Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 09/28/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #125

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #125.  Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read this message from me to you.

Ladies remember your Truthfilled Bible study with Ruth Chou Simons starts Thursday night at 6:00!  It has been awhile since the ladies had a Bible study and the response has been fantastic! I’m expecting to hear reports of a good study and good friendships started or renewed.

This past Sunday the announcement was in the bulletin and I also said a little from the pulpit about celebrating the 18th Anniversary of OVCF on October 30th.  There will be more information coming, but I’d like to make a comment or two. Due to the unpredictability of the weather, the leaders decided it would be best to have the celebration inside. Due to space, it was also decided to have two services, at 9 and 10:45. In addition, it is also a 5th Sunday, which means it is a family Sunday. All except the nursery and Pre-K children will be in the adult worship service that morning (@ 10:45).  Immediately following the second worship service, we will be having a pitch-in dinner. The church will provide water and drinks. You supply the yummy stuff. ☺

The leadership (elders, Pastor Ryan, and myself) have taken a good amount of time the past 6 months or so to revisit the Mission and Vision of OVCF. We have made some tweaks and some changes so Ryan and I will be presenting the Mission and Vision on Anniversary Sunday. I’m excited about it and look forward to sharing it with you

THE CAKE! During the pitch-in we will also be having a time of recognizing our volunteers who have helped OVCF move forward. The church cannot exist without people who give of their time in various ways to make things happen week in and week out. We want to take a moment to celebrate and acknowledge all who make such a difference for OVCF! ☺

AND ICE CREAM! ☺ We are also hoping to be able to give you an update on our proposed addition. After waiting for over two months for information from one company and not receiving any, we decided to contact another. You should receive this on Wednesday. Tomorrow morning we will be meeting with a rep from that other company. We now have $230k in our Building Fund thanks to your generosity. It is time for us to start pursuing alternatives to our seating issue and the desire to be together in one service.

Your help is needed in a big way. Chris Wainscott has had serious health issues the past year or so and is now at home. With Kori and both girls working, Kori’s mom, MJ Ramsay, has been cooking them meals each day.  MJ and Gracie (their oldest daughter) will be visiting relatives in El Centro, CA soon. This is a great time for us to step up and help a family in what may seem a small way, but is really pretty big. Vicki Hogan is coordinating the meals. If you would like to help make a meal for Chris, Kori and Mollie (their youngest daughter) while MJ is gone, please contact Vicki. To help out, meals can be delivered to our house since it is on their way home. And I promise I will not sample them! ☺  You may call Vicki at 812.821.6907 to offer your help.

As many of you already know, Jo and I will be taking this Sunday off. About two months ago I realized-and Jo reminded me- it had been since late 2021 that I had taken a Sunday off. That is not good for you, nor for me. Variety is good (they call it the “spice of life”) and you need to hear someone other than me on Sunday morning. I also need to take a break from time to time. Our jaunts to Ohio are usually a two day thing-drive there, watch Braden play on Saturday morning, and then drive home. Being so busy is not healthy, especially mentally. So Pastor Ryan is preaching this Sunday on the last Beatitude. Jo and I will be visiting a church with some friends and then go out to eat afterwards. There is a wings place close by. (My heart just beat an extra beat). ☺  We will miss being with you, but look forward to spending time with friends.

Have you ever noticed how God surprises you?  When you least expect it, He does something, or in my case recently, brings someone into your path who impresses you and earns your respect. Recently, there have been several incidents where that has happened. I’m going to leave out names due to privacy (and embarrassment), but I’d like to share about three of those incidents.

  • While visiting with someone, I became more aware of the responsibility this person has taken on. Life has a way of changing our plans, however, I am a firm believer that God never wastes anyone’s time nor lessons to be learned. This person has laid aside plans for the future temporarily in order to take care of other matters. As I left, I offered a hug, and it was accepted.  Along with a hug this person also got my growing respect.
  • I spent some time chatting with someone who has fostered and adopted several children. I give a big warm tip-of-the-hat to this person, but especially anyone who takes on fostering or adopting children who are in less than desirable situations. It turns my stomach when children are conceived and the mother takes no steps to stay clean and sober. Or when abuse runs unchecked or unreported. And abortion is not the answer. Fostering and adoption are two very good alternatives. The other is Jesus.  I didn’t really know this person beforehand, but respect was earned.
  • I believe taking care of aging parents is godly. As Jo and I age, I realize even more how important our own daughters are to me, especially the one who lives with us (and puts up with my “sense of humor”). Anyway, recently two people responded to a need their aging parents had and took care of something they could not have done.  My parents are no longer here, but this couple earned some respect from me for their love and concern.

 

Don’t forget to pray for Matt Cazzell, who is our Educator of the week. He is the principal at MCES.

That is enough for this week. I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week. Always remember that you are loved.

Pastor Bill

 

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Midweek Message 09/21/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #124   

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #124. Thanks for taking the time to read this. You hold in your hand (or view from your laptop, tablet, etc) a different type of MM than normal. As of Tuesday, I told Diana I was not going to do a MM this week. But as the day moved on and as I reflected on some things, I felt a need to write one. I’ll explain in a moment.

First, let me remind you to pray for Brittany Greene (Principal) and Aaron LaGrange (AP) at Spencer Elementary School.  They are our educators for the week.  I had reason to talk to Aaron on Tuesday and he thanked me for the note I sent and said, “It is a nice thing you guys do there and it means a lot.”  It is always nice to hear some positive words, don’t you think?

Let me take a moment to remind you of a couple of upcoming events.

  • My “66” class continues tonight from 6-7:00.  We will be finishing I & II Samuel. Some long-winded teacher didn’t get finished last week. ☺
  • The Ladies Bible Study will begin Thursday, the 29th.  They have had a phenomenal response to this first Bible study in several years. I’m glad to see so many ladies hunger for both studying the Word but also just the fellowship which comes while meeting with others.
  • I know this seems a bit down the road, but please mark October 30 on your calendar. OVCF will be celebrating her 18th anniversary that Sunday.  More information will be shared along the way. Just mark that date please!

