Saturday, March 28, 2020

Philippians from Memory

Dear Friends,

I want to share with you my 15-minute presentation of the book of Philippians from memory with the hope that some verses encourage your heart as we face this Coronavirus pandemic.

To view the video go to YouTube and search for my name under a photo of Friends of the Heart. Here is a direct link:

Or if you are on Facebook, you can see the video on our Friends of the Heart page or on my personal page.

Trust you are staying safe and well. God is faithful.


Friday, March 20, 2020

Five Ways to Face a Pandemic with Faith

Five Ways to Face a Pandemic with Faith

We live in scary times. Wars and rumors of wars. Natural disasters. Coronavirus has struck our nation. Will it visit our town? Our home? Yes, it may. But I’d like to share five truths I’m hanging onto as we walk together on shaky ground.

1.     Remember God is on His Throne.

I’ve been giving this subject a lot of thought as my husband and I navigate the senior years. Can we pray for wellness and expect God to heal us when we are in the final decades of life? Well, we pray, but we also know that we are in God’s hands experiencing an age and stage that He has designed. So we rest in the assurance that He is in control no matter our age and no matter the world situation.

When Job questioned God’s wisdom about his own illness, God never “explained” things to Job. He simply pointed out His Sovereignty: “Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness . . . when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’” (Job 38:8-11).

That same God governs nature today, from the most powerful waves to the most potent virus. Calm your fears by remembering God is in control. Pray and ask Him to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

And do your part to halt the spread as well. Wash your hands. Respect boundaries. Be considerate. Look after those in need. This is a great time to represent God to your neighbors.

2.     Remember God is present; He will never leave you.

God has promised: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). Like the song says, you’ll never walk alone.

Sometimes He touches us through the hearts of friends offering assistance, through the hands of medical personnel offering healing, through the wise counsel of pastors and teachers. Sometimes His Spirit calms us as we look to Him in the night. Remember: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7).

As you discipline yourself to wash your hands and care for your family, discipline yourself to look to God for His peace and power to soldier through tough times. Calm your feelings by remembering God is your refuge and strength.

3.     Remember God uses all things to the Christian’s good.

How in the world can something called a “pandemic” be used for good? Perhaps it makes us more mindful of our blessings. Perhaps it forces us to interact more thoughtfully. Perhaps it brings us to our knees as we seek God’s good for ourselves and our nation.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son . . . ” (Romans 8:28-29).

The greatest good that can come of any experience is that it makes us more like Christ. Ask for wisdom and commonsense in caring for your family, going about your work, managing your finances. Watch how God works in your own life and the lives of those around you. Calm your panic by remembering God works in mysterious ways.

4.     Remember God has greater things in mind than our personal comfort.

We want a quick fix. We want “the answer.” We like to be healthy and happy and go our merry ways without a care in the world. And perhaps without a thought about God. Facing challenges toughens us, builds our character and makes us consider what purpose God has in mind for us and our families.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control, and to self-control, perseverance, and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, mutual affection, and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:5-8).

Do we not need such qualities? And is this not an ideal time for them to sprout and grow? What if going through this tough time will bring us to a better place in life?

Calm your present discomfort by considering how you may someday look back and say it was worth it all to gain deeper relationships with others and a deeper knowledge of God. God is a good good Father who overcomes even calamities with good.

5.     Remember God offers heaven when life on earth becomes unbearable.

This is not all there is. Like the book title: Heaven is for Real.

Jesus said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)

If life on this earth becomes unbearable, Jesus will take us home. Are you ready to meet Him? He came to earth, died to take the punishment we deserve for our sins. Our part is to recognize we need a Savior and acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives. If you’ve never done that, now is the time to pray, ask forgiveness and thank Jesus for showing His great love for you.

When I was a girl, I often pondered a sign posted on the front of a local home that faced a stop sign: “Prepare to Meet Your God.” Are you  prepared? Calm your worries about the future by remembering heaven awaits—now or later. Eternal life begins the moment we leave this earth. Be ready.

If you find this post helpful, feel free to share.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash