Science show us, just as God's Word says, that giving thanks and helping others are ways to increase our own happiness.
Click here to learn more.
Choose to focus on God’s unconditional love for you and everyone else during this crisis. Focus on His power and ability to control all circumstances. Focus on His always-listening ear that hears you and His always-watching eye that sees you day and night. Remember this: The larger your thoughts about God, the smaller your thoughts about your problems will be. Refuse to have a pity party. Choose instead to see God’s loving arms wrapped around you, lifting you up to safety, provision and peace.
During this time, more than ever, people are searching...for answers, for truth, for peace, for hope, for God!
God commands us to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation".
Here is a story of one person doing that and the amazing results!
Picture yourself living in a foreign country with no job and a depleting savings account during this global pandemic. Think of the feelings of fear and hopelessness that could gnaw at you day in and day out. That is no imaginary scenario — it is the reality Kristy Aguilar has been facing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kristy moved to Southern California from Ecuador just eight months ago and began attending services at Saddleback Rancho Capistrano. She had been working at a hotel, until the pandemic prompted layoffs at her job. Without a source of income, Kristy would not be able to pay her rent, so she made the decision to move back to her home country.
Shortly after she came to that decision, Kristy learned that the airports in Ecuador were being shut down due to the growing crisis, and she would not be able to return home. She began praying for God's guidance and provision, and then reached out to one of our members to see if they knew of anyone who had a cheap room for rent. The next day, the woman replied to Kristy and said that she had spoken with her family and they agreed to host her in their home rent-free until she could return to Ecuador.
Kristy and the woman began exploring various serving opportunities at Saddleback. Her new host thought she could make an impact distributing groceries with our Rancho Capistrano team because many of the people who had recently shown up in need of supplies were Spanish speakers — she thought Kristy's Spanish-speaking skills could be put to good use. Kristy agreed and began serving right away.
"As soon as I approached a car, I felt all the love of God for these people," Kristy said. "I let them know that although the world has stopped and seems to be out of control and hopeless, God is working through all of this."
The Holy Spirit was leading every conversation Kristy had that day. As she got to know each person who came for groceries, she offered them eternal hope in Jesus Christ and invited them to accept him as Lord and Savior of their lives.
Over and over again, people said "yes" to the invitation. By the end of the day, Kristy had led 30 people to Jesus — including people from Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, and Mexico. There were tears of joy throughout the day as our new volunteer led these men and women in prayer.
One of Saddleback's values is that we are an all-nation congregation. Kristy's story shows that everybody is welcome and wanted at our church, and that God brings people to Saddleback from all over the world to further his kingdom.
So excited to share these great pictures with you. Teacher Andrea (one of the Grade 1/2 small group leaders) sent out this colouring page, to her class, and asked them to send her a picture back of their coloured page. Great job kids!!!
Now, more than ever before our children need to learn that their lives are shaped by their thoughts.
In today's atmosphere of unsettledness, uncertainty and fear, we need to teach our children how to capture negative thoughts and make them obey Christ.
That's why this VIDEO and this WORKSHEET were created to compare negative thoughts to mice, and God's Word to a mousetrap.
Here's a response from one family:
Thanks for the video devotion last week. Everyone in our family shared their “mouse”, even our 4 yr old! Our 6 year old’s was especially heart-breaking: he said he sometimes believes God doesn’t love him and broke in tears at the thought of it. I’m so glad we are aware these mice now - thanks to your lesson and to God for directing our conversation.
You have permission to download this printable (and video), and use them in any way that will bless the families in your care.
Physical distancing has presented parents with challenges that most of us have never faced before. Even if you already considered your family to be your primary ministry, adjusting to working at home can blur the line between family life and work life.
Many of us are parents, so just like you, we’ve been looking for strategies that will work for our families. Below are just a few approaches we’ve found so far. While we realize every family has unique circumstances, we hope you’ll find something here that’s helpful.
If both parents are trying to work from home, remember that you’re on the same team together. Try to set up a schedule that suits everyone. Some of us are taking shifts, where one parent works from 8:30am to 12:00pm, while the other cares for the kids, then switching from 12:30pm to 5:00pm. Make a plan, but leave room to be flexible.
Ask your children to “help” in ways that make sense for their ages. You might help them make a “Time to Work” sign for you, then explain that when you hang it on the door, that means you need to concentrate. Help them make special artwork for your workspace—especially if you’ll be in video meetings. Your kids are more likely to respect boundaries between work time and family time if they feel invested in both.
Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds… Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
“Productivity” looks different right now than it did three months ago. And, most of the people you work with are likely dealing with issues very similar to yours. Be a living example of the things you hope to receive from others. Give grace to your coworkers, to your children, and to yourself.
As much as you can, enjoy this time you have together. It may be hard to remember right now, but just a few months ago, many of us were trying to find ways to spend more time with our kids. It’s true that our current circumstances come with real challenges. But, it’s also true that we have the power to choose how we respond. We can see them as setbacks that are causing us pain, or as opportunities to draw our families closer than ever.
