NOTE FROM PASTOR J R, FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, APRIL 17, 2016

So far, 2016 has been a very unusual year for me. On the coldest day of the year, January 23rd, while officiating the committal services of friend, I got chilled to the point that my bones ached & I got sick. Since that time, I’ve had 3 rounds of “the crud” that was antibiotic resistant and endured the severest allergy season ever for me. I now have begun to feel “good” again. It is “soooo” good to finally feel good!
            Throughout my long stretch of being under the weather, I never once thought that God wasn’t good to me, but I’m not sure my body didn’t feel that way. So it was interesting on Friday morning during my quiet time, I couldn’t help but dwell on how good God has been good to me. I thought about my activities just this week, among them getting back into the gym to work out without coughing or sneezing; that hasn’t happened since late January. Being blessed with better health, I’ve been able to visit and pray with members of the church at their home and in the hospital; make phone calls to several others; preside over the staff meeting on Tuesday evening, teach a Life Lesson on Wednesday evening and then make a major presentation to Faith in Action Alabama on Thursday morning. And my week isn’t over yet. I’m a little tired, but I feel very good! God has been good to me this week!
But what about that long stretch of time this year when I was sick and not feeling well; which was most of the first quarter of 2016? Well, God was good to me then also. Thinking about that time of struggling physically, except for the first week of being sick, I was still able to continue preaching, teaching, visiting and all my other duties. Despite not feeling good, I became very aware that it was God’s goodness sustaining me during those tough physically challenging times as well.
You see, God’s goodness toward to us is not measured in whether we feel good or not or whether we feel God’s goodness or not. God’s goodness toward us is a settled fact of this universe and nothing can change that. Now sometimes I might not recognize it; but God’s goodness, like God’s love, becomes recognizable when I take the time to see and know it. It’s present all the time. “God is still speaking”and this God loves me, forgives me and accepts me … all the time! Despite my many health challenges so far in 2016, “God has been good to me!”
So store this Note from Pastor J R in your memory banks. If you find yourself in a time or space when it seems like the world is bearing down on you; remember God’s goodness can lift your spirits like nothing else. It can renew your hope when you need it most. Psalm 100:5 sums it up best: “For the Lord is good and His loves endures forever! His faithfulness continues to all generations.” To you and me!
And join us at Covenant on this Sunday for worship. The sermon will ask you “Has God been Good to You?” The scriptural text is Psalm 100.
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