Hey, MBC Family!
I really connected with two of the illustrations Matt used in his sermon, Choosing Faith over Fear, Anxiety, and Worry: Listen to Wisdom, Learn to Trust God.
First, I identified with Matt’s visual aid of the backpack. As he packed it full of books, we could all see it get heavier and heavier. It was easy to picture how that could weigh a person down (Prov 12:25). A heavy backpack is even worse when you try and carry it by only one strap. Matt and I are about the same age, so I can verify that the “cool” way to carry a backpack when we were in high school was to wear it over only one shoulder. I even had to go see a doctor for back pain in high school because I routinely carried such a heavy backpack on just one shoulder. The doctor ordered me to lighten up and use both straps.
That illustration reminded me a little of my life right now. I need to lighten up my backpack. And I need to put on both straps. I need to take out some of the “books” that are causing me stress right now—“books” like how stay healthy during a pandemic, “books” like how to make it through a financial crisis, “books” like how to take care of elderly parents, and others. Are your titles similar to mine? If so, let’s put them down together. We don’t need to be carrying around that weight right now. We only need One Book. Also, we need to put on both straps!!! Proverbs 3:5-6 says that when we trust God (strap 1) and lean on Him rather than our own understanding (strap 2), He will make our way straight. He’s got a journey ahead of us, and we can trust that He’ll direct us in the way to go and provide what we need to make it all the way to the end!
Second, I connected with Matt’s description of worry as a leash that can choke. When Matt described their new puppy, Ruby, wrapped around the pole in his backyard, it reminded me of when Mike and I were first married. Instead of having kids right away, we adopted two very large dogs—a German Shepherd and a Chow/Shepherd/Rottweiler mix (140 lbs). We enjoyed them (mostly), and I think they enjoyed being our pets except for when we went to visit Mike’s parents. No matter how cold or wet it was, our dogs had to stay outside at their house. And Mike’s parents’ yard wasn’t fenced. So that meant that our dogs spent their time tied up to a tree in their front yard. Once, Mike’s dad even forgot (at least he says he forgot) to turn off their automatic sprinkler system. We woke up early that morning to the frantic crying of two wet and shivering dogs, crazy out of their minds, and nose-to-nose with each other because they were completely wound up around the tree.
Too often, I’m like that. I start off okay, and I leave plenty of room for my mind to just “roam.” But if I let my mind wander into “worry territory,” I get more and more frantic. Before I know it, whatever issue I was struggling with suddenly is bigger and more frightening, and I’m wrapped in a leash of worry around my own tree of despair, barely able to breathe. A verse that helps me when I find myself in this position is 2 Cor 10:5. It says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Take that worry! I use that exhortation to help me cut the leash of worry from my thoughts! It takes work and concentration, but it’ worth it. The freedom from worry that follows is glorious.
Finally, a part of Matt’s sermon which made me laugh (besides several of the closed captions) was when he described how he hid the “lunch notes of encouragement” his mom wrote him when he was younger. I can picture Jacqueline Reynolds penning Proverbs 3:5-6 in beautiful handwriting to encourage her son when he sat down to eat his lunch. And I can picture him trying to keep his friends from reading those notes. It reminded me of how I used to draw bugs flying airplanes on Mike’s brown paper lunch bags to let him know I loved him when he was in pilot training. (It’s a stretch, I know…) I can only imagine now how embarrassed he must have been pulling those out in front of his classmates! However, just like Matt’s mom used an “unconventional method” to encourage her son, we need to use all the tools in our creative arsenal to help the ones we love to stand firm in the Lord against attacks of fear, anxiety, and worry.
- The MBC Prayer Team needs YOU! If you are interested in joining our staff in praying for the requests of the body each week, please reply to this email by clicking here.
- Doug Arendsee’s class “Engaging Mind and Culture” will be starting up again via Zoom THIS WEEK, on THURSDAY nights at 7pm to give more people the opportunity to attend. This will also hopefully help free up bandwidth in your homes since ReGen and our MBC Student ministry programs are still meeting remotely on Wednesday evenings! Please email him by clicking here if you’re interested., and he will send you a link to the Zoom meeting!
- Mike Hogue would also love to have you “Zoom” in for his Sunday night Revelation Bible Study! Please email him (click here) if you’re interested in joining his 6pm meeting!
- Don’t forget to visit the MBC YouTube channel (click here) to view past sermon streams, “Songs to Encourage,” help for homeschooling your kids, and entertaining Bible stories. We try and add content almost everyday. Over the last two weeks, our content has been viewed over 1700 times by over 600 unique viewers! Next up! A 14 day fitness challenge for ladies! If you have ideas for new material, let me know by clicking here. Be sure to check it out!
- Thank you for continuing to watch the live streams of our service and for continuing to send in your gifts! We have heard your feedback, and while the closed captions were a good idea in theory, we will be removing them from the stream this week. Let us know if you have any other suggestions to improve the digital delivery of the service!
On that note, let’s be sensitive to those around us this week. Just like Matt’s mom and her “lunch notes of encouragement,” we need to get creative and help reassure the people in our lives that no matter how bad this gets, with Christ, we don’t need to be filled with fear, anxiety, or worry. We just need to have faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.
He’s got this. And He’s got us, too.
service to Him and to you,