“One Thing Remains” and the Bible

by CVC Founding Pastor Rick Duncan

Check out the entire Playlist on YouTube!

This past week, we encouraged CVCers to find a verse in the Bible that will help build their faith when they are feeling outnumbered and overwhelmed. Then we sang the song “One Thing remains” and challenged everyone to find a truth from scripture – a verse – that the song referenced.

Here are some Scriptures referenced in the song “One Thing Remains.” (Note: The song lyrics are in bold typeface and the Scriptures are in italics.)

***

Higher than the mountains that I face

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds (Psalm 36:5).

Stronger than the power of the grave

I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades (Revelation 1:18).

Constant through the trial and the change

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

One thing remains
This one thing remains

Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:4-6).

Your love never fails, and never gives up
It never runs out on me 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Because on and on and on and on it goes

Love never ends (I Corinthians 13:8a).

Before it overwhelms and satisfies my soul

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things (Psalm 107:9).

And I never, ever, have to be afraid

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

In death, and in life
I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

My debt is paid,

[He has] forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross (Colossian 2:13b-14).

There’s nothing that can separate
My heart from Your great love

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:26).

***

As you can see, the songs we sing at CVC are full of references to Scripture.

So, which of these Scriptures means the most to you when you are feeling overwhelmed and outnumbered? What steps will you take to memorize that particular passage? Who will you ask to help you? When will you start?

 

 

Songs that help us “Sky our eyes” to the Lord

by Rick Duncan, CVC Founding Pastor

Last week I asked on Facebook, “When you felt overwhelmed and outnumbered and you didn’t know what to do, what song of worship and praise helped you keep trusting so you could take the next step with God?”

Here’s how my friends replied (songs listed in alphabetical order).

A Mighty Fortress is Our God – hymn

A New Hallelujah – Michael W Smith

Alpha and Omega – Israel Houghton

Anchor – Skillet

And Can It Be – hymn

Another in the Fire – Hillsong United

Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone – Chris Tomlin

As the Deer – The Worship Republic

Awesome – Pastor Charles Jenkins

Awesome God – Rich Mullins

Be Thou My Vision – hymn

Beautiful Things – Gungor

Because He Lives – Gaither

Behold our God – Sovereign Grace Music

Blessed Assurance – hymn

Blessed Be Your Name – CVC Worship Arts

Boldly I Approach – Rend Collective

Breathe – Michael W. Smith

Calvary – Hillsong

Close – Marvin Sapp

Come to the River – Rhett Walker

Come to the Altar – Elevation Worship

Cornerstone – Hillsong

Defender – Rita Springer

Do it Again – Elevation Worship

Draw Me Close to You – Michael W Smith

Even If – Mercy Me

Every Praise – Hezekiah Walker

For A Moment – Elevation Worship

God, I Look to You – Bethel Music

God Only Knows – For King & Country

God Will Make a Way

Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin

Goodness of God – Bethel Music

Great is Thy Faithfulness – hymn

Great Reward – Tim Timmons

Greater – Mercy Me

Haven’t Seen It Yet – Danny Gokey

He Will Carry Me – Mark Shultz

He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands

He Will Hold Me Fast – Matt Meeker

Hidden – United Pursuit

Holy Water – We the Kingdom

His Eye Is on the Sparrow – hymn

His Mercy is More – Matt Boswell

How Great Thou Art – hymn

How Marvelous – hymn

I Am Not Alone – Kari Jobe

I Can Only Imagine – Mercy Me

I Lay It All – Sovereign Grace

I Lift My Eyes Up (Psalm 121) – Vineyard Worship

I Lift My Hands – Chris Tomlin

I’ll Praise You in this Storm – Casting Crowns

I Love You, Lord

I Need A Miracle – Third Day

I Need Thee, Oh, I Need Thee, Every Hour I Need Thee – hymn

I Raise a Hallelujah – Bethel Music

I Still Believe – Jeremy Camp

I Will Trust In You – Elevation Worship

I Will Trust My Savior Jesus – CityAlight

I Will Wait – All Sons and Daughters

In Christ Alone  – CVC Worship Arts

In the Eye of the Storm – Ryan Stevenson

In the Garden – hymn

Isn’t He Wonderful

Is He Worthy? – Andrew Peterson

Isn’t It Amazing – Mark Farner

It Is Well with My Soul – hymn

It is Well – Kristene DiMarco

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Jesus Strong and Kind – CityAlight

