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COVID-19 Updates

Daily Devotionals

Wednesday April 1, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!

Many are rising against me;

2 many are saying to me,

"There is no help for you in God." Selah

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield around me,

my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.

4 I cry aloud to the Lord,

and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah

5 I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.

6 I am not afraid of ten thousands of people

who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Rise up, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;

you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 Deliverance belongs to the Lord;

may your blessing be on your people! Selah

Today’s Devotional

The other day I was talking with my wife about life in the middle of this virus and I told her that I felt like my shields were down to 5% and I wasn’t sure how much more they could take. Yes, that was a Star Trek reference!

In the Star Trek world, star ships are equipped with shields. These shields are deployed when there are attacks or potential attacks on the ship. The shields protect the ship from danger. Shields have an effectiveness that is rated by percentage. So, shields at 90% are much better than shields at 15%. Each hit the shields take will lower their percentage.

As I said, I feel like my shields are down to 5%. Where are your shields this day?

Life these days can feel like we are on a star ship that is under attack –we are just praying the shields hold. Each day (sometimes each hour) brings another volley of ammo headed our way. It’s exhausting.

Low shields can cause us to lash out at people we love. Low shields can bring grief and loneliness and anger to the surface in an instant. Low shields can cause us to cry at the strangest times or scream out at the slightest frustration. Low shields increase worry and anxiety - or at least seem to make it more acute.

But here’s the deal. We don’t have to be responsible for our own shields. The Psalmist reminds us that GOD is the shield around us –the lifter of our heads. Not only that, when we cry out - God hears us.

Read the Psalm again and let the words sink deep into your soul. It’s ok if your shields are down –God will be your shield. Trust that those shields will hold.

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray today for our church and for our sister churches. Pray that we will come out of the pandemic stronger and more committed to being the presence of Christ.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

We confess that we try to hold it all together only to discover that we are just barely hanging on. We ask that you remind us that you are a shield around us –that you are the one who helps us through the attacks of life. Remind us of your strength, of your care, of your love for us –even in the midst of the battle.

Amen

Tuesday March 31, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Matthew 21:1-10

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately." 4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 "Tell the daughter of Zion,

Look, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd[b]spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

"Hosanna to the Son of David!

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee."

Today’s Devotional

This passage is our sermon scripture for this coming Sunday. As I was looking it over the other day I found myself getting a little anxious. I was not sure why. This is a perfectly fine text –one that we may have read many times before. What about it was making me nervous? It’s just a text about the Triumphant Entry after all.

At first, I thought I was just really getting into the text –thinking about how at the end of this story Jesus will be crucified - even though he is being praised here. Then I thought I was anxious about getting ready for a Holy Week that will be completely virtual with no contact from each other –a type of Holy Week which none of us have ever experienced.

But as I sat with it a little bit, I soon came to the point that was making me nervous: the crowds.

Look back over the text and notice how many times "crowds" are mentioned. It’s a lot! I don’t know about you, but crowds make me nervous right now. We are being told to avoid them. We are seeing how they could be dangerous. My anxiety about crowds was coming out in the reading of this text!

But then I started to feel sad. I WANT to be in a crowd again. I want to worship in a crowd like this with voices signing all around me. I want to hear the roar of thousands of people in a baseball stadium. I want to see a crowd in our sanctuary on Sunday mornings. Crowds will return –but not yet.

In the meantime, we have to find ways to connect with each other away from the crowd. We must find ways to worship Jesus that don’t involve being in physical proximity. We cannot let our fear of the crowd diminish our praise. How can you worship God today –even though you are not in a crowd?

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray today for all the parents who are suddenly academic teachers. Pray that they will have patience, grace, and forgiveness. Pray that they will be gentle with themselves as they tackle this new role.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

There are lots of things that scare us right now –including crowds. But we know that we don’t have to be in a crowd to worship you. Bring to our minds ways that we can lift praise to you and give you honor and glory right we are.

Amen

Monday March 30, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Romans 12:9-19

9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. "I’ll do the judging," says God. "I’ll take care of it."

(The Message Translation)

Today’s Devotional

Some of you may have seen this prayer yesterday from Nadia Bolz-Webber. It expresses my feelings this Monday morning, so I am reprinting it here for you. I pray you have a good week.

