During this time of uncertainty due to coronavirus/COVID-19, people are finding they need many things: food, toilet paper, disinfectants, quicker testing, a sure cure, an immunization, reliable news and information, human contact and more. But perhaps the one thing our world and our nation needs more than anything else is peace!
In John 14, just before His crucifixion, Jesus promised this: “My peace I give to you.” He then explained that His peace is unlike peace the world tries to give. This world’s peace is based on circumstances; it can come in a pill or in a bottle; and it doesn’t last. The peace Christ gives isn’t based on circumstances and isn’t temporary, if we allow ourselves to experience it.
In a recent sermon, the minister gave this illustration about a very turbulent airplane ride. The plane was being violently tossed about with unfavorable winds and most of the passengers were getting scared, some almost frantic. That is, all but one little girl.
This little girl sat quietly doing whatever a little girl would do on an airplane. Of course her seat belt was fastened and tray table was up and secured. But she was obviously not afraid of what was going on. Finally, one passenger asked her why she seemed so much at peace.
She replied, “Because my daddy is the pilot and he always gets me safely to wherever I’m going.”
A simple story with such a meaningful truth. You see, my Daddy is the eternal God of the universe, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, as well as loving and merciful. And I have His promise that He will get me wherever He wants me to go.
No, He doesn’t promise quiet seas or unturbulent skies. But He does promise safe passage as He “pilots” my life to its final destination.
In Mark chapter 4, we find the disciples in their boat in the midst of a storm. Verse 37 says, “There arose a great storm of wind, so that the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” Why were they there? Because in verse 35 Jesus tells them, “Hey, guys, get in the boat and let’s go to the other side.” They were in the storm in the will and at the command of Christ!
Where was Jesus? You know the story. He was in the “hinder part” of the ship asleep on a pillow, perfectly at peace. The frightened disciples woke Him up and asked if He didn’t care that they were all about the die. The Savior arose, rebuked the wind and sea (that He Himself had created) and commanded, “Peace, be still!” And immediately there was calm.
Way back in 1874, Mary Ann Baker wrote this hymn (that is one of my favorites):
“Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, no shelter or help is nigh. ‘Carest Thou not that we perish? How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threatening a grave in the angry deep?’
“The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will. ‘Peace, be still! Peace, be still!’ Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, or demons, or men, or whatever it be, no water can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies; they all shall sweetly obey Thy will! ‘Peace! Peace, be still!’”
Our world is full of dangers, some manmade, others just a natural part of living in a fallen world. Satan will use these to cancel faith and instill fear. But the child of God need have no fear. Our Daddy is still the pilot and He’ll take us safely to our destination.
Yes, God expects us to take precautions and not live rashly or carelessly. He expects us to take care of ourselves and help others in need. But He also doesn’t want us to waste our time in worry and fear over things we don’t and can’t control. He is still on the throne. Weather, circumstances and even “pandemics” must obey His command and will -- and they will do so. Let us live our lives in trust and in faith, regardless of what may seem to be turbulent times.
A group of artists were given the assignment to deliver a painting of “peace”. They took their work seriously and several pictures came in. Most were peaceful scenes of quiet pastures, gentle streams, playful children and small animals. But the picture that won the prize was very different.
This picture showed a dark and stormy sky with lightning bolts; there was a thundering waterfall over a high cliff. But there in the rocks, near the raging waters, in a small crevice was a bird’s nest with a mother bird and some babies, peacefully situated in what seemed like chaos.
That is the picture of God’s peace. We don’t need peace when the world is going well, there is plenty of money, everyone is healthy and happy, and the skies are blue. We need peace when the job is lost, the rent is due, the diagnosis is COVID-19, and the storm rages. That’s when we find God’s peace; that’s when we accept the promise of the Savior: “Peace, I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Cancellations and Postponements
It would be impossible to list every cancellation and postponement in our faith community. Most of our churches and houses of worship will be canceling services, at least for the next few weeks. Many will offer online sermons, live streaming and so on. Be sure to check with your church for the decision of your church leadership.
We continue to list various events and services from local churches and faith organizations. But please, before you go out to attend one, call someone to make sure it is still being held!
But don’t take a “vacation” from feeding your spirit: stay in the Word, stay in prayer, keep up with your church members via internet, phone or in small groups. Be available to help others as needed! And be ready to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ as people are probably more willing to receive it!
Good News Club OnLine
With schools out, boys and girls are sure to be missing the weekly Good News Club, sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship and conducted by area churches. But there is Good News!
CEF has the Good News Club experience online, songs, memory verses and more. Simply go to www.gncsc.org and stay up to date on Good News Club!
A New GAME APP for Kids
Believing that most of us, especially our children and youth, spend way too much time on phones, tablets and computers, I seldom promote this type of thing. But since your kids are likely to be home more in days to come, how about a new APP, a game that will be fun and also spiritually enriching.
Samaritan’s Purse has developed a new Bible game app for ages 5-9. It’s called Greatest Journey and is based on their international discipleship course created for Operation Christmas Child.
It’s a great way for children to learn about God’s Word. Encourage your children and the children in your church or neighborhood to explore the Bible and learn how to follow Jesus through this new mobile app.
The app is free and has no in-app purchases or advertisements. It’s available at the App store and Google play. Check out samaritanspurse.org/tgj-app.
