A week and a half ago we were pulling together the final details and putting up the last of the decorations for our Vacation Bible School. The volunteers from a number of our Valley churches were getting their costumes ready as we prepared to take the children on a Wilderness Escape with the Israelites as they left captivity in Egypt with Moses and followed God into an unknown future.
During those first three evenings the messages were "God is with us", "God provides what we need", and "God gives us strength" so... TRUST GOD!
We were not able to finish the week as the wildfires burned more homes, disrupted power, and even threatened the church neighborhood. It was sad for the VBS team to not be able to complete the week and present an invitation to receive Jesus as their Savior, but we've been reflecting on the message of those first three days. It's pretty obvious that God knew what He was doing to plant that message in all of our hearts and minds as we entered into a scary and stressful time. We needed to be reminded to TRUST GOD!
What a difference a day makes! I found this comparison view of before and after while scrolling through Facebook. How many times have we driven along this stretch of road without ever imagining the inferno it became this last week? We don't know the future... but we do know the One who holds the future!
This coming Sunday, July 27th, we'll we taking a look at Psalm 105. It's a song that "takes us back" to remind us about God's faithfulness in the history of the nation of Israel (telling the story we focused on during VBS). We need to remember the past - it's God's way of strengthening our faith for the future.
I'm so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful community - both within this valley and within our church! We each face both known and unknown challenges in the weeks, months, and years to come. But we face them together with one another and with our faithful, strong and loving God. Praise his name!
During the summer of 1980 I worked for a high school friend of mine who had started a yard care business. Each day I got up and went to different homes where Mark and I would mow yards and weed gardens. On a good day we were able to listen to the radio as we weeded flower beds and laid sod. One of the songs I specifically remember hearing a lot on the radio was Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me". It's a catchy tune, but the lyrics don't have much to say (which is appropriate since the song is about the disposable nature of pop music). Whenever I hear the song on Sunny FM, I think of the pickup truck full of grass clippings and that summer.
Songs have a powerful connection to memory which is probably why many of us learn things better when the info is put to a tune. Those of you around my age can probably recite the entire preamble to the Constitution... as long as we sing it a la the "Schoolhouse Rock" song from Saturday morning TV. Many of you can also recite passages of scripture because of a song.
The book of Psalms was the songbook of the Hebrew people and it expresses the entire spectrum of emotions of God's people from joy to sorrow - bitterness to victory - fond memories to regret. These songs were sung as they worshiped, but also as they traveled, worked, and rested. They were the soundtrack of their lives.
Beginning this Sunday, June 13th, we'll be looking at a number of different Psalms and the types of emotions and truths they express. We'll begin at the very beginning (a very good place to start...) with Psalm 1. It's a song for the road - just be careful that you're on the right road! I hope to see you there.
Vacation Bible School starts Monday!
Be sure to get your children, grandchildren, and neighbors signed up to participate in the Wilderness Adventure that will take place next week each evening from 6:30-9:00 PM at church. If you can plan on staying after worship this Sunday you can help get things set up. There may also be some ways you can still help provide, so check with Mandy.
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church