Saturday, April 22
10:30 AM-12:30 PM at Christian Life Center
Tickets: $12 adults, $6 12 and under
Brunch, silent auction, prizes
Saturday, April 22
10:30 AM-12:30 PM at Christian Life Center
Tickets: $12 adults, $6 12 and under
Brunch, silent auction, prizes
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Hello and welcome to a milestone: Midweek Message #150! Many of you are newer readers and do not know that the MM was started during the shutdown during you-know-what. I knew for many having me visit was not an option so I started the MM as a way to communicate with you about what was happening at OVCF. I combined it with what I called “drive-by’s,” where I stopped in your driveway or close to your house and prayed for you. Unless you caught me and asked me to come closer (several did), it was my way of staying in touch with you, but also to let you know that I was thinking of you and praying for you. It is hard for me to believe that I have sent out 150 of these Midweek Messages. I owe a debt of thanks to Diana for being my editor and to you for allowing me into your world each week.
Please be praying for Julie Allen. She is our school-related person to pray for this week as she serves as the S-OCS Corporation Nurse.
We had a big day Sunday! Congratulations to Sherry Pavich on her baptism. Following the second service we made our way to the YMCA in order for her son, Joe, to have the privilege of baptizing his mom. Sherry moved here to be near Joe, Emily and Charlotte, her granddaughter. (Hmmmm, now why would she do that? ☺ ) Since the move she now has twin grandchildren, Thomas and Margaret, too. She began worshiping with us immediately after moving here and has been involved in my Route 66 class that meets on Wednesday nights. Several weeks ago Sherry asked if she could meet with me to talk about baptism and that night we set the date for the 26th. What a thrill to see Joe baptize his mom.
There are a couple of church events happening this week you might want to be aware of.
This coming Sunday is what is commonly called Palm Sunday. I’m excited because 1) I get to preach on the cross; and 2) it means there is only one week left until the consummation of why we celebrate this time of the year: Resurrection Sunday. So let me give you some reminders about what is coming:
A reminder about sermons in the month of April.
May 7th I will be starting a series on fear and anxiety called Faith Over Fear.
Have a great rest of the week. I love you all.
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MIDWEEK MESSAGE #149
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #149. Thanks so much for letting me into your life in this way. As a young pastor (which I am no longer) I used to spend hours driving around looking for people to be home so I could visit them. Several things changed that approach and it is no longer feasible or wise to just drive around hoping people will be home. I am truly grateful you allow me to come into your life during the week through the MM.
Please be in prayer this week for Betsy Breedlove. Betsy is our Educator of the Week and is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for S-OCS schools.
Years ago I made a decision to not complain about the weather. Sun, rain, ice, snow…it is what it is. Since I am not the Creator of it all, I have absolutely no control over what happens (despite what some environmentalists may say). God, the Creator, is the One who is ultimately in charge, so I’ve decided to simply keep my mouth shut and accept what is. (Complaining feeds an ugly attitude). This past week’s weather put that to the test. Can someone please tell me what is going on? ☺ Rain, sun, cold wind, and (ugh) snow flurries? Seriously on that last one? Then I think…it is only March and it is Indiana after all. Not too much longer…I hope. Fun fact: I wrote this part of the MM on Sunday morning during some down time. After our church worship service was over, I had someone come up to me and say, “Bill, I’m not supposed to but I’m going to complain about the weather.” Is that not funny? Or at least prophetic on my part? ☺ I’m typing this right now on Sunday afternoon and the sun is shining. I’m ready, God! Bring it on!
In keeping you informed about the Building Team and our proposed expansion, here are some updates. We have a virtual meeting in April to discuss ideas with the company we’ve been talking to and just before Spring Break we also talked with someone else who expressed an interest in being in on the process of building our addition. We are still in the planning stages of design so nothing has been set in stone. We are still committed to building the addition debt-free and I believe the current state of our economy bears witness to the wisdom of that decision. While there is probably not a one of us who would not like to meet together in one worship service, we simply cannot and will not take on a huge debt to get things done faster. I have said this before and will say it again: during the pandemic, many churches had to close or lay off staff or cut programs because of the debt load they had incurred and the lack of giving of the people. We were blessed in several ways. First, we had no debt. Second, you continued to give faithfully, allowing us to keep ministry happening. We were even able to help some folks during that time. I feel very blessed to be a part of a church fellowship that seeks God’s heart in all things, especially this: The church is not about buildings but people. I am so thankful for the leadership team I work with at OVCF who shares this vision. Thanks to Wayne Akerson, Jeff Carlson, David Robertson, Pastor Ryan and the whole building team for their belief in this effort. All that to also remind you: please keep praying for the Building Team as we seek the best route to follow for the building and wait on God to give the green light.
