Heucks Retreat Newsletter 5/20/20

From Daniel’s Den…

Tired of Looking Up

As you may recall from a previous article, I have had workers helping with some construction/renovation at my house for the past few months. One of the projects is the construction of a large carport that looks more like a pavilion (or perhaps we are building a pavilion that will be used as a carport). At any rate, I came home recently to find one of the young men on a scaffold caulking, puttying, and sanding portions of the edifice’s ceiling. When I moved within talking distance, he declared “I am tired of looking up!”

While I understood both the context of the comment and the physical strain on the worker’s neck and back that results from the particular tasks that he had undertaken, I thought that the statement had unique application for daily living. Sometimes, Christians tend to get tired of looking up or at least we may give the impression through our actions, attitudes, words, and deeds that we would prefer to look down or sideways rather than up. For instance, rather than being patient with a family member, friend, or co-worker in accordance with the “Love is patient” admonition presented in 1 Corinthians 13:4, we often fire off a retort, criticize someone’s effort, or storm off in response to something done slowly, incorrectly, or otherwise. (I am guilty in this area more often than I care to admit). When you sense a burst of impatience flooding over you, Look Up!

Related to impatience, have you ever gotten the proverbial “cart in front of the horse” by moving too hastily with a decision or taking matters into your own hands? (Another confession on my part would be appropriate here but I’ll refrain at this juncture.). I am reminded of King Saul who moved too hastily and took matters into his own hands. Because of his impatience with Samuel in the midst of a seemingly dire situation, Saul assumed the role of the priest and administered burnt offerings. The consequence of Saul’s act of disobedience was his eventual removal from the throne of Israel and the appointment of David (1 Samuel 13). When you feel like the situation is dire, questions need answering and decisions need to be made (especially when questions are many, answers few, and decisions difficult and uncertain), Look Up! Those who wait on and hope in the LORD will have their strength renewed and they will soar on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). The prophet Isaiah also stated “Blessed are all who wait for him! (30:18).  

My 88-year-old mother is as mentally sharp as ever. Her physical body, however, has seen better days. She uses a cane, walker, and wheelchair to aid her mobility. She is hunched over and looks something like a question mark when standing. Therefore, she sees only the floor when walking or standing. She moves slowly and cautiously in order to avoid falling or having some other mishap. (I’ve told her that if she moved any slower she would be walking backwards.) Despite her lack of mobility, agility, or speed, my mom maintains a positive outlook. Even though she is looking down physically, she continues to Look Up in every other way and especially in her relationship with the Lord. In accordance with Proverbs 3:5-6, mom lives trusting the Lord with all her heart and leaning not on her own understanding. In all her ways, she acknowledges Him (knowing) that He will direct her paths (physically, mentally, financially, relationally, and spiritually, etc.). When you experience personal challenges, difficulties, hurts, heartaches, and disappointments of any shape, form, or variety, Look Up! Trust the Lord and He will direct your paths!

As we are well into the third month of worshiping via live streaming, I know that many church-going folks may have patience that is waning with regard to gathering for in-person worship. I also recognize that others may want to reconvene now especially since other churches have begun to gather and our governor appears to be providing something of a green light. Nonetheless, we do not want to be too hasty and thereby incur a new set of challenges. Plans and guidelines are being developed to aid HRBC in our reopening effort. I anticipate that this information will be disseminated soon. In the meantime, please remember to be patient and Look Up! Please wait upon the Lord and place your hope in Him. He will renew your strength as you Look Up! Also, continue to trust Him to direct your paths on both an individual basis and our paths on a church-wide basis as we pray, plan, prepare, project, and proceed for renewing worship in corporate assembly. Together, we will continue to Look Up! Unlike my young friend on the scaffold, don’t get tired of looking up. Rather, “grow not weary in doing good (which entails Looking Up to the Lord) for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). The next verse states, “Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10). Heucks Retreat Baptist Church, may you do good, remain encouraged in the Lord and may you continue to LOOK UP! I can’t wait to worship with you on Sunday! 

In Christ’s Service and Yours,

Daniel

Notes From Brett

I hope everyone has had a great week and continues to grow closer to the Lord.  Here at Heucks, we’ve been preparing for your return, which I’ll detail some information about in the notes below.  Continue praying for all the families who’ve lost loved ones or have some in the hospital.  I’m a big believer in the power of prayer and believe that God can do amazing things in and through our congregation if we just pray.

A few notes this week for you:

1.  I mentioned this Sunday that we would be releasing more information this week about our return to corporate worship together at Heucks.  Due to a few things that have popped up, expect to get more information on that early next week.  I assure you, we are working hard to bring us all back together as safely and as soon as possible.

2.  Vacation Bible School has been moved back to July 20-24th.  We believe that this will be for the best for our congregation and kids.  For more information, please contact Allison Wallace.

3.  The U. S. Small Business Administration is providing eligibility for loans to churches as part of the massive financial stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.  Expenses like payroll, utilities, health insurance payments,  mortgage payments, interest on other loans, etc.  are eligible covering the period of February 15 through June 30, 2020.  A key feature of these loans is forgiveness of all or a portion of the expenses covered for an eight-week period following the origination of the loan. Tax exempt entities , including churches, have been specifically recognized as eligible to apply for these loans that are guaranteed by the Federal government.

Generally the membership votes on approval for a loan but because of the “shelter in place” directive we are under, no meetings of the congregation are taking place.  Therefore upon recommendation of the Stewardship Committee, the Deacons have unanimously approved our applying for the SBA loan.  More information will follow as we progress through this process.

4.  We are currently collecting email addresses to mail out this newsletter and any other communication we might need.  If you haven’t yet sent us your email address, please text 601-757-4140 with your email address.  If you’d prefer to receive a physical copy, or if you have family members that would need a physical copy, please let us know so we can be sure that everyone in our church family is connected and receives communication.

I hope everyone enjoyed our interview with the Sampsons about what’s happening in the Philippines and our potential return next Summer.  Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and can’t wait to see everyone soon!

Brett