Greetings from First Baptist Church!
Social distancing can be isolating and… boring, if we’re being honest. In this email, we wanted to give you some resources and ideas how to keep sane while we all keep each other safe.
Oddly enough, we might find that this time of keeping physical distance might just create some otherwise rare space and time to tend to our souls. Instead of immediately turning to more entertainment – another episode, another movie, another little game on your phone or tablet – why not take a few solid minutes to connect with Christ, who is with us no matter the distance? Below are some ideas.
Creative Prayer Prompts
- A.C.T.S. Prayer – this model of prayer asks that you spend the same duration of time (2 minutes for a start) in each of four kinds of prayer that correspond to one of the four letters in the title.
- Adoration is praise; praise God for creation, for grace, for goodness, for beauty. Especially when we’re facing the struggles of a different and scary kind of existence, this time of intentionally focusing on the positive can be a revolution for your spirit.
- Confession is exactly what it sounds like; admit to the times you failed God, others, or yourself. This may sound negative, but it’s so relieving to be honest and let go of some stuff.
- Thanksgiving is more than a holiday; it’s recognizing God’s blessings in your life. You might find it hard to keep thanks out of adoration, but with practice, you’ll get there.
- Supplication is a fancy word for “asking for something.” I think the creator really wanted that cute acrostic, so there you go. Ask for what you need and ask God’s help for others on your heart.
- Imaginative Prayer – Shawn and I were talking in the office recently and he was telling me about how this kind of prayer is his default. This method of prayer is much more freeform than the other. Just take some time up front to relax your body, quiet your mind, and then begin to imagine going for a walk or sitting in a peaceful place with Jesus. Then you just talk. Imagine the conversation. Listen to Jesus talk back to you in your imagination. These may feel less like formal prayers and feel more like a chat with a friend. But that’s a wonderful thing, too. There’s room for both in your prayer life.
Bible Reading Resources
There’s really no substitution for reading our Bibles. If you’re like me, however, it helps to have a prompt in terms of choosing what part to read. You can always just start at the beginning with Genesis or start reading one of the Gospels. Nothing wrong with that at all. But I have found a few online resources that can vary the kinds of passages you read which can keep things fresh.
- dailylectio.net is a good resource that will give you multiple options to read from each day. Read one and chew on it or read all three at different points in your day.
- d365.org is a much quicker and lighter devotional style resource. The Scriptures are tiny, but if you’re looking for a bite-size something to keep with you throughout the day, it helps.
There’s always TV or your phone to keep you distracted, but here are some other ideas to add into the mix when you feel like you just can’t watch one more thing!
- E-books – You can download books without leaving your house which is pretty handy. But if your library card is active with the Oak Ridge Public Library, you can actually borrow e-books and audio books at no charge through an application called Libby (part of a larger group called OverDrive). Check out the library’s site on it. https://orpl.overdrive.com/
- Online Museum Tours – Gigi found a link to People magazine’s compilation of a bunch of world-class museums that you can virtually tour from your browser. Check out the list by clicking here.
Get Up/Get Out
- Take a Walk – you can still get out of the house and get some fresh air. Just take proper precautions. Keep at least 6 feet between you and other people, don’t touch anything with your hands, and make sure you wash up when you get back. You can even chat with your neighbors as long as you maintain the right space.
- Indoor Movement – if you don’t want to go outside, you can still walk around your home, exercise with some of those canned goods you stocked up on, or another exercise that works for you. Getting your body moving has been proven to improve your mood, so don’t neglect it.
The rest of these were in a previous email, but here’s an abbreviated list of reminders of how you can still be connected with your FBC family in this unique time.
For the safety of our community, these gatherings are online ONLY.
You can access the church’s stream on your smart phone, tablet, or computer by inputting www.fbcoakridge.org/live-streaming/ into your web browser.
Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – Sunday School (Brandon Weaver)
Sundays, 11:00 a.m. – Worship (Staff)
Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. – Bible Discussion (rotating panel)
Health & Safety
According to the CDC and other good sources of reliable information, here are some best practices to minimize risk of spreading infection:
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, especially before eating.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, NOT your hands.
- Stay home and away from public places as much as you can. When you are around other people, keep at 6 feet of distance from others.
- If you are not feeling well, CALL your doctor first.
- Unless your family member is in great need, it’s best to not visit hospitals or nursing homes.
Call your family, friends, and church members
This email and other updates will be compiled on the church’s website. All the newest information will be at www.fbcoakridge.org/news/
On behalf of the FBC Staff: stay safe and stay connected.