Are we there yet? You know that little voice from the backseat when you hear it. It is the famous refrain from the family road trip. Everyone is in the same car, but someone wants to go at their own speed. Are we there yet? is usually followed by an, I’m bored, or, Stop touching me. Television sports fans have been reduced to highlight reels and championship league bowling tournaments reruns. Others are binge-watching the last 20 years of The Simpsons or the first 20 years of I Love Lucy. Anything to escape this road trip of fear and sorrow called a pandemic.
Who is driving this car anyway? Can we at least stop the car for a while or look at some different scenery? When will we get there? Everyone wants an estimated arrival day. This road trip so far has been marked by flat tires, empty gas tanks, rocks in the windshield and near misses. We have our plans and ideas on how to keep the car running, which roads are fastest and where the shortcuts are, but we are not driving the car. We still do not know what hazards may be in the road ahead, what storms may slow us down, or tail winds which might push us forward faster. There may be a bridge out across mountains, or a superhighway that opens the way. The answer to how long may depend on how many of us stay buckled up in the car and let the journey take care of itself. Nothing to do can be your enemy or your friend. Exhaustion in activity holds the very same challenge.
The Scriptures help us to navigate days of uncertainty and waiting in a simple prayer: So teach us to order our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) Today pray for those infected and those they love. Pray for the most alone, vulnerable and frail. Love your neighbors. Keep in touch with all whom the Lord brings to mind. Pray for yourself, that you will find patience and perseverance for the whole journey.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Keep your seatbelt on. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
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When fears assail, stay connected to God. When resources run low, depend on Christ. When strength runs out, fill-up with the power of the Spirit. When friends and family cannot be hugged, wrap your love around them in prayer. When boredom engulfs, make a joyful noise. When your mind won’t settle down, read God’s Holy Word. When life seems out of control, draw near to your Creator. When grief brings sorrows deep, look high with tears to the Shepherd who holds you close. The Lord appeared to us in the past saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again…’ Read the whole promise in Jeremiah 31:1-9.
How do we live faithfully when we are endangered by an unseen enemy and confined for our whole community’s good? We practice the JOY we were taught in Sunday School. Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last. We take care of each other. We stay connected. I discovered this little formula one night while reading. I reposted it on Facebook:
Daily Quarantine Questions
- What am I grateful for today?
- Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
- What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
- How am I getting outside today?
- How am I moving my body today?
- What beauty am I either creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?
Today pray for yourself and your well-being. Open the front door and pray about what you see. Pray for your church leaders and church families. Pray for those already infected and those they love. Pray for the most vulnerable and frail. Pray for the caregivers, doctors, nurses and health care workers. Pray for those whose life work, jobs and businesses are in jeopardy.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Stay connected. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
- Facebook: Darryl S. DeBorde
- Phone: (918) 230-0781
- Email: BroDarryl@cox.net
- Church Facebook: Braden Park Church Tulsa
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Our daughters have grounded us, sort of. They are starting to get really bossy about it. They quiz me about what my plan for the day is, then reprimand me when I report my necessary trips to tie up loose ends at the church. And the bank. And the store. Dayna is pleading with us to stop going anywhere, for anything. She says it will be worth it in the long run, and her home cooking has improved immensely. Her report today is, “There are 16 coronavirus cases in all of China, four from the Wuhan region, and 12 from Chinese citizens who just flew back to their country.” If you are on Facebook, go to her page at Dayna DeBorde Avery, and read her post about sheltering-at-home from a missionary friend, Jessica McFarland Cannell, serving in Dalian in northeast China, who says in part: “We would say ‘this too shall pass.’ But we really weren’t sure when. Nor did we know if all these restrictions were actually necessary. . .They say hindsight is 20/20 and looking back I can say with a resounding YES! it was completely, totally necessary. And it was successful! …Please take advantage of other countries’ experiences. Don’t be selfish. Be inconvenienced. Be wise…Please, everyone, just stay home. YOU will make a difference.”
I will shelter in place. I will be inconvenienced. I will seek to set aside my pride in believing that I am somehow so important that I am the exception. I am also asking myself, what if I get the virus and never know that I am a carrier like Typhoid Mary, infecting others who might eventually die? I am exploring how best to proceed in worship, prayer and counsel to the church. I am learning about live-streaming, podcasting, and other ways to bring encouragement. Even though we are all becoming “homebound” for now, we can still connect. I may not be able to send you an EVANGEL every week. Let’s stay grounded. Friend me on Facebook. My phone will always be charged so call me anytime. I have set up an email to use for such a time as this.
Today pray for those already infected and those they love. Pray for the most vulnerable and frail. Pray for the caregivers, doctors, nurses and health care workers. Pray for the first responders who are always on call whatever the emergency. Pray for yourself, that you will find peace in this time of crisis. Love your neighbors. Keep in touch will all the Lord brings to mind.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Stay grounded! And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
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I love libraries. I worked my way through college and seminary as a staff librarian. In that life long ago, I worked in the Special Collections Department of the Harwell G. Davis Library of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. I was a Micro-photographer, which meant I photographed historical books, maps, newspapers and documents for researchers and writers to read on an old technology called Microfilm and Microfiche. After college I served about 3 years as the full-time Serials Librarian at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Fleming Library. That’s serials with an “s,” not with a “c.” We did not serve breakfast. Serials are periodicals, magazines and annuals. I had a staff of eight people to supervise and over 4,000 different titles to catalog and file. It was an amazing and diverse job with the opportunity to help students, professors and Biblical scholars research the most current materials available in religious studies.
I went to the local branch of the library in hopes of finding a certain book. The Tulsa City County Library System is amazing. The young librarian was very kind and helpful as she directed me to the big Start Here sign over a brightly decorated computer, since the card catalog drawers were recycled long ago. No luck finding the book. I had lost my library card and needed a new one. After completing the proper form back at the computer, the librarian gave me a plastic library card with my personal barcode to use with everything. She taught me the intricacies of downloading library books through the various kinds of apps for my devices and even gave me a list of the apps needed for the many different e-book platforms that publishers use. All free and done in less than 10 minutes. Before saying farewell and sending me on my way, she patiently listened to my stories of microfiche and serials.
I am continually grateful for the skills I learned working in libraries. I learned vast amounts of history while filming newspapers from colonial times through World War 2. I learned how to read quickly with comprehension, and how to research current ideas through periodicals. Technology is always changing, but libraries open the world to us all. Andrew Carnegie, the giver of libraries to the small towns of America, once said, There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, or wealth receives the slightest consideration.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Expand your world. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
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