Jesus, Take the Wheel – Carrie Underwood

Just a Closer Walk with Thee – hymn

Keep on Believing

Leaning on Jesus

Let the Waters Rise

Lord I Need You – Chris Tomlin

Lord I Need You – Matt Maher

Love Knows No End – Hillsong

Living Hope – Phil Wickham

My Confidence – Iron Bell

No One But You – Hillsong Worship

Nothing but the Blood – hymn

Oceans – Hillsong

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand – hymn

Only One Standing – Tim Timmons

Our God is Greater – Chris Tomlin

Over All I Know – Vertical Worship

Praise You in This Storm – Casting Crowns

Psalms 23 – People and Songs

Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave

Remember – Lauren Daigle

Rescue – Desperation Band

Rescue – Lauren Daigle

Revelation Song – CVC Worship Arts

Run to the Father – Cody Carnes

See a Victory – Elevation Worship

Song of Ascent – Hillsong United

Stand In Your Love – Josh Baldwin

Still – Bethany and Christ Solyntjes

Surrounded (Fight my battles) – Michael W. Smith

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Take Courage – Bethel Music

Tell the Devil Not Today

The Blessing – Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes

The Enemy Has Been Defeated

The God of Angel Armies – Chris Tomlin

The Great I Am – Jared Anderson

The Lord Is My Salvation – Ghetty’s

The Love of God – hymn

The Prayer – Josh Groban/Celine Dion

The Rain Keeps Falling – Andrew Peterson

There’s Just Something About that Name – Gaither

This Is Not My Home – Mercy Me

Through It All – Andre Couch

Trust You – Aaron Keyes

To God Be the Glory – Andre Crouch

Total Praise – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Trust and Obey – hymn

Trust in You – Lauren Diagle

Waymaker – Caleb & Kelsey

We Have an Anchor

Wonderful Things

Worn – Tenth Avenue North

Yes I Will – Vertical Worship

Yet I Will Praise – Vineyard Worship

Yet Not I – CityAlight

You Are Faithful – Carollton

You Are Holy – Michael W. Smith

You Are My Hope – Skillet

You Are My Vision – Rend Collective

You Can Just Rest – Jenn Johnson

You Carry Me – Moriah Peters

You Raise Me Up – Selah

You Say – Lauren Daigle

You Won’t Relent – Jesus Culture

Your Great Name – Natalie Grant

Your Love Is Strong – Jon Foreman

Your Will Be Done – CityAlight

Voice of Truth – Casting Crowns

Worth It All – Rita Springer

What a Friend We Have in Jesus – hymn

Why God – Austin French

How to Honor God with Your Stimulus Check

by Ron Dick, CVC Elder and member of the CVC Generous Life Team

As you have most likely heard, Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act (CARES) which, among other things, will provide financial relief up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under age 17 to those who qualify. You can learn more about the CARES act here. As people have started receiving their funds, I have received many questions regarding how to best use the money.

The specific answers I give may vary depending on where the person falls on the spectrum of personal finances. However, the one constant I share with everyone is “No matter what you do with the money, you should honor God.” Why do I say that? One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament comes from King David as he is praying in anticipation of the temple being built:

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.

1 Chronicles 29:14

For David, everything in life was about God. He believed it all came from God and belonged to God. He understood he was a steward, entrusted to manage the resources given to him, not for his benefit, but for God’s benefit. David’s purpose was to honor God with all that he had. Following his example, we should do our best to honor God with what we have, whether that’s a little or a lot.

Here are some ideas for honoring God with your stimulus payment based on where you are along the spectrum of personal finances:

Are you struggling or in a financial crisis?

If you are currently out of work or underemployed and do not have enough resources to meet your obligations, life can seem scary right now. However, if you trust in God and His truth you can move from a place of fear to a position of faith. Read 20 Ways to Apply God’s Truth to Your Financial Crisis if you need Biblical guidance beyond ideas for your stimulus payment.