 

Upon occasion I have filled you in on my preaching schedule and “where we are going” in the upcoming months. I thought would put it here in print for you.

  • This coming Sunday I am preaching on Give Peace a Chance. October 2nd Pastor Ryan will be preaching on Persecution.
  • My next series will be a short four-week one entitled Wake up Sleepy Head! Since we will be celebrating our 18th anniversary in October, I thought it would be good to revisit the early church. The elders have spent considerable time retooling the Mission and Vision of the church. That will be shared on the 30th.
  • November 6th Will and Teresa Reed will be here with us. They came back to the states several years ago after a traumatic time in Africa. They have added to their family (2 more children), and see God leading them back to Kenya to help other missionaries deal with the trauma/suffering missionaries often face. They want to be a face of healing for them. They will be sharing their new work with Serge with us.
  • The next series will be a study of the OT feasts and how they relate to us as NT followers of Jesus, as well as serve as a good reminder of why we can be thankful.
  • The month of December will focus on the names of Jesus.
  • Then comes January of 2023 and a whole new experience for me: a study on Revelation. The more I study the more I go “AAAAHHHH!”  ☺

 

Okay, so that is the future, Lord willing, for Sundays. I’d like to ask you to pray for me as I prepare. But now, I’d like to ask you to lay aside all distractions and please read what I am about to write. This past Sunday I talked in my sermon about seeing people and not walking on by them. It seems as though we are seeing more and more hurting people than ever before. Sad people. Crying people. Droopy-shouldered people. It would be easy to just pass them by, but having “Spirit eyes” (which I talked about) wipes that reaction off the map.  In my 50+ years as a pastor I have seen a lot of hurting people. I’m not sure I have seen this many. Maybe it is because I am praying for those “Spirit eyes” I preached about, I don’t know. Last week I finished a book by Kayla Stoecklein called Fear Gone Wild. Kayla was a pastor’s wife who at the age of 29 found herself a widow after Andrew, her husband, took his own life. I’d like to pass along a snippet of what she wrote:

 

“The dark cloud of depression doesn’t just block out the light for the afflicted. It also blocks out the light for those who love them the most. For a while, life loses its color as the darkness touches everything. And our experience is not a rare occurrence. Andrew was just one out of the 17.3 million estimated cases of adult depression diagnosed each year in the United States…A common misconception in Christian culture is that depression is somehow linked to sin and spirituality, but I came to realize that it doesn’t happen because of a lack of prayer, time spent in the Bible, or faith. I now know depression is a real physical illness that needs to be treated with professional help, tender care, empathy, and compassion. One of the most painful things a follower of Jesus can do is openly criticize the faith of a person who is in the darkness of depression. Even with the best intentions, if we aren’t careful with our words, we could heap more shame and sorrow upon our friends who are mentally ill.”  (Pages 38-39) (Edited for space)

 

Kayla’s book was a great eye-opener for me. I gained more from reading her story than in all I have read before.  May I pass along to you some thoughts from Kayla on how we can walk beside those who are suffering?  (Main thoughts hers; commentary mine)

  1. Listen without judgment. Our job is not to fix people; our job is to love them.
  2. Engage, don’t ignore.  Battling depression often leads to isolation. The best thing we can do is to keep engaging them. Stay in contact. Don’t walk away frustrated.
  3. Encourage self-care.  Encourage exercise, taking care of themselves, watching uplifting or funny shows, etc.
  4. Pray. They might not feel like praying, but we can. When we feel our hands are tied, prayer is the one thing we can do. Pray with them if allowed. Pray alone if not.

 

Hopefully this did not bring you down, but helped open your eyes to how you can help others. Andrew loved Jesus. He knew he was loved by Kayla and his 3 sons. His battle with depression lasted for close to 9 years. I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the years. Being sensitive to the battles of others is one of them. There should be no condemnation on our lips.  If you find yourself in this battle you are not alone.  I am not a counselor, but I do care. Professional help is available.  Always remember this though: you are loved.

 

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 09/14/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #123   

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #123. Thanks for taking the time to read this MM. Even with the busyness of life, I hope you have been able to find little pockets of rest and relaxation.

There are several really important items I would like to put on my “agenda” for this MM.  I hope you will take the time to read through each one as though it pertains to you (because it may). ☺

First, you should be getting this on Wednesday and tonight is our first night back to “66.” We meet at 6:00 and end at 7:00. We start and end promptly. If this is your first time reading the MM, 66 is a study through the 66 books of the Bible. It takes about 2 years to go through the whole study. We will begin at I & II Samuel this week. Some of you may be thinking, “I will be lost so there is no sense in coming.” Not true. Each book study stands on its own, so if you join us this Wednesday then it will be the same as everyone else. Even if you are not sure it will be in your wheelhouse, I’d like to invite you to come and give it a try. If, after a few weeks, you decide it is not for you, then it is okay to step out.

Second, as we have been announcing in print and from the pulpit, this Sunday is the first small group gathering from 5-7:00 in the children’s addition.  Wayne Akerson has been leading a small group for about 3-4 years. It has, in the past, met at Wayne and Valarie’s house. In the hopes of possibly getting interest for starting some other groups, Wayne’s small group will be meeting in a larger space to accommodate others. The study will be titled Jesus…The Man. The Myth. The Legend. As Wayne mentioned Sunday morning, plans are to meet every other week. We would love to have you check it out!

Third, Jo and I will be gone October 2nd and she needs your help.  It is the first Sunday I have taken off in 2022 and she needs someone to run the Power Point for her in the second service. Someone stepped up for the first service and she is grateful.  But if you can help in the second service she would love to hear from you. You can contact her at church on Sunday or text/call at 812.821.1897. If you are unsure of being able to do it or simply have questions, she will be glad to answer any you have.

