so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:27
Pray team Jesus for Pastors and all Churches…….I love the pictures of old Churches….I think of all the Preachers that served in them. I don’t know their names but I thank the Lord for their service to that Church and the body of Christ. Janice Polk White from Minnesota takes the most wonderful pictures of old Churches. If those walls could talk! As we face this pandemic, let us be more united in Jesus than ever before. Let us shine for Jesus greater than ever! Let us show an unbelieving world JESUS and HIS ways! Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook of a layperson attacking a Pastor. Not good. This person claims to be a Christian, but this is not the behavior of a Christian. We will not move the Bride of Christ forward with this type of behavior. This type of ugly shows an unbelieving world what it wants to see from Christians. UNITY IN JESUS! THE LOVE OF JESUS!
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.”
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another:
just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.
We are praying for all Churches! Please continue to tithe to your Church.
I watched the Governors news conference yesterday. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is very determined to keep the state shut down for now. The Governor shared that social distancing is slowing the spread of COVID-19, but the state has a long way to go. ABQ Journal Report
Threat of Gang Warfare in ABQ:
We thank the ABQ Journal for this report and making us all aware of this evil.
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” Eph 4: 17, 18.
The Scriptures call the mind of the natural man “blinded” 2 Cor. 4:4, “depraved” Romans 1:28, “corrupt” 1 Tim. 6:5, and “unspiritual” Col. 2:18. The natural mind thinks from a humanistic, sin-debased viewpoint. The viewpoint of the flesh directs its thoughts. The sinful mind is under the control of Satan and can never please God because it concentrates on things of the world and not things of the Spirit. The natural mind walks the road of hopelessness and self-destruction.
My reports from Yesterday:
Yes! This is very troubling! I just got this news release from the NM House GOP:
House GOP Representatives urge Governor to reconsider policies on hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis
Santa Fe, NM– In recent weeks, reports have arisen that hospitals in New Mexico are reducing the hours and pay of some of their employees. The move is a direct result of the Governor’s order to pause elective surgeries and restrict patient care in order to free up space for COVID-19 patients. The intentions of the executive order are well-intended to curb the spread, and prevent an overburdening of the healthcare system in the state. However, the policy is placing serious financial burdens on rural New Mexico hospitals, leading some to consider or implement fiscal policies that put hospital systems and their employees in financial risk.
“I am concerned that our hospital employees are being overlooked, despite being on the front lines of the crisis,” said Representative Rebecca Dow (R-T or C), “We are in this together and I know that opening the lines of communication will result in common sense solutions that protect and serve the health and well-being of New Mexicans.”
Several House Republicans sent a letter to Governor Lujan Grisham asking for the Department of Health to work closely with rural health providers to develop a plan of action that will allow them to serve their communities while also reducing the spread of COVID-19. This adjustment to the emergency order will allow rural hospitals to provide much needed care that has been delayed. Examples of care that is being delayed includes critical dialysis visits, cancer treatment, and physical therapy. The Republican legislators contend that collaborative efforts between rural hospitals and the Department of Health will produce a working plan that both protects and serves the best interest of New Mexico communities, especially those with already limited resources.
“The health and safety of New Mexicans is paramount and we must collaboratively work to find solutions that are viable for our communities” said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend, “As we move forward in the crisis it is increasingly clear that a one-size fits all approach does not necessarily work for the vastly different communities in our state.”
My earlier postings from Today:
Please pray over all these prayer needs, please Team Jesus!
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
Let us be in constant prayer for all of our Native American friends. It breaks my heart as to see how hard it they have been hit from the virus. I was on the phone this week with a man who was arranging to help send masks to the area. Please be in prayer for all people.
Yesterday our daughter Gretchen was placed on temporary leave at the hospital she works for. So now, both our son Lars and daughter Gretchen are out of work like so many others in America. Prayers for all!.
This is needless to say a very difficult time for our healthcare workers. Many New Mexico hospitals are furloughing employees. Report Here
So very many prayer needs, so many have had their lives turned upside down. I weep for those in need, I weep for America.
