Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Please pray for the Gary and Barb Bennett

Our world has certainly been turned upside down. Wow! What a difference a few weeks can make. Of course, we were aware of Covid-19 months ago, but honestly didn’t think much about how it would impact us here in Rwanda. On Saturday, March 14th, we got the news that the first case of Covid-19 had been confirmed in Rwanda. Suddenly, all schools, churches and public meetings were being suspended effective immediately. Six days later, all flights in and out of Rwanda were cancelled, and all borders closed. Following that, city to city travel was also banned, stranding some individuals and keeping them from being with their families. Subtly, for better or worse, the reality began to sink in that we are trapped here. A day later, a total lock down was instigated through April 19th. We expect that it will be extended. As of April 6th, only 104 confirmed cases have been reported in Rwanda and no deaths (in a population of over 13 million people). That in itself is pretty amazing!
When Covid-19 hit, we had a group of pastors studying at NCM. We had to send them home immediately, and at this point we have no clear picture when those classes might be able to resume. In the meantime, NCM faculty and staff, working from home, will continue to follow-up with them by phone, email and text. The only activities currently happening at NCM are ag related. A couple of local workers are tending the garden plots and green house. In the days ahead please pray for wisdom as we contemplate what to do next at NCM.
In spite of the lockdown, things are going fairly well. It would be nice to get out, but police are very serious about enforcing the lockdown restrictions. Yesterday, a pastor tried to go to church, was arrested and the police confiscated the car. I think they made an example of the situation just to let people know how serious they are about the lockdown. We are doing alright on food and supplies but are a little concerned about banking and getting funds because Forexes (foreign currency exchanges) are closed. Everyone is being encouraged to switch to paying for things electronically. We are trying to figure out how we can get funds out of one bank and into another in order to pay staff salaries at New Creation Ministries.
Thank you for your concern and prayers during these unprecedented days. As we listen to the news we are often reminded to pray for all of you as well.
We are thanking the Lord for new avenues of ministry. Our local church has gone online with Sunday services, and we are holding our Wednesday night cell groups on Zoom. Monday nights Gary has a men’s Bible study online and Tuesday evenings, the church facilitates an online prayer meeting. Some of Barb’s university classes meet via Zoom, but a month ago Gary had never even heard of “Zoom” online meetings. Now it seems we are on at least one Zoom meeting per day! We are also using Skype to keep in touch with our girls and extended family.
We are thanking the Lord for new avenues of ministry. Our local church has gone online with Sunday services, and we are holding our Wednesday night cell groups on Zoom. Monday nights Gary has a men’s Bible study online and Tuesday evenings, the church facilitates an online prayer meeting. Some of Barb’s university classes meet via Zoom, but a month ago Gary had never even heard of “Zoom” online meetings. Now it seems we are on at least one Zoom meeting per day! We are also using Skype to keep in touch with our girls and extended family.
This past week we were really blessed by participating in the Gospel Coalition‘s day of prayer and fasting. What a blessing to join with people from around the world in prayer! The #JesusChangedMyLife initiative is also an exciting opportunity to add our voices to, especially in light of the Easter week ahead of us. There is no doubt that God is at work during this pandemic. We feel so privileged to be able to participate in what He is doing. This last weekend in Rwanda, all of the evangelical churches encouraged members to pray and fast regarding the Covid-19 situation. They also asked people to set aside the money they would have spent on food and use it to support those in need. It has been a neat experience for us to join with our Rwandan brothers and sisters in this national prayer effort.
One of the blessings of being confined to home is that, so far, our internet has continued to work and we've been able to stay connected to the outside world. Secondly, we have been blessed by watching some great YouTube videos. Two favorites are:

Craig Groeschel:
Leading Through Crisis

Timothy Keller: 
Psalm 11

If you have a moment during these days of seclusion, we would encourage you to give them a listen. Click on the photo and a link will take you directly to the video on YouTube. I think we all are much more in tune with God these days and trying to figure out what He might be saying to us, or trying to show us. What we are finding is that being confined to our homes is a great chance to re-evaluate what we are doing and pray about what God wants us to do on the other side of lockdown.

Please pray for Jill Hostetler

  1. Please pray for the TCE Level 1 course continuing through Zoom. Pray for understanding with the students and for wisdom for the instructors as they use this new platform.
  2. Please pray for an additional 2-3 summer missionaries. They do have a few young people filling out applications right now.
  3. Pray for wisdom as they plan for our summer ministry amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Pray that the resources that CEF has developed for children would be used and that families would hear the gospel and respond in faith!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Most Important Lesson of Covid-19

The economy can’t save us. We’ve seen how quickly a robust bull market has plunged into loss and chaos. Retirement plans have been reduced by significant numbers. Hopes for a secure retirement for thousands have vaporized almost overnight.
The president can’t save us. President Trump has presented himself as being “bullet-proof” from all kinds of distractions, but he is powerless to stop this virus and the manifold fallouts in its path.
Our political party can’t save us. Both parties in our governments, both state and national have exposed their weaknesses, greed, selfish motives, and personal biases, all to the detriment of future generations.
The CDC and WHO can’t save us. They are manifesting a deeper weakness of our condition, that is, science can’t save us.

We are truly at the mercy of “an unseen enemy”, however, our enemy is not merely a virus. Oh, to be sure, we are at the mercy of a mysterious COVID-19. But far worse, we are exposed and vulnerable to an unseen, but undeniable enemy, namely the sins of our own depraved hearts and greater still, are at the mercy of the Ruler of this world. These are all stark, harsh lessons of COVID-19.

But the greatest lesson we can learn from COVID-19 is that “God, who is rich in mercy”, has moved heaven and earth to send His Son, His only-begotten Son, so that whosoever would believe, would no longer be at the mercy of reigning sin, of a reigning Satan, but be delivered and forgiven from sin and made righteous by the Blood of Jesus and by His sinless, perfect life.

This week we celebrate Easter, the greatest event in human history that brought the greatest deliverance from the greatest enemy human beings have ever faced. Jesus Christ, as God in human flesh, came and lived a perfect life. He was cruelly crucified for the simple fact that he proclaimed His true identity and purpose.

Will you embrace the greatest lesson of our time? Will you believe that Jesus Christ who was crucified on “Good Friday” actually rose from the dead on Easter Sunday and is now in heaven, awaiting His soon return to finally and completely destroy “the unseen enemy”, Satan himself.
Jesus Christ is our only hope for deliverance. Come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.

Kent Kloter

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Sermon Summary of “Anxiety, Humility, and Glory” by Dr. Jeremy Pierre

The following summary is my notes from a sermon I heard this week by Dr. Jeremy Pierre, a professor at Southern Seminary, author, and biblical counselor. I’ll include a link to the actual sermon at the bottom –please give it a listen, it will be worth your time for sure!

By God’s grace, up until the last few weeks, I have never really struggled with anxiety. Do I fear and worry? Absolutely! I remember 2.5 years ago after my car accident, that the fear of driving or others I love being in an accident was hard to overcome for a while and still can put me on edge. When I stopped and realized that the fear meant a significant lack of trust in my Heavenly Father, I began a process of continually turning each fear over to Him, not just in that area but in all areas.

Fear and worrying are still daily battles of surrender for me. But praise God, anxiety hasn’t ever been to the extreme that I know so many wrestle with. But please don’t hear me say I don’t struggle with it. Especially in light of the pandemic, I’ve had to battle with it more than ever and the surrender is a constant thing.

This sermon was both encouraging and challenging as I thought through my anxiousness over the last several weeks yet I was encouraged again by the promises of our faithful God.

Anxiety, Humility, and Glory – Dr. Jeremy Pierre

1 Peter 5:6-11
Humility undermines anxiety because it recognizes God’s superior ability to care for us, to protect us, and to lead us to the highest place of Glory. Humbling yourself means casting your cares on God. - vs 6-7. The main command is not to cast cares, it’s to humble yourselves. To humble yourself means to see yourself in a different way — you are small; God is big. You are as able to handle your own anxieties as Israel was to command the plaques to cease. Only God can do such things.

God is teaching us that we must see ourselves as small and Him as big. Only when we get that straight, will we be able to take our burdens off of our small narrow shoulders and put them on shoulders that are infinitely broader.

Casting our cares is one of the hardest things we are called to do —because we have to hand over to him our deepest desires.

Health, vocation, and relationship. All can be good desires but in a fallen world, they are under legitimate threat! God determines how best to utilize you and provide for you in the future - not you.

Relationships - a desire for belonging and approval.

Entrusting to him your preference for what relationships you think you need.

You are not your own but belong body and soul in life and death to Faithful Savior. When you believe that, you trust His heart and you can give Him your deepest longings and desires.

Care for someone - identify with their good as if it were you own. God does not dismiss your concerns regarding your desires, but what He chooses to bring in your life is better than what you prefer. It requires humility and faith.
Humbling yourself also means resisting the devil. When you give in to the devil you turn against God’s purposes in your life so you mistrust God.

Satan has another tactic than a whispering serpent - roaring lion is intimidating and means to scare you to death. Threaten you, makes you think life is nothing but fear and threat. Exaggerates the danger of God’s people.
The enemy is cruel crafty and hungry trying to add fire to your anxiety. He covers your mind with a darkness that makes it harder to see the light of God’s face. Roars threats in your ears so you can’t hear the calming voice of your Shepherd.
The evil one is provoking you to forget promises of God, anxiety is most effective too.

God always reverses Satan’s tools he uses…God can change purpose to evidence that you need God to protect and provide for you!

It provokes you to seek God for that protection.

Resisting devil means in humility trusting God. No special ceremony or methods of spiritual warfare. The way you resist the devil is to be humble, instead of fighting a lion on your own, run to the bigger Lion of Judah.
Humbling yourself means that God Himself will glorify you - vs 10-11

Time has to do with perspective - thinking of God’s higher purposes of eternal glory He is setting aside for you.
60 seconds in a hot shower after waking up freezing cold - short

60 seconds of a doctor trying to find a vein with a needle in your arm - extremely long.
Helps you see that your suffering is not permanent no matter what suffering, Satan or your fears tell you. Responding in faith to suffering is what God called early church believers to do.

The same God is now calling you to everlasting and eternal glory in heavenly places - permanent calling.
God himself will restore you —take something that has been harmed and worn out to restore it fully to what it was designed to be. God himself is going to do that. God is going to use his personal capacities to individually carry believers through their own suffering and then restore them to such a degree that not even a hint of harm remains. God did everything necessary to solve your worst problem. None of your concerns are greater than the concern of a sinner before a holy God being destroyed and rejected. Christ came and solved that concern, carried the burden on his own shoulders to the cross. He rose again, proving people can be resurrected to live safely with a holy God- Ascended to sit next to God praying for you.

Heather Leman

Comfort in Trials

Lamentations 3:21-26 21This [the character and nature of God] I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

■ God is sovereign in daily living, even in your life.

Could God have prevented this trial? Did this take Him by surprise? Is He losing control? Is He wringing His hands over this?

■ God is holy

Is He evil in allowing this event/circumstance? Is He punishing me unfairly? Is He punishing me? Not necessarily, see Job 1-2

John 9:2-3 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

■ God is active in your daily life

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life [psyche], what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Mt. 10:25-31 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

■ God is very faithful

Ps. 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Ps. 119:138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful. Ps. 103:13-18

13 Like as a father [this is referring to the BIBLICAL definition of a father, not upon your experience or opinion) pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. 14 For the knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more. 17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; 18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Ps. 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

■ God’s plan for you is eternal

Ps. 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. Ps. 77:8 Is his mercy clean gone forever? doth his promise fail forevermore? Ps. 121:8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. Isa. 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

■ God loves you, because of Him, not because of you, your abilities, your ‘worth’, your ‘value’, your failures.

Therefore His love is not based on your behavior, it is based on His character (love, that’s who He is) and nature (He does not change, he is not partial). 

Jer. 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Isa. 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. Rom. 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. 2 Thess. 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

How should I think about and respond to afflictions?

1 Pet. 4:12-16 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part, he is evil spoken of, but on your part, he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

Mt. 5:10-16 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall

say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Lk. 6:22-23 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Rom. 8:17-18 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rom. 8:35-37 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

1 Pet. 2:19-25 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 
Kent Kloter

This God—His Way is Perfect Written by Pastor Kent

David wrote these words toward the end of his life after God had given him deliverance from his enemies, including Saul.
Consider what the commentator, William S. Plummer, has this to say about this passage: "God's way is perfectly just, perfectly wise, perfectly holy, perfectly good, perfectly sure to prevail, perfectly honorable to himself, perfectly safe to his people. It sometimes looks dark or doubtful, because we do not see the end. When that comes, all is right."

Just? What about all the injustices David experienced in his life?
  • Remember his encounters with wild animals as a shepherd? (1 Sam.17:36)
  • Remember his brothers' scoffing and slanderous words before David fought Goliath. (1 Sam.17:28-29)
  • Remember Goliath's degrading threats? (1 Sam.17:41-45)
  • Remember Saul's initial envy? (1 Sam.18:8)
  • Remember Saul's initial attempted murder? (1 Sam.18:11)
  • Remember how Saul demoted David, in spite of his great successes? (1 Sam.18:13)
  • Remember how Saul betrayed David regarding his promised daughter, Merab (1 Sam.18:17-21)
Well, you get the idea. I suggest that you continue listing the many ways David suffered hardships and betrayals. In fact, David's life was racked with the kinds of hardships that are hard to grasp. Yet, as he looks back on his life experiences and reflects on God's care for him during that time, he muses that "God's ways are perfect".

This statement from David's pen personifies how Vine's Dictionary defines the word "Meekness" as translated from the Greek word, "prautes".
"Meekness is an inwrought grace of the soul and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God in that we accept His dealings with us is good and therefore without disputing or resisting." (Vine's Expository Dictionary; Strong's # 4240)

During this time of immeasurable losses and hardships, we do well to mediate on David's heart-attitude about the character of God. Like Joseph, David trusted God's character and eternal purposes in all the what-ifs, unknowns and dark days.

This God...the God who has sent us this plague...this God-HIS WAY is perfect.

To Him be glory forever.
Kent Kloter

Please Pray for Dave and Carol Beakley

We are in total lockdown. Carol and I have been locked away in our home since 17-March. We cannot leave until 16-April. Only once did we go out to get some groceries--at least there was food. The nation is on total lockdown, and only essential services are allowed to be out, other than people going to get groceries, see the doctor, pharmacist or bank. That is it.

Please pray that we find joy in the Lord during this time. Our services are virtual along with daily devotions (

Pray for discipline during this time. It is easy to live like in a submarine with no perspective of time.

Pray for stamina and time with the Lord. I prepare a message every day and then the Sunday message. Preaching into a camera is different.

In many ways, this is no different than what everyone else is going through. We cannot go to any other facilities or neighbors. We can only stay behind our fence. I try to stay connected with all of our church members and pray for them every day and send them a text. We trust in God's sovereignty AND His goodness.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Please Pray for Dougg and LeAnn Custer

Please pray for the Custers' during this uncertain time. Here are some ways that you can be praying for them:
1) We need someone who can take over the WorldVenture on-line learning system as the present coordinator is leaving in 2 weeks. 

2) Mobilizing for global missions is challenging when universities, Bible Colleges and churches are empty! Yet we know God's arm is not too short to move people, as they see many around the world dying from the Corona virus, who have never heard the name of Jesus. Our team is connecting with contacts with notes, via social media or through video calls. Pray God will mobilize people into His harvest through WorldVenture even during / using this pandemic.

3) Like all churches and ministries right now, WorldVenture is dependent on generous giving. We are well aware that some of those givers will undergo financial hardships during this pandemic and beyond. Pray that God will provide through whatever means He desires to use to keep WorldVenture able to fulfill its mandate of sending global workers to the billions who don't know Jesus.

4) Pray that God will give us opportunities to share the gospel with neighbors and others we come in contact with. Pray for Monica and Christy, to whom I sent the book "More than a Carpenter".

5) A praise is that so far things have been working pretty well for our WorldVenture personnel working remotely. Pray for continued good attitudes and progress in tasks that need to be completed.

