Church, I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers. As your shepherd, I’m asking God to comfort you, strengthen you, and heal you. We know, God is the one who’s able to bring life out of death and to give hope out of fear. That is our faith and our strength. That is what we hold on to.
Amid the COVID-19 season of adhering to social distancing measures, we want you to remain connected. In one of our Facebook groups, you can find a place to belong, receive encouragement, experience authentic community and spiritual growth. We currently offer community groups for men, women, youth, children, young adults, and marriage. Check it out online. Look at it as the hallways and fellowship halls on our campuses and get in on the conversation.
Church, during this time, where we are physically distant from each other, we want you to remain vigilant in where you are consuming your information regarding COVID-19 and our church. We want you to stay connected by reaching out to other church members, receiving the calls coming from my staff and your deacons who are praying with you, and staying connected with the official information coming from the church. Any official information from me (or my leadership team) will come via our website first, then eblast, text, and our social media platforms.
Church family, allow me to give you a few facts that a bright light has shined upon in the last couple of weeks and has been on my mind and heart about the novel Coronavirus. According to the Center for Disease Control, health disparities are differences in health outcomes and their causes among groups of people. Disparities in the African American community are not new to us, however the news of how COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting us, is.
It’s not that we are getting infected more, it’s that when we do, we are more likely to end up in ICU and succumb to COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, and obesity. Astounding, I’d say. Other reasons for disparities in our communities are social economic conditions, health-care access, distrust of the medical community, and multigenerational families in the same house, which makes it impossible for social distancing.
Furthermore, minorities usually have jobs that put them on the front-line in essential roles such as doctors, nurses, radiation technicians, housekeeping, and even retail. Accompanying these facts, the Harris County health officials named zip code, 77084, the zip code of our Queenston campus one of the zip codes with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.
Family, I’m not saying all of this to alarm you, but to ask you to take care of yourself. The way we handle this is by preventing ourselves, and others from getting sick; helping to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus and making sure people who need help can get it. You can find resources here on our website that can help you during this time.
Whenever we hear the word ‘W.O.E’ in the Bible it is never attached to anything good.
Isaiah 5:21 ‘woe to those who are wise in their own eyes’
But I want to offer another ‘woe’ to you. A Word Of Encouragement.
As you know we are in the midst of a pandemic and national crisis due to the spreading of Covid-19. And a word has been floating around that seemingly is on the verge of being lost in our English Lexicon. You have heard this word ever sense the CDC has urged us to stay home and quarantine. And if you must leave make sure it is for the sake of an essential.
But can I use another word if you will? Need. Don’t leave home unless it is for the sake of addressing a need. Please don’t leave home unless there is a need for water, food or hygienic supplies. The country, community and city is begging and pleading with you to only leave your home unless it is for the sake of a need.
At this time as the country is mandated to quarantine, I want to encourage you to lift your gaze toward the scriptures for comfort. In times like these the Word of God is essential to our spiritual survival and thriving. The Apostle Paul wasn’t under a mandatory quarantine but in a maximum security jail in Rome. He writes a letter to the Philippians church, literally pastoring from prison, and it is overflowing with joy, rejoicing and thankfulness for four chapters.
In the conclusion of his letter he reveals a secret that has kept him grounded and centered through his incarceration. And even in this he rejects complacency or even complaining. He had dined sumptuously and had inadequate sustenance. He has lived lavishly and walked in the shoes of the homeless. This has taught him to be content in whatever situation he is in and can say with confidence
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
I know that we are anxious to drive to the HEB and Krogers for food. And I know that there home and hygienic accoutrements available at your local Walmart or Target. But at this time on a higher, heavier and holier level our mind, body and souls have a need now like never before to be enriched only by the one who created us in his image. Jesus Christ.
If you have some questions in the corners of your mind
And traces of discouragement and peace you can not find
Reflections of the old past, they seem to face you everyday
There’s one thing I know for sure, That Jesus is the Way
We all get excited to hear about a life hack that can help us maneuver through everyday life a little better? Well, what if you found out you can have access to a wealth of life hacks that can help you navigate not just your typical day, but your WHOLE life better? During the Life Hack series, we will explore the Bible and discover real life advice that will help you navigate life.
You will connect and interact with your virtual small group via Zoom meetings and conference calls. We have a study for everyone. Sessions begin May 11th. Click here to view schedule.
This Mother’s Day is unique, much like your Mother, who has made life memorable for you. We would like to celebrate phenomenal Mothers with photos of her or a video of you or your children answering one or the following questions:
“What my Mother means to me?”
“What is the most memorable moment you can recall with your Mother?”
Submission deadline: April 27, 2020.Click here for video instructions and to upload photos.
Amid the COVID-19 season of adhering to social distancing measures, we want you to remain connected. In one of our Facebook groups, you can find a place to belong, receive encouragement, experience authentic community and spiritual growth. We currently offer community groups for men, women, youth, children, young adults, and marriage.
One hundred four days into the New Year, and we are living in a national/international pandemic. Our normalcy, which we have taken for granted, has been shifted greatly by COVID-19. We have been asked by our government officials to stay in our homes, and only leave if there is a vital need. These needs may include grocery store shopping, ordering takeout and running to Walmart or Target for hygiene products. In addition to these new standards, if it is necessary to be outside of the house, we should put social distancing into practice while remaining six feet away from anyone in our vicinity. The places where we often frequent have become mighty awkward in response to this pandemic; it is obvious that we are living in a strange land!
In the book of Daniel chapter 3, King Nebuchadnezzar commanded the presence of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. His astrologers, magicians, and satraps have notified Nebuchadnezzar that these exiles will not bow, nor bend before the god that you have made. The King reinforces the Babylonian law to these young men, “when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.” They replied to the King by saying, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.”
These three Hebrew young men were aliens in a foreign land, they had been relocated from Jerusalem and separated from their families, but they refuse to be dislocated from their God. We are essential during times such as these because we are the great cloud of witnesses that serve a God who specializes in things that seem impossible. We must not allow our present circumstances to distort our honor, worship, and praise to the Savior. God is the same God in Jerusalem that He was in Babylon. God is the same God during 9/11, Columbine, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey, and He’s the same God during this worldwide pandemic!
It is my prayer that this finds you safe and trusting God only, knowing He is still in control and He has the whole world in His hand. Isiah 26:3 teaches: He will keep you in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him, because you trusted Him. Pas’ powerful sermon on Sunday, 3/29/2020 from Job 42 taught me what to say when someone asks what God is saying to us in times such as these. He said to tell them, God is saying confess that He is omnipotent, all powerful and knows just what He’s doing. He can’t fail. Although we are in a season of uncertainty, a time when we can’t gather with family members, a time where we can’t hold the hand of ailing loved ones, a time where we run in the other direction when someone sneezes, a time where face coverings are the norm, a time when our government strongly encourages us to SOCIALLY DISTANCE ourselves, the saints remain SPIRITUALLY CONNECTED.
Please remain in prayer, connect with us on our website, social media platforms, and trust God even more.