Speaking of the Leadership Team: did you know we spent almost 6 months studying and reworking the Mission and Vision of OVCF? It was presented by Pastor Ryan and me during our Anniversary Sunday in October. I thought I would just take a moment and remind you of our Mission and Vision (since it has been six months since it was presented).
OUR MISSION: Connecting people to Jesus
OUR VISION: (How we want to accomplish that)
These are the principles and values that we try to make sure drives our every motive and plan. If you would like to know more, please ask or you can go to our evolving web site (we are in the process of making changes to it a little at a time) and check out who we are and what we are about.
Shameless plug coming: Every day (Monday through Thursday) I write a devotional blog called Living in the Shadow. It is fresh every morning and I write from my heart. You can bookmark it on your computer or you can go to the site and sign up for an email to be sent to you reminding you of a post. You can even feel free to comment if you would like! I promise I won’t bite. ☺ I would be honored if you would consider becoming a regular reader. The address is http://livingintheshadow.ovcf.org.
In last week’s MM I wrote about the change in my preaching schedule. Instead of restarting Revelation on the first week of May, I have sensed the Lord telling me to do a series on fear and anxiety. I have titled it Faith Over Fear. Since that announcement I don’t know how many folks have confirmed that is what is needed. Frankly, I’m a little worried about it. ☺ I almost feel I’m in over my head, but then God reminds me He is taller than me. I have begun reading several books on the subject. One is I Choose Peace by Chip Ingram. Another is Winning the War on Worry by Louie Giglio. Tami recommended one to me by Louie called Putting an X through Anxiety. In “Winning” Louie writes this: “Worry is so prevalent in our society and throughout our daily lives that it often feels inescapable…Like barnacles on the bottom of a boat, worry has a way of subtly attaching itself to our thoughts. Worry often starts below the waterline, out of sight, out of the forefront of our thoughts. At first it’s just a simple what if…” (p.viii). I know fear and anxiety is a real issue for some. While I “worry” about preaching on a subject like this, I also know that God will be the inspiration for helping folks deal with the anxiety they face. Please pray for me starting NOW! Thanks.
I hope you had a good Spring Break. Have a good rest of the week. I have it on good authority there are only 42 days of school left as of today. ☺ Remember: I love you.
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IDES Training: Saturday, April 1, 9AM-1 PM
This seminar is open to all but is especially focused on being prepared for a disaster.
As the Disaster Relief Care Team learns and plans, they invite your participation, too!
Permanent link to this article: https://www.ovcf.org/ovcf_wp/2023/03/ides-training/
MIDWEEK MESSAGE #148
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #148. I know this is somewhat of a crazy week for some of you so I thank you for taking the time to read this issue.
I said this week is crazy. It is Spring Break week around here and that means “Travel!” I told Jo Saturday evening there would be a lot of folks gone Sunday. I wasn’t wrong. There are a lot of people who get “out of Dodge” whenever the opportunity hits. I expected it but am so grateful for the folks who stay home and make OVCF their destination on Sunday morning. I also had some folks tell me they would be watching the live stream. Several weeks ago I said and will repeat it again: I am so glad we have the live stream. That is just one example of something good coming out of something that was not so good (COVID). Thanks again to everyone involved in making the live stream happen each week.
I have been so appreciative of the men who have taken on the somewhat uncomfortable task (for them) of giving our Communion thought over the past month or so. So far the men who have stepped up and shared their thoughts and hearts have been Bobby Anderson, Robert Herrington, Bruce Davis, Steve Pendleton, Charlie Shipley, Brad Brinson and Joe Pavich. After this past Sunday we are half way through the list of men who have volunteered to give the Communion thought. I will share the rest of them when the current list ends on April 30th. Each one of them have approached it differently and with great feeling. They have shared their thoughts and hearts with us. It is good to see the men step forward. I hope you have taken the time to let them know of your appreciation.
