Hello Friends!

Here is your Fellowship Focus Newsletter for June 2020. 

JUNE 2020 — THE RESPONSE OF FAITH

Todd Malone

Let me introduce you to Heman. Not He-Man, the Master of the Universe (a cartoon). I mean Heman the Ezrahite. You can meet Heman in Psalms 88. Heman was a righteous and faithful man. He was one of the wisest men in Israel [1 Kings 4]. But life for Heman was hard. He grieves in Psalm 88 that “my soul is full of troubles and my life draws near to Sheol [the grave].” He was cut off from his friends: “you have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them.” The Psalm does not end on a happy note. There is no deliverance. This is Heman’s life as the wise, righteous, faithful follower of God. Heman grieves and even complains to God about his afflictions. And he praises God at the same time.

Heman does not fit the common narrative about God we’ve heard during the past three months. The narrative is that having faith in God means that bad things will not happen to you. I have heard multiple versions. I’ve read about pastors who promised their congregation that if they had the faith to gather during the pandemic, God would protect them from harm. I have heard brothers and sisters in Christ say that precautions are not necessary, because God will keep them from getting sick. I am sure promises were made on God’s behalf the other way… take the precautions, God will make sure you don’t lose your business or job.

These promises were all well-meaning, but based on a simple, easily made mistake about faith: they confused earth with heaven. God will protect us from all disease, loss, and death – in heaven. He makes no such promises for life on earth. He promises something very different for life on earth: life with Him, becoming more like Jesus. A life of knowing Him better and seeing Him at work even as we experience loss, get sick, and “draw near to Sheol.” When you hear “trust God and He will protect you from getting sick” or “have faith and He will protect your income,” it’s appropriate to ask when and where God made such a promise. He didn’t. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. That is not a guarantee of heaven now. It is a guarantee that He is with us, supporting us, and transforming us in the pain and disappointments of a fallen world.

The response of faith to a fallen world is not trusting in promises God never made. It is trusting God’s character even if our health and businesses fail. It is declaring, along with Heman, “O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you.” [Psalm 88:1] The response of faith means obeying the clear commands of Scripture and then trusting His character no matter what happens to us. It is trusting in God’s character when nothing seems clear and we don’t know what God is up to. It is trusting that He will bring us to the promises of heaven through the pains of earth.

We will keep you updated as guidelines and requirements are announced for our city and county. Check back at LONGVIEWFBC.COM and make sure to sign up for the MIDWEEK MOMENT from Pastor Todd. 

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Coming Events

SUMMER 2020

FBC Kids’ Ministry — Sharing God’s Love! 

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.” (1 John 4:7a) 

Our kids are going through a time that is nothing like we’ve ever experienced.  They have been separated from friends, and made to adjust to a new normal.

Now more than ever, God is calling us to Share His Love!  That is exactly what our focus will be this summer for Kids’ Ministry.

We will share love with your kids and your families and in turn we ask you to share the love of God with our community.  We will kick off Sharing God’s Love on Saturday, June 6th with a Summer Celebration Parade!

Please partner with us this summer to love one another!

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)

Summer Celebration Parade!!

Calling all families! Help us kick off the Summer in style on Saturday, June 6th from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. We will have a rolling parade – 6 feet apart.  Bring your bicycle, skates, scooters, wagons…anything that has wheels to ride through our parade.  We will be practicing social distancing  by staying on our rides! There will be an elementary track and a preschool track.  At the end we will have a sweet treat for you along with a summer goody bag.  Parents are encouraged to help us keep moving and to stay on our rides. Let us know if you are coming by signing up at: https://bit.ly/Kids-parade

For more information, contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com

ACTION STEP: Let us know if you are coming by signing up at: https://bit.ly/Kids-parade

Choo Choo!! Rocky Railway VBS is Coming to a Neighborhood Near YOU!

V.B.S. Rocky Railway will be July 20th – 24th!  At VBS, kids discover Jesus’ power can pull them through life’s ups and downs. We plan to have multiple backyard VBSes going on all over Longview in hosts yards.  Think Mini-Fairs for VBS.  Teams will go to these homes to minister to a small group of kids.  The VBS will run for about 2 hours a day for 4 days.  This will allow us to reach a larger group of kids in smaller groups while also reaching out to our community.  This is one of our biggest outreaches that shares God’s message in a powerful way! Participant sign-ups will start on June 22nd. For more information, contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longviewfbc.com

ACTION STEP: For information, contact Rebecca Simcox – rebeccas@longviewfbc.com

 

SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP BELOW! ⇓

Join the Rocky Railroad Crew! Now Hiring — VOLUNTEERS!

VBS is coming July 20-24th! We’ll help kids discover how to see evidence of God in everyday life. This is one of our biggest outreaches that shares God’s message in a powerful way!  We need people who have kid-filled neighborhoods to use their homes as stations for a God encounter. We also need volunteers to help run these mini VBS days and volunteers to assemble supplies away from others.  People of different skills are needed to help this be a success – WE NEED YOU! Contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longivewfbc.com to be a part!

ACTION STEP: Contact Rebecca Simcox at rebeccas@longivewfbc.com and volunteer!