Just wanted to share this devotion with you. I hope and pray it encourages you today.
Worry is taking its toll on the world today. It’s understandable, we’ve never experienced anything like this before.
Jesus told us this in Matthew 6:27, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (NIV).
Of course, the answer to Jesus’ question is no. You can’t keep yourself from catching COVID-19 through worry. It won’t keep your family from getting sick.
Worry just makes your problems worse because you can’t move a step closer to solving them. Worry can’t change your past. It can’t change your future. All it can do is mess up your present.
Proverbs 12:25 says, “Worry weighs a person down” (NLT). You weren’t made to endure it. In fact, it wears you out more than just about anything else.
So how can you overcome worry during this stressful season?
Let Jesus be your Shepherd.
A shepherd takes the responsibility to feed, lead, and meet the needs of his sheep. That’s why it’s good to start every day by saying, “The Lord is my shepherd. You’re a good God.” Then you can repeat that throughout the day. If you start saying that phrase on a regular basis, your worry will decrease. Reminding yourself that you have a good shepherd who cares for you cuts down on worry.
Give Jesus control over every area of your life.
Worry is a warning light that you have an area you haven’t fully given over to God. When God isn’t number one, you’ll worry in that area.
When you love something more than God, it becomes a source of stress and anxiety in your life. Even good things—like our marriages, our children—can become sources of worry if we give them first place in our lives. When anything becomes an idol in our lives, it creates insecurity and worry.
Relax and give God your worries in prayer.
It’s always a good idea to count our blessings. In times like these, you must continually remind yourself of all God has done in your life.
But I also think it’s important to count your worries. Often, we just have a general sense of anxiety, but we don’t know what’s causing it. Before you can give God your worries, you need to have a clear idea of what they are. Once you’ve written them down, you can hand them over to God in prayer.
Peter says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). You weren’t designed to carry your worries. It’s unnatural. God is big enough and strong enough to handle all your worries.
Trust God for one day at a time.
Don’t steal your whole future by bringing its worries into today. Jesus said it this way, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34 NLT). You have enough on your plate today. Don’t add anything else.
It’s okay to plan for tomorrow. Right now, we’re going through one of the most unique experiences in history. We need and want to make plans for what we’ll do in the days, weeks, and months to come.
We can plan for tomorrow without living in tomorrow. We can only live in today.
God is constantly testing how much we trust Him. God wants us to decide whether he really holds first place in our lives.
This unique period of history is one of the biggest tests we’ll ever face when it comes to trusting God. God has promised to care for us.
Will you trust Him?
Thank you to everyone who made a care package for a resident at the Evergreen Carehome. Here’s a message from Michelle Krahn, who works there:
I want to thank all the members of White Rock Baptist Church for reaching out and supporting our residents at a time such as this.
It overwhelms me to know that there are people that want to love our local senior community.
The gift bags were perfect and some were welcomed with tears. It is very meaningful for them to receive beautiful treats and treasures from the outside world when they feel so disconnected.
God is good and He does take care of all our needs.
Lots of love and appreciation,
Michelle told us that the residents would love to see pictures coloured by our kids. So here are some colouring pictures you can print off, and have your child(ren) colour. Please have your child put their first name and age on the picture. You can drop off the coloured picture(s) to Evergreen Heights (1501 Everall Street), labeled ATTN: Michelle Krahn, OR drop the pictures off at the church office and Jennifer Friesen will deliver them at the end of the week.
Isn’t it great that such a simple thing can bring such joy to some of our senior citizens in the White Rock/South Surrey area.
Coloring page 1 - We're praying for you
Coloring page 2 - You are so very loved
Coloring page 3 - God is our refuge and strength
Coloring page 4 - You are so loved
Coloring page 5 - You got this
Coloring page 6 - Praying for you
Coloring page 7 - The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid
Coloring page 8 - Peace I leave with you, don't be afraid
Coloring page 9 - We walk by faith
Coloring page 10 - God of hope fill you with joy & peace
Coloring page 11- God is with you
Coloring page 12 - This is the day the Lord has made
Coloring page 13 - The Lord is good
Coloring page 14 - Draw near to God & He will draw near to you
Heavenly Father, thank You for the frontliners caring for, protecting, and serving our communities, our families, and us. Thank You for these servant leaders, called to this work, trained for such a time as this, daily risking their own health and safety for others.
Please protect them from harm. Give them courage and strength. Draw close, Lord, and let them feel Your presence throughout the long hours they are working.
Father, please provide everything they need, both for the people they are serving and for their loved ones. Surround them with people who will help and support them and their families, even as they selflessly care for others.
You said we would face troubles in this world, but also that You had overcome it. Please work together with our frontliners, Lord, to ultimately bring about the best outcome possible.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Are you feeling stressed, discouraged or heavy hearted? It’s completely understandable if you are. We’re going through a difficult time right now. The Psalms are especially helpful when we’re down because many of the Psalms were written when the psalmist was discouraged.
