2020 November news letter article
Hello F.B.C. Family!
I am so glad to be writing this article to you as it means we have made it to the fall, my favorite season! It is so great to see the beautiful colors of the trees, breakout our favorite sweaters, and finally stops sweating whenever we go outside. In terms of ministry, the fall also is typically such a great time of relationship building, unique programs, and truly some of the most fun times! We ride the momentum of summer and get to be on mission as our lives return to routine, schedules, and normalcy. It may seem as though this fall, a lot of what was just mentioned may be unattainable. Extra-curriculars are returning although it is irregular and many of our seasonal traditions are happening in unique and creative ways. Schools are developing plans and right now so much of our life seems to occur online and over the internet. As life seems increasingly difficult, draining, and insurmountable, what I want to focus on this month is that in light of all these things, our God is so much stronger, able to empower, and at work for us. I want to share a small story of how, when our focus is primarily on the difficulties, often we miss the miracles God is doing right in front of our eyes.
Churches in this season had to be creative as they tried to balance the earnest desire to gather with the Christian command to love our neighbor and care for others and pursue safe measures. What many churches wisely pursued was drive-in churches, outdoor gatherings, and anything that allowed them to spread out and socially distance. As many events started to take place out side where the breeze and space allowed for much lower risks and to be more accessible to others! Much of this was necessitate simply because gathering indoors was no longer safe or possible. Focusing on the negative or what we were missing certainly is understandable. While we know the church is more than a building, we miss being able to gather and hold our usual events. As we long for those things and desire to return to normalcy, we run the danger of missing the miracle that God was doing for the church right in front of our eyes. Did you know that October 11th was the first Sunday of poor weather in our area and even into other states where churches were unable to gather outdoors? Since the beginning of this COVID-19 crisis, churches have gathered and met outside completely dependent on weather, and what an incredible miracle it is that for months there was no poor weather when they needed to meet. God is still at work among His people! God is still giving us the opportunity to gather, worship, and read His Word! On Sunday mornings we are now reading about the church in the book of Acts and the same power that is at work forming, protecting, and guiding the church is still present today! Church family we must be careful that in our desperate attempt to follow and pursue God that we remain aware of how God is at work.
Families, below I want to give you some discussion questions to ask to help create a culture of awareness so as to not to miss those miracles God is doing in our life, the lives of our students, or the lives of our families! These questions are aimed at generating some self awareness so we can identify where our own desires meet God’s will so as to better follow and learn from Him!
1. How has this season (Coronavirus, fall, online school, etc.) been different than what you thought it would be?
2. Is there anything you miss that you didn’t think you would miss? (Homework, church, eating out, etc.)
3. Do you think God knows how we are disappointed or sad during all this?
4. Do you think God can make good stuff out of all the bad we see around us? What do you think some of those things are?
5. What should we pray for if we want God’s help noticing all the stuff that He is doing for us?
These are just a few questions meant for you all to talk about together in the car, at dinner, during times of family conversation, rest, or worship! This is all aimed at beiginning conversations that help us grow in our self-awareness so that we can be more aware of what God is doing in our own lives! I am praying for you all families because truly I want us to see all the miracles God is still doing! From holding off the weather, to cultivating conversations, to bring families together, God has all powerful and does indeed work through all things for the good of those who love Him!
Rev. Luke T. Long