December, 2017 browsing by month



Sunday, December 31st, 2017

January 1, 2018. As Doc Brown says, “Amazing! Simply amazing!” I’ve been writing this blog since 2/20/08. That is a lot of blogs (2654 to this point) and a lot of years. Some things have never changed though.

My love for Jesus.

My love for my family.

My love for the church I pastor.

My desire to stay true to the message of the gospel.

And my every January 1 post with this song. And you gotta love the hair in this one.

But I have a new thing in mind for this year.  This time of the year we hear a lot about a new slate before us. A new year ahead of us. A new path to walk on. New life. New hope. New direction. Ad infinitum.

So I thought I’d get on the bandwagon and create a new blog. A NEW BLOG???? Seriously? Yes that is exactly what I am saying.  Its purpose is totally different from this one.  It is called BE TRANSFORMED and you can find it at this address. If you want to know what it is all about then please take a look.

Why? Because I am convinced followers of Christ need to be serious about a daily walk with Jesus. Some of us (myself included) need help doing that. We need guidance. We need focus. We need a “lift” to start our day. Every morning I have found myself doing that with more regularity and missing it when my schedule gets all whacked.  If you go to that new site and read the About section you will see what it is all about. Or you can read the Purpose post. I do hope you will join me.

And for your new year here is a song I heard in 2016 and recently while working out and listening to my playlist on Spotify, it came up. I thought it would be an excellent challenge/reminder for this coming year. I KNOW it is not the cup of tea for many of you…okay most of you. Silence the music and at least read the lyrics.

Here is the song.

So…do you have a song or a Scripture which will guide your new year’s thoughts?




Friday, December 29th, 2017

And no…this is not a political post.

C.S. Lewis once wrote:

Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor: Act as if you did.”

I love to play euchre. (I don’t apologize to all my card-playing hating fans). I don’t play very often but when I do, I enjoy myself. If you have never played let me explain a very small part of it. At the beginning of each hand, one of the four people have a chance to name what is called “trump.” A trump card has the ability to defeat any other suit, even the smallest card. If trump is Clubs, then even the 9 of Clubs defeats every diamond, heart and spade (except for the Jack of spades). In order: Jack of clubs, Jack of spades, Ace of clubs, King of clubs, etc to the 9.

This past year my theme was “I Am Fifth.” After all is said and done, it all comes down to one simple word: LOVE. Love is the ultimate trump card. “By this all people will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” -Jesus in John 13:35

This Sunday I will be wrapping up this year of “I Am Fifth” by preaching on LOVE as the ultimate trump card.  I know many of you reading this cannot join us (except via podcast) but I sure would appreciate your prayers.  Thanks.

My theme for 2018?? UNCHARTED. I’ve already developed the first four months schedule. I’m excited.



Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

I supposed AfterGlow would be a better title since the one I used tends to make people think of heartburn. Actually, it is a good word…as is afterglow. It has been a full weekend and one which leaves my heart full, burning and glowing.

Janna, Jason and Braden came in late Friday and we had a special treat! Jo’s homemade pizza. We were going to order it but when she offered to make it all other offers were off the table. We watched Polar Express together and ate pizza.  Saturday morning I got up, had my Quiet Time, then went to the Y with Jason and Janna. We then went to Abram Farm to set up for Sunday. Others were at the church building putting together close to 60 bags of food to be delivered or handed out on Monday. That afternoon we watched The Santa Clause, then ate homemade sausage gravy and biscuits, eggs, etc then opened our gifts. After our Christmas Eve morning service we had lunch and then watched our house empty when the three left for Ohio. Quiet. But empty.

Sunday’s Christmas Eve morning worship was fantastic. Saw lots of people I don’t normally see 🙂 but we had a wonderful time. The music was all done beautifully. The venue was a new thing for us but people really liked it and were appreciative of the new place and Bill & Suzie’s generosity. I didn’t preach (I got cheers for that) but introduced each song with Scripture relating to it and, of course, the Christmas story. We also had 300 people, which is the best in our history. Let’s see what this coming Sunday brings!  🙂 🙂 🙂

The weather certainly turned cold. Sunday afternoon it started snowing and the weather took a dive. Our Christmas breakfast was hampered by the cold and the “iffy” roads. But we still delivered over 30+ meals with two bags of groceries to each house. It is nice doing that for people who can’t afford it or can’t make it in.

There is a warmth which comes with service. I think I’ll rest in that today. Enjoy your day.


Sunday, December 24th, 2017

I’m under no delusion that someone is going to just “have to get on the computer and check out Cycleguy’s Spin.” I could wish!  🙂  But if you happen by then let me wish you a


If you are checking this out after Christmas day, I pray your Christmas was and/or will be filled with joy, laughter, love, peace and hope.

I had planned on only using one video in this post, but in my YouTube perusing, I came across a song I had never heard before. I was immediately struck by its simplicity but also by its truth. You can see that video here.

My original video to post was by one of my favorite artists. And yes, Floyd (if you happen to read this), I did have to get at least one by him this Christmas season. Here it is.

Enjoy your time with family and friends.


