Ketchen-up . . .
As we began our worship yesterday, I mentioned that Thursday will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944. For years I have had a special interest in this WWII battle because I had an uncle who was a part of that battle. He was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. When I was a boy, my brothers and I had many questions for our uncle, but this was not something he would talk about.
As I said yesterday, D-Day established a beachhead for Allied Troops on the European Continent from which liberation could begin. Francesville is the beachhead from which we launch into battle against our enemy Satan. Right here in this community are many who need to be liberated from Satan’s grip.
When I was growing up in Tennessee, we sang hymns will a military theme. Do you remember . . . “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before!” Maybe you remember . . . “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross.” We also sang . . . “There’s a royal banner given for display to the soldiers of the King; As an ensign fair we lift it up today while as ransomed ones we sing.” Songs with a military theme are no longer “politically correct,” but those old hymns communicated a truth we sometimes forget.
Ephesians 6:11-12 says . . . “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The Apostle Paul was not worried about being “politically correct.” He understood the truth that we are in the midst of a great battle . . . good versus evil . . . light versus darkness. We must understand the same truth.
Just last week twelve people died in another workplace shooting in Virginia Beach, VA. Satan’s finger prints were all over the crime scene. As several states have passed laws limiting abortion on demand, the pro abortion people are becoming very vocal. We can thank God for the courage of legislators and governors who have passed and signed laws making abortion more difficult. We must be praying that the courts will uphold these laws as constitutional.
In First Timothy 2:1-3 Paul wrote . . . “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” We must be faithful to pray for our country and our leaders. Pray for our president and governors, senators and representatives. We must pray for those who serve as judges . . . from the local level all the way to the Supreme Court. We must pray because of the battle that rages all around us. There will be no victory apart from prayer.
Over the past two years I have challenged you often that . . . “an evangelism plan begins with a name.” Be praying for those who need to come to faith in Jesus. This is how we win the war . . . by saving one person at a time.
We must never be ashamed to sing . . . “Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war.” We must never be ashamed because that is who we are . . . soldiers fighting a war to liberate the lost.
Before I close my column, I want to mention a couple areas of ministry.
Sermons: I plan to preach two more sermons in the marriage and family sermon series I have been calling “Cherish.” This coming Sunday (6/9) I plan to preach “Cherish the Path.” In this sermon I plan to talk about the many seasons of life that come our way. My final sermon on Father’s Day will be “Cherish Your Position.” The theme will relate to one’s place in the home and marriage. Please keep me in your regular prayers as I prepare and preach every sermon.
Church Camp: Jeremy, Adam and I, along with other church members, will be spending time in church camp at The ARK this summer. Camp plays such an important role in the lives of our young people. This is a ministry we must support with our prayers and finances.
Have a blessed week. Jim
The church extends its sympathy to the Family of Don Davis who passed away on Wednesday, May 29. He had three daughters (Heather, Angela and Samantha), 9 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Let’s keep this family in our prayers.
We wanted to thank everyone for all the cards, prayers and phone calls. Also all the drivers that took us for the treatments. Fred is doing well. Still going every three weeks for treatments. Please keep the prayers going. God is good.
Love, Fred & Betty Litke
Dick had another foot surgery on Friday. He got along find. It had an infection so we hope it heals now. We are overwhelmed with all the cards. Thanks to all of you and for the many prayers.
Bless you all, Dick & Martha Lowry
Parent/Baby Dedication Sunday
Sunday, May 19, was our annual parent/baby dedication. Five couples with their babies participated. These include:
Jeff & Angelica Bramlage with Titan
David & Theresa Hoover with A.J.
Jeremiah & Wendy Kopka with Anna
Jacob & Misty Schlatter with Jasper
Alex & Erin Yaggie with Beau
Vacation Bible School
June 10, 11, & 12
9:00 to 2:30
VBS this year will be a new kind of experience. Lunch will be provided each day. The program is for students who were in elementary school last year (K thru 5th grade). Because students will be traveling from the church building to different community locations, students must have a signed permission form. Please find registration material on the table in the foyer.
