Thursday, April 02, 2020

Do It Again Prayer 2020.

Dear Lord,

We're still hoping we'll wake up. We're still hoping we'll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream. How could this have happened?


Just a moment ago moms were packing school lunches. Just a moment ago chefs were planning the day’s menu. Just a moment ago arenas were noisy, brides were walking down the aisle, and neighbors were discussing the weather.

In just a moment, everything changed. A phantom disease invaded our peace, our plans, and our security. In a heartbeat our language and behaviors were upended. Even young children understand the term “social distancing,” “quarantine,” and “Covid-19.” Grandma isn’t allowed visitors in her nursing home. Workers are telecommuting, zooming, and skyping in their baseball caps and slippers. Handshakes and hugs have been put on indefinite hold.

This strange season has introduced a level of fear we haven’t seen since 9/11. Fear of what might come. Fear of touching. Fear of exposure. Fear of what we can’t see.

We are anxious, Father. And so we come to you. We don't ask you for help; we beg you for it. We don't request; we implore. We know what you can do. We've read the accounts. We've pondered the stories and now we plead, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again.”

Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord.

Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again.

And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

You changed Daniel from a captive into a king's counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.

What we’re seeing on the news, you saw on that Friday so long ago. Innocence interrupted. Goodness suffering. Mothers weeping. Just as the darkness fell on your Son, we fear the darkness falling on our friends, our family, our world. Just as our world has been shaken by a disease, our world was shaken the day the very child of Eternity was pierced.

You saw it. But you did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After your Son’s three days in a dark hole, you rolled the rock and rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us another Easter.

We thank you, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Selfless acts of service and kindness warm our hearts. Strangers see opportunities to share with others. Our medical warriors are working together, at personal risk, to care for the rest of us. We thank you for their remarkable commitment.

And we see the world turning to you, Father. People encouraging people with scriptures and reminders of your sovereignty. We read posts urging us to respect each other, care for each other, and look up. We confess we have been anxious, but because of you, we have hope.

We ask, Father: let your mercy be upon all who suffer. Grant to those who lead us wisdom beyond their years and experience. Have mercy upon the souls who have been hurt by this disease. Give us grace to help each other and faith that we might believe.

And look kindly upon your church. For two thousand years you've used her to heal a hurting world.

Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

Through Christ, Amen. (Max Lucado Prayer)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

March 28 message

Notification from: Bonnie Brae Church of Christ
Greetings to all,
Several important messages are as follows:
1. The church building is once again closed this Sunday, March 29, for our normal gathering to study and worship. Attached you'll find Gerrard's message to all those who have email capabilities.
2. For those who don't have email, a copy of the sermon for Mar. 29 has been sent out via regular mail.
3. Communion supplies will be available at a drive thru set up at the church front covered walk way. We'll have individual baggies with wafers and cups for you to use at home. Times for distribution are today, Friday, from 10:00 until 1:00 pm. then again tomorrow, Saturday, from 11:00 until 1:00 pm.
4. For those who have smart devices such as phones, tablets, tv's, etc, the Worship service will be "live streamed" and available to you Sunday morning at 11:00 am. A link will be forwarded to you for that purpose from our One Call Now email service. Be on the look out for that link.
5. Regarding tithing, please mail checks to BBCOC, 7610 Staples Mill Rd, Henrico, VA 23228, or keep an envelope with your weekly tithe and bring it in the next time we gather.
In Christ's love,
Your church leaders

Thursday, March 19, 2020

March 19 Note: Covid 19

Good morning everyone!
On Wednesday evening through cell phones , the church elders met voted in favor of closing the church this Sunday until it is safe to open services again. This will be evaluated on a weekly basis since the news of this pandemic is fluid and ever changing
.
Then earlier this week we received the news that the commonwealth of Virginia was shutting down all public gatherings of 10 people or more anyway.
So where does that leave us as a church?
Actually in pretty good shape.
We have the ability to stay connected in ways that were not available in years past.
Below is a sample of what we can do. It is a work in progress but it helps give you an idea of what we are shooting for.
Every week we send out prayer requests via email.
We have an active account on facebook. It is a great place to share prayer requests and to share stories and to stay in touch with each other. Our preacher is active on facebook, Instagram, twitter, and has a youtube channel.We did do a recent test drive on live streaming our services and probably will do this in the near future.
For those of you who are not technically inclined, there are things you can do as well.
We have copies of our lessons and sermons in our foyer. You can also make arrangements to have communion supplies. Arrangements can be made for giving. We’re looking into online as well as physical stewardship.
For those that need a personal touch, we are going to be actively calling our seniors , to ensure that they have what they need and to still have that contact that is so important for them and us.
If you are in need, need to talk, need some help, need prayer, you can always email me at fess2@juno.com or call: 804-266-0665 and leave a message or call my cell.
Thanks for all you do. Keep being Jesus’ hands and feet.
In Him, Gerrard Fess.

