Category: OVCF News

Midweek Message 08/23/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #170. I hope you are surviving this heat and having a great week so far.

Please remember to pray for Matt Taylor this week. Matt is the new Curriculum Director at

S-OCS. He has a pretty big job catching up with his responsibilities after a late hire. I’d like to ask that you especially pray for his travel. Matt lives in Avon with his wife and two children. One is a freshman in college this year and the other is a senior in high school.

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS YET? OVCF’s 19th anniversary will be celebrated on October 29th. The plan is to have two services, a pitch-in following the second service, volunteer recognition, and a special dessert. We also hope to give you a more complete update on our building addition (if available).

Speaking of the building addition: the architect came out this past week to go over some ideas and strategies for his next steps. He will be talking to a civil engineer to come look at the property where we plan to build. After that…?  ☺

I have expressed before how hard it is for me to watch commercials about children like St. Jude’s. I have Jo mute commercials when I watch TV with her (she controls the remote!), but the ones about children really get to me. I know I don’t normally single out people for you to pray for but I have a couple that most definitely need prayer:

  • Nolan Miller is the 16 year old son of Paul and Kelsey Miller. He is a fine young man and his parents are super people. While the Millers don’t attend OVCF, they have many friends here, especially in the home school co-op. Nolan has been diagnosed with leukemia and will have to undergo an intense regiment. He will be at Riley for at least 8 days, then chemo treatments will begin via port. He will have to go to Riley each week for a treatment, which is to last 2-2.5 years. They look for him to go into remission in about a month or so.  Update: Nolan came home yesterday (Tuesday).
  • On the other end is an adult: Tim Thacker. He is the father to Sara Roberts, one of our ladies who attends second service. His other daughter, Amy, works with Linda St. John. He has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Pray for his healing and for the family.
  • Each week we publish a rather long list of prayer requests in the bulletin. Many of them I suspect neither I, nor you, know. And yet, they have been put on our prayer list to be prayed for by someone who knows them. May I suggest that you use the bulletin’s prayer list as a guide to pray for people? I believe in a God who does far more than we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).


Within the past week Jo and I said, “See you later” to two dear friends from a church we served at in the past. It is a fact of life that the older one gets the more it happens. ☺ Try to reach out to people you know who have lost someone close to them recently or in the past. Certain times of the year are a little bit harder than others. I say that because this past week someone texted me something they saw. It goes along with the church being a caring and loving place where people can find Jesus and friends. It is easy to criticize a church and say, “It’s not very friendly or caring.” Diana has worked her “magic” to be able to get it into this MM (the rumor is that I am technologically challenged).

I know you are busy so I won’t take up more of your time with my ramblings. I’ll close by saying that our daughter, Janna’s birthday is Wednesday so we plan to head to Ohio on Thursday to celebrate, to visit Jo’s sister on Friday morning, and to watch Braden, our grandson, play high school football Friday night. We will be back Saturday. If an emergency arises, you can reach me through Tami (who is staying here) or Diana. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday for my last sermon on Revelation in this cycle called The Underdog Wins. Love you all.


Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 08/16/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #169. I know you are busy with a lot of school stuff, work stuff, and family stuff (that word “stuff” sure is used a lot isn’t it?), so thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope your week has been going well.

Let me remind you to pray for Andy Cline this week. Andy is the Superintendent of the S-OCS system and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t envy him one bit! ☺

I failed to mention last week about John Hess needing our prayers. On Wednesday he had a heart procedure done to either repair or replace a leaflet in his heart. The repair was more desirable and that is what they were able to do. His recovery has been a little rocky but the latest report is that he is improving. Pray for a complete recovery.

