Category: MidweekMessage

Midweek Message 4/15/2020

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 4

Well…Easter weekend has come and gone. Resurrection Sunday has come and gone.
Or has it? Of course, in one way it has. The calendar tells us it has. April 13
follows April 12 by every calendar known to man, so yes, it has come and gone. But
the truth of the Resurrection has not. For the Christ-follower, the truth of the
resurrection is a reality that filters (or at least should) into every aspect of our
lives. According to Paul in I Corinthians 15 death has been swallowed up into victory
and neither death nor the grave has any sting. What a wonderful truth!
Every Monday Diana, Ryan and I meet for staff meeting. Some days we have tons
to discuss. Others Ryan and Diana bring videos for us to watch and laugh at. (Never
me you understand. I have to be the “mature” one of the group). 🙂 This past
Monday, as we did the week before, we spent some time evaluating our online
service via FB. Diana has chosen to stay home on Sundays and since she is an
“outsider” now (I’m trying to think who gave her that nickname), she affords us a
unique view we would not normally have. We spent over an hour talking through
yesterday’s online offering. You can help us out. She will be posting a 3 question
survey that will take you about 1 minute to answer. We need your honest answers.
Thanks. Just make sure you give me a 10. (Remember I know where you live!) 🙂
Actually, that won’t be part of the questionnaire.
I read a story this week: A lumberjack was preparing to cut down several trees in a
mountain forest. As he began, he noticed a beautiful bird building its nest atop one of the trees.
Not wanting to harm the bird or its young, the lumberjack took a mallet and pounded on the tree
until the bird (quite annoyed) flew to another tree and began to build its nest there.
The lumberjack did the same thing with the second tree. The bird and the lumberjack repeated
this dance a half-dozen more times, until the bird abandoned the forest altogether and built its
nest on the side of the rock face.
I imagine the bird never understood why the lumberjack was pursuing it,
systematically attacking its shelters in the trees. But his motive, of course, was
compassion. He knew every tree in the forest was about to come down. He wanted
the bird to build its nest in a place where his axes couldn’t touch it.
I bet there are many people who feel like that bird right now. Our whole world is
being shaken, rattled and rolled and we just aren’t sure where to “light.” Things we
have taken for granted have been either taken away or shaken really well. Things
we have clung to have crumbled in our hands.

What if God, in love, was attacking foundations that will crumble anyway? Didn’t
Jesus talk about that in Matthew 7:24-27? (I’ll let you read it). That’s why it is so
important to have a firm foundation, to be standing on the ROCK. I’m no prophet. I
have no clue when this will end. I DO KNOW THIS though: God is with me in the
storm and will not abandon me. He has not before and will not now.
Last week I gave a shout out to Terrie about his extra mile for his students. This
week I want to be a little prejudiced and talk about what Jo did for her pre-school
students. She put together Easter bags-candy, juice packets, a He is Risen craft,
chalk and a book of the Easter story for young beginners (to be read by their
parents or sibling). Friday afternoon we delivered them by leaving them on door
handles and porches. She also included goodies for any siblings they may have had.
We had a blast doing it and getting out. I drove 85 miles but it was so good to see
pictures of smiling faces. Way to go Jo! Do you know someone who is going out of
their way during these challenging times? Let me know. I’d love to give them a
shout out.
You know…no matter how short I try to make these I just can’t. I think I have
someone using a cattle prod making me go longer. 🙂 I think you know by now that is
just me. I miss seeing you all and look forward to the Sunday when we can meet and
celebrate together again….whenever that may be. Love you all.
Bill
Romans 8:38-39. Paul said that about God. I agree. Stand with Him.