Thursday, December 21st, 2017


Over the past two weeks I have been featuring the music of our Christmas Eve morning worship.  I’d like to share with you in this post all the music we will be doing that morning. I’m going to repost the links to the special songs which will be sung so it will all be in one place. I wish copyright laws were not as they were because then I could tell you we were recording the whole service and you could listen on podcast. But we are unable to do that so I’ll just have to tell you what is going to be sung.

By the congregation (not in order):

Joy to the World (not the Three Dog Night version) 🙂

Silent Night

O Come All Ye Faithful

Messiah with a little bit of help from Hanna and the worship team


O Holy Night (Note: we did these two songs back-to-back this past Sunday and it was extraordinary! Talk about worship!!)

Special Music:

Noel sung by Hanna

Heaven Everywhere sung by Hannah

Mary Did You Know? sung by Diana

Breath of Heaven sung by Kaedance

Light of the World sung by Marge

We will also have an instrumental trio playing Hallelujah and Silent Night (with the worship team and congregation joining in).

I truly wish you could join us for the celebration. We owe a debt of thanks to Bill & Suzie Abram the owners of the Abram Farm Event Venue. They are allowing us to use it at a greatly reduced price…FREE!

May your Christmas celebration be one which is joy-filled and God-honoring.

Merry Christmas everyone!






Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

My next to last post for the special music being sung at our Christmas Eve morning worship is a new one to me also. One of our ladies, Marge, will be singing this “older” song. I say “older” because it is sung by Watermark, a group which featured Nathan and Christy Nockels, who went on to be heavily involved in the Passion movement with Louie Giglio, some guy named Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and others.

Here is Light of the World by Watermark. This song is not to be confused with Tim Hughes’ song, Light of the World (you stepped down into darkness/opened my eyes let me see).

If there is ever a time in history when we need the True Light of the world it might be now. May you come to know the True Light and may His Word be a light unto your path.


Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

We have recently been blessed with a family who brings a hunger and a joy to our church fellowship. They have attended off and on over the past 6 months or so but lately made a commitment to make OVCF their home. I’m glad they have and love seeing their smiles.

Mom (Heather) and daughter (Hannah) have come from a more traditional background. Mom knows the old hymns on a piano but loves our contemporary worship and learning the new songs. I look forward to the day she says she wants to play with our worship team. Hannah has sung in the school show choir and is now a freshman at Ivy Tech studying to be a paramedic. (Pray for her upcoming test). I asked her to sing for our Christmas Eve morning worship and she gladly agreed. I left the song choice up to her.

Hannah will be singing and Heather will be playing (and singing harmony) for this song. It is a new one to me, but I’m sure looking forward to them singing.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if this song was true all year long?


Monday, December 18th, 2017

One of our teenagers sang a couple years ago. Scared. Nervous. Fairly new to singing, at least outside her home. She has grown up into a beautiful young lady with a lovely smile, a more “open” personality, and more active singing role in the school choir.

Two years ago she sang Breath of Heaven and did a lovely job. After two years of more public singing and some voice lessons (from Hanna), Kaedence will be singing this Christmas Eve morning. I have asked her to sing Breath of Heaven again. I’m looking forward to it!  Here is the song she will be singing in case you haven’t heard it before.

What a difference a breath makes!


Sunday, December 17th, 2017

In an effort to slow down some last week and over the next couple of weeks, I’m continuing my “musical” posts. No, it is not me singing. You DON’T want that. 🙂

One of our young ladies, Hanna, has already been featured in the post Noel. She will be singing that as a solo. She will also be leading our worship team in another song which has become a favorite of ours. It is called Messiah. Personally, I like Hanna’s version better than this one, but this is the original.

Messiah: Long-awaited. Longed for. Desperately needed. Here for all.


Friday, December 15th, 2017


And no I’m not trying to explain my titles. For several years I’ve tried to use just one word to describe my blog entries. Yeah…it has been a stretch at times. But I think that is called poetic license. 🙂

We have several young children “running” around the church these days. I love seeing them do that, even if sometimes it is during the sermon. 🙂 🙂 That means only one thing really: they are more wide awake than their parents or some adults.  But what I find interesting is as they learn to talk. I have yet to hear, no matter how smart the parents think their child is, a child speaking in complete sentences right off the bat. You know…”the ramifications of the hyperextension of the patellar tendon…” We would be calling the Menses society for sure and/or posting it on YouTube or some other media site. “Hey! Look at my smart child!” But it is one word. That’s it. One word. And very often unintelligible words to boot. I’m always at a disadvantage because “Jo” is easier to say than “Bill.” Mine usually comes out “bull” or something like that.

When you think of Christmas what one word crosses your mind? Trees. Lights. Carols. Gifts. Love. Prophecy. Substitute. Grace. Jesus. Aaaah yes…Jesus. The one word…the one Name…which should be on the lips of every Christ-follower this Christmas season.  Why? Jesus gives the meaning to the season; we are the reason.

I’m continuing my series on “Familiarity Breeds…” with a sermon using One Word: Jesus. I’ll also be looking at the names Jesus is given in Isaiah 9:6. Thanks so much for praying.