Easter 2020 is now “over”, at least the “spring holiday” is. But for those who know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Easter never ends.

We live constantly in the hope that the resurrection gives and we live in the “power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10) filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can live without sin and accomplish His will in and through us.

When He cried, “It is finished” He was referring to His earthly task, the reason He was born and became a Man. His life was not over and His work is not over. In John 5 Jesus said that “My Father works and I work”. God is constantly at work.

Before creation the Godhead was at work. In creation, Father, Son and Holy Spirit created this entire universe in only six days, and declared it very good. And since that time, God has been working on every continent, in every human, fulfilling His will.

Jesus apparently worked in Joseph’s carpentry shop as a young man. Then He began His earthly ministry and that meant He was “on call 24/7” constantly teaching, healing, comforting, doing His work.

That Easter weekend His work culminated in His arrest, humiliation, beating, crucifixion and death. And even in death, He worked “no man takes My life from me; I lay it down…” (John 10:18) Then for three days He rested until it was time to work again: “I have power to take it (My life) again.”

For the next 40 days He worked and then ascended to His heavenly throne. But His work continues today. In John 14 He said He would become an architect and builder: “I go to prepare a place for you.” If He was able to create such a magnificent universe in six days, what a grand “place” He is “preparing” in 2000 years. And He promised His followers, the redeemed of all the ages that He would return for them so that where He spends eternity, there we can be as well.

Different churches and Christians have different ideas about when and how His return will occur, but there are two indisputable facts: He is going to return and His faithful will spend eternity with Him.

In the meantime, He is serving as our intercessor, our Great High Priest. He is watching over us, protecting us, providing for us. He is still in the work of saving lost souls and sanctifying the saved. And He is still King of kings, Lord of lords, Sovereign and in control of everyone and everything (including COVID-19).

Yes, April 12, 2020, came and went. It was an unusual Easter; churches were closed, people were scattered and secluded. Many stores probably had great monetary loss over people not buying Easter flowers, candy and baskets, toys and so on. There were no church or community Easter egg hunts or church dinners.

But for the followers of Jesus Christ, that didn’t dampen the joy and hope of Easter. In his scholarly defense of the truth of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15, Paul reminds us that “if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people the most pitiable.” Then he adds, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (I Corinthians 15:19-20)

Fellow Christians, even in this possibly “depressing” day, let us rejoice in the risen and coming Christ. And if you are reading this and don’t know Christ as Savior, today IS the day of salvation. Christ died for you and is offering you His free gift of eternal life by grace through faith.

“What is our hope in life and death? Christ alone! Christ alone! What is our only confidence? That our souls to Him belong. Who holds our days within His hand? What comes, apart from His command? And what will keep us to the end? The love of Christ in which we stand.

“What truth can calm the troubled soul? God is good! God is good! Where is His grace and goodness known? In our great Redeemer’s blood. Who holds our faith when fears arise? Who stands above the stormy trial? Who sends the waves that bring us nigh unto the shore, the Rock of Christ?

“Until the grave, what shall we sing? ‘Christ, He lives! Christ, He lives!’ And what reward will heaven bring? Everlasting life with Him. There we will rise to meet the Lord; then sin and death will be destroyed, and we will feast in endless joy, when Christ is ours forevermore.

“O sing Hallelujah! Our hope springs eternal. O sing Hallelujah! Now and ever we confess, Christ our hope is life and death.”

(Sung by Keith & Kristyn Getty, written by the Gettys, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Matt Merker and Jordan Kauflin)

Respecting the Faith-filled

Many of those who are not just surviving during these days, but are actually “living”, are finding strength in their religious faith.

While Christians are celebrating Easter, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, let us also honor and respect our Jewish friends who are celebrating Passover (April 8-16) and our Islamic friends who will be celebrating the month of Ramadan beginning April 23.

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, as 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, unless I have received notice of cancellation. 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!

Special Prayer and Thanksgiving

Let us continue to be in daily and constant prayer to the only One who can end this time of panic and Who is still on the Throne. Pray to God for healing for those afflicted by the COVID-19 virus; pray for protection for those as yet unaffected; and pray for peace and comfort for families who have lost loved one.

Let us continue to pray for wisdom and rational thought for our political leaders at all levels: national, state and local.

And let’s continue to offer thanks and pray for guidance and protection for all our health care workers, our first responders (paramedics, fire men/women, police officers).

Remember, God hears and answers prayers!

Spring To Life Gala Goes Online

Coastline Women’s Center has announced that the annual Spring to Life Gala will go on as scheduled April 30. However, there will be a change of format. This year’s Gala will be online.

Those who were registered for the event on the original March date will receive information about this change and will be told how you can still be part of this wonderful evening. If you did not register earlier, you can still “attend” and be a part. Register at the Coastline website: www.coastlinewomenscenter.org. Or call the office at (843) 488-9971.

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, P.O. Box 70777, Myrtle Beach SC 29572.

Upcoming Events

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. 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

■ Mark on your calendars: in the will of the Lord, the annual Coastal Evangelism Conference will be held at Langston Baptist Church Aug. 5-7. More information as it becomes available.

■ Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide, a new faith-based support group for those who have 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

■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool is currently registering students for the 2020-21 school year for the 2, 3 and 4-year-old classes. Come join the fun! Contact the director, Jenn Loeswick, at stphilipppreschoolmb@gmail.com or look us up on Facebook: St. Philip Preschool-Myrtle Beach. The preschool is located at 6200 N. Kings Highway. Call (843) 449-4322 and someone will get back to you.

■ The New Beginnings food distribution that includes free groceries, lunch, social services information and a children’s craft table, will be held on April 18 from 10 a.m.noon; this will be a drive-thru distribution from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Future dates are May 16 and June 20. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ 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 thodge@growinghomesse.com.

■ 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 info@help4kidssc.org.

■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave., in Murrells Inlet is having 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, a group 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! It 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 and 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.

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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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