OCC Daily Connect: CarvingCoronavirus Edition, March 25, 2020
Physical-Distancing, Socially-Vigilant
INTRODUCTION: Please read entire email

In this edition we have included:
1. A new devotion: Carving
2. Women’s Bible Study starts this week
3. Some amazing 
FREE resources 
4. A simple life hack

1. Encouragement from the Word: Carving
by Pastor Todd 

In this new stay-at-home era we are doing everything at home: working, schooling, “socializing,” shopping (more than normal), entertaining (for those who are Shelter-in-placing with us) on top of the regular eating, sleeping, cleaning and all the other “ings” we normally do at home. One thing we might not be doing in this mad rush to figure out our new normal is carving.

What do I mean by “carving?” As we scramble to do everything at home, we may not be carving out time for some very important and relatively easy things to do. Praying is one of those things (I talked about it in Monday’s Daily Connect). A couple of others may be reading our Bible and even simply resting.

As you you’ve heard me quote time and time again, God’s Word says about itself that it makes the “man [and woman] of God complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible sufficiently helps us become mature in every way as believers (really as humans). We are to read, study, and memorize the Scriptures. In doing that we grow in our understanding, in our love for God and others and in our actions. The Bible is there in times of crisis, like this one, to remind us of who God is, what He has done, His promises and how we can trust Him.

In all the hubbub of life being entirely at home, please don’t forget to carve out time for reading, studying and even memorizing (see below resource) God’s Word. What to read? How about the Psalms – these are the ancient songs of God’s people with a purpose of leading us to worship God in Truth through any and all situations. Also, I recommend one of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. You can’t go wrong with diving deeper into Jesus’ life.

Also, as you carve out time in reading God’s Word, don’t just read it. Ask questions as you read it. Questions to ask yourself: What do these verses say about God? What do they say about how I should respond to God? Is there something I should ask forgiveness for and repent of? Are there promises I should hold onto? How does this passage remind me of the gospel? Maybe there are other appropriate questions, too. The point in asking questions is so that we might not merely read but understand a passage of Scripture and to then apply it to your life.

A second area worth carving out is a time of rest. Quite simply, you need to rest. Don’t stay up late. Be better about setting work and school aside since it is always with you for now. Play with your kids. Talk to your spouse. Look for a spouse online if you don’t have one (be careful, haha). Read fiction. Watch something fun. If you are constantly binge-watching, don’t watch anything. Just rest. Ultimately, find your rest in Christ through this crisis. Here His words:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30, ESV)

You can rest in Christ, knowing this:
“…a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory;…”(Matthew 12:20, ESV)

And this…
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35, 37, ESV)

See what I did there? We just carved out time for God’s Word and rest. Keep it up.

2. WOMEN’S ANNOUNCEMENT: Virtual Bible Study is up and running!
All OCC Ladies: Because our previous Women’s Bible Study just wrapped up, Lisa is in process of putting together an online study that you can do from home, involving a zoom meeting where you can fellowship with the other ladies. She will be sending out the details in a SEPARATE email list, so if you are interested in finding our more details as the details unfold, email Lisa ASAP: lisa@orchardcommunity.org

Here are some helpful links as you navigate being home:
Free Resources for Your Stay at Home during COVID-19
Crossway publishers, a solid, biblical Christian publisher is offering the following for FREE:

  • Free Ebooks
  • Printable Bible Verse Cards
  • Articles
  • Podcast Interviews
  • Bible Reading Plans and Devotionals
  • 75% Off All Ebooks

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

Did I mention you should rest? Put whatever you are doing down and rest. NOW!

Contact Any of Us with Prayer Requests or questions:Todd Burgett: todd@orchardcommunity.org
Jeremy Wong: jeremy@orchardcommunity.org
John Gould: jgould@orchardcommunity.org
John String: jstringer@orchardcommunity.org
Lisa Burgett: lisa@orchardcommunity.org
Sue Ertis:  sue@orchardcommunity.org