April 9, 2020
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  • 10:58 pm Santa Cruz Shelter in Place 2020: Day 17
Faith in the Face of Panic

I have never acted as a coward or instandingfact, Iin front of you, as most of you know, I have a mystery illness Ive had for the better part of at least 12 years. My mystery illness is, I can get episodes of nausea and vomiting that start with a simple headache. Ive been to every doctor and every specialist. No one knows what it is. It comes upon me suddenly, and when it does, it usually takes me out for a solid 12 hours, and typically it either happens on a Friday or a Saturday, which was the case Friday and all of Saturday. And Im standing here in front of you just a little, a little weak over whats happened to me, but still not 100%. I dont have the flu and I dont have COVID-19. I just happen to have something that reoccurs, so Im telling you in advance, if I look a little pekid or not my usual selfwhats going on. Ialways like to tell you everything upfront. In fact, I just going to reorganize the service today because I know theres a lot of people that will be tuned in, and Ive heard that various church services have been canceled, that it many different places all of the services that we need to function and things that people think are normal or logical decisions that are being made, which Im not sure that they are. Now I preach faith, not foolishn wantAnd I don anybody in the sound of my voice to think that, go out and take a risk and be stupid. But I did print this out for my audience to see, and although I am not a medical person, I have access to the same tools as you do. My Ph.D. comes, obviously you get a Ph.D. from doing research, so I like to dip into things, but I never going to tell you I am a medical expert. Id like you to look at something that I printed out for you so you can see it visibly. This is from the CDC, fromwebsite. You cango there at your leisure. This is the top range from the 2017-2018 flu season, and here your pyramid. 12,000 to 61,000 deaths, 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations. And can you see that first number right there? That looks like 9,300,000, right? Is that the numbe seeing? To 45,000,000. Somewhere in that range. So, thus far, and I doing this for a reason. I don know wha know, is. I don Im sure a lot of you came today thinking even know what this is. Is this panic driven by the media? Is it real? Yes, its real, but we don know what it is. But I can tell you this, I showed you this. No one seems to be panicking over this. And there have been, I believe, less than 50 deaths so fargoinghis virus that around. There are over 1,016 cases identified, but less than 50 deaths, which leaves me in a quandary like probably many of you, to try and figure out why people have raided grocery stores and other places for supplies. I understand, but this, this regular flu! Am I speaking English to anybody out there? This regular flu will attack America every single year! We e had Ebola, weve hd SARS. Now Im just going to say this as plain as day. I am not a coward, and I believe that God hates cowards. He also hates people who succumb to fear. Why? Because Im going to read you every scripture that I feel is important. Maybe it wont be important for you because you came full of faith, but it might be important for you to share with your friends and family, even in they are not full-blown believers. But there is something desperately wrong. I not I dont preach stoicism, but theres something desperately wrong when our country is running fearfully from the unknown. And yes, is it a global situation? It is. And is this disease spreading rapidly? Yes, it is. And I sure if you drove here you saw the signs on the freeway that say e CalTrans, of course. CalTrans signs. You all know what I think aboutvoid gatherings.Now let me ask you this question, and Im not going to tell you that I am for or against anything right now because Im not a doctor I not a medical doctor I donave enough information. Ia teacher and Ia person of faith. And I do not believe that fear or panic ever cured or solved anything. So friends listening to me out there you who are in the sance here full of faith and not confused but you who are out there, and potentially, I pray God, people who are just randomly tuning in this morning because they dont know what the hell to do. Im telling you something. Panic is not the solution. Neither is fear, and neither is cowardice. There has never been a global problem solved by people gripped by fear in the terror of something they know not. And Ill eell you what else we seeie seeing a great lack of faith, which is what Ive been saying. Our friendly entertainment churches who preach no gospel. This has created more pandemonium among Christian believers who are not really believers because they dont have any Bible. And shame on you pastors out there who have not stuck to the word of God, who could have at least infused people who have clung to the name of Jesus but have absolutely nothing else. Theyesus, but theydont know what faith is and how to grab hold of it. And Im noton someyou that Imountain think that. But I am appalled. I have nol say thatrather Ifor people running like crazy mad people because they have not figured out neither have I, and Im sure the vast majority of you have not figured out what this is. And I do believe in practicing good hygiene and good health and doing all the things that are being recommended, but the one thing that I will tellstill not I have notwrapped my mind around: why Christian services anywhere would be canceled. You may be seated. I told you I was going to do something different today because I really feel I have an audience listening to me today thata little bit differentfrom the audience that usually tunes in. Now maybe God is going to uin peoplest hearts to make them turn back totelling you something.This country has