Housekeeping and a Confession: A Letter to West Franklin

Happy Saturday, West Franklin Family!

This is the third Saturday letter I have written, all due to the fact that we haven’t been able to see one another. (First one is here. Second one, here.)

This is getting old. I miss you.

Until we meet again. . . here are a couple of housekeeping items for you to be aware of:

First, tomorrow morning (Sunday, March 29th) a worship service will be aired at 9:00 am and 10:30 am, just like our normal worship service hours. You can watch the services here. Or, learn more here.

Second, during the services, a staff member will be available to “chat” (again, it will be here), and available to minister in any way immediately at this number: (615)850-3100.

Third, during the week (Monday – Saturday), your staff is providing devotional videos for you to watch, beginning at 9:00 am. You can view them here.

Fourth, this week, we will begin offering an “extra” West Franklin Talks podcast episode for your listening pleasure.

Fifth, please follow along with us during this season. Go here, here, here, here, here, and here. And, if you are having trouble sleeping at night, go here. You will be out in seconds (grin). Still need more ways to be connected during this season? Go here and let yourself go crazy with the resources.

Sixth, if you are looking for ways to help meet needs in our area, go here. West Franklin is considered the South Region.

Finally, PLEASE continue with your tithes during this season. Ministry is happening and the Gospel is going forth. You can give online by going here. You can text the word “GIVE” and a dollar amount to 623623. And, you can watch a video on how to do these things here.

Whew!!! That’s a lot, I know. If you need more – then I advise you to turn off your computer and spend some time praying!!! (Again, grin.)

Now – for a confession. . .

Do you remember the story in Exodus 16? The one where the Israelites were wandering in the desert and God provided manna and quail? Yeah. Out of nowhere. Just dropped right out of the sky. I mean, God can really do that sort of thing. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Do you remember what happened when they didn’t listen to Moses (God) because they didn’t trust Him to provide for their needs? Yep. When they gathered more than needed, their provision bred worms and stank. Or, to use the King James version, their food “stinketh.” To use North Alabama King James Version – It “sure nuff stanketh.”

This “extra” time we have been given has revealed a lot of areas in my heart that I’m not very proud of. I don’t think I ever realized how I used busyness, or how I allowed busyness, to numb what my heart was trying to tell me. For instance, the Pearson’s grocery receipts this month have added up to be significantly over budget. You know why? Because every time I go to the store I wonder if I am going to be “locked down.” I wonder if I am not going to be able to get to the store. Translation: I don’t trust God to take care of me and my family. Ouch. You may say that’s extreme, but you don’t know my heart. I want control. I want to be able to have what I want, when I want it. I want to hoard manna and quail because I don’t trust that God will do it again tomorrow. I’m serious. You should see the freezer in my garage. Need a frozen pizza? We have hundreds. Need a rack of ribs? Never mind. I may need those. . .You see?

The Father has revealed other things to me as well. Like . . .

Just kidding. I am not going to expose all of my secrets on the internet!

Seriously, though. This “Season of Corona” has exposed some things I didn’t know were there.

What about you?

How much toilet paper do you have? I’m serious. Think about it. How much? Why?

Why do you enjoy traveling for business so much? Has it kept you from dealing with marriage or family issues that you can’t hide from now? Or, why do you REALLY want to be at the office so much?

What do you do when you’re bored? Boredom is a good thing. But instead of being creative and imaginative, do you routinely click, scroll, or view sites you know you should stay away from?

What about shopping? You can’t go to the mall, but did you really need that vacuum from Amazon?

Or how about where you find your identity? Now that you can’t do that (fill in the blank), where do you get your identity? Where do you get your value? How do you receive love from the Father?

Hear me. These “voices of the heart” aren’t there to condemn. They are revealed to heal. To bring wholeness. To, again, show us our desperate need of the love and grace and mercy and power of Jesus Christ. If you’re like me, you allow busyness to drown out the still, small voices. Listen to what the Spirit says. Lean into it. Then let the truth and presence of Jesus heal your soul.

Your pastor loves you.

Longing for the day when we see one another again,

Pastor Matt