MIDWEEK MESSAGE #90
Hello and welcome to MM #90. This is the first MM of 2020 and I am wondering where do I start?
I guess first is an explanation and a possible apology. In MM #87 I began by saying I would be “out of your hair” for the next couple of weeks. Alas, I fibbed. I can say it was because I don’t have any hair but that won’t cut it. J The truth is I ran across several ideas and wanted to share them. One of them was the story of “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.” What is funny is that Madi Arnett left a copy of one of the local papers on my desk for me which had the complete article of that exchange the same day mine appeared in #88.
The second week (#89) I felt compelled to give some guidance good for all of us about what we can do to make 2022 a year where our lives are changed. I think we are all tired of the garbage floating around these days on the airwaves and social media and I wanted to give us all a break from that. If you missed out on #89 contact Diana at the office and she can send it to you or one of us can make you a copy. Not to worry, she has already given me plenty of grief about going back on my word and writing a MM both weeks. J
Good old 2022 is here and with that comes a whole new set of “worries.” (Let’s call them “concerns” in order to be more spiritual). If I was a betting man (which I am not), I would be willing to wager that most, if not all of us, will at one time or another in 2022 ask or want to ask “Why?” No, I’m not talking about the little one who has a thousand questions and they all seem to start with the word Why?
This is much more serious. When a health event hits us our first question might by why? When a catastrophic event hits-a death, fire, destruction, or car accident-we might be inclined to ask why? When financial hardship hits we may be tempted to ask why?
We may never know the answer to that question while here on earth, but we can take comfort in the truth of One who does. Just this past Monday I finished working on a sermon from Daniel 2. In that chapter is a verse we might be tempted to pass by: Daniel 2:22- “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”
We can take comfort in the fact that God is never surprised or afraid. He is never caught off guard. And while the event which happens has me rocking backwards on my heels or a tad bit flustered, God is not wringing His hands wondering, “What am I going to do?”
Take heart. Those moments of darkness are not dark to Him. He is the light on the head of the coal miner. He is the compass in the hand of the explorer. As the old hymn says, “There is no shadow or turning with Thee.” (Great is Thy Faithfulness)
I wrote that Tuesday morning for my blog, Living in the Shadow. There is no doubt 2022 is “up in the air” as to what we think might happen and what will happen. None of us knows. I know I certainly don’t have a crystal ball I consult. I can only go to the ONE who does know and trust Him to handle things better than I ever could.
Now for something else…As we were sitting in staff meeting Monday morning, I think we were all surprised by the volume of prayer requests which came across our plates over the past week or so. We like to pray over all the requests, and particularly the newest ones given to us. But Monday it was like “Whoosh! Look out below!” After my short devotion, Ryan led us in prayer. Also, every Sunday I try to bring you up to date on the status of folks on our list, as well as listing new ones. So…here is a list of the newest ones I’d like to ask you to pray for:
- Law Enforcement Officers: Caleb Hutchison, Ryan White, Shauna Wetzel
- Military family and friends; Nikk Wood, Tyler Benson, Iain Ramsay, Chris Erb, Jessica Parmer, Nick Hickman
- School Related Prayer: Nate Hopf (teacher) and Kahner Welch (college student)
- David Fisher, Tim Huffman, Kirby Stogsdill, Chris Wainscott, Joe and Kelly Norris (COVID), Kylie (17 y/o with COVID pneumonia), Wendy Mader.
- Healthy pregnancies: Jimmy & Christine Chambers, Caleb & Amanda Hutchison, Elizabeth and Donovan Jones, Darren and Anitra Line, and Mitch and Shauna Wetzel.
- Deaths: Mark Murphy’s family (father); Judy Edwards family (cousin to Mike Edwards); and Frank Nichols family (Brother to Rosie Bault and half-brother to Carol Sturgeon).
- Martha Orlando-my friend from Georgia who faithfully watches our live stream every week- in hospital with COVID-related pneumonia (and yes, she has been double vaxxed and boosted). I heard about her from her husband on Monday.
- Donna Keith, ongoing chemotherapy treatment.
See what I mean? And that is not all. I realize by listing these folks I am leaving others out. That is not to be taken as others are less important. Far from it. These are simply those added or updated Sunday or Monday. I list them so you can join us in praying for them. Thanks for doing that.
One final item: As I was praying Sunday morning with the worship team before they started practice, I prayed a simple thought which came to my mind. I have decided to make it my by-line for the year: LOVE GOD DEEPER…WORSHIP HIM MORE. I hope you will join me in that heartfelt desire.
I pray God blesses each of you in 2022…even when you don’t see it. I also look for 2022 to deepen my love for God and for you. Have a great rest of the week! See you Sunday!!