Fourth, Ladies Bible Study (LBS) meets on Thursday, the 29th for a study by Ruth Chou Simons called “Truthfilled.”  It has been a few years since the LBS last met so this will be a great time to get back into studying the Word with other ladies. It meets for 7 weeks on Thursdays from 6-7:30. If you have any questions please ask Sally Carlson (821.821.4792) or Hope East (812.585.1693). Please sign up by this Sunday so we may place the order for books!

Fifth, a reminder to pray for our Educator of the Week, Lisa Eldridge, the Principal at OVMS.  S-OCS has just hired a new Assistant Principal at the Middle School. We will include him in our list as soon as we get the information we need. Meanwhile, remember to pray for Mrs. Eldridge and all the administration and teachers.

Sixth, please put the date of October 30th on your calendar.  That is the date for OVCF’s 18th anniversary. Due to Abram Farm being totally booked for weddings all fall and the unpredictability of the weather, we will be having the celebration inside.  Stay tuned for more information in the very near future.

It is often hard to come to terms with events that happen in our lives, especially those which drastically affect our emotional state. I read the following story in a book I’m reading called A Gentle Answer by Pastor Scott Sauls. It struck me, especially since I am preaching on the Beatitudes right now:

“In the fall of 2006, a Pennsylvania milk truck driver named Charles Carl Roberts IV burst into a one-room Amish schoolhouse and opened fire on a classroom of girls, killing five and severely injuring  five more. After this, he turned the gun on himself and took his own life.

In his suicide note, Mr. Roberts confessed that he had been secretly tormented for many years by two dark spots from his own past. The first was the memory of how he had molested two of his younger relatives twenty years before. The second was the memory of losing his own daughter, who had died nine years previously.  That loss led him to confess he hated God.

There were two groups of people at his funeral. The first was the expected group: his family and friends of his family. The other was a group of about thirty men, women and children from the Amish community whose daughters Roberts had murdered and injured.  One sociologist remarked that “the most powerful demonstration of the depth of the Amish forgiveness was the members of the Amish community went to the killer’s burial service…some who had just buried their own daughters just the day before…hugged the widow and the three children.” (Pages 66-67- edited for space)

Martin Luther King, Jr once said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only love can do that.”  (p.68)

Being a follower of Jesus is never easy, especially in heart-wrenching situations.  John once wrote that we are to love because Jesus loved us first (I John 4:19). Let’s make it our goal to love as Jesus loved us.

You are loved.

Pastor Bill

 

 

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Midweek Message 09/07/2022

FLASH MIDWEEK MESSAGE!

This will not be a full-fledged Midweek Message. I said in last week’s message that Diana will be gone later this week to spend some much-needed and much-deserved time with her family.  She will have two days to get her normal 5 days’ worth of work done.  Since she helps me with the MM by editing it, I wanted to give her time by not spending it on this. However, there are a couple of items I need to bring to your attention, hence this Flash Midweek Message.

 

Wayne Akerson has asked me to publicize the Small Group Meeting on September 18 with the following addition:

OVCF Small Group Study (September 18th through Christmas)

Starting September 18th (Sunday)

Meeting every two weeks

5pm to 7pm in the OVCF Children’s Addition

 

The Man. The Myth. The Legend.: Getting to Know the Real Jesus.

His name is known all over the world. He is the central figure in the world’s best-selling book and the subject of thousands more. He lived two thousand years ago and only taught for three. Although he never left an area the size of New Jersey, people today will travel across oceans to share what He said. What is it about Him and His message that makes His reach so unending? Who was Jesus? A man, but perhaps more than a man. Do you know the real Jesus? It is time you find out.

Questions? Text Wayne Akerson at 812-287-2497

If you have any questions about small group this will be a great time to find answers!

 

Some prayer requests & updates:

Praise: Tim Huffman’s family located a hospital bed! J  He currently is in the new IU Rehabilitation Center on Curry Pike but hopes to go home soon. Tim has had a long haul recovering from losing part of his leg due to diabetes, a battle with COVID and various other medical issues. His desire is to be home and this bed will help tremendously.

Chris Wainscott is in a Rehabilitation Center in Carmel for continued care following surgery and illness.  Please pray for Chris, Kori, Gracie, and Mollie.

I learned late Saturday and shared with the church on Sunday morning about 4 year old Maverick Pendleton. He has been diagnosed with a brain tumor which is moving down his spinal cord and involves major vessels. Removal is not an option but chemo and radiation are.  Surgery is to be Tuesday (yesterday) or Wednesday (today) and will be an all -day surgery.  The tumor may impact his speech, vision, and arm and leg weakness on his right side.  They will not know the stage of cancer until the surgery. Please pray for Maverick and his parents, Josh and Becky. They are friends of Caleb and Amanda Hutchison.

Jackie Helderman has three bulging discs in his back. He will meet with his doctor later this month.

I heard late Sunday that Becky Schrock was in Bloomington Hospital with complications from a previous surgery. As of Tuesday, she was still in.

While I’m at it I’d like to remind you to pray for our Educators of the Week: Robert Boltinghouse (Principal of OVHS) and Jerry Bland (Asst. Principal of OVHS).

One final reminder: Logan Cain headed out Tuesday for a month’s duty at San Diego where he will  finish his basic training before being transferred to Missouri, where he will trained to be an MP officer in the Marines.

Thanks for praying for these folks. We have many others as well. Please check the bulletin Diana sends out weekly. Have a great week and know you are loved!