Graduation Sunday has come and gone and open house season is winding down quickly. With all of the activity, we take a few weeks of sabbatical in the Foundry Student Ministry, but now summer activities are in full swing. You can view our summer calendar at our Facebook page or the student ministry page at www.fccfrancesville.org. We will begin with volunteering at the summer VBS program for the Spark Kids Ministry. Next up is a traditional favorite for our middle school students with the Turkey Run day outing on Wednesday, June 19th. Release forms with specific information will be available in the church foyer. A lot of time and resources are also being spent on upcoming summer camps at the Ark for middle and high school students. MS Edge week is a fantastic opportunity for middle school students to grow in their faith, make new friends and have a blast. Adam and I are again on the worship team for this week, we are in the midst of preparing for what God will do. HS Merge week plans are coming together nicely. Ryan McCarty is our speaker for the week and we have Sing Love as our worship leaders. We have some outstanding track leaders who will be leading our students and we have a very special event planned on our Thursday night. I encourage all high schooler to attend and invite a friend to bring along with them. We ask you to be praying for all of our summer campers! We will have local campers in Converse pretty much every week of the summer starting now!
Summer Camp at The Ark: The time is NOW! Get registered for the summer camp of your choice soon. A 75% scholarship is available to all campers. Ask Adam or myself for the coupon code.
Jeremy’s #: 219-204-0422
School is out for the summer, which means that VBS programs are rolling along! This past week we held our preschool VBS program, which was centered around the theme “Jesus is My Superhero”. About 30 three, four, and five-year-olds had the building to themselves as they played games, sang songs, worked on crafts and activities, enjoyed some superhero-themed snacks, and listened to some great Bible stories.
The teaching for the week centered around the idea that “God Made Me”. On Tuesday, the program began by looking at Psalm 139, where kids heard about how we are all “wonderfully made” by God. The rest of the week was spent looking at how God not only made each of us, but also made us for a purpose. Day 2 was spent discussing how “God Made Me to Trust Him”, and heard about the story of Jesus restoring the sight of the man born blind. (After building towers out of blocks with and without blindfolds on, we decided the blind man must have been very thankful when Jesus restored his sight!) On day 3, kids heard about the Good Samaritan and learned that “God Made Me to Help Others”. Finally, we concluded our program on Friday on the idea that “God Made Me to Shine” and heard about Matthew 5:13-16 and how we are meant to be the light of the world.
There are too many to list by name here, but thank you to all of those who worked hard to make our preschool VBS program come together! From station leaders, to group leaders, to those who prepared the snacks, your efforts are very much appreciated!
Elementary VBS Program: Our elementary VBS program will be June 10th, 11th, and 12th (the 13th and 14th will be potential rain make-up days). Registration forms are available in the church foyer. Online registration is also available on the Spark Kids Ministry Facebook.
Adam’s #: 317-430-4827
June 7 – The Uptown Project will be using the fellowship hall for an event.
June 8 thru 15 – A.I.C.M. Mission Trip
June 9 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.
June 10 – The board will meet at 7:00 p.m.
June 10 thru 12 – Vacation Bible School
June 15 – A community organization will be using the fellowship hall for a foster parents meeting.
June 16 – Father’s Day
June 23 thru 27 – Adam will be leading a week of church camp at The ARK.
June 28 thru July 5 – Adam will be taking a week of vacation.
July 7 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.
July 8 – The church board will meet at 7:00 p.m.
July 14 thru 19 – Jim & E.Anne will be serving on the staff of Edge Week at The ARK. Jeremy and Adam will be helping with the music.
July 20 – A church family will be using the fellowship hall for a bridal shower.
July 21 thru 26 – Jeremy will be the dean of Merge Week at The ARK.
July 28 – The Membership Ministry Team will be hosting an ice cream social. Watch for details.
Aug 4 thru 20 – Jim & E.Anne will be a part of a group of 6 traveling from the church to work at TCM’s Haus Edelweiss in Austria.
Aug 11 – The elders will meet at 8:00 p.m.
Aug 12 – The board will meet at 7:00 p.m.
Aug 25 – A church family will be using the fellowship hall for a bridal shower at 2:00.