Hey, Calvary Fremont -
While I was reading Joshua 9-11 this morning (these are the chapters to be read in the 2020 Bible reading guide) I had an idea. I'm not the only one who can encourage and minister to the body of Christ at such a time as this. You can, too! You can hear from God and can receive the illumination of the Holy Spirit as you read and study Scripture and you can pass on these nuggets to CC Fremont.
Let's do this - I will give you my email at the end of this post and you can send me your inspirational thoughts and encouragements. You can also tell us what you're doing with your kids that keeps you all from going stir-crazy. You can even share recipes and what you're binge-watching (I might censor this!). You can let us know how you're praying during this time. This will be a delicious potpourri of the body ministering to the body!
Send these things to me and they will be posted on our website: calvaryfremont.org. It will be posted at the top of the website under a banner (which I'll have Caleb make) called Ministry Potpourri. I think it will be very meaningful and a lot of fun, too. And yes, we'll put your name at the end of your contribution.
Blessings - Pastor Tim
Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
This would be the verse that has summed up quarantine for the Sanchez family. What the enemy meant for evil, all the way back when the disease was brought into the world through Satan’s deceit, is now being used for good in our home. I have a feeling it is being used for good in yours too.
None of what I’m writing is a pat on the back for us. It’s intended to glorify God and what He’s doing in our home. Also, if you know me, I’m very open about my life. I love sharing how God is working. I hope none of this is too much information. I hope it will encourage anyone who is going through similar situations.
Devotions in our home are many and never far between. Now that Adrian is home, we sit down three times a day as a family to get into the word and prayer. He and the boys have taken up bike riding and wood working using discarded pallets. I now have a new bookshelf, shoe rack, and many other items in the making!
Irianna and I have been able to work from home. Adrian’s job has been very generous in this time as well. We feel blessed to be un-stressed by finances and have been able to help some of our friends and neighbors. I’ve been working on ministering to the ladies in my neighborhood by dropping off household items on their doorsteps. We have a shared washroom so I put detergent in there for anyone to use. I always leave a note with a verse letting them know the items given to them are a provision of God, not me. I do not want any of the glory or recognition. I have gotten some very positive feedback. We are now texting each other and I can encourage them with scripture through text. Adrian has been ministering to his coworkers as well. He has shared the hope of Christ to his whole crew, including the three bosses! They have been receptive and appreciative of God’s word. Many of them call Adrian for encouragement. He always points them to Jesus.
This was the first Easter for us that actually felt like it was all about Jesus. After the livestream, we did some Easter crafts as a family, made a huge dinner, and dropped off food to a couple who were very much in need. We also did a re-enactment of the crucifixion and resurrection. Later we could hear the girls acting it out for themselves in the backyard yelling “Nope! I’m alive!” Instead of running around to and from Easter events worrying about eggs and candy, we spent the day together thinking of Jesus.
The hardest part of this, for me, has been being separated from one of our sons (Alonzo). His father and I decided that it would be best for him to be stationary as much as possible during this time. So he will be spending half a month at his father’s and half a month here at home until all of this is over. Being a family during a global pandemic is not the same when a part of your family is missing. But God reminded me of Romans 8. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not distance or disease. Alonzo is not separated from my love by distance. And he is not separated from the love and working of God.
Marriage has been interesting in this time... some days we love and appreciate each other more than we ever have. Some days... we’ll, you know how it is. But God is forcing us to deal with and OVERCOME some issues that we’ve struggled with our whole marriage. What God has brought together, in marriage and in quarantine, let no man separate!
I have been struggling a bit with depression. I don’t know if it’s hormones, lack of sunlight, feeling cooped up, overwhelming media intake, or the fiery darts of Satan. It’s probably a combination of it all. But God has restored my joy and my sense of purpose. There was never an “Aha!” moment or scripture. He has just been slowly reminding me of the joy of my salvation and the purpose of my life: to make disciples. I’m starting with my children and neighbors.