 

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 08/31/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #121

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #121!  This is the place to be in the middle of the week for that refreshing splash of “Aaaaah” that we all seem to need.  (cough cough)

My first order of business is to take care of something in the MM…an apology and an update. Some of you will probably put all that up to the fact that I will soon be turning 70…I think. My body sometimes tells me I’m closer to 75 or 80 while my mind whispers “You aren’t that old” while my other mind concurs (or is that conspires against me?).  So, here goes…

  • The mistake. In last week’s MM I wrote about my Route 66 class beginning again on September 14th at 6:00.  All well and good.  HOWEVER, I also said that the small group (which I will share about in a moment) is also meeting that same evening.  It would be sort of hard to have a small group and my 66 class in the same room at the same time discussing different topics.
  • The correction.  As Wayne Akerson announced this past Sunday, the small group is meeting Sunday night, September 18th, from 5-7:00.  In my defense…and IMHO…dates are one of the easiest things to mess up and miss in proofreading.  (Did you see how I just justified my mistake? I’m good aren’t I?) ☺

 

So, here is the real scoop. You already know the date correction. What exactly is going on? At the beginning of the year we had folks sign up who might be interested in being in a small group. After the meeting a few weeks ago on Sunday night, Wayne asked our small group about being a catalyst group for starting new ones. Since Wayne and Valarie’s house is too small to accommodate a larger group than the 10-12 who come on a regular basis, we decided to meet at the church building (children’s addition) from September 18 through December. This will give others an opportunity to come, check out a small group, and perhaps say, “I’d like to be more involved in one. Count me in.” We would then work on getting another small group started with the goal of getting another one, then another one.  Wayne’s group is a more traditional small group: some fellowship, about an hour of study and prayer, then refreshments. The group does not meet every Sunday night. We talk about nights which work and set dates for that. Wayne then sends out reminders to everyone. This “temporary” group will also operate the same way, so don’t stay away because you can’t commit every Sunday evening.

There is another type of small group which meets. It is more of a LIFE group approach. This group meets for a meal, discusses their lives (good and bad), and then prays with each other. If this type of group interests you, the Pendleton’s, East’s, Wyatt’s, and Linville’s would be able to give you more information.

There is also another group planning on meeting as friends/learners. Their approach is more of the LIFE group approach with one person taking the devotion for the evening. With their permission I will share their information in some future MM.

WOW! What started with an apology went ‘round Robin Hood’s barn to bring you to important information of small groups.  Seriously though, if you have any questions about the meeting on the 18th (I got it right this time!) you may ask Wayne (812.287.2497) or me (812.821.1752).

Giving you a heads up!  We have been announcing in print and from the pulpit about the office being closed on Labor Day. Along with that heads up is another one. Due to the much shorter week with the office closed and Diana taking Thursday and Friday off for some much-needed and well-deserved time to be with her family, there will not be a Midweek Message next week. She will only have two days to do all her work and I don’t want to put more pressure on her. (I’m such a nice guy! ☺ ) So…do not look for a MM next week. I know how heartbreaking that is, but we all have to deal with some heartbreak along the way. ☺ Just think though! The following week there will be one in your inbox. See…I have just given you something to take away the heartbreak and put a smile on your face and some wind in your sails.

Don’t forget to pray for Norm Warner this week as our Educator of the Week. Norm is the Technology Director for S-OCS schools.

In last week’s MM I mentioned that I would be sharing with you this week about my proposed preaching schedule for the rest of the year.  Here you go:

  • Finish the “Eight Cures” series on October 2nd. Pastor Ryan is preaching that morning.
  • Begin a 5-week series on the church I’ve titled Wake up Sleepy Head!
  • A 4-week series on the OT Feasts (begins Nov. 13) and how they relate to Jesus and to Thanksgiving. The final one will be Hanukkah and Purim which will start the Christmas season and series.
  • A short series on the names of Jesus as we focus on Christmas.
  • The 2023 theme (at this point): VICTORY! begins with a series on Revelation. (Not sure how many weeks that will be). It’s a work in progress.

 

Now…all of that is subject to God not changing the schedule. He sometimes surprises me with what He has going on. But as far as I know right now, this is it.

This coming Sunday our Educator of the week is actually two men: Robert Boltinghouse (Principal of OVHS) and Jerry Bland (Asst. Principal of OVHS). I’ll not be able to remind you in the MM to pray for them so please keep a note of their names handy.

Thanks for taking the time to read this MM. I know many of you will be traveling and camping this coming Labor Day weekend. Do be safe. Stay healthy. Love your family. Spend time together and (if possible) away from distractions. And if you are able, take the time to join us online. ☺  Remember you are loved greatly.

Pastor Bill

 

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Midweek Message 08/24/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #120

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #120! Thanks for including me in your day. I hope this week has been a pretty good one for you so far.

First, I need to apologize and make a correction.  After last week’s MM and my summary of why I began writing it, I had a member of my family (I will not mention Tami’s name) who corrected me on my timeline. Sadly, I have to admit I needed corrected. I mentioned that we limped into 2021 after a bunch of people got COVID and then we had to shut down when Governor Holcomb asked that we do so or reduce operations. We had actually reduced what we did during the summer of 2020 and had just begun getting back to “normal” in August by starting to worship in person again. I should have remembered because Jo and I went to Alaska in September of 2019 and almost decided to put it off (until your generosity).  That would have been disastrous since we would not have been able to go if we had. Anyway, I started the MM in early 2020 after that first major shutdown. I stand corrected. J

Second, a big tip of the hat to Dave & Heather Keith. When word reached Jack White, the director for Disaster Relief (FEMA) in Spencer, about the need for folks in Kentucky impacted by the flooding in recent weeks, Dave offered his help. He and Heather were leaving for vacation to Tennessee and offered to drive a trailer filled with supplies to those responsible for overseeing the operations in KY. In less than a week, Owen Countians came through.  A trailer soon became a U-Haul that left this past Monday morning. The church reached out to help and purchased   fans, totes, shovels, rakes and more to the tune of $400+. I also know several church individuals who gave some needed supplies. So thank you for being so generous, which allows the church to do what the church is supposed to do: reach out in Jesus’ name to help others.