For the layers of comfort and convenience that surrounded our lives and that we never considered a blessing but always just took for granted, forgive us.

For we who must grieve in isolation and not in community, comfort us.

For we who care for the sick, protect us.

For the ability to turn off the fear-mongering and unhelpful commentary and worst-case scenario click bait, strengthen us.

For the times when we are all out of creative ideas for how to get through this with cooped up kids, inspire us.

For we who are now cutting our own bangs at home, guide us.

For the grace to allow ourselves and others to just be less productive, shower us.

For the generosity needed from those of us who have more resources, empower us.

From our own selfish inclinations, deliver us.

For just being your children, none of whom have done a global pandemic before, love us.

For the days ahead, accompany us.

God unbound by time, help us to know that you are already present in the future we are fearing.

AMEN.

Today’s Prayer Requests

As I mentioned in worship on Sunday, we have heard that there is a case of Covid-19 in Greenspring Senior Living. Please pray for the containment of this virus in Greenspring –that it does not spread to others parts of the campus or to other individuals.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

We admit to you that this Monday seems a little more “Monday-like”. As we look out at the future in front of us –not knowing what will come –be our guide and our comfort, our hope and our future.

Amen

Friday March 27, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Genesis 1:1-10; 31

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light;" and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

6 And God said, "Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7 So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8 God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

9 And God said, "Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Today’s Devotional

When God created the world he paused and looked at what he had done each day and "saw that it was good." I want us to pause on this Friday and think about all you have done in the past two weeks:

You have reached out to friends and neighbors to see if they need help

You have set up a home office and learned the ins and outs of Zoom

You have become a teacher of your kids overnight

You have had to make hard choices and lived through them

You have learned how to take care of yourself while taking care of others

You found creative ways to cook meals based on what was hiding on the high pantry shelf

You have carried the weight of the world on your shoulders

You have connected with family over a puzzle or a video call

You have spent way too many hours indoors with your loved ones and yet have not injured them

You have worshiped with others in real time but not in the same room and still felt connected

You have seen God in places you might not have expected

You have dealt with the mental stress of this time with love and grace

I just want to remind you that what you have done is amazing. And I believe God is looking at you and saying "It is good."

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray for a close couple friend of the Marvins who have Covid-19. They live in Gainsville and the husband is hospitalized.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

There are a lot of good things happening - even in the midst of the craziness of the world. Help us to see the good. Remind us of the good that we are doing. Allow us the courage to celebrate the good. Thank you for being with us in the storm and for showing us that you are the creator of all good things.

Amen

~~

See you at worship on Sunday Morning. Don’t forget to try and have virtual dinner with someone tonight! Our devotions will continue on Monday. BB

Thursday March 26, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 4:26-27

Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry— but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. (The Message Translation)

Today’s Devotional

I love the way The Message translate these verses from Ephesians. Especially the first line "Go ahead and be angry." We are not told that very often. But it’s true. It’s OK to be angry.

Anger is part of grief and we are all going through grief right now - in one way or another. This grief, and any grief I believe, causes anger to sit just below the surface of our lives. Anger can come out in a variety of ways. We might not even recognize it as anger about our current situation. And yet, think about how easy it has been to get angry these past few days.

For example, the other day I received a completely normal e-mail which really set me off for some reason. (Don’t worry, it was not from you!) I found myself getting hotter and hotter. I read it again and again and each time I could feel my blood pressure rising. I was composing scathing responses in my head and really going off the deep end. Then at some point I asked myself. "Why am I so mad about this e-mail?" It really was nothing to get upset about. Seriously. It was no big deal and yet I was reacting as if the world were ending.

The more I thought about it the more I realized that my anger was not at the e-mail or the person sending it, but rather at our current situation. Anger is sitting just below the surface and it will come out in many different ways.

And that’s OK! "Go ahead and be angry" says Paul to the Ephesians. BUT don’t stay there. Find a way to put a firewall between your anger and your actions and make sure you don’t go to bed angry. Anger that stays and grows and festers can lead to all sorts of evil. Be angry –don’t stay there.

So, be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. And find a way to flush the anger.

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray today for the teachers in our county who are ramping up plans for distance learning. They are also dealing with the grief of not being able to see their kids again this year.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

There is a lot of grief and a lot of anger in the world right now. We feel it every day. Help us to know that it’s ok to angry – but not ok to stay there. Help us not to give evil any kind of foothold. Help us to put our anger and our grief onto your shoulders – each and every day.

