Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 10/26/2022



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message 129! As I begin writing this on Monday, we have had truly exceptional weather. Other than feeling like I might get blown away, the days (and even the nights) have been phenomenal in the weather department. The weatherman says it is all supposed to change in the very near future, but I’m going with Doc Brown in Back to the Future: “Since when can the weatherman predict the weather?”  They are also saying it is supposed to be a very snow-filled winter. We need the water but I’m hoping they are wrong. J


THIS SUNDAY IS THE DAY!! We have been talking about it for over a month now. Anniversary #18 for OVCF. Just to recap for you here are the essentials:

  • Two services at 9 and 10:45. They will also be livestreamed.
  • Both Pastor Ryan and I will be talking about the Mission and Vision the leadership has been working on the past 6 months or so.
  • Pitch-in following the second service.
  • Volunteer recognition during the meal time. We also hope to give you some insight into our hopes for the future proposed building addition.
  • All monies given that day (unless designated) will go to the Building Fund. Brief history for those who may not know: Our Easter offering has been given to missions; our anniversary offering (with the exception of last year when we split it with missions) has been given to the Building Fund.
  • Since this is a 5th Sunday, the young people will worship with us this week. The Nursery and Pre-K will still meet in their respective spaces at 10:45.
  • All that is needed is YOU! Bring a heart of celebration and worship with you.


On Sunday, November 6th, we welcome Will & Theresa Reed! Will & Theresa were our guests several years ago as missionaries to Africa. They returned for a furlough and spoke at OVCF one Sunday presenting their work. It was decided they would need more time to heal, so they stayed in the states. Will worked for IU (and they also had two more children). They now sense God calling them to return to Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) to be a support to those who are serving in the mission field. They have quite a testimony of God’s healing of their lives and His calling for them to return to the mission field.  Pastor Ryan, Diana, Jo and I had lunch with them about a month ago and their story is captivating.  You will not want to miss that Sunday!

It was refreshing to hear Robert Herrington give the Communion thought on Sunday. Robert is now commissioned (and official according to his words Sunday) and he is awaiting February when he will report to Fort Benning in Georgia. Meanwhile, Logan Cain is now stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Like all military personnel they love to hear from folks back home. The Anderson family will be making some weekend trips to see him in November. If you would like to send a card, a note or some goodies, they will be happy to take them when they go. They have promised any food sent to him will reach him untouched! J Their info is in our directory if you would like to take advantage of them taking something to him. Believe it or not, he has to pay for every piece of mail he receives! So sending via the Andersons is the best way.

I was totally blown away by your response to Operation Christmas Child. Every shoebox was taken…all 50 of them!! I shouldn’t have been surprised though. You folks have always been super generous when it comes to young people-in our church, the community and the world. Some took boxes and forgot to take the packing lists with labels for boys and girls. Please see Diana if you happen to be one of them. Some asked me what they could do when they found out they were all gone. I talked to Diana and it will not be prudent to order more boxes. They have to be ordered in lots of 50 and we wouldn’t get them until they are due back here. She suggested you may want to go to Hobby Lobby and get one of those boxes to send your gifts or use a shoebox of your choice. Please keep in mind they are due back here on the 13th so we can deliver them to Sherwood Oaks.

With for a few exceptions, we have served our community with a Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day. This year will be no exception. The meal is served at the Lion’s Club from 11-1:00. We also will be offering curbside pickup as well as delivery. Five ladies (Stacy Wood, Nannette Edwards, Karen White, Lizz Bixler, and Janet Jones) have agreed to work together to make this a great event for our community. More information will come in the next MM.

I read the following quote from Corrie Ten Boom this past Monday:

“Look without and be distressed. Look within and be depressed. Look at Jesus and be at rest.”

Let’s take a look at each of those statements:

“Look without and be distressed.” Ain’t that the truth! I would tell you to watch or read the news but that could stress you out and lead you to distress.

“Look within and be depressed.” So many today put a lot of weight on being empowered. Or they might say, “You have it within yourself to change the world.” That is a dead end. We are all broken people and broken people can’t fix things.

“Look at Jesus and be at rest.” Jesus promised His peace to all who follow Him. He said, “Take my yoke upon you and I will give you rest.” He is the One who gives us stability. He is the One who walks with us no matter the storms that rage-on the inside or the outside.

Keep your focus on Jesus.  As you do that, ask Him to take your week and use it for Him.  I love you all and can’t wait to celebrate with you this Sunday. Until then, have a terrific week.


