Scientists are working diligently on a way to overcome the coronavirus. I know someone who already has. But first, I’d like to ask: How are you doing? Some are doing OK through all this, some are struggling, and some are downright depressed. Some are angry with political leaders or social agitators, and some are scared to death that they might get infected and die from this virus. Almost everyone is frustrated with how long this is dragging on, and all the things that have been closed or canceled. How about you? If the situation is getting you down, here are some suggestions:
Watch the news less, and read your Bible & pray more; get outside each day and walk, or get outside and read, if you are able, and enjoy the fresh air and God’s creation; consider more exercise or losing weight, if needed; contact each of your family members and friends to see how they are doing; contact your doctor if you think you might be depressed or need to adjust any medications; consider talking to a therapist, a trusted friend, or one of our pastors if you need help or encouragement. Our # is 760-726-0590.
Philippians 4:4-9 (worth reading!) tells us to rejoice in all things, to not be anxious about anything, to find the peace of God through prayer, and to focus on the good things in life worthy of praise. No matter what is happening in the world around us, God is still good, and at work in spite of our circumstances. Let me share with you some examples:
■ Our outdoor worship is growing, averaging 300 worshipers for the last 6 weeks. To sing, pray, take communion, and hear God’s Word together out on our beautiful patio has been a wonderful respite from all the turmoil in our country. We have a great series in James, and added a Children’s Moment and activity packet for kids. If you cannot come due to health reasons, we understand; but if you are able, you really ought to come and see how safe and wonderful our outdoor services are. It will renew your spirit and feed your soul.
■ Teams of staff & volunteers come each Sunday morning to set up chairs and tents and sound & worship equipment, or to serve as ushers, greeters, golf cart drivers, communion helpers, hospitality volunteers, refreshment servers, and security staff so we can enjoy worship outdoors. It’s a team effort, and we appreciate every one who helps in any way!
■ Many visitors have been attending Lighthouse, because we can provide quality worship services when many churches are unable to meet, people are still moving here, and people are searching for something to give their lives meaning and hope through challenging times. This is a great time to invite your friends and neighbors.
■ 9 people have placed membership with Lighthouse since March, including 6 baptisms and 2 re-commitments to Christ. That’s worth celebrating! And we recently resumed our student ministry on Tuesdays 6-7 p.m.
■ Offerings have been close to budget during the 21 weeks this has been going on (about $9,100 short). That’s amazing, considering we couldn’t meet for 11 weeks, and attendance since we resumed is about 130-150/week less than before this crisis started, and some families have lost income. God is working through His people to sustain Lighthouse. Thank you for your continued support!
Now to the one who has overcome even the coronavirus:
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
1 John 5:4 says that “everyone born of God overcomes the world.” We have the love and help of God now, and in heaven there will be no more disease or death. So we cannot let this defeat us – our hope in Jesus is greater than any virus!
Mike Openshaw, Senior Minister