Note from Tim 2020-03-28

I’m hiding in my home office so that I don’t get roped into more organizing and cleaning projects ☺ and just want to give you an update on a few things. I recorded the sermon for tomorrow yesterday so that we would have plenty of time to get it posted to our YouTube channel and website by early Sunday morning. Laura was intensely scrambling to upload the sermon video file last week in the context of another new normal of steeply increased use and thus bogging down of the internet and other systems. I also finished the sermon study guide today and want to encourage you to use this for your personal, family and Life Group study efforts. I have been very encouraged with the numbers of those who have been viewing and forwarding the sermons/worship to friends, family and neighbors. I received a phone call from a friend in Iowa yesterday who has been struggling hard through this season and was able to forward last week’s sermon as one way of pointing him to Christ.
 
You will soon receive an email from Jim Hollingsworth regarding our new Prayer Partners Ministry. Jim’s note will explain it all but I want to urge you to join us for this great opportunity to develop unity and fellowship around storming the throne of grace together. Jim has been worshiping and rolling up his sleeves with us in different ways for several months and was received as a member on the Thursday before we had to begin suspending worship together at our facility. He has been an encouragement for me and I greatly appreciate his heart for and leadership with prayer. I will let him introduce himself in his letter a bit more and I look forward to seeing many of you on the Zoom screen together (for those you who are new to this Zoom thing, it’s kind of like Hollywood Squares on your screen).
 
You may recall that we began to support Doug and Dianne McClintic as missionaries this year as they relocated last fall to provide leadership for church planting in Europe. Last week, Doug posted an update that I want to share with you for your prayers:
 
Dear friends, we are currently in Michigan in the United States. Dianne’s sister Lynne, entered Hospice care last week and after careful and prayerful consideration we decided that we needed to be here when the time comes. Our work in Europe continues through technology and the final stages of our support raising will continue while we are here in the States. Please pray for our partners in Europe who are experiencing the same challenges that churches and ministries all over the world are facing. Especially pray for Dianne, her sister Cheryl and her mother Joan as they face the coming days. Pray for a peaceful passage for Lynne, who has always been a follower and worshipper of Jesus and has lived a ground-breaking life as a person born with Down’s Syndrome. We are grateful for your support and we will keep you posted about where we are and what is going on with us.
 
Check out the C19 tab on our website and post a note on the bulletin board. I shared a prayer request on there this morning but I will also share it with you here: Please pray for wisdom as I preach, teach, and lead through turbulent, uncharted waters. And then pray that I would personally seize the moment of this quarantine exile to be refreshed in the wonder of the gospel. Many of us anxiously think and push toward just getting through and out. But God has led us into this desert for a purpose. Pray that we would not waste this loss and disorientation and be revived to worship, pray and see the glory of God in fresh ways.
 
There are some good reasons for us to compare this time to God’s very intentional eras of desert/wilderness wandering and exile. I may unpack some of that through the preaching over the next several weeks. Pray for our staff as they work hard to make the adjustments and lead us beyond maintenance and into productive equipping and growth. Send them a note of encouragement.
 
While we struggle and mourn losses and miss friends, I also look forward with great hope that he who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it in ways that we have not yet dreamed about (Philippians 1:6).
 
Pastor Tim
 
Resources/articles to consider: