WEEKLY UPDATE - APRIL 27-MAY 2, 2020

Weekly Update
April 27 ~ May 2, 2020

Hello Members and Friends of 1st Presbyterian Church:

Some of the signs of spring are here, early spring flowers coming up, buds on some trees and people mowing lawn. Now if the weather would cooperate we could get out and soak up some of the sun.

Yesterday was the C.R.O.P. Walk which took a different form this year. I don’t have the results yet but I should have them by next week.

As you know the stay at home order has been extended to just before Memorial Day. I was hoping that we would be able to have services at the church before that but I doubt that will happen. We will record Sunday services and post them on YouTube. We don’t always record on the same day of the week because Jesse (the gal that does the recording) works a day job so we record late afternoons or perhaps on Saturday. The service will always be available by Sunday and possibly on Saturday.

Thank you for your continued support of our church through your prayers and your financial giving. Those gifts are truly appreciated. Have a good week, be safe and be well.

Blessings,
Pastor Lee

 

April 27 – National Prime Rib Day National Teach Children to Save Day

April 28 – National Blueberry Pie Day National Poetry Reading Day

April 29 – National Shrimp Scampi Day Dancers’ Day

April 30 – Anniversary of the debut of Bugs Bunny (1938)
                  Hairstylist Appreciation Day (I think we appreciate them more every day)

 

TRIVIA!!
As a result of legislation passed by Congress in November 2004, America’s national tree is the oak. This designation is a result of a vote taken by the National Arbor Day Foundation on its website. The runner-up was the redwood, with dogwood, maple and pine rounding out the top five.

 

DAFFYNITIONS …
Indisposed: How da photographer wants you to stand.

Bernadette: What you call a woman throwing her bills in the fire.

Absentee: Missing golf accessory.

Bassoon: If I don’t catch a bassoon, I’ll never go fishing here again.

Aftermath: Period following Algebra

Bird watcher: Person who likes to watch fowl play.

 

SOME THING TO THINK ABOUT …
An elderly woman had a window seat on a big 747 jetliner that had just taken off from New York and was headed for Rome. This was a trip that she had been scrimping and saving for for years. This trip would fulfill her dreams of traveling to Europe and visiting some exotic places that she had read about all her life. But since this was her first flight she was terrified! She kept saying to herself: O Lord, what am I doing up here? Even the stately presence of 4 bishops seated behind her didn’t help.

When the plane got to cruising altitude, with fear and trembling, she finally opened her eyes and peeped out the window just in time to see one of the plane’s 4 engines break loose from the wing and disappear into the clouds below. She began yelling “We’re going to die! We’re going to die.”

In the midst of her screaming the pilot came on the speaker system and said, “Please don’t be alarmed. We have lost one engine but we can easily get back to the airport and land safely.” The flight attendant also went to this woman and assured her that no one would die. Then to calm and reassure this woman the flight attendant said, “Please don’t worry my dear. God is with us. We may only have 3 engines, but look behind you. There are four bishops.”

To this the woman replied, “I’d rather have 4 engines and 3 bishops.”

 

And isn’t it true. In times of fear, in times of the unknown such as this COVID-19 we want something solid, something reliable, something we can trust to get us through that situation. Something we can hang onto.

In 1978 Helen and I visited the Holy Lands with a group of students and a professors from the seminary that I was attending. (University of Dubuque Theological Seminary) One day we visited the remains of the city of Masada, which is located in the area of the Dead Sea. The city itself is on a high hill and you can get to it by walking up the hill or taking the cable car. I would like to have walked, but because of the time element we had to take the cable car. No problem going up. Coming down was another story.

When the car starts its decent, there is a rigid support that the cable rests on. The support is 10 to 20 feet long. When the car gets to the end of that support it sort of drops. This is simply the slack in the cable being taken up. The result is that the car drops about a foot or two and bounces a bit. No big deal.

Yes, it was a big deal. You are not expecting that “slight” drop. Here you are hundreds of feet from the ground and about 40 feet from the platform with the sensation that you are falling. The car is filled with seminary students, student pastors, a seminary professor. But the only thing that made a difference to me was that fact that I was hanging onto one of the poles. In my fright the pole gave me a sense of security. Even if the car actually had fallen the pole would have been of no use to me. Later I learned that they had to replace that pole because I had crushed it. (Just kidding. I only put a dent in it)

We live in days of fear. We may not be in a plane where an engine fell off. We may not be in a cable car hundreds of feet above the ground, but COVID-19 is out there and it scares us because we cannot see it or feel it and it is just lurking waiting for us to let our guard down. The upside is that I have the cleanest hands I have ever had.

Today we are not thinking much about terrorism, hijackings, kidnappings, the alarming rate of drug use among all classes of people, the ozone layer, or toxic dumps. We look for signs of hope and we find some in the fact that General Motors and Ford are manufacturing items for the medical workers to help cure this virus. There are other smaller companies that are making medical protective equipment.

Georgene Johnson, a 42 year old mother of two, intended to run a race. Two races were being run at the same time and place, the 26.2 mile Cleveland marathon and a 6.2 mile mini-marathon. When bolted from the starting line, she assumed she was running with a small number of mid-distance runners. About four miles later, she realized that she had actually started with 4,000 runners in the long marathon.

Georgene had never run more that eight miles before. Facing all twenty-six miles was intimidating. The next day Georgene said: “As stupid as I felt out there running, I’m proud of myself. I guess I was in better shape than I thought. I feel fine although my knees are really sore this morning.

And here is the point. We are in a lot better shape than we may think. We must keep watch, stand fast and trust God’s timing with the reassurance that one day our deliverance will surely come. The writer of Hebrews says this in the 11th chapter, 1st verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen.”

May each of us, especially in these uncertain times, experience God’s love, God’s hope, God’s saving power which comes to us through Jesus Christ.

Be well & blessings always,
Pastor Lee