Category: OVCF News

Small Groups

Are you interested in being part of a small group study? We are planning to offer these again in the near future! Please sign up at the info table and indicate whether you’d like to participate, lead, and/or host a small group!

 

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Midweek Message 01/19/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #92

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #92!  As always, thanks for allowing me in your inbox.

Well, I think winter is here! I was at the Y on Monday and had an acquaintance whom I have talked with before made that statement. I said, “Yep. We held off as long as we could.” However, at least we aren’t in the south! Tami is an Atlanta Braves fan (crazy I know) and we saw a news report with Atlanta in the background and it was snowing “to beat the band.” Nice of those Atlanta people to take all that snow from us. J

COVID has caused some things to slow down. We are staying busy and due to the pandemic we are thinking and planning into the future. I’d like to share some of that with you this week, as well as give you a personal thought or two at the end.

This past Sunday morning, Hope East presented in both services a dream and passion of hers: to start a Care Team Ministry that will reach all people, all ages, and all needs. Over the next couple of MMs, I plan to help Hope get the word out to those who may not hear the message via in person or live stream. Let me also reiterate what I said in the 2nd service (but failed to do so in the 1st): the elders are 150% behind this. Some of the teams will require a little extra money (like the baby team or military team) and we have made sure that money was budgeted.

Hope #1: OVCF has been an integral part of our community because of our legacy of serving. The new Care Team Ministry (CTM) will fit beautifully within that legacy. OVCF has so much love and so many gifts and passions to share with one another and our community. The CTM will encompass different teams to offer care, love and compassion to our church community.  Interested? The story continues next week with Hope #2.

Years ago I heard a pastor say, “For a church to grow big it must grow small.” What he was essentially speaking about was the need for the church to have small groups. Over the years we have had small groups start. The past few years we have had two groups which have continued to meet on a fairly consistent basis. Several months ago Steve Pendleton challenged the elders to consider making small groups more of a priority (my words). He was right. We agreed. Meanwhile, there have been several folks who have expressed an interest in being involved in small groups. This past month in the elder’s meeting we committed to pursue it with more purpose. While there is still much work that needs to go on behind the scenes (studying, planning, projecting, etc.) this Sunday will be the start of it. We need to put “feelers” out to see who might be interested in being involved in a small group. A short presentation will be made and on the back table will be a sign-up sheet for you to indicate your desired level of involvement. Do you want to teach/lead? Do you want to offer your place as a host site? Do you want to just be involved in a group? You will have your chance to let us know beginning this Sunday. Please keep this in mind: this is not going to happen overnight. We are trying to find out who and how many folks might want to be involved. So look for that announcement and sign-up sheet this Sunday!!

I read an interesting article this past Monday from James Emery White, pastor of Mecklenburg Church in Charlotte, NC. It was about what is being called The Great Resignation. He begins like this:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more Americans left their job in April 2021 than in any other month or record. That record was broken in July 2021, which was then broken in August. And then it was broken again in September. This is what is being called the “Great Resignation.”

Derek Thompson, writing for The Atlantic, notes that most of those who are quitting are low-wage workers getting better jobs in industries that are raising wages to get desperately needed new employees.

Thompson calls it a “Big Switch” rather than a “Big Quit.”  {My note: some will debate what he wrote}

But Pastor White makes a claim that for many it is about burnout.

People in jobs that were particularly affected by all things COVID-think educators, healthcare workers and …pastors. In November of 2021 38% of all Protestant pastors said that they had considered quitting full-time vocational ministry in the past year (a rise of 9 points from January of 2021). An alarming 46% of pastors under the age of 45 are thinking of quitting altogether.

The question is why? Think all things COVID. Think all things which can alienate and anger one group or another. Open/close. Masked/unmasked. Vaxxed/non-vaxxed.  The 2020 election and on-going “stuff.” And this thing of going digital (live stream) which is definitely not in my skill set or many other pastors. {End of Pastor White’s comments}

(Thank you Pastor Ryan and Joe Pavich for being the driving force with this. And thanks to all the individuals who help make this happen each week).

