Dear church family,
I would like to share a devotional before you go to bed.
Today, a friend shared a post with some great ideas to stay healthy, so I decided to build on it to share it with y’all.

In the midst of this awful crisis please consider, what kind of results do you want to be left with by the time this pandemic is over?

Now, it’s very unfortunate that many people are and will fall sick due to this virus
But, at this particular point I conclude there are three things we all need to prioritize:
1. Take good care of yourself both physically and spiritually. God can use you only if you are healthy.
2. Love your family. That’s what God expects you to do.
3. DO FOR ONE WHAT YOU WISH YOU COULD DO FOR EVERYONE! That’s what God needs you to do.

And as you think about those 3 things…
– Ignore all the conspiracies
– Ignore the fact that your gym is closed
– And Ignore everything that doesn’t involve working on your growth & connecting with family.
– Don’t miss a good opportunity to connect and serve. God wired you in a particular way and He did gift you, and He did for a time like this!

At the end of the day, the one and only thing we can and need to do as individuals is better ourselves, which means to:
– Read your Bible. Focus on God’s wonderful promises!
– Unplug from electronics and other duties and distractions and dedicate time for earnest prayer.
– Temper your screen time (TV, iPhone, computers, etc)
– Eat healthy!
– Move! Exercise. (don’t need a gym to move). Walk. Run. Just move!
– Rest well. Don’t forget your immune system depends on rest to stay strong.
– Serve! There’s a hidden blessing in selfless sacrificial service.
– Nurture your mind (PLEASE filter what you do, see, hear, read, and say)
– Give fasting a try. Think about Sabbath’s message 

It is VERY true. What you see, read, hear or say becomes a part of you, so choose wisely.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV) reads, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Ellen White wrote, “It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day reviewing the life of Christ from the manger to Calvary. We should take it point by point and let the imagination vividly grasp each scene, especially the closing ones of His earthly life. By thus contemplating His teachings and sufferings, and the infinite sacrifice made by Him for the redemption of the race, we may strengthen our faith, quicken our love, and become more deeply imbued with the spirit which sustained our Saviour. If we would be saved at last we must all learn the lesson of penitence and faith at the foot of the cross. Christ suffered humiliation to save us from everlasting disgrace. He consented to have scorn, mockery, and abuse fall upon Him in order to shield us. It was our transgression that gathered the veil of darkness about His divine soul and extorted the cry from Him, as of one smitten and forsaken of God. He bore our sorrows; He was put to grief for our sins. He made Himself an offering for sin, that we might be justified before God through Him. Everything noble and generous in man will respond to the contemplation of Christ upon the cross.” {4T 374.1}

So, if you really want to protect yourself, what do you think is the smartest thing to do?
The next case, the latest news, and all the conspiracies aren’t going to get YOU healthier, strong emotionally or centered.

When this passes (which we trust eventually will), you’ll be faced with one simple question:
Did you take advantage of the time you had to work on yourself, to get better, to grow as an individual?
Or did you shut down, lost focus, panic and increase your anxiety?
What kind of results do you want to be left with when this is all over!?

Love, Be creative. Give. Stay Positive. Self-care. Serve. Grow. Be Kind.

May God bless us all as we navigate through this crisis.

In Christ’s perfect love,
Pastor Josh

* This message on video:

#smsda #growingtogether