The Coronavirus: Take 2 by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Lubbock Friends
Abilene friends

I had just returned from a ministry trip to Lubbock and Abilene, Texas but on the way home, even though I was tired, I stopped at the grocery store for weekend groceries and to restock some things we were out of. When I first walked into Kroger, I was shocked to see there were no shopping carts available; however, I was able to snag a small cart when one was returned. As you might have experienced yourself, the aisles were packed with people with overflowing baskets.

One of the items I needed to pick up was a six-pack of toilet paper. We were running low but when I arrived at the TP aisle, I was doubly surprised to see empty shelves where the bathroom tissue had once been in full-supply. That’s when I confirmed that shoppers were panicked about the Coronavirus and were hoarding supplies. In fact, even today, every store seems to be out of this particular household necessity.

I think it’s wise to be prepared for a possible quarantine but I think many in our society have moved into full-blown paralyzing fear of the Coronavirus. Here are some thoughts as I pray through this.

Instead of pressing into fear, I think we need to press into prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

How many of us are stopping to pray against the Coronavirus? Have we asked God to heal our land? Have we requested that this disease have a short life span and that it will dissipate as quickly as it arrived? We should never underestimate the unified prayer of God’s people. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).

Half the battle is believing in the power of prayer to call forth the power of God in our lives.

Look at a reduced schedule as an opportunity. The April major events I was involved in have canceled. I am praying to use this unexpected time to complete projects like organizing my house and to get back to writing a book I’ve set aside. Instead of worrying, I am focusing on the positive and desiring to glorify God in whatever I do, small or large-scale. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24).

Listen to what medical experts are telling us. We need to wash our hands regularly. The people in danger are older, high-risk, individuals. If you fall into that category, use discernment about going into crowded venues. More people have died from the flu than the Coronavirus. We need to keep it all in perspective.

Trust God. If you have placed your faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ, He is there to guide you through any difficult scenario. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Regardless of the pandemic status of the Coronavirus, there does not have to be pandemonium. I still have the peace that only the Lord of Hosts can provide. If you are struggling to have peace, then pray that God will saturate you with His presence. Peace will follow.

Counteracting the Lies We’ve Believed (Part 4)

Truth #4: “We are enough” by Dr. Lynnette Simm

There are days when no matter what I do, there is never enough time, energy, or me to get everything done. I worry that my family needs more, my friends need more, and my work needs more. I worry that I’m letting them down, but most importantly, I worry that I’m letting God down. Sometimes I feel like I am never enough! Do you ever feel that way?

Thankfully, the Bible paints a different picture. In Micah 3:8, I learned what the Lord requires of us: “To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” When I read this, I just sat back and took a deep breath. God doesn’t care if I don’t get all the laundry done. He doesn’t worry about dirty dishes. 

God simply loves it when we love each other. Romans 12:13 says to share with the Lord’s people who are in need, putting others’ needs before our own.

No matter how busy we get, it’s also important to not neglect spending time with God. James 4:8 says when we come close to the Lord, He will come close to us. When I finally sit down and draw close to the Lord, I learn that all my days are planned and that I am already all that the Lord desires. Psalms 139 reminds me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I am perfect in HIS eyes. There may be times when I don’t have enough time or energy, but I remember that I am enough.

Living in the Moment (Part 1) by Dr. Lynnette Simm

Have you taken a walk today? Run in a 10K like I did the other day? Have you hit the gym this week? Are you on your way spin, Zumba, to water aerobics class now? Well if you’re not, you should be. I know that physical activity quiets the mind and fuels the soul: Mobilizes and reduces stress hormones. Decreases tension and inflammation in the body. Improves heart rate variability and physical resilience to stress.

All of this opens the door for the Holy Spirit to lift you, fill you, and calm you. We all know that life can be stressful and if you have all the pent up the YOU NEED to let it OUT! Some may say that physical exercise is all for vanity, but as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and doctor, I’m here to tell you that, my friend, is not true. 

A person can do anything to obsession, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m advocating releasing the stress, thoughts, and emotions that have you all bound up. Look, I need exercise. I need to be healthy. I need these things because I want to serve. Serve God, my family, my friends, and my community.

So when the day seems to be filled with too much I like to take a walk. Breathe. Listen to nature, praise music, or talk it out with my husband or friend. Exercise is more that vanity. Exercise is life giving. 

