If you are like me then you have read post after post about what we need during this pandemic. In some ways I have been a little confused (I’ll explain the confusion in a moment).
It is true that this is certainly a time like no other. Being confined and not able to meet together has been a challenge for sure and this part is not normal since God created us to be together. Most of the inconvenience (not all) that has affected us has exposed how spoiled and selfish we are in this 21st lifestyle of ours. Not being able to eat out, go to our favorite sporting events, concerts, having to use rough toilet paper (I don’t know anyone who truly ran out) and wearing masks...Life has been absolutely miserable and I don’t know how we are going to survive!
It has definitely been tough for those who have not been able to visit loved ones in long term care, be by their side to comfort them during life threatening illnesses/surgeries, having private and secluded funeral services, job loss and big life moments put on hold (graduations, weddings, and jobs). In all seriousness this has challenged many and has been extremely difficult!!
This pandemic has thrust us to reevaluate priorities. We have had to reacquaint ourselves with our families, spend time around our tables, get to know our neighbors on the other side of our fences (and hopefully lead them to Christ) and open our Bibles at home and lead spiritually. The confusion about all of this is it shouldn’t be new to us but rather normal. This is what God has always desired for us.
Many of the posts I have read about what is needed during this time goes something like this...put your trust in God, get into the promises and protection found in the scriptures, pray for strength and encourage the body of Christ. Again, I’m left baffled because this suggests that we are not doing it and shame on us if we are not! Shouldn’t this be the focus of our lives every day, pandemic or not? If so, then we should have set the example from the beginning about how life with God does not change because He does not change.
Let’s continue (a reminder) to trust God’s plan, lead our families heavenward and pray like there is no tomorrow. This seems to be the apostle Paul’s plan when he was confined and not able to meet and it should be ours as well!
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. ~ Colossians 1:9-12
I love you and shine bright ☀️
What kind of people attend the Fulshear church of Christ? Well...we have liberals, ultra conservatives, and some who are just plain ole weird. It’s true! Have you Heard the statement, “everyone’s crazy except for me and you and I’m not so sure about you.” This reminds me of the parable that Jesus told about the DRAGNET (Matthew 13:47-50) where they “gathered some from every kind.”
I would like to believe that I am Biblically balanced, walking straight down the middle of the Bible, and not turning to the right or left. However, the liberals would think that I am ultra conservative. And, the conservatives would think that I am too liberal. And the crazies, well...they just think that I am crazy!
It is true that we have all kinds of people in our fellowship at the Fulshear church of Christ. It is also true, that we must get along regardless of our personal views. Unity is the priority in Christ (Ephesians 4:1-4). Being Biblical is more important than being conservative or liberal! Labels are given to make us feel better about ourselves. Everyone tries to justify what they say, believe, and do regardless of where they fit in the spectrum.
Let’s do our best to just be Biblical! In matters of faith let’s remember that unity with Christ is essential. In matters of opinion we must remember that we need to extend liberty regardless of how uncomfortable we may feel. However, in all things love is the essential ingredient. The difference comes in understanding and knowing what is essential versus what is an opinion. It is also essential that we love in every way. Loving does not mean ignoring what is Biblical. Being Biblical does not give us a right to be unloving.
So what kind of people do you want to attend the Fulshear Church Of Christ? Remember, it takes all kinds but what is essential is that we never turn to the right or left but walk down the center of the Bible maintaining unity in Christ.
“Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak." (John 12:44-50)
This story about Shrek the Sheep has been floating around for a while. I think I first read about him on Facebook but the story of Shrek goes back several years. This is a great story. Here is the article that was circulated on Facebook:
This is Shrek the sheep. He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shear it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception usually reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his fleece. Simply because he was away from his shepherd.
This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His followers are His sheep. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ but has wandered. If we avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world - a weight we don’t have to bear.
When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty-pound fleece was finally removed - enough wool to make suits for 20 men! All it took was coming home to his shepherd.
I believe Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece,’ that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd. “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
What a beautiful lesson for each of us. I can’t wait until we are back together. Until then ... SHINE BRIGHT FAMILY!
"He is not here but is RISEN! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee” (Luke 24:6).
We need a message of hope right now!! We are straining looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Any glimmer of hope in sight is welcomed. As we are looking, waiting and hoping are we missing the beauty and blessings all around us?
Someone has said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Are you dancing right now? If not, then why not? There is much to dance about right now!!
Jesus is RISEN! Hallelujah! Sing with me…. “I serve a RISEN Savior, He's in the world today
I know that He is living, whatever men may say - I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him He's always near - He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Christ Jesus lives today - He walks with me and talks with me Along life's narrow way - He lives (He lives), He lives (He lives), Salvation to impart You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart…”
Notice a very important word in Luke 24:6 – it is the word REMEMBER. In the “remembering” we can focus on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, and unchanging. These thoughts are the music to our song and help us to keep on dancing in the rain. Remember God’s promises, blessings, mercy, and forgiveness. Remembering God and His word fortifies our hope. The disciples forgot to remember what Jesus said about resurrection and were hopeless and not dancing as a result. Remembering should have changed their outlook and given them a reason to dance. Instead, despair set in.
Hope is in the resurrected Lord!! “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23). Jesus is all we need – He is enough!
“This I recall to my mind; Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
-- Lamentations 3:21-26
Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10)
There is a growing belief among some religious folks that God has given COVID-19 to teach us to stop and think about Him. Well…. that type of thinking is ridiculous. The actual theological term for this type of thinking is called HOGWASH!! God did not cause this virus to happen.
As a result of this type of thinking many people will also believe that God is also responsible for the deaths caused by COVID-19, the loss of income and jobs, and the difficult disruptions of life. The truth is God is not to blame for this terrible pandemic.
What is truth is God can use this terrible pandemic to bring about good for people. God can add a silver lining to this dark cloud looming over our country and world. It is important for us to “Be still and know.”
Consider for a moment…
1. Many of us have more time now than before to meditate, appreciate, and dedicate it to God. Spending more time in study (God talking to you), prayer (you talking to God), and being transformed into the likeness of Christ. What a tremendous blessing to have an opportunity grow closer to Christ.
2. Many of us have experienced more uninterrupted time with family than we had before. Taking longer walks, more meals around the table, and greater conversations about the Bible, church, and following Christ. What a blessing!
3. God will provide us with greater opportunities to do good, help, and allow the light of Jesus to shine brighter than ever.
4. This is truly an opportunity to show greater trust in our great God who loves us, protects us, and provides for us in our great time of need.
While these days are difficult and our future may seem uncertain, God remains the same and His grace is always enough. Place your confidence and trust in God who can do more than we ask or think according to the power that works in us through Christ our Lord.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1
I miss you terrible and love you much—Shine Bright family!!