Amen

Don’t Forget! Kids Time with Pastor Bryan is TODAY at 2:00pm. We will be sending a reminder via e-mail and on Facebook. Here is the link: zoom.us/j/822507320

Wednesday March 25, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 139:1-6; 13-14

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

you discern my thoughts from far away.

3 You search out my path and my lying down,

and are acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before a word is on my tongue,

O Lord, you know it completely.

5 You hem me in, behind and before,

and lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

it is so high that I cannot attain it.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.

Today’s Devotional

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I’m not sure why, but everything suddenly became very real and I found myself struggling. I have heard from many of you going through the same thing. These are extraordinarily stressful times. How do we take care of ourselves?

Yesterday I came across a very helpful list from Partners in Care. It helped me yesterday and I am sure I will come back to this list often. I wanted to share it with you today.

10 Mental Health Tips for Coronavirus Social Distancing:

1. Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing; use technology to connect widely;

2. Clear routines and schedule, seven days a week, at home—don’t go overboard;

3. Exercise and physical activity, daily if possible;

4. Learning and intellectual engagement— books, reading, limited internet;

5. Positive family time— working to counter negativity;

6. Alone time, outside if possible, but inside too; but remember, don’t isolate;

7. Focused meditation and relaxation; (Daily prayer time works well! BB)

8. Remember the things that you really enjoy doing, that you can do in this situation, and find a way to do them;

9. Limit exposure to TV and internet news; choose small windows and then find ways to cleanse yourself of it;

10. Bathe daily, if possible, to reinforce the feeling of cleanliness.

(pih.org/article/10-mental-health-tips-coronavirus-social-distancing)

I know today’s e-mail may not feel like a devotional in the traditional sense of the word. But I do know that God wants us to take care of ourselves and is concerned with our spiritual, physical, AND mental well-being. So, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your spiritual health and physical health. In fact, I’d say they are all related!

Today’s Prayer Requests

Last night on our Deacons meeting we heard about a member of our congregation who had to lay off a significant amount of people. We also heard about church members who have been laid off and who are not seeing much work. Pray for everyone having to make hard decisions and those who are affected by them.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I confess to you that sometimes I feel broken. Help me to realize that I’m not broken –but I am made in your image. Help me to know the love you have for me. And help me to focus on what is good and right and healthy.

Amen

Tuesday March 24, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritualworship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Today’s Devotional

Richard Rohr is an author I really like. One of the things he says often is that spiritual transformation comes either through great love or great suffering (and great love will always lead to great suffering.) I have found this to be true in my own life. When I look back at the times I have suffered the most and compare myself to the person I am now, I can see a real change in my spiritual life. For some reason God uses suffering to transform us spiritually.

Now, I do NOT believe God brings us suffering intentionally. Rather, God can use the suffering we go through to transform us –if we trust God enough to let that happen.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel once said "Never let a good crisis go to waste." He was talking about politics and public policy, but I think it might work for spiritual transformation as well.

We are in crisis times. If you don’t feel like you are suffering right now, just wait. So the question is –how is God going to transform you during this trial? How are you going to grow in your spirituality? How are you going to grow closer to God?

Here are some ideas to open ourselves up to transformation:

1. Be honest with God. Don’t hold anything back. God can take it. We need to practice vulnerability before we can truly grow closer to God.

2. Find time for silence. Find a way, everyday, to sit in the presence of God (even if you have to wake up before everyone else!) Just sit in silence and let God look at you. Don’t talk –just keep bringing your mind back to God.

3. Serve. Find a way to reach out to others Show love in as many ways as you can. Serving others leads to transformation.

4. Look for what God is doing. Where is God acting? How is God prompting you towards growth? Try and see God everyday.

My prayer is that all of us come out of this time closer to God, acting more like Christ, and transformed into the people God is calling us to be.

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray today for our High School Seniors who found out yesterday afternoon that their Senior Year is now officially over.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

These times are hard. There is a lot of uncertainty. There is a lot of stress. There is a lot of depression and anxiety. We pray that as we walk through this valley you will begin working in us to transform us into the likeness of Christ. Use this crisis to draw us closer to you in ways that will make a difference long after the crisis has passed.

