Weekly Note | April 20th

Surprise!  Tuesday morning brought a very brief shower.   It was what we call back in Texas a “foot rain” – about 12” apart!  Clouds and sky have been putting on a nice show over the last several days.  Their varying colors and shapes and sunlight have provided variety to our view.

A friend of mine, Bob Hayes from Amarillo, sends out a daily email with quotes, thoughts, and pictures.  Many of them are his own, some are from his readings.  This morning, he sent me an email with the “current findings amid the Coronavirus crisis” that were supposed to clear up misinformation and confusion.  Under which he supplied twenty-three contradictory statements.  Many of them we’ve heard.  Like: “Everyone needs to stay inside, but it’s important to get out.”; “Gloves are great, except they can help spread the virus.”; and, “The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Not necessarily.”  Goodness!  I hope we’ve been clearer than that in our communication.

Here we have Carl Blackburn steadying the first of two pumps to be removed from our sewer pump system under the courtyard.  That pump is 6’7” long!  There’s two of them!  This one had holes in the riser tube.  We’re going to need to replace both as well as the check-valves.

Now Carl couldn’t do this alone and without some guidance, so I took a picture of his supervisor as well.

Mark Lightle doing his best with what he’s got to

work with. 😊

Really though, we have much to thank them for all the work they have been doing around the church facilities.  That list is a l-o-n-g one!  It includes weeks of work on remodeling the Annex, managing vendors to work on heating at The Landing, and landscaping, and sprinkler repair.  Thanks Carl and Mark!

Speaking of the Annex, we’re closing in on moving furniture, books, files, and all the rest.  We may be calling a few of you for assistance.  Please don’t send our calls to voicemail. 😊  I’m looking forward to having every settled and in place and being able to see others face to face.

We, I just ended staff meeting for today.  Due to not being together because of the stay-at-home orders, we have been twice a week via Zoom.  I want to share some information and ask for you input on some matters.

  • The Children, Youth and Family Department of the state is considering opening up the remaining daycares on May 4. Debbie is seeking to find out what demand there will be among her clients.  This may give us some insight about the state’s leadership is considering about opening up work across all occupations.
  • We spent significant time discussing what adjustments we’ll need to make when we are able to once again gather for worship. Whew!  There’s a lot to think about. For example, Greeters will not be offering handshakes when people arrive.  They may hand out bulletins and the like.  Communion will be provided in a different way for the foreseeable future.  Seating will likely have to change some so that we’re properly distanced from each other.  Life Groups will need to meet in larger spaces than small classrooms, so your group might meet in the Gym or get some chairs and meet outside somehow.  How many will come back having experienced the convenience of watching a worship / message at home?  LOTS to be considered!
  • How do we go about doing ministry now! We’re researching some possibilities that will include opportunities of service to our area, community and neighborhood.
  • I’m prayerfully considering how we can parlay the use of our newly enlarged digital video capacity to “air” on mid-week Bible study and / or an intercessory prayer time on Facebook or some other format.

For Your Information, this week I am preparing my message a little differently as I will not only be speaking to you at RiverStone Church but any listening in on KNMI Vertical Radio.  I am in a 8-week rotation with other pastors who participate in OneChurch worship and service.

Hebrews 12:3 encourages us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  That can be an acquired habit.  Did you know that that according to the National Bureau of Standards, a dense fog covering seven city blocks and one hundred feet high, is composed of less than one glass of water?  When that small amount is aerated into about 60 billion droplets, and they settle over a city, then can blot out nearly everything from sight.  I know, it boggles my mind, too.

Sometimes when people are living “in a fog”, they are simply allowing a cupful troubles to cloud their vision and dampen their spirits.  Anxiety, conflict, and defeat paralyze their thinking.  Their vision or attention are fixed on that rather than the possibilities and opportunities.

Yes, the Coronavirus has brought us many difficulties and frustrations and even tragedy. But we now have a whole new set of opportunities not before available.  I want to invite you to join me in praying for God’s inspiration and empowerment to share His Good News in word and deed with those around us.

One of the opportunities that is prayer.  I believe God is calling us to a special time of prayer fixing our eyes on Jesus praying with Chronicles 7:13-14 in mind.  It reads, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague  among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

However this plague has come to us, let’s’ take God at His Word.  Let’s eek His face together in prayer.  Join with me in praying asking the Holy Spirit to show us from what do we (I) need to repent?  Asking Him to hear our sincere desire to be a holy people, consecrated to Him.  Intentionally reading His Word.  Interceding for one another and our needs, but also and maybe most especially, the needs of our neighbors and community. (Just this morning I heard that all but two people of one oil / gas company’s operations being laid off except due to the oil price crash.)  Let’s pray about how we can best minister to our community in a time when so many assumptions no longer apply, and needs are escalating in number and intensity.  Please pray!!!!

Like the old chorus goes, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus!”

Your Pastor,


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