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New “mini-series” with “mini-messages” coming your way!

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Hello dear Firm Family,

Well, it looks like we will be having our 5th online service this Sunday thanks to Matt Watkins, modern technology, us honoring our government authorities and us trying to be good neighbors by sheltering in place.  I shared with Matt that this week is the first week that ALL the novelty of being “sheltered in place” has worn off. I am realizing not only am I an extrovert who loves being with people; I also am an extrovert who is motivated and energized by being with people, especially getting to meet the new people who many of you bring with you to church each week.  I am also an extrovert who loves to connect with you weekly and feel a great challenge in trying to do that talking into a camera.  However, with Matt’s encouragement, I am going to start a “mini-series”  this week with “mini-messages” (as we are still in the Book of Ephesians) on how we can live in community, as I believe is God’s design for us to do, while being sheltered in place.  I am looking forward to sharing from my heart and HIs Word with you.
Something I have been forgetting to do each week is encourage you to be prepared for Sunday’s message by reading the passage ahead of time.  This week we will be hearing a message titled “Gospel Centered Marriage” from Ephesians 5:22-33 so let me encourage you to try and read those verses a few times before we “gather” on Sunday morning.
Here is something I saw giving some practical questions we can ask ourselves each day that maybe will help us keep encouraged even though we might not love the “new normal”. I see two of them could even help us build community while being apart, so enjoy!!
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In keeping with my goal of “walking through the Bible” with you in 2020, here are some thoughts on our next two books:
  • The first book of this week is Habakkuk.  Yet another book written by one of God’s prophets.  We see the honesty and transparency of Habakkuk as he is dialoguing with God and expressing concern over what seems to him to be God’s unfair treatment of the wicked and of the poor.  My takeaway from this year’s reading is from 3:17 which says:  “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  My prayer written in the margin of my Bible is “Father, help me to trust you even when life hurts”.  (That prayer comes from the title of a great book by Jerry Bridges titled Trusting God Even When Life Hurts.)
  • The second book of this week’s walk is Zephaniah.  Another prophet who is speaking words of warning of God’s coming judgement and reminding the people that “all accounts are not settled yet”.  My takeaway is from 1:6 that is giving a warning to  “… those who turn back from following the Lord and neither seek the Lord nor inquire of Him.”  Again my response was a prayer in the margin that asked “Father, please give me the desire, discipline and delight in following You, seeking you, and inquiring of You for as long as I live.”  May that be the prayer and practice of all of us.
I hope you never get tired of hearing it because I don’t think I will ever grow weary of saying it, “I love you and I thank God for the privilege of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus with you”,
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