  • Give. (2 Corinthians 8:2-3) We see the church of Corinth who, in a test of affliction and severe poverty, was generous out of an “abundance of joy.” No matter how much or how little, being outwardly focused on blessing and serving others brings us joy in the midst of crisis.
  • Take care of your family and prioritize your spending. (1 Timothy 5:8) Start with the “four walls” essentials: food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. After that, prioritize your expenses from most important (such as medical or insurance) to least important (unsecured debt such as credit cards) and pay them in that order.

Are you stable but living paycheck to paycheck?

If you are meeting your monthly obligations but there is no margin for you to do anything else, it can sometimes feel like you are walking a tightrope with no net. Here are some ideas for you to relieve some of your anxiety using your stimulus payment.

  • Give. (Luke 16:10-11) Be faithful with what God has given to you and honor Him. God does not need your money, but He does want your heart. Giving with an open hand to God’s purposes will move your heart towards Him and increase your faith.
  • Start an emergency savings account. (Proverbs 21:20) While it may seem emotionally hard to do, having an emergency fund gives you a cushion for when life happens. With no margin, a small emergency can quickly turn into a larger problem. Consider setting aside $500-$1,000 in a separate account. Do not be tempted to use it for anything less than a true emergency.
  • Pay off debt. (Proverbs 22:7) While the Bible never calls debt a sin, it discourages and equates it with being in bondage and a curse. Anyone who’s had a lot of debt will heartily agree. After you give some and fund an emergency savings account, consider applying the remainder towards debt. In most cases, I suggest paying them from smallest to largest as studies show that this method pays off debt more quickly.

Are you financially solid?

If you can comfortably pay your bills, have little to no debt, a healthy savings account, and your income is reliable, I want you to think outwardly. People who categorize themselves as “solid” may be tempted to spend this “free money” on a splurge item they normally might not have bought previously. I encourage these folks to be more outwardly focused on helping others and meeting real needs.

  • Give. (Proverbs 11:25) God blesses generosity and exclaims in scripture “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched…” The wisdom here is that God may provide more to those who are faithful to manage money for His purposes but He will definitely provide you with joy as your giving aligns with His will.
  • Pay off debt. (Deuteronomy 28:43-45) If the Bible says debt is a curse and you become a slave, free yourself. If you have the resources already, I encourage you to pay off your debt today and use your stimulus check to be a blessing to others in need.

Are you blessed with surplus?

If you have abundant resources which meet both your wants and needs, chances are you may not need your stimulus check or may even make too much money to qualify for receiving one. However, I still have guidance for you.

In 2015, CVC Pastor Joe Valenti preached a message entitled, “Get Fit: Financial Fitness.” During the message he asked a question which resonates with and challenges me to this day: “When’s the last time you stretched your giving to the point of faith?”

This made me reflect on what sacrificial giving truly meant. There are people who do not believe in God, nor accept Jesus Christ as their savior, yet they have an abundance of wealth and possessions. Some are even generous in donating to worthy causes. However, they are not rich toward God. Thus, I learned it isn’t about what you have, but about how you use it…for God!

Pastor and author, Andy Stanley explains in his book How to Be Rich, “Generosity helps us make a concerted effort to keep the needs of others in the forefront of our thinking. Rich people should not feel guilty, but we should feel responsible. We are called to be good stewards of the resources we have been privileged to manage.”

Thus, my encouragement to those who fall in this category whether they received a stimulus check or not:

  • Give. (Luke 12:48) Give radically. Give anonymously. Challenge yourself to give more sacrificially. Support your church while the building is shut down and fewer people are giving. Give to people who are hurting or in financial crisis. Support businesses that are struggling and tip generously to places that are still open. Donate supplies or resources to those on the front lines in this pandemic. Most importantly, be uncomfortably bold in doing these good deeds in the name of Jesus Christ, the One who gives a supernatural hope and new life to those that trust Him as Lord and Savior.

