And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

We have been preaching through the book of Philippians at our church for the last 6 weeks or so.  This coming Sunday will be our final time in the book together for this series, and it has no doubt been a joy to share and study together. The beauty of God's wisdom and plan is that we had this series in the books for months, yet it was a perfect fit for what we need to hear right now. Even if we had gone through and specifically selected a new text each Sunday as a chosen response to what was happening with the news headlines, we could not have found a better Scripture text then what God had already given us through Paul's letters to his friends in growing crisis in the city of Philippi. This week is no different. Paul tells his companions: My God will supply...

As businesses remain closed, workers get laid off, and unemployment numbers rise, concern begins to rise in all of our hearts. What are we going to do? Where will we be able to go for assistance? Will I be able to relieve others if they come to me for help? Friends, we must be reminded today, tomorrow, and every day in the future, that our God will supply. Our God will provide. Our God will sustain, and our God will redeem what is broken, and He alone will get the glory! 

This week, we are beginning to understand the details of the C.A.R.E.S. Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) passed by congress over the weekend. This week, we are beginning to see how the God we serve is not limited by political party, state lines, or national borders. I went through a great webinar, provided by a group called InJoy Stewardship solutions, led by Joseph Sangl. Let me share with you what we've learned. 

What the impact of the C.A.R.E.S. Act means for individuals.
 - Every person will receive a cash payment of $1200
 - Every person will receive a cash payment of $500 per child
 - Each household however will be capped off at a $3000 cash payment per family unit. 

What the impact of the C.A.R.E.S. Act means for churches. 
 - There is provision for individuals to make a charitable cash contribution of up to $300 to the church, and receive it as a direct deduction in addition to their standard deduction the 2020 tax year.  This is essentially getting reimbursed for tithing on the household cash payment. 
 - There is also provision for those few individuals that are particularly gifted givers to deduct all the way up to 100% of their adjusted gross income (normally limited to 60%) as charitable giving to the church. 

Friends, I know that these are uncertain days. I know that we need to be well aware that things will almost certainty get more difficult in the coming weeks and months before they get better. Yet, we have hope! We have a God who saves, a Redeemer who lives, and loving Father who loves to bless his children! 

Please be intentional when that check arrives in your mailbox. Be intentional to thank God for the things He has done, before you thank Uncle Sam for bridging the gap. Sing a song of thanksgiving to your Heavenly Father, and be sure to give God back His portion of the blessing. We commit to you that not only will we be singing His praises along with you, but we will be investing His dollars back into His Kingdom work.

How do you do that? I'm thought you'd never ask! :-)
 - Simply tithe on your C.A.R.E.S. Dollars (up to $300) online at Give.RandallChurch.org and you will receive your charitable tax receipt via email right away, and again at the end of the year. 

Thank you Jesus. Praise be to God. Great things He has done!

- Pastor Milo
@milowilson
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One of our main OUTWARD focuses here at Randall is "Presence." Jesus' final instruction was to bear witness in the circles you find yourself (Acts 1:8). This isn't a program or initiative - it's a way of life. Being a witness isn't an event that we accomplish, pat ourselves on the back and go home. God calls His people to bear witness everywhere we go. However, Presence can be difficult to promote because it's not always something you see. You can't always point to a gathering or call the newspaper to cover it. It takes intentionality to keep asking: "What does it look like to be a missionary cleverly disguised as a good neighbor, co-worker, citizen and friend?"

This question is even more challenging right now. How can we be present when we can't be present? How can we keep bearing witness to Jesus in word & deed? In this difficult time, there is a natural tendency towards self-interest, preservation and accumulation. But as we saw in Philippians 2, we are to imitate Christ who took on the very nature of a servant and humbled Himself for the sake of the world. When we do this, people see what Jesus is really like. What an opportunity to show the world a tangible picture of Christ!
Each week we want to highlight a "Presence Project" that gives an idea or opportunity to engage the community. This week, a number of people from the church are using their crafting skills to make masks for under resourced medical facilities. So far 50 masks have been made and are heading out today to outfit a floor of nurses at ECMC who are currently serving COVID-19 patients with nothing. Strangers from the VA hospital, Suburban and various nursing homes are also reaching out. Even our neighbors across the street, Gateway Longview, have accepted masks from us. Through this, one of our members met a nurse who lives in her neighborhood and their kids ride the same bus. An instant connection was made. This is what Presence is all about...

If you have a sewing machine and want to do it yourself, here is a tutorial. If you don't have access to a machine, you can buy the fabric and precut masks to the right dimensions and search for the type of elastic in the photo above. Monica Graffam will pick up items from your porch and get them where they need to go. Reach out to her if you're able to help or are in healthcare and know of a specific place that has a need: mjgraffam@gmail.com

Let's be present even if we can't be present!
- Pastor Bryan
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