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.
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.
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!
Hello Winter. Today is the winter solstice. While December 21 marks the shortest amount of daylight of the year in North America, the coldest temps are yet to come.
Crest Baptist Church after a weekend sleet/snow event and sub-zero temps
MSN.com had this explanation for the lag in the shortness of daylight and colder temperatures.
The solstice marks the astronomical beginning of winter, while meteorologists view winter (the three coldest months) as starting Dec. 1. The day of the solstice, however, isn’t typically the coldest day of the year. There is a weeks-long lag between the solstice and the coldest average temperature for most spots in the USA.
This lag in temperature occurs because even though the amount of daylight continues to increase, the Earth’s surface continues to lose more heat than it receives from the sun. In most locations across the country, the coldest weather occurs around two or three weeks later, in early to mid-January.
Photography in the winter elements can be challenging, but also tremendously rewarding. From the crisp blue skies to the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, it is definitely worth getting outside for some shots.
Sunrise pano with iPhone on 12.20.16
However, for the faint of heart great captures can be taken from the warmth of car.
Sunset over Summit (frozen) Lake with iPhone on 12.20.16
I hope to add some fun winter shots in the next three months and look forward to seeing yours, too.
*Today also marks the changing of my header, a rural road in Union County, Iowa, that I change with each season. It seemed appropriate to turn on the WordPress snow machine, too, but it will stop on January 4.
With some storms brewing in the Midwest yesterday, I thought I would try my hand at time-lapse photography. I took a picture every five seconds for 20 minutes (limited because of teaching responsibilities last night) and then condensed into a 12 second video. While I enjoy seeing the cloud formations build, changing shadows on the Crest Baptist Church Worship Center are fun to watch.
Click HERE for more entries of “split second story.”