Amen

Monday March 23, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 15:1-4

A gentle answer deflects anger,

but harsh words make tempers flare.

2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,

but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.

3 The Lord is watching everywhere,

keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.

4 Gentle words are a tree of life;

a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Today’s Devotional

As we enter the second full week of physical distancing, schools being closed, and working from home, I think it might be a good time to revisit these wise words from Proverbs –especially the admonition that a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

When we are stressed and anxious our filters sometimes go away. We hear something someone says to us as an attack or filled with snark, and instead of letting it roll off our backs or responding gently, we react with our own attack. This attack then causes the first person to react in the same way and suddenly we are off the races. It never ends well.

I get it. These are stressful times. Being cooped up with people we love is not easy. It’s a wonder ALL our answers to each other are not filled with hostility! There have been too many times in the past few days I have shared words of malice instead of words of love.

That’s OK. We need to be gentle with ourselves. But we also need to be gentle with others. The stress of this situation will turn us into jerks if we let it.

The wisdom from Proverbs is important for these days. We need to develop the habit of answering gently. (Sometimes this means not answering at all!) When we answer with love instead of wrath we will soon notice that the whole temperature of the house will be reduced and maybe we can enjoy each other’s company once again. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle answer from us to change the whole dynamic.

These are hard times for everyone. Let’s show a little gentleness.

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray today for those who work in the Fairfax County health department and in healthcare in general –including some of our own church members. Pray that they will have strength for their job. Pray for their protection. Pray that they will know they are not alone.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

Forgive us for the times these past few days when we have spoken with hostility instead of love. Help us to take a deep breath and speak with gentleness even when we would rather lash out. God, these are tough times and our stress levels are high –anxiety is our norm. Teach us to trust in you, to find comfort in you, and have hope in you –even this very day.