Switching gears for a minute: I have been asked several times in the past week or so, and twice Sunday, about the progress on the proposed addition to our building. Here is the latest:

    • First, after a lot of delays (I consider it “God delay”) and prayer we have decided to stay local. We had originally tried several other companies and had even been in serious talks with one, but the price they quoted was so much higher than we could afford…and that was just for an unfinished building shell!
    • The decision was made to go with Tabor Bruce for our architectural drawings and J.L. Benton (local builder) as our contractor. We signed a LOA (Letter of Agreement) with Doug Bruce and are now waiting for him to get back to us with some preliminary drawings. It is my hope (and I believe the other members of the Building Team) to be able to give you a more complete report on our Anniversary Sunday, which is October 29th
    • Jerry Benton was the contractor on our youth addition and we were happy with his work. Since his office is local that will be a big plus for us as well.
    • So…how much is in our Building Fund? With a generous gift we received, in addition to your faithful giving, we now have $305,142.67! Just keep praying and giving and our dream will be a reality. For those who are new to OVCF, we have made the decision to pay cash for our addition. The goal of this addition is to have a space where we can meet together in one service, plus have room to continue to serve our community.
    • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the church office.


It was good to see Anna, Caleb and Rachel East yesterday. They got back home from their “East Meets West” vacation on Wednesday. I think they all grew some while they were gone. They had a great time. And for those who missed the end of the second service, Pastor Ryan and Hope came to pick them up and visited some. While the young ‘uns will be here, Pastor Ryan and Hope will be taking time away over the next 3 weeks to refresh and refuel personally. Pastor Ryan will return to the office at the end of August.

There has been a lot of talk generated about the movie Sound of Freedom starring Jim Caviezel. It is the true story of a government agent, Tim Ballard, who embarks on a dangerous mission to rescue hundreds of children from sex traffickers. (I consider sex trafficking a scourge on our society). You can tell it is a good, hard-hitting movie when the media pans it and spins lies about it. SoF is playing at the Tivoli August 17-20. Please be advised that it is raw, in that it depicts the ugliness of the sex trade, so it is not advised for children under 14.  Check the Tivoli for show times.

As a young boy I had a dream of playing professional baseball. Most young boys growing up near Pittsburgh dreamed of either playing football or baseball. I latched onto baseball. I loved it when my dad would take a Sunday and we would go to Forbes Field to watch a doubleheader between the Pirates and whomever. It didn’t matter. I was at the baseball field. That dream soon disappeared when I realized I wasn’t good enough. (Basketball was the same way. A cranky back and two old knees show you where that got me! ☺ ). Several years ago my brother, Rob, gave me a book called Sermon on the Mound and I recently pulled it off my shelf to read it in its entirety. Shortly into the book Mr. O’Connor wrote something that struck me:

“Organized religion, ironically, had a hand in my spiritual undoing. I think God is as comfortable with religion as the Rockettes are in Levi’s. That’s because, although He is interested in our buildings, our financial stewardship, our liturgy-all those things that hold an appropriate place within the fellowship and kingdom of God-He’s not hung up on them. God is primarily concerned with relationship. He loves us, not our stuff. He longs for us to return to Him that same love.” (p.20-21)

There are discussions about religion vs relationship going on all the time. For or against. While religion is a term used in church vernacular, it carries a weight around with it that is hard to bear. It speaks of rules and regulations, of heavy-handedness, of misery.

Relationship, on the other hand, carries with it a freshness, a closeness, an openness determined not by “have to” but by “want to.” Because of that thinking, I would most definitely agree with Mr. O’Connor. I would much rather have a relationship with Jesus than a religion.

This week’s sermon is entitled The Word Everyone Dislikes from Revelation 11. Please read the Scripture beforehand. It will give you a better handle on the message.

Have a great rest of the week! I love you all.


Pastor Bill


Permanent link to this article:

19th Anniversary

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 08/08/2023



Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #168! I hope this finds you having survived the first few days of school. I know a few teachers who are a little bit tired these days. I pray for a good school year for all involved.

Speaking of school…please be praying this week for all our students, teachers and staff as they return to school. We will begin praying for specific individuals starting this Sunday.

Remember to pray for Nick Hickman, our military person of the week. He is Linda St. John’s nephew and is currently stationed who-knows-where. He is not allowed to tell any of his family where he is located.

Well…I messed up. I guess that is nothing new to many of you, but I failed to mention the name of one of our students who moved up from the Late Elementary Class to “big church” in my MM last week. My apologies to Londyn Frye and to his mother, Tiffany Groomer for that mistake.  Ya just can’t take me anywhere. J

This past Sunday we celebrated taking the confessions of faith of 9-year old Ian and 8-year old Alethea Humble at the end of the second service, and then made our way to Clay City for a 2:00 baptism in the family pool. Welcome to Ian and Alethea. Please be praying for them as they step out and grow in their love and faith for Jesus.  Pastor Ryan had given them a booklet to study with their mom several months ago and they decided to make their decision sooner than later. I know he will rejoice when he hears of their confession and baptism.

Diana and I have received some pictures from Pastor Ryan of their trip out west. I believe Hope has been posting some on FB as well. I’m thinking they should be back in Spencer this week. While Anna, Caleb and Rachel will be around, Pastor Ryan and Hope will continue their sabbatical until August 31st. Continue to pray for them. The pictures seem to show them having a great time seeing some of God’s handiwork.


We try really hard to give support to our Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) and military personnel. We pray for them and try to remind you weekly to pray for them during the week. After the first service on Sunday, Heather Herrington was telling me about Robert’s next step in his military career. I asked her to send me some information so I could share it with you in this week’s MM. The following is what the next chapter in his journey will look like:

Ranger School is the Army’s toughest course and the premier small unit tactics and leadership school. The Ranger Course is a mentally and physically challenging school that develops functional skills directly related to units whose mission is to engage the enemy in close combat and direct fire battle. For 62 days, Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies. The course incorporates three phases (Darby, Mountain, and Swamp) which follow the crawl, walk, run training methodology. In Darby phase, the students become trained on squad operations and focus on ambush and recon missions, patrol base operations, and planning before moving on to platoon operations. In Mountain phase, students develop their skills at the platoon level in order to refine and complete their training in Swamp phase. After these three phases, Ranger Students are proficient in leading squad and platoon dismounted operations around the clock in all climates and terrain. Rangers are better trained, more capable, more resilient, and better prepared to serve and lead Soldiers in their next duty position.

As she was describing the whole challenge in more detail, I was gasping for air. I cannot begin to tell you how much I admire, not just Robert, but every man and woman who aspires to serve our country honorably and to the best of their ability. Heather’s final words in her email say it all: Once again after all that the Lord has done for Robert and this journey, we are asking for prayer for God’s will and God’s protection over Robert. So add Robert to your prayer list for the next several months. Ranger School starts this Sunday.

Just an FYI for you. Two weeks ago, Stacy Wood had 17 children in the Preschool class. This past week she had 12! Not to be outdone, the Early Elementary Class (Grades 1-3), taught this week by JuliAnne Wiegand, had 15! WOW!! Stacy also asked me to say “Thank you” to the parents who are bringing their children. There is something special which happens in the heart of children when they hear about Jesus and get together with other children in a church setting.

Let me close this week’s MM by reminding you that my sermon this week is entitled “Crushed and Persecuted but NOT DEAD! from Revelation 9:1-10:11. Reading ahead helps you understand more what I am muddying. J  See you then! I love you all.


Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 08/02/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #167. Thank you for taking the time to read this communication from me to you in the middle of the week.

Remember to pray for our military person of the week: Jessica Parmer. Jessica is in the Air Force, and with her son, Jackson, is stationed in Colorado.

School begins Thursday in the Spencer-Owen school system. Can you believe it? Didn’t we just attend graduations and parties? Beginning Sunday we will be praying for school personnel. I’ll just ask you to pray for all the leadership, teachers, helpers, and students this week.

Man, Sunday was just a super day!

  • I presented Matt, Mary and Akaydia Beckwith with their baptism certificates and a gift from the church at the beginning of the second service. They were all baptized on July 9th at the Y. Pastor Ryan baptized Matt; Matt baptized Mary; then they both baptized Akaydia. It was a beautiful sight to witness.
  • Terrie MacMorran did a marvelous job with the Move Up Sunday program! Recognition was given to all the teachers and helpers involved in children’s ministry on Sunday morning, from the Nursery, Preschool, Early and Late Elementary teachers/helpers to the Youth Worship Team and Youth check-in desk/registration team. Seven of our young people will be moving up from the Early to Late Elementary class. Special recognition, which included crosses made by Jerry Standeford, certificates, and a charge were given to Trevor Floyd, Bella Madorin, Tessa Pashley, and Charli Wood as they move up from the Late Elementary class to “Big Church.” I was honored to close the Move Up Sunday ceremony with prayer.
  • The highlight of the day for me was taking the confession of faith of Julian Carson, Cooper Wood, and Don VanDerMoere. Their baptisms which followed were a special event. Mike Edwards, Julian’s “Pappy,” baptized him, and I was honored to baptize Cooper and Don. Special thanks to Bob & Tiffany Kropack for the use of their pool since the Y therapy pool where we normally baptize folks is closed for now.



I paused my series on Revelation with Sunday’s sermon geared to the young people. This week I will be back on schedule with a sermon from Revelation 8:1-13 called Heads Up! All four weeks of August will be on Revelation. That will take us to chapter 13. On Labor Day I’ll be preaching a standalone sermon called “It’s Off to Work I Go.” Then I’ll be starting a new series called The God We Worship. Even though it is hard to get back to a series like the one on Revelation after taking a break, I think it is essential, given the difficulty of the topic. The way it looks right now, though, I may actually be carrying Revelation over into 2024.


∙ Roots Reconnect event!

∙ Water games, ice cream, popsicles & fun at OVCF

∙ Open to OVCF youth, their families & friends!

∙ Please contact Cassie Linville with any questions:     



Monday morning during my Encounter Time I read the following story from a devotion book by Pastor Greg Laurie entitled Everyday With Jesus. Here is the story:

A homeless man was standing on a street corner, asking for money, when a well-dressed attorney came walking by. They recognized each other from third-period English class in high school. The homeless man admitted he had fallen on hard times.

The attorney wrote him a check for $500, to get cleaned up, and get a new set of clothes. With check in hand, the man went to the bank but when he saw now nicely dressed the people were and how clean and tidy the bank was, he felt unworthy and didn’t go in.

The next day, the attorney saw the same man in the same condition. So he asked him what he was doing there. The man said, “I felt ashamed. I didn’t feel worthy to go into the bank and cash your check.”

The attorney said, “That check has my signature on it. You take that down and cash it. It’s not based on who you are. It is based on me. My signature is on it, and it is good. Cash it.”

That is what God has done for us. God’s grace has been extended to us. We are wrong when we think we have to do something to somehow earn it.  {Story edited to fit}

That is a good way to end this MM. I pray you realize how much God loves you and made it possible for you (for all of us) to receive His salvation. I love you all as well.

Pastor Bill


Permanent link to this article:

Roots Reconnect – So Long Summer

Roots Reconnect event!
Water games, ice cream, popsicles & fun at OVCF
Open to OVCF youth, their families & friends!
Please contact Cassie Linville with any questions: 812-821-8077

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 07/26/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #166! Thanks for taking the time to read this and
allowing me to share my heart, as well as some information with you. I hope you are having a
good week so far.

Remember to pray for our military person for this week: Christopher Erb. Christopher is a Staff
Sergeant, Air Force instructor at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Christopher is married to Alyssa, and
they have two children, Annabelle and William. He is the son of Dave and Heather Keith.

It was a real joy having Jacob and Mia McCall and their two children, Zion and Izzy, with us
Sunday. They were involved with Pastor Ryan and Hope at Hilltop Camp during Wilderness
Week (that week’s mission emphasis) and now partner with Freedom International Ministries.
They are one of the missions OVCF supports on a monthly basis. Jacob is an English teacher and
Mia is a nurse by trade and a stay-at-home mom by design. If you are interested in learning
more about the McCalls, please visit their website:

Here is something you can put in your FYI file and be amazed about: this past Saturday was the
Back to School Expo at the OC Fairgrounds. We started handing out backpacks filled with school
supplies for appropriate aged students at 10:00 and it was almost 12:30 when we finished. And
here is something which may astound you…we started with 600 backpacks and they were all
gone with a need for more!! OVCF helps with the Expo because we believe it is a good thing for
the students of Owen County. We even had some from surrounding schools and communities!!
What a great thing to be known for. Hats off the S-OCS system, the teachers, cheerleaders,
choir, Mark Ruble (he wore the un-air-conditioned mascot suit), the Owen County Chamber, the
LEOs, firemen, EMS, and all the miscellaneous volunteers who helped on a sweltering day. It
was a lot of fun (for me) to see past Kindergarten students I read to, and future K students I will
be reading to this year.

The really big item on the agenda for this coming week is Sunday’s special day. Two things to

  • First, is it a 5th Sunday so that means all the elementary age young people will be
    involved in the adult worship. The nursery and preschool class will still be meeting at
    10:45. Miss Stacy has something special planned for the preschool students, including
    those who will be moving up next week into the early Elementary class.
  • Second, Terrie MacMorran will be leading the Move Up Sunday program since Pastor
    Ryan is on sabbatical. The teachers and volunteers who help with the children’s
    programs will be recognized. We will recognize the students who will be advancing
    from Early Elementary (grades 1-3) to Late Elementary and special recognition will be
    given to those moving from Late Elementary (grades 4-6) to the world of “Big
    Church”. If you attend the 1st service you are invited to stick around for the beginning
    few minutes of the 2nd service to witness the program. They are a fantastic bunch of
    young people who deserve our support.


There is a ROOTS Reconnect planned for August 12th. Cassie Linville is the one you will want to
see for more information.

Sunday was such a good day in the life of OVCF. I was honored to present Keely Wills with a
Bible, as well as Amelia Biggs. Keely gave her life to Christ at Senior High week at Hilltop and was
baptized on July 7th. Amelia gave her life to Jesus and was baptized at the end of the Junior II
week on July 23rd.   Keely is part of our youth group family and Pastor Ryan was sorry to miss
giving Keely her Bible. Amelia went to Hilltop at the encouragement of Linda St. John and you
see the result of that. This is one example of why the elders of OVCF believe in making sure
our young people and their friends have scholarships to go to camp. More exciting news to

I had someone text me Sunday saying, “I cannot believe how many beautiful things are
happening right now!” I responded by saying, “God is in the good and the bad. You relish the
good; learn from the bad; and grow through them both. Above all, you keep your heart for
God.” That brought to mind something I read recently in a book called Fractured Faith by Lina
Abujamra. Lina was born in Lebanon and migrated here with her parents as a young child. She
came to know Christ and was on staff of a large megachurch as a Bible teacher in the Ladies
Ministry when the Senior Pastor imploded and took down others with him. Lina was one of
them. Her job was gone and her identity (and her faith) took a major hit. This book is her way
back to a vibrant faith. I’d like to share a couple quotes from her book to go along with what I

  •  “The longer I live, I wonder if my inability to see God in my pain is rooted in the fact that
    I’m not really looking for God. I’m looking for a god to show up in the way that I want
    him to and to give me what I want him to give me.” (p.30)
  • “The reality is that often we’re never as close to our Father as we are in our suffering.
    We’re never as alive to God’s purposes as we are when we suffer.” (p.30)
  • “Pain’s gift is that it increases awareness. Suffering heightens our sense of need and
    deepens our heart’s cry for help. While suffering hurts, a growing sense of God’s
    presence heals.” (p.31)


There is more but I’ll leave you with those and with what I said Sunday in the sermon. “You can
trust God. He never wavers. He never changes. He never waffles. He is a rock. Run to the rock!”

With that in mind, have a good week. I love you all.

Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 07/19/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #165. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I received an email via Diana from someone who appreciates this weekly communication. I’m glad I have at least one reader! ☺

I think I heard a number of big sighs from several people sometime Sunday night, and no, it wasn’t us snoring. It was from the many young people and parents who were at the Owen County Fair. It seems no matter when it is scheduled a few things can be counted on. One is, it will be hot, and when I say hot, I mean H.O.T. I have a lot of respect for the young people, parents and adults who brave the weather each night for the fair. We went Tuesday night and after a couple of hours just sort of wilted. Two, a number of our young people did very well in the ribbon and prize department. I am not going to list any names here because as sure as I do that I will forget someone. So…congrats to all the young people! Now you can rest…until school starts in about 3 weeks.  ☹

Remember to pray for PFC Iain Ramsay. Iain is the grandson of MJ Ramsay and the nephew/cousin of Chris and Kori Wainscott’s family. Iain is in the Army and stationed at Ft Sill, OK.

DON’T FORGET! This coming Saturday, the 22nd, is the Back to School Expo at the OC Fairgrounds. It is open to all school students, but they must be present. It is like a big long parade and at the end each student is given a backpack full of school supplies. I will be at the end (aren’t you the lucky ones! You get to see me on Saturday and Sunday!). It is from 10-12. I hope to see many of you come through the line. Last year we gave away over 600 filled backpacks and it grows each year.

This coming Sunday Jacob and Mia McCall will be with us telling us about their mission work in the Dominican Republic. They are school teachers working with the young people who would not get an education without people like them. They will be sharing their work in both services. The elders met with them via ZOOM right after the birth of their second child so we look forward to meeting them in person. I look forward to meeting them and having lunch with them. I will still be preaching this Sunday, so you will have an opportunity to meet and talk with them before and after the services. The mission group they work with is called Freedom International Ministries and the McCalls are one of the families we support through our monthly mission giving.

Sunday, July 30th is a big day for some of the young people of OVCF. Pastor Ryan has named it Move Up Sunday. Several things are happening that day.

  • First, it is a 5th Sunday so that means all the elementary age young people will be involved in the adult worship. The nursery and preschool class will still be meeting at 10:45. Miss Stacy has something special planned for the preschool students, including those who will be moving up the next week into the Early Elementary class.


For more about Move Up Sunday, I have asked Terrie MacMorran to write up something to inform you since he has been working hand in hand with Pastor Ryan to plan and prepare for that day. H-e-e-e-e-r-e’s Terrie!!

  • We will begin by recognizing those that participate as teachers and students in our Sunday morning youth activities. We will be acknowledging the students who will be advancing from Early Elementary (grades 1-3) to Late Elementary and those moving on from Late Elementary (grades 4-6) to the world of “Big Church.”
  • It is hoped that as many students, parents, and teachers as possible will attend this special part of the service, especially as those moving from the Late Elementary to “Big Church” are honored.
  • If you attend 1st service, please consider staying around for the beginning few minutes of the 2nd service to witness this program. They are a fantastic bunch of young people and deserve our total support. They give us hope for the future of the Church!


There is a ROOTS Reconnect event scheduled for August 12th. You might want to put that on your calendar. See Cassie Linville for more information.

One final thing: I will continue my series on The Lamb Wins this Sunday with a sermon from Revelation 7:1-17 called Here Comes the Umbrella! It is about two promises God makes to we who follow Him. I look forward to seeing you here. I have changed my sermon for the July 30th program. I decided to do one with an encouragement to all the young people, especially with school starting that week (Thursday, August 3rd). I’ll tell you more in next week’s MM.

You are loved…more than you know.

Pastor Bill


Permanent link to this article:

Midweek Message 07/12/2023


Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #164. After a week’s hiatus due to the holiday and other stuff (how’s that for an educational word?) I’m back. I know you missed me. If not, please don’t tell me. ☺

Our Military Person of the week to pray for is Robert Herrington. Robert is a 2nd LT and just graduated the infantry officer basic leadership course. His desire is to complete both ranger and airborne school before moving to Ft. Johnson, Louisiana in December, where he will be part of 1st battalion 509th infantry regiment Geronimo.

As most of you are aware, Pastor Ryan & Hope, and their children, Anna, Caleb and Rachel leave for a 7 week sabbatical this week. He will be incommunicado during this time. If you have any questions please direct them to Diana or me. I could say just Diana since she know a whole lot more than me about what is going on. ☺ We will try to answer any questions you may have. With that in mind, Pastor Ryan asked if I would include the following in my MM and I told him, “Sure.” So here is a “send-off note” from Ryan:

As you read this, it’s very likely that we are somewhere in the flatlands of Iowa, Nebraska or South Dakota making our way west in our grand “the Easts go West” road trip. Our anticipation at this stage is set on the sites of grandeur that await in the beautiful western national parks. I’m looking forward to Friday’s sunrise peeking over the pinnacles at the Badlands in SD.

