Grace-Filled Thoughts — coronavirus

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Coronavirus: A familiar crisis 0

For many of us, the Coronavirus ranks as one of the most impactful events we have ever lived through. You may have even been reassured by a friend or pastor that, “None of us knows how to navigate a pandemic.” And while this is true in the literal sense, the truth is that history offers us many examples of those who’ve suffered great loss and upheaval.

Author Shirley Stahl has spent considerable time studying this subject and offers us these thoughts, as well as an exciting announcement:

 

“…..And he sat down among the ashes” (Job 2:8 KJV).

There was a man named Job. He lived a life with riches, fame and family. Job was a respected member of society; a counselor to those in need and most importantly Job was counted “perfect” and “upright” in God’s eyes. But suddenly, everything changed and Job’s possessions and positions were gone.

Job in his helplessness sat down in the ashes of all that was left of the life he had lived in the grandeur of yesterday and considered the emptiness of today.

There was a family named Shank who lived at the time of the ushering in of the twentieth century. The Shank Mennonite Family story tells of the sudden loss of all possessions and no means of obtaining everyday necessities. The family must find a way to pick up the pieces of their lives and locate a path into the future. Although Job lived thousands of years before the Shank family, the devastation of each was no less dramatic.

Today multitudes of people around the world are experiencing the unleashed power of the destroyer virus Corona-19. This unseen invader has penetrated the unprepared nations, bringing death and destruction with him. The Corona-19 virus story is similar to that of the death destroying angel that passed through Egypt in the time of Moses (Exodus 12) and relates to the stories of Job and the Shank family.

There is a common bond between Job, Corona-19 virus-infected people and the Shank family since the person or group suddenly tragically loses everything important. One might say each is experiencing sitting on the ash heap of their dreams.

The crises that came upon Job and those fighting in the war against Corona-19 virus and the Shank family disaster indicate a greater loss than possessions and a familiar way of living. Each crisis requires a response from those involved that will be decisive to the outcome of their story. A person can read the story of Job in God’s word. The story of the Corona 19 virus and people today has not ended but even now is being written.

I am proud to announce that my new book centered on the Shank family story, Finding the Good of the Day, is in the process of publication.

Who is this Shank family and what is their story? Three Shank women hold the family together after being met with devastating losses. The household includes four children who attend the Mennonite school system and Minerva who has recently graduated from school. She is almost fifteen. Finding the Good of the Day is a pledge Minerva makes to herself.

How do the Shank family members handle the challenges they face?
1. They meet daily and pray together.
2. Faith in God is their backbone, connecting them to God and each other.
3. They determine as a family unit to triumph over the demands of circumstances.
4. Family members show love for one another and speak of this love.
5. They daily share promises from God’s word and thoughts about these promises.
7. They know about and use the value of good work ethics.
8. They look toward the future without fear.
9. When opportunity is knocking at their door, they open the door.
10. They count their blessings.

Grandmother Mary, Mom and Minerva propel you through the good and the less-than-good days ahead. Will they Find the Good of the Day?

Some of Shirley’s earliest remembrances are going to a small country church in Northwestern Ohio where she heard the stories about Jesus. The Word of God has been her constant companion ever since.

After completing Bible college courses over 35 years ago, Shirley began teaching in churches, retreats, prisons, home study groups and anywhere a door would open.

She and her husband make their home in Western Michigan where she continues to teach and write.

Shirley is the author of Peter Got Out of the Boat, which challenges the believer to be an overcomer and participator with Jesus in extraordinary events.

Books to read in times of crisis

Books to read in times of crisis 0

Crisis causes questions. Will I be okay? What will happen to my loved ones? Where is God in this? Are these signs of the end times? If you find yourself full of questions, these resources will point you toward truth and scripture.

  

Dr. Patricia Green expounds upon the book of Revelation through the illumination of the Holy Spirit that makes these events understandable and undeniable.

236 pages | $13.99

 

A timely book sharing Pastor Rod Aguillard’s prophetic revelations that cause us to consider what God is doing and how he is moving.

162 pages | $12

 

This writing looks to the God of hope, the God of a better day as Pastor Rod Aguillard points us to the hope he has found in Jesus.

76 pages | $9

 

When your life has been shaken, what practical steps can you take to turn things around? You need to have proven strategies in place to help you successfully navigate through these issues and move forward!

209 pages | $12.95

 

Follow Peter from the time he first heard Jesus say “come” to the night Jesus said “come” again. You too can be an overcomer and participator with Jesus in extraordinary events. 

116 pages | $10.99

 

In an age of decadence, degradation and despair, God is calling forth an Elijah generation! Based on years of study and prayer into the lives of Elijah and John the Baptist, this book draws attention to 30 godly attributes to pray into your life. 

152 pages | $13.99

 

Find more great resources on our website

 

The truth you need to hear

The truth you need to hear 0

The voices are many. Facebook friends. Political pundits. Opinionated family members. Even our own thoughts.


These voices can murmur worries, shout frustrations and whisper lies. 

For a moment, let's tune them out and tune in to some truth.  We asked some of our JPL authors this question: 

 

 

We were delighted (but not surprised) to see their answers full of scripture. They've tuned into the truth. Let's join them:

 

bruce lengeman

"Peace comes with surrender and trust. When circumstances are unchangeable, it seems glorious to be content in what I can't change. When my agendas are sabotaged, I can curse the opposing circumstances, or find the what now? A mantra branded into my spirit contains two words applicable in everything life throws at us—BUT GOD! I can complain or find the but God. In the midst of it are two incredibly applicable passages of scripture—Romans 8:28, and Habakkuk 3:17-10. These truths help me live above the arch-enemy of trust—fear!"

Bruce Lengeman
 To Kill a Lion

 

linda knight

"I am reminded of 1 Peter 3:15 "but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect."  As Christians, we always need to be prepared to give testimony to the HOPE we have in Christ no matter the circumstances.  

I personally claim several of God's promises: Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling." God is with me no matter what is happening in and around me- the storms of Covid-19.

Lamentation 3:21-23 states, "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  I can rely upon God's faithfulness and each day is new with more of His mercies.

And last but not least- my go-to verse is 2 Corinthians 12:9, which states, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  I can trust that His grace is sufficient and will see me through."

Linda Knight
Fearless Living and
Promises for Dynamic Living

 

dr john fesko

"I try to remember that we are not the first Christians to suffer—whether David in the Psalms or John the Baptist in Herod’s prison—God has been faithful to his people through Christ in times of plenty or want. Romans 8:29-39 helps remind me to look upon all of my life through the lens of God’s love in Christ.

A second thing resonates in my mind, namely, the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism: “What is your only comfort in life and in death? A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ."

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