This is for the Now.
Surreal does not really capture what is going on around us.
It was more than two months ago that I wrote ‘perhaps this is our new normal… we should stop splashing about, hoping to grab onto a passing lifeboat and instead, put on our own life preserver and start swimming! And not just doggy-paddling, but actually making a decision to THRIVE.'
That came from my first Morning Briefing in the series of 50 days of T.H.R.I.V.E. through the power in the Word of God, utilizing its hope, peace and encouragement. (All are archived at www.pastorwoman.net).
How are you doing? In order to thrive, we have to be present in our days, not just wishing them away--hoping to go to sleep only to wake up and find Covid in our rearview mirrors. It was a few short weeks after I started the THRIVE morning briefings that I began a Thursday morning gathering in a local shopping center parking lot1 so that folks can drive up - stay in their cars if they wish - or get out and sit in beach chairs, but come together to thrive! Community is essential to our well-being.
May I make a bold statement? What we do together on Thursday mornings all of us need to do in brief every single day in order to thrive, in order to flourish. So what do we do? Three things.
1We sing a few songs of praise to God to begin, such as this:
Joy still comes in the morning Hope still walks with the hurting
If you're still alive and breathing Praise the Lord
Don't stop dancing and dreaming There's still Good News worth repeating
So lift your head and keep singing Praise the Lord
. . . Now Your mercy has saved my soul
Now Your freedom is all that I know ~ the old made new
Jesus, when I met You, whoa, what a day
When you called my name and I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness into Your glorious day
You are here, working in this place. I worship You, I worship You
You are Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are
You are . . .
Even when I don’t see it, you’re working
Praising God is essential, however you do it.
**That is why I am teaching through the gospel of John, so that we can be up close and personal with Jesus, but also participate in the divine transaction of meditating on the inspired Words of God. God’s Word is life. We can do no thing that is more meaningful than to seek to know the God of the Bible through the words he gave us.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.2
3Several different people pray at our THRIVE drive-ups; I call it community prayer. If you watch the June 11 you-tube, you see a 10-year-old boy pray on his birthday, a 17-year-old sweetheart of a girl and a 22-year-old young man I have known since he was a boy, kicking the soccer ball down the field with Danny. We ought pray daily to connect with God, but also, friends, if we do not pray fervently to God to come and save, we are not going to pull out of this time of crisis.
I remind you of the words I have recently memorized and endeavor to keep ever before me - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
through the power of the Holy Spirit.3
I take it line by line, unpacking the inspirational promise of hope that I can access . . .
so very powerful and means so much, and definitely allows me to
LIVE IN THE NOW, and gracefully!
1 - San Clemente Outlets parking lot on Vista Hermosa, nearest Chick-Fil-A, 10 AM. Women, men, children and young people - in cars, out of cars, physically distancing but not socially distancing.
2 - Isaiah 40.8
3 - Romans 15.13