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Friday, April 10, 2020

IT'S FRIDAY

Most of you know, I am not a believer in coincidence, but a strong believer in God incidence.  While reading one of the three books I am in at the moment, I came across a profound passage which addresses not only Friday-the day Jesus died, but also the dark times we find ourselves in--especially as we look at the unknown of this pandemic.  I must admit to you, when the knowledge of this world wide epidemic first hit the news, my initial reaction was~this could kill me.  After immediately turning to God in prayer, I was given a peace concerning my future.  We all have hit terrible~gut wrenching dark times in our lives.  The fact is that many families are mourning the loss of their loved ones right now. With all the statistics we are hearing, comes the very real knowledge that with each number there is a face.  It is a dark moment in our history.  How then do we face tomorrow when we are sunk in despair and grief?  How are we to face the uncertainty of tomorrow?  How can we calm the fear and panic the 24/7 news can create?  Where can we look for calm in uncertain and turbulent times?

As I read this passage in a fiction book, I found it profound and totally relevant to not only life, but today's crisis.  This is an excerpt from Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger~

"It isn't Easter, but this week has caused me to think a lot about the Easter story.  Not the glorious resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday, but the darkness that came before.  I know of no darker moment in the Bible than the moment Jesus in his agony on the cross cries out, 'Father, why have You forsaken Me?'  Darker even than His death not long after, because in death Jesus at last gave Himself over fully to the divine will of God.  But in that moment of His bitter railing, He must have felt betrayed and completely abandoned by His Father, a Father He'd always believed loved Him deeply and absolutely.  How terrible that must have been and how alone He must have felt.  In dying, all was revealed to Him, but alive Jesus like us saw with mortal eyes, felt the pain of mortal flesh, and knew the confusion of imperfect mortal understanding.  

When we feel abandoned, alone, and lost, what's left to us?  What do I have, what do you have, what do any of us have left except the overpowering temptation to rail against God and to blame Him for the dark night into which He's led us, to blame Him for our misery, to blame Him and cry out against Him for not caring?  What's left to us when that which we love most has been taken?

I will tell you what's left, three profound blessings.  In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us exactly what they are, faith, hope and love.  These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us, and He's given us complete control over them.  Even in the darkest night, it's still within our power to hold to faith.  We can sill embrace hope.  And although we may ourselves feel unloved, we can still stand steadfast in our love for others and for God.  All this is in our control.  God gave us these gifts, and He does not take them back.  It is we who choose to discard them.

In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way.

And whether you believe in miracles or not, I can guarantee that you will experience one.  It many not be the miracle you've prayed for.  God won't probably undo what's been done.  The miracle is this: 
that you will rise in the morning and be able to see again the startling beauty of the day.

Jesus suffered the dark night and death and on the third day He rose again through the grace of His loving Father.  For each of us, the sun sets and the sun also rises and through the grace of our Lord we can endure our own dark night and rise to the dawning of a new day and rejoice."

AMEN--It's Friday, But Sunday Is Coming!

For His anger is but for a moment,
and His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

LOVE IN ACTION

My heart has been deeply touched by the response to a call for help for those who are directly affected by this virus in my last post.  No, I am not speaking of those who have been diagnosed with this dangerous disease.  Instead I am asking for help for those who have lost their jobs and are hanging on to a sliver of hope that they will survive this crisis.  For you see not only have we been plagued by the rapid spread of this life threatening virus, but also, the economic fall out from an almost complete shut down of society which has plunged a large segment of our country into the real fear of the inability to feed their loved ones.




After issuing an urgent plea, you responded and responded BIG!  Thank you from the depths of my heart.  Thank you for taking the time to listen, and thank you for sharing with those in need from your storehouse.


You have answered God's nudge and enabled The Well to meet the needs of our neighbors who are struggling.  It has been such a blessing to see all of this unfold.  You are providing the funds, God sent a contact with a local grocery who is helping to fill our orders, and we have young volunteers and interns who are filling the grocery bags and making the deliveries.  We are meeting the needs with as little social contact as possible.  Together we are feeding the hungry.

AND YES-


a huge impact is being made to love our neighbors well.  I have seen love in action in a profound and moving way!

Perhaps you are like me and wonder ~ What can I do to help?  I am vulnerable--so I am socially confined to my home base.  How can I help with limited mobility?  By using the talents God has given me and keeping the need before you of those most threatened.  

Yes, Praise God, we are helping feed the sheep, BUT it is not a one time and done deal.  The sheep must be fed weekly and we will be working to make these deliveries weekly as long as the need exists.  

We see the government stepping up to fulfill some of the needs, but let me promise you---it is never enough.  Living on a shoe string that is fraying is difficult at best.  Please continue to help us to keep our friends and neighbors fed as long as this crisis lasts.  We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we do Know the provision of a loving God.  Share your provision and help take care of your neighbor is what I am asking.  When you sit down to eat, remember the women and children who are vulnerable and struggling and pass your surplus.

Above all--no matter if you are isolated are not---PRAY!  We can all pray---God will answer our prayers--but first you must lift those prayers to a merciful God. Pray without ceasing for those who are most vulnerable, those who are affected by the virus and their families, those who are mourning their loss of loved ones, those who are putting their lives on the line by continuing to serve us in many areas, for our local, state, national, and world leaders.  PRAY, My Friends, PRAY!  And may we all continue to put action behind our love as we walk this uncharted path.  God is not surprised and He is by our side, now let's all take action and love our neighbor.


Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds 
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7