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Living Water Church                                                                                                                           March 31, 2020

Water From the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

A Perfect Time For Perfect Gifts

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

“Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.” (James 1: 17)

On December 23, 1776, during America’s struggle to gain independence from Britain, Thomas Paine, a Godly American Patriot, wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” It was a crisis.

America, today, is facing yet another critical time. Specifically, we are battling a disease of which we know little. In addition, we are battling political division, social unrest, uncertainty, anxiety, financial instability, isolation, boredom, and the list goes on. So, how do we cope in the midst of this chaos? What do we do when we feel as if our very hearts, souls, and minds are tried?

First, we remember to stand firm in our faith. And, of course, we pray. We pray for relief. Psalm 125, Verse 3 says, “The wicked will not always rule over the land of the righteous; if they did, the righteous themselves might do evil.” And, 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 promises, “Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

We must know, without a doubt, that our God is bigger than this virus and all of its fallout. He will fight for us and He will be victorious on our behalf as long as we trust and obey. So, we try our best not to worry and we pray, thanking God for His promise and provision. But then, what? Many of us have so much extra time on our hands. What do we do after we’ve prayed?

We get busy. Remember when the Disciples questioned Jesus concerning what should be done about the hungry crowd, “Jesus said to them, you yourselves give them something to eat.” (Luke 9:13) Yes, Jesus told the Disciples, just get busy and do what needs to be done!

That’s what we are supposed to do! We must get busy doing God’s work. “So then, my dear brothers, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

We need to stay encouraged and encourage others. We must remember that He has given all of us gifts which are perfect for us, according to His purpose for us. Everyone has a gift. Every gift is perfect. Every gift is useful. No gift is too small. No gift is unnecessary.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, “We urge you, our brothers, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak and be patient with everyone.”

So, call to check on someone, make some masks, be a prayer warrior, send a card, help wash dishes, run an errand, donate food, donate money, smile, tell a joke, spend time playing with a child, share your great sense of humor, play a game with your brother or sister.

Everyone can do something. In the words of John Wesley, an Anglican

pastor from the 1700’s,

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can,

as long as ever you can.”

And, while we continue to pray and work diligently, during these challenging and uncertain times, we must be watchful for two things.

Watch for the evil one and watch for the Holy One. “Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that your fellow believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings.  But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will

himself protect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation.”

(2 Peter 5:8-10)

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

“For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever!”

Amen!

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Living Water Church                                                                           March 27, 2020

Water from the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

A Crisis Is A Perfect Time for Stocking Up

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

Give to everyone who asks you for something, and when someone takes what is yours, do not ask for it back. Do for others just what you want them to do for you.”  (Luke 6: 30-31)

“Love you enemies and do good to them; lend and expect nothing back. You will then have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High God. For he is good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35-36)

Last Saturday, I had to make a quick trip to small nearby town. I knew I’d be passing several dollar stores, so I planned to make the return trip worthwhile by trying to secure some toilet tissue. I made the kids wait in the car so as not to expose them unnecessarily to the virus. The first dollar store was no luck. I pulled into the parking lot of the second store next to a young woman. She was standing at the front of her truck with a container of some kind of vehicle fluid in her hand, peering down at the engine.

She really looked concerned. I locked the kids in the car and walked over near her at the front of the truck. I asked what was wrong as I looked down at the motor. I was certain (from a prior experience) that I smelled burnt oil. She said she wasn’t sure. I asked about oil. She replied that she had just changed the oil a week or so ago and said it couldn’t be that. She suggested she may have spilled a little on the engine.

I suggested she may want to check it just to be on the safe side because I thought I smelled burnt oil. Reluctantly, she put the dipstick in. It came out dry. I urged her to try it again. It was dry. Then, she said she had just

spent all she had in the dollar store. I told her that I would buy her some oil. She asked why I would do that.

I told her to come with me and that buying her some oil was what I was supposed to do. She looked at me kind of oddly as she followed me into the store. I bought her four quarts of oil and handed her the bag. She thanked me. I told her to just return the favor to someone else some day if she was ever able. So, back to my mission I went.

Guess what? No toilet paper anywhere to be found on the shelves, but certain folks had packages of it in their carts. There was only toilet paper being distributed to certain friends of the employees and I wasn’t one of them! (Landon had even seen someone come out of the store with some.)

