As the ripple effects from this pandemic continue to touch our lives, we need to ask God for patience. We cannot change the events of the past, but we can change our outlook for the future. Placing emphasis on the importance of our spiritual man and not fretting so much about temporal things will produce patience. Hebrews 12:1 instructs to “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
The Need To Question My Priorities
In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.
To Press On to a Bright Future
The Church of God is a place of peace, comfort, hope and assurance. A place where we all believe the same thing, the Word of God. I greatly missed hearing the testimonies in person of what God had done in people’s lives. It is my faith in God, God’s promises and a true pastor that helped me through the pandemic. Being able to get back to church in the recent months was like coming home from an extended trip. It is where I belong and desire to be.
Counseling with my pastor over the phone was not the same as meeting face to face. The pandemic made me consider what is most important: it is not the chores around the house that need accomplished, planning our next vacation. What is most important is completing the will of God in my life.
The very thing that divided us also brought us together. Neighbors reached out to other neighbors. The situation we faced as a community helped bring out the best in people. As a Christian and an American, I have come to value our God-given liberties even more. To me, it is a great blessing and honor to attend church services and even more to hear the Truth preached as God intended. This gives me an inspiration to continue pressing forward.
I would like to think my life is better because of what we have gone through. It has made my faith stronger. Proverbs 4:18 AMP “But the path of the just is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”
~ T Major
To Value Teaching
Psalm 127:3 reminds us, “children are an heritage of the Lord.” I am thankful and blessed to have four healthy children. I am learning that each day is a new day and to keep endeavoring so I am more prepared to face the next challenge, whatever that may be.
Attending Church & Laboring for God
Wow! Covid-19 sure turned our lives upside down, didn’t it? As a society we are still dealing with the changes the pandemic has brought. How are you doing? Has Covid changed the way you look at life? Do you think differently about things? From mandatory mask requirements to working from home and now mass unemployment, what is next? We have faced celebrating birthdays alone, holidays without family gatherings and saddest of all are the people forced to die all alone. Here we are now, trying to get back to some sense of normalcy. People are going back to work in the office, schools are finally opening, restaurants are returning to full capacity, factories producing, banks opening for regular hours and churches holding regular services!
The only thing missing from sectors returning to normal are the people who support the businesses. Where are the workers? Unemployment numbers show over 7.4 million people remain unemployed. And another 4.4 million have quit their jobs. What is the cause of this wide-spread unemployment?
‘NOW HIRING’ signs are posted all over town. In hospitals, sandwich shops, factories, and gas stations. Increased wages plus signing bonuses, adjustable hours: can it get any easier to work? So, why is there such a shortage? Have we become a lazy society? Have we lost sight of priorities? Have we forgotten responsibilities to family, friends, society, and to God? God is looking for workers too!
Throughout last year, 96% of churches provided some form of remote option for their congregation. In January of 2020, 15% of people were attending church online; in January of 2021, 58% of people were attending online. Current numbers indicate that we are about 47% of people attending online.
Are you attending church? In Matthew 9:36-38 Christ saw the need for workers, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into the harvest.’”
In the book of Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus tells a parable of workers in the vineyard of God. Verse one, “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.” Where does God find his laborers?
It is true, we should all have a personal walk with our Lord; be able to talk and meditate on his love and find his will for us. But how can you hear what he has for you if you are not in church? 58% of people are saying, “I do not have to go to church to hear from God!”
God understands the situation of people that are physically unable to attend the house of God. But those of us who are able-bodied need to get to church. Hebrews 10: 24 -25 “And consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Dear one – do you see the day approaching? Do you feel the pressing of the times? Is God trying to employ you to a laborer for him? Please, for you and your family’s sake, consider employing yourself for God. As this time ends, we dare not sit idle in God’s business. Factual data verified via various internet sources.
~ J Kretzler
An Appreciation for Human Life
Make it your purpose to enhance your relationships with everyone around you! The time we took our loved ones for granted is time we can never get back.
An Appreciation for God & Our Freedoms
As the year draws to an end, it causes us to reflect on the year’s events. The difficulties of the year have made it volatile. Consider the memories made, lessons learned, goals met along the way, then sprinkle in some hard times, setbacks and obstacles faced. When recalling the events in your life, I hope you find the good times outweigh the bad.
Personally, my family has faced tough times this year. Going through those times has a way of bringing a realization that no matter how hard a problem may be, someone is always facing a harder one. This realization always brings a great sense of thankfulness to me. It makes me feel that even when lean times come, my cup is running over with blessings.
One obstacle our nation is facing is the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These effects will be felt for a long time, even for generations to come. We have lived through a historical moment.
Reflecting back, I wish to focus on the positive moments from a time that brought much upset. The pandemic was a reminder of how reliant on our Creator we are. It is easy in this age of technology and innovation to feel self-reliant. God helps us prosper in many ways. Still, the danger remains in forgetting to acknowledge Him.
We must seek God’s approval and guidance through each obstacle of life. What a true assurance to know that God knows the beginning and the end of all things and will be the Rock that holds us steady even when adversity comes. He provides a peace in the midst of the storm.
Another positive the pandemic highlighted was a deeper appreciation for our freedoms. America is founded on our duty to acknowledge God as our Creator and that belief helped shape the US Constitution. We observe people in our country doing their best to undo what the Framers created. Many people in a position of power seek to manipulate our freedom to assemble, to worship, to provide for our own families, or to come and go, as we desire.
Many of our civil liberties have been infringed upon during the past year. The pandemic has accentuated to me how easily we can take for granted the most valued things we have.
~ K Karns