Updated Prayer Concerns
• Jim Davis – NHC, congestive heart failure, making progress.
• Revonda Reames – under Hospice Care, not expected to live long, fluid on the heart.
• Jimmy Reames – NHC, doing much better, gaining strength.
• Francis Feighner – continuing to consult with doctors about her lungs.
• Linda Dickens – recent stroke, slowly recovering.
• Doctors, nurses, other healthcare providers, leaders in these days. Pray also that a successful treatment option is discovered and made available soon.
• Barry Lynch – continuing to recover from recent TIA.
• Keith Blore – had a procedure postponed, will be scheduled at a later time.
• Steve Hobbs – recovering at home from back surgery last week.
• Wayland Sherman – has begun treatment for prostate cancer, seems very treatable.
• Bryson Davis – recovering from four wheeler accident, now recovering at home.
• Jim & Elaine Sumeral – homebound, continuing to deal with ongoing issues.
• Mike Little – taking treatment for cancer, having challenging days.
• Susan Little – dealing with several health concerns.
• Allyson Sherer- continues to do well overall, positive recent doctors’ visits.
• Carolyn Madden – cognitive/physical issues, considering longterm care for her.
• Jane Ivey – recovering from back surgery, hopeful that it will help.
• Bill Ramey – continuing to take treatments.
• Joan Owings – NHC, continues to receive care/treatment.

Announcements
Giving: Thank you for your continued generosity to FBC through your tithes and offerings. Please continue to be faithful to the best of your ability.

Worship Options: We will continue to post a worship service every Sunday on our website and via the FBC Laurens App. You may also listen to our service on WLBG at 11:05 each Sunday morning.

Upcoming Worship: Next Sunday, May 24, our online service will feature patriotic music for Memorial Day. On Sunday, May 31, we will celebrate High School graduates through a special video. We hope to announce soon a planned date for resuming on campus services.

FBC VBS: Will be delayed until late summer. VBS will take the place of Fine Arts Camp this year.

FBC Deacon Nominations/Elections: Have been postponed until we can be back together in person. Once normal programming resumes new dates will be set for both the nomination and the election process.
Reflecting Together

Read: Matthew 6:25-34

Years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a church leadership conference at Hilton Head Island. On the way out of town, I stopped by my optometrist’s office to pick up a new prescription of contacts. Under the old prescription, I had begun to notice that my sight was not as sharp as it had been in the past, and I looked forward to being able to see comfortably again. Running late for the conference, I decided to change into the new contacts once I arrived at the hotel in Hilton Head.

Due to heavy traffic, I arrived at the hotel with just enough time to check in and place my suitcase in the room before the opening session of the conference. Before heading downstairs, I hastily removed my old contacts and replaced them with the new ones.

But as soon as I stepped out into the hallway, I knew something was wrong. I could not see anything out of my right eye. In the elevator, I struggled to see the buttons on the control panel. Once downstairs, it was difficult to make out the faces of others attending the conference. Maintaining any level of eye contact with anyone was nearly impossible.

As I sat in the room waiting for the opening speaker to begin, a tidal wave of worry and anxiety overcame me. I played out all the possible scenarios in my mind of what might have occurred. Did I cut my eye when I changed my contacts earlier? Did I get the wrong prescription? Do I have a detached retina? Do I need to go to the Emergency Room and how will I get there? How will I ever get home?

Needless to say, I didn’t hear anything the speaker shared that night. My worry and anxiety blocked everything that was going on around me.

Similarly, in our moments of distress we often forget that God is in control.

In today’s passage, Jesus’ audience would have been ordinary people who had to constantly worry about their next meal. Yet, he tells them not to worry about anything. He asks them instead to view the world with new eyes in order to see all around them evidence of God’s care and provision.

Jesus knew His followers would suffer from bouts of worry. He described how our daily needs and challenges are the source of all our anxiety. Yet Jesus promised that the Father would meet all our needs when we focus on Him including our physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs.

In our moments of distress, it is important to remember that God remains in control. By seeking first the Kingdom of God, we are assured that we will have all of our needs met. God simply asks us to seek after Him and let His perfect love and righteousness drive out our fear. When anxiety threatens to overtake us, we must rally our thoughts and remind ourselves to focus on the promise that God will take care of our concerns.

To complete the story about losing my sight, none of the dreadful scenarios that I played out in my mind were true. It is embarrassing to admit but, in my haste to join the conference, I did not remove the old contact from my right eye. Instead, I placed the new contact over the old one, leaving me with two contacts in one eye.

Many times, our circumstances are not as ominous and the obstacles are not big as we envision them. As Billy Graham once said, “Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.”

At other times, the circumstances really are big, hairy, audacious creatures, but they are never bigger than our God.

Either way, the antidote for our anxiety remains the same, seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all you need will be given to you.

Questions to Consider
• What does this passage teach us about anxiety? What are some of the main causes of anxiety in your life?

• If God knows our needs, why do we worry about them?

• Sit quietly and watch the world around you. Notice how God takes care of the birds and other animals. What does this experience reveal about how God will take care of you?

• Identify one change you’ll make this week to place God and His kingdom first in your life.

Prayer
God, thank you for your great love and care for us. Grant us to the wisdom and courage to seek your kingdom first in every aspect of our lives. Cover us with the peace and assurance You are in control over all our concerns. Amen.