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One of the most difficult seasons in my life was my sophomore year of High School. I was enjoying school and the activities my friends and I were involved in, including Debate. I know, I know... nerdy! Anyway, debate tournaments took place on Friday nights and Saturdays (even more nerdy). They would often require the participants to arrive at school early on Saturday mornings in order to make it to the tournaments on time. One such Saturday morning found me driving to the high school by way of my friend's house. I was picking Jesse up and then we were heading to school. After stopping at his house Jesse and I were sitting at an intersection preparing to cross the highway. I looked left and then right and left again and started across the highway. We crossed the southbound lanes and passed through the median when we started across the northbound lane and were struck by a semi-truck. The car spun around three times and my friend was thrown from the car. Jesse died in that accident.

A few days after the accident my debate coach came to my house. He told me, among other things, that I was the same person now as before the accident. I knew what he meant, but I remember thinking, "no, this really should change me." I can't help but think of that conversation today. I want to encourage all of you by reminding you that this season of quarantines and social distancing will pass. Our lives will return to normal, but I think this season should change us. Don't allow the extra "down" time that has been thrust upon us to pass by with out changing us. Take advantage of this season to grow closer to one another and to God! Let's try a couple of things:

1. Dig into God's Word individually and as a family. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."  Katy has passed along a link to the Kid's Church video and lesson from Sunday so why not take a few minutes and watch with your kids and talk about God's Word together. https://bit.ly/3aMZ76I

2. Spend time praying to God. Hebrews 4;16 says, "Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time." Man how cool is that verse?! We can approach the throne... God is on His throne, He is in charge no matter what might be happening to us or going on around us, and we can approach Him! He will provide us with grace at the proper time - In a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult to locate things that we think we need, we serve a God that will provide us with what we truly need at just the right time!

3. Offer praise and thanksgiving to God. Psalm 100:4-5 says, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations." Even during trying times we have much to be thankful for. I am sad that my son's freshman year of college baseball has come to a premature end. I anticipate that some of the events my daughter has looked forward to during her senior year of high school are in jeopardy, but I am thankful for some extra time with my kids who will soon be heading out on their own. I'm grateful for technology that allows us to stay connected as we're encouraged to practice social distancing. I praise God for sticking closer than a brother when we need Him most. 

Put these three things into practice over the next couple of weeks and when things return to normal, let's all be changed!

- Lance