Pastor Bill


Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 10/19/2022



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #128. I hope you had a restful Fall Break (if you had the opportunity to enjoy it) and that getting back to the “old grind” wasn’t too bad.


Let me first remind you to pray for Beth Sewell and Bonnie Richmond, guidance counselors at OVHS. They are our Educators of the week.


There are some other folks you can pray for as well:

  • Paul & Marilyn Hill. Paul’s sister, Alma Marshall, passed away last week.
  • We had been praying for Robert Wells, a friend of Dave Tarrence. He lost his battle with cancer.
  • Melvin Bault was experiencing chest pains on Sunday, the 9th. A visit to the ER showed he had suffered a heart attack.
  • Bob Kropack has asked prayers for his grandfather, Fred Mueller, who is in the hospital with pneumonia.
  • Kris Owsley, a friend of mine and Jo’s, is battling stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Kris has just finished her second round of chemo and has asked prayers for relief from the symptoms.  Dan & Kris are the managers of Wonder Valley Christian Camp near Salem.
  • Maverick Pendleton (4 y/o) is home, but they took him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on Tuesday to talk about radiation treatments that just target the tumor. Please continue praying for Maverick, for his parents (Josh and Becky) and his four siblings.
  • Keep praying for the Wainscott family-Chris, Kori, Gracie, and Mollie as Chris continues his recovery and physical therapy.
  • Please continue praying for all our Law Enforcement and Military personnel.  Only a casual glance at the news will tell you there is a crisis with both branches of service.


It is unusual for me to start out with a list of prayer requests. I chose to do that because I wanted to follow my own advice from Sunday’s sermon.  It is the urgent or the important. The other items in the MM can be labelled Urgent. Prayer should one of those things which are of first IMPORTANCE.


Now to “stuff” of other importance.


Our 18th anniversary celebration is quickly approaching. Remember the date of October 30th. Quick recap for you: Two services (9 and 10:45).  Pastor Ryan and I will be tag-teaming the message that morning on OVCF’s Mission and Vision. The leadership has spent the past 6 months or so reworking and tweaking both. We are excited about sharing it with you. Immediately following the second service we will have an all church pitch-in. (Have you signed up to bring a food item?) During the meal we plan on honoring our volunteers and also hope to present some ideas to you about the proposed building addition. As a reminder, all giving that day (unless designated) will go to our Building Fund.


Speaking of volunteers, I read the following and wanted to share it with you: But first, a question. I suspect all of you know what Mount Rushmore is. But do you know the name of the South Dakota state historian who conceived of the idea? Didn’t think so (unless you are a super smart trivia buff who likes obscure history info). While millions know of Mount Rushmore with the heads of four US presidents, relatively few know the name Doane Robinson. He is the South Dakota state historian who conceived the idea of the magnificent sculpture and managed the project. The monument is admired and appreciated, but he is the forgotten man behind the masterpiece. His name is either largely unrecognized or was never even known by some.  I see our volunteers in the same light. Week in and week out we have a ton of volunteers doing a lot of behind the scenes “stuff.” They get little recognition due to the fact that they are serving where few see them. Our recognition of them is an attempt to show how much we appreciate them. We know, of course, God sees them and that is good, and it is the best applause. But it is also good that they receive human thanks.  We want to do that and would love to have you join in with us.


Three special events are coming up that I hope you will consider taking part in. I’ll just list them here for you and fill you in with more details in the next MM.

  1. Starting this week we will be participating in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child ministry. We have taken part in years past and feel this is a good thing to put on our “Christmas list.” The date to have the shoeboxes back to OVCF is November 13th.  Shoeboxes & packing lists are available! Please see Diana if you have questions. ☺
  2. Thanksgiving lunch for the community is at the Lions Club on November 24th from 11:00-1:00. Five ladies have volunteered to steer this meal.  As I said, I will tell you more in an upcoming MM.
  3. Our December “gift” to the young people of our community is going to be different this year. Instead of the Giving Tree, we are going to collect food for Backpack Buddies (BB).  BB is preparing bags for 206+ children in the S-OCS school system. They are running low. We want to help. More info coming.


Well…I have bent your ear and hurt your eyes long enough. ☺  Thanks again for taking the time to read the MM. I don’t know how it helps in keeping you informed, but I certainly hope it does. I look forward to seeing you Sunday as I continue preaching on the church. The sermon is “On Being Contagious” (and no we won’t be talking about masks and COVID). ☺ Love you all.


Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 10/12/2022


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #127! For many of you this is Fall Break week and that means “get away.” For others it simply means the kids are off school, but your week will go on as normal.  I’ll try not to take up too much of your time with this MM so I don’t anticipate it being as long as they normally are.  I can see Diana rolling her eyes right now saying, “This is the same man who says he is not going to do a MM and then at the last minute changes his other mind.” J

I feel more mature as I write this. As many of you know my birthday was Sunday. The BIG 7-0!  Many of you said, “Happy Birthday” to me and some were oh…so…cruel. Eli Wood you know exactly who I am speaking to. He “smells someone older” and then he asked me if it is 39.   I told Jo that I was going to tell people I had finally reached the “mature” stage. She gave me “the look” as if to say, “Seriously?”  I don’t think her “seriously” was in response to me telling people that, but that I would actually think that and then to believe people would feel that way. What’s a guy have to do around here to get some respect? But, please, whatever you do, don’t agree with her! It will only embolden her. J Thanks again for your kind words and cards.

Our 18th Anniversary celebration is getting closer!  I’d like to remind you to put October 30th on your calendar. I’ve said a lot about the celebration already so I’m going to give it a rest this week. All I would like to remind you of is signing up to bring something to our pitch-in dinner following the 2nd worship service. During that pitch-in we plan to honor our volunteers and hopefully present you with some preliminary drawings on the proposed building addition.


Three prayer reminders for this week:

  • You will receive this on Wednesday. Yesterday Pastor Ryan and his wife, Hope, took 8 people to Hilltop Christian Camp to serve and help get the camp ready for the winter. They plan to return Thursday. While the group is smaller this time around, they will work hard to serve the camp. Please be praying for their safety, as well as a good time of getting to know Jesus better.
  • Michael Robison, the principal of Patricksburg Elementary School, is our Educator of the Week. Even though this is Fall Break for S-OCS students and faculty, an educators work continues. (I know. I have one in the family). Pray for his rest and relaxation this week.
  • I’d like to remind you to pray for Josh and Becky Pendleton and their 4 year old son, Maverick. Mavy (as he is called) has been on our prayer list for about a month. He has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Please pray for them, but I am also a firm believer in the power of prayer. The Bible says, “God can do far more than we can ask or think.” Pray for Maverick’s healing (if that is God’s will). If not, pray for grace for the family as they go through this.


ALSO, as a reminder, the 66 class will not meet on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

In the “this reminds you that you are getting older” department: our grandson, Braden, took his first driving lesson Sunday. He turns 16 this month as well. I can still remember making a surprise trip to Ohio to see him when they brought him home from the hospital. Janna did not know, so the tears were priceless and memorable. I can still remember holding Braden in my arms and praying for God to protect him and to use him for His use. I still pray that for him. But…16???? Where did the time go?

I said this would not be a long MM so I intend on proving Diana wrong and doing just that. I want to close with what I used for my Communion thought this past Sunday. I have been reading a book by Pastor Chris Hodges entitled Out of the Cave, a book subtitled “Stepping INTO THE LIGHT When DEPRESSION Darkens What You See.” Pastor Chris had a serious bout with depression several years ago, as well as fairly recently. He is writing from experience. As I said Sunday, I have (gratefully) never had a struggle with depression, but do need to know how others feel and how to help.  Here is some of what I said Sunday:

When we are in the throes of depression-or know people who are struggling with depression, anxiety, or mental illness-we need to treat ourselves and others the way Jesus treats us-with compassion. Compassion begins by recognizing our human limitations, brokenness, and even sin…God never condemns. Condemnation means you’ve got a problem and there’s no way out. Conviction, on the other hand, says you’ve got a problem and here’s the way out!  Romans 5:1 tells us “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (taken from pages 35-36) See that? NO CONDEMNATION. God doesn’t condemn us. He will convict us of our sin, but He will not condemn us.

Many of those I know who suffer depression struggle with condemnation and guilt and shame. Not all…some. But if you are one of those who simply cannot forget what has happened and dwells on it, I want you to know God does not condemn you. He does say, however, “Come to me.”

I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week and find some time to relax. In the meantime, know you are loved.

Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 10/05/2022



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #126. Thanks for allowing me to “raid” your day with my musings.

