2020-07-17 Frankly Speaking

July 1,2020

Frankly Speaking

It is with a heavy heart we write this Newsletter. I never would have thought that we as a country would ever get to this place. There is so much hate and division in America right now. Satan is having his way in so many situations of life. Two thoughts come to mind as we pray and seek God’s face on behalf of our nation. First, we have taken God out of so many things in the last 50 years. We have taken prayer and the Bible out of our schools. We have been killing unborn babies for way too long. We have gone against the Ten Commandments and embrace the attitude ‘if it is not sin to me, then it is OK.’ God’s Holy Word has warned us from the beginning (Adam & Eve) that we will reap what we sow. I believe this is exactly what is going on in our world today. Second, I believe with all my heart that Jesus is coming soon! Every sign found in Matthew 24 has already come true many times over. I believe the Rapture of the church could happen any day now. This means that NOW is our time to share the gospel and tell people how important it is for them to know Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. God is giving us one last chance to let the whole world know that Jesus can save us from our sins! I realize this paragraph sounds negative, but I cannot soften the truth or act like things are as usual. We are living in unprecedented times. ‘Unbelievable’ is a word that comes to mind. BUT, there is positive truth that we need to be reminded of also. God is still on the throne! God is still in control of everything! God will win and Satan will lose. PERIOD! We as Christians must keep on believing and trusting in the all-powerful God. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must continue listening to the Holy Spirit. We must stay positive and encourage everyone we come in contact with. We must keep a smile on our face and a song in our heart! We must give hope to the hurting. We must pray daily and read our Bible daily plus ask God for the strength to overcome every obstacle the devil throws in our way. My prayer is that we will not get caught up in all the negativity going on in our world today!

I hope by now you realize the Coronavirus is real. There have been over 3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and almost 550,000 deaths. Deaths in the United States are nearing 135,000 with over 300 in Arkansas. You can argue that these are inflated numbers, but if even half of these are not real, the numbers are still staggering. With that in mind, so far, not one person we know of in our church has gotten the virus. Yet, just last week the governor spoke of the spike in cases in churches. Until things get better and our state health director tells us otherwise, we will strongly suggest that everyone coming to church wear a mask. It is not only for your protection but for the protection of others. We promise you that we are making these decisions based on what is best for everyone involved and what God is telling us after much prayer and believing this is God’s will for our church. It doesn’t matter what other churches are doing. Our only concern is what is best for us. Another issue is the masks themselves. There are three opinions about them. Some people will not go anywhere without a mask, others wear masks situationally, and still some never wear a mask. Governor Hutchison has commented on several occasions about the separation of church and state. He is giving churches the privilege to monitor their proceedings. This means that individuals have a choice to wear or not wear a mask. My point is that we need to respect one another’s choice and quit voicing our opinions out loud which essentially hinders the spirit of worship. Satan will use anything he can – including masks – to divide God’s church and quench the Spirit in our Worship Services. Let’s joyfully come together as one Body in Christ and focus on our Savior and true worship each time we meet. The Coronavirus isn’t going away soon, so please adapt to what’s best for you and your family while honoring others’ rights to do the same. We still are offering four ways for you to worship with us: live; live stream; parking lot; recorded sermons. Thank you so much for your prayerful consideration.

We have begun our Wednesday Night Services again. Please note our new starting time of 6:30 p.m. We are meeting in the Sanctuary to keep the social distancing intact. Many have asked about Sunday School, Nursery, and small group times. The issue again is social distancing, close contact, and the governor hasn’t given the OK yet. We must stay patient and pray for a vaccine soon. We will begin these when we feel it is safe for everyone involved. I promise you nobody wants to go back to a normal schedule more than your church staff. We will slowly ease into activities and things that will come under safety guidelines.

We want to thank everyone who has so faithfully given during this pandemic. Some are giving in person, some by mail, and some drop it off at the church office. We have always been a faithful and giving church, so from the bottom of our hearts we appreciate your giving spirit so much! I hope you know that we love you with all of our hearts and miss you greatly. I do believe that this will pass, and we will be able to get back to our normal way of worshipping. Your church staff is here for you, so please give us a call if we can help you in any way. The church office is open M-Th. 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. May God bless you and your family.

In Christ,
Michael Franklin