!! 🙂 

 

First, I want to thank all of you who were able to come to the 9/11 memorial for Brett Wood and to honor the men and women who lost their lives on that fateful day. I have not heard an official count (probably never will) but I was so thrilled to look out and see so many people. In spite of the current political climate, that all seemed to be forgotten for at least one hour as we paid tribute to heroes and to one of our own.  The high school choir did an absolutely fantastic job with their song (Mr. Latta does a great job with them doesn’t he?). Perhaps it was “required” for them to be there, but it was so good to see their response to an act of terrorism and heroism which took place before they were even born. The two soloists did a wonderful job. The buglers did a moving Taps rendition. The speakers did a great job, especially Colonel Allen. The display of close to 3000 flags was just mind-boggling. (Did you hear Sharon Barger’s grandson, Nolan, who is attending American University in D.C, texted her to tell her that his university was inspired by Spencer’s display and were going to do the same?)  I had the honor of sitting next to Brett’s brother, Nikk, and when he put the yellow ribbon around the tree was asked to hold the flag which had been presented to him. I was most definitely humbled with that task. About the only thing I can’t comment on was the food provided by the Sheriff’s department. A previous commitment took me away too soon to eat. But I’m guessing it was good. 🙂

 

It was an emotional day for me. I wish I could put my finger on it. I got choked up as I tried to say the pledge and as the choir sang “God Bless America.” They asked us to sing along with them and I was unable to.  I think I have possibly figured out why.  I never served in the military. When I was in college and turned 18 the Vietnam War was raging. I was a freshman in Bible college and went to another city in Kentucky to register for the draft. (It was required). Because I was a ministerial student, I didn’t have to go into the military. (My draft number was also high). Every once in a while I wonder where I would be and what I would be like if I had experienced what so many of our vets experienced. Would I have come home scarred? Would I have come home to a “less than stellar welcome as many of them did?” I will never know. Maybe that is why I am so emotional when I have the chance to honor those who served.  Now you know some of my thoughts. Let me finish by saying I am extremely grateful to live in America, the greatest country to live in, even with all its flaws and foibles.  

 

I told you in the last MM that the elders would be meeting Monday, the 13th, and I would share some news concerning OVCF’s upcoming Anniversary. It is being called “17 on the 17th.” There will be more info coming your way but here is some of what we discussed. 

  • First, it will be on October 17th. Genius I know, but I would like to ask you to put that on your calendar right now so you can make every effort to celebrate with us. 
  • We are making every effort to offer one service that morning. Having two services that morning just does not seem right to the staff and listening to some of you, we are not alone. The elders do not like the idea of two services either. So we are investigating several options for that morning. Stay tuned for more info on that. By the way: if we can accomplish it, the one service will be at 10:00 and you will want to get here early
  • We are having a pitch-in following the service. Chicken will be provided by Chambers’ Restaurant. The rest of the feast will depend on you. A sign-up sheet will be provided for Jimmy & Christine to know how much chicken to prepare, but also for you to let us know what you plan to bring.  
  • Every Easter we give our total offering (except what is designated) to Missions. Every celebration in October our total offering (except what is designated) has gone to the Building Fund (BF). Except for the last three occasions when all three special offerings went to Missions. God has blessed OVCF in so many ways and we feel it is our responsibility to be generous and to give away. As of this writing, the elders have decided to transfer a surplus from our accounts to the BF. (Yes, God has blessed us that well!) That will put the BF at $149,546.07 after the transfer is made! The elders have also decided the offering for our celebration will be split in half-50% to Missions and 50% to the BF.  I, personally, like that idea. It gives us the opportunity to get closer to our goal of expanding, while keeping our eyes on our mission: to connect people to Jesus. I keep reminding myself that Jesus was into people, not buildings (when the disciples marveled about the magnificence of the Temple He said there would come a day when not one stone would be left on top of another). That is a very strong motivation for us to not be in debt over a building. Nothing shoots down the ability to help others like a church owing a lot of debt. I praise God for the foresight of the leaders who have not allowed that to happen here. 
  • Diana has been preparing flyers and cards to advertise the anniversary. There will be extra cards for you to share with friends and family if you would like to invite them. 

 

That’s all for now about “17 on the 17th”. More will be coming as it is available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the church office and we will try to answer them if we are able to do so. 

 

One more word about the elders: they love you all and continue to pray for you each month. I am honored to work alongside men who truly care about the church they have been called to help lead. 

 

I’m going to call it a wrap for this week’s edition of MM. I feel I have given you a lot of “food” to chew on this week. I love you all and hope you have a great rest of the week. 

 

Pastor Bill 

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