sunk so far away from its Christian moorings, and I dont care what people that want to tell you,o it hasnt. Were stillgreat! great, w have an ex-con on TV selling emergency food to people and telling them to take a specific vitamin becaa cure, oranother one who says hes healing people through the TV of this dis evenwhen we donsorry,at it is. Ithatthe lunacy ofChristianity that makes me embarrassed to be associated with any of those people. But for the people who understand, people of faith, we dont react the same way. We are not reactionary in that capacity. Our, our place is to turn tonot going to belike the people that are ignorant and they only turn to God and keep their powder dry. But this is the time when America needs to turn to Godword we findat least something to grab hold of that tells us over and over and over and over and over again, God is not the author of fear or confusion. And anybody who can hear today I don care if youre not a Christian listenin careme. I don who you are listening to me. I want you to know something. There is a greater power in the universe that is not the government, that is not any government power. There is a power greater on Earth, not just in the heavens above, that is able to respond to the pleas of people crying out for help. And Im sorry to say this. You may not like what Im going to say, but Im just going to say it. We should be a nation showing an example to the world. Yes, we have great tools and weve got all kinds of wonderful technology, but foremost what this country great at its inception: people of faith trusting in I go, I always go back to this people coming to an unknown land, coming by faith to have religious freedom to worship freely as they so choose. We have forgotten the luxury and the freedom because we treat all of that so casually, like no one ever fought for that. And just so we can all be clear in our minds, every Im going to say apart from this information we get from the CDC about the flu every generation up until a certain time had its woes. And when I talk about woes, forgive me because putting the Black Plague as a woe is not necessarily, the two don necessarily mesh together. But if you read history, hundreds of thousands no, in fact, millions of people wiped off the map through successive plagues and other diseases that we hadjust sayingNow Ithis, and Im putting this out there, and then Im going to start into my message. I am, if I do anything next week if anything changes and we dont have a regular service, it is not for fear of any reason, it is more for the protection of people in this building. I don have good sense right now to say whether or not gathering is bad, quite frankly. If you think about it, this disease has been circulating, the report that I heard was they first discovered the jump they can actually pinpoint, if this information is correct they can pinpoint the jump from pangolin, which is an endangered species, to a human some time in late November of last year. That means this disease has been circulating for far longer than the panic and thebeenmonium that creaget aike, let reality check. Certain thingsnot going to tell you,whena map thatere they the CDC provides, which shows you clearly, the darkest parts of the map are where the most cases have occurred. You can see our state is right therwhy I said toin the wait and seemode, but Im not in the fearnot in the panicmode. I had people telling me pretty much through the week,aybe you want to reconsider.Maybe you want to this. Well, when I heard that the Pope, who speaks from a window high above the square, removed himself and said it was unsafe hes, I dont know, four or five hundred feet away from people that are on the ground. Now, listen, Im going to say this. He is elderly, so maybe that could possibly make sense, but when youre that far removed, even the CDC says if youre going to distance yourself which, by the way, I think thats bad information, and thats just an opinion on my part, because if this is an airborne situation, I really d think that distancing yourself several meters, as they put it in their websairborne, itsgoing to spread. And the other thing Id like to just say, and ita personal note is, Ikind of confused about the run on toilet paper. Now if youre I realize that I have people here that are here for the first time and some returning guests, so I don want you to think this is the normal that I would normally do, but I felt compelled today to talk, not just to the congregation, not just to our internet and radio audience, but people whopretty convinced,are trying to find some handle somewhere to grab hold of, and Im going to try and give you that. But Im telling you something, and when Im done, hopefully youll see what Im saying. Maybe, for someone who doesword or whodoesnt care about the things of God, what Im saying isgoing toss. But Itell you, I e seenwe enough examples of God comingnot one of thesepeople that preaches, as I said, I dont tell people to do foolish things. I always am preaching and teaching faith, and Im telling you exactly how I feel today. I did not come here with the spirit of fear. I do not know what exactly, as I juste dealingat we with, but I do this: I do know that a lot of people are going to be hurt by massive closures of business and industry. Probably more so, Im sorry to saymy opinion,but I think the massive closure of amusement parks, which, just that in and of itself I dont know the number, but the number of people employed there has to be off the charts. Can you imagine what happens when you send I know what the number is, but it has to be something very high when you send those people home and they dont have a paycheck and whenl call themut wethe non-essentials, but actually they are essential the non-essentials that I label non-essential: NBA, NFL. Probably in my life I could live without those forever, but there are people, and Im not talking about the overpaid