Living Through the Covid Blues

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 NKJV

With the death of a close friend, and both of us battling Covid (Thankfully not at the same time) the last seven days have begun to blur together. With hours of time and not a lot of energy, I have gone back to the project of digitizing our old family photos. First, comes the sorting process and deciding which of these can simply be retired. Then, I photograph each photo with our canon, upload and enhance those thousands of photos (Why did we take so many!?). By now I am up to the late 90’s and early 2000’s and the baby photos of our grandchildren are sweet. But as I see the thousands of faces, I also know the sad, sometimes tragic stories that replaced the smiles with tears. Some I simply delete, as the memories are too painful, others I preserve, because for better or worse these are the people who are part of our history. In a bout of depression, the other night, my mind turned back to the verse that has helped me so many times before. Our old friend, the Apostle Paul, sitting in his prison cell, writes to encourage his friends that when they face hardships, they need to remember the good things that God has done. No matter how low things appear, there are still things and people around us who have noble hearts. No matter how unfairly and selfishly people treat each other, there still remain things of true purity, loveliness and grace. As long as God sits on Heaven’s throne (Which is a long-long time!) – alongside the evil in this world and ruling over it are God’s goodness and glory. He is still good. He sees the whole picture and still loves and cares for each of us. It is up to me and you to decide what we allow our hearts and minds to dwell on and we can do this because our true life is in Christ and is hidden with Him in God.

One of the sisters from our prayer group sent us this song from Charity Gayle, saying it would give us something to praise God about. By the end, the ice in my soul began to melt and I was really blessed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. There is no better way for us to set our minds on the good things God has done, that to take time out and give Him praise!

A Little Bluegrass Praise

With all kinds of bad stuff is going on in our world, I just thought I’d post a little Bluegrass Praise Music. According to the Bible, praising God is a worthwhile choice even in the darkest nights. I hope this one makes you smile, lightens your load and maybe even makes you tap your feet!

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.  Acts 16:25-26 ESV

Joy Unspeakable

Years ago we lived in a small upstairs apartment and the only telephone was on the wall in the kitchen. It may be hard for young people to imagine but then the ringing of the phone meant an important message and everyone in the family ran to answer it. Around midnight when we were all sound asleep, the phone began ringing. Concerned that it must be terribly important my wife shook me by the shoulder, ” Honey! Wake up! You have to get the phone!” she called.

Obediently I stumbled to the kitchen still half asleep without bothering to even flick on the light. By the time I picked up the receiver my mind couldn’t focus any longer and so I just mumbled something incoherent and hung it back on the hook. Then shuffling back across the dark apartment I plopped back in bed.

“So who was it?” Nancy asked.

Who was what?” I answered and fell fast asleep! This last year of the Covid-19 crisis reminds me of that phone call. Everything is dark and is seems like everyone is calling us to action but we are exhausted. Even when we do pick up the phone we no longer have the energy to hear what is being said. But God has great news for all of us fighting this invisible enemy that has sapped our strength. He has an unspeakable joy to give us that is full of glory. In fact the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength!