After COVID, What? | Influence Podcast

“With the massive disruptions we’re facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 and beyond, the problems could not be more disruptive or obvious,” writes Karl Vaters. “From the lockdowns, to the unspeakable pain of the illness and death of loved ones, to the colossal financial upheavals, it is likely that we’ve never faced such a long-term disruption in our lifetimes, possibly even surpassing those that resulted from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Karl Vaters about what churches—especially smaller churches—can do to recover from the massive disruptions of the COVID pandemic. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Karl Vaters is teaching pastor at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Fountain Valley, California; a small-church leadership guru; and author of The Church Recovery Guide, published by Moody. (He’s also a longtime friend and fellow Assemblies of God minister.) He blogs regularly at

P.S. This podcast is cross-posted from with permission.

Review of ‘Earth and Sky: A Beautiful Collision of Grace and Grief’ by Guy Delcambre

Earth-and-Sky Guy Delcambre, Earth and Sky: A Beautiful Collision of Grace and Grief (Springfield, MO: Influence Resources, 2014). Paperback / Kindle

By nature, I am a worst-case scenario thinker. Put me in any situation, and I’ll think of all the bad things that might happen. The scenario that worries me most—the situation that gives me nightmares—is the death of my wife or son.

Guy Delcambre lived my worst-case scenario. His wife Marianne died after a five-day hospitalization in the ICU, leaving him without a partner and their daughters without a parent. Earth and Sky is a memoir of his grief and the grace he found within it.

Three sentences within this short, beautifully written book capture its essence for me:

  • “Healing is a process that begins with hurting. If you never fully hurt, you never fully heal” (p. 33).
  • “Grief and loss imploded the life I knew; grace and love rebuilt it” (p. 151