Message from Betsy Butler

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”-Hebrews 12:2

On Friday, March 13, I drove home from Atlanta and I experienced a much calmer drive than I had one week before.  There were just as many cars on the road but I noticed the cars moving at a slower, yet more regulated pace. It was as if the world had taken a deep breath and was exhaling at a monitored pace; one that caused me to pause.

In the midst of our heightened awareness of personal care habits, I have also experienced a heightened awareness of my spiritual habits.

As we journey through these uncertain days, Hebrews 12:2 gives us the encouragement we need to walk with certainty; “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

When we “fix our eyes on Jesus” and when we devote our time to seeking a deeper relationship with Christ, we can find the peace we crave.

The authorities are encouraging that we stay home, gather only with immediate family and distance ourselves from one another.

I cannot help but to think, “What Would Jesus Do?” We hear the news and we are called to discern the difference between drama and truth. “Use your best judgement”...”This will pass”...”We are overreacting”...”Pray we are overreacting so that we can ‘flatten the curve’”...and the comments continue. 

Let your relationship with Christ help you discern between the drama and the truth. Over the next few weeks, our lives will be moving at a slower pace. Maybe this pace will give us reason to pause. I am choosing to believe this time is a gift from God. It is a chance to tackle some of those things I have neglected because, “there is just not enough time.”

In the coming days and weeks, we hope that you will continue to live out your faith and use this time to encourage others. Consider using your time to write a note or make a phone call to reach out to a neighbor and/or friend that you have not connected with recently. 

Do something different - do something you haven’t had the time to do and see how God transforms your life in the midst of “distancing” yourself from others. Physically being apart from one another does not mean we are separated. We can connect in creative ways and remain the body of Christ in the world. We can all agree we are living in unprecedented times. I look forward to hearing how God has used this time to strengthen your walk with the Lord.  

As a church family, we have the opportunity to pray for one another. Please share your prayer concerns with us and we will pray with and for you. Consider using Chuck’s message from Sunday as a daily prayer...”I am He” and trust the words of Jesus. 

May the Lord bless and keep you, Betsy

Posted by Betsy Butler

Words from Josh Miles

"I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2

It’s okay to ask for help. As we mature in faith, sometimes we are tempted to try and work things out all on our own. It can be really frustrating when we cannot figure something out. So where do we turn for help? Today I suggest that we look to the psalms, church. They present to us a fertile ground for deep seeds of faith. The faithful people who wrote the psalter are just that: people. They lament, grieve, cry, question, praise, petition, adore, wrestle, and give thanks. Sounds a lot like us, too. So let us look to the psalter in these days. This is the stuff of being human. It’s okay to lament right now—this is an expression of our grief or sorrow.

Laments, as we find them in our Bible Canon, are appeals for divine help in times of distress. Thus, our laments right now are necessarily directed to God about our world and our community: for all those who are hurting, battling, or fearful from this virus. We should not remain in quiet isolation about the things that bring us pain or distress. Our wounds cannot heal if they are not exposed. The psalter suggests that God is big enough to hear and to honor our laments and our questions just as much as God hears our praise. As people of faith, let us together lean into and request the divine presence of God right now. For healing. For wholeness. For protection. For help.

-Josh Miles

Posted by Josh Miles