athletes, I talking about the people who work the stands, the people who are selling goods and services. Those people are going to be hurt just like people who are employees teachers, principals, anybody who is servicing a school district is going to be hard hurt when it comes down to a month or possibly two months, or even three months without a paycheck, where people still need to feed their families. Now I know that the argument on the other side is, well, if thats the case, but what happens if people get sick and people die and then theres no family to feed? Were not even there yet. And when I say e not even there yet, I dont mean to treat this casually, but Im saying, I showed you the numbers of regular hearAnd I don anyone talking about regular flu, which is usually the nemesis for this time of year.telling you is,please, after listening to megoing to starttalking and teaching right now. Im asking you to take in everything I say, and although it may be, for some of my listening audience it may be very disturbing because, you know, the herd mentality is gonotthe herd. Well, Igoing to put anyone here at danger, but I think you know me well enough by now to know I dont have the herd mentality. I dont go with the flow, and Im not interested in the one thing that is really actually driving me crazy, is people are being overstimulated with fear and panic by the media. Every station you turn on and every outlet that you can see or hear is placing fear and panic in peoples hearts. Now do your part, but Id say this: be just like what the Bible says be strong, act in faith, and lets just see what happens. But right now I want to share some things with you that I thought were quite appropriate for what we e going in and through at this particular time. So I am not bringing you back into the series today. Im choosing to do something a little bit different. If youd like to follow through in the Bible with me, because Im going to be going through lots of books, and Im asking those people out there, if you are not a Bible person, youre not a church-going person, and I doing this deliberately for a lot of the well call them not quite church people I want you to get a pen and paper and I want you to write down these verses of scripture. Even if you dont have a Bible, you can always look them up on the internet when Im done. But I want you to write these down as I go through them because these are the things we hang onto. Christianity is not a bunch of rules like some people think. Christianity is faith, rooted and defined in a person, Jesus Christ, who supposedly, by the way, lives in me once I have opened my heart to hearing faith. Christ lives in my heart. So if Christ lives in my heart, how does fear and anxiety do, living next door to Jesus? Inside of me. And Im saying that very sarcastically because this week alone I encounteredhristians who were sogripped with fear. I thought to myself, his is why I have been going at this about churches not teaching and preaching the gospel message, and the fruits of that lack are coming to roost. through some scriptures here and I’m going to talk about each one: Deuteronomy 31 and verse 6, Deuteronomy 31 and verse 6 says,e strong and of a goodcourage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: case are the giants living in the promise land prior to God delivering them, His people into the land. Now you can replace the hem with anything that you think is bigger and more problematic e everou dealt with. Today I’m going to just give you a whole bunch of promises, now this is from Moses writing but Moses was inspired by God, Moses as a brilliant man, and a great thinker, and a theologian, this is God’s spirit flowing through all of these different individuals who will essentially say the same thing over and over again, For the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee. And I chose to go down this pathway as I said because itnecessary for some of us tobe reinforced in what we believe, and what we hold fast to; of course I dontI’m not going to even camp out on any one verse of scripture, I’m just wanting you to compile these and I want these to be what you use through the week, and if you have been surrounded by people who are full of fear the only way to get rid of fear is you go back into the word. And I need to reiterate this, I do not preach stoicism but I also have no patience for people that in the face of, and this is a crisis, a crisis we dont know what, but it is a crisis. There’s nothing worse than people panicking in the face of crisis. In fact I’m reminded somebody was saying this very, very same thing to me earlier in the week aboutou realize thatthe vast majority of the people on the Titanic could have been saved, it was panic and fear that basically killed the remnant of the people who couldn get on those life boats. Thats what panic and fear does, let’s get that straight. Noelle can say, God gave those words to Moses to say to the people, Moses could also take them to his heart. To Moses successor Joshua he spoke the same words in a different way, which I think I’ve touched on these verses many, many times but in Joshua, where Joshua is told from the word of God, from God Himself, Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Thatthe word to Joshua butstill a word to us wherever you go. Now I’m not saying be foolish and put yourself in danger but do not let yourself succumb to this trend that happening. And all I can do is go through the word with you and show you that over, and over, and over again from different people at different times God has been saying the same thing. To the most beloved Psalm of the church, Psalm 23 and verse 4, will fear no evil: for thou art with me. people who are listening to me who are regular listeners; all great for you, you know all these scriptures; I’m more concernedbecause you showed up‘m more concernedabout th haveple who don the faith and the understanding. So this is going to become a template, I, going to read off these scriptures and then we going to mix it up like a good slumgullion and put it all together. Psalm 23 and verse 4will fear no evil: forthou art with me, and I want to underline two things in there,odring no evil, and thatis with me, and God is with you. Again over, and over, and over again this same thing is repeated. If you just turn the page one, one page forward to Psalm 27he Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? You know, it will be wonderful when we can look at this, all of these parts of the Bible and sayand these people didn even have the book we have, do you know what I’m saying? We have a book we can open up; even have a book; if they had the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) t have the rest of it. So we have the luxury of reaching in here and thats exactly what were doing today. I’m taking this one verse out of Psalm 27he LORD is my light and my salvation; of whom shall I fear? You can see this is all repetitihe LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? shall I be afraid? So Id like to say that, Of who, or of what, and the only fear that has value before God is what Psalm 111:10 says, Fear of the LORD, and I think its also inear ofoverbs as well,the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and thats a different typeawe,ear, that revethee, respect, that only type of fear if were going to use that word that brings any good into ones life. Alright, going to the next place which isod is our refuge andstrength, a very present help in trouble. trouble. I think we are in trouble, but its something again we know not what. Let me ask here, and I want you to raise your hands; in the last, in the last ten years, because I know I’ve got a couple people here withho have had brusheshdeath, a couple of people here who are just recovering from major, major surgery but howet’s go withherethe last five yearshave had something take them down for a week, two weeks, even a month where you are not able to do anything, youve just been that sick, has that happened here? Thatenough of you. And thething that happens there is that can happen anywhere if we start thinkinghis is going to happen to me, and its coming my way! Well the Bible also says, hat you think comesopass, you know? What you actually are speaking about, and speaking in a reverse faith if thatwhat youre willing forthat may just happen to you. There is a passage out ofn anxiousthat says, heart weighs a man down, but a good word,angood word from this book,lift a man up. it is but the more even I read, Im thinkingell ifelf, Gods not the author of fear and confusion why is all, everything around me so out of whack?l be talking aboutthis, this particular time if we live to see the day, which I not sure we will, but if we live to see the day when antichrist comes on the scene; can you see whathappened with somethingwe know not, something that will deceive the people into somegood and forvenm, and the Bible says,the very elect will be deceived. And this is why I telling you, this is actually a test run, I believe, for future thine not come. And we reallyIm going to say this, and you know, somebody might say, Wow, thats pretty insulting. proud American. I love this country. necessarily like the politics of this country, but I love this country. I love the flag. I love what this country represents. You might think this is an un-American thing to say: we saw a little turnaround after 9/11 of people actually turning back to God because everything was shaken so badly, but it had no staying power. Weve seen a return in little increments, but just for that time, and when the crisis is over, people go back to whatever they were doing.telling you something.This could actually, for us, could be a blessing in disguise if people start turning back and actually turning back to latch ontooutthe junk that therword and GodHimself. What I was going to say that may sound a little anti-American: the whole world, the whole globe is being affected. Some places have had plans in effe doned they amazing things, such as North Korea, I believe, which basically, theyre now, I think it, it might be one of theKoreas, I cant remember which was in this article I was readone otherhere country that has just basically done all they can, but when youre living in a country that is the free, the land of the free, you would think that maybe we, as Americans sorry, you may not like this but maybe we need a lesson of how unmoored we e become. Because tt of the world may be panicking and feeling like its spinning out of contre always been America has always been the solid ground. Think back to our history and every war where we have we e been there for other peoplee been the muscle. We e been the strength. We e been the place the turn to for help, guidance and stability. Now the whole world is looking on, and by the way, probably half the world doesnt understand that the President cant do anything. He can make declarations and he can do whatever he can do, but it quite limited in controlling a disease that could be spread amongst individuals. Unless you live in a place where you enforce martial law, you are not going to have complete control because our President, or any President that has been a President of these United States, is not a dictator. So the burden is on the people. The burdon the people to beresponsible and to act a little bit more in faith than in fear.justu can see why Idoing this, and hopefully the broader listening audience issaying. Psalmod is our refuge andstrength, a very present help in trouble. very present help in trouble, when not in trouble, but certainly in times of crisis, certainly in times of uncertainty, you lean of God. And Im going to ask the question, mostly to the listening audience, not so much in here. Who have you been talking to, and who have you been leaning on the last 24 hours, the