Good News for Wednesday, July 22nd
“Rejoice out loud to God, our strength! Shout for joy to Jacob’s God! Take up a song and strike the drum! Sweet lyre along with harp! Blow the horn on the new moon, at the full moon, for our day of celebration… (God) made it a decree for Joseph when he went out against the land of Egypt… ‘I lifted the burden off your shoulders; your hands are free of the brick basket! In distress you cried out, so I rescued you. I answered you in the secret of thunder. I tested you at the waters of Meribah.” -Psalm 81:1-3 & 5-7
For several months now, I’ve been signing off in emails with “Blessings in the wilderness.” That is because, for me, it seems that the Biblical imagery of “wilderness” best describes where we find ourselves in our world today. The photo above is a picture of the Judean wilderness in the Holy Land. This is where many stories in the Bible take place, including Moses and the Israelites wandering and Jesus’ temptations for 40 days and 40 nights. When we look at the picture, we can imagine just how disorienting the wilderness really is. It’s not hard to imagine why the Israelites complained and asked if Moses had any clue where they were going!
But the view changes a bit when you get down and start walking in the wilderness…
When you are actually walking down in the valleys of the wilderness, suddenly you get a different perspective. In a place that seems like anything but life as usual, life goes on and indeed it continues to thrive.
God had done so much for His people, but now they found themselves in the wilderness. One of the things that the wilderness has a tendency to do is it causes tempers to flare. People who were pretty cool-headed back in Egypt suddenly began to complain and started fighting with one another. Psalm 81 talks about the “waters of Meribah.” That is a reference to the place where the Israelites found themselves as they were fighting with Moses and with one another because they were so thirsty, and tired, and done with life in the wilderness. Then God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff and God caused water to pour out of the rock. The people drank the water and were sustained (for at least a little while longer). The two names Moses gave the place- Massa and Meriba- mean testing and quarreling.
We don’t get a rosy picture in the Bible of life in the wilderness… and most of us aren’t all that pleased with what life looks like today either! But look back at how Psalm 81 begins one more time. “Rejoice out loud to God our strength!” With the benefit of hindsight, the Psalmist looks back on the time the Israelites spent in the wilderness and essentially proclaims, “look how great our God is! Look what wonders God can accomplish!”
The Psalmist was able to proclaim the goodness of God hundreds of years later, when the time of Moses was a distant generational memory. I wonder if you and I can do better? Look around you today. Now. Where do you see the majesty and providence of God in your life today? How is the grace of God working in your life right now? Why wait to praise God? Here’s my challenge for you today: Name the good that God is doing in your life today. Next, thank God for what it. And then (and perhaps most important) take the time to share the good God has done with someone else. You never can know… maybe you have just the encouraging word that someone else needs today.
Blessings in the wilderness,
Pastor Andy Blacksher
Connect, Grow and Serve…
Please join us this Saturday, July 25th as we celebrate the life of Marjorie Davis.
The service will begin at 11:00, as we join her family to remember Marj, a long time, and devoted member of Faithbridge Church. For those unable to attend you may join us online at Facebook.live. To join us online visit www.facebook.com/forthelake/.
Giving online is fast, easy and secure. Never worry about your checkbook or cash again – you can set up recurring payments, so your donations continue even when you forget.
1. Visit our website at www.faithbridgelakechurch.com
2. Locate the Give Online button.
If you’d rather give by check, please mail it to: Faithbridge Church, 901 Hwy 42, Osage Beach, MO 65065.
Thank you for your faithfulness in supporting the ongoing ministries of Faithbridge Church!
Online worship details
If you plan to worship online with us this week you have 3 options. Join us on Facebook Live at 9:30am on Sundays, or watch anytime on our website faithbridgelakechurch.com, or join us at our new online campus at https://forthelake.online.church/ on Mondays at 9:30am & 2pm, Wednesday at 7pm (eventually we will add Sunday times as well).
In-person worship details
If you’re ready, we’re ready! In-person worship services have resumed. Seating is limited, however, and you’ll need to make a reservation to ensure we will have a seat for you. You can MAKE YOUR RESERVATION HERE: https://faithbridgechurch.churchcenter.com/registrations
Keep in mind that this isn’t “church as usual.” We have adapted and made provisions to provide a safe environment for worship. It will look and feel very different than what you remember, but if you are ready to come back, we are ready for you!
By our Prayers…
Please remember the following people and situations in your prayers this week:
Kathy Browns- Rusty Fowler’s cousin who is fighting cancer
Perry Legg – Friend of Galen and Josie Barlow is battling the return of inoperable lung cancer. He is a retired law enforcement officer and veteran.
Christy McField – Debbie Geasley’s sister-in-law who has breast cancer
Levin McGee – Sharon and Norm’s grandson needs prayers for doctors to make a confident diagnosis of the problems in his shoulder.
Mary Jo Ware – A friend of Elaine and Bill Griglione is in Louisiana battling Pancreatic cancer.
(To be included in this list, please reply to this email or contact the church office.)