I first saw this report on Facebook last night. I waited to make sure it was correct. Legacy Church in Albuquerque led by Pastor Steve Smothermon has filed a request for an injunction in Federal court in an effort to block Governor Lujan Grisham’s order against Churches.
Pastor Smothermon is quoted in this mornings ABQ Journal saying, “I don’t care what is going on, you don’t attack the church.” ABQ JOURNAL UPDATE
Here is a report I posted yesterday:
Happy Resurrection Sunday!!! We are praying over this news and all Pastors and congregations. I am thankful for the leadership of NM House Whip Rod Montoya, he is all about GOD’S TRUTH! Rod Montoya stands strong for God’s Babies at the Capital! He stands strong for all of New Mexico! Governor material here! Pastors and worship leaders have worked so hard to be in compliance of the Governors orders, now this! FGGAM NEWS just received this news release:
House Republican Whip Rod Montoya (R-Farmington), pictured above
Republican Whip Rod Montoya responds to Governor’s order to ban churches and places of worship
Farmington, NM- With just over 8-hours to go before Easter Sunday, the Governor’s office sent out an emergency executive order adding churches and places of worship to her list of banned mass gatherings. The email was sent out to the media by the Governor’s spokesperson at 4:47pm. It is unknown when this order went out to the many churches and places of worship in New Mexico.
Churches across New Mexico state have opted to broadcast their services online instead of holding in person services to help stem the spread of Coronavirus. This despite the fact they were exempted from the Governor’s social distancing orders. The Governor’s order today eliminating the faith exemption now means that churches across our state will be violating her order by broadcasting Easter services because it often requires more than 5 people to broadcast a service.
“It is simply impossible for churches to produce an online service without having more than five people in a room.” said House Republican Whip Rod Montoya (R-Farmington). “Governor, despite what you think, these services are essential! To make this decision the day before Easter is egregious. I am advising churches across our state to continue to produce and offer online services going forward; this order today cannot and will not stand.”
The way we live often speaks far louder than words.
Please Read this from Russell Moore of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
of the Southern Baptist Convention
This Easter is different for all of us. Our churches are empty, and many of us are not able to gather with our family members and friends to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ as we normally would. Given that, I’ve written an op-ed for Christianity Today about a facet of the Easter story that has added importance in light of this moment. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read it this evening.
From this morning:
It broke my heart not to be at FBC in Reserve, NM to give the Sunrise Service message. I recorded an extended Resurrection Sunday message, “It’s Really Him! He’s Alive!” which is posted on the front page of this website, we like many Christian websites had a ton of traffic yesterday. PTL! Our radio ministry program “House of Hope” also aired on 5 radio stations yesterday, reaching parts of eastern South Dakota, northern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota where it was snowing yesterday! My cousin Diane lives on a farm by Storden, Minnesota and they got over 10 inches! I was super blessed to see all the services on Facebook from all over the world!!!!!!!!!! PTL!!! I was even more blessed to watch my mentor Pastor Paul Holt hit a grand slam for JESUS! What message! Had to use that baseball term, miss baseball and softball also! Pastor Paul leads the flock at First Baptist Church in Magdalena, NM. He is one of my main mentors! Paul did a parking lot service. He obtained an FM transmitter to broadcast into the cars and trucks of his congregation and visitors. It was a super blessed service, You work with what you got! The message was one of the best Resurrection Sunday messages I have heard in my life! I love rural America, you will be so very blessed if you ever get the opportunity to visit a rural church one day. Another mentor of mine, Pastor Randall Floyd of Clayton, NM Assembles of God has been doing his service on Facebook and YouTube. Pastor Randall has been using all technology available for a long time to get the message out to the world. Forward thinking! Pastor Randall always has such a Biblical based message in love. I have not heard his Resurrection message yet, but will listen today. I am so thankful for Pastor Paul Holt and Pastor Randall Floyd. I have to also add since I know them both very well, they have such wonderful wives that help them so very much in the ministry! Jo Holt and Cindy Floyd. Love you guys!
Just think, the Body of Christ was not able to gather together in person for the first time in about 2,000 years……..