The Generous Life ministry at Cuyahoga Valley Church provides opportunities for people to learn about and live a blessed life by embracing biblical financial and stewardship principles in order to become a Christ-centered steward who gives generously, saves regularly, lives debt free, and understands God’s perspective on money and possessions.

During these unprecedented and challenging times, our objective is to disciple and encourage those that are hurting, help all who are in a place of fear move to a place of faith through God’s unchanging truth, and unleash the generosity of time, talents, and treasure of the church as a witness to the world of the hope and grace found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you have feedback, financial questions or topics that you would like to see addressed in a future blog, please email us at generouslife@cvconline.org. We are here to serve you.

Wrapping up the 30-day Challenge

by Chad Allen, Lead Pastor

Our last week of the 30-day challenge for April lands us in a spicy book… the Song of Solomon!  Keep in mind that we are just working our way through the Bible reading plan and this wasn’t done intentionally!  But, being in this book for a week can have some interesting results, such as possibly contributing to the anticipated baby boom from sheltering in place!  But in all seriousness, there are some unforeseen benefits that await us by spending a week in this great book of Hebrew poetry.  Here are a few tips for you as you begin this book:

  • This is a love story.  Commentators have spent centuries debating it’s author, the identity of the characters in the song, and whether the interpretation should be limited to a love story between two people or if God has a greater application in mind, extending the meaning to include God’s love for His people.  I would encourage you to see this primarily as a tasteful but intoxicating love story of a couple as they celebrate their passionate love and marriage.
  • This song celebrates marriage.  We live in a world that has lost its moral compass when it comes to what a pure, committed, enduring, and beautiful union between a man and woman should look like.  This song demonstrates what a holistic marriage looks like, one that celebrates physical attraction, sensual intimacy, and a heart that is fused and committed to their beloved.  And God has created all of this!  This book is God’s endorsement of a passionate marriage relationship.  Reading through the Song of Solomon helps cast vision for the single who longs for their future mate, creates anticipation for the engaged couple as they commit themselves to purity so that they can enjoy their wedding night, and also can renew sparks for the married couple who has had the romantic fire die down because of the challenges of life.
  • God is passionate about His bride.  Although the Song of Solomon is a love story between and man and woman, the reader is also reminded of how marriage is a reflection of God’s love for His bride, the church. It is a mystery how Jesus so fiercely and faithfully loves his sinful bride.  But when we journey through Ephesians 5:31-32, we are reminded of the love and passion Christ has for us, the church.  So it’s not out of bounds to think of God’s love for you and me, the bride He has purchased with His blood. And just as we see deep longing between these to lovers in the Song of Solomon, God wants us to deeply long to be with Him, and He goes to mind-blowing lengths to demonstrate His love for us.  God created us to be in relationship with Him.  He went to the cross to demonstrate His love for us.  He has given us His Spirit to bind us together and to sanctify for Himself a people that will be faithful to Him.

So explore, and try to figure out what doves, flowers, gazelles, pomegranates, spices, and goats have to do with expressing your love and attraction to you beloved or future beloved.  And look for insights into how God loves you and has created you to love and long for Him.

To help you in understanding some of the ancient and Eastern imagery, here are a few online commentary links I recommend:

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/song-of-solomon-1/

https://www.studylight.org/commentary/song-of-solomon/1-1.html

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/songs/1-1.htm

EASTER WEEKEND

GOOD FRIDAY

Our Good Friday Online Service will take place at 7 PM on Friday, April 10 by visiting our website, the Cuyahoga Valley Church Facebook Page, or Boxcast.

Please note that an opportunity for the Lord’s Supper will be extended during this online service.

You can participate in our CVC Good Friday communion experience from your home. Communion (the Lord’s Supper) is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus to remember His sacrifice for us.  If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ and are in good standing with us at Cuyahoga Valley Church, you are invited to join us online to remember His selfless sacrifice. Consider this as an invitation, not a requirement.

If you don’t feel led to participate or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason about participating, then don’t participate. At that point in the service on Friday, simply lift up your heart in gratitude to God for the sacrifice of His Son.  If you are not in the place where you consider Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior or if you are unrepentant about sin in your life, then we would encourage you to pray quietly while others celebrate the Lord’s Supper together.