So, still empty-handed, I drove on to the last dollar store. The mission was once again unsuccessful. The kids suggested it was a wasted trip. I assured them that God had sent me through that small town to help that young woman. They were satisfied with the answer.

When we got home, we told the story to Pa. Then, realizing it was far too late in the evening to be cooking dinner for hungry people, Hannah and I made a trip to our favorite local restaurant for a carryout. Hannah waited in the car while I did the pick-up.

When I got back to the car, Hannah told me to look down the near- empty parking lot. Parked just in front of the tobacco store and liquor store, was the young woman in her truck. We went unnoticed to her as Hannah and I talked. For a second, we discussed how I may have wasted some money.

Then, I realized that we were being judgmental. I told Hannah that whatever the girl was doing really wasn’t our business. Our business was to help someone in need. Our mission was to do for another as we would want them to do for us. We filled that mission! We didn’t get to “stock up” on toilet paper, but we did do what God instructs all of his children to do!

Helping that young woman helped us to stock up on our treasure in heaven! What a reward!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are an all-knowing and all-loving God. Thank You for Your mercy as You pour down Your perfect gifts on all of us, refusing to withhold them from those who may appear to us to be undeserving. Help us to remember, to trust and obey, especially during times of crisis when we are most vulnerable. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray.                                                                        Amen.

Living Water Church                                        March 25, 2020

Water From the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

What If It All Falls to Pieces Tomorrow?

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                     Inspired by God

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

I have to confess that I really enjoy listening to most rock and roll

“oldies”.  Not all, but many of my favorites from the sixties and seventies are the ones which I feel were, in some way, linked to my life. Brought back are memories of days and years past, special people and unforgettable occasions. Some are wonderful, happy memories and some are sad, painful ones.  But, no matter their flavor, many of these memories momentarily float back to the surface of my mind in this music. Not long ago, I was listening to the Eagles, “Take It To the Limit”. There is a line in that song,

“if it all falls to pieces tomorrow, will you still be mine?” Of course, that line, in the context of this song, is about a romantic kind of relationship and love. But, it made me think further. I thought about the world, today, and I thought about how it really does seem to be “falling to pieces”.                                                                                I thought about love. Not romantic, roses and chocolate love, but real love, agape love, Godly, unconditional love. I thought about agape love and I thought about Love’s Creator.

Yes! If the world did fall to pieces tomorrow, God would still want to be ours! We assume that. We have been promised that. But, look at it for a moment from God’s perspective. In other words, if the world fell to pieces tomorrow, would we still want God to be ours? Would we claim and proclaim Him or be angry and turn our backs on Him? God will always want to love us.  Do we always want to love God?   Really think about that.  It’s very easy to love Him when times are good. But, how do we do when times are

bad? How do we do when we lose our job through no fault of our own? How do we do when the children can’t go to school each day? How do we do when someone we love gets sick? What should we do?

Here’s what we must do. Always remember these things. Remember, first, that the Bible’s is God’s Word, packed full of His promises. It promises innumerable times of God’s desire to claim us as His. He created us. God created us in His image. He gave us power over His fish, His birds and His animals. “So God created human beings, making them to be like himself.” (Genesis 1:27) And, He gave His one and only Son to die for all of our wrongs and to be Our Lord and Our Savior. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. (John 3:16)

Secondly, we must remember to thank Him. We must thank Him for everything We must thank Him in everything. We must thank Him in the worst of times as well as the best of times. “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

The third thing to remember is that love is an action verb. Love is not a feeling or an emotion. Love is shown in deeds and behaviors. When we

show mercy and care for “the least of these”, we show God how much we love Him. God is omnipotent and ever-present. He notices even the tiniest acts of love and human kindness and He blesses us when we show our love for Him through our actions toward others.

Finally, we must obey God’s commands. Obeying isn’t hard to

remember. The challenge is in the doing. It’s an exact directive. You do it or not. You choose. You can’t use the words “kind of” or “almost” to

describe your effort. It’s required, not optional. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (John 5:3)

So, these are our “musts”. Study His Word. Rest assured in His promises. Offer praise and thanksgiving. Love by making actions count. Obey His commands. Accept His Son as Lord and Savior. God will know we want to love Him as He loves us. And, indeed, if it all goes to pieces tomorrow, He, without a doubt, will continue to want to love us.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for wanting to be our God, every minute of every single day.

Thank You for Your open invitation to call upon You and pray to You in all circumstances, knowing that whenever we seek You with our whole hearts, we will find You. Thank You for being there for us, as this old world, again, threatens to fall to pieces . Help us, Dear God, to always want to show You that we want You, and only You, to be our God, no matter what. And, as we lovingly put all of our faith and hope in You and Your promises, please bless us with the kind of comfort and peace that You, and You alone, can give.

Amen.

Living Water Church                                                                                                       March 23, 2020

Water From the Well

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

(Isaiah 12:3)

The Worrywart

Written by Joanne Boyette                                                                                                    Inspired by God

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yetyour heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

I am a self-diagnosed, self-confessed, worrywart. I worry far too much.

Worry is an ugly, unhealthy addiction. Webster surprised me with this definition of worry: 1. to bite and shake with the teeth 2. To annoy, bother, etc. 3. To make troubled or uneasy. “To bite and shake with the teeth “? --that’s really ugly! And, worry is ugly because it causes me to fear. I fear mistakes of the past, the current state of the world, and our future. (It has been said that a very high percentage of those things we fear most, never occur, yet I continue to worry.)                                                                                It has also been said, “That we have nothing to fear, but fear itself. “That, too, is true. Fear is an extremely unhealthy state. It is unhealthy because it causes anxiety and worry.

Worry saps me of present joy. It saps my energy. It saps my peace. And, worry is an addiction because it stands in the way of relationship…. not just family, friends, and community….but it stands in the way of most important relationship: a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

My husband says “Worrywarts are people of little faith. Worrywarts are people who put self before God. It takes an unceasing prayer life not to be a worrywart. Worry brings strife, sickness, insanity and hardship and confusion. Worry is not a move to action. Prayer brings about change. Prayer brings about healing. Prayer brings peace of mind. Prayer brings us closer to God, the Holy Spirit, the comforter, and God the problem solver and Jesus who will carry us through.”

But, guess what? My husband worries, too. He says, “I probably worry worse than you do”.         So, what are we to do? Worry over worrying too much? That’s not what God has in mind. He doesn’t want us to worry over anything.

God didn’t want Moses to worry, he wanted Moses to have faith in Him and have faith in His lead.  He got Moses and His people away from Pharaoh and out of Egypt. Moses did not even have to contend with obstacles as small as hunger or

obstacles as large as the Red Sea. And, God didn’t want to make Jonah worry about getting out of the belly of a whale; He wanted Jonah to commit himself to God. He wanted Jonah to have faith and carry on His work.

I watched some doves feeding outside our dining room window this morning. They were fat doves! And, I began thinking about nature here, where we live, in what we affectionately call “God’s Country”.  The birds and animals are content. The horses are fat, the deer are fat, even the birds are fat. They worry for or about nothing. They appear unaware. They deal with only present danger as an instinct, not as something that got in the way of yesterday or will get in the way of tomorrow. God takes care of them. God takes care of all nature. He takes care of all of his creatures, including us, whether we are aware of it or not.

So, take Divine Advice. Remember, “Fear not”. For there is great power, love, peace and faith waiting to take the place of that worry. Focus on your prayer life, instead. There is always something or someone to be thankful for. Start with being glad that you woke this morning with the promise of a new day ahead.

Concentrate on blessings and possibilities. If each of us could slowly shift our minds from worry to faith in prayer and from wringing our hands to folding them in prayer, what would we fear? Why would we worry?

Remember, the angel’s message to the shepherds began with the words “Fear not“. God came down to us in the form of a new born infant. God sent this gift of love to us in such a humble way. The reason He came in this way was also with His Children in mind. He didn’t choose to intimidate us, over whelm us, over power us or cause us fear or anxiety. He chose to show us and share with us, Love in the flesh of our own human kind. He chose to love us within the birth of a perfect, innocent, beautiful infant child.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of

David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”                                                  (Luke 2:10-11)

Prayer: We know, God, that we are more often than not, a worrying, faithless people. Forgive us, God. And, help us to replace worry and be filled with your Heavenly Peace. Amen.

Please consider making a donation to our ministry   Each dollar you give helps us fulfill the mission and vision God calls us to in reaching people for Christ.

Living Water Christian Church of the Shenandoah Valley
72 N Lake Avenue
Front Royal, VA 22630
540-622-6320

pastor@lwccsv.org
Let us not give up meeting together… let us
encourage one another- and all the more as you
see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25