Recently, one of our students, who is a football player, commented on how summer conditioning is going. It’s hard, hot work meant to yield mental toughness and physical strength and endurance. Its benefits compound, meaning the more regularly you do it – the greater the payoff over time. Conditioning done once yields little results, but conditioning done over time leads to great endurance and much gain.

Back to that SD sunrise… watching God doing something beautiful and AWEsome, majestic and wondrous – doing that once is great, but over time, done daily will yield a compounding kind of AWE and praise of God. It is to the soul of a Christ-follower what summer conditioning is to a football player. We are praying that God would condition our hearts to be AWED by Him and to love Him and praise Him and give thanks to Him – over and over as we repeatedly take in the majesty of what He’s created.

This leads me to a last thought. It is easy to praise God in such circumstances, natural even. But what about in the less-beautiful parts of life, in the daily grind, in the normal stuff, in the busy calendar, in the pile of dirty dishes and laundry to be done, when the uncut grass reminds you there’s still normal work to be done, responsibilities to be attended to? What about an attitude of praise and thanksgiving when the bills pile up, when others let you down, when prayers seem to go unanswered, even feel unheard. In those times, praise doesn’t come easy and thanksgiving feels unnatural. In all these circumstances, lean hard on the TRUTH: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again rejoice. Does your heart need the kind of conditioning that only rejoicing can bring?  I want to practice this truth daily, regardless of circumstances. Will you join me in that practice? May God reveal his love and favor to you as the eyes of your heart search for him through praise and thanksgiving! May his abundant grace be yours!

We love you. We are grateful for this season. And we are praying for you! Thank you for your prayers, love and support. -Ryan

My guess is that it will seem a little different around here. In our Monday staff meetings, Ryan is the one who normally brings the Dry Bar Comedy video to make us laugh, or the scene from The Chosen to make us think, or the video to make us shed a tear. It will seem strange not seeing him on the drums. It will seem odd not hearing a foreign accent (British, Scottish, Australian, Russian, etc) not coming at random times. We were talking this past Saturday, when he stopped in at the office, about making memories. I can still remember the anniversaries spent at camp when I was a dean in Ohio, or Tami’s face when she found out she had been tricked and that we were going through Dyersville, Iowa to stop off at the Field of Dreams in 1993. (I can also remember Janna’s face and demeanor when she found out we were in Illinois and almost home on that same vacation. ☺ She is a homebody). And I can also still remember Janna’s hesitation and ultimate joy when she shared that she really wanted to go back to Lincoln Christian University for her Sophomore year and I said, “We will make it happen.” Memories are the building blocks of family life that last forever. Pray for Pastor Ryan and Hope and their children to make lasting memories…even when the “fun” of being in a van for what seems like forever becomes a chore. I told him I would pray they would all survive and still like each other at the end of their trip. ☺

As I stated this past Sunday, I have returned to the series on Revelation after the two month hiatus on Anxiety, Worry, Fear, and Depression. My sermon this week will be Here Comes Trouble from Revelation 6:9-17. My plan is to be in Revelation until the end of August and then do a series on The God We Worship.  I’ll give more details as I firm them in the future.

We have one camper this week: Trevor Floyd will be going to Hilltop for the first ever Paintball Camp. Yeah…I probably won’t make that visit. Trevor might decide to “welcome” me. ☺  Next week we have two campers: Julian Carson and Cooper Wood for the Junior II week.

Jacob and Mia McCall will be with us at both services on July 23rd to tell us about their work in the Dominican Republic. I will still be preaching that morning as well.

One more thing: Move-Up Sunday is the 30th. I will share more in upcoming MMs.

Have a great rest of the week. I hope you are enjoying your summer. I miss seeing some of you on Sundays but I hope you are watching our live stream. This past Sunday Christine Chambers texted to say that she had to work at the restaurant but, when it was time for church to start, Eliza (age 10) asked her to sign in so she could watch. That is so cool! One more thing: never forget you are loved.

Pastor Bill

Permanent link to this article:

5th Sunday

Sunday, July 30th is our next 5th Sunday Family Worship!
All our elementary students will join us in the auditorium.
Nursery and Preschool classes will meet at 10:45 as usual.

Permanent link to this article: