Church Update | 4-2-20 AM

Good morning Church Family,

I pray you are all well and using this time to catch up on some household projects and some of your reading.
 
Of course, reading the Word is first on the list, but then the two books we have suggested so far this year (The Found the Secret and Pilgrim’s Progress) would greatly enhance your walk with God as well.
 
I just wanted to let you know that this Friday at 7pm I will be hosting a Zoom meeting for the entire church. I will be sending out an email blast today inviting all of you to attend along with some basic instructions how to use Zoom (it’s very easy!).
 
This will be a time to share your hearts, your concerns, and prayer requests. Thru this meeting I’m hoping we can bear each other’s burdens, encourage one another and pray for each other.
 
Next week our Wednesday Livestream will be cancelled because we are going to livestream our Good Friday Service on April 10th at 7 PM and conclude with communion (you’ll obviously have to have your own elements). Easter Sunday Service will be livestreamed on April 12th at 10 AM.
 
Please keep these upcoming services in your prayers as the Lord has been laying on people’s hearts (many unbelievers and other Christians that don’t regularly attend our church) to tune in and listen to our livestream services.
 
What the devil intended for evil (COVED-19), God is using for good to spread His Word to many who wouldn’t normally step foot in church to listen to the teaching of His Word!
 
One more thing.
 
I know we need to be prudent and take this Coronavirus pandemic seriously—but I want to leave you with something I hope will put things into perspective.
 
While everyone is so focused and fearful of how many people have died because of this virus (and rightly so)—I read this article that came about from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show yesterday (April 1). I thought it might help you to put this pandemic in perspective (not that I’m minimizing its seriousness in anyway).
 
“On his Wednesday broadcast, Limbaugh cited a list from worldometers.info that rounded up the worldwide deaths from Jan. 1 through March 25 of 2020:
    • Coronavirus: 21,000 deaths.
    • Seasonal flu: 113,000.
    • Malaria: 228,000.
    • Suicide: 249,000.
    • Traffic fatalities: 313, almost 314,000 deaths.
    • HIV/AIDS: 391,000 deaths.
    • Smoking-related deaths: 1,162,000.
    • Cancer deaths: 1,909,000 deaths.
    • Deaths attributed to starvation: 2,382,000 deaths.
    • And death by abortion: 9,900,000.”
“I’m not trying to make any correlation,” Limbaugh explained. “I’m not trying to say, ‘Hey, we’re overreacting to coronavirus death.’ I’m just giving you the stats here. You can react to these stats however you wish.”
 
Let’s keep things in perspective and remember that God is on the throne in all of this!
 
Love you all,
 
Pastor Phil


Follow-Up Pastor’s Update | 3-30-20 3 PM | Take Heart

Hi Church,
 
After I sent out the announcement, I just sent you warning you to take precautions, this then came in and I felt it would give all of you some peace of mind. Please read and take heart!“
 
Dr. David Price, a critical care pulmonologist caring for COVID-19 patients in New York City at Weill Cornell Medical Center, lays out exactly what people need to do to prevent catching the virus, how to know if they have it, and what to do if they get it, in a must-see video posted to social media.
 
“You may hear a little inflection in my voice like I’m emotional. It’s not because I’m scared. It’s actually the opposite. For the first time in a while, I’m actually not scared,” Price said in the video, now going viral.
 
“I work at probably the premier hospital in New York City. Our hospital is almost exclusively a COVID-19 hospital, but we’re learning, and we know a lot. And what I want you guys to know is that every single day we’re getting better, we know more. And I am confident that the stuff I can tell you today should make you guys feel like when this comes to your community that you don’t have to be scared and that you can protect your family.”
Dr. Price wants everyone to know: “This disease is a wimp. Coronavirus is a wimp. It dies as soon as you disinfect it.” And it breaks down immediately when people wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer.  The doctor says 90% of the transmission is purely from picking up the germ on your hands and then literally putting it into our own bodies.
 
“The ways that you get this is the transmission of the virus almost exclusively from your hands to your face, from your hands to your face and inside your eyes, into your nose or into your mouth,” Price said.
 
As for catching the virus through the air, you’re safer than you think, Dr. Price said. “There’s also a small thought that it can be aerosolized, that it can kind of exist a little bit in the air,” Price said. “The thought at this point is that you actually have to have very long sustained contact with someone. And I’m talking about over 15 to 30 minutes in an unprotected environment, meaning you’re in a very closed room without any type of mask for you to get it that way.”
 
So, it’s all about washing your hands.
 