HOW TO TAKE COMMUNION ONLINE

  • Prepare your heart: Confess all known sin.  Seek restoration with anyone you may have hurt or offended.  God’s Word says that we should not eat of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy way.  
  • Gather the elements: Grape juice and bread or crackers – find elements that best approximate those that we would use for Lord’s Supper at CVC.
  • Prepare the juice: Serve the juice in individual small glasses for each participant.  We encourage you to use glasses that you would not normally use.  This will help you and your family remember the significance of Communion.  
  • Prepare the bread or crackers: Use a special dish or tray.  When you share the elements, allow people in your family to access the elements one at a time in order to maintain a safe distance from one another. 
  • Follow the directions: The Teaching Pastor will guide you to eat and drink together with others in the CVC family of faith.  

EASTER SUNDAY

On Resurrection Sunday, April 12, Easter Sunday Services Online will take place at 9:30 AM and 11 AM by visiting our website,  the Cuyahoga Valley Church Facebook Page, or Boxcast.   Invite your family members and friends to view these special services by inviting them to our website, or by downloading this text invite.

We looking forward to celebrating the Resurrection with you!

20 Ways to Apply God’s Truth to Your Financial Crisis

by CVC Elder Ron Dick

Like many of you, the economic impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic has become particularly personal to my family as my wife was recently notified by her company that her position was being eliminated. Also, although my job as a bank manager is considered essential and I am still employed, my level of stress has dramatically increased as I negotiate the challenges of managing an anxious staff and clients while being available 7-days a week at all hours by phone. The result: much less income, much more stress.

Similarly, many of you are facing struggles ranging from job or income loss, and the numerous consequences which come with that, to dealing with the anxiety and fearfulness of an uncertain future. To compound things, the unfortunate reality of a crisis is it can expose our weaknesses (emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially) causing us to struggle and lose focus which subsequently makes us even more fearful and anxious. This can become a vicious cycle which will quickly make you feel overwhelmed and powerless.

In order to break that cycle, I look to God’s truth in scripture for answers as 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” Thus, I ask myself, “Is there scripture which speaks, directly or indirectly, to my situation?” and “How I can best apply it to my current circumstances?”

Here are 20 practical ways, with a basis in scripture, which I have found can help you work through a financial crisis:

  1. Seek wise, Godly advice. (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 15:22)
    Get advice from those who have successfully navigated a financial crisis by managing their money according to scripture. Seek out testimonies for encouragement.

  2. Don’t panic or make impulsive decisions. (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20-21)
    Perhaps the worst thing you can do in a crisis is to make a decision in the midst of emotion and turmoil. Slow down and seek Godly counsel from spiritually mature people whom you trust.

  3. Create and live on a budget. (Proverbs 24:27, Luke 14:28)
    When you have reduced or no income, it is important to wisely account for every dollar you spend. You can create a crisis budget using the template from Crown Financial found here or use free budgeting apps such as EveryDollar Basic or Mint.

  4. Prioritize your spending. (1 Timothy 5:8)
    Put your family first and start with the “four walls” essentials: food, utilities, shelter, and transportation. After that, prioritize your expenses from most important (such as medical or insurance) to least important (unsecured debt such as credit cards) and pay them in that order.

  5. Reduce expenses and be content with less. (1 Timothy 6:8, Hebrews 13:5)
    The Lord instructs us to be content when our basic needs are met. However, we live in a culture of consumption that tells us our “wants” are really “needs.” Make the tough choices and cut or defer unnecessary expenses. Some tips can be found here, here, and here. Many lenders and companies are willing to work with you during this crisis and defer payment or service.

  6. Increase income. (2 Thessalonians 3:10, 1 Corinthians 10:31)
    Look for temporary employment with essential businesses (grocery stores, drug stores, cleaning, food delivery, package delivery, etc.) or be creative such as selling items of value on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Explore all benefits available to you such as unemployment or stimulus money. Do not let pride become a barrier.

  7. Build an emergency fund. (Proverbs 10:4-5, Proverbs 21:20, 1 Corinthians 16:2)
    Look to set aside money to be used in the event of an emergency. If you’re working, reduce your expenses and build up your savings. If you’re not getting an income, look at #6.

