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Dealing with YOU during this time of self-isolation

By Guest Contributor: E. Taylor

Have you ever been lonely?  Loneliness is irrational and confuses us about who we really are.  Do not let loneliness dominate during this time of self-isolation.  Use this time to seek and search and welcome the new creation, new you with a new perspective and new outlook.  This is a time to share the Good News and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with yourself within your home and your family and community because building your faith strengthens those around you.  This is a time to focus on those virtues and characteristics that we have been wanting and talking about for such a long time.  Now is a time to go after them and pursue them with purpose and passion until they are ours.  Now is the time to fulfill those promises to ourselves, where we were just waiting to have time to do something or needing more time at home.  The time is here, and all we must do is walk into it and do it. 

Now is here.  If only is here.  I want, I wish – is here right now in front of us.  All of this is within arm’s reach, and now we must follow through on our part of it by committing to invest in self.  Now is a good time to be selfish, to invest in you, your relationship with God, and your relationship with yourself.  It always sounded so easy when we prayed, or hoped, or even imagined what could possibly be if only there was time for it.  

Now we have been given a time of refuge and solace and shifting away from the busyness and the routine of being caught up in and sometimes swallowed whole by life.  Here it is, the golden opportunity we have been waiting on for so long.  The question presents itself – what are we going to do with it now? How will we manage this time alone, time to ourselves, time away from others and other things, and time away from distractions?  We will not fall prey to loneliness but will wisely manage this opportunity of alone-ness.  

This is the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance we have been anticipating and expecting but disbelieving that it would arrive.  Now is the time to pursue God, to chase Him with all that we have, every fiber of our being.  Seek Him while He can be found.  Run, run, run!! Go get Him.  Grab hold to His Spirit.  He is here and within reach, just waiting for us to gear up and get into place.  As the deer pants and thirsts after the water, so should our souls be in pursuit of God (Psalm 42:1-2).  

Some of us are overdue for some “me” time, so let’s get it in now.  We will use this time of self-isolation to improve our lives and our relationships and to position ourselves into the place God will have us to be.  We will not focus on what we do not have or what we cannot do.  Our focus will now be on God and what He will have us do and become.

#aloneness, #isolation, #loneliness, #purpose, #relationships

Hope

How often do we really take inventory of our lives? Now amidst the crisis of the coronavirus, it is an opportunity for us all to count our blessings, reach out to our loved ones, and pay it forward with kindness, love, and encouragement. Let’s challenge ourselves to demonstrate genuineness and inspire others who may be struggling with everyday life events. 

It is often tough to stretch our budgets just to make ends meet, pay basic bills such as utilities and rent, and be able to afford healthy, warm meals for our family. This is a good time to purposefully link up with a buddy, another family, or an older adult to support and help each other, find out if there’s some way that we can complement each other in resources, time, childcare, meal planning, household shopping, etc. 

Now more than ever, people all over our country and all over the world need each other. There is someone near us who needs a friend, an encourager, a prayer partner, a dreamer, someone to build them up and to remind them that it’s still a time to plan, prepare, and accomplish. There’s someone out there that doesn’t see a way to make it work in their favor right now. They don’t want to give up but have reached a point where they feel there’s no other choice. Please be that person for someone else – the one that reminds them that there is HOPE. It is something that is needed so very much right now. 

How can we offer that hope to others if we seem discouraged, hopeless, or frantic?  We offer them the hope of the Lord, for He alone is worthy of praise and the holder and giver of hope, faith, love.  God alone is the provider of hope, the sower of faith, and the grower of what is to be and to come.  He is the fertilizer of the seeds of those that seek something to latch onto, that are looking for something to believe, someone to believe in, and somewhere to invest the energy, love, and labor of this life in order to reap His reward of a blessed eternal life.  

We are that light in this pressured time, that light that represents our God, that represents His hope, His peace, His love.  This is a time that people all over the world, regardless of their differences, need us, need the hope that there is an appointed time for these things we are experiencing right now.  They need to know and understand that the story of the current times was already written many, many years ago, and is only narrated now with His permission through media and social outlets. 

There are a time and a season and a purpose for everything, even the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic.  And there is still hope, the hope of God, the hope of Glory, the hope of His Son Jesus, the hope of His Spirit to comfort us.

Contributor: E. Taylor

COVID-19: Our Temporary New Normal

On March 18, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a National State of Emergency as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This is an unprecedented time. Never have we experienced the massive shutdown of schools, places of worship, and businesses. 

Our normal routines have changed. As our Pastor has taught, we are now in the state of a temporary new normal. We adjust, finding effective ways to be productive. The first way to do that is by following the directives of our government leaders.

Even in this temporary new normal, we can be more productive than usual. For those required to stay home, we hope to have more time to pray, read our Bible, and reflect to understand the direction of our lives. We are confident in crisis and will not faint. There is hope now and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additionally, we are mindful of the severe impact this virus has had. Many have lost their lives with the possibility of more being lost. As believers, we thankfully realize death is not the end of life. It is a transition. We are spirit, we have a soul, and live in a body. This is our hope. After transition, our spirit does return home to our Father. For those who remain, we hurt, we grieve, and we trust God for His grace and comfort. Ultimately, we hold fast to our hope on earth.

During this time, a great word to reflect on is to carve. The essence of this word requires us to press on or into a tough surface, move forward, and make a beautiful impact. 

For many of us, before COVID-19, we knew God was calling us to be productive in a certain area. For you, that may be finding creative ways to be a blessing to others in this season. For others, it may be starting an online business, writing a book, organizing your home, or connecting with love ones. 

It is important that we do not allow this unprecedented time to pass without greatly reflecting and spending time in God’s presence. During the days ahead, here are three basic questions to reflect on:

  • Lord, what is your will for my life?
  • Lord, what strategy do I need to fulfill it?
  • Lord, how will this impact the lives of others?

Once you receive and record your answers, carve — press in, move forward, and make a beautiful impact. 

During this pullback season, we pray we do not miss what our Father is sharing. God has a way of doing the incredible in challenging times. He has an excellent resume of doing the impossible and providing unimaginable resources. The story of Moses filled with miracles surrounding His walk with God is a great reminder. 

Contributor: A. Dorcent

#COVID-19, #Hope

Fasting is a commitment to God

Christians fast with a purpose, with a goal as their focus, with an end in mind.  This fasting usually involves abstaining from something specific such as food, drink, specific foods or drinks, social media outlets, forms of technology, television, specific activities, variations of all of these, and even others.  The very nature of spiritual fasting is to give up something that often takes up a lot of our focus, our time, even our energy, and our efforts.  This focus, time, energy, and effort is then given to God and poured into our interactions and invested in our relationship with Him seeking to please and satisfy Him.  The time that would ordinarily be spent on watching television or on social media outlets is now focused on pleasing God.   

Fasting accomplishes what we cannot do on our own with our human efforts.  It grounds us, slowing us down where we would ordinarily continue our path of normal, regular, routine, and ordinary.  We now have something telling us how, when, where, and how to listen for God’s voice and to His voice so that we may enhance our relationship and intimacy with Him.  These efforts lead us, rejuvenate our spirits, and provide clarity in the midst of calamity. 

Fasting provides an opportunity for a revelation of God’s Word if we are in a posture conducive to learning, improving, and growing in our knowledge and experience of Him.  Our spiritual development then becomes what we invest in our fast.  If we invest heavily then we gain heavily and vice versa.  Fasting requires discipline which in turns increases our discipline.  Fasting requires us to seek God’s support and to admit that we are unable to achieve the same success on our own as we do with the combination of fasting and praying. 

The Bible identifies fasting as a part of our Christian and spiritual growth and offers suggestions on increasing our intimacy with God and the whys and how’s of fasting in itself.  In the Book of Ezra in Chapter 8, verses 21-23, Ezra declares a fast to find out from God the best route for travel for both the adults and the children.  Ezra and his people were fearful of their enemies, but God protected all of Ezra and the people on their journey to Jerusalem. 

Fasting works when we identify and exercise some basic principles such as inviting the Holy Spirit to do as He has promised: asking Him to lead and guide us and reveal to us His purpose in our lives and our role in this time of fasting and prayer.  This time of consecration can include prayer, fasting, using a journal, reading the Bible, meditation, attending church services, singing, clapping, dancing, and various other ways that we choose to demonstrate our commitment to God.  Christian fasting expresses a longing, a thirst, and a hunger for God’s presence for true transformation of our individual spirituality through our thoughts and actions as well as the changes seen in our lives and daily interactions with others.

Contributor: E. Taylor

#commitment, #fasting, #meditation, #prayer

What to do when you mess up on your fast?

Help, I’ve fallen off my fast!

Do you find fasting to be a challenging commitment? I most definitely have. Our church facilitates an annual 40-day church-wide fast. I’m usually excited to get started. I’ve learned fasting is an external expression of communicating with God when we need more of Him. It is an opportunity to become spiritually stronger. During these moments, we crave Godly intimacy and willingly refuse natural comforts for more of His spirit.

Fasting has taught me that I’m a good starter and good finisher — it’s the middle I struggle with. It seems somewhere around day ten, I dream about cake. One year, one of my friends was celebrating her birthday at work. Well, how could I be rude and refuse to have a sweet slice of cake? Besides, who’s looking, right? God understands. These were my justifications and a dream come true. I was dreaming about cake. Well, just as I was enjoying that slice, another friend and member of my church entered the office and saw me. She was shocked, and so was I. I got caught, cake in hand!

The truth is, I messed up. There’s no denying that. Failing is no reason to give up. I had to go back to the heart of why I was fasting. I needed more of God. Just like in any situation where I’ve fallen short of His glory, I needed to ask His forgiveness and remember my personal relationship with Him was and is worth it. 

Here are some things I’ve found helpful during an extended fast.

1) First things first…I begin my day with prayer and Bible reading. Our pastor leads us in a prayer call at 6:33 am Monday – Saturday. This sets the direction for my day.

2) Having accountability partners. I wonder if my friend had not found me eating cake if I would have continued justifying loopholes. Now my co-workers and lunch partners know when I’m fasting. Even when they are not fasting, they know my limits and are careful to remind me.

3) If you work from home and do not have accountability partners, modern-day technology works as a great reminder. Setting reminder alerts with encouraging Bible verses in my phone or an assistant app are great tools and help me regain my focus.

We must remember fasting is about intimacy — growing closer and stronger in our Father. It’s about turning the volume down on daily distractions. Therefore, food should not be the only item we limit as we seek Him. Just as we build muscle in the natural, by way of physical resistance, the same principle applies in the spiritual. Strive not to lose your focus; however, if you do, remember His grace is sufficient for you.

#fasting, #Spiritualawareness, #spiritualgrowth

KidMin Lesson 3/15

Hi!

We care about your kids and want to keep them and others safe.  We will have online worship services from March 15th-29th.  We want to still reach your kids and support their continued spiritual growth on their level.  On Sunday, please open this link to go over the story with your child.  https://vimeo.com/showcase/6860371.  If your child is 1st grade or younger, they will watch the First Look Preschool Experience video.  If your child is in 2nd to 5th grade, they will watch both 252 Kids Elementary Experience and 252 Preteen Experience videos.  We will continue to send videos that the kids can watch over the next 3 weeks.  

We want to be as helpful as possible.  Here are some resources that may help you and your child:

* Parent Cue App – this free app gives you weekly cues that are aligned with the content in the video presentations:  https://bit.ly/2wTCNtG

* Managing Fear and Anxiety During a Health Pandemic – a blog post on managing anxiety during any number of life disruptions. https://bit.ly/2Q6kJTG

* Anxiety Conversation Guides – you can download these age-appropriate resources to find tips and practical ways to your child.
(Preschool) – https://bit.ly/33eSacg
(Elementary) – https://bit.ly/38LkjZs

When we begin live services again, we ask that you please partner with us to prevent the spread of illnesses. All volunteers, parents, and children should stay home for 14 days if exposed to a person with the coronavirus, the flu, or any other communicable disease or have recently traveled to a Centers for Disease Control Level 2 or 3 country.

You may have questions about what we’re doing to ensure our environment is clean and safe for your family. We want to inform you of the steps we take every week to prevent the spread of viruses in our environments.

– We follow hand-washing procedures and children are instructed to wash their hands when they enter the classroom, after using the bathroom and before eating snack.
– We follow safe and sanitary diaper-changing procedures.
– Staff and children use hand sanitizer.
– We disinfect the classrooms after each service.
– We remove children from the classroom when they appear to be sick, and parents are texted to pick them up.

Given the heightened awareness of viruses during this season, once we return to live services, we ask you not to bring your child to church if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

– Fever (during this season, must be fever-free for seven days)
– Vomiting or diarrhea (must be symptom-free for 24 hours)
– Common cold from onset through one week
– Respiratory infection
– Flu
– Sore throat or strep throat
– Croup
– Cloudy or green runny nose
– Persistent cough
– Body aches
– Headache
– Chills
– Fatigue
– Infectious or unexplained rash
– Pinkeye or other eye infection (must be on medication a minimum of 24 hours)
– Any childhood disease (e.g., scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chickenpox)

Thank you for all you do as parents to help your children learn and grow in their faith.  By faith, we will see you soon!

With Love,

KidMin

NEWSLETTER

CONTACT

1405 SW Greenville Blvd.  
Greenville, NC 27834

info@kccfamily.com

P: 252-752-1898
F: 252-752-6884

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