April 17, 2020

Update #8

Dear Salem Evangelical Church Family and Beyond,

I am reminded of trips our family would take when I was a child.  We would almost always take a driving trip to somewhere far away like Yellowstone, Canada or Disneyland.  There were some phrases that were repeated quite often in the car and they remind me of some of the phrases I am hearing during this time of staying at home: “Are we there yet,” “Quit hitting your sister,” and “Stay on your side.”  Can anyone relate to these phrases today?

No, we are not there yet.  I would then be told to look out my window and enjoy the drive!  Are you kidding me?  Yet, I am suggesting to you as your pastor to look out the window and notice scenery you have not noticed in past days due to busyness and a full schedule.

“Quit hitting your sister,” I would be told often on those long days in the Pontiac that was longer than a cruise ship.  It’s funny how it always seemed to be my fault.  Yet, if you were to ask my sister today, she would say that it always seemed to be her fault.

“Stay on your side of the seat and leave your sister alone,” would be something I heard as often as the other crimes I was guilty of while being trapped in that metal box on wheels.

We are all in this together and we are all trying to make this “new normal” work with a good attitude.  The first couple of weeks were new so we all did well.  The last couple of weeks I sense a restlessness.  What if social distancing and isolation goes on for a few more weeks, a few more months, the rest of the year?  Yikes!

These days of unknowns and uncertainty are exposing our weaknesses, our comfortable lifestyles no matter how modest they may be and our routines that have been turned upside down.  I gave a devotional Wednesday, you can find online about patience.  The day before that, on Tuesday, I gave a devotional online about prayer.  And on Monday, I gave a devotional on perspective.  I invite you to review those devotionals.

People are beginning to ask me what church will look like when we come back together with new guidelines that are almost certain.  I don’t know, because I do not know the guidelines.  I am trying to do something I have not done very well ever in my life…enjoy the drive!

When I was a child there were two instructions given me by my parents when necessary…wait and hold still.  Impossible for a young boy!  Are you having trouble holding still and waiting for this to be over?

Psalm 46:10…Cease striving (be still) and know that I am God…

Isaiah 40:31…Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength…

Philippians 4:13…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

II Corinthians 12:9…My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.

Lamentations 3:22-23…The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.

Philippians 4:19…And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Joshua 1:9…Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Matthew 6:34…Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself…

Hebrews 12:2…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…

Philippians 1:6…For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Have a great day!

In Christ,

Pastor Randy R. Butler