last week, or the last month throughout all of this? And ife been calling friends and family but haven said a prayer or asked God for help, Id say theres the beginning, just the beginning, of bringing peace to your innermost being. Why? Because my Bible says that understanding, latching on, clinging to God, brings something. That is peace that passes all understanding. Im in the middle of a storm, I dont know why, but I have peace. Thats what comes from God when I ask for it. That gives me the ability to think clearly and make sound and rational decisions when I must make them. This is whats missing. Alright, my favorite one of these, Psalm 56. Psalm 56, hat time I am afrai,have you turned there yet? Psalm 56 and verse 3, although most of you know this verse by heart.hat time I am afraitdoes it say? I will trust in thee. I like that one the best. Nowaeres, there progression to this. You can be afraid and you start to turn towards the Lord and you start talking to the Lord and you say,afraid, but what time I amafraid, I will turn to you and I will trust you. And ultimately,willwords become,trust in the Lord, no matter what. There is a progression. A lot of people ask me why, in many instances in my life, why am I not fearful? Why am I not scarnot a normalreaction to certain things. Well, it is a normal reaction if youre walking with the Lord. And as I preachI don foolishness, but if youre walking with the Lord and youre wanting to understand about Gods mind and the heart of God, then you begin to understand that God is not as I just said this three times already He is not the author of fear and confusion. He brings order to everything. He brings stability. He brings clarity. So, thats why I said, look around you, and this is how you know we are in a very godless state. And Im not talking about California. Now out of the Psalter and into the book of Isaiah. And I told you, if you h written these down somewhere, most of you know these, but some of my listening audience. Im asking you to write these down because theye verses of scripture that have either filled your heart with faith and cast out the feare certainly scriptures you would do well to be able to share with other people. And as I said, whether they are believers or not, a lot of times you can put things in youreown words. They scripture put into the way you would say it the way it would come out of your mouth. Many times Im sitting with people and they will actually say biblical things without knowing because really knowl say, You and Iknow, you just quoted the Bible. Yeah. In your own words you just quoted the Bible. You just, that happens a lot. People dont even know it. So this is a good tool, especially in these times. Out of Iayiah 35 and verse 4, to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. God is coming to the rescue. Now I know, you might, some people out there who dont have a lot of faith will say,in trouble right nowand God is not rescuing me. Well, dont think that your two-second faith mechanism thatjust been turned on actslike a Pez dispenser for God. That doe mean you get put at the back of the line, either. It just means, be patient. There are a lot of things God can do. I dont preach the crazy stuff out there that people a lot of people talk about and do, or say that God does. I tell you whatcoming from this book.Andcoming from this bookis sound doctrine on how to navigate with the rest of the world doing what theyre doing. Im telling you something, God does come to our help. He doestellingour aid. And Iyou firsthand knowledge because this morning when I woke up, and I see this every time. It should be an example to you already. How many times have you seen mesick, or Ivey Ibeen sick, or Ive been sick and Im not 100%. And by the time I leave this platform, if Im not 100%, Im on my way to feeling much better. Now you could say thatjust, You just talkedyourself into it. Well, somewhat we have todo. I remember my late husband saying that. He had to talk himself into faith when he was facing his cancer. And he did that every single day. Thats what we o. When you can when you just have it, you muster it. It comes from the word. You cling to it. So for those pe have thedon faith and who are fearing, tell them, Gods on your side. God is going to come and rescue you. The thing is, youve got to trust Him. Remember what I just said out of the other psalm,hat time I am afrailtrust in the Lord. Im not going to put my trust somewhere else. Im going to trust in the Lord. Stay in Isaiah 40, or 41, rather, in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 41 and verse 10. I told you this would be a different type of message, but its the only way I know to communicate to aevast audience. If you going to latch onto this book, Gods word, penned through diverse people over the course of hundreds, and indeed thoueands of years, and they all saying the same thing.ear not.l saying,Fear not, do not be afraid. The message Ive preached here so manythe Greekat word for courage? (Tharsei.) Say it louder. (Tharsei.) That word, you know, when Jesus spoke to His disciples and He said, Fear not.ourage. Courage is 90% offaith and 10% of all that otheractuallyd thats, Iplagiarizing someone else who said that. If youve listened any time, you know who I quoting. Bute found that to be true. And as I was just saying to you, how many times have I exercised faith thatjust not feelinggood, but Im going to get up and Im going to go? I have a responsibility to you and to God. You have a responsibility to yourselves, to God, and to the people immediately in your circle: your immediate family, your friends. This is, to me this the only way I know to help some of you in dealing with the circle around you. Because, you know, if you stick close enough to people who are in a panic, do you know what happens? You will begin to panic. If you stick close to people who are full of feare aroundbt and you them all the