Tag : covid-19
Tag : covid-19
This weekend my church opened its doors for the first time in five months since COVID-19 reared its ugly head. I wanted to be there. Sometimes we don’t know how much we appreciate something until its gone. So I said yes to volunteering on this momentous first day back.
I normally serve as an altar minister, praying with those who need intercession or healing but we can’t physically do that because of COVID. Instead, I was a greeter and wore a church logoed face mask. While I dislike the masks, I proudly wore this because it represented a return to some aspect of normalcy.
But after everyone arrived and I had fulfilled my duties, I was able to sneak into the service. Because of social distancing, all that was left were upper balcony seats so I slipped into the top row. I remember one service where I complained when we ended up in the last row, a far distance from the altar. The speaker was Duck Dynasty star, Phil Robertson, and we had an overflow crowd. I was continuing to vocalize my disappointment when I heard, Who are you worshiping anyway? It was a reminder that God sees us wherever we are, and we can worship Him in any place.
But there is something special about corporate worship and a body of believers coming together. So this time I was elated to be on the last row, and as the presence of God infiltrated the sanctuary through the live worship, my hands were lifted high in praise to God who continues to bring us through this difficult season, both emotionally and physically.
Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” In Psalm 64:34, King David, who had a heart of worship said, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.” Prior to this verse David proclaimed, “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory” (Psalm 63:2). On Sunday morning, I felt the Spirit of the Lord in the sanctuary—He is alive and well—and because of that I just wanted to show God how much I love Him through my praise. It was praise that flowed straight from my heart.
Our guest blogger today is Debra Moore. Debra is a loving Christian wife and mother of three wonderful adult children and one spoiled grand dog named DJ. She is a 25-year church volunteer in various ministries including the mental health ministry where she’s been an instructor and facilitator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental Health training and family education is her passion and because of that, she has been interviewed about the subject on both television and radio.. Debra’s heart for the mentally ill comes from having had a mother with mental health difficulties. She serves her DFW Community in honor of her mother and those who suffer from mental health difficulties.
After praying many years for “perissos” blessings which are more than enough or more than anticipated, the Lord has brought us to this new perspective:
“Success is not about personal accomplishments or material possessions.”
We heard George Barna discuss success on the radio during the Covid-19 epidemic. Barna’s definition of success is as follows:
Working toward spiritual growth
Being absolutely committed to the Christian faith
Attending worship service
Allowing our faith to help us process international disasters
Being people of faith with the reality of having an intimate, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Surprisingly, there was no mention of intellectual, financial, educational, professional development or physical appearance factors in the article. According to Mr. Barna, my husband and I are successful! However, up until now we have felt like failures. Financial or professional success has often been temporal or elusive. For many years before we met, and after losing both our first spouses, relational failure seemed our norm.
With the destruction of the nation’s economies due to Covid-19, success cannot be defined as being financially wealthy anymore. God was clear when economies around the globe stopped producing instantaneously. Each of the markets that ran our pre-Covid economic successes crashed. The markets were left barely breathing, face down on the floor of global economic failure. Our barest existence as humanity came down to all the toilet paper, sanitizer, Lysol spray, face masks and gloves we could hoard.
Which leads us to the next definition of worldly success—our appearance. Did Covid-19 discriminate because of appearance? Both the gorgeous and the glum were affected. If our money and our good looks are not going to make us successfully impervious to disaster and pandemic, maybe it is time to reassess our own definitions of life success. As we peered out over our protective face masks and felt our warm breath fog up our lenses, we reached out our blue-gloved hands for our Bibles.
Let’s say that each morning we read verses or have a prayer time? What would happen if we got time in with God before the electronic hum of negativity took over? What if we asked God to forgive us of our sins and the sins of our nations? We could thank and praise God for who He is and what He has done for us. We could pray prayers of thanks for shelters in place, clothing, food, peace and security which are all promises of God to us. We could pray for our church and pastors, for our nation and national leaders. We could pray for our characters and hearts to be changed.
We could lean into this new perspective of spiritual accomplishment and share any material possessions we may have with others. All the while openly smiling at ourselves and the sweet spiritual success of Christ living in us. Here’s to having an infectious and true relationship with the living God where there is eternal success. It’s truly more than enough.
