Personal Note by Pastor Alan
I'd like to share an article written by Dr. Church Lawless, a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and church health guru. This article is well time for us during the pandemic.
By Chuck Lawless on Aug 12, 2020 01:00 am
First, a caveat. While we face a real enemy in Satan and his forces, we are our own worst enemy. In no way can we blame Satan for our sinful choices. On the other hand, he is a schemer who strategizes to take down God’s people. Few of these following ways are unique to these crazy days, but here are some ways I’m seeing Satan use as we continue to respond to COVID-19.
- Maximizing divisiveness among believers. Whether our debates are about politics, masks, vaccinations, or any number of things, the enemy is an instrument of division.
- Fostering discouragement among pastors and church leaders. These are hard days of ministry. Few pastors haven’t had at least moments of frustration.
- Increasing pre-COVID-19 fringe commitments to the church. Those who were barely hanging on prior to COVID now find themselves armed with reasons not to return to church.
- Magnifying marital and family disagreements in a time of stress. Even for the most spiritually healthy, these days have added a layer of stress. The enemy is pleased when we take out that stress on those we love.
- Equating political positions and preferences with the gospel. I am not arguing that believers have no place in politics, but I am arguing that we sometimes elevate our positions over Christian unity. Again, the enemy seeks to divide us.
- Encouraging hidden sin among leaders. In this time of sheltering and quarantine, we’ve lived more behind doors than we typically do. Hidden lives often result in hidden sin.
- Influencing leaders to solve problems first and pray second. In some ways, the early days of COVID-19 forced us to seek God for wisdom and guidance. The enemy, though, seeks to turn us back to our self-dependence as things settle down—a direction many of us might well be headed.
- Turning churches even more inwardly. Most churches were inwardly focused prior to COVID-19. The early days of COVID may have turned us outwardly, but I have no sense that focus has lasted. Most of the decisions we must make today relate more to us and when/how we gather than to others who need the gospel.
What strategies of the enemy have you seen?
Onward and Upward!
Daily Scripture Reading For July 27 - 31
Monday: Isaiah 17-19, Psalm 62, 1 Corinthians 1
Tuesday: Isaiah 20-22, 1 Corinthians 2
Wednesday: Isaiah 23-25, 1 Corinthians 3
Thursday: Isaiah 26-29, Psalm 65, 1 Corinthians 4
Friday: Isaiah 30-32, 1 Corinthians 5
We Have Moved!
On Saturday of last week, we finally emptied out the office house and moved everything to our building. The new office is now located in the loft where the youth group met. It's looking good, though we still need to do some organizing and final touch-ups. We thank everyone who helped us move and clean out the old house.
Now, what comes next? As you know, we have a leak in the roof in the fellowship area and the foyer. That should be a priority in the needed repairs. We have already had one roofer come by to give an estimate and plan on having several others bid as well. Once we have a good price, we'll let the church know and then proceed with the repair. When that is completed, we will turn our attention to the floors in the restrooms and other issues we have.
Please pray for this process! We need God's wisdom and hand on choosing the right contractor and the right price. As we rebuild our "temple" and "walls", we need your input and help. Pray and volunteer when the time comes. Together, we can see our building transform in a beautiful and welcoming house of God!
August's Memory Verse
"He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior."