With so much going on, there’s already enough to worry about. From finding toilet paper to stocking up on food to possibly losing your job, the government has finally thrown us a lifeline.
Normally, taxes would be due next week but because of the Coronavirus, the tax deadline has been extended by 3 months. This relief only applies to federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2020, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.
The 2019 income tax filing and payment deadlines for all taxpayers who file and pay are automatically extended until July 15, 2020. This relief is automatic, taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify. This relief also includes estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 that are due on April 15, 2020.
Penalties and interest will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of July 16, 2020. You will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by July 15. For more information, visit IRS.gov.
God’s shoulders are wide enough to carry your burdens. He is sovereign over the universe, so He is certainly capable of working out problems and meeting needs. Today I want to give you an exercise that will help make casting your cares a practical act.
First, write on a piece of paper the things that cause your anxiety. Once you start writing, you may discover a list of items that cheat you out of peace.
Next, pray each issue into God’s care. Recall Psalm 18:35, which promises that He upholds believers in His loving grasp.
Finally, as you pray, visualize placing the situation into God’s omnipotent hands. For example, a woman may imagine handing over to the Lord what she owes, while saying, “Father, I give You my financial anxiety. I know that You will show me how to get out of debt. You are more than sufficient to handle it, and I trust You to guide me.”
Some people may protest this suggestion because humanistic and pseudo-spiritual movements also use a method they refer to as “visualizing.” Don’t let anyone steal what is rightfully yours. God creates word pictures throughout the Bible. This exercise merely creates a mental snapshot of the Lord doing exactly what He says He will do (Ps. 55:22; Matt. 6:25-26).
When you have transferred all of your worries to God’s hands, wad up that paper in your fist, and then destroy it. In this way, you symbolize the transaction that just took place. Your cares are no longer yours. Every one of them belongs to the Lord. Walk away in perfect peace.
“Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for indulging the flesh. Put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature” (Romans 13:14 AMP).
Is there something in your life that you would like to put a stop to today? Maybe it’s a certain behavior, addiction, or bad attitude that isn’t pleasing to God? Just as Adam and Eve were exposed in their sin and needed to be clothed in the Garden, we need to clothe ourselves to protect us from sin. When you “clothe yourself” with the Lord Jesus Christ, you will be strong against temptation. How do you clothe yourself with Jesus Christ? In the same way you cover yourself in the natural with clothing. When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are covered and cleansed by His blood. You are restored and renewed. Then, cover your mind with the Word of God. Cover your ears by listening to the Word. Cover your eyes by watching only what is pleasing to the Lord. Cover your mouth by speaking the Word and encouraging those around you. As you cover yourself with Christ, you will b e strong against temptation, and you will walk in the victory the Lord has planned for you!
A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to pay the penalty for my sins. Thank You for providing a way out of temptation so that I can stand clean before You. Help me stand strong as I submit every area of my life to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
One of the few places that are still open right now are the doctor’s offices. It’s definitely not a place anyone wants to be, but now is the perfect time to knock out those doctor’s appointments. Dentist, general practitioner, dermatologist, chiropractor, orthodontist, podiatrist, optometrist, whatever it is, go for it now!
I have already knocked out a few of these appointments myself. There was no line, no waiting & questions asked – I was able to get in right away and take as much time as I needed with my doctor. Grant it, everyone had on masks and gloves and I even had to have my temperature taken just to enter the office, but I am glad that I got it out of the way.
For those of you with insurance, go now – medical offices are open & everyone working there is happy to help people who don’t have the Coronavirus.
Now is the perfect time to discover new talent! Listening to music is one of my favorite pastimes. I love all forms of broadcast media – whether it’s podcasts, Spotify, Youtube, Pandora, etc. I like to explore new artist’s music and jam to the “oldies but goodies”. Quarantined at home, I’ve been listening to music like never before so it is a perfect time to update my playlist.
I challenge everyone who is reading this at home to create a NEW playlist – 1 for occasion. You should have at least one playlist for:
- Cleaning the house
- Working out
- Soft background music while working
- Washing the dishes
- Learning – a new language, how to videos…., etc.
- The news
- AND OF COURSE, Praise & Worship music
Listening is one of the most important senses and this is the perfect time to exercise your sense of hearing. Share your favorite playlists in the comments!