💙 Psalm 105:4 jumped out at me: “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
💛 What a great reminder that my own strength isn’t enough. I need the Lord’s strength because “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
💙 And I gain God's strength when I “seek His presence continually”: reading His Word, praying, having fellowship with other Jesus-lovers. Sometimes when I’m stressed, discouraged, and heavyhearted, I neglect those things—when I need them the most.
💛 We have this wonderful promise: “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
💙 And when we are hurt, we also know that the Lord “is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
Do you need to read the Psalms today? Read and be encouraged!
We are living in an historic time!
We thought it would be a fun idea to create a time capsule to remember what was happening during these days.
Click here for a time capsule printable pdf that you can fill out with your kids.
Click here for more time capsule printables.
A Page To Draw Family Picture
All About Me
How I’m Feeling
What I Am Doing At Home
Special Occasion Page
Letter To Myself Sheet
Interview For The Parents
Letter From The Parent
Things may seem overwhelming and chaotic for you right now.
Know that God is still in control, and as we focus on Him, He brings us peace and hope.
We hope you keep sharing scripture with your family, especially your kids. Watch below for some encouragement from a Bible Memory verse of 1 Chronicles 16:34. (It may be easier to quote Psalm 107:1 as the reference.)
We'd love to see videos of your kids reciting their Bible memory verses! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you today!
This coronavirus sure stirred up a lot of emotions.
Among them are fear, worry, irritability, stress, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, anger, panic, disappointment, and on, and on, and on.
We are convinced that one of the best ways we can serve our children in this overwhelming and frightening times, is by teaching them how to IDENTIFY their emotions, and POUR their hearts to God.
We pray this will bring good to your family and glory to our God.
It’s a scary time because so much is out of our control, but we have to remember that God is still in control and He will meet all of our needs. That’s promised to us in Philippians 4:19. I hope this prayer gives you hope and peace. We’re going to need each other to make it through and there is no greater joy than being able to help each other out.
I want to encourage you to read Psalm 23, together as a family, and cling to the beautiful promises that are in it. Below is a devotion that I hope will bring you hope and peace.
Psalm 23 provides encouragement for the valleys we face in life—and today we’re facing some valleys. As a pandemic stretches across our world, we’re facing increasing health and financial concerns. These are difficult days for all of us.
Psalm 23 provides tremendous hope for what we’re experiencing. Through this chapter, God reminds us of three powerful truths we can cling to when we’re afraid.
We are not alone!
God is walking through the valley with us. Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (NASB).
You deal with life’s shadows by turning to the light. You can’t see the shadow and look at the light at the same time. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV).
Stop focusing on what’s scaring you, and focus on Jesus. He is with you right now. When you get your focus off of your fear, you can focus on God and what he wants to do through you. You may not be able to see him, but he is there.
Valleys are different for a believer than a non-believer. That difference isn’t the absence of the shadow. It’s the presence of the Shepherd.
God has a purpose for our problems.
Psalm 23 tells us over and over God works for our good. He gives us everything we need (v. 1), gives us rest (v. 2), gives us strength (v. 3), and leads us down the right path (v. 3). Psalm 23:6 says, “Your goodness and love will be with me all my life” (GNT).
The consistent message of Scripture is that God cannot do evil. As we go through these valleys together, we need to remember that God will use these difficult days for our good.
God loves to take the difficult times of our lives and use them to build our character. Paul tells us this in Romans 5:3-4: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (NLT).
Hosea 2:15 says, ““I will transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope!” (NLT). God will do this through today’s valley as well. He will work it out for good.
As believers, we can be absolutely certain that there is a purpose in our pain.
Our reward will last forever.
No matter what happens to our earthly bodies, this is not the end of the story. Heaven will be worth any valley we go through today. There we will be rewarded for our faithfulness during our time on earth.
The Bible says heaven is real—and we’ll be there forever. No valley, no matter how long it seems now, will last near that long.
2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “We have small troubles for a while now, but they are helping us gain an eternal glory that is much greater than the troubles” (NCV).
I don’t know how you’re experiencing this valley. I don’t know what fear keeps you up at night. Maybe you’re scared of getting sick. Maybe you’re scared of someone you love getting sick. Maybe you’re scared you won’t be able to pay your bills.
I do know that you have a Shepherd walking through this valley with you. I know God will work good out of this situation. I know the valley won’t last.
Take some time to soak in Psalm 23 today—not just for the people you’ll walk through this valley with but for yourself and your family as well.
We’ll walk through this valley together as we look at it in light of eternity. Revelation 21:4 tells us: [God] will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (NLT).
This is not the end of the story.
Below you’re find a book about fear and anxiety, for kids, a song with great words and some colouring pages. I love that there’s one to thank the grocery store and pharmacy workers. Wouldn’t it be great for your kids to colour and give to someone, at the store, to say thank you for working so we can get food and medication.