Thank you for your love for us and your encouragement through prayer. We are grateful for you all.
Love, LeAnn and Dougg

How to Keep Calm During Uncertain Times

Today I was thinking about the recent instruction to make sure that you wash your hands long enough by singing the “Happy Birthday” song. I thought about how integral habits are to daily living. Habits are formed naturally, often without intentional forethought. New habits are hard to develop. Old habits are difficult to break.
I want to offer a few suggestions for you as you consider reshaping some of your own personal and household habits.
Don’t Sing Happy Birthday while washing your hands
Instead, choose a Bible verse or song phrase that will impart a biblical principle. Use this new habit to do more than cleanse the body, use God’s Word to strengthen the mind and heart.
Romans 10:17 reminds us that “faith comes through hearing the words of Christ”. W. A. Criswell said, “No word was spoken for God ever falls to the ground. Somehow, someway, in areas of life that we don’t understand and don’t know, God blesses it in his good purpose”. Use the new habit of frequent hand-washing to literally record audible sounds of God’s Words in your mind and hearts of those in your household. Instead of merely focusing on physical things, build a new habit that instills hope and faith against the very real fears we face in this uncertain time.

Don’t Worry

Paul gives a practical command in Philippians 4:4-9, don’t worry. Instead, he calls for establishing several habits of the mind and heart:
Don’t forget the riches of God’s goodness - “Rejoice in the Lord”. Start conversations in your home; brainstorm about ways you can rejoice in who God has revealed himself to be. Consider the ways you see his faithfulness and goodness in your lives, in the created world, in the ways he’s delivered his people in the Bible, in history, in your family lineage, etc.
Don’t forget God – Remember that God is near, “the Lord is at hand”. This can mean he is “not far from you”, (Acts 17) and/or that his return is imminent. Consider how much you would worry if Jesus was literally present in your home, sheltering with you. Talk about how different things would be in your household.
Don’t let worry rule - Replace to worry with prayer, pray specifically, purposefully and intentionally, instead of dwelling on things that create and foster anxiety and worry. Phil. 4:6 uses 4 different words do describe how to pray, instead of worrying:

Prayer - Engage God honestly with a meek heart

Supplication - Entreat God with humble requests

Requests - Explain the details of your agenda before God

Thanksgiving - Express heartfelt Thanksgiving, knowing that you’ve encountered the God of “Hesed” or steadfast love (see Pastor Daniel’s Sunday morning sermon from March 8th)

Don’t let worry rule - Rest in the promise of God’s protecting peace around your heart. Consider this as a “great exchange”…exchange worry with the promise that the God of Peace will protect you with His peace while you’re experiencing threatening circumstances.
Don’t let your mind and emotions run wild - renew your mind with “thoughts after God”, thinking on things that are true, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellence, praiseworthy.
Don’t forget to feed on God - Read, memorize, meditate and recite God’s WORD. Here are some favorites:

Psalm 19:7-11; Psalm 42:11; Psalm 46; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 119:165; Psalm 56:3; Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 66:1-2
Romans 5:15; Romans 8:31-35; Ephesians 14:21; 2 Thess. 2:16-17

Don’t allow silence to become a blanket of gloom - Make your home a vibrant center of active, audible worship and praise; fill your home with good, godly music
Don’t keep your praise to yourself - Consider recording your worship to share with others, share music with others
Don’t despair - rest in the promise that the very God of Peace has promised to be with you in this trial
Don’t shut down - choose to obey God, practice these things as intentional, daily habits.
Don’t Isolate

I have had more touchpoints with people in the last two weeks than I normally have. These are because I’ve initiated them, but also many people have reached out to Janell and me. The most meaningful have been visual contacts through FaceTime, Zoom, and recorded YouTube. Other random emails and texts from people I’ve not heard from for a few years have been incredibly meaningful to me. This interaction is much different than normal but has been very fruitful and encouraging. Here are some ways for you to consider:

Start with your family, care group, neighbors
Reach out wisely, follow CDC guidelines

Use technology to share encouraging thoughts, scripture, helpful resources, music, poems, links, etc.

Cultivate intentional acts of love for others

Pray for people by name with specific requests for each person

Write out specific prayers and send them via text or email

Record prayers to send via WhatsApp, text, etc.

Offer to run errands for the vulnerable

Consider yard work and spring clean-up

Above all, DON’T LOSE HOPE.
Romans 15:10-14
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people. Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him. The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.I myself am satisfied with you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another."

Kent Kloter