Third, please remember to pray for Rhonda Schafer this week. Rhonda is our educator of the week. She is in charge of the Patriot Student Center which helps the students learn a trade that could serve them well in the future.

Fourth, I know I sound like a broken record, but I just “gotta tell you” this. Sunday afternoon I went to the store and had planned on getting out onto Morgan Street, but the line coming at me was a string of motorcycles and then a ton of cars, so I turned around and went out the back way. As I turned onto a street someone from the church family was out walking their dogs. I stopped to talk and one of the things this person said was, “I am so glad for the live stream.”  As we talked further, I knew why live stream was so important to them and said so. While I miss seeing people, it makes my heart happy to know people are watching online. I finished talking and on the way home I received a text from someone. Here is her text: “Still thankful for the live stream you continue to do. (Child’s name) has been snotty and feeling a little bad so we stayed home, but I didn’t have to miss church completely. Prayers she gets over this soon, especially the fussiness.”  {Note: this mom most definitely has my prayers}.

My point to you is the same point I made to the “dog walker.” We live in a hybrid world. That is no more apparent than in the church and our approach to ministry. COVID changed a lot of things, some good and some not-so-good.  I believe going to live stream is one of the benefits we were able to take advantage of then and it is still serving us now.  Again, I’ll ask you: if you would like to be a part of this vital ministry, not just for our church folks, but for others who tune in, we could use your help. Please see Pastor Ryan or me and we will get you in touch with Joe Pavich, who will be glad to “show you the ropes” on how to help us run our live stream.

Just a couple of reminders for you:

  • The church office will be closed on Labor Day, September 5th in honor of the holiday.
  • “66” will be restarting on September 14th from 6:00-7:00 in the youth addition. For those who aren’t sure what that is, it is a journey through the 66 books of the Bible. We will be resuming our study at I & II Samuel. Even if you haven’t come before you are more than welcome to join us.

 

One of the hardest things for me to do is to stay out of trouble…because of my mouth.  If I was a betting man I would bet I am not alone! J I read an interesting devotion the other day about our words and how important it is for them to be timely. Proverbs 15:23 says, “A person has joy in an apt answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” Included in the devotion was a story of golfer, Graeme McDowell on the eve of the 2006 British Open. He was in trouble with his swing and knew he needed to make a correction if he had any chance of winning. The evening before a man, who was an avid golf fan, recognized him and commented about a flaw in his swing. Most professionals would take offense at a suggestion like that, but Graeme figured what could it hurt? The next morning on the driving range he listened to the fan and lo and behold he was right! He finished the first day in first place.

Words are like that. We all know they can be used powerfully for good or bad. We can use them destructively or constructively. To put it more simply: they can build up or tear down. The verse in Proverbs says just that. A well-timed word is often what someone needs to make it through the day or to even see the light through a dark tunnel.  Instead of using our words for weapons, let’s learn to use them to build others up.

One last thing: September 14th at 5:00 Wayne Akerson’s small group will be opening up the group to others by having it in the youth addition for that evening. If you are interested, please set aside that date. I’ll tell you more next week.

I hope you have a great rest of the week. Thanks again for reading. I love you all and look forward to seeing you Sunday when I’ll be preaching on “Easy to be Hard.”  Included in next week’s MM will be my proposed preaching schedule for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Notice I said “proposed.” I always have to include a word like that since God has a way of showing up and saying, “Not this time Bill.”  I’ll defer to Him. J

Pastor Bill

 

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Midweek Message 08/17/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #119

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #119.  Thanks for taking the time to download and read this. I don’t take that for granted.

We have several new readers to the MM and perhaps you may be wondering what this is all about. I’d like to take a few moments of your precious time to fill you in on what the MM is and why I started it and still write it.  Here is your brief history lesson: Back in 2020 a number of folks, including all the staff, got COVID. As per usual, no one has a clue how it happened or how it spread. We all limped (by all, I mean the church family) limped into 2021. Shortly after the turn of the clock, Governor Holcomb asked for businesses and others to close or to reduce operation. The leadership of OVCF decided to comply with his directive, not knowing how long it would last. (Who did?)  Here was what I wrote in my very first MM: “Who’d a thunk it just a couple of weeks ago that meeting together would be our last time for who-knows-how-long?”  Because I was unsure of its duration, and because my ability to visit was limited, I decided to start writing the MM. Here were my words:

“I’d like this to be a regular feature during this time each week to communicate with you via email about different things. This is just me to you from my heart to yours. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.”

I went on to say: “This is an unprecedented time. Some of us have lived through 9/11 and remember it well. Some have lived through the swine flu, the Asian flu, the Hong Kong flu, and for some old-timers, the Great Depression…Long story short, we will get through this one day at a time. Psalm 91:1-2 says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (ESV)  You know, we did come through it. Some more scathed than others, but we found out God was true to His Word of being faithful in all things. My thoughts haven’t changed on that one bit.

I recently read a book on Discerning God’s Will called The Trail by Pastor Ed Underwood. Actually, it was the second time I read it. It was released in 2014 and I read it fairly shortly after that.  Lots of people have questions about God’s will.  “How do I know if I’m doing the right thing?” “How do I know if I’m doing what God wants me to do for my life?” Those and more are legitimate questions, but not always easily answered.  Rather than pray for God’s will to be known in my life, I have begun asking Him to direct where He is working and put me there. He will never steer me wrong. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do nor lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Some translations say “He will direct your paths.”  I am a firm believer that God will never lead me down the wrong path. He does want me to take His hand and let Him lead me.

WOW! That sure is a switch for the MM. Normally, I start out by going easy then becoming “preachy” at the end. ☺ Hopefully, you didn’t feel too bombarded so quickly and will keep reading.

