Coronavirus Letter

Oakdale First Baptist Church Family,

To begin, I want to wish you all good health during this time of heightened concern. Secondly, I want to encourage you to treat this time as just that, a time of heightened concern, and not one of panic. Yes, many of the measures that we have seen and experienced have not been experienced in our lifetimes, but we must all trust that there is something that the Lord wishes to teach us through these trying times.

As I continue to collect and consider the information and guidance of our elected leaders and governmental agencies, you need to know that I will always do what I believe to be prudent, safe and legal (as it doesn’t violate scripture, of course).

You will be receiving communications from me throughout this period of alteration to our traditional schedule. I want to encourage you to encourage each other, even if it only is through a phone call, text message, social media, etc. I will be attempting to visit many of you personally as it is appropriate, to see how I might be a blessing to you and your families. In some cases, this may be just a hello from the driveway of your home in order to keep a safe “physical space”, but it would be a personal visit, nonetheless.

Please contact me to keep me updated on prayer requests, ongoing physical treatments, general concerns and whatever you think I should know.

Over the next few days, I will be discussing how to extend to you different ways of receiving challenging and encouraging preaching via digital delivery. I will also be exploring the possibility of video recording sermons and bible studies for you to access.

Like I have mentioned in the previous email, there are things that we can do to maintain and grow our spiritual health during these unfamiliar and uncomfortable times:

  • Continue to Read your Bible
  • Continue to Pray
  • Continue to Trust God
  • Continue to Give

Along with the things we can continue to do, I want to encourage you to NOT do some other things:

Don’t worry. Yes, be concerned, but do not panic. Our Heavenly Father knows exactly what is going on, how long it will last, and who will be affected. Trust that God has a plan for all of this, and we should be vigilant to see how we play a part in that.

Don’t squander time. There are many blessings in disguise here. The biggest shock to our lives is that of how we spend our time. This is a good chance to take inventory of what really matters and what really benefits us. Instead of using this time to become a couch potato and binge dozens or hundreds of hours of online videos or playing endless hours of video games, read those books that have been collecting dust on your shelf. Spend time outside doing physical activity. Catch up on the projects that have gone undone for too long!

Don’t become reliant on the internet for personal spiritual growth. Sure, you can find some encouraging and God-honoring preaching from several sources online, however there is a lot of garbage out there too. Read & Study your bible!

Don’t think that you are invincible. Regardless of age or physical condition, this is a stark reminder of how little control we actually have over our world. We are frail, weak, and vulnerable. We need God’s strength and His grace now more than ever.

Don’t feel the need to be a parrot of propaganda. Even the experts in the medical field have many unanswered questions. The last thing we need to do is get worked into a frenzy following and sharing conspiracy theory.

I hope that you will look for the Lord to work in your life, and your family’s life during this time. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime for a question or a need.

pastor@oakdalebaptistmn.com

(651) 425-8349 — Personal Cell

I have attached the weekly prayer bulletin in a slightly different format and with annotations to shed better light on issues.