All this to say: with so many pastors teetering on the edge, where does that put Pastor Ryan and me?  I can only speak for myself (but feel we agree). Since the pandemic started over 2 years ago, I can honestly say I have never had one thought about leaving. OVCF is an amazing church. Why would I want to? We have been in this together for 16+ years. Why would I want to start over? We have our differences and opinions. And yes, we have had some folks move on. That happens whether there is a pandemic or not.

I’m going to close with Pastor White’s closing paragraph: “Could you say a prayer for your pastor? Could you grant them sympathetic grace on whatever response to an issue or decision they had to make that you may have disagreed with? You know it couldn’t have been easy. And ask yourself-is masking, an election, a vaccine, on the level of doctrine, mission or Christian community? Leadership is a tough role. Can’t we agree to disagree…agreeably?”

I know I speak for both Pastor Ryan and myself on this: please, please, please do pray for us. I know we both love OVCF and what we do and the people we serve, but that does not negate our need for your daily prayers. So…do us all a favor: pray for us as we pray for you. Together we can navigate these current events and anything else the future may bring.

Thanks for reading and listening this week.  J  I sincerely love you all.

Pastor Bill

 

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Route 66

Pastor Bill will be offering his Route 66 study on Tuesday evenings from 7-8 PM, beginning on February 1st.

Please contact him if you’d like to participate!

 

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OVCF Care Team

OVCF Care Team Ministry Launch: February 27th!

Please join us for a pitch-in lunch (bring a dish to share) on Sunday, Feb. 27th, following second service to hear more about this new ministry!

 

We will be forming the following care teams to care for our church family:

 Wellness (sickness/emergency)                                  New Baby

 Remembrance (death/funeral)                                   Bridal

Children & family                                                        Military

Disaster Relief                                                             Security

You may contact Hope East for more information at 812-585-1693 or come to the meeting!

 

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5th Sunday Worship

Sunday, Jan. 30th is our next 5th Sunday worship!

Our elementary age students will join us in the auditorium and  worship will be led by our youth worship team!

The nursery will be available and our preschool class will still meet at 10:45 AM.

 

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Midweek Message 01/12/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #91

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #91. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this message from me to you.

Like many of you, I also want to be aware of the battle between good and evil in my life. That sounds so generic, like a line out of a Marvel movie. So I’ll be a bit more specific: I, too, fight the battle that wages in me between the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life and the forces of Satan (my enemy), sometimes on a daily basis. Each morning I get up and after trying to make myself look presentable, I head to my kitchen table where I have my Encounter Time. So far so good. That is pretty much a given. But then the battle really starts. Fatigue. Distractions. Hurriedness. The clock. Not to mention there are definitely times I am not “feeling” it.

The struggle with sin has been since the Garden when our parents (Adam and Eve) decided to take matters into their own hands and do what they wanted to. Recently I read an article by J.D.Greear, the pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.  It really spoke to me about the reality of sin and its consequences. I’m going to capsulize it for you. As usual, the main thoughts are his; the commentary is mine.

J.D.’s example is Lot, the nephew to Abraham. Lot chose the “greener pastures” and left Abraham with what became known as the Promised Land. There was an even greater tragedy which developed though. Lot’s choice brought him close to Sodom. He not only lived near Sodom; he eventually became a leader in Sodom. Yeah, you read that right: IN Sodom.  Perhaps even more tragic is that as things changed around him, Lot adapted and adopted instead of speaking up.  (Sort of like we who see changes happening but instead of speaking up we keep our mouths shut so we don’t upset the apple cart).  I suspect you know the rest of the story: the bartering of Abraham with God to spare Sodom; the visit of the angels to Lot’s house: the men of the community almost breaking down Lot’s door so they could “have” those visitors; Lot’s offer of his daughters instead: the fire and brimstone that rains down on the two cities (Sodom and Gomorrah); and as Lot runs away with his family, his wife turns around to look at what was and becomes a pillar of salt.