Jo and I had a relaxing weekend. It started with attending a football game on Thursday evening (and being so glad I took a jacket to wear). When we left the house it was comfortable and Jo wondered why I was taking a sweatshirt. I’m glad I did! Between the metal bleachers and the wind, it was one of those times you felt like the chill went to the bone. After a relaxing Friday (my normal day off), we had a good time Saturday watching one of the young people play football and then watching a baseball game in the late afternoon. Talk about a “tale of two kinds of weather!” Saturday at noon I forgot to wear a hat and I had a “red head” that evening. Then Sunday we visited a church in Martinsville with Ryan and Amanda Spires.  It was nice being with friends, but we sure missed being with you.  You know how to spoil me and Jo.  Anyway, thanks to Pastor Ryan for filling in for me. I heard from someone that my job was in jeopardy.  He is younger than me I was told, as the man (but I won’t mention Don Taylor’s name) was so ready & willing to share when he dropped in on our staff meeting Monday.  ☺

Don’t forget to pray for our Educator of the Week, Carol Watson. Mrs. Watson is principal at Gosport Elementary. I received a really nice note from her in response to my note to her about praying for her. I’m glad the church does that.

In last week’s MM I asked you to set aside October 30th on your calendar as OVCF celebrates its 18th year.  I trust you have done that and plan to take part in the celebration. Two services. A pitch-in. A sermon entitled “As We Live and Breathe,” will present the revised Mission and Vision of OVCF which the elders have spent some of the last six months working on.  But we also need your help. To make the pitch-in more evenly distributed, Diana has made some sign-up sheets with various food options for you to sign-up and bring. This will make sure the food is spread out over all the food groups (that way we don’t get all desserts). ☺ Please take a moment and consider what you might bring and sign-up so we can prepare for it. The church will provide water and the drinks (tea, coffee and lemonade). I look forward to sharing the day with you. To make the day even more special, we will recognize our volunteers! ☺ More info to come!

FYI: In the past, our Easter offering has been given to missions and our anniversary offering has been given to our building fund. Last year we divided the anniversary offering between the two. This year’s anniversary offering will all go to our Building Fund (unless you designate funds otherwise). Thanks to your continued generosity and support, you’ve made the dream of a building addition where we can all meet together attainable in the near future, Lord willing! ☺

Speaking of the building: In last week’s MM I also mentioned a meeting which was to take place on Thursday with a builder. That meeting did happen with 6 people and the rep. We had a couple who wanted to come, but simply could not get away from their work. Let me just say this: it was a great meeting! He asked a lot of questions and offered some great suggestions.

I contacted one other firm Monday (in order to get multiple bids) and we are still hoping to have something to show you at the 18th Anniversary celebration. We won’t be able to have things in great detail but it is totally possible we will have some drawings for you to see. As of today, we have over $231k in the Building Fund.

This Sunday night from 5-7:00 Wayne Akerson’s small group will be meeting again in the youth addition main room. You are welcome to visit and take part. We will begin viewing and discussing the series Jesus. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. 

During my morning Encounter Time, I have been using a 90 day devotional written by Bill Crowder from Our Daily Bread called A Compassionate Heart. Over the weekend I read the following:

Frances Kemble was a British actress who moved to America in the early 1800s and married a southern plantation owner named Pierce Butler. Frances enjoyed the life afforded by the wealth of the plantation, until she saw the cost of that luxury-a cost paid by the slaves who worked her husband’s plantations.

Having written a memoir of the cruel treatment slaves often suffered, Kemble was eventually divorced from her husband. Her writings were widely circulated among abolitionists and published in 1863 as Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. (My note: That is a long book title!) Because of her opposition to slavery, the former wife of a slave owner became known as “The Unlikely Abolitionist.”

Crowder goes on to make this point: “In the body of Christ, God often wonderfully surprises us. He regularly uses the unlikely-people and circumstances-to accomplish His purposes.” He quotes I Corinthians 1: 27-28 and then says this: “This reminds us that God, in His grace, can use anyone. If we will allow His work to be done in us, we might be surprised at what He can do through us!”

One of the biggest complaints I have heard down through the years has been people saying, “I just don’t fit in.” Or “I don’t know what I can do to serve.” There are other ways to say that, but the truth is there are so many ways to serve-some very public and some private. Some big and some small. But all important. Don’t downgrade what you can do to serve Jesus.

Have a great rest of the week. I love you all and look forward to being back with you and seeing you this Sunday.  New Series: “Wake Up Sleepy Head!” starts this Sunday.


Pastor Bill


Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 09/28/2022


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


Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 09/21/2022


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

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 09/14/2022


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



Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 09/07/2022


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

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 08/31/2022


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


Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 08/24/2022


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


Permanent link to this article: