Posted: September 1, 2021
Abba Father I come to You in the name Jesus,
Lord, You have said in your holy Word that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV). Yet in our world, in our communities, in our workplaces, among the leaders of our nation, and even in our churches and families we see men and women, boys and girls in conflict with each other drawing battle lines as if our fellow human beings were the enemy.
Lord, I beg that this will not be so among us. I pray that we as a church in Salmon Arm will be a light on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). May our church, our leaders, and our families be an example of hope and healing to all those around us. Abba Father, we humbly ask that you will use us for such a time as this to reach one person at a time until everyone in Salmon Arm knows you and your love.
This is my humble earnest prayer, in Jesus' name!
Church family, this prayer was born out of a troubling and vexing narrative that raised its ugly head this week. I am compelled to confront this deception head-on, believing and praying that as God’s people we will be part of the solution pressing together in unity and love.
As I saw this narrative emerge I could not be silent.
Perhaps you have heard conversations around the idea that the vaccinated will need to protect themselves from the unvaccinated. One easy example to pick on is the thought of having separate church services for the vaccinated and unvaccinated. First of all, I will never stand for that type of segregation in our church and I trust each of you will reject it as well—please forgive me if this sounds harsh. Now, on the flip side (another extreme), this week I heard talk of the need for the unvaccinated to protect themselves from the vaccinated. What a disturbing thought that no one can be safe unless we segregate or protect ourselves from each other. I am sorry if you disagree, but these are extreme ideas and are not the only way to protect one another. As I saw this narrative emerge I could not be silent.
Note: I must continue to stress, if you are sick stay home and those who attend church gatherings, please sanitize your hands regularly and follow other basic public health protocols based on your situation and needs.
As followers of Jesus and people of faith who trust in God—we must not be deceived by these lies and let them divide us. This is the work of the enemy and the father of lies to create fear and distrust between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. This is part of a false narrative. At this time, like never before we must discern the tactics of the enemy to divide and conquer—together we stand, divided we fall!
This is the work of the enemy and the father of lies to create fear and distrust between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
These are challenging times, but together, and with the right focus on the Word of God we will prevail. James 1:2-4 (NIV) says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
A special thanks to each of you who responded with encouragement, advice, disagreement, and other comments after last week's entry in our newsletter. I deeply value personal experiences and different points of view. We are always stronger and wiser when we seek to learn from each other. The Bible says, “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17, NIV)—but this can only happen when we are willing to be open, vulnerable, and honest.
I hope to talk more about Matthew 4:4 in the future, but in conclusion, I challenge each of us to "live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". In today’s world, it is hard to know who to trust but we can never go wrong if we are digging deep in the Word of God and feeding on it. The Bible contains vital nutrition and without it, we have no hope of discerning between truth and all the errors that abound on every side of controversial matters.
My Hi-5 List:
ADRA Appeal for Donations — if you have clothing or other personal items you can part with or purchase, ADRA needs these items immediately. Also, they are looking for construction/repair supplies and materials, along with furniture, appliances, etc. (see flyer for more details—click here).
NOTICE! ADRA Needs Volunteers in Coldstream to help with sorting donations at a distribution warehouse. Each day, 20 volunteers are needed and must have a criminal record check (for more information contact either Pastor Royce or visit the news section of our website which contains a full explanation).
Fellowship Lunch the 1st Sabbath of each month — this month’s meal will be September 4th. Let’s make sure it is the best experience for everyone BY welcoming and including guests and BY bringing extra food so there is enough for everyone.
Annual Church Campout September 10/11 — we are excited about this year’s campout! Please see the church website (click here) or newsletter for more details. For those not able to attend the campout, our church will be OPEN on Sabbath September 11th.
Health Tip: this may seem like a no-brainer, but if we want to be healthy we need to get good sleep. That means quality sleep for 7-8 hours per night. An article in WebMD identifies 7 surprising benefits of good sleep. These include:
- Mental clarity/sharpness
- Emotional health
- Heart health
- Athletic advantage
- Steadier blood sugar
- Enhanced immune function
- Weight control
But what can you do if you have a hard time getting to sleep? I remember Phil Brewer prescribing deep breathing. There may be other factors that keep a person from falling asleep. But if you are restless and just can get to sleep try taking deep breaths all the way down to the bottom of your lungs. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. In between, make sure to hold it for a few seconds before exhaling. Not only is this a good way to get better oxygen but for many, you will be fast asleep before you know it.
Sincerely, Pastor Royce Odiyar