Are you willing to open the door for the Holy Spirit? Go for a walk. Go to the gym. Go to exercise class. Take care of your temple.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Life at Lightning Speed by Dr. Lynnette Simm

As I look around my office, filled with stacks of papers, files, and books ready to be put into their place after moving twenty days ago, I realized the office is usually the last room to get organized. Yet it is the one place that holds very valuable information. There are home owner papers from the last home and new home, bills, insurance information, and medical information which all need to be updated with our new address and be accessible for payments or emergencies.

So why do I wait to organize the office? Simply because it’s my place. Most parents, and especially mothers, tend to put themselves last. We’re the last to eat, last out the door, last in the shower, last awake—just last. Yet we are the hub of our families. We have almost all the information about medical and insurance needs, groceries and bills lists, laundry and school work schedules. It’s moments like this that I am feeling the blessing, and at the same time, the weight of being a wife, mother, and woman.

The Lord calls us to partnership with our husband, in fact in the beginning God knew man was not complete without his indispensable helper. That’s what we are—indispensable. Now knowing this, we need to take moments, hours, or days to recharge. If we don’t, we burn out. How can our family function without us? Each parent is indispensable; therefore, we both need time to renew our minds, bodies, and souls. It doesn’t have to been much. It could be a bubble bath, a few hours with a good book, time in the workshop, fishing, craft room, or garden. The list is endless. Every room in a home is important! Everyone in a home is important.

Today, won’t you take time to count your blessings, relax, enjoy, and rejoice.

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jeremiah 31:25).

Are You Willing to Be Divinely Interrupted? by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

When you dine out, how do you interact with your servers?

A month ago, I was having dinner with two Christian sisters, Rosemary and Bella, when a sweet waitress took our order. I recognized her from another time that I was at the restaurant so I started a conversation by telling her I remembered her and asked, “Where are you from?” “Costa Rica,” she replied. I complimented the energetic, petite woman on her upbeat personality, then she left to take care of another table.

The three of us wondered, Is this a divine appointment? When she came back with our glasses of water, Rosemary didn’t waste any time and asked, “Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?’ She answered, “I pray a lot” then hurried off. We were worried that we scared her away with our boldness.

It was at that moment we prayed, Lord, if we are supposed to pray with this woman to receive Jesus, will you provide an opening for us?

Our waitress returned and showed us a card that a man gave her. She said, “It’s written in Hebrew and says that I am going to see Jesus soon.” The door was wide open. The three of us looked at each other and knew what we had to do. Bella asked her if she wanted to know Jesus personally before she saw Him, and she said yes, so Bella grabbed her hand and the three of us led her to Christ with a prayer.

The waitress was joyous and was giddy with excitement after receiving Christ as Lord and Savior. We all took a photo with her and gave her copies of our books to start her on her journey.

Meanwhile, last night I was praying with people at the altar after our Shabbat Service at church. A woman approached me who I knew I’d met before. As it turned out, it was a waitress from a nearby restaurant, someone who had waited on me numerous times and who I knew was a Christian. Because of that, she came to me for prayer during a difficult season of her life. What an honor. This happened because I was willing to allow a divine interruption at a restaurant, and break away from my conversation to show kindness to a sister.

I always pray to recognize divine interruptions, or God appointments, each day. Whether it’s just a word of encouragement I’m supposed to give, or an invitation to receive Christ, I want to be aware of the holy promptings,. I’m doing some evangelism training at church under Dr. Rice Broocks, the author of God’s Not Dead, and he has a simple formula for leading someone to Christ. S.A.L.T. S: Start a conversation. A: Ask questions. L: Listen and T: Tell your story.

The world needs to hear the good news about Jesus Christ. Are you willing to make a connection with another believer or to be divinely interrupted to share the gospel of hope? A restaurant is a good place to start.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…(1 Peter 3:15).

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? If not, simply pray: “I know that I’ve fallen short of your perfect standards, O God, and I repent of my wrongdoing over the years. I believe that you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to this Earth to sacrifice His life for my sins and to bridge the gap between you and me so that I can be in right relationship with you, a holy and righteous God. I now invite Jesus to be my Lord and Savior and I commit my life to Him. AMEN”

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