Dear Springs of Grace Church Family,
Grace and peace. It has been another long and amazing week. I look forward to praying together this evening (in the ways we can) and worshipping together tomorrow. If you haven’t heard the news today, our Mayor has issued a shelter-in-place order through April 16. Which means, unless we were compelled to disobey our governmental authorities (and I am not at all at this time thinking that way), we will be live stream only for our services for a few more weeks. I love us being together and miss it tremendously, but I am thankful for the different ways it has encourage our body to care for one another, pray for one another and love one another during this phase of this pandemic.
I want to encourage you to not grow weary in doing good, but to excel still more in your love for one another. May the Lord help us to not only love our church family well, but all those God gives us an opportunity to love.
Our motivation for obeying the instructive of the government and even making that decision before it was directed – has never been about self-protection, but about love. We desire to, as Paul says in Titus, to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all respects. That means letting the gospel – and the work of Jesus and who God is – be seen as beautifully as it truly is – and let that beauty show up in our lives in the way we act and love and serve and pray and worship…and I’m sure in a myriad of other ways.
I am praying for you and counting on you being the hands and feet and heart and mind of Jesus in every way you can. He is committed to be in us and with us.
WE WILL ONLY LIVE STREAM OUR WORSHIP SERVICE TOMORROW AT 10:45 AM. Please go to www.springsofgrace.church and click on the link. There are better preachers out there and tons of options for live streaming worship services – but in what ways we can – I want us to worship together. So, PLEASE DON’T JUST WATCH – PARTICIPATE WITH US AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Stand when we stand, pray when we pray, join us in the responsive reading and Scripture memory and then after the service – consider how you might contact someone to stir them up more towards love and good deeds. Some of you might consider hosting a discussion online about the message through one of the social media platforms. We can video talk through zoom or other mediums and I would love to participate with you in that.
PLEASE PLAN ON JOINING US FOR A Q&A TIME WITH DR. BRANDON GANZER AND PASTOR JOE at 7:00 pm on Sunday night. If you haven’t seen the email with instructions go to our website or this link for that information.
We still do not have an option for kids’ bible study for Sunday morning this week, but we are working on it. Spring Kids will happen again this week and I encourage you to send in short videos that can be included. We continue to work on the best ways to communicate with all of you. We sent out a request for you to update your church directory information and indicate to us what portion of that you would be fine with sharing within the church body. We trust your judgment and want to honor that but need your feedback. If you have ideas, please pass them on.
I want to encourage you again tonight to join us for prayer around your dinner time. As you prepare to eat dinner (before or after), let’s take some time to pray for those impacted by the Corona Virus.
Please pray for those in New York City, New Jersey, Italy, China, Spain, Iran, France, Germany and the United Kingdom who have been most impacted
Pray for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones (currently over 30,000 as of this writing according to the World Health Organization (WHO)
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Shreveport and in New Orleans. Pray for Jahill Richards and the other elders at Springs of Grace, Shreveport as they face these difficult days
Pray for those who are currently sick from the virus
Pray for the spread of the virus to stop
Pray for the medical personnel who are treating those who are sick
Pray for the medical personnel in our church (Dr. Brandon Ganzer, Dr. Grace Yoon, Dr. Johanna McKaskill, Dr. Nathan Smith, Dr. Tim Condie, Dr. Sergii Alekseiev , Dr. Shaun Peters, Dr. Hae-Jean Peters, Dr. Greg Lewis (in the Philippines) and nurses – Carol Benson, Erica Raguse, Lottie Blankenship, Faith Ruffenach, Nate Boone, Noemi Wells, as well as other medical personnel like Krista Burton who as a physical therapist at St. John’s is in the thick of it or people in our church who may have increased challenges and opportunities during this pandemic)
Pray for those who have lost jobs and income
Pray for our missionaries – Nick and Renee’ Gathers in the Middle East (they are under strict quarantine and experiencing many challenges in their international community), Carrie Moss and Sveta Gusieva in Ukraine (Agape House is currently closed and they asked that we might pray for the patients who are without much care who otherwise would be treated at Agape), Dorothea Schultz in Thailand, Greg and Lois Lewis and family in Philippines (Philippines is under lockdown and Greg is serving as a COVID-19 task force for their city)
Pray for hospital administration and our government leaders as they make very difficult decisions
Pray for Christians (and particularly us at Springs of Grace) to model “do not be afraid” and “love your neighbor”
Pray for those who have greater fears of isolation
Pray for those who have greater risks from this virus
Pray for one another in our church family (consider calling five people in the church and getting prayer requests directly from them)
Pray for our live stream worship service tomorrow – that God might use it to bless and love, encourage and help and that Jesus might be lifted up in ways that many might see His glory and fall more in love with Him
Pray for the gospel witness from God’s people to go forth in the midst of a heightened awareness of the brevity of this life
Pray for our church staff and leaders as we try to find creative, God-honoring and helpful ways to serve our church and neighbors
I miss you and look forward to our time tomorrow. Let us know how we can serve you.