May 2020 Newsletter
SAVE THE DATE
5/10 | Mother's Day
5/25 | Memorial Day
For the month of May, we ask that you join us in praying for not only our nation, but the world! Pray that if it is part of God’s will that this virus would dissipate, that He would awaken the hearts of the people in our land and across the world, that they would repent and turn to Christ, and keep their eyes on Him alone.
Also, as Mother’s Day approaches we pray it a blessed time for all moms! We also ask for God’s peace for those with estranged relationships with their mothers, those who are longing to be mothers, and those who are remembering their moms this Mother’s Day.
TRUE OR FALSE
by Bill Powell
I recently saw a picture on Facebook after Jacksonville lifted the ban on going to the beach. It showed crowds of people bunched up together. The picture was portraying what a bad idea it was to let people go to the beach. It was later pointed out that it was a picture of a California beach because you could see the mountains in the background. The truth was that the Jacksonville beach had sporadic people keeping their distance. In 1994, Harold Camping predicted that Judgement Day was coming on or around September 6th, 1994. I think that would put him in the false prophet category. As the facts come out concerning this Coronavirus, finding the truth is getting harder and harder. We all get a kick out of the statement, “It must be true. I saw it on the internet.”
Let me throw in that there are the half-truths and the not completely false. Remember the predictions on how many people were expected to get the virus and how many would die? Yes, it is true this was a bad virus. Yes, it is true many people have died but not even remotely close to what was expected. Remember, the reason for the drastic steps taken to quarantine was to flatten the curve. We grew up with a common saying from our parents, “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
It will be interesting to see what the truth and the facts are after the dust settles. If we ever get the truth. The media uses lies and half-truths to influence and sway opinion. Social engineering through propaganda is not new. Are you seeking the truth and the facts, or are you emotionally driven? The Bible has much to say concerning truth. It is worthy of a word study. We should be people of truth and listen and follow those who teach truth. You might say, “What is truth?” and my answer is, “God’s word is truth.” (Joh 17:17 NASB) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
(Exo 18:21 NASB) "Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens.
We are to be careful not to be swayed by every wind of doctrine.
(Eph 4:14 NASB) As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
While you are doing the word search for “truth”, add to it the word “doctrine”. The Scriptures will give you the value of sound doctrine. Truth matters. For those of you old enough, I leave you with a saying from a famous guy named Joe Friday, “The facts ma’am. Just the facts.”
One last fact. We did fall far short of our goal during Sharathon. Please consider us as your finances allow.
by Chris Johnson
"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."
If there's anything that's come from the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are many things, maybe one of those things is a conviction that we take far too much for granted. During these last several weeks we've witnessed the world come to a halt and the lives of nearly every person on planet earth altered and shuttered. We've come face to face with the fragility of life, the fear of death and disease and the reality that life as we know it can change in the blink of an eye. The Scriptures make this reality altogether clear time and time again. The lives of people like Job, Naomi, Joseph and countless others portray life as it really is. A series of twists and turns, ups and downs and yet the average person lives each day with the expectation that tomorrow will be very much like today. Oddly enough, daily life can seem mundane at times and rather predictable. Maybe a few months ago the "mundane" life that we lived seemed drab but many would love to return to the freedom to come and go, the security of a daily job and the joy of gathering together on the Lord's Day to worship King Jesus together with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Surely, in the days ahead some of the "normal" things of life will return. Certainly there will be changes made and life as we know it will be very different but maybe, just maybe this passage from James 4 will make a little more sense to us and provide a measure of caution and faithfulness to follow the Great Shepherd and humble ourselves to His will. After all, even the wild ride that we've been on in these recent days are ultimately part of His master plan that's leading to the Second Coming of Jesus and the guaranteed promise of the New Heavens and the New Earth.
Lord willing, during this season of life we've learned some valuable lessons about priorities, relationships, wise management and stewardship of God's provisions, and the misty nature of this life but the eternal life that is to come. I pray we've been convicted of sin that's gone unnoticed or ignored, and I pray our love for the Master and for Jesus' body has been restored and renewed. Lord willing, we've learned. Lord please be willing.
TO THANK A FARMER
by Denisha Stearns
I heard it said recently that it was easy to be a farmer. All you have to do is put a seed in the ground, water it, and the food comes up. Is that all? I can do that, I thought. Seed, ground, and water. I had all three at my house. And by the looks of all the farmers’ gardens in my neighborhood, it should be pretty easy. So, back in January, Hubby and I set out to plant our garden. While I dropped the seeds in the starter tray and generously sprinkled the water hose, my husband did the one hard job with the tiller in the 15-by-30-foot plot. Peas, beans, squash, tomatoes, beets, spinach- the whole salad!
The peas and the mustards were our first-borns (within a week), followed by the beans and tomatoes a few days later. I called them my “babies”. After all, we gave them life-giving water every other day and shielded them from TWO potential frost nights- easy! I thought that was all we had to do. Then, Hubby gave me the bad news. I have to pull weeds? Not long after they were sproutlings, the spinach and beet babies failed, and then the squash babies started to get sick. So, upon consulting the current Dr. Spock of the gardening world, A.K.A “You Tube”, we were unpleasantly surprised. Oh, we have to test the soil for missing nutrients? And we have to do WHAT with any larvae we find? A bit like the demand that babies require, we needed to tend to the garden almost daily.
The garden looks promising at the moment, and though the farming hasn’t been all that easy, Hubby and I have marveled. Right now, our tomato plants have “jungle fever” –tall and bushy with a promise to bring big, bright-red blisters of fruit soon. If the pests and disease stay away, maybe we’ll even have a sharable yield of veggies and fruits. My big takeaway from this experience? Sowing, reaping, pests, and harvest are all events I now understand on a deeper level. This helps me understand the Bible a bit better too where the Bible’s text mentions these things. If you are a Christian, you can thank God you are included in His harvest through his Son, Jesus. And if you like to eat, you can thank a farmer.
WONDERFUL, MERCIFUL SAVIOR
by Christina Hutchinson
Hello friends! It’s been a little while since I have thrown my voice through the airways! It’s also been a little while since I have written a newsletter article. I’m hoping I’ve still got it! I sure do miss being at the Cornerstone on a regular basis. Currently, while writing this, I’m at home sitting next to one of the most beautiful miracles I have ever laid eyes on, my daughter Cora Mae. Cora is already two months old, which I find so hard to believe she’s been here that long already, and everyone around me keeps telling me “don’t blink.” Trust me when I tell you I’m trying my best not to.
Cora is what we call our “rainbow” after the “storm.” My husband and I were facing the trial of miscarriages before finally having our baby girl, making her our “rainbow baby.” Right now the world is going through a trial of facing an “unseen enemy,” Covid-19. As Christians we know all too well what facing an “unseen enemy” is like, because we face it everyday. The good news is that we have been given everything we need in order to face times of adversity. No matter the outcome, God is faithful in providing, protecting, and loving His people. We know this because God’s word tells us so and we see evidence of this in our everyday lives.
You more than likely know the song “Wonderful, Merciful Savior.” That song comes to mind when I think about what we are all going through right now. That even in the midst of this storm, God is still merciful and wonderful and we are to continue to praise Him even though we don’t understand why all of this is happening.
Oh mighty infinite father
Faithfully loving your own
Here in our weakness you find us
Falling before your throne
You are the one that we praise
You are the one we adore
You give the healing and grace our
Hearts always hunger for
I don’t know about you, but the moment that I switch my focus away from the storm and focus on The Lord, there’s an overwhelming peace. My heart is filled with hope. I hope that it is the same for you when you take time to praise The Lord and remember His faithful love and mercy.
PS Here are some pictures of Cora Mae <3