We are truly living in uncertain times. As you know this Covid 19 has created havoc not only on our normal routines but our church. Just when things seem to be getting back to “normal” something happens to change our expectations. The idea of closing the church was a difficult one, but after waiting eight weeks I was excited to reopen. We took all the “precautions” and had our plans in place to reopen safely. To decide to close again was even a harder more difficult decision but with more people in our church being exposed and knowing the people affected, it was the best choice for us to make.
In life, we often try and make plans and take all the right precautions but things just don’t go as we expect. I recently read an article that hand sanitizer could be dangerous to your health! In the midst of this pandemic the FDA found that at least nine hand sanitizer products contained a toxic chemical. It found that hand sanitizers named Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ had methanol in them instead of ethyl alcohol. Methanol should not be in any hand sanitizers since it can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. To most of us, they sound the same but they produce very different results as one leads to cleaning and the other leads to nausea, headaches, blindness and even possible death.1
The surprising thing is what we think are good plans or precautions often lead us away from trusting in what is most trustworthy of all, God and His Word. We see this in how our society is changing in front of us. Things that would never had seem acceptable a generation or two ago now seem commonplace. This is the problem with sin. Ever since the beginning of time, sin has tried to distort and take something that should bring us life, like God’s Word, sin has distorted it. This hand sanitizer story demonstrates that people take something that they believer should help them and instead it leads them to death. In many ways, our society has eliminated the stigma attached to many sin. We see this in our country’s stance on marriage, sex, our language and in many ways even our worship of God.
So what are we to do in these uncertain times as believers? If our church is to be a light on the hill even when we aren’t having church, how do we still be the beacon for our community? How do we do that? Well it begins with our prayer. We need to pray for our leaders, national leaders, state leaders, county leaders, local leaders and our church leaders. We need to pray for each other. Many of us are going through difficulty with finances, health, family issues and of course spiritual struggles. What do we stand on when everything that seems like should protect us, like hand sanitizer, seems to let us down?
The Bible teaches us what we should rely and stand on.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” Matthew 24:35
“What then, shall we say in response to this? IF God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
“God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth give way.” Psalm 46:1-2
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” Proverbs 18:10
Each of these passages, show us that in these uncertain times God’s Word is where we must turn. In troubled times we tend to turn to “experts” who quite honestly don’t know what is going on either. That is why we need to be praying for each other. We also see that God loves us. He sent Christ to be the one and only sanitizer of our sins. And if God loves us that much, who can be against us? In these troubling uncertain times we can find strength in our God. I am asking, that while we may not be “meeting” in church as we would normally do, and while everything thing seems shaken and unsettled, call on the name of the Lord. If we do that and run to God, it is only there that we will find strength and safety. Pray for one another and remember God loves you.
The children's lessons I've been studying lately have centered on Exodus and the Ten Commandments...or as I like to tell children, "God's Ten Big Rules." God seemed to cover everything in His Ten Commandments that He gave to Moses to share with the Israelites and with all of us. But Have you ever thought, "You know, I think God could have used one or two more commandments... If only He'd said _____________________?" No, you don't? Oh, OK, me neither...
But hear me out...don't you think he should have said something about WORRY? Like, Thou shalt not worry. Or, Thou shalt not dwell on your problems. It just seems to be something we all struggle with day-to-day.
Jesus tells us not to worry about what we should eat or wear in the New Testament. And I don’t worry about God providing for me. What I’m talking about is the keep you up at night, stomach tied in knots kind of worries. Why is my daughter making choices I never raised her to make? How will we pay for college if my husband loses his job? How will I care for my elderly parents who have no retirement or savings? You know, those worries that invade your mind and can play havoc with your health if you let it.
Yeah, I think God should have made a commandment about not worrying about the worries that we let take over our lives, our sleep, our peace of mind, our entire day. Thou shalt not dwell on your worries. Thou shalt not worship your worries.......
Hmm, maybe God did cover worry in His Ten Big Rules... Yeah, He covered it in Number 1: You shall have no other gods before me.
Don’t worship your worries. Let God have your problems and spend your time thanking Him for the solutions you know He is working out for you. Trust Him...He’s got this. ❤️
One of my favorite modern hymns is a song call, “The Heart of Worship.” I remember hearing this song for the first time on a CD I had purchased at a Family Christian bookstore in Corpus Christi. As a young man struggling to find my way in college, the words of this song brought back so many memories of myself growing up in church. It helped lead me back to Jesus.
“When the music fades and all is striped away and I simply come
Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless Your heart”
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship and
it’s all about you, all about Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the things I made it
When it’s all about you, all about You Jesus”
This song was birthed at a time where the church of composer Matt Redman, was constantly trying to outdo other churches in the area. They were all about who’s church looked better, who had better musicians, who provided the better church experience, etc. Matt Redman and his pastor decided to dial everything back a notch by taking away the musicians and stop worrying about creating the perfect church experience. They began to sing songs a cappella and to focus solely on the one who is worthy of all our focus and worship, Jesus Christ.
Fast forward to 2020. Here we are in the middle of this Coronavirus storm. Things that used to be the the norm have changed. Our service location has changed to the FLC and online. The one thing that should not change, however, is our worship. Even though things have been striped away from our normal, we must come back to the one that has given us everything, Jesus.
Please stop by our Church Library in the Dorcas classroom and see the books that were added to the collection over the summer. There are about 65 of them! Thank you very much to those who donated. There is a list of the new books in the purple folder on the desk and “New to Our Library” bookmarks in the books on the shelves. To check out a book, just enter the date, book title and your name in the spiral notebook on the desk.
05 Robert Rogers
12 Byron Ryder
19 Charlie Waters
26 Don Yeates
05 Gary Danford & Raymond Pierson
12 Susan Hawthorne & Cindy Early
19 Mike Wilkinson & Mike Heffler
26 Phil Skelton & Bill Womack