Please be praying for all our students, educators, administrators and staff as they celebrate Spring Break! Every teacher and administrator I have spoken with has been looking forward to having the week off. To all of you who are part of OVCF: have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable week.
I’ve always said that God has a sense of humor. I might think He is leading me down a certain path and then…oops…change happens. Sometimes my “hearing” is not always the best and sometimes I “hear” Him loud and clear. For several months I have been telling you that I will be taking a break from the series on Revelation for the months of March and April and focus on To and From the Cross. Then beginning in May I would return to Revelation. That was true…until Thursday of this past week. It began as a little blip on my radar and has become a full-blown storm. I simply could not shake this idea, this feeling that I am supposed to go in a different direction in May. As I prayed and thought about it some more, it became a more definite “do this” from God. So I am delaying getting back to the series on Revelation to do a series on fear and anxiety. They seem to be “kissing cousins” and both are running rampant through our society and through some of the lives I come in contact with. At this juncture, my series title will be Faith Over Fear. My main scripture will be Philippians 4. At this point, after this series is done, I will dive back into Revelation. To make it even more challenging is that I have already started planning and working on the Revelation series and have the first four sermons started (Rev. 6-8:13). But when God says, “This is the direction I want you to go in” the last thing I, or anyone wants to do is to go against that directive. We will eventually get back to Revelation…I promise. ☺
In last week’s MM, I mentioned I had another quote to share with you but would save it. It comes from an Alisa Childers podcast I was listening to where she was interviewing Amy Davison who was one day away from becoming a witch in the Wiccan movement. (You have to be actively involved in Wiccan for one year before you can become a witch). One day away and she knew something was not right. She and Alisa were talking about feelings being the driving motivation for so many today. Then she gave this quote which came from a book called Mama Bear Apologetics: “Feelings are a great check engine light but a terrible GPS.”
I’ve preached often about feelings and how they play an important part of our Christian walk…both good and bad. It is good, and it is necessary, to have emotions. After all, happy, sad, laughter, tears, anger, and others are part of our DNA. To deny them is not honesty. An emotionless person is a…well…a sad person. That’s not an emotional sad, but a person devoid of emotion is more like a robot.
On the other hand, some people are way too emotional. Emotions run their life and often decisions are made that are not always the best.
Neither one is good. Nor is it good to have your emotions run your Christian walk. Do you remember the lyrics to the song “You Light Up My Life” from the 70s (1977 to be exact) sung by Debby Boone? Part of the lyrics were “It can’t be wrong; it feels so right.” Put that in scenarios. “It can’t be wrong to have this illicit relationship because it feels so right.” “It can’t be wrong to take this drug because it makes me feel so good.”
Feelings can be, and mostly are, deceptive. Subjectivism is dangerous. People who rely on the “reality” of subjectivism forget the objectivism of faith. The truth of the Bible takes a back seat to our feelings. “Hell can’t be real because God is love and wouldn’t condemn anyone,” for example. “Surely this relationship can’t be wrong since it makes me feel good and God would not want anything less for me.” Truth takes a back seat.
Don’t allow subjective feelings to override the truth of God’s Word. Feelings are good, a must to have. But to be directed and led by them is dangerous. Feelings will lead us down the wrong path; only truth will set us free.
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Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #147. It is so good to have this chance to visit with you and to share a few things which are on my heart. Thanks for allowing me into your life in this way.
Please remember to pray for our School Resource Officers Daniel “Opie” Rhinehart and Bill Browne. They do a tremendous job with our students talking with them, reading to them, and also feeding them donuts (which just happened to be the same day I went to the school to read to the K classes). Yeah, let’s talk about the effects of sugary donuts and chocolate milk on children. ☺ Pray for their wisdom and safety throughout the week.