Amen

~~~

If you need assistance please let us know. We have several individuals who have offered to go shopping if you need it. Also, don’t forget to reach out to someone today!

Bryan

Friday March 20, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Leviticus 19:9-10

9 "When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop.10 It is the same with your grape crop — do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God."

Today’s Devotional

I realize a verse from Leviticus might not seem like the ideal text for a daily devotional. But I was reminded of this passage this week by an author I follow and I think it has some insights for us. Buried deep in all the commandments found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus is this passage about not harvesting the edges.

Since we don’t live in an agricultural society, we might miss the meaning here. Basically, God is saying that we should not hoard what we have. Instead, we should leave some margin so that we can give to those in need.

This passage reminds us that to be good neighbors we must be willing to share what we have. This is a hard thing to do in our normal lives – much less during a national emergency where supplies are running low and fear is running high. And yet, it is one way to be the hands of God and love our neighbor as ourselves.

I have been thinking a lot about what “church” looks like on the other side of this. It’s not going to be the same - and I’m not sure what it will be. But one thing I do know, we will have to be people who do not harvest the edges. So, let’s start today. How can you show love to a neighbor? How can you connect with a friend who is isolated? How can you share from your own field?

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray today for our government leaders who are having to make very tough decisions almost daily. Pray that God will give them wisdom for these times.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

We admit to you that we want to harvest to the edges. We want to keep everything for ourselves and our family. We confess our fear of running out and our fear of not having enough. Forgive us for forgetting that you took five loaves of bread and two fish and fed thousands. Help us to be people who share our abundance.

God we pray that this day you would help us be the presence of Christ in our world.

We pray in the name of the one who gave us his all, Jesus Christ, Amen.

~~

Don’t forget today is "Virtual Dinner Friday!" Plan to have virtual dinner with someone tonight.

The next Daily Devotional will come on Monday, March 23.

Have a great weekend! See you on Facebook Live for Worship on Sunday!

Bryan

Thursday March 19, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Philippians 4:8-9

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (New Living Translation)

Today’s Devotional

Yesterday I shared a prayer of St. Patrick. What I did not tell you was that the words I shared with you are part of a much larger prayer. If you are interested, google it. It really is a powerful prayer to pray.

There is one phrase in that prayer that really hit me today –a phrase that was not in the section I shared yesterday. Patrick prays "Christ, shield me today against wounding."

There are two ways we can read that. The first, and most common way (and most likely the way Patrick prayed it) is to pray that Christ will protect us from harm. I find myself praying this a lot these days not only for me, but for my family, and for all of you. We need Christ’s protection not only from the virus, but also from the troubles that will inevitably accompany it.

But there is another way to pray "Christ, shield me today against wounding" –that is: "Christ, help me to not wound other people today –shield me against wounding others."

We have two choices before us during these days of upheaval. We can either withdraw into ourselves, put up walls, and lash out at others. Or, we can open our hearts and our hands to those around us. We can choose to be loving or we can choose to be wounding. But we do have a choice.

I pray that we will be people who love instead of people who wound.

Today’s Prayer Requests

Marie Skalski’s procedure went very well. Thank you for the prayers. Please pray for our members who are in assisted living facilities. We learned this week that the dinning rooms at Green Spring and other places have shut down. This means one more point of connection has been lost. Pray that these individuals will feel the peace of God in these days.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

We confess to you the times we have wounded others this week. We pray that you will forgive us for being selfish and for hurting others with our words and deeds. Help us to live as Christ – with openness, with hospitality, with love. Show us ways to be the presence of Christ this day.

Amen

Have a great Thursday everyone! Don’t forget Story Time with Pastor Bryan will be today at 2:00 on ZOOM. Here is the link: https://zoom.us/j/822507320

Bryan

Wednesday March 18, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Galatians 2:19a-20

Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. (The Message Translation)

Today’s Devotional

I totally slept on the fact that yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, I did not wear ANY green. It’s a good thing we are social distancing, or I would have gotten pinched for sure! I was reminded of this prayer from St. Patrick that I really like. Perhaps you have heard it before:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

I think we sometimes forget that Christ is in everything –and especially that Christ is in us. But, as Paul writes in Galatians “It is no longer I [ego] who lives, but Christ lives in me.” What would change about our lives if we really believed that Christ was before, behind, beneath, above, on the right, and on the left? For me, it brings a sense of comfort and protection and peace in the midst of craziness.

But also, notice that Patrick prays about Christ being in those we encounter each day. How would we see other people if we truly prayed and understood that Christ was in every heart and every mouth and every eye and every ear that interacts with us?

Let today be a day where we really feel the presence of Christ in us – and really see the presence of Christ in others. Even if we only see them on a computer screen or from 6 feet away.

Today’s Prayer Requests

Pray for the homeless population who are quickly finding the places they spend their days are closed (Library, fast food dinning rooms, etc.) Pray that they will find shelter and protection.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

When things get tough, when anxiety increases, when worry floods in, we have a tendency to forget that Christ is right here – before us, behind us, beneath us, above us, and in us. Forgive our forgetfulness and use the circumstances of this day to remind us that Christ is near – all the time.

Amen

Have a great Wednesday everyone! Don’t forget Bible Study with Pastor Stephen today at 6:30 pm on Facebook!

Tuesday March 17, 2020

Today’s Scripture: Psalm 34:1-10

1 I will bless the LORD at all times;

his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;

let the humble hear and be glad.

3 O magnify the LORD with me,

and let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

5 Look to him, and be radiant;

so your faces shall never be ashamed.

6 This poor soul cried, and was heard by the LORD,

and was saved from every trouble.

7 The angel of the LORD encamps

around those who fear him, and delivers them.

8 O taste and see that the LORD is good;

happy are those who take refuge in him.

9 O fear the LORD, you his holy ones,

for those who fear him have no want.

10 The young lions suffer want and hunger,

but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Today’s Devotional

One of my favorite daily devotionals was written by Heri Nouwen. Here is his entry from yesterday. I thought it was very appropriate!

"Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field. But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and stand up again after the storm has calmed down.

Flexibility is a great virtue. When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken. Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy. It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground. A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause them to break our spirits and make us bitter people. Let’s be flexible while being deeply rooted."

(Bread for the Journey, Henri J.M. Nouwen)

Today’s Prayer Requests

Marie Skalski who has a surgical procedure scheduled for today.

Today’s Prayer

Dear God,

In these times of uncertainty help me to trust in my roots and be flexible in the storm. Forgive me for my rigidity and desire to have everything perfect. I pray that I will grow closer to you each day and live my life in ways that honor you. May I be filled with your peace this day –and may that peace guide my words and actions.

Amen

Have a great day everyone!

Bryan

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