This past Sunday I interviewed Robert Herrington, who will be commissioned this coming Saturday, and then will soon find out where he will be stationed and what he will be doing for the Army. I’m sure he will appreciate your prayers for his future.  As we pray for Robert, Logan Cain will graduate from USMC boot camp and will return home for a short stint before he goes to Missouri to continue his Marine Corp duty as an MP. It will be good to see him this Sunday. His family, the Coursons, and the Anderson family leave Wednesday for San Diego and will fly back home Saturday and plan to be here Sunday. I hope you will congratulate Logan for his accomplishment.

Roots got off to a good start! Pastor Ryan had a great group of young people Sunday night for the first Roots of the new school year.  You can help out with Roots by signing up to provide food for them on Sunday night. They are not asking for you to provide a three-course meal (although I have never seen a teenager turn down good food), but to simply provide snacks/drinks for a night. Ryan or Hope can give you a better idea of what is enjoyed by the teens. There is a sign-up sheet on the info table at the back of the auditorium.

I’d like to remind you to pray for our educator of the week. It is our very own Kris Samick, who is the Director of Communications at S-OCS. Kris lets me know how much she appreciates the prayers on her behalf. Why not stop right now and say a prayer for her?

I’m going to reiterate a request I made a couple of weeks ago in my sermon. Karen Turner and Joe Pavich (and Ryan by default) make it their ministry to live stream our services each week-one at 9:00 and one at 10:45. But we could sure use another hand or two to help. Case in point: I will be gone on October 2nd (Lord willing). Pastor Ryan is preaching. He is also scheduled to play the drums.  If Joe is unable to come for some reason, Ryan is unable to preach, play drums and run the live stream. If you would like to help, please see Ryan or me and we will direct you to Joe Pavich.

Update: After our visit to Graber Post Buildings and my report to you (MM#114), I have been in contact with GPB recently about our proposed addition. The drawings were to have been done yesterday and the process of pricing to be started.  I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, thanks so much for your generosity to the Building Fund! Every little bit helps us reach our goal. Our current fund is at $215,154.85! ☺ That will go a long way towards getting our project started!

I hope you have a great rest of the week. Lord willing, Jo and I will be leaving Thursday for Ohio to visit her sister on Friday and watch Braden play football on Saturday morning. I plan to be here to preach on Good Grief! (Beatitude #2) this Sunday. I love you all.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 08/10/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #118   

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #118 where you never know what might pop up out of this guy’s mind! Of course, you have come to expect that I suspect. ☺

I hope you have had a good week so far. School has started for most of the school corporations around here, and if that includes you I hope that you have been able to “settle in” as school gets off to a rousing start. For those of you who haven’t started yet (like homeschoolers)…enjoy these final few days. Our grandson doesn’t start until next Wednesday so I know he is relishing his days, except that he has football practice and is working.

While I am on the subject of school, let me remind you to be praying for Tabitha Freeman, the curriculum director here at S-OCS. For those who don’t know, we commit to praying for one of our educators each week. I’d like to use this as a reminder to you to pray for her.

With the onset of school starting, that also means our Roots youth group also gets started again after a summer hiatus. I’d like to go on record though for saying this: even though Roots took a break for the summer, the young people, and the adults involved in Roots, did not take a break! Whether it was one of the Wilderness Weeks at Hilltop (or both for some); YFC camp; a week at Hilltop; a week in Kentucky; or just general learning and serving, many of our adults and young people had a busy summer. Diana and I saw so little of Pastor Ryan around the office I felt I needed to introduce myself to him. ☺ The youth probably feel like they need to go back to school for a break!! However, let me say this to all of the adults and youth who made this a super busy summer, and to the parents who encouraged your child to participate, I cannot express how proud I am of all of you for your willingness to learn and serve.

Now back to my original thought (see like a ping pong ball is the thing called my mind): Roots starts this Sunday night from 5-7 in the auditorium. Ryan works hard on making Roots a great place to be on Sunday night and to bring your friends.  If you are in Jr or Sr High you are welcome to come AND BRING FRIENDS! It is a time of fun, learning and developing friendships. I told Ryan that it was cool watching friendships start to develop in Roots, develop more over the summer, and to watch the youth hang around laughing and chatting after our morning worship. It warms my heart to see that because these friendships develop, they usually “stick.” So if you know of a friend or a young person who seems lonely or lost, tell them about Roots. Maybe they will come and find their life changed by Jesus and friends of His.

This coming Sunday is also the initial meeting for small groups. We will be meeting at 5:00 in the youth addition. I have tried to give an idea of what this meeting is about so let me put it down for you. Earlier this year, we had a sign-up sheet for those who were interested in small groups. We had a number of folks put their name down, but through time and busyness, we failed to follow through on it. As I said in another MM, I take the blame for that. I should have been more on top of that. Nothing is more devastating and more discouraging to people than to ask for interest and then just not do anything. Forgive me for dropping the ball. This meeting is an effort to get that ball rolling again. Wayne Akerson and Steve Pendleton each have a different approach to small groups. Since there are so many different people interested, I thought it would be best for you to hear from both of them, and then decide what type of group you would like to be involved in.  The plan that evening is to find that out, sign you up according to your interest, and then make plans to get started. We will also have a Q & A time where hopefully your questions can be answered.  We will start at 5 and will go as long as we need to (but no longer than Roots).  One more thing: even if you have not signed up but are curious about the small groups, you are more than welcome to come. There is no obligation at all to join a group that night. See you there!

One item from me personally: For as long as I can remember (yesterday at least) I have offered a Route 66 class. I take 2 years to go through the 66 books of the Bible. After starting, then having to shut down due to that pandemic none of us like to think about, I started it back up last Spring. However, after a few weeks I shut it down in order to revamp it. I restarted it and we made it to Ruth when summer hit.  After contacting everyone involved, I will be starting 66 on September 14th from 6:00-7:00 in the youth addition.  We will be starting with I & II Samuel. Previous attendance is not required so even if you have not been before, you are invited to attend.