“Very to very simply state, the overwhelming majority of people are getting this by physically touching someone who has this disease or will develop it in the next one to two days and then touching their face,” he said.“
 
That is incredibly empowering. The thing that makes me smile a little bit is I actually know now that I won’t get this disease because I know how to protect myself,” Dr. Price said, despite the fact that he’s exposed to the virus daily.
 
It’s simple, he said. “Become a hand Nazi. Everything you know about your hands, just keep it clean and you will not get this disease,” Price said. “The second thing is you have to start psychologically working on the connection between your hands and your face.” He suggests wearing a medical mask just to become aware of how often you touch your face.“

Those two things combined is incredibly powerful and will prevent the transmission of disease in your family in 99% of cases, to know your hands are clean and not touch your face, period,” Dr. Price said.

 
The doctor also said people can go outside, take a walk or a jog, and shop. All they need to do is be hyper aware of their hands — and never touch their faces.”
 
In Jesus,
Pastor Phil
 


IMPORTANT Church Update | 3-30-20 PM

Pastor’s Update | 3-30-20 PM

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Good Afternoon Church Family,
 
I wanted to start out by reminding all of you that we will be livestreaming our Wednesday Night Study in the Book of Jude starting at 7 PM.
 
We will be starting virtual small group meetings via Zoom this week. I am also trying to organize a Zoom Webinar possibly this week as well on Friday evening at 7PM.  This will be for the whole church so we can interact with one another, share prayer requests and how we’re doing during this sequester period and then pray for each other.
 
I will finalize this meeting later in the week but share it with you now to keep in prayer and plan to join so we can have some church family contact even if only thru a social medic platform.
 
And now I have something to share with all of you that I believe the Lord wants us to take VERY seriously.
 
The following important announcement was just forwarded to me.  It came from a trauma nurse who works at Stroger Hospital in Chicago:
 
“As of tomorrow, do not leave home for anything not even to buy bread, because the worst begins, the incubation date is met and many positives will start to come out and many people can get it, so it is very important to stay home and not relate with anybody, being very careful is very important and very crucial From March 27 to April 3. we must take care of ourselves as we will be at the peak of the virus in two weeks, normally in those two weeks all infected will appear then there are two weeks of calm and then two weeks where it decreases.
 
(What happened in Italy is that they were neglected in the contagion season and that is why all the cases turned out together).
 
And finally, do not receive visits from anyone, not even from the same family. This is all for the good of all.
 
WE WILL BE IN THE MAXIMUM STAGE OF INFECTION.
 
If you need to get food, make sure to remove shoes and clothes in the garage leave it there and wash your hands immediately. The food you bring, throw away the bags; also clean all food and throw away any boxes.
 
The mail pick it up with gloves; put it in the garage; do not leave your mail inside the house. They are expecting a lot more people to get infected.
 
Don’t want to scare you but they are expecting 100,000/200,000 deaths; we have at this time 2,500 deaths. That’s why they made the McCormick Place a hospital. They are expecting a lot more cases; they say not even for a walk, it’s going to have a huge rise in cases starting now and don’t go out at all. You should buy enough for 2 weeks. The virus stays airborne for 3 hours.”
 
The Lord will see us thru this but that doesn’t mean we “put Him to a foolish test either.”
 
Remember the wisdom of Proverbs 22:3 “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
 
In Jesus’ love,
Pastor Phil
 


Church Update | 3-27-20 AM

Good morning beloved,

I trust the Lord gave you all a blessed night’s sleep.

I talked to some pastor’s yesterday who said that some in their churches were really struggling with this “shelter in place” quarantine. I realize that this has not been an easy time for many believers in Jesus. We can approach this time in one of two ways—either we can ‘hate’ it or ‘embrace’ it.

Remember, we are admonished in Scripture—“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I came across a quote this morning that I thought might help you to ‘embrace’ this time:

“While in quarantine:

  • Isaac Newton discovered gravity.
  • Paul wrote part of the New Testament.
  • John Bunyan created Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • Luther translated the Bible into German.
  • John penned the Book of Revelation.

We are stewards of the time God has given us. Let us make the most of it!”

Of course, as Christians, our pilgrimage in life towards the “Celestial City” becomes so much more enjoyable when we seek out the fellowship of other believers. In my reading of “Pilgrim’s Progress“, Christian has just caught up with Faithful, who together are now encouraging and strengthening each other in their journey toward the Celestial City.