Lot lost everything, including his wife.

How can we avoid that same type of downfall (not necessarily with fire and brimstone  J )? Well, here are four life-saving lessons J.D. gave.

  1. Beware of the progression of sin in your life. Ask anyone who has fallen (big or small) and I guarantee you they did not start out to fall. Nobody becomes an addict because they planned to become one.  It starts a little at a time. I have a toilet I need to fix. It starts out just a drip or two. But now as it fills it sort of sprays everywhere, with some of it making its way down the side of the tank. A small thing becomes a big thing.
  2. The coming judgment is real. I’m guessing Lot didn’t know what was coming. I know for sure the citizens of those two cities didn’t! They had been warned for years but those warnings fell on deaf ears. God doesn’t delight in this type, or any type of judgment. He is not some mean “Judge in the Sky” who whoops it up when someone is punished.  But there comes a time when His patience is done when it comes to blatant sin.
  3. You cannot drift into godliness. I don’t know about you but my experience is that to become a godly person I have to pursue that. I’m not talking about “working my way” to godliness, but to pursue God. Oh…here you go! LOVE GOD DEEPER…WORSHIP HIM MORE. J  We can drift into sin by sheer negligence, but we can’t drift back into godliness by sheer laziness. Seek God and His Word. I used to say I would spend as much time in the Word as I spent reading the paper or watching TV. Of course, that was before Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  The struggle is harder (even though I am not on any social media).
  4. Become an Abraham to the Lots in your life. Read the account of Lot leaving Sodom. He didn’t want to. The angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and got them out of Dodge. (Gen. 19:16) You know why they did that? Because God listened to Abraham’s intercession for his nephew. If you know someone heading down the wrong path, pray for them and ask for an opportunity to interject yourself into their life.

I hope this helps you in 2022.

It has been a rough two to three weeks for folks in Owen County and people we love. As the staff sat down to pray Monday morning we all became extremely aware of our long prayer list and the lives of so many impacted with so much going on. Of course there are the good things like healing and healthy pregnancies but there seemed to be an overwhelming number of heart-numbing situations. As this gets to you today, I will be involved in the funeral for Kirby Stogsdill this afternoon. Friends of folks who attend OVCF have also had the pain of loss. A mother losing her son one year to the day her daughter passed away from cancer. A cousin. A brother. Some battling COVID and others just battling health issues. I have two blogging friends dealing with pneumonia. Teachers dealing with new students (one who can’t speak any English) and all the protocols = STRESS!  May I ask you to stop right now and pray for them? Each week we include names in our bulletin to be a reminder to you to pray for others.  So please take some time over the next day or two to pray for someone else.

I’m excited about a new opportunity Hope East will be introducing us to this coming Sunday. Let’s just say it’s a good thing for all ages. I’ll let Hope tell you more this coming Sunday.  J

 

LOVE GOD DEEPER…WORSHIP HIM MORE

 

Pastor Bill

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Coffee and Chocolate

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Midweek Message 01/05/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #90

 

Hello and welcome to MM #90.  This is the first MM of 2020 and I am wondering where do I start?

I guess first is an explanation and a possible apology. In MM #87 I began by saying I would be “out of your hair” for the next couple of weeks. Alas, I fibbed. I can say it was because I don’t have any hair but that won’t cut it. J The truth is I ran across several ideas and wanted to share them. One of them was the story of “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.” What is funny is that Madi Arnett left a copy of one of the local papers on my desk for me which had the complete article of that exchange the same day mine appeared in #88.

The second week (#89) I felt compelled to give some guidance good for all of us about what we can do to make 2022 a year where our lives are changed.  I think we are all tired of the garbage floating around these days on the airwaves and social media and I wanted to give us all a break from that. If you missed out on #89 contact Diana at the office and she can send it to you or one of us can make you a copy. Not to worry, she has already given me plenty of grief about going back on my word and writing a MM both weeks. J

Good old 2022 is here and with that comes a whole new set of “worries.” (Let’s call them “concerns” in order to be more spiritual).  If I was a betting man (which I am not), I would be willing to wager that most, if not all of us, will at one time or another in 2022 ask or want to ask “Why?” No, I’m not talking about the little one who has a thousand questions and they all seem to start with the word Why?