Trip of A Lifetime
Wayne and Joy Brown are taking the “trip of a lifetime” and are inviting you to accompany them. This trip to the Holy Land and Germany will include the magnificent and world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play (put on every ten years since the early 1600s). The trip will start July 23 and conclude Aug. 3.
This trip is all inclusive: air transportation from JFK (New York), breakfast and dinner daily, first class hotels, ground transportation, all entrance fees, taxes, tips and gratuities. It is truly going to be a “trip of a lifetime”.
To receive a descriptive brochure with complete itinerary and additional information, call or text the Browns at (843) 796-0397; you may e-mail to Wayne@WayneandJoyBrown.com. Or request in writing at: Wayne and Joy Brown, PO Box 70777, Myrtle Beach SC 29572.
Springtime Jubilee, the old-time Gospel Conference for “mature and senior” adults, is coming to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center April 27-29.
Musicians include Ricky Skaggs, the Booth Brothers, Karen Peck & New River, the New Speer Family and Gold City. Speakers include Johnny Hunt and Dr. Robert Jeffress. Go to jubileeconferences.com or phone 1-800-616-8863.
Rise Up! The Women of Joy 2020 Tour is headed to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center May 1-3. Enjoy Sheila Walsh, Mark Lowry, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Lisa Bevere, Michael W. Smith, Lysa Terkeurst and Charles Billingsley.
Register at the website: womenofjoy.org.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road will postpone its 27th Annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament. It will be rescheduled as soon as feasible. And April’s First Friday Evening of Prayer, held at Bethany, has been canceled for this month (but keep praying!).
■ Living Water Baptist Church, 1569 S.C. 9 East in Longs, invites you to an incredible presentation of the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be heart-moving music from the choir and a play that will bring you to tears and lift your spirit to the fact that our Lord and Savior is risen! This will be held April 2, 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. and April 5 at 3 p.m. Go to email@example.com.
■ Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, invites you to an unforgettable Easter family experience: Walk With Jesus. Bring the whole family and drop in to the Family Life Center from 9:30 a.m.-noon April 4.
Contact Kathie Tindal at (843) 222-7775 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And mark on your calendars that the annual Coastal Evangelism Conference will be held at Langston Aug. 5-7. More information as it becomes available.
■ Brown Swamp United Methodist Church, U.S. 501 West, will hold its annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 4 from 10:30 a.m.-noon with a hot dog lunch. Candy and prizes for all kids through elementary school age.
■ Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide, a new faith-based support group for those having lost someone to suicide, meets the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the church: 4619 S.C. 90. Phone (803) 566-0702.
■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., and Stepnfaith Ministries will present Music Extravaganza 2020 in May and also the Battle of the Voices, a competition for soloists and choirs. Auditions and rehearsals are going on now. These will be led by Minister of Music Kenzie Carey, and you will want to participate. Winners will receive monetary prizes. Phone (843) 248-4900.
■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65, will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Mt. Olive Church, 1108 Carver St., invites you to a 14 week Strengthening Families Program, each Tuesday through June 9 at 6 p.m. Phone (803) 791-5513 or e-mail email@example.com.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, invites you to its annual Journey To Jerusalem, April 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. Come experience this outdoor drama of Jesus’ final week. Walk through Jerusalem. See His death, burial and resurrection. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ The New Beginnings food distribution (which includes free groceries, lunch social services information and a children’s craft table) will be held April 18, May 16 and June 20 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 215-4500.
■ The Royal School of Church Music Treble Festival has chosen Trinity Church as its location for 2020! April 26 will feature two services sung by 50 young choristers from throughout the Carolinas, directed by Dr. Charles Hogan; this will be a 10:30 a.m. service and a 4:30 p.m. evensong, preceded by a 4 p.m. student organ recital.
Concerts and services are free and all are welcome. Phone (843) 448-8426.
■ Tidelands Ford will sponsor a Charity Glowball Golf Tournament April 24 at Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet. Proceeds will benefit Help4Kids and there are some wonderful prizes. Go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 business, near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or e-mail Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).
Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.-noon,
On Wednesdays: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; Conversion, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.; Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting items for New Directions of Horry County that provides shelter and meals for those in need. Please bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, diapers), bath towels, laundry soap, toothpaste and brushes and cleaning supplies. We are continuing to collect new packages of children’s underwear and socks. Bring your donations to the Rosen Center and place in the basket provided by the front door. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated! Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.
Steffi Nathan Scholarship Fund for Jewish Students (awarded each semester): applications in Temple Office.
Youth 12-16, the Jewish Historical Society of SC has a contest just for you: create an essay or media piece on the topic: My South Carolina Jewish History. Phone (843) 953-4930 or go to the website jhssc.org/contest.
■ Don’t miss the 12th Annual Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival that has been rescheduled for Sept. 19. Sign up your team today.
■ Low Country Food Bank and Faith Outreach Ministries sponsor Drive-Thru Food Distributions at the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 101 Philip Gray Drive. These are no-cost community events and held at 3 p.m. on the following Fridays: May 1, July 10, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out, browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.
■ Mark the Date: The 24th Annual Blessing of the Inlet at Belin United Methodist Church, Murrells Inlet, will be held on May 2. More information coming up in Church Talk.