Dear Central Oaks (Part 5)

Oh church, you have no idea who you are. You have been raised with Christ. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. You’re already in heaven, church! It’s only a matter of time until your destination is materialized.

That God would allow me to shepherd any of you is a wonder to me. Brenda Underwood is a precious, chosen daughter of God who loves the Lord with all her heart. Shannon Arthur is a warrior in the unseen realm. Ken Millen is a true servant of the Lord. The list goes on and on.

How wonderful is the Lord to us! He gives us His Spirit to comfort us in our affliction, correct us when we stray, assure us when we doubt. And when we don’t feel His presence, He brings His Word to our minds and pushes us to hold on to it for life. And when we don’t have the strength to hold on, He brings us one another to hold up our arms like Moses in the desert when the battle went long (thank you, Andrew Peterson).

God is doing something in this Easter egg hunt coming up soon. Y’all, all we did was put a simple advertisement on Facebook and as of today 119 children have been registered. It seems there may be too many fish for the boat! And of course, you all have gotten (and are getting) those eggs stuffed. Thank you! Joanna and I are working through the logistics of the whole event. I will be sharing the gospel with everyone there. Pray for wisdom and fruit! Oh, also ask the Lord for good weather. I’m afraid if it rains we’ll have to move inside, which may deter some because of COVID concerns.

The Lord has brought us some newer folks who have been coming pretty steadily for the past several weeks. Look for someone you don’t know and introduce yourself on Sunday. (There’s Steve, Dave, Joel, Kim.) I’m seeing more of you folks from Maple Grove intermingle with non-Maple-Grovers. That’s good. Keep it up!

I talked to Shardé Fultz yesterday for a bit. Due to her chronic lung condition she’s been in extremely small quarters since the pandemic hit. She was in good spirits, though, and will be getting the vaccine soon, so she may be able to rejoin us soon! Pray for her though. She is taking steps to get on the lung transplant list. Her lung function has decreased in the past year, and they probably aren’t getting better. But she tells me that a lung transplant doesn’t last very long (average 5 years?). She’s a fighter though. Thank God for the breath of His Spirit that promises us new, resurrected bodies!

This past Sunday those of us who are members welcomed Cyndy Slater, Diane Perkola, and Dan and Gail Bidinger into our membership. Welcome, you four! Start praying for them regularly if you haven’t yet begun. (I plan on teaching a “Membership Matters” course this summer for those of you that are ready to take the step of membership.)

Anticipate things getting busier and busier in your personal lives as well as in our church. More and more people are coming out of their bubbles the more vaccines are administered. We’ll need God’s grace to adjust to a new pace of life. (In case you’re wondering, Lynsey and I plan on getting any vaccine we can receive once we are able.)

Church family, I’ve been ruminating on the importance of us physically gathering together. The timer on the crock pot hasn’t yet interrupted me with it’s ding yet, but I am starting to smell what’s cooking. Ask the Spirit to help me share this word with grace when it’s time to serve the meal.

The church in Châteaubriant gets to worship in person this Sunday! Rejoice in the Lord with me!