Sorry, this was so long! I miss you all so much. I hope more of you will post your updates on here. I truly can’t wait to see you all again.
This devotion really ministered to me and I thought it’s kind of relevant in a time like this so just thought I’d pass along to the body.
I thought I might share the latest series that I’ve watched over the last two days. It is a BBC miniseries called Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It takes place in London during the early 1800’s and is a fantasy in the best sense, bringing into play magic, magicians and even the mythical land of Faerie, all amid the British-French war. It’s based on the novel by Susanna Clarke which I also highly recommend!
Although quite clean (very infrequent use of mild profanity) I will give a word of warning. One scene portrays a historically accurate version of the treatment of African slaves. This holds both cruelty and partial nudity. Also, the theme of madness in later episodes could be disturbing to some. (PT, if you need more information here just let me know)
If you would like something lighter, Disney+ has released Frozen II early for streaming. This movie takes the characters to new levels of development and has a deeper storyline than the first making it quite engaging. The music is wonderful, allowing for Jonathan Groff to show off his vocal talents which he didn’t get to do in the first movie.
As for my time reading with the Lord there is something that has been put on my heart. It was while reading Ezekiel 37. This is well-known to many being the valley of dry bones. What stood out to me was Ezekiel’s response to how God led him. The first instance being in verse 3.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, You know.”
Now, to me the question of ‘can these old dusty bones live?’ Seems like it should have two obvious answers. One being, ’heck no, they’re dead!’ The other being a faithful, ’of course they can you can do anything!’ But Ezekiel didn’t answer either way. He left it completely open. He didn’t confine God’s abilities to two options. He chose to hear what God had to say instead. This is amazing to me since as humans it’s so easy to think in human (or finite) options. How wonderful would it be to let go of that way of thinking and trust that God’s options are limitless?
The next thing that stood out was this.
4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ 5 “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause fnbreath to enter you that you may come to life.6 ‘I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.’”7 ¶ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a fnnoise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them.
This prophesy mentions the physical recreation of the bodies once but the giving back of the breath twice. In fact, it begins and ends with the promise of the breath. Yet, when Ezekiel obeys, the bodies are restored and... there is no breath. Now, at this point I would be (after marveling at the bodies recreated) asking ‘wait a minute, where is the breath of life? Wasn’t that promised? What good is a body if it doesn’t have life? Did that part of the promise get forgotten? Did I do the prophesy wrong? What’s up? But Ezekiel didn’t do that. We see no question from him. Instead I get the impression that he was continuing to listen to the Lord since it is God we hear from next.
9 Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Now we get the breath of life, the big promise. Why did God decide to take two parts to this work? I don’t know. But I’ve noticed so many times in my life that I’ve questioned the promises of God when they didn’t show up in the time frame that I expected. In fact, most of the time I expect things to come in a different time than they do. Every time God has been faithful and His timing has been right but I start questioning halfway. I see the ‘bodies without breath’ and start to lose faith. I want to be more like Ezekiel and continue without question, knowing in faith that the Lord is going to do as He has promised. Right now we’re seeing things that are confusing to say the least. I would encourage everyone of us to have faith that the same God who has proven Himself over and over again is still working. And that His time and His wY will be right.
Thank you for adding this option! I look forward to reading what others contribute. And please, if I’ve misinterpreted anything in what I’ve read, please let me know. The last thing I would want to do is share something that is incorrect 🙂
1Pe 5:1 And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you:
1Pe 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.
1Pe 5:3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.
1Pe 5:4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor
1Pe 5:7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1Pe 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
A word to my brothers and I, That though we have many responsibilities at home and still at work, our real responsibility is to Christ and His Church. Keep close tabs on those who may be struggling with temptation as well as Idleness.
The enemy of our souls is seeking how to devour our children, wives, family, church, our witness and so much more. But remember Christ cares for you and them. let us encourage the brothers and sisters while we have the opportunity.
May the Lord Bless you.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?