This is much more serious. When a health event hits us our first question might by why? When a catastrophic event hits-a death, fire, destruction, or car accident-we might be inclined to ask why? When financial hardship hits we may be tempted to ask why?

We may never know the answer to that question while here on earth, but we can take comfort in the truth of One who does. Just this past Monday I finished working on a sermon from Daniel 2. In that chapter is a verse we might be tempted to pass by: Daniel 2:22- “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”

We can take comfort in the fact that God is never surprised or afraid. He is never caught off guard. And while the event which happens has me rocking backwards on my heels or a tad bit flustered, God is not wringing His hands wondering, “What am I going to do?”

Take heart. Those moments of darkness are not dark to Him. He is the light on the head of the coal miner. He is the compass in the hand of the explorer. As the old hymn says, “There is no shadow or turning with Thee.” (Great is Thy Faithfulness)

I wrote that Tuesday morning for my blog, Living in the Shadow. There is no doubt 2022 is “up in the air” as to what we think might happen and what will happen. None of us knows. I know I certainly don’t have a crystal ball I consult. I can only go to the ONE who does know and trust Him to handle things better than I ever could.

Now for something else…As we were sitting in staff meeting Monday morning, I think we were all surprised by the volume of prayer requests which came across our plates over the past week or so. We like to pray over all the requests, and particularly the newest ones given to us. But Monday it was like “Whoosh! Look out below!”  After my short devotion, Ryan led us in prayer. Also, every Sunday I try to bring you up to date on the status of folks on our list, as well as listing new ones. So…here is a list of the newest ones I’d like to ask you to pray for:

  • Law Enforcement Officers: Caleb Hutchison, Ryan White, Shauna Wetzel
  • Military family and friends; Nikk Wood, Tyler Benson, Iain Ramsay, Chris Erb, Jessica Parmer, Nick Hickman
  • School Related Prayer: Nate Hopf (teacher) and Kahner Welch (college student)
  • David Fisher, Tim Huffman, Kirby Stogsdill, Chris Wainscott, Joe and Kelly Norris (COVID), Kylie (17 y/o with COVID pneumonia), Wendy Mader.
  • Healthy pregnancies: Jimmy & Christine Chambers, Caleb & Amanda Hutchison, Elizabeth and Donovan Jones, Darren and Anitra Line, and Mitch and Shauna Wetzel.
  • Deaths: Mark Murphy’s family (father); Judy Edwards family (cousin to Mike Edwards); and Frank Nichols family (Brother to Rosie Bault and half-brother to Carol Sturgeon).
  • Martha Orlando-my friend from Georgia who faithfully watches our live stream every week- in hospital with COVID-related pneumonia (and yes, she has been double vaxxed and boosted). I heard about her from her husband on Monday.
  • Donna Keith, ongoing chemotherapy treatment.

 

See what I mean? And that is not all. I realize by listing these folks I am leaving others out. That is not to be taken as others are less important. Far from it. These are simply those added or updated Sunday or Monday.  I list them so you can join us in praying for them. Thanks for doing that.

One final item: As I was praying Sunday morning with the worship team before they started practice, I prayed a simple thought which came to my mind. I have decided to make it my by-line for the year: LOVE GOD DEEPER…WORSHIP HIM MORE.  I hope you will join me in that heartfelt desire.

I pray God blesses each of you in 2022…even when you don’t see it. I also look for 2022 to deepen my love for God and for you.  Have a great rest of the week! See you Sunday!!

Pastor Bill

 

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Midweek Message 12/29/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #89

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #89. I know…I know…you thought I would have come up with a better opening line by now. To be honest, I haven’t really given it much thought.  Some of the shows I watch all say, “Hello and welcome to (___________).”  Or just “Welcome to the (___________). No, not jungle.  J I’m just glad you take the time to read the message.