  8. Be generous and serve others. (Luke 12:16-21, 2 Corinthians 8:2-3, Galatians 6:9)
    God’s economy is often opposite of man’s economy. For example, being outwardly focused on blessing and serving others in a time of crisis brings us joy while hoarding does not. In scripture, we see the church of Corinth who, in a test of affliction and severe poverty, was generous out of an “abundance of joy.” Crown Financial has a list of ideas on how to give more of your time, talents, and treasures here.

  9. Avoid debt. (Proverbs 22:7, Deuteronomy 28:43-45)
    While the Bible never calls debt a sin, it discourages and equates it with being in bondage and a curse. Going into debt during a crisis through the use of credit cards or loans is done because it is often the simplest, easiest path to get money. However, it is short sighted and creates a larger obstacle which may harm you long after the crisis is over.

  10. Grow spiritually and practically. (1 Corinthians 3:18)
    Studies show that keeping yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically engaged during a stressful time improves your outlook and emotional response. Keep to a routine, get exercise, and stay connected with people. Replace mindless activities such as Netflix and social media with developmental ones such as Right Now Media Bible studies, or Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (free for the first 14-days), or do a Bible study by looking up all scripture references in this article.

  11. Help others. Ask for help. (Matthew 5:42, Acts 20:35, Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 13:16)
    It all belongs to God, so you should be rich toward Him by caring for and loving others with what He has blessed us. If you have extra, help others. If you are hurting, it is okay to ask for help. Reach out to CVC via email or call (440) 746-0404 for guidance or opportunity to serve.

  12. Be “one” with your spouse. (Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:28-33, Mark 10:8)
    Financial struggle and stress are an unhealthy combination for most marriages. Recognize your marriage is more important than any crisis and “lock arms” by loving and caring for each other, putting the other’s needs ahead of your own, and making thoughtful decisions together.

  13. Involve your children. (Proverbs 22:6)
    Explain and teach your children, at an age appropriate level, about God’s word and what activities you will do as a family during this time, i.e. – sacrifice, no cost family time, etc.

  14. Be honest and humble in dealing with creditors. (Proverbs 3:27-28, 1 Peter 5:6)
    It is tempting to “cheat on your taxes” or not give money owed to someone when you have it simply because you are anxious or fearful. As I was once told, it is always the right time to do the right thing. Do not avoid creditors, but call them and be honest about your situation.

  15. Trust in God’s promises. (Psalm 28:7, Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 15:13, Hebrews 13:8)
    John Piper once said, “You must cultivate and preserve a confidence in God when you are not in a crisis. If you wait until a crisis comes then you won’t have the resources or the depth necessary to maintain our faith well.” If your faith has no depth, you will struggle and want to rely on your own understanding and power. Focus on growing in this area each and every day.

  16. Praise God in the storm. (Psalm 9:9, Psalm 22:3, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 107:13)
    It’s easy to praise God when things are going well. Choosing to praise God through a crisis can be a challenge but the truth is that God is also present in our pain, our suffering, and our times of darkness. When you praise God, you acknowledge He is sovereign, faithful, and merciful among many other things. Praise gets our focus off ourselves and back on to God. It also invites His presence as He dwells close to us when we praise Him.

  17. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty. (Job 42:2, Luke 8:25, Matthew 10:29, Acts 4:27–28)
    Nature is not sovereign. Satan is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. A virus is not sovereign. God rules them all and only He is sovereign. Knowing this truth, we can say what Job said, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
  18. Focus on the eternal, not the temporary. (John 6:27, John 16:25-33, Colossians 3:1-2)
    When you are focused on the eternal, you are focused on the unchanging character of God. You are storing up treasures in Heaven. You are focused on the bread of life. All else is fleeting and fails. For some of us, this means limiting our exposure to social media and TV, which increases anxiety and worry, and increasing our time in the Bible.

  19. Pray. (Psalm 65:2, Psalm 66:19, Romans 12:12, Hebrews 13:21)
    God’s word call us to pray. Jesus prayed regularly. Prayer is saying that apart from Christ you can do nothing. Prayer keeps us humble before God. Prayer is an expression of faith in God’s power. Prayer is something that God uses to equip us and change our hearts. Prayer draws us closer to God and is a reminder that confidence in God trumps fear, thankfulness trumps selfishness, and understanding his love for us unleashes our love for others.

  20. Find rest in Jesus. (Psalm 23:1-2, John 10:27)
    Everyone needs rest. However, we encounter constant stress, anxiety, and fear due to the uncertainty of our financial situation which is exhausting and robs us of our peace. Still, we think we can find peace and rest if we can simply overcome our circumstances which is ultimately futile as the world’s idea of security is an ever-moving target. The world offers us many places to look for it, but it can never deliver on the rest our souls long for because it is our separation from God that ultimately fuels those feelings of unrest.

    Yet, we can still have hope as God invites us to rest through His Son, Jesus Christ. When the Lord is our shepherd, he leads us to the places of peace we need in spite of our circumstances. Consequently, if you find yourself in a need of rest or peace, look to the Lord. Allow him to lead you into green pastures and guide you alongside still waters. Trust him to take you where you need to go for the restoration of your soul. Trust in Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, as your Lord and Savior. In Him lies true rest.

If you would like to know more or need help with any of these topics, please reach out to the Generous Life ministry at Cuyahoga Valley Church. Generous Life provides opportunities for people to learn about and live a blessed life by embracing biblical financial and stewardship principles in order to become a Christ-centered steward who gives generously, saves regularly, lives debt free, and understands God’s perspective on money and possessions.

During these unprecedented and challenging times, our objective is to disciple and encourage those that are hurting, help all who are in a place of fear move to a place of faith through God’s unchanging truth, and unleash the generosity of time, talents, and treasure of the church as a witness to the world of the hope and grace found in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you have feedback, financial questions or topics that you would like to see addressed in a future blog, please email us at generouslife@cvconline.org. We are here to serve you.

CVC Family Easter Project

Hi CVC Family!

We’re putting together a video montage for Easter Sunday and we need your help!  We want to hear from you about the hope you have because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Here are 3 easy steps for how you can participate:

  1. Get ready for your closeup!
    • Record yourself with your phone held HORIZONTALLY, not vertically, so your screen is the same orientation as your television.  Wide not tall.  
    • Medium shots are preferred, like head and torso or head and shoulders. Simple, horizontal, and selfie-sized.
    • Make sure you’re in a quiet space with good lighting.
  2. Finish this sentence…
    • “The resurrection of Jesus brings me hope because…”
      • Keep your response brief (5-7 seconds max) and succinct so we can include as many people as possible in our montage. 
  3. Submit your video
    • Send your video to us by Wednesday, April 8 at 7:00pm. 

We can’t wait to hear from you!

The CVC Team

April Updates!

Hi CVC Family!

How awesome to see more sunshine these days! We wanted to give you a few updates as we dive into April.

We have been so blessed by the stories within our church family of those who are finding ways to serve others.  Delivering food to single parents and others in need, making masks, helping with Meals on Wheels, and serving nursing homes are just a few of the ways that our church family is stepping up to help. 

Pastor Rick Eimers is continually looking for ways to help those in our church family and in the surrounding communities.

Want to help serve? If you are willing to pick up groceries, medications, do laundry, or even pray for someone in need, please text @cvcdr to the number 81010 to be added to our “CVC GO” group.

On that note, if you need help, please let us know!

We hope you’re finding ways to stay connected with your LifeGroup! If you’re not already in a LifeGroup, we encourage you to check out our CVC Group Finder or e-mail lifegroups@cvconline.org so we can help you plug in to a LifeGroup.

We’re so thankful for you. We’ve been talking more about online giving, and we’re so grateful that you’ve responded! We typically use our weekly Worship Guide (you know…the bulletins we hand out on Sundays) to give you financial updates periodically. Since we can’t do that right now, we figured we’d let you know this way that our contributions are currently coming in at 91% of our budget. As you hopefully know by now, we’ve been proactive in making adjustments to our budget so that our church can stay strong. For more information on how to give online, check out www.cvconline.org/give.

We hope you’ve been able to jump into our 30 Day Challenge as well! The challenge follows along with our 2020 Bible Reading plan, but instead of just reading this month, we’ll be reading, writing, praying, and sharing from our time in the Word. We hope you’ll join us!

We look forward to “seeing” you Sunday morning for our Worship Services online at 9:30am and 11am.

Live New!

The CVC Team

30 Day Challenge

Hello CVC Family!

It’s April 1st.  How welcomed it would be if we all woke up today and the Coronavirus was just a bad April fools joke.  Unfortunately, it’s not.  But we do have a window of opportunity to be proactive and to grow and encourage others while we shelter in place and live in a way that helps love and protect the most vulnerable in our community.

Starting today, April 1, I’m inviting you into CVC’s 30 Day Challenge.  It’s simple and easy. If you participate, it can help you stay close to Christ, bring a daily growth goal to you, give you another touch point with our church family as you interact virtually, and God can use it to encourage others who are struggling or far from Christ as you share it.

Here are the basics of the 30 Day Challenge:

1. READ

Jump into our current Bible reading plan for the next 30 days and read the Bible chapter that is scheduled for the day.  We are going to mostly be in three books of the Bible traditionally known as “Wisdom Literature.”  God has given us the wisdom literature, rich in Hebrew poetry, to help us grow in our understanding of how to apply God’s available wisdom to all areas of life, especially our relationship with Him and with others.  The 30 day challenge will have you complete over three books of the Bible in your 30 days! 

2. CHOOSE

From the chapter you read, choose a verse that really stood out, convicted, encouraged, or impacted you in some way. 

3. WRITE

Using a journal, or another writing method or source that you like to use, write that Bible verse down along with any additional thoughts, commentary, or insights that you want to capture related to why that verse was meaningful to you.

4. PRAY

Now, pray out of that verse, using the content of the passage as a template or catapult for your prayer time.  To maximize your prayer experience, pray upward, downward, inward, then outward (taken from Daniel Henderson’s 4/4 prayer pattern).

  • Upward (Reverence): Begin with a focus on God, not self.  Start with God’s character and nature, “God You are…”
  • Downward (response):  What do we see in our character as a response to what we see in God’s character?  These prayers tend to be prayers of confession and surrender, “God, I admit that I…”
  • Inward (requests):  As beloved children of God, what can we ask of our Heavenly Father that will glorify Him and be in alignment with His will?  These are heartfelt requests often centering on that which impacts our relationships and resources – needs related to issues in our hearts, lives, families, church, nation, and world. “Father, I ask You to…”  “Lord, I pray for…”
  • Outward (Readiness) – Why are we praying?  What’s the hope of our requests?  So that some action, outcome, change, beneficial fruit will take place. We are reminded of the confidence we have through Christ and the spiritual resources God has given us to live this life and fight the battles we are in, especially the spiritual battle. “Father, I ask this SO THAT…”

5. SHARE

We are living in days of unprecedented opportunity and need.  We need to share the confidence we have in Christ and how His Word transforms, instructs, convicts, and transforms us.  Each day, I’m encouraging you to share your verse and a thought related to it.  You can post it on social media, text it to someone you think it can encourage, or share what you learned with those in your family, LifeGroup, neighborhood, workplace, or wherever else you have interaction with other people.

An example from Pastor Chad’s Day 1 of the 30 Day Challenge:

Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (ESV)

Lord, You are eternally and perfectly wise.  What I think I know doesn’t even come close to Your perfect wisdom.  I am a mere man.  My understanding is flawed and contaminated by my pride, my flesh, and my sin.  I confess that I often see myself as wise in my own eyes and have been wrong and foolish more times than I can count. I ask that You please sift my thoughts with Your Spirit and reveal where my thoughts are foolish and replace them with your heavenly wisdom.  Generously give me the wisdom that You promise me in James 1:5 so that I can walk in a way more pleasing to You, so that I can lead my family on a godly path, so that I can encourage my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and so that I can guide my lost friends into a relationship with Jesus.  Amen!

Read. Choose. Write. Pray. Share.

#cvc30

The 30 Day Challenge begins now!

Live New,

Pastor Chad