We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Have Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
Do you remember playing the game of “tag” when you were a child? I remember it being stressful because you were chased by someone who was “it.” If they touched you, you were then “it.” But there was always home base. If you felt like you were about to be tagged, you could race back to home base and it was a safe zone. No one could tag you there.
This past week has been rougher than others. There’s the underlying tension of COVID-19. With cases on the rise, we’re now required by the state of Texas to wear masks everywhere with a few exceptions. I really dislike wearing a mask, but I do it. And this Pandemic is now tagging people I know. Two of my friends are concerned their children have COVID, so I am praying fervently for them.
Meanwhile, someone else I’m close to is experiencing marital issues, and it appears headed for divorce, so that is weighing me down.
And then I experienced a rejection myself this week as a result of a misinterpretation of an interview question. This was so shocking I spent Wednesday afternoon in tears. Through that experience, I realized how much I felt called to this new challenge, yet wondered if I had misinterpreted God’s direction. Thankfully, I’ve received a reprieve and will have a second interview this Monday.
With all of this trying to “tag” me, I had to run back to Home Base, the safe, loving arms of my Heavenly Father.
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (NLT).
I am so thankful we have a home base to return to when things get rocky in our lives. In my devotion this morning, its focus was prayer and it said, “There is not an issue we are facing in our culture right now that prayer cannot address.”
God provides for all our needs. His Holy Spirit comforts us in the midst of hardship. He protects us when we are feeling fear. He counsels us when we are perplexed. This week, in regard to my rejection, I received this verse two different times and it’s for you as well: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
Believing is half the battle.
So what’s trying to tag you? Are you racing around in fear?
There’s no safer place than our heavenly Home Base, the presence of God.
“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock” (Psalm 27:5).
Do you feel like sending out a distress signal right now? Need a life raft?
The universal distress signal is S.O.S. It is Morse Code and not an acronym, but everyone knows what it means. Over the years, however, some people have turned it into an acronym: “SAVE OUR SHIP,” so if that’s the case, what is on your ship that you feel needs saving right now?
As we think about what needs saving, I want to offer some other acronyms for S.O.S.
SINK OR SWIM. In light of COVID-19, sometimes we feel like the world is sinking. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I am here at my usual happy place, South Padre Island, but this time it’s a little unsettling walking around in a “masked” environment. I have to make a choice: Will I allow myself to sink emotionally because it’s different or will I choose to have a good time and swim? Swimming is always the better choice but it takes more effort.
Over the past few months, our ministry, Pearls of Promise, has been forced to cancel a Level-Up Conference, speaking engagements came to a halt, because of the “Shelter-at-Home” order, we could not gather as a team for our new television show, POP Talk. We also couldn’t do in-person radio interviews, and we felt like we were not teaching/encouraging our Pearls of Promise connections anymore. What to do? We had to make a choice. Sink Or Swim?
SEEK OUR STRATEGY. We chose to swim so this led to seeking a strategy and ultimately, the strategy or chess moves for our lives must come from God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
As the leader of this ministry, I overcame the initial shock of the hard stop brought on by COVID-19 by spending extended time in God’s presence. It was like I was a little child again, wearing holy floaties. How and where do you want us to swim, Lord? Do we simply float, or do you want us to keep moving forward in some way? And He was faithful to provide the strategy, just as He will provide a detailed plan for you in your life.
SEASON OF SLEEP. This is an acronym that we might not have thought about. Maybe the Lord is taking some things off your plate so you can relax, recharge and bask in His presence. Even though Pearls of Promise is still busy doing ministry, my days are still less hectic and contain more margin than ever before. The pace feels better and allows for a longer quiet time in the morning.
SEEK OUR SAVIOR. Jesus does not want us to sink. He wants us to work things out with Him at the center, and then desires for us to walk on the water, holding His hand so we don’t go under. He is the foundation in the midst of continued uncertainty.
I will close with one of my favorite passages from Psalm 40:1-2:
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
SERVING OUR SAVIOR! Here’s the link to sign up for our POP Chat for this Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. We hope you will sign up and join us for a powerful time online.