Dear Family of Quail,
We have seen the goodness of the Lord over the course of 2021. It has been a blessing to get back to gathering for worship, meeting in our Rooted groups, and fellowshipping in our Sunday Bible classes.
Dear Quail Family,
Our hearts are breaking as we witness the many calamities that our world is going through right now. Close to home however we feel deep sorrow for the many victims of the NorCal fires. At this writing it sees hundreds have lost homes and entire communities have been decimated. We all feel like we should do something! What should we do?
Dear Quail Family,
What a year it has been! When I glance back to last June, I see that it was a time when we were deep in the heart of dealing with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. It brought changes to our individual lives, as well as our Kingdom ministry. In fact, a year ago almost to the day (as I write this) we began our first “live stream” services with people actually in the Sanctuary after months of purely remote worship. Since then, each week we have seen increasing participation in our “in-person” worship, Sunday Bible classes for all ages, and our youth and children’s activities.
We are looking forward to a great service of Thanksgiving on “Thanksgiving Eve,” Wednesday, November 25 at 6:30pm. As usual, we will sing songs of praise and hear a message of encouragement. The service will be live in- person in the Sanctuary and on-line on YouTube. However, we will not be able to do our “testimony time” of sharing as usual. Instead, I invite you to send a one minute video testimony in to our Media Director, John Welsh, and he will compile these brief videos into a montage of thanks.
This will be my last Friday “Brief Update” for the foreseeable future. Instead, starting this Sunday and continuing on, we will be sending out our new Sunday bulletin on Sunday mornings. This will allow those of you who are continuing to worship from home to get the same bulletin that we will once again be publishing in hard copy for those who attend in person.
The restarted bulletin will contain the same program information and ongoing announcements that we always have had, as well as the sermon outline and the prayer page. For those who are on campus and worshipping “in-person,” you will have the option of a hard copy to pick up and take with you.
Have you failed at something lately? Have you disappointed yourself or someone else? The fact is that it happens to all of us from time to time. But how will God use that event that you consider to be a failure? Listen to these words from the Apostle Paul:
One author tells about the time he was skiing in Colorado and he saw a young man with a vest on with the words “Blind Skier” on the front and back. Seeing that he wondered how anyone could ski down the mountain when they were blind, and the answer came right behind the young skier.
This Sunday (9/27), in our live, in-person, outdoor “Concert of Prayer and Praise,” we kick-off a 21 day period where QLBC, along with many other churches in S.J. County, make a commitment to prayer and fasting for God to move in our county and nation.
Let’s Fight the Lord’s Battles with the Lord’s Weapons! What Does the Bible Say About Defying Our Civil Authorities?
You probably have noticed by now there are nearby churches that have decided to open their doors for indoor, in person, worship even though the civil authorities in San Joaquin County still have us on the “widespread” list which precludes such activity. Some within the Christian community are saying “enough is enough, this is dragging on too long!”
In Habakkuk 2:3, we read “…Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” NIV
God is a God of order. Everything He does, He does by appointment. An appointment is simply an event that has been set up in advance. God has appointments set up for you, a scheduled time for bringing to pass two specific things in your life, His promises and His plans. You can count on the fact that the appointment is coming.
Dear Quail, About mid-way through the story of Joseph in Genesis after years of betrayal, abandonment and abuse, Joseph is promoted to assist the Pharaoh and prepare the nation for the coming famine. That is fantastic, but it is not the only blessing that came his way! He also marries and that marriage produces two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Genesis 41:52, “The name of the second child he called Ephraim, ‘for God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.’” ESV
The name Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew word for “fruitful.”
By now you are no doubt familiar with the British poster that says, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Those words are presented over a graphic of the crown of King George VI. We even have all sorts of variations of that poster. I have seen, “Keep Calm and Go Shopping,” “Keep Calm and Look Busy,” “Keep Calm and Call Batman,” and on our Quail restrooms as a response to the Coronavirus, “Keep Calm and Wash your Hands.”
Dear Quail, I am sure that you, like I, have spent time in the various “waiting rooms” of life. For instance, let’s imagine the doctor’s office waiting room. You give your name to the nurse and she checks your insurance. You take a seat and wait to be called.
In a recent edition of the newsletter published by Church Extension Fund, Mark Etting wrote an article entitled “A Silver Lining.” Since I think it probable that many of you do not get that publication and I thought that his ideas were helpful, today I will share some of that article with you. He writes…
To stay positive in the Pandemic, engage in “tenacious prayer.”
In his book The Table of Inwardness, Calvin Miller writes of the day when, as a boy, he found in his attic an old fashioned wooden box labeled “danger - dynamite!” His young mind was filled with the explosive possibilities of the treasure he had discovered, a box full of dynamite! However, when he opened it, it was filled with everyday junk.
“Don’t be afraid” in some form or another is one of the most often repeated commands in Scripture. It makes sense once you begin to imagine all the scary stuff that is around us.
But the Bible is full of the stories of people that show remarkable courage. Many of them are remembered in Hebrews, Chapter 11.
Abraham showed courage in his leaving of Haran and going to land that God would show him. (Heb. 11:8)
Psychologist Eric Erikson was fond of saying, “The capacity to trust is the foundation of true emotional health.”
People who cannot trust are disturbed. And people who cannot trust disturb others. They are carriers of a disease of suspicion and cynicism that is a big part of the negative world we live in.
Trust interconnects us; it relates us to one another. Trust keeps us attached; it gives us a sense of dependence and, in return, a sense of value.
The time has come for us to open the campus up for limited numbers of people to attend live services starting Sunday, June 14, 2020.
Allow me to take a moment and extend a word of thanks to the staff of QLBC for their extra efforts over this time. I especially want to thank John Welsh, Brandon Smith and Genevieve Palafox for their “over and above” efforts as it relates to our media and the establishment of the new “live stream” capabilities.
Dear Quail, I think it is true for all of us that this time of restriction is dragging on, and the new requirements and restrictions are becoming a bit confusing. For some, this is causing conflict and frustration.
Recently, I have seen an uptick of the number of people who are talking to me about family squabbles and times of anger and frustration that have boiled over, sometimes causing tension in an otherwise happy home.
Today I will share some thoughts about the ethnic tension that we are now witnessing in our land and then give you some programming updates.
I am not a community organizer nor an “activist” in the sense that I feel called to influence society in any way other than with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, I believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most relevant thing that we can talk about in this situation. Here is why…
Dear Family of Quail,
The time has come for us to turn our attention towards coming together again for public service of worship. It has been a long and trying time as we have all had to change the way that we operate on many levels, during this unique era. I know that it has been difficult for us all, extra so for many. This letter will help us all understand the return process. It is lengthy, but important. Please read it in its entirety.
This week I will take some time in this email, that I have normally been using from some devotional and inspirational thoughts, to address the issue of the status of Quail coming back for live in-person services. You have probably heard on the news that there are some churches and pastors in the southern part of our state who are declaring that they will worship “in person” on Pentecost Sunday (May 31), no matter the status of the restrictions called for by the State of California.
This week I ran across a quote by Eric Liddell, the British Olympian and missionary whose life was the subject of the movie, Chariots of Fire. He writes,
Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working. He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.
Recently I read an article written by David Mathis in which he reminded me that the slogan “No pain, no gain” does indeed communicate a truth that can be observed both in everyday life and in the Bible itself.
So far, 2020 has been a year in which we have been reminded how uncertain and out of our control things can be. We have been reminded that the only predictable thing about life is that it is unpredictable and we have very little authority over the events of life.
As I considered this, I was reminded and strengthened by Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20
Dear Quail Family,
A Prayer in Isolation.
This season of physical distancing and self-isolation is abnormal and disconcerting for most of us. However, for some of us the difficulty is great. Family members in hospitals cannot be visited, neither can those in retirement facilities and nursing homes. Also, the center of our social lives, our church fellowship is occurring virtually with our interaction taking place and chat boxes and through emoji’s.
"Bloom where you are quarantined," that was the title of an article I read recently. I loved the title! The article author (Clarissa Moll) says the following,
As communities around the world close down because of COVID-19, I suspect I’m not alone in my loneliness. Indeed, Jesus will come to our lonely places. He promises to meet us in our deserts, our quarantined spaces, to renew our souls, bring us joy, comfort our hearts, and give us peace. In the midst of this companionship our loneliness still gnaws at us…This lingering loneliness reflects a deep longing for communion, one that will only ever be satisfied when we see Jesus face to face.
Dear Quail Family,
As we continue to grapple with our response with the Coronavirus we should recall that this, and every other disease that we face, is the result of the fact that we exist in a world that has been damaged and twisted due to sin. Paul says in Romans 8,
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:19-24 (NIV)
When sin entered the world, the result was that the created order, including our bodies, would experience corruption, futility and eventually death. Therefore, all disease is the result of the fact of sin in our world.
The state of California is currently under a mandatory shelter in place protocol which dramatically affects our day to day operations, so we want to keep you updated with exactly what this means for you at Quail. Below we will outline what this looks like for Sunday Services as well as Bible studies and other on-campus events. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, the QLBC office is currently closed until further notice. If you need to reach the QLBC staff, you can reach one of our receptionists answering remotely from 8am-12pm Monday through Friday at 209 951-7380. You can also reach the various staff through their emails found on our website QLBC.org.
As we have continued to monitor the ongoing Covid-19 virus, the decision has been made to temporarily close the campus in an effort to do our part in stopping the continued spread of this disease. What this means for us is that we will benefit from the use of digital streaming online until we are able to open up the campus again. God has graced us with the ability to still share a time of worship and God's Word with you all from the comfort of your homes. The way this will work is... on Facebook at 10:00 am on Sunday, you will see our full service being streamed to you from our Quail Lakes Baptist Church page. If you are not already following that page, make sure to go there and like the page or you may miss the stream. If you have family or friends who would like to be included but are not on Facebook, you can direct them to www.qlbc.org/sermons where this Sunday's service will be uploaded by 10:30 am. Together we will continue to lift up all those affected by this global crisis, and we will enjoy a time of digital fellowship with you all this Sunday.
As Resurrection Sunday approaches this month, we will soon be answering the question, “What is Love?” The answer is that God demonstrates His life-changing love toward us in the events of the death, burial and resurrection of God the Son, Jesus Christ.
In 1 Thess. 2:1 Paul says, “You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure.” But let’s remember what happened when Paul was in Thessalonica. The Jewish leaders formed a mob, started a riot, dragged Paul’s host, Jason, down before city officials and, as result, Paul and Silas snuck out of town under the cover of night.
In Matthew 7:12 Jesus says…
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (NIV)
A person’s sense of self-worth is often based on the reactions, positive or negative, of those around them. Your words and attitudes can literally either build up or tear down the people around you. That fact is the background of why Jesus feels so strongly about what we now call, “The Golden Rule.”
This month I am teaching a class on the Beatitudes in “Prime Time.” I was reminded of an article by Derek Rishmawy that appeared in Christianity Today in which he stated that he felt that “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” is the most misunderstood and undervalued of all the beatitudes.
Perhaps one of the most singularly unique perspectives on Jesus’ birth would be that of the shepherds themselves. And from it, we can learn a lot about our potential in God’s eyes. Pastor Marc explains why, in this special Christmas ep from the archives. (We’ll return next year with new eps!)
Dear Family of Quail,
We have seen the goodness of the Lord over the course of 2019. His goodness has been evident in the many mission trips and "GO" Projects that we have been able to mobilize. We have seen it in our ongoing disciple-making ministry, the wonderful praise that is fostered by the choir and the Worship Arts team, by our children being nurtured in the ways of the Lord and scores of salvation decisions and baptisms.
In Jeremiah 18, the prophet is sent to watch a potter working a piece of clay on his wheel. It says…
“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” Jer. 18:4
Self control: It seems like the Holy Grail sometimes, doesn't it? Almost impossible to find in those moments where our base nature tries to assert itself. Well... if you need some fresh insight into juicing up your self control chops (and who doesn't!), check out what Pastor Marc has to say.
I have heard it said that, “Discouragement is both unique to and universal among human beings.” I suppose that it is true that eventually everyone will feel discouraged at some point. One well-known pastor has said, “Do you know how often I have wanted to quit the ministry? Every Monday morning!” I am glad that I do not experience that level of discouragement, but still it is there from time to time. So, here are some tips that I have learned regarding dealing with discouragement, both in terms of its causes and its cures:
Décor and technological change is a fact of life both for our homes and churches. Sylvia and I recently had to finally do away with the 18 year old wall paper border in the upstairs hallway, and we are coming to grips with the fact that the sponge painted bathroom is past its ascetic prime. So too our tube TV has gone “the way of all flesh” and been replaced by a larger wall mounted flat screen (4K)!
Let’s be honest. By the time Sunday morning rolls around, we often feel like just sleeping in, or [fill in the blank with anything other than 'going to church']. But, as Pastor Marc reminds us, the Bible teaches us that we are to be in regular fellowship with fellow believers, and Sunday morning is a big part of that!
Have you noticed that the busier you get and the faster you are moving, the less you seem to remember to show kindness to others? In Galatians 5, Paul points out that kindness is part of the Fruit of the Spirit, it is not a product of the flesh.
In other words, kindness is not going to happen automatically. We have to look to the Lord and practice this habit that He wants us to develop.
The time has come to upgrade our imaging and projection system in our Sanctuary. As you probably realize, every decade or so significant changes come to the way images and words are projected in churches. I remember back when we used an overhead projector and someone was tasked to switch the overheads from song to song. Then we progressed to slides, then to Power Point etc.
As we look into the month of June there are some exciting things that I want to tell you about. One of them is our annual “Tapestry of Quail” celebration. This year Tapestry will take place on June 2nd, and we are anticipating a wonderful day of fellowship and food from the various ethnic groups represented within our body. Plan to stay after the third service and enjoy the wonderful time that we will have together.
Dear Family of Quail,
Once again we are praising the Lord for the way that He has led the people of Quail to support the work of the Lord in finance. We have truly been blessed as a body through your generosity over the course of 2018-2019.
As you know, our fiscal year ends on June 30. As we close the books on this year I ask you to pray about an extra donation prior to that time which will enable us to finish strong!
Quail Lakes Baptist Church has a variety of ministries for everyone, young and old.