Birdsongs and Sunshine
I’ve been walking a couple times a day since I’m working from home. Yesterday I noticed the forsythia will open in about one more day of sunshine. After that we can expect a few more cold days yet. According to farmer’s wisdom it will at least spit snow three more times before we will have the snow behind us. Morning and evening are noisy with birdsong these days and for a few days in a row we have felt the sun on our heads and gone out in shirtsleeves or a light jacket. Lois is working on making masks and restoring vintage decoratie pieces. We worked out in the yard together in the part of Bittersweet Farm I call the Walnut Grove, picking up windfall branches and burning them. Hope is making press-on nails available on etsy to make a little money while she is laid-off.
I’m doing as much leading and shepherding as I can with my phone and computer devices.Today I was able to use my lapboard across the arms of my rocker and write out on the porch. I make a video for the Bethel family every day. I do this “journal” about weekly. I create two or three story podcast episodes a week. I send an e-mail I call “See Ya’ Sunday” to the Bethel family. Sometimes I am able to encourage people by driving out to their homes and standing out in the yard 8 or 10 feet away and hollering encouragements. Everyone is impacted in some way by this virus, even out here on Bittersweet.
Three Waves of Hardship.
Here is a synopsis of my last three messages to the Bethel Church in short form: We are facing great hardship around the world. It is coming in three waves. A wave of fear, a wave of loss, and a wave of disease and death. When we face these great waves of hardship, Christ is our only answer. Christ is our hope against a wave of fear. Christ is our treasure in a wave of loss. Christ is our very life when we come face-to-face with death. We live among people who are dying and they are not ready to die. They are not ready to face God. They need to know that through Christ they can face fear and loss and death. I will include links the the messages at the end of this page.
Find the Loneliest Person in the Room
Don Carson, a well-known Christian leader, tells a story of his youth in a book about his father.
“When I was in my mid-teens and going through a phase when I wanted to pull away from meetings both local and regional because (I pouted) those who attend didn’t have my interest and all they care about was themselves, and much more of the same, my mother sitting quietly at her treadle sewing machine (for years she made most of our clothes). quietly quoted two or three proverbs, and then added; “He who would have friends must show himself friendly. At the next meeting, before you go into sulk, look around for the loneliest person in the room, and go and find out everything you can about that person. Then find the next loneliest person and do it again.” Inevitably I resented the advice, but I took her up on it and to my amazement was soon regarded as one of the region’s youth leaders.
Basically she was saying, “Think of others, especially the unlovely and listen to others. Care for them, don’t just try to get them to care for you.”
These message I have linked to below are not high-production, but I hope to speak directly to the concerns on the hearts of people these days. I have included links so you can share them with others who are concerned about fear, loss, disease and death.
April 7, 2020
Messages on Dealing With Fear, Loss, and Death.
How to Face Loss
Three Ways to Deal With Fear