HERE IS AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR YOU TO REMEMBER!! Make sure you set your clocks ahead this coming Saturday night. Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday the 12th. It’s a good thing that is the start of Spring Break for S-OCS schools. I can see a lot of students trying to catch up on that hour of sleep they lost. But I know no one would ever use that as an excuse for falling asleep in church Sunday morning or failing to watch the live stream. ☺ ☺
I very seldom give a recommendation for a movie. Not only am I pretty much unable to do that because of not going, but there isn’t a whole lot out there I would put my stamp of approval on. But I’m going to break my tradition here and recommend you see one this weekend. This past Saturday afternoon Jo and I went with some friends to see Jesus Revolution at the Tivoli. I also know some of our folks went Saturday night. Since I was born in 1952, I am unashamedly a child of the ‘60s. I was especially influenced by the music (I still like that music also). Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was not heavily influenced by the dress (bell bottoms I did wear) but not much else drew me. (Have you noticed though recently what goes around comes back around? I see some of our teens wearing bell bottom jeans! Talk about feeling old!). Anyway, during the ‘60s a movement took place in southern California then spread across the country. It was called the Jesus Movement. Chuck Smith was the pastor of Calvary Chapel, an old, dying church made up mostly of a few old people. He was challenged to open his church to hippies who wore dirty clothes, no shoes, some seldom took baths, had long hair and were very often strung out. His open door policy led to the beginning of the Jesus Movement and many of those hippies having a life changing experience with Jesus. One was a musician named Chuck Girard, a founder of the first Christian “rock” band, Love Song. (He is the father of author, Alisa Childers, whom you have head me mention before). Another one was a man named Greg Laurie. Greg was raised by an alcoholic mother. He eventually gave his life to Christ and in less than two years was preaching at a start-up church in Riverside, CA. I have always respected Pastor Greg because even though he is the pastor of a megachurch and holds crusades like his hero/mentor, Billy Graham, he has always been down-to-earth in his approach to ministry. I have seven of his books, one of which is his life story, Jesus Revolution. Long story short (sorry I went on so long), you will not be disappointed seeing the movie. I laughed at the humorous parts, especially when an old man in the church defied walking out and went across the aisle and sat with the hippies and said, “Let’s hear it, Pastor Chuck.” I will admit tears flowed when I saw young and old come to Jesus and go down to Pirates Cove to be immersed. Tears welled up when I was challenged by the presentation of the simple but powerful truth that gripped Pastor Chuck Smith and Pastor Greg (and Cathe, his future wife). When his daughter sat down with him and told him how proud she was of him for opening the door to the hippies I about lost it (as I am right now as I type this). The movie depicts flawed people who were still used by Jesus to influence a generation. It is playing this weekend at the Tivoli. I honestly do not believe you will be disappointed that you went.
This past Sunday when I stood up to preach in the second service I was blown away. I made reference to the Jesus Revolution movie and how Pastor Chuck stood up to preach and was overwhelmed by the number of hippies who had come to hear him preach. I felt that way Sunday. So many new faces! I was humbled, scared, and would have probably cried if given a chance. WOW! You guys have done some inviting and that leaves me speechless. (I can hear the peanut gallery comments now). Someone once described evangelism as “one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” I saw folks who came as a result of your invitation and that is exciting. YOU DONE GOOD! ☺
One more Jesus Revolution comment: Pastor Greg Laurie lost his son on July 25, 2008 unexpectedly in a car accident. It rocked his world…not shattered it…but rocked it good. Pastor Ryan was telling us in staff meeting a last week that he saw an interview between him and Pastor Chuck Smith. Smith knew he was dying from cancer but he said something to Greg that when Ryan shared it I had to write it down. Here it is: “Don’t ever trade what you do know for what you don’t know.” Never trade what you know about God for what you don’t know. It is common to question God’s goodness when tough times come, but don’t ever allow those doubts to override the surety of God’s faithfulness.
I have another saying I heard this week on a podcast but I’ll save it for another day.
We are about a month away from Resurrection Sunday. Please remember that we will have two services that day at the normal time: 9:00 and 10:45 A.M. It is always a good day to invite friends and family. Also, all the offering will go to missions we support unless designated otherwise. More information to come!
I pray the rest of the week will be a good one and I hope that knowing I love you makes that week go a little bit better.