Read time: 5 minutes | Read online
A church fills its empty pews with pictures of its members: How the joy of Easter Sunday can change the world on Monday
In The Daily Article for April 13, 2020
A church in Florida appeared to be full yesterday, but this is because members of the congregation emailed photos of themselves to the staff, who then printed the images and taped them to the backs of seats in the sanctuary.
Welcome to Easter Sunday 2020.
A church in South Carolina had Easter services in their parking lot as members watched on large outdoor screens while listening to the broadcast over local radio. A youth pastor in Arlington, Texas, created an Easter egg hunt for children using the online video game Minecraft, a strategy which gained national attention.
A church in North Carolina has held a sunrise Easter service for 250 years, even through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and two World Wars. But for the pandemic, the celebration was replaced by an online service.
Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of the Los Angeles diocese was right: “Our churches may be closed but Christ is not quarantined and his Gospel is not in chains.”
Boris Johnson is home from the hospital
Now it’s the Monday after Easter. What difference did yesterday make today?
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital Sunday morning to continue his recovery from COVID-19 at home. In a video tribute, he thanked healthcare workers who “saved my life, no question.” Scientists are trying to determine whether patients such as the prime minister now have an acquired immunity that protects them from reinfection or at least lessens the severity of future infections.
If so, doctors who recover from COVID-19 could care for coronavirus patients in the place of those who are still at risk. The same could be true for grocery workers, delivery drivers, and anyone else performing an essential service at the risk of infecting themselves (and then their families).
Let’s consider this possibility as a post-Easter parable.
The practical path to happiness
I have long been grateful for the work of Arthur C. Brooks, the former president of the American Enterprise Institute and now faculty member at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. A committed Christian, he is one of the most thoughtful interpreters of culture today. His keynote address at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast was just one example of his practical wisdom.
His latest article in the Atlantic is no exception. Writing on happiness in a pandemic, he cites substantive research from a class he teaches on the subject at Harvard Business School.
Brooks concludes that “substantive well-being” (a more academic description of “happiness”) is the product of genes, circumstances, and habits. Habits are made up of faith, family, friends, and work. And satisfaction is produced by wanting what we have more than having what we want, by being content with our present circumstances more than seeking constantly to achieve and own more.
Here’s the reason I’m writing about Brooks’s article: while he is a strong Christian, his article utilizes secular research and is aimed at a secular audience. As a result, he states that “faith doesn’t mean any faith in particular. I practice the Catholic faith and am happy to recommend it to anyone, but the research is clear that many different faiths and secular life philosophies can provide this happiness edge. The key is to find a structure through which you can ponder life’s deeper questions and transcend a focus on your narrow self-interests to serve others” (his italics).
Brooks is writing to discuss happiness as something we can strive to achieve. But the good news is that Christians can do better. Much better, in fact.
Don’t live in Good Friday
Happiness (from happy, a Middle English term for “lucky”) is based on happenings, whether they are genetic, circumstantial, or habitual. Joy translates the Greek chara, which describes a deep delight transcending circumstance. It is produced by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and can be experienced by any Christian at any time.
For example, Paul could sing hymns at midnight in a Philippian jail (Acts 16:25) and later encourage the Philippian believers to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).
Here’s my point: Christians can have joy in a fallen world because the risen Christ is risen in us.
The best-known verse in the Bible declares, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, my italics). In the moment we make Christ our Lord, we have eternal life. Not just when we die—right now.
So, don’t settle for man-made happiness when you can have divine joy. Don’t live in Good Friday when it is Easter Sunday.
If Easter is only a day on a calendar, the celebration replaces the event. Because Jesus rose from the dead, if he is your Lord, his Spirit lives in you today (Romans 8:9) and you have risen from the dead to declare the good news of eternal life to our dying world.
A wise word from a dear friend
I received the news over the weekend that the mother of a dear friend had died. I wrote to my friend to express my condolences and promise of intercession. He wrote back, “It will be a great Easter celebration knowing mom is with our Lord.” Then he signed his note, “Romans 15:13.”
Here’s what the verse says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Let’s make Paul’s prayer our own. Let’s ask the risen Lord to fill us with “all joy and peace in believing.” If we do, “by the power of the Holy Spirit” we will “abound in hope” and share our hope with a hopeless world.
And every day will be Easter.
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