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May 6, 2020

Dear Eastwood Family,

Romans 12:1-2  I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  (2)  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (NRSV)

I find it interesting how God continues to transform my mind, and by extension my whole self. This time of physical distancing has brought about several difficulties in my life, and I’d bet that’s true for you as well. What I am finding though, is that some of these challenges are helping me recognize things about me that may not be in line with God’s best vision of me. In the past, I’d watch TV, play video games or read for hours on end in order to “pass the time.” Now, I’m finding that many of the things I would do to self-soothe are no longer working. I’m feeling restless, and I’m recognizing that some of those things are not really helping me. Entertainment isn’t satisfying anymore. I’m connecting with Solomon when he said in, Ecclesiastes 1:2 “Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, vanity of vanities!  All is vanity.”

I am discovering that other things are more satisfying. Working wood in my shop, writing, exercise and conversations with friends and family (at a distance) are providing more satisfaction than I’ve ever noticed before. I’m finding the more time I spend doing those things, the less troubled I feel. The less troubled I feel, the better my whole family feels. Troubles and challenges help transform our thinking, if we take time to be aware of what we’re feeling, and respond to what we recognize.

I bet you are seeing similar things in your own life. Can you do something for me, and for each other? Would you mind sending me a card, email or message of some sort talking about how you have experienced some positive growth or learning through this time of physical distancing? I’d like to compile this for our next mailing to each one of you. If you want to include pictures, EVEN BETTER! I think it would be helpful and encouraging for all of us to share some of the good things happening as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. You may not think what you’ve learned or experienced is big, but I promise you that is not the case. Your stories are important! You never know what may be significant for someone else’s life journey.

If any of you are struggling right now, please call me. I’m in the office Monday through Thursday from 9-3, and I’d love to chat! If you’re not struggling feel free to call as well!

For those of you who have access to the internet, worship is broadcast through the publicly accessible Facebook Page for the church. You DO NOT NEED A Facebook account in order to access it, but you do need a phone, tablet or computer with internet access. In your web browser address bar type in the following:
https://www.facebook.com/EastwoodBaptistChurch/live/

Then scroll down and you should see the live broadcast, as well as other posts by the church. If you miss the broadcast, you can still go to the same page and watch it later.

If you DO NOT have access to the internet, I want to try broadcasting the worship service over a conference call number. This way, if you call in to the number provided below, and enter the Meeting ID provided, you will be able to listen to worship live! I can’t promise that the sound will be perfect, but you should be able to clearly hear the sermon and prayers.

At 10:30 am Sunday morning, dial the number
(669) 900-6833 and enter Meeting ID 889 017 2491#
You will be muted, but should be able to hear the worship service.

I would also like to invite you all to join me in a time of prayer by way of a Zoom meeting each Wednesday evening at 6:00pm.

If you want to join the meeting digitally, go to https://zoom.us/j/171842639

If you are worried about zoom’s security, or do not have an internet connection, you can call in at (669) 900-6833 and enter Meeting ID 171 842 639#

Please take time to check on each other, while also praying for me, the church leadership and each other during this time!

Yours in God’s love,
Pastor Jeff and the Deacons of Eastwood Baptist Church

 

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This page last updated: 5/8/20