All services and activities for Sunday, April 5, have been moved online. Check out theridge.org/updates for more details on streaming our services.

March 27, 2020

Jerry's Blog: 7 Things I’m Thankful for During the Pandemic

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In all circumstances? Yes! I’m amazed at how my attitude and heart change when I choose to be thankful, even during the most difficult of circumstances!

Here are 7 things I’m thankful during the pandemic.

1. That situations like this tend to help me realize what really matters.

I can exist without watching sports on TV. There’s very little security in money and retirement savings when the stock market plunges 30-35% in a few short weeks. Thank you for the reminder that my hope is in the Lord and nothing else.

2. For government officials, doctors, researchers, health care workers, first responders, grocery store employees, and many others who are working so hard during this time.

My wife is a nurse, so it helps me appreciate the sacrifice others make to protect our health and safety. Thank you to all of you on the front lines!

3. That I have a church family who cares about each other.

We don’t have to be at the church to be the church. The church is not a building. It’s a family. A body. People.

We have a team of volunteers who are calling everyone in our database 60 years and older, just to check in on them. To make sure we don’t need to take them any supplies. I even got called! I had to remember, “Oh yeah, I’m in the ‘elderly’ category now." I love our church! Watching how people care for each other!

4. For amazing church staff and volunteers who have taken “whatever it takes” to yet another level.

We’ve had to reinvent our church in a matter of days. Our staff has worked hard and fast, with a “What can I do to help?” attitude! 

We found out on Thursday evening, March 12, that we could not hold services in our building that next Sunday. By Sunday, we had an online service, because of our incredible staff and volunteers.

When we’ve asked volunteer tech teams and band members to come in during the evening to record, we have had more volunteers than we’ve needed.

5. For a governor who labeled churches as “essential” during the shelter-in-place and called on us to draw upon our faith during this time.

I so appreciated listening to our governor talk about the important role that churches play during times like these. And I even heard our Vice President, when addressing the nation, remind people not to forget donating to their churches during this time. I’m thankful for leaders who acknowledge and appreciate our faith!

6. That today’s technology allows us to be a “virtual church” during the shelter-in-place and actually connect with some people through our Sunday services who might not attend otherwise.

Technology has allowed us to become a virtual church. We are streaming our Sunday services online.

Who said our LIFE groups can’t meet? I have loved interacting with my men’s small group through group emails. since we can no longer meet in person. In fact, I’ve decided that all men’s groups should meet this way J. The discussion and openness we’ve had via email has been fun, encouraging, and meaningful! 

7. That God is in control.

Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. Psalm 146:3-6 

Whatever it takes,

Jerry