time, you will find yourself, in no time at all, having their vocabulary of fear and doubt. I choose to surround myself, most of the time, with people who understand God can and God will. And maybe, as I said, this is an important message for all of us. Reading these verses over and over again reinforces something God has been saying to His people for thousands of years: fear is not the way. Isaiah 41, verse 10,ear thou not; for I am withthee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. The right hand is the hand of power. I, I want to encourage you. I want to help you today, but I couldn think of any message that I could put together in a formula, if you excuse the terminology, that would cut to the heart as quickly as what I doing. And as I said, mostly for my listeners outside of thethinking weut Ican all use a little faith booster today. Turn with me to the New Testament. In the writing of Paul in the 8th chapter of Romans, beginning at verse 35, and again, all of these are beloved scriptures to me, so I, I cant just, I couldve just picked one and made a sermon out of it, but I wanted to pick multiple because I want to repeat something that God has been repeating over and over and over. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Who or what can have the power to separate us froms it ise of Christ? written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Why do I read that to you? Why? Because if the Bible says, hat can separate us?want you to include in that, fear, panic, doubt, disbelief, the reality of circumstances. How many messages have been preached here about your circumstances or your situation, whether you brought it on yourself or it happened upon you? Many, probably hundreds of messages. And they all come to the same thing. Stop looking at yourself, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and look to God. Quit acting like youre the only person on the face of the planet that has problems. And even a person like me. Do I have doubts? I dont doubt God. Do I have doubts in other things? Yes, I doubt people a lot. If I had any gem of wisdom to give to a young individual in this dayonay, e, doubtGod, but doubt people. will fail you, people will turn on you, people will do stupid, crazy, malicious, outrageous things. But when you can find somebody, man or woman, whos got at the heart and center ofnot speakingabout people who are monks and living in monasteries, but people at the heart and center of their life worship a living God and trust the name of Jesus Christ and lean on this book. Those people may still fail you, but their foundation is a little bit closer to the mind and heart of God, and when I say, even when Paul wrote and he said,ll Asia has forsaken me. OnlyLuke is with me. that even for a Christian, you can still be bamboozled by the people closest to you and be left alone, but even Paul in his darkest hour, being thrown in a dungeon and left there, all he can ask for is, bring, bring the scrolls, bring my coat, my cloke, my coat or my cloke. Thatwhat he wanted. I donhear him saying, Woe is me. This is the end. And I don have much to look forward to, and this was a very unfruitful ministry. In fact, his is probably the greatest, apart from Jesus Christ, his is the greatest ministry. More people read and quote from the Apostle Paul, outside of the gospels, than any other writings of thesaying to youIis, we have to have this mind to enable us to understand that each time a crisis hits our lifethisther it particular one or any one, God can bring clarity and order. And when you have clarity and order, youre able to make critical decisions and have critical analysis without being confused, without being blurred out, without being turned by every if you, if you start reading different articles on the internet, as I was, I happened to somebody sent me a podcast this morning, and I listened to it briefly for just a few minutes. This fellow was an individual specialist. He has worked through several presworked, youknow, in the world in the World Health Organization. Hes worked everywhere, but hes an expert in his field, and I have to tell you, I was listening, but I am also listening kind of with a w know if don I, I don know what to believe,sure,Because thats, Imost of us. I dont know, are you listening to things like this and not sure what you should believe or not believe?m.) Good, so at leastyou havent all swallowed the Kool-Aid, because Im not, I not wanting to offend, but I think theres a lot of people out there that are just, Okay! Alright. running; the sentence hasn even been finished. But this individual was making some very salient and valid points, but the person who was interviewing him asked a question. He said, e heard that there e some remedies that you can do for yourself that will help you. One of them is, the interviewer says one of them that he was told is, go and sit in a sauna. And while a sauna may detox your bodynot going to get ridof this disease. And this is what this fellow was telling him. The same individual is saying that he spoke in front of a bunch of really prominent Silicon Valley folks, and after he was done talking, he opened up for questions, and he thought he was fielding questions from six-year-olds because no one had really taken the time. This is why I sa mean you, I don to insult those people. I think we e all in that state. We dont have enough information. People are making judgments or decisions or not making any decisions at all, but for the most part they are making decisions based on information, no one knows where its coming from. And this is why I felt compelled this morning to just come and talk to you about what God has to say on the subject of fear. Im going to repeat it again, God is not the author fear or confusion. Thats the devil that brings that confusion. Ae said this over and over and over again. Itimportant for us to notbecome the people who are reactionary to every single thing, but faithing people who can stop for a minute and say,goingrst thing that Itelling you, thefirst thing that I thought ofseeing people panic inthis is, I started praying. Just praying for people, even, I know that theyre the world is not filled with believers. But every individual on the face of the planet, whether you like it or not, was created by a Creator, and that Creator did create some for honor and dishonor, some for all the things that I have been talking to you about in my series on heaven and hell, but the one thing I can tell you, theye all His creation. Therefore I just started praying. I started praying. I started praying, some of it was kind of maybe crazy prayer. If somebody heard my prayers,say,hats crazy! Praying for the world, praying for people in the world, praying for people to stop panicking, praying for our government to have knowledge, but that, Im sorry, that would take that would take a miracle. And when Italking aboutIboth sides. Okay? So we can all be offended all at once. I like the fact that, you know, if there was one scene that I would give money, Id pay to see the Democrats and the Republicans have like a real, a real knock-down drag-out, like a food fight or something. Id pay to see that. That would be worthy of my attention. Everything else is, you cant Im going to say it in the camera, although I sure none of these people actually listen, but I wouldnt pay attention to you for any time with the silliness and the stupidity of not being concerned for Americans. Most of these people are only concerned for themselves and for their little cadre around them, but for the American people, sorry, youve all been passed a finger, andnot the index. I, I, I am,I, if you can tell, Im perturbed about this because we should have cohesiveness, especially now, with this particular event. We should have cohesive. So, and we don along the way in this message ofalso telling youthere are a lot of things that Ive been praying for, like a food fight. Philippians 4:7nd the peace of God,which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And I really want us to reflect. Thistelling youscripture, chapter and verse, wanting you to write them down. I want you to revisit them. Hearts and minds. Will keep you hearts and minds. Now if your heart and mind are kept by Christ, make you immune to getting a disease or having some something bad happen tribulations, as I just read out of Pauls writing. But at least my mind, I can have peace. And as I said, thats whatleeded in these times. And Ikeepmore.because there And this may be some of the best, I think, for me, anyway. Out of 2 Timothy. 2 Timothy 1:7.or God hath not given us thespirit of fear; and that word for fear there should be, itowardiceeadimidity. going to read it just how I am interpreting it: God hath not given us a spirit of cowardice; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. finished reading a whole bunch of scriptures to you, and you might say, Well, what type of a message is that? message that says, if you take hold of these verses, some of you who have made notes, write them down, revisit them through the week. Youll be able, at least for the people who don have a solid foundation ofl be able to startsorting out with sanity and with clarity what you need to do for you. I c tell you what you need to do for you except be full of faith. I can say this: taking this e done today instead of delivering a regular message lets me tell you my position. Now if it is at all possible, and if I do not think that there is a risk for usl gather next week. Ihad somebody say to me just yesterday, Well, you know, theres a risk. What if, what if people get sick? And what if and what if? with what-ifs. What if I leave here or you leave here, and Iml say yousay it, Ibecause you dont know who I talking about when I say you. It could be any of yous. You leave here and you get hit by a car and die. Anything can happen in life, and thats why I tell you, live in the moment with Christ. Live in the scriptures. That means ye got something in your brain all the time to grab hold of. Remember that, I keep going back to this, what Jesus says out of John 15 about living in Him. I in them, and they in me that abiding principle, which, when things like this happen, itnot going to solve theworlnot goings, it to solve the shortage on toilet paper, but it will give you the ability to make good decisions in the moment, or better decisions in the moment. Now Im going to go back to some points in my life of uncertainty and Im going to only speak about me, because I can only speak for me right now. I cannot speak for any of you. I can only speak for me. And I can look back at the many difficult crises Ive had over my life, and you know, some of you who know me, you knowl thinkmmediately youback to 2005 with Dr. Scotts passing. And although that was extremely difficult for me, Ive had several moments in my life over the course of my lifetime. Many of those were before I came to the faith, and I have something to look at before I knew the Lord and before I had faith versus how I react now. And I can tell you, I have seen loved ones, people in close Im not talking about my latetalking about otherpeople very close to me suffer prolonged, very terrible deaths from, one in particular was brain cancer, that was just drawn out and very long. And this was before I knew the Lord. And maybe, you know, some people have a more optimistic spirit, but all I could do was think to myself, this is no way to die, and for me on the other side, no way to live because Im helpless. Theres nothing that I can do. And maybe in a very embryonic way I was trying to be positive and be upbeat, but thatnot going to bring peaceinsinot goingThat to bring something additional. And as I said, I juxtapose before and after. And I can only tell you as I look at some of the very terrible things I went through early on in my life without faith versus the things Ive navigated in my life to this point with faith. A life without faith is unimaginable to me. A life of fear is also unimwhyable to me. That Ive been teaching about heaven and hell, because I feel that even that area, people are still gripped with fear. Christian people are still gripped with fear when you talk to them about death and dying because they havent settled it that Jesus said its like theyre not listening. Jesus said, If you trust me, youre going to be withe going toou live with me forever. Youre goine going to You be alive. Youre not going to die youre going to die here youre going to be alive with Me. Well, if Christians were listening to this, they wouldn be so down and dismal. It means that every person who has trusted in Christ will be with Him, alive with Him. The Bible says ruling and reigning. So God is not the author of fear, and people who call themselves Christians, Im not saying be a stoic or get a stiff upper lip,et a grip on yourself, man.Im not saying that. Were human. We have emotions. We have the ebb and flow of faith. I gettelling youIright now in this current situation, although Im not sure of whats going on, I am sure ofsure that myIfaith, for me, is the way. Thatgoing to engagein foolishness and expose myself in a large group of people at any time or place like today. Thatmeant to be humorous. Butwhat it does mean is that we will do whatever we need to do, but not out of fear, not out of panic, and certainly not out of discrediting or disbelieving Gods word. Now Im not sure what else to tell, especially my listening audience except this: there are a lot of times I look back and think to myself, certainly uncertain times, the death of loved ones, major crisises in this country, terrorist attacks, things that you could definitely label as troublesome and indeed even have, or have had the capacity to have me questioning or have me doubting.e always come back to the book and Ive always come back to the scriptures that give me the source of strength that I cannot get from anyone else, even the people closest to me and their well-wishing and their well meaning cannot give me the strength that I need from this book, cannot help me solve my problems, except from this book and from God Himself. Now I dont, I know what else to say to my listening audience except, stay tuned. Keep listening. Check the website on Friday, and if I decide to not have a service here, it is not because I am scared. I want to be protecting and looking out for your best interest. I dont have enough information right now to make that judgment, and the decision will not be made out of fear or panic. It will be made out of good information that will be helpful, and of course my first priority in this universe right here is whats inside the walls. My listening audience, youre at home, youre in your church wherever you are, my first priority is to the health and safety of the people right in front of me, so I want you to put it in your brain, check the website. Well give you updates as to what will happen next week, and as I said, the decision will not be made out of panic or fear, but I want you to leave the sanctuary today knowing this thing. This, like Ebola, like SARS, like the N1-H1, this will pass. And if youkindabout it, it of,frightening to me that,as I said, hestorically we had global, global pandemic events. And Im sure if I went behind the Plague and things that are recorded pre-Plague that broke out, but certainly the things they called the Black Death there have been cyclical events throughout history to wipe out mass parts of the population. This is a historical factnot somebody makingup information. This particulargoinge right now, and Ito repeat this for the sake of everyone who can hear me, has taken 50 lives, and most of those have been elderly people or theyve been in clusters where the disease has taken hold for people who already had sickness and secondary conditions. Also, unlike the flu, wer been, we haven given the right information. We first were told elderly and young are at great risk, but we e now finding out the young people are just carriers, that typically they will not succumb to any part. Thats the latest from the CDC. They will not succumb to any part of this disease, but they will become carriers. So let me ask you something. What is the wisdom of making a rash decision to send your children home from school and to shut down a school if your children are carriers, but you, yourself, as an adult are still susceptible? This is why I saidtoo, for me, itpremature. I need some time during the week to first and foremost pray about this, your health, your safety and your well-being, and not act in anything else but faith, not foolishness. So stay tuned. Im not doing anything out of the normal. My mind is, we will meet here next week, but I will keep you updated. Check the website, and Im hoping that Ive accomplished one thing today. As I said, come here to sermonize. I didnt come here to Im trying to help people get back. If you are a faither and youve kind of gotten off track in all of this, today was designed to get you to look back at the scriptures again and say, his fear, panic, pandemonium, crisis, drive it all home is not how I conduct my life. seeing you all here today, its not how you conduct yours. So lets agree on one thing, that we will make it through.l look back on thistime andncertainty yes,but, what? We made it through. Say it with me. We made it through. even put a year. I havent even put a time. We just made it through. Right? Okay. You have been watching me, Pastor Melissa Scott, live from Glendale, California at Faith Center. If you would like to attend the service with us, Sunday morning at 11am, simply call 1-800-338-3030 to receive your pass. If you’d like more teaching and you would like to go straight to our website, the address is www.PastorMelissaScott.com

Jean Kelley