For those who are hurting and afraid

Some time ago I downloaded a “Holy Bible” app. I went with online version NIV. It gives you a verse of the day which is normally all I seem to have time for. Yesterday however, I stumbled upon a speaker, a Mike Holley on http://www.life.church/online/. He was great to listen too, and this just might be my church away from church during these difficult times. A few words about what I captured from his talk:

During difficult times we will feel better if we help those who are hurting and afraid. Speak faith to those who are paralyzed by fear. Share bible verses that help. Move to practicing our faith daily, not just weekly, but daily. We can gather on line and pray together on line. If you receive an awesome message, share it! Daily seek the goodness of God. Give generously to those who need – including spiritual & support needs. He says, “If we the church, are so busy putting our faith in action, we will have no room or time for fear!” Another quote, “We shine the light, we do not hide it!” And Lord, “Not our will, but your will be done!” Because of Christ we are not afraid. Check out this church on line: http://www.life.church/online/. While Mike was speaking there was a chat window on the right and those online were sharing thoughts and learning about each other. It felt all inclusive. Check it out!

In case there is confusion: Church is not just a physical building – it is a gathering of people and why not gather on line?

Be Encouraged

My husband and I went to church today, just like every Sunday. I was asked to sing and I like to do my part when they need me. I love to sing, but most of the other cantors have far better voices than me. I still love to sing.

The congregation was not what it usually is. Father had an awesome message, just like usual and I found myself wishing that I had thought to bring in a notepad and a pen. I sincerely wish that my memory was such that I could remember some of the most important words so that I could quote him.

He also had a message regarding the Corona virus. We are to stay in our homes during these difficult times. We can look at the positives. We can use this time to sit in silence and hear God’s message. We can make the best of it by enjoying silence that we rarely experience any more in this busy world we live in. We can spend more time with our families.

Then I arrived home and took a peak at Facebook. A women from Taiwan posted an encouraging message regarding our shut downs. She said they went through a 30 day shut down in late January and through February. “No schools and it was a ghost town.” Didn’t leave their homes. She acknowledged the fear, the worry and the anxiousness that we are all feeling. Told us that these are normal natural human responses and encouraged us not to stay stuck there. “Trust God and trust the process.” 30 day shut downs work! Quarantine and hygiene works! She encourages us to remember that God never sleeps (Psalm 121) so we can. We need to look at this shut down as a “staycation.” Hang with your kids, binge watch movies, make your favorite recipes and enjoy silence. Don’t forget to pray for those that still have to go out and serve.

What a blessing of encouragement! Thank you Juanita Brown Ingram!

Help Me Rest

I think most of you know that I read – a lot. I enjoy reading fiction where the characters are fascinating, and I enjoy reading self help, and lately a lot of spiritual themed works.

I have read half of the Sensible Shoes series (4 books in all), by Sharon Garlough Brown. The story is about 4 women and their spiritual journey’s. I enjoy the characters and two of the characters have hang ups similar to mine. These books have discussion guides at the end if you are interested in using them for a book club.

So far I have discovered a few things about myself (and God), thanks to the first 2 books that I have read. I have been trying to discern a purpose or a passion for my life from this day forward. I have time to do more good in the world, but struggle with what exactly that is supposed to be. Hannah, one of the characters in the book, learned that this burden can be lifted off of ourselves if we simply realize that God knows us well enough to know what will catch our attention. If he wants us to follow a certain path, He will make that known to us. She states that when we put confidence in our ability to hear God, it places all the burden of responsibility on us. I was constantly trying to discern a message from God. How much better to put our confidence in His ability and desire to speak to us – which allows us to put the burden on Him!

So help me rest in you, Lord. And give me patience to wait and the wisdom to see and hear what you lay before me.

Source: Two Steps Forward: A Story of Persevering in Hope, by Sharon Garlough Brown