I hope you had a good ending to a sometimes not-so-good year. I, for one, look at 2021 as being in my rearview mirror. No one got anywhere by constantly looking backwards.  Whenever I was younger I would try to set resolutions that I found out I quickly broke. So I stopped. I started asking myself “What do I need to do to make this coming year “successful?” My first thought about that success was not work, school, or those things which are normally scrutinized as being talking points. I was more concerned with my spiritual walk.

I don’t suspect I am alone, even as I ask myself that same question today. I firmly believe that if my walk with God is in the right place, where it belongs, then the rest of my world will come together.  Several years ago I clipped a page from something I was reading and filed it away. As I was cleaning out some files the other day I found it. As I read it I thought it would be something good to pass on to you as you look ahead to 2022.  The main thoughts are from the article. Any commentary is mine.  So…here we go:

 

  1. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ. I will be the first to admit the struggle with this one. Life hits and sometimes hits with a slam dunk. Have you ever seen that game where they have children, and sometimes adults, put their head on top of a baseball bat and then go in circles? When time is up then release them to walk away. Only they can’t. Their equilibrium is so messed up they simply stumble and sometimes fall. Life comes and it is like we are running in circles.  There comes a point in time when we need to stop and recalibrate. A lot of people like to do that at the beginning of a new year.  Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Let’s stop expecting the government or the school or the workout or the church to set us straight. Let’s look to Jesus.
  2. Look to God in the Scriptures. We live in a confused world. There are those who deny the existence of God (as there have always been). There are those who tell us to find God in nature. Nature can reveal God’s creativity but God is not a tree or nature.  There are always whackos trying to get us to find God in drugs or some weird teaching. The Bible is where we find God for who He is. Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your Law.” To save space I’m going to ask you to turn to and read Psalm 19: 7-11. Those are some powerful verses to focus on for this coming year.
  3. Remember all God has done for you. How easy it is to forget!  We see what we are going through now; we dream up what is ahead, and we find ourselves overwhelmed…and forgetful. Try to remember the same God today is the same God back then and will be same in the future.  Here is a great verse to remember! “Only be careful for yourself and watch over your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and grandsons.” 4:9
  4. Remain in Christian community. We haven’t talked much about this lately. With the onset of the live stream it is much easier to stay home and watch in the comfort of your recliner. I get that. But one thing live stream can’t do is offer community. It offers isolation. Unless you are involved in a small group which meets on a regular basis, it is so easy to feel like you are alone in the battle. {Note: we are going to make a more concentrated effort to have small groups in 2022}. We have got to have each other’s backs.  I’m glad live stream is available and some people are using it to feel connected. But I’m being honest when I say I miss you when you aren’t here. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day approaching.”  Just food for thought.
  5. Pray continually. I don’t know how to emphasize this anymore than those two words.  Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” in I Thess.5:17.  Jesus told Peter to “Keep watching and praying so that you do not come (fall) into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” in Mt.26:41.  Make time this year for what I call my “Encounter Time.” Make a concentrated effort to read the Bible and pray. I also do a daily devotional blog called Living in the Shadow that might help your efforts.  (You can find that on the church’s website).

 

This got longer than I originally intended, but I guess you know me by now. J  But I do hope it helps you as you look ahead to 2022…hopefully not with fear and trepidation but with courage and hope.

The new theme for 2022 is “For Such a Time…”  This Sunday’s sermon is from the passage where that statement is found: Esther 4. Please read ahead and you will have a picture of what the message will be about.  As Christ-followers we are here “for such a time as this…”

Have a great rest of the week. Look with hope to the future.  Let’s make 2022 the best year in OVCF’s history. I love you all.

Pastor Bill

All Scripture is from the NASB2020.

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Midweek Message 12/21/2021

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #88       

 

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #88. I know I said last week would be my last for the year but this one takes little time for either me or Diana. It is an article I read last week and wanted to pass it on. Hope you enjoy it.  It is by James Emery White, the pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church.