This past Sunday in my sermon I mentioned my current reading on what is called the Jesus Movement. It took place in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s and is considered the last great movement of the Holy Spirit. It focused mostly on the hippie generation which included individuals like singer Chuck Girard, Pastor Greg Laurie, and Pastor Ed Underwood. After reading Greg’s new book, Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus, I decided to reread his book called Jesus Revolution. Since I finished that, I have been rereading Ed’s book, Reborn to be Wild. I quoted from it in my sermon Sunday and said I would include it in my MM this week. Here is the quote:

“Only those who are willing to join God in risking grace by extending it to sinners without hesitation or compromise will know the spontaneous spiritual joy that sparks spiritual revolution.

Undeserved, unending, unearned, unconditional, uncontrollable, unblinking, unbound, undefiled, unequivocal, unfaltering, unhinging, unlimited, unmistakable, unprecedented, unsettling-grace-God’s gift of life to all who believe in His Son, unheard of anywhere else but in Christ.” (p.43)

When British thinkers on comparative religions were debating whether one belief in Christianity set it apart from all other religions came to an impasse, C.S. Lewis walked in. He asked what the rumpus was about, they told him they were trying to determine what Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions was. Lewis answered, “That’s easy. It’s grace.”

He is right. No other religion offers grace like Christianity. What a great way to be unique! Grace is still unique and is still for us today. Love the One who gave it. Live in it.  I love you all.

 

Pastor Bill

 

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Midweek Message 08/03/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #117

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #117.  I hope you are having a good week so far. This week will bring so many changes!  School is starting so traffic patterns will change; teachers will be excitedly welcoming new students; students will be “excitedly” getting up early and starting new classes; and parents will have mixed emotions as their young ‘uns take off for school.  I just hope you all have a great year!

The start of the school year seems to be getting earlier and earlier. I know I’m old (no comment from the peanut gallery necessary) but I can still remember (surprise, surprise) when school ended just before Memorial Day and began after Labor Day.  Man, those days are long gone! I can remember postponing summer vacations until August because baseball was over by then. Ya can’t do that now!  Unless you want to miss a week or two of school. IMHO some things change, but not always for the better. ☹

Every week we pray for an educator of the week. This week our educator is Mr. Andy Cline, the superintendent of SOCS. Mr. Cline has one year under his belt in our school system and I look forward to his influence playing a big part this year. Please join me in praying for Mr. Cline.  Each week I plan to remind you of our educator so you can pray for him/her.

This coming Sunday is a big one for the OVCF children’s department. It is MOVE-UP SUNDAY. To repeat what I have written about in the past couple of MMs:

  • Students beginning first grade will move-up to the Early Elementary Class.
  • Students entering 4th grade will move-up to the Late Elementary Class.
  • Students entering 7th grade will “graduate” from Kid’s Church and will receive a certificate and small gift at the end of class this week. Those students will be welcomed into our adult worship on Sunday mornings beginning August 14th.

 

There will be an added bonus for the one moving into 7th grade. You are invited to attend ROOTS youth group, which begins August 14th and meets from 5-7 pm. If you have any questions, please see Pastor Ryan. He is the man with the answers!

I spoke with Ryan on Monday and he still has a few open spots for the ROOTS excursion to Koteewi Aerial Park on Saturday. After a couple of days of stress from school starting, youth (or parents) may be ready for some “blowout” fun. The cost is $30/person, but Ryan needs to know ASAP. This is always a fun outing and they stop to eat on the way home (I think it is pizza). I like the order of that: high-wire fun then eat! I know my stomach and the other way around WOULD. NOT. WORK! ☺

Not to be left out: on August 14th starting at 5:00 (pm of course), the adults are invited to attend a meeting about small groups. Due to ROOTS using the auditorium, we will be using the children’s addition room for our meeting. Wayne Akerson and Steve Pendleton will both be presenting their ideas about small groups and you will have an opportunity to sign-up for one if you would like to. I would like to reiterate: even if you did not sign-up originally, you are more than welcome to come and listen and then decide.  I look forward to seeing you there.

In last week’s MM I gave a shout-out to those who run our live stream, and then was privileged to read a letter from the pastor who visited us the previous week. I’d like to give a shout-out to our biggest bunch of volunteers, who along with the youth moving to the adult worship, will also be honored. There are over 30 teachers, helpers, nursery workers, and worship leaders who make Sunday morning in the children’s addition a “happening place.”   Here are their names:

  • Nursery: Amy and Kalissa Hamlin; Will and Sarah Schneider; Hope and Rachel East, Ryan and Katie Keene.
  • Pre-K: Jo Grandi (lead material gatherer). Jasmine St. John; Stacy Wood; Mary Beckwith; Khrista York. Helpers: Anna East; Paige Nally; Kaedence Beckwith.  ???
  • Early Elementary: Cara King (lead material gatherer). Erin Pendleton; Jeanna Srinivasan; Travis and Jill Curry; Melissa Arnold. Helpers:  ????
  • Late Elementary: Terrie MacMorran; Steve Pendleton; JuliAnne Wiegand. Helpers: Cooper King; Cammie King;  ????
  • Check-in: MJ Ramsay and Kori Wainscott
  • Youth worship team: Emily Wyatt; Gracie Wainscott; Mollie Wainscott; Micah Nally
  • Note: Steve and Erin will be stepping off at the end of August.  Thank you for your love and service to our youth!!

