Enjoy the Journey

This page is dedicated to our collective thoughts.  To submit an article, please send it to Chip Murdock at producerchip@gmail.com


God Will Never Leave Us

Hebrews 13:5

by Melissa Pryor

Friday I received word from my doctor that she wanted me to go to immediate Care to be evaluated because my asthma was kicking up and I was having difficulty breathing. My heart sank and I thought the worst. I thought, okay this is it, I have the virus. I was hesitant as far as going to be evaluated. I contacted Pastor Lynn and told her. She encouraged me to make the right decision. I told her I would go and be evaluated. I remember her words reminding me that God was in control and to Trust in God.

I went Saturday morning after work to be evaluated. As I sat there and the doctors evaluated me, I honestly at first felt alone and scared. Then I remembered the words from Pastor Lynn telling me that God was in control of the situation. 

I was released from immediate care. Later on Saturday, I received word from my evaluation that my results were negative for the virus.

Once again, I was reminded of Pastor Lynn’s words that God was in control and to Trust in him. 

With this, I would like to remind all of us off Hebrews 13:5 where God reminds us that He Will Never Leave Us or Forsake us.

Yes, during these trying times, when we feel like God may not always be there, we can rest assured that God is with us through it all. We are not alone and God will see us through. 


Jesus in This Storm

Mark 4:38-40

by Melissa Pryor

I find myself asking the question, when is this storm going to end? Jesus wake up and calm this storm we are going through as we all face Covid-19 in one way or another. 

Yet even though I feel like the Disciples in the boat during the storm and Jesus sleeping, I know deep down that Jesus has things in control. Jesus is protecting us. Jesus has His Loving Arms around us! We just have to continue to Trust in Jesus and not loose sight! 

Within the past day, I felt in the midst of all this that I was loosing sight. I go from home to work. I have been to the grocery store twice. I am on the front line helping to keep patients safe from two diseases. One is the disease of addiction the other is helping them be safe from Covid-19 during the time they are in our care. 

On 3/19/20 there was concern when I received would that I may have possibly being exposed at work. This put fear in me. I was reminded by Pastor Lynn to Trust in God and that God would see things through. The word is that I was not in danger. 

You see how easy it is though to loose site on Jesus in storms like this but yet how quickly we can also be reminded of the work that Jesus is doing. 

We may feel like the Disciples in the boat that day when Jesus was asleep. We can rest assured though that Jesus always has us in His Loving Arms and in His Care.



From the Pastor

We are living in interesting times. Our sense of “normal” has been upended. In spite of the uncertainty in the world today Christians are certain that our God is present and calling us to continue in ministry any way we can.

As of this writing I do not know whether we will be able to celebrate our Easter plans.  Stay tuned for more information!

What can you personally do during this time?[1]

Think of it in terms of John Wesley’s Three General Rules…Do no harm, Do all the good you can, and Stay in love with God.

Do No Harm | Consider carefully the consequences of your actions during this time. Social distancing and good hand hygiene help everyone, not just you. While this may mean some inconveniences, it’s worth it!

Do All the Good You Can | Pray for the world, our leaders, and our neighbors! Check in with vulnerable neighbors, friends, and church members (and let the Pastor know if help is needed). Keep up with your church giving so we can continue to support our mission through this crisis (We do not yet have online giving but you may send checks to: Shepherd of the Valley UMC, PO BOX 1805, Indio, CA 92202).

Stay in Love With God | Watch your spiritual diet by ensuring that you are not just watching the news or Facebook/Twitter all day. Take time for prayer and meditation. Find the books, podcasts, conversations with friends, therapist, or loved ones who will help keep you connected with God and spiritually centered during this tough time. Find good reasons to laugh. Go for a hike and pick flowers. Watch a movie–whatever works!

This truly is a spiritual journey through a challenging time. Jesus Christ goes with us each step of the way. Continue to be the loving, kind, caring, and generous people I know you to be. We are the Church! Let your Christ-Light shine wherever you are.

Enjoy the Journey

[1] Adapted from First Word.  Pastor Taylor Fuerst , First UMC Austin, TX, Pastor Taylor Fuerst, March 13, 2020. https://fumcaustin.org/first-word-from-pastor-taylor-fumc-response-to-covid-19-march-13th-update/