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Resurrection Sunday Services:
Sunday, April 9
2 services (9 AM & 10:45 AM) at OVCF
All giving that day will be given to missions we support, unless otherwise designated.
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Remember to set your clocks ahead 1 hour on Saturday night!
Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday the 12th!
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Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #146. I’m inching closer to that 150 mark. It is hard to believe I have been at the MM that long and I have had my trusty editor-in-chief (Diana) keep me in line as to what I write. She deserves a ton of credit for the MM being as “sane” as it is. And as I say it almost every week: thanks for taking the time to read this.
At staff meeting two Mondays ago, Pastor Ryan (Ryan from here on) talked about how he was still working through the mountain of cards he received for his 10th anniversary in the ministry. He said he wanted to include something in the bulletin and I invited him to say something here in the MM. So the following are his words:
On Sunday February 5th my mind and heart were blown (in the very best way!) as I was surprised by so many loved ones! What I thought was going to be a surprise for my wife turned out to be a moving expression and gesture of love from you all to me on the 10th anniversary of my ordination into ministry. I was shell-shocked, dumb-founded… and completely moved in my spirit. I felt so loved (and a little sheepish with all that attention on me – LOL!). I’m STILL, two weeks later, opening cards and reading your kind words. Thank you for heaping up so much love on me, and all the East crew.
You, our church family here at OVCF, truly make “going to work” each day a joy. I cherish your friendship and your partnership. I love to laugh with, worship alongside and run to Jesus with you. I don’t think I could ever quantify or express my gratitude for you and the encouragement you’ve always given me. Suffice it to say: It’s immense ☺ Let’s keep pursing his kingdom and his righteousness together! May we join with the Spirit in Christ’s mission for Owen County.
I had a friend comment to me how cool it was what you all did for Ryan. He was watching the live stream and was totally blown away by your acts of kindness for him. The video was especially touching for him to hear the young people say, “Thanks.” He even took the time to text Ryan himself and put in his .02 worth. As I said in the video, and have said it many times from the pulpit and in person to many of you, hiring Ryan is the best thing we have done. Historically, we were coming out of the financial hurt we had experienced and had just remodeled our building. Ryan (and Hope) are a great team and I am honored to be working alongside him; to call him my brother-in-arms; to know of his integrity and work ethic; and to know he loves your children and the youth of this church.
Please remember to pray for Mandy Bowman this week. Mandy is the Director of Student Services for S-OCS.
It was good to have Ryan and Mala Croft with us this past Sunday. They are the Directors of Hilltop Christian Camp. We make every effort to send our young people to camp by offering camp scholarships. Scholarships pay half of camp tuition fees, but you must fill out a scholarship form and use the church’s scholarship code when you register. We do not want cost to prevent anyone from attending camp! For more information, please see Pastor Ryan or Diana.
This past Sunday was the last sermon in the first part of the Revelation series. For the months of March and April I am taking a different path. With Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday in April I thought it would be good to take a trip to the cross. So I have entitled my series for those months To and From the Cross. Here is a list of the upcoming sermons for those two months (as promised in last week’s MM):
The plan right now is to start back with Revelation 6 the first week of May. I’m also working on a couple other possible series to break up the Revelation series (so we don’t get overwhelmed). I’m tossing around one called “Make Fruit Great Again” (Gal.5:22-26 aka The Fruit of the Spirit) and one on the Model Prayer (Matthew 6:5-15). Those will take us at least to the end of the summer, maybe into the fall. I honestly do not know how long the Revelation series will last. I don’t want to get us bogged down in minutia, nor do I want to get into the “prediction game” of the signs of the times so often prevalent in a series on Revelation. I want us to see it for what it is: The Lamb Wins! I would deeply appreciate your prayers as I continue developing and working on these sermons.
Thanks again for your time. Enjoy each day. Live the adventure. And remember: I love you.
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Ladies, please plan to join us on Friday, March 31 from 6-8 PM.
Please bring one of your favorite dishes and the recipe for us to sample and share! You are also welcome to bring your favorite cookbooks or recipes to share.
Questions? Please talk to Macy Carlson (812.606.9646)
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