Prepare with Hope
Things appear to be on the cusp of loosening up. The end of the Covid-19 lockdown may be on the horizon, even though it will clearly NOT be the end of Covid-19…yet. We still have more questions than answers, but we’re gaining more insight about how this virus works every day. As restrictions begin to loosen, we will have even more personal decisions to make. As long as the government officials direct us to stay home, we do it for the sake of us all. But what do we do when those restrictions shrink?
I think for many, if you have not yet experienced a bit of anxiety during the lockdown, you likely will soon, as we are overwhelmed with weighing benefits and consequences of going out and doing things. And more, if we do go out, HOW will we do that? We love choices, but there is a downside to having choices in such an unsure environment. We can be easily overwhelmed and become stuck.
Sisters and brothers, I mention this because I want you to be prepared for making those choices wisely and carefully based on YOUR unique situation, and not be surprised if you begin to feel some angst about them. A little tension will help us keep on our creative edge and be wise. That can translate into helping us stay healthy.
Proverbs 23:18 says, There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (NIV) This is a very personal promise to you by God. It’s not about everyone everywhere. It is about YOU. God is telling you that as long as you live in and for Him, your future is guaranteed. In God, you have (not may have), a future of hope and promise.
So, as we have recognized from early in this pandemic, there is much we do not know—all the “when” and “if” and “unless”—but we know the One who does know. He is the One still in charge. So, be smart about deciding “what” you do “when.” Being careful and cautious is just wise at this point. But do not live in fear. Do not be caught off-guard if you begin to sense anxiety rising in you. Have a plan now on how to deal with it, and how you will intelligently approach the many decisions you’ll be making in the coming months.
Remember you are holy and precious and loved!
Pastor Rusty <><
1. Remember to procure some juice and bread (or crackers) for Mothers’ Day Worship (May 10th), because we will be celebrating Holy Communion together in virtual worship.
2. Please let Pastor Rusty know if/how your children are enjoying Small Talk during virtual worship. If you’re willing, share perhaps a story or a photo with him, or on the church’s Facebook page. He very much misses interacting with them.
3. Be certain to communicate with the church office if you need help in any way during this time of isolation. We are sisters and brothers TOGETHER in Christ and in this life.
4. Message Notes for this Sunday’s Message are below. Please follow along.
Message Notes for 05-03-20: "Choosing Uncomfortable Faith"
Jesus knows that healing is a __________.
Three choices that can change a "stuck" life:
1. Living in faith now is a choice to ________ ____ ________ of my life.
He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, aquatinted with bitterest grief. Isaiah 53:3a (NLT)
The choice to grieve sets us free from our _______ and it heals our __________.
We have to grieve the loss of the life we _________ to have.
“I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve. But your grief will turn to joy.” John 16:20 (NIV)
2. Living in faith now is a choice to _________ ____ _________ of my life.
Then [Jesus] told them what they could expect for themselves: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat—I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? Luke 9:23-25 (Msg)
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:6-7 (Msg)
3. Living in faith now is a choice to _________ _________.
I __________ what's not there, and I ___________ what is there. Then I use that to _______ other people.
This pandemic is not a _____________ from doing ministry in the name of Jesus!
The Lord turned to Gideon and said, "Go with your strength and save Israel from the Midianites. I am the one who is sending you." But Gideon answered, "Lord, how can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family." Judges 6:14-15 (NCV)
All that God needed from Gideon is same thing He needs from us: _____________!
When I serve, all of that ________ in my life finds _____ ___________.
[Jesus] comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (Msg)
Not only do I have to pray, I also have to _______!