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August, 2020 - Issue #191
Find Encouragement in Prayer & Our Land will be Healed
God knows we could all use some encouragement right now. The wisdom of man is fleeting, and often one person's personal "wisdom" contradicts that of another. For time-tested wisdom and counsel in everyday life, it's best to look above man's ideas - and to God's truths. We need solutions to today's problems (and their are many). Yet we tend to overthink things, so I'd like to pass along this simple reminder. In the time of 2nd Chronicles 7:12-14, Solomon and the people of Israel had just come from great prosperity in the Lord and were looking to the future. Life was good. But it wouldn't always be that way. God was still firmly on His throne, and He had both encouragement and a warning for them. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice." Great news. God heard their prayer, and He both provided a place of worship for the Israelites and was pleased with their worship of Him. But here's the warning of tough times ahead: "When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence (like a virus?) among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." Now, not all people are wicked, but some ruin it for everyone else - if we pray, and ask God for mercy, peace and grace, our land will be healed. We need that healing. Let's be sure to pray - for peace, for resolution to the conflicts raging around us. Love one another. Pray for the peace of God to rule in the hearts of all men and women.
Jack Winkle is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Valley. 523-2248

Two Simple Practices that Sustain Us in Hard Times
How do we find faith in challenging seasons? Here are a couple of ideas! Connecting with the Bible through daily readings helps us see the entire scope of the scripture and hear God's great love in Jesus Christ. Try this: What if you opened the scripture, downloaded an app, or jumped onto YouTube to connect to scripture? Even five minutes a day will help - and if you don't have a reading plan, reach out to me because I will share a great one! This summer, our focus is on what the scripture calls the "Fruit of the Spirit." We are learning how to be more loving, growing in our ability to find joy in struggle and looking for what makes peace in our lives. Try this: Worship online (umcv.org/live-stream) and learn how the Spirit of God grows our fruitfulness. A good place to start is "Joy" from June 28, 2020. The basics ground us in faith, and we all need faith today! #hereforgood
Reverend Nicole Reilley is the teaching and lead pastor at Valencia United Methodist Church. umcv.org
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