Thoughts for the Day – March 24, 2020

Beloved,
 
Just touching base with you all as we begin another week of limited gatherings. The reality is that these restrictions of gatherings less than 10 may be longer than just 15 days. While we pray for this pandemic’s effects to flatten out, it continues to grow in the U.S.
 
With that said, we continue to look for ways to “do church.” Thanks to all who participated with us in online worship on Sunday. We are sorry for the initial audio problems, but had most of it worked out by the second song. If you missed the service, a video with those first 8 minutes clipped is available HERE. We found that some needed to “refresh” their browsers in order to deal with screen freezes. We’ll continue to work on improving our online broadcasting.
 

This was a screen shot of our online worship last Sunday in which Joe Powers made announcements, Cindy Taylor, Neal McRae, Aaron Richardson and I provided worship music while Tim Redd, Sandy Seals and Ben Walker handled the audio/visuals. This kept our “in person” gathering under 10, so we could reach over 130 online!

Another observation is that we are relational people. God created us to be in community, and this is testing so many of us who are feeling more isolated. Even the most introverted among us still needs relationships. In some of my reading this week I came across this statement: “One hundred years ago, French sociologist Émile Durkheim used the phrase ‘collective effervescence’ to describe the shared emotional excitement people experience during religious ceremonies.” Although, online gatherings are a poor substitute for in person events, one of the things about Sunday that was so good to see was the interaction happening in the comments.
 

“Jojo is excited she can finally come to church with us!”

Because we are relational, one of the most beneficial exercises we can do for ourselves is to reach out to others. While we don’t need research to validate the Word of God, again and again it has proven what Paul said in Acts 20:35: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Send a text, make a call, drop a card, invite someone to dinner, deliver some groceries or baked goods, take a meal…do something that will help maintain the relationships you have and build some new ones!

Finally, let’s be creative. After all, we were created in the image of God and His first act was to create. What are ways in which we can utilize social media, create new ministries, etc., in these days of social distancing? Ask God to give us fresh ideas that will carry us through these challenging times and beyond!

Blessings!

Pastor Chuck
 

There’s Within My Heart a Melody

As I was looking for wildlife on a late afternoon drive on Wednesday, I heard the unmistakable song of an Eastern Meadowlark. On it’s migratory path through Iowa, I think most move on toward Minnesota, Wisconsin and Canada for the summer. Hearing before I saw it, my eyes (and lens) finally found it on a utility wire, throwing its head back every time it let loose with its flute-like melody. After it flew away, I continued my drive only to hear another Meadowlark a few miles away. This one lighted on a cedar and sang away.

Tonight as spring begins, we have thundershowers. Both the bird’s song and the storm cause my thoughts to run to God’s Word and its directive to praise the Lord:

7Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; 10 Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; 11 Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; 12 Both young men and virgins; Old men and children. 13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above earth and heaven.

(Psalm 148:7-13, NASB)

 

So in these days of so much uncertainty, take a cue from creation and sing your praise to the Lord…for we never know when we will wing our flight to worlds unknown.

There’s within my heart a melody; Jesus whispers sweet and low, “Fear not, I am with you, peace, be still,” in all of life’s ebb and flow.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know,  fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go.

Though sometimes He leads through waters deep, trials fall across the way; though sometimes the path seems rough and steep, see His footprints all the way.

Soon He’s coming back to welcome me  far beyond the starry sky; I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,  I shall reign with Him on high.

“He Keeps Me Singing, Luther B. Bridgers (1910)
A Meadowlark’s song at Green Valley State Park, Creston, IA (3/18/20)

So You’re a COVID Homeschool Mom — Anna Spindler Writes

While I’m trying to work out logistics for maintaining a church ministry presence in the coming weeks of COVID-19 shutdown, I’ll let my daughter, Anna, take up residence here for a second day.

This is a new and unexpected experience for some parents…homeschooling. If your school is expecting your child to continue the learning process from home (and even if they aren’t), here are some tips from my daughter, Anna, to help you in these weeks to come.

*Upfront. I realize not everyone has the luxury of staying home with their children right now. I am extremely sensitive to that and am eager to be a part of helping those in our community who don’t have the advantages I do. That said. Dear COVID Homeschool Moms, Congratulations! You tackled your first day! Or […]

So You’re a COVID Homeschool Mom — Anna Spindler Writes

Covid-19: on loving your neighbor and not worrying

My daughter, Anna, shares her thoughts on how we as Christ followers should react and respond the the challenges of COVID-19

Anna Spindler Writes

We left town on Monday for Spring Break and while we were gone full-blown Covid-19 panic moved to town and took up residence. As we got closer to home yesterday and closer to rush hour, I could feel an insidious worry taking root inside of me. This wasn’t about the disease or fear, it was about the fact that we had a post vacay food situation: no milk, juice, bread, low pasta supply (the only meal all four of my children love) and very little cream (YIKES!!!).

When I went to Trader Joes, (admittedly not the best idea) it was crawling with people and FULL buggies. And also there were so many empty shelves.

IMG_1631 My tinies spent an hour basically decorating a box of gold today…(luckily it was part of my monthly amazon delivery).

How do we love our neighbor during war, famine, and disease?

Last night as I pondered this…

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