Since we can’t be together in person, let us seek out fellowship with one another thru social media. Stay in contact with each other. Pray with one another. Encourage each other as we walk this path during these strange and difficult times we’re in.

And along those lines, please join us this Sunday Morning at 10 AM (via Livestream) for the next part of the series we’re doing—for such a time as this: “Life’s Essential Ingredients-Part 2.”

Also, I hope you’re reading, “They Found the Secret”. If not, please read Chapter 6: “Charles Grandison Finney: The Powerful Life.” I have read this chapter numerous times in the past but found it ‘new’ and very encouraging as I read it again a few days ago. So please check it out.

That’s it for now. I love you all and am asking God for a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon all of us for whatever He has in mind for our lives going forward.

In our precious Savior’s name,

Pastor Phil



Church Update 3-24-20 PM

Good Afternoon Church Family,

I watched the President’s briefing today and it looks like he wants the country back open for business and people working again by Easter—which is good news.

That means we have another 2 ½ weeks of “sheltering in place” ahead of us.

That said, I thank the Lord that we were able to livestream our last Sunday service and plan on livestreaming this Wednesday night’s Bible study as well.

Please join us at 7 pm as we will be continuing our study in the Book of Jude.

Also, I would like to resume the small groups next week using ‘Zoom’ which will allow all the small groups to meet and interact with one another thru the webcam on their home computers.

I will be in contact with Mike Nuxoll who will be contacting all the group leaders in the next day or two to set things up.

I know that for some of you “cabin fever” is taking its toll—which makes it even more important that we ‘come together’ remotely thru the avenue of social media.

I know it’s not the same as being with each other face to face, but it’s better than no fellowship with each other at all—

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)

Love you all and see you soon!

Pastor Phil



Church Update – 3-21-20 AM

Good Morning Church Family, Beloved of God,
 
Well, our governor (J.B. Pritzker) has announced a statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.
 
The order is expected to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday (tonight) and continue until the end of April 7.
 
The governor is asking Illinoisans to ‘hunker down’, stay at home and not come into contact (as much as possible) with other human beings as a way of fighting this virus.
 
President Trump has started to refer to himself as a “wartime president” seeing as he (and his team) are fighting a war against COVID-19.
 
To borrow a line from Thomas Paine during the Revolutionary War—“These are the times that try men’s souls”—and indeed they are.
 
For many Americans, they find themselves isolated and bereft of human contact with only social media to satisfy their longing to connect and communicate with others.  At this time in history, I thank God we do have social media as a way to connect with each other.
 
Having said that, please join us tomorrow at 10 AM for the first livestream of our church services.
 
Tomorrow’s service will be basic, as we want to keep it simple so see how things go.
 
But then beginning the week after, I’d like to introduce some worship into our service before the message.
 
Please keep things in prayer—as someone has said, “Life is hard, but God is good!”
 
I love you all, and want to encourage you to keep looking up—and remember that God is on the throne (sovereign) and we must trust Him to see us thru difficult times no matter how bad things get around us.
 
Psalm 46:1-3 (NKJV)
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
 
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NKJV)
Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls– Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
 
In Jesus precious name,

Pastor Phil



Church Update – 3-20-20 AM

Good Morning Dear Ones,
 
I don’t know what I’d do without the Lord in my life—especially in times of crisis and adversity.
 
Listen, I understand why people drink alcohol and take pills to calm their nerves—I understand even though I don’t agree with them.
 
I understand because people can’t live in a perpetual state of stress, anxiety, worry and fear (about the future)—in other words, they can’t live for very long without peace.
 


Church Update – 3-19-20 AM

Good Morning Calvary Family,

I hope our precious Lord gave you, as His beloved, rest last night. Rest in His presence (He is always with you), provision (that He will provide all you need to see you thru this time of financial insecurity) and power. Power in that, He is on the throne and nothing is impossible (or even hard) for Him to deal with and overcome!

As of right now, I am planning on doing a livestream of our Sunday morning service via Facebook. This broadcast will take place at 10 o’clock. Rhonda, our church media & programming manager will post on our website the information you’ll need to access our church Facebook account. I will be doing a special message designed to promote peace and joy in the hearts of God’s people during this difficult time in our nation’s history.

In the meantime, I am including a devotional study by my son Phil below. He felt led to share with the people of God a message from His Word that he hopes will bless and encourage your hearts.

That’s all for now. I Love you all, and please know we will get thru this as long as we keep our eyes on God and not on the circumstances we find ourselves in at this moment.

In Jesus precious name,
Pastor Phil



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