Let’s Learn! Since we’re stuck in the house for at least another week, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra learning. As we speak you can enroll in an Ivy League course for FREE. That’s right, for free! Here’s the link – https://www.classcentral.com/collection/ivy-league-moocs?page=2. Many of you may be working from home & may even be helping your kids with their homework so now you can learn right along with them.
There are other online courses, but this one offers courses in Humanities, Business, Art & Design, Programming and even Math (ew!). So, since you’re saving some time on that daily commute and dinner has already been cooked, go ahead & crack open that PC (or Mac) and get to studying!
“In the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”(Psalm 27:5, NIV)
People ask all the time, “Where is God in tragedy?” When we encounter difficulty and tragedy, we have to trust that God is right there offering His shelter of peace to our troubled hearts. He has a plan to lift you up out of despair and set you in a place of stability. He has a plan to restore, renew and revive your soul.
Scripture tells us that it is the thief — the enemy — who kills, steals and destroys. God’s plan is to bring you life. (See John 10:10). We have to remember, the enemy uses circumstances to get our eyes off of Jesus. He tries to steal our peace and keep us focused on this earthly realm. But when we lift up our eyes to Jesus, when we hold fast to our profession of faith, that’s how we stay in victory.
Friend, when the day of trouble comes, know that God is with you and for you. He’s not the one who is against you. Keep your eyes on Him. Trust that He has a plan. Trust that He will make your crooked places straight and your rough places smooth. Lift your eyes to Jesus because He is the Author and Finisher of your faith — a very present help in the day of trouble.
Father, thank You for being my shelter when the storms of life rage. When I don’t have the answers, I trust that You do. I put my hope in You and receive Your peace and strength. Thank You for leading me in the path of victory all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen
James Banning was an African American aviator.
He was born in Oklahoma, the son of Riley and Cora Banning. The family moved to Ames, Iowa, in 1919, where he studied electrical engineering at Iowa State College for a little more than a year. Dreaming from boyhood of being a pilot, James Herman Banning was repeatedly turned away from flight schools because he was Black. He eventually learned to fly from an army aviator at Raymond Fisher’s Flying Field in Des Moines He became the first Black aviator to obtain a license from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
Banning also operated the J.H. Banning Auto Repair Shop in Ames from 1922 to 1928. He left Iowa for Los Angeles in 1929 where he was the chief pilot for the Bessie Coleman Aero Club. There he became a demonstration pilot flying a biplane named “Miss Ames” for his days in the Midwest. In 1932, Banning and another Black pilot, Thomas C. Allen, became the first Blacks to fly coast-to-coast from Los Angeles to Long Island, NY. Using a plane pieced together from junkyard parts, they made the 3,300 mile trip in less than 42 hours in the air. The trip actually required 21 days to complete, however, because the pilots had to raise money each time they stopped.
Sadly, James Banning was killed in a plane crash during an air show in San Diego in 1933. He was a passenger in a biplane flown by a Navy pilot, which stalled and entered an unrecoverable spin in front of hundreds of horrified spectators.
Spike and Tonya met at a Congressional Black Caucus dinner in 1992. Tonya recounts the pair’s first meeting “We walked past each other. Spike circled back around and proceeded to give me the third degree. ‘Are you an actress? A model? A singer? Who are you here with? What do you do? Do you have a boyfriend?’”
Tonya was attracted to Spike’s creative career, which was a sharp contrast to her role as a corporate lawyer when they first met. These lovebirds have a love of the arts in common. Spike is a talented filmmaker of course, and Tonya is a concert-level pianist, author and TV producer.
Spike and Tonya were married in 1993. This year marks their 27th wedding anniversary.
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:36)
One of the biggest reasons so many of us have hardships, financial problems, relationship problems, and so many other difficult times in our lives is our lack of patience. The person who feels they have to have things right away instead of waiting patiently for them, soon finds themselves in a financial bind. Bills aren’t paid, and very soon, that person begins to have other problems related to their lack of patience. Their health begins to suffer from the stress of bill collectors constantly calling. Their relationships become strained because of their indebtedness. All of these issues arise because of a lack of patience.
For each of us, God desires that we do well and prosper. However, to get to that place of prosperity and peace we must have patience. God has a great reward in store for us if we remain patient and steadfast in our pursuits. We need to let patience work its perfect work in our lives. Our peace and stability depend heavily upon our waiting for what we desire.
Prayer: Father, as we seek to fulfill the plan and purpose you have for our lives, teach us to wait patiently for those things that we desire. In Jesus’ name, amen.