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Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. - Ephesians 4:15-16 NLT 

Ok, it's been a tough few weeks lately. Covid-19 cases are up again in our area, to some of the highest levels we have experienced so far. Our state will remain in Phase 3 for at least 3 more weeks. The schools in our county will delay their start at least 2 more weeks. 

That means at Bridges, we will remain in our own Phase 1 for a while - with masks, limited seating, social distancing and other safety protocols. At a time when many of us hoped to see restrictions begin to ease up, it looks like it will be a little longer. 

It's already been a long time. 

For many of us, it's been a long time since we've really connected, and we really miss each other. At a time when we most need to be connected, connections are that much harder. 

That means it's a time to endure. 

That means it's a time to rely on God's strength and power and comfort. 

That means it's also a time to connect. 

  1. Connect/Reconnect/Stay Connected to God: If ever there was a time to really seek connection with God it is now. Take time. Get away with Him. Pray. Read His word. Rest. Worship. We need this connection above all others. He offers rest for our souls and our souls need to rest in Him. He is always there and ready to connect with us. Pour out your heart to Him and allow Him to fill you with His Spirit. Connect with Him in a deeper way than ever before.
  2. Connect/Reconnect/Stay Connected to Other Followers of Jesus: We need each other to be healthy, whole and loved. If this had all happened 100 years ago (which it did in a way with a different flu) where would we be? With phones, text, zoom, snapchat, etc we can be connected to one another in ways they could only dream about in the past. Now's the time to reach out and be connected. Connect with old friends from the past who follow Jesus, touch base with a mentor, reach out to your small group during the week, share verses of encouragement, pray for one another, do a Youversion study together - just do what you can to connect with your church community. Find out how they are doing. What are they learning from God? What has He been doing in their life? How can you encourage one another?  If you touch base with one person a day, just think what a difference that would make.
  3. Connect/Reconnect/Stay Connected to Your Own Soul: How are you doing? No, really, how are you doing? Discouraged? Disillusioned? Defeated? Down? Disappointed? Depressed? Have you done a soul inventory lately? Most of the time we simply push through without really considering what everything is doing to our souls. Is there joy somewhere there? How about peace? Contentment? You may have to really dig deep, brush some of these things off and put them back in places of prominence there. Watch what you are putting into your souls. A constant diet of negative or soul junk food will really wear us down. Connect with your own soul and be sure there is hope there.
  4. Connect/Reconnect/Stay Connected to your Calling/Passion: God calls each one of us to be on mission with Him. What has He called you to do out of your relationship with Him? Work with those in poverty? The Blood Bank? Helping children? Serve others? Take care of your grandchildren? Find a way to do it now if possible. Or be praying for it. Or ask for a vision from God for one. Prepare now for when the world opens up again. What can you do now to be ready when it does? Don't let disappointment win. Rest now and be ready later. Don't give up but stay after it. 

Now is the time to be creative and innovative in connecting. 

God still wants to connect with us and for us to be connecting to others. 

Today, make it a point to connect.