I should not have to say how important these folks are to our children’s program.  I spoke about the “unseen and unheard” aspect of the live stream folks. Week-in and week-out this group of dedicated volunteers make a commitment to teach our young people about Jesus. They miss adult worship and often go unrecognized for their faithfulness on Sunday. I don’t want that to happen! So THANK YOU to all the volunteers in our Sunday morning youth program.  You are not forgotten! ☺

One last thought: I finish my “7 Cancers” series this Sunday and begin one called “8 Cures” on the 14th. I have appreciated your kind words about this series which has not been an easy one to prepare for or to preach. As I was reading Tuesday morning during my Encounter Time from Isaiah 31, I ran across this verse: “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!” (Verse 1). I was reminded of Psalm 20: 7 which says, “Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” (ESV).  The matter of dealing with the cancers we face is a matter of control. Who controls us? Will I allow an emotion, a substance, a priority, or some outside influence to have control over me? Ephesians 5:18 tells me I need to allow the Holy Spirit to have control and influence over me.

After a break for the summer and the church directory being updated, the elders want you to know they are committed to praying for you and have resumed their practice of dividing up the directory to pray for everyone! Love you all.

Pastor Bill

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Midweek Message 07/27/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #116   

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #116. We left town Sunday afternoon with the temps in the sultry category and came home yesterday (Tuesday) to a pleasant 70+. I say pleasant for some of you. I like it hot. My friend, Dave, lives in Arizona and he texted me that it has been brutal for them this year.  Anyway, I hope when you get this you have had a good week.

 

As I said, we left Sunday afternoon after we were done here and planned to be in Ohio around 5-5:30 to have supper with our family there. All the best laid plans often go down the tube (my “take” on Robert Burns’ quote: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”).  We were moving along well until close to Centerville when we got stopped dead in our tracks for almost 2 hours. When we came to the place of the bottleneck, we saw a truck of some sort on the side of the road with its load destroyed and the whole cab burned out due to a fire.  My heart hurts when I see stuff like that. Long story short, we missed supper with them since we didn’t arrive until a little after 7. We had a nice visit though later and then took Braden to football practice on Monday morning and picked him up for lunch. Then we had a chance to meet Janna and Braden for supper. Whirlwind trip for sure, but he is playing high school football this year again, so we do plan on heading over for a game or two.

Some of you showed concern about Vicki, Jo’s sister, before we left. She was evaluated and her lungs are clear, but due to a cough they tested her and she tested positive for COVID. That changed our plans for visiting her on Tuesday, so we came on home. She is suffering from several health issues so your prayers would be appreciated. And thanks for asking.

Now on to some good stuff!! ☺

    • I have yet to speak to Pastor Ryan personally about their trip to KY, but he did send some pictures. They worked hard and you would be really proud of how they represented Jesus and OVCF.  I’ll let Ryan tell you about their adventures some Sunday.
    • This Sunday is our 5th Sunday Family Worship! Remember that during the second service (10:45) there will be no youth programs, except for Nursery and Pre-K.  All other students will join us in the adult worship. There will even be a special music worship time. You won’t want to miss it!
    • August 7 (1 Sunday from this week) will be move-up Sunday. Students beginning first grade will move-up to the Early Elementary Class. Students entering 4th grade will move-up to the Late Elementary Class. Students entering 7th grade will “graduate” from Kid’s Church and will receive a certificate and small gift at the end of their last class on August 7th (They will stay in the late elementary class THROUGH August 7th). ☺  Those students will be welcomed into our adult church worship on Sunday mornings.
    • An added bonus! Those moving into the 7th grade are invited to ROOTS youth group, which begins meeting Sunday nights on August 14th from 5-7 pm. If you have any questions see Pastor Ryan because he is the man with the answers.

 

Speaking of ROOTS!  The youth group has several outings planned as they wind down the summer and gear up, i.e. get the young people in a good mood, for school.  ☺   Here is your information hot-off-the-press:

    1. Saturday, July 30 (yeah this Saturday!) the ROOTS group will be kayaking Sugar Creek. The cost is $25/person.
    2. Saturday, August 6 they will be venturing to Koteewi Aerial Park for a fun day of “getting out from under the stress of school starting.”  Cost is $30/person. Again…ask Pastor Ryan for any details. These are family events but some age restrictions apply for safety.
    3. Reminder!!!! ROOTS begins August 14th from 5-7 pm. This is open for all 7-12th graders. Friends are welcome.

 

And now something for the adults!

    • I mentioned in last week’s MM that we would be having an informational meeting for all who expressed an interest in Small Groups on August 14th at 5:00 in the Youth Addition. We will be having two presentations about possibilities for you to choose, and hopefully some good discussion with a Q & A time.  (Note: Even if you did not or have not signed up, you are more than welcome to come and are under no obligation to join a group.)

 

I would like to give a shout out to our live stream crew. Each Sunday, we have some very faithful folks who make the live stream happen.  Karen Turner takes care of the first service (sometimes with help from the grands) and Joe Pavich is largely responsible for the second service. Pastor Ryan helps by filling in if they are unable to be there.  Two things:

    1. We really need some new folks who are willing to learn how to do the live stream. You would be taught and given personal instruction on how to do the live stream.  If you would like to help, please volunteer by letting me or Ryan know so we can tell Joe.
    2. And here is what I love to hear! The past several weeks we have had some folks visiting who have watched the live stream first. Three weeks ago we had a couple who decided to come after watching the live stream. This past Sunday we had a visiting pastor and his wife, who were staying at the Canyon Inn on a short vacation. They searched the area for local churches, watched our live stream from the previous Sunday and decided they were going to visit. I was so excited to know that our “unsung and often unseen” people were vital to some visitors coming.  Don’t ever think what you do does not matter!

 

The longer I live the more I see God’s hand working in the events of my life. Like many others, I have wondered about God’s timing and answers to prayer. Events happen that want to drag me down and say, “See life isn’t good. God doesn’t really care.” But then an event like the two-hour stopped traffic happens. We left about 10-15 minutes later than we planned wanted to.  We were disappointed we missed supper with our family, but this morning I read Isaiah 25:1- “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For you have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.” That verse put things into perspective for me.  I hope it will help you as you face uncertainty in your life.  Love you all.

 

Pastor Bill

 

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