Dear Friends,

Life’s disruptions are rarely enjoyable and can be very unsettling for those, like me, who enjoy cadence and ritual. For most, we tend to focus on productivity, even at the expense of life’s priorities. Too often, we push moms and dads to choose between the things that matter – childhood, family, and heritage – in order to ascend a corporate or career goal.

We don't know exactly what the future will hold as it relates to this virus, but I'm going to choose to see this outbreak of illness -- and the associated shutdowns -- as opportunities

Government schools have been closed, which means that public school is now taking place in living rooms and at kitchen tables. Thousands of Americans are waking up with the great unknown of schooling at home, but think of the opportunity parents have in teaching their children and rekindling those sacred relationships. Are you one of these new homeschoolers? Check out LFF Board Member Ellen Davis' new blog post with advice for YOU!

Meetings and gatherings have been largely banned, and many workplaces shut down. While some economic impacts are certain to be felt from this, consider the amount of time that Americans will have to reconnect with their friends and family via phone and FaceTime. When was the last time you had hours of uninterrupted time to mend fences or build relationships with your parents, or your kids, or your friends?

We’re entering uncharted territory with unprecedented disruptions – both, as a state and as a nation. But I encourage you to see these new realities of "social distancing" not as restrictions, mandates, or reasons to withdraw, but as opportunities and blessings. 

While others panic, we have peace. While others fuss, we delight in Christ’s promises. While others are in fear, we model faith. Today is St. Patrick's Day, and I believe this creed expresses what we each of us really need today!

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

I bind myself today,
To the power of God to guide me,
The might of God to uphold me,
The wisdom of God to teach me,
The eye of God to watch over me,
The ear of God to bear me,
The Word of God to speak for me,
The hand of God to protect me,
The way of God to lie before me,
The shield of God to shelter me,
The host of God to defend me

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in the eye of every man that sees me,
Christ in the ear of every man who hears me

Salvation is the Lord's,
Salvation is the Lord's,
Salvation is Christ's,
Let thy salvation, 0 Lord, be ever with us.

Look up!

Last week, we brought you a list of bills that we expected to move during the 2020 Louisiana legislative session. But yesterday, out of an abundance of caution, the legislature voted to hit “pause” on the session as the state deals with COVID-19.

That means that all committee hearings, bill movements, and passages will be delayed until at least March 31st. During this time, you can still remain in touch with your elected officials, and you should, but they have chosen to postpone all legislative activities until COVID-19 is under better control in our state.

LFF will keep you updated as we move towards the date of reassessment.

At the time of this writing, Louisiana has seen 136 cases and four deaths as a result of COVID-19.

Over the weekend, Governor John Bel Edwards signed an emergency proclamation which makes dramatic restrictions on public movements in our state. Meetings of more than 50 people are prohibited, and bars, restaurants, casinos, and entertainment centers are closed to dine-in customers. Officials are urging people to stay home to combat spread of the virus in communities.

Other states have implemented even more strict requirements for residents; while they aren’t yet a reality in Louisiana, you should mentally prepare to have your personal movements restricted for at least a couple weeks.

This will upset many parts of our population. As Believers, we must be the peace in the panic and display the truth which surpasses all understanding.

Friends, we are going to need to rely on each other in the coming weeks. If there is any group of people that knows what it looks like to serve their neighbors – ones they haven’t even met, in many cases – it’s Louisianans. As we wage war against illness and prepare to rebuild a damaged economy, we’ll need to be on the lookout for ways to assist those around us.

Even in uncertain times, we need to continue to support local business and non-profits who serve our community. This isn’t a time to disengage, turn off, or tune out.

I want to encourage you with a reminder of Philippians 4:6-8: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In His Service,

Gene Mills
President, LFF

 
 
 
 
 

Fear has two meanings: 'Forget Everything And Run' or 'Face Everything And Rise.' The choice is yours."

Zig Ziglar

 

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