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Cabarrus Magazine

'Up Front' Interviews Local Pastor for Word of Encouragement

Mar 30, 2020 12:26PM ● By Jason Huddle

A Word of Encouragement in Dark Times

Pastor Dale Jenkins, of New Hope Worship Center in Concord, shares encouragement and answers in these tough times during episode of Up Front podcast.

Huddle:

Welcome to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. A presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, Cabarrus Eye Center, Certec Automotive,The Circle A World of Wellness for Women, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. I'm your host, Jason Huddle. Hello and welcome to my bedroom. That's right I'm recording this episode of Upfront with Cabarrus Magazine from my very own bedroom because, like you, we are all stuck at home folks, my how the world has changed and it is definitely a different place than just a couple of weeks ago. But we have decided to keep rolling with this podcast because we feel like it is a valuable source of information and a way to give you some outside contact with the world. Last week we talked with Dr Suda from CHA, and he was very gracious in giving us some time. But even Cabarrus County has changed a lot in just one week. When we recorded that interview, there was only one case of COVID19 in Cabarrus County. So obviously, in just a week's time, we've had an exponential growth of the virus just within our county. So obviously the authorities and the powers that be have their reasons for trying to keep us indoors as much as possible. Although, as I say that I can hear steady traffic outside my window right now at my house, I saw someone on Facebook posts that the more we resist the social distancing, the longer will have to do it. So I'm just gonna take this moment to give a little PSA to urge you please. If you do not have to go out, please do not go out. I realized everybody has their reasons. I've been out myself as a member of the media, on errands for my own family. I get it, but really question how much you need to be out and then also consolidate your trips. If you're going to be out then make sure that you're going out for everything you need to go out for, and then you can get back home instead of going out and back in and out back in. It's just not safe for you, for your family members or for the rest of the people in the community right now and just like you, I want this to be over as quickly as possible. I want to take a moment just to mention something about our sponsors real quick before we get into the program any further. All of our sponsors, of course, have been affected by COVID19. But many of our sponsors actually can't do business right now. Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. Obviously no gatherings means no events. The Circle World of Wellness for Women. They typically met on Thursday nights in Concord at the Dave W. Phillips Activity Center. Obviously, they can't meet right now, but there are still ways that you can get information from them and communicate with them. Make sure that you go to their Web sites and contact them their or their Facebook pages. Get information about booking future events at the arena or get some information from The Circle. I know sponsors like them want to hear from you, so please reach out if you feel the need. And that goes for all of our sponsors. So last week we got a lot of technical information. Very good information from Dr Suda. This week, I wanted to switch gears and hit the spiritual side. A lot of people are having a hard time dealing with this virus, not only from a financial standpoint but also from a spiritual one. Many people I've talked to are having a crisis of faith. How could God let this happen? Why is this happening? If God is all knowing and benevolent, why is this happening to the entire world? All very valid questions? And I could think of no one better in the community to answer them than Pastor Dale Jenkins from New Hope Worship Center. They are a sponsor, this program and I thought this was a perfect time for Pastor Dale to come on and just give us some words of encouragement and answer some tough questions that all of us have. So he's gonna be on the program  in just a little bit. But just because the world has stopped because ofCOVID19 doesn't mean we can't have a shameless plug time. So last week we made the announcement that we are only doing a digital version of the April issue that is still true. We will let you know about May as soon as we can. But that doesn't mean that Cabarrus magazine is not still relevant to this area. First of all, the new issue is going to be great. I encourage you to read that, but our website is very active, and a couple of things that we have done for you is put together a restaurant and a grocery store guide. So let me tell you what that's all about. As you well know, the dining room's for the restaurants have been closed, but many of them are still offering curbside or take out or even delivery. And so what we've done is we have painstakingly put together a list of about 170 restaurants in the area that are offering those service is first of all, I know some of y'all don't cook it all. So this is a great resource, and secondly, it's a great opportunity for us to support local to try to help those restaurants who are struggling in this time to keep the lights on. So so if you plan on getting some takeout or delivery, please consult our guide its own Cabarrus Magazine dot com. Just click on the website. You'll see it there on the main ticker. Go ahead and check that out. Also, grocery stores. A lot of them have changed their hours. Some of them have special hours for seniors. So we have created a grocery store guide to kind of give you a breakdown of those grocery stores in the area, what their hours are and if they offer special hours for seniors, so that again is on Cabarrus Magazine dot com. And, by the way, I want to take this opportunity to thank Bluejay Small Office Cleaning for sponsoring the restaurant guide. Thank you so much. Janet Schultz in your great team over there, Blue Jay for the great work that you're doing and trying to help keep our offices all sanitized and clean. And that's this week's shameless plug time. All right, when we come back, we'll have Pastor Dale Jenkins from New Hope Worship Center. He's got some words of encouragement and a message that will lift your spirits. That's right after these messages from our sponsors stick around.


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Huddle                 

Welcome back to this episode of Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine. As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, I have brought in Pastor Dale Jenkins from New Hope Worship Center. New Hope, by the way, is a sponsor of this program. We greatly appreciate that sponsorship. And I thought Pastor would be a awesome guest to have in this week because a lot of people are struggling in their faith, their struggling with just trying to wrap their brains around what is going on in this world and this country. And I called Pastor last week to see if he would be willing to come on the show and offer a word of encouragement. And he has been doing that with his congregation I know and with people in the community. And he graciously accepted, actually jumped at the chance. And so, first of all, Pastor, thanks for coming into the studio today.



Jenkins 

Thanks, Jason. It's so good to be here. Thank you for the invitation.


Huddle                 

So pastor lets, let's get right to it. Everybody is struggling. I know in your message to your congregation this week you talked about everybody's enduring a storm right now there's no exceptions. How do you answer the question about why is this happening? You know, how can God, who is a benevolent God, let something like this happen not only to our country and our community, but to the world?


Jenkins 

It's a great question. Ah, that's a question that obviously goes beyond Just the moments that were living in what we're experiencing is unprecedented. We have never experienced anything like this, a worldwide pandemic of this sort. But the question itself that you asked is something that is a historical question. I think what happens is is that we experience life all together, and the way that the Bible would frame it is this. It rains on the just and the unjust there storms that we all face. They're things that are difficult because we are facing things together and we happen to be all in this collective storm together. But one of the things that moments like this do, is it. It helps us to discern, ah, and discover our priorities and maybe more importantly, our foundation. So if there is a storm, that is there the winds, the waves, the the things that we're experiencing in life, it really puts to test the foundation upon which we build our lives. And so I think a lot of that is what's being revealed right now is, is what is the foundation? What are we depending on? What have we grown accustomed to? What, What is the foundation of our lives? And of course, those things are testing that. And there's a parable that Jesus told the someone who built their house on the rock, a firm foundation versus someone who built their house on the sand, and they experienced the same storm. But the outcome was different. And so I think there's an eternal perspective that we can have a relative to the earthly things that we experience. But the reality is we're all feeling the effects of this, and it is affecting a lot of people, godly or otherwise church going or not, and we're having to grapple with that into find our source of peace that goes beyond our earthly circumstances. So it's something that we're all wrestling with for sure.


Huddle                 

I know that you're talking to a lot of people, probably on the phone, mostly. But in your congregation. What are some concerns? What are some things that people are commonly dealing with right now, besides the obvious fear of the unknown?



Jenkins 

Of course, I think there's a lot of the fear that is there the potential of what could happen or what might this mean? Long term? I think all of us are figuring those things out, but more practically and more, more, more to the point of this past week, things like people losing their jobs, people losing the amount of hours that they can work. Of course, there are people who are dealing with the sickness itself. Ah, there are families that are really struggling and trying to figure out because now there everything about the routine is different there. Perhaps their kids are home now from school, and they're figuring that dynamic out the work situation is different. We're working from home There are a lot of things that have changed. And, um, now the great thing is we're seeing a lot of people step up and so generous, so kind, just looking for opportunities to serve one another and to help those that are really struggling right now. And we're looking for those opportunities as well. There several families in our community. We've already been reaching out to administering to in very practical ways, financially and otherwise. And so it's great to see the kindness, the goodness of humanity coming out at a time like this. But people overall are just really struggling with a times fear, sometimes frustration. And that's another aspect of this that were We can get weary, being at home and the same routine and not getting outside and those kinds of things. But there are certain frustrations that go along with that. And so trying to stay connected while not being as close in proximity with one another.


Huddle                 

In yesterday's message, you talked about Jesus in the boat and the story of when he spoke to the waves and excuse me. He spoke to the he rebuked the wind. He spoke to the waves and everything calmed down. Can you just give us? I don't expect you to go into the whole message, but can you just give us the bullet points of what was your analogy Between that and what we're going through is a country right now.


Jenkins 

Sure. Uh, as with any story in the Bible, in any, uh, part of the scriptures, there are things that we can learn and apply to our lives. And as I read that story, I realized that Jesus was there. He was in the boat with the disciples and and suddenly a storm arose and it took them all by surprise. And I thought that really was a good picture of where we are right now. We are literally experiencing this sudden storm. And so in that way we could say that we're kind of all in the same boat and we're experiencing this sudden storm. But Jesus was there and he rebuked the wind and he spoke to the waves. And it's interesting the nuance of words that's used there because to rebuke the wind, the wind is something that is unseen. You can see the effects of the wind, but you don't see the wind itself. Ah, the waves, of course. The sea itself, those air, the physical entities that were affected by the wind. And so I think with every storm that we face, there is that invisible dynamic, that spiritual dynamic that is very real, although unseen by our physical eyes. And so this is where I think it's so important for us to engage in things like prayer and petitioning the Lord and asking him to intervene because there is that invisible dynamic. And so we want to be very responsible as believers, a as those that are putting our trust in God to call upon him and to know that he is there in the midst of that moment, that storm that we're facing there is an invisible realm to this. But yet there is a practical aspect to this. And so when Jesus spoke to the sea, he spoke piece. And I think that's important that we, in our words, whether on social media, in our conversations with others Ah, we have to be aware that what we say and even how we say what we say really does matter so that we can speak peace to people in the midst of the storm so that we can speak peace to our children. We can speak peace to those that are are struggling with fear and anxiety. Right now we can help them to discover the peace in the midst of the storm. The piece doesn't just come because of an absence of a storm piece comes because of the presence of Jesus being there and so we can speak peace in the midst of whatever storm that we're facing.



Huddle                 

Exactly, I think you touched on it earlier with the story of the house on the rock versus the House of Sand. Both houses experienced the storm. Just because you believe in Christ, Or in God does not make you immune to what's going on. But when we come back from break, I wanna have a talk about faith versus following the regulations, the social distancing, things like that that were being instructed to do. But yet, if you believe in God and he's gonna protect you, then why do you need to do that? So we're gonna get into that right after the break. You guys stick around. Pastor Dale Jenkins, with New Hope Worship Center, is here with me. Although we are six feet away approximately, we'll be back in just a moment. 



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Huddle                 

Welcome back to Up Front with Cabarrus Magazine  once again sitting here with Pastor Dale Jenkins from New Hope Worship Center and pastor. We talked about enduring the storm in the first segment, but I want to talk about faith versus what the government. What the media is telling us we need to do. Everybody is familiar now with the term social distancing. We've got to keep six feet away. You and I are even trying to to share that distance appropriately. I've even heard some pastors in the community saying, You know what? I believe in a God that's gonna protect us. So I understand what the government's saying. But we're gonna have church or we're gonna have our gatherings were going to do what we need to do. Where do you draw the line on that? Because you know yes, God is a guy that protects, and if that's true, then why do we need to heed the regulations that the government and the media is telling us we need to do.


Jenkins 

Such a great question, you know, some people, I think, try to polarize these two concepts of faith on one hand and practical wisdom. On the other hand, as if those are mutually exclusive terms and I don't think that the Bible teaches that at all. I think that those two things are are right there together. There is in a mixing together of those two concepts. Faith is not a blind belief in something, as if there is no evidence at all. And you just kind of hopefully and wishfully try to put your faith in something it like a blind leap that's not at all what faith is. Faith is based off of revealed understanding of who Jesus is, what the word of God has proven itself to be even historically, factually, the promises of God that we have seen manifest in the past were not just wishfully thinking. So I think, to polarize those two concepts I don't think helps us. I think when we put those things together than what we can say is this we want to have faith in God and trust him no matter what we are are walking through and that our faith truly is that he will bring us through. He will protect us. He will lead us. He will guide us. He will be there to comfort us when we walk through difficulties. But on the other hand, we walk in great wisdom to do what we know is the responsible thing to do. I think a faith filled person is a person who will prayerfully listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I think a faith filled person will also lead well, those that are under their care. I think a faith filled person will listen to the authorities and the experts who really have the understanding that many of us don't have. I think it would be egotistical for me, for example, to make determinations based off of, you know, just because I'm, you know, leading a group of people in my church, I really need to listen to the authorities, to the medical professionals, to those that understand the dynamics of this far greater than what I do. So I take their wisdom. I learned from their wisdom. I appreciate and value them because they're using the gifts that God has given to them as well. And so I think it's very important that we take heed to those things, but yet not walk in fear or feel like I have to be afraid of the outcomes because I put my faith and trust in God. And so I listened to and appreciate and value that people in the wisdom that is there. But I also put my faith and trust in God and understand that there's a higher dynamic of protection and peace that he brings to me that can't come from any other person. So those two things, I think are kind of one and the same for me.



Huddle                 

I think it also comes back to just straight up wisdom. I mean, if I'm allergic to bees and I think, well God's gonna protect me from that and then I go and kick over a hornet's nest. You know, I'm not I can't get mad at God when I I think there having an epileptic shock because I got stung. You know, you have to use wisdom. God has, as you pointed out, God has put it, these people in our community in authority to help direct us in the way that we need to conduct ourselves in order to alleviate the threat. And I think that, like you said, you know it is scriptural. We take, ah, the authority. We heed that authority that's been put over us and it's there for a reason.



Jenkins 

I agree and I think that the, um, we have to really understand that those who are in places of government authority, those who are in who are health care professionals, those who are, um, are educators. Um, you know, there are all kinds of groupings of people that we can name. We have to understand that God has gifted them. God has gifted them to be able to give us wisdom so that we can discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. And oftentimes it is through their voices that God is speaking to us as well. So we cannot think that, you know, somewhere within the walls of the church that we have the only claim on hearing the voice of God are being led by the Holy Spirit. The church has never been bound to the walls of a building. The church is the people and so people of God, who are you know, on their jobs in their schools, on their campuses, they are sensing and hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit as well. And so to listen to their wisdom, especially those who are experts in these fields, they've worked very diligently. They've studied, um, and there is a gift that God has given to them. And so we appreciate in value those gifts that are in them, and we received those gifts as wisdom of the Holy Spirit. And so we take those things for what they are. So I think it's also recognizing that God speaks through lots of different means, lots of different people. And it's appreciating those things as well and understanding that they bring great value and even protection to our lives into our families.



Huddle                 

You mentioned the church is not limited to a building. I completely agree. And it actually segways nicely into what I wanted to ask you next, which is Do you think that part of getting through this and you alluded to this in the first segment that people are looking for ways to reach out to people, to help people, even from a limited basis. Even though we really aren't supposed to have a lot of contact with people, Do you think that's what's gonna help get us through this is by getting out of our own private little boxes and looking for opportunities to help people, however possible, and come together as a community? Is that going to help our psyche in dealing with all of this?


Jenkins 

It's interesting that you ask that question because I think it's is fundamental to the human condition we need relationship were born for that when God created human beings, he created all of the earth and all of the things that we know that that exists, Ah, universe all the way down to the microorganisms and all of these things. So on that world view, then we understand that God created all these things that God created with his own hands formed out of the dust, he formed human beings and everything that God created, he said, was good and there was only one thing that he said was not good. And he said, It is not good for human beings for man. He used that term man, but it's broadly human beings. It is not good for human being to be alone. In other words, he created us and designed us for relationship. And so I think in this particular moment that we're facing, I think that it comes down to that very foundation need that we have to love and to be loved. And what I love to see in our community right now is that we're seeing that image of God being reflected. We're seeing people that are are caring for one another, loving one another, giving extra finances toward those that we know that are hurting were supporting local businesses. We are doing everything that we can to encourage one another and although the term social distancing is being used, I think the term that I prefers just physical distancing because it's not that we're not being social were being perhaps more social than ever. But we're doing that in a way that is of course trying to prevent from too much closeness. But yet we're doing that nonetheless, and I think that that is what helps people to connect with one another to build those relationships and from my perspective as a pastor, as a minister, I have always held to this belief that ministry is built on relationships. You you may be able to say it this way, that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. And I think it's very important that we establish that relationship, that we continue to build on those relationships and to see people for who they are and to know their story, to know their pain, to walk with them when they're walking through difficulties. We can do that together, and I think that we have a great opportunity to see the love of God and the love just of human beings to come together into support one another through all that we're facing


Huddle                 

Real quick and just the last minute or so that we have, I just would ask you to speak to our listeners a message of peace. Just give them some encouragement if if they were all here together, which isn't allowed right now. But if they were all here together, what would you say to them to offer peace in this very tumultuous time?