In 1897, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia, whether Santa Claus really existed. He suggested that she write The Sun, then a prominent New York City newspaper because “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”

One of the paper’s editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, replied in an editorial titled “Is There a Santa Claus?” More than a century later it is the most reprinted editorial in any newspaper in the English language. Here is a taste of what he wrote:

“Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished….

“No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

If given the chance, I would have answered the same, but with even more specificity.

More than a few parents wonder whether to pass on the Santa story and all its accompanying traditions. Particularly those who worry that if they tell their kids about Santa and eventually have to let their kids in on the secret, that they will undermine their child’s trust in other things they’ve been told are true.

Like the existence of God.

My wife and I told our kids about Santa and embraced the tradition fully in our home. But – and this is very important – we made sure we told them the real story about Santa, which many people do not do.

On the front end, before the big reveal, we made it clear that Santa did what he did out of love for Jesus and to honor His birthday. And at the time of the big reveal, we told them the “secret” in light of the fuller story of Santa and his love for Jesus—all rooted in history and fact.

There was no existential spiritual crisis. If anything, it resulted in deeper faith. They discovered there really was a Santa Claus who really did give gifts at Christmas, and that what parents did was in memory of Santa to keep his spirit and heart for Christ and for children alive.

St. Nicholas was a real historical figure who lived in Turkey and died around the year 350. He was a very active leader in the church and was part of the great Council of Nicaea in 325, which was one of the most important Christian councils in all of history.

Nicholas was known for holiness and for his passion for Christ. He was actually tortured and imprisoned for his faith under the Emperor Diocletian. He gave almost all of his money away to the poor, and his love for children was incredibly real.

One of the stories from his life that we know involved three poverty-stricken girls. In those days, the only way that girls could have a future with a husband was if they had a dowry. A dowry was money that a father could provide so that if somebody married his daughter, she could bring money to the marriage. A dowry-less girl would likely never marry and would often face the worst of situations because she had no other way to fend for herself.

This particular father had no dowry, and he was getting ready to turn his three girls over to prostitution. Nicholas found out about it, and he went one night and took three bags of gold and threw them down into the house through some type of chimney or opening in the house. He gave one bag of gold for each daughter to serve as a dowry for them, so that all three could be married. It was because of this (and many other acts of charity toward children) that he actually became the patron saint of children.

Over time, this led to a tradition of children being given presents in his name. The problem was that the children had trouble saying his name because “St. Nicholas” has so many syllables. It soon became “Sint Klaes” and then later “Santa Claus” by the Dutch.

Simply put, St. Nicholas was a wonderful Christian man – one of the true heroes of the faith – and all things “Santa” can and should be deeply spiritual in nature. Santa isn’t the problem—it’s how we’ve stripped him of his sainthood, motivation and story.

At the appropriate age, we told our children the fuller story of St. Nicholas and how we, as parents, kept it alive because of Santa’s love for Jesus and for children. We even have a “Kneeling Santa” figurine as part of our home Christmas décor that we’ve owned since before even having children. A “Kneeling Santa” is a figurine of Santa kneeling before the Christ child in the manger.

It’s very dear to us.

When Susan and I were dreaming about having children, while I was in graduate school, we saw a limited edition “Kneeling Santa” ceramic in a store. We had never seen this depiction before, but it captured what we wanted Christmas to be like with our children in light of the Santa traditions.

We didn’t have much money, but as soon as we saw it we knew we wanted to have it for our family. Yet it was more than $100! For us, that might as well have been more than $10,000. So, we asked the store manager if we could somehow put it on layaway. Over the next six months, we made every little payment we could until it was ours.

Many years later – not to mention four kids and now 12 grandchildren later – our “Kneeling Santa” is still a centerpiece in our home.  Why?

Because “Yes, Virginia, there is one.”

Have a joy-filled Christmas. I love you all.  Pastor Bill

 

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