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May 7, 2020

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Good afternoon. Pastor Doug here for our Thursday Checking-In.

I’ve got a story to share, some news you need to know, and then the Scripture God won’t let me forget this week.

On this National Day of Prayer, I am going to tell you a story about a time I was not very smart but God was faithful in answering prayer anyway.

It was the winter of 1997-1998. Laura and I were married less than a year and planning a 250-mile trip to visit my mom in NW Iowa for the holidays. The weather didn’t cooperate with our plans. On the night we were set to travel, a snowstorm rose up making visibility very low. When I say snowstorm, I mean blizzard. There was no way we should have been on the road in those conditions but we were young and invulnerable. And so we embarked on the journey.

We couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front of the car for almost the whole trip. There were times we had to plow through snowdrifts as high as the base of the windshield. I would see the drift coming just in time to gun the engine and get just enough speed to bust through to the other side. (I told you this was a story of a time I was not behaving very intelligently) There was no reasonable expectation we should have made the trip safely, but after several hours we found ourselves, at 2 in the morning, 15 miles from my mom’s house…at a crossroads.

There were two paths to finish the trip. We could head north out of Orange City on paved county road. Less travelled and probably not being maintained as diligently. Or we could head west out of Orange City on highways 10 & 75. More likely to be maintained and travelled, even at that obscene hour. We didn’t know what to do. So we prayed. “God, it’s been a crazy trip and we’re so close. Tell us which path to take. Show us the road to travel.” After a few moments of silence, the wind and snow whipping around the car, Laura and I looked at each other and we both said the same thing…we need to travel north, the county road. It made no logical sense (being out in a blizzard wasn’t logical either), but it was where the Spirit was leading. So we turned north and continued the journey.

Thirty minutes later we arrived at my mom’s. Safe and sound. Tired, actually, exhausted. After a good night’s sleep, we awoke to some interesting news. A snowplow was stuck in a snowdrift on highway 10 just west of Orange City. The drifts were so significant at a certain spot in the road that the plow had gone in but couldn’t get out. Laura and I looked at each other and praised God for His protection and for answering our prayer, even though we shouldn’t have been out there in the first place. Praise God for His faithfulness, even in the storm.

Here’s some News You Need to Know
I’m excited to share with you the official slate of Consistory Nominees for this year. We’ll be voting next week to approve these nominees for service as Deacons and Elder in our church. Voting will open on our website, through email, or through call-in starting at noon on May 10 through 6 pm on May 17. We’re offering more time for voting than we traditionally offer due to the unique circumstances we find ourselves in. You can find more detailed information about each nominee on the church’s website or you can call any of the pastors if you are more comfortable having a conversation.

Rajean Wolters - Elder-at-Large
Trevor Overweg - Facility & Finance Deacon
Patrick McKenney - Missions Deacon
Bobbi Jo Bruursema - Hospitality Deacon
Carey Vandenbeldt - Hospitality Deacon
Todd Cooper - Spiritual Formation Deacon
Matt Wolters - Spiritual Formation Deacon

Please be in prayer over these potential leaders and seek God’s discernment about their election.

God’s Word
I’ll close with these words from Psalm 18:
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.

May the Lord bless and keep you today,
Pastor Doug Baker

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