Jenkins 

I think my words would of course, from my my context and an understanding that I'm talking to a lot of people and obviously who have a lot of different beliefs and backgrounds. But from my perspective as a pastor, in fact, just my perspective as a believer, I would say Yes, it's true. All of us are facing a storm right now, all of us, and that's not often that you can say words like that. But that's true for all of us were facing a storm, but that Jesus is greater than the storm and that he is the one who can bring peace to you in the midst of the storm. So whatever you're facing, whether it's this particular pandemic that we're all feeling the effects of or your own personal storm in your marriage or in your family, or in your finances or whatever that looks like, Jesus can bring peace in the midst of that storm. And our trust in our hope is beyond just that which we can physically in tangibly touch and feel in this earth. Our hope goes much further than that. It's beyond this world. It doesn't mean that it doesn't impact in effect this world, but what it does mean is that we have a hope that is beyond this world and our present realities. In other words, we can have peace in the midst of the storm. And so I would just speak those words of comfort and to speak this blessing that is found in the Old Testament that the priest used to speak to all of the people. And they would say this often to them. The Lord bless you and the Lord keep you the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. In the name of the father and of his son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Huddle                 

I don't think you could have said it any better. Pastor Dale Jenkins, New Hope Worship Center. Thank you so much for coming in and offering some encouragement today.


Jenkins 

It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much. 


Huddle                 

You guys stick around. We're gonna wrap up the show in just a moment right after these messages from our sponsors.


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Huddle                 

Thanks again Pastor Dale Jenkins for coming in. I really enjoyed my conversation with him, and I hope you did, too, as he addressed some very hard issues. When trying to cope with the realities that we're facing right now, I myself have wondered these very things. Why is this happening? How could this happen? You know, somebody was Somebody said to me the other day that we are experiencing history and my reply was, You know, that's great for 10 years from now, but quite frankly, in my lifetime, I think I've experienced enough history, enough historical moments for one generation. But just like you, I have to take this a day at a time. What we cannot do is think about the long term, get overwhelmed and completely lose it. We have to keep things in check and keep things in perspective. You know, yesterday I had to run out to the store for a few things, and while I was in the store, I was in line to get a coffee and a man who was in front of me and was ordering his food. He mumbled something, and I wasn't sure exactly what he said. I didn't even realize he was talking to me. I was looking at the menu, and then I realized that he and the cashier or both staring at me. So I asked, Excuse me and he said, Can you step back, please? Very currently very rudely. And my first instinct was to put this guy in this place and tell him how rude he was being. But I realized in that moment this was an opportunity for me to turn the other cheek and back off because everybody's stressed. Everybody is on edge. So I simply said, Okay and I step back. I proceeded to watch this guy be very rude to the cashier and the other lady behind the counter. I felt bad for them, but what touched my heart was when I stepped up to order my drinks. After he left, the cashier apologized to me. She had no reason to apologize to me. She had done nothing wrong, but she felt bad because that man had been rude. And I just told her not to worry about it, that some people just aren't worth the trouble. And that's what we have to keep in perspective. We're all in kind of a bad mood about this whole thing. We're all stressed about it. Everybody's in the same boat, but we're going to get through it. But I promise you we're going to get through it better if we practice a little kindness towards each other. And then when somebody's rude and cut you off in traffic, you know what? Just let it go. It is not worth it. We've got bigger problems than traffic or someone being in polite. So just let it go. Relax. And for those of you that our faith driven, I encourage you to be reading your Bible and praying diligently and fervently for an into all this. That is all I have for this week. Hopefully, when I join you next week things will be a little bit better. We'll be praying for that, for sure. Speaking of next week and in the coming weeks, I am going to have Congressman Richard Hudson on the program. He's gonna be talking to us about what he is doing for our district in order to help alleviate as many problems as he can. We're also gonna be talking to the Cooperative Christian Ministry about ways you can help. And Jennifer Derosa, who was on our program last July to talk about how you could get inexpensive or free college. Well, she's coming back, going to give you parents who aren't used to this homeschooling thing. Some tips on how you could do it and do it effectively. So we've got some great guest coming up over the next week or two, and I encourage you to make sure you tune in. And by the way, please support our sponsors wherever you can. They're the ones that helped keep our program going, and by supporting them, you're supporting us, so please make sure that you do that once again. This has been up front with Cabarrus Magazine, a presentation of Cabco Media Group and sponsored by Atlantic Bay Mortgage. Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. Cabarrus Eye Center. Certec Automotive. The Circle A World of Wellness for Women, Code Ninjas, Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Family Wealth Partners, New Hope Worship Center and Walk Cabarrus. Please remember more than ever to support those that support us. I've been your host, Jason Huddle until next week. Keep praying.

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