Monday, March 02, 2020

March Newsletter Article

In Dave Stone’s book “Keeping Your Head Above Water: Refreshing Insights for Church Leadership” he shares the following story: “I heard of a teenager whose first job was working as a delivery boy for a florist. One day the boy was to deliver two sets of flowers. One set was a funeral home, and the other was for a big church that had relocated to a larger sanctuary.

The florist knew there was a problem when he received a phone call from an irate minister. The preacher said, “We’ve got a beautiful sanctuary with a basket of flowers up front that says ‘Rest in Peace.’”

“You think you’ve got problems!” the florist replied. “Somewhere in this city there’s a nice bouquet of flowers sitting beside a casket with a sign that says, ‘Good luck in your new location!’”

Allow your team members to make mistakes, and encourage them to learn from these mistakes.” Pg83.

Grow. Learn. Live .Serve, Love others. May we learn from our mistakes, and grow together in this journey called: Faith.

See you Sunday.

In Him,

Gerrard


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Stats of Late

Consider the most recent statistics from the Pew Research Center:

Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009
One-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009
17% of Americans now describe their religion as "nothing in particular," up from 12% in 2009
Only about one-in-three Millennials say they attend religious services at least once or twice a month

-From an email from the Leadership Network.

so what do those stats say?

1. There is a lot of work to do.

2. The door is open for the harvest field.

3. The workers are few.

4. There is a lot of work to do.

Who is with me? Let's Go and make disciples …. our backyards are a mission field.




Friday, December 06, 2019

The Age of Aslan

The Age of Aslan.



Key Verse: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1: 21 (New International Version)

Read: Revelation 21


“And as He spoke (Aslan) He no longer looked to them like a lion; but things that began to happen after that that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of The Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” (pg. 210 CS Lewis The Last Battle)

Jesus. The Great Lion of Judah. Lamb of God. The One who took away our sins. Jesus, who came, lived, died, rose and is coming again. Jesus – the one Who created us, and loves us. Our lives are just the title page to the Great Story. Are you looking forward to eternity?

Thoughts to ponder:

1. How am I staying away from the Witch’s traps?
2. How am I more like Peter and magnificent?
3. Are there ways I can be more gentle like Susan?
4. Can I be more Valiant and bold like Lucy?
5. How have I changed in my own life like Edmund?
6. Has the story of God really changed and impacted me – the stone table being torn in 2?


As we conclude this week, recognize that this wasn’t about a movie but about God’s story impacting your life. May you continue to be a part of that story.




How Today’s devotion applies to me:




Decisions I’ve made this week and promises I’ve made to God:

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Edmund the Just

Edmund the Just





Key Verse: “Fear God. Do what he tells you.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13 The Message.

Read Romans 3, 6: 1 – 11.

Edmund presents the whole problem of mankind: sinfulness. Traitor. Tempted. He is caught in his own greed and by the White Witch’s lure.

After Edmund is rescued, he and Aslan have a private conversation. No one hears what they say – but it changes Edmund forever. Afterwards, Edmund apologizes and all is forgiven.

There seems to be two sides to Edmund. That of bad: temper, lying; and that of good: repenting, fights the battle, helps defeat some of the Witch’s schemes.

Edmund is seen as unrighteous. One forgiveness is given though Edmund stands up for the truth and is still seen not as his former self but as an heir to the throne.

Thoughts to Ponder:

1. What side of Edmund am I currently like?
2. How can I be more forgiving of others?
3. What is something I can do to see that justice and mercy is given to those that need it?
4. How hard is it to let go of grudges and past mistakes of yourself? Of others?
5. Have you ever had that private conversation with God about seeking forgiveness?
6. How am I exposing the schemes of the devil in my own life?

How today’s devotion applies to me:


Two or three things that I have learned:

1_____________________________________

2_____________________________________

3_____________________________________

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Lucy the Valiant

Lucy the Valiant.


Key Verse: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”


Read Daniel 1. Daniel 3: 16 – 26.

Lucy was known as the youngest of the Pevensie children. She was the first to discover Narnia (though actually not the first human to be there though ummm Read The Magician’s Nephew aka The Professor who was there before). Lucy set an example of Faith and that of love in all she did. She didn’t back down. Lucy seemed very similar to the valiant antics of Shadrock, Meshach, and Abednego. Lucy had trust that Aslan(God) would be there to help no matter what.

Lucy’s persistence to tell the story of Narnia was evident. I wonder how we are to tell our story being a part of God’s story?

Thoughts to ponder:

1. How are you setting an example?
2. How is your own trust in God?
3. How persistent are you? Are you telling people the good news of Jesus?
4. Lucy, also played a part of a healer, how are you helping others to heal in their emotional hurts, spiritual hurts, serving those physically hurting, socially? Are you serving?
5. What does it mean to be a part of God’s story?
6. What trait do I most like in Lucy?


How today’s devotion applies to me:



Two or three things that I have learned:

1_____________________________________

2_____________________________________

3_____________________________________

Do It Again Prayer 2020.

Dear Lord, We're still hoping we'll wake up. We're still hoping we'll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream. ...