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Midweek Message 4/8/2020

MIDWEEK MESSAGE 3 

Talk about a dinosaur! I am using a font called Comic Sans. I was listening to a podcast last week and all three of the hosts and one of the responders said they could not stand this font. It was old and funky (my translation). I’m like, “Hey! That is one of my favorite fonts for writing notes because it is so clear.” Oh well, I guess I’ll stand out a tad bit more now. 🙂

May I ask you a question? Do you miss me as much as I miss seeing you? If your answer is No please don’t tell me! It would hurt and crush me and I’m not sure I would ever recover. Jo would have to dig me out of the hole I found myself in and that means, since she has never used a shovel before, I would never be found. I am so ready for this whole thing to be over!! Preaching to an empty house is fine for Sunday morning practice at 6:00 in the morning, but it is not okay at 10:00. I so appreciate those of you who have taken the time to text me and ask if I am doing okay. I had one say, “Bill, are you doing okay? You are such a social creature I was wondering how you were.” I am a social creature and I live for and love to see people. I especially live for Sundays when I get to see you in person. But for now, there is no other choice. I heard someone put on our FB that when this is all over we ought to have a big party. I totally agree!!

I do hope the FB video of the service has been helpful. We are trying to improve that every week. We are listening to and taking all suggestions to heart (except for the ones that say to do all hymns all the time). 🙂 If you listened live last week, you noticed no Worship Team (WT) was present. They feel it is very important they observe what the protocol is, especially because of family exposure. So we tried using videos. They were fine until FB bots took note they were recordings of others and removed the sound. The only video left was Old Rugged Cross because it is Public Domain. Even though our license allows us to post videos, we are not taking a chance of FB shutting us down permanently. So this week look at the church’s FB page for links to songs the WT was going to sing. You will be taken to YouTube where you can listen to the songs to your heart’s content. I’d like to encourage you to listen to them beforehand and then join us live at 10:00 for a couple Easter songs (hymns) and the message.

I know having Resurrection Sunday online is no one’s idea of fun. It certainly isn’t mine. I was so hoping this thing would have ended and it would have been so cool to have our first time back together to be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. But

it is not to be. I had to get over my disappointment by focusing on something else. I did it by focusing on what really mattered: the reality of this last week of Jesus, which began on his ride into Jerusalem and ended (but really is the beginning) with His resurrection. For my morning Quiet Time this year I have been using One Perfect Life by John MacArthur. It takes Jesus’ life and puts it in chronological order and puts all related Scriptures together. So I decided to jump ahead and start this week by reading the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. My hope is to finish on Sunday with the Resurrection. I’d like to suggest you prepare yourself for Sunday by considering doing something like that. Maybe not to the same extent, but perhaps an abbreviated version. Make sure you read the Gospel accounts (all 4) related to His trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Just a suggestion but I do think it will help prepare your heart for Resurrection Sunday. My sermon is titled “Seriously?” and I’ll be using Acts 2: 29-36 as my base. Diana will be sending you the bulletin; it is also on the church’s website; and will be put on the church’s FB page. It would mean so much to you (and to me, honestly) if you would be ready to listen.

I have to give a shout out to Terrie MacMorran. Ryan told us in staff meeting Monday that Terrie wrote a whole lesson for the upper elementary students he teaches, mailed it to them with a self-addressed stamped envelope for their response to the “contest” he is having. Way to go Terrie for being so innovative! By the way: do you know someone else who is doing something unique to keep in touch with their students? How about letting me know. I’d love to include a shout out here. (And yes, even though it might embarrass you).

Whew! I am not only a social creature, I am also long-winded. 🙂 I’d like to ask you to do me a favor in order for me to wrap this up without a lot of words. (How’s that for a surprise?) Would you mind checking out the following link to see a thought I had? http://livingintheshadow.ovcf.org/2020/04/03/april-3-3/

One more thing…seriously! Our Easter offering has traditionally gone to Missions except what is specifically designated. The Leadership’s commitment during this time is the same, so all giving from April 6-12 will be included in that. Thank you so much for your faithful giving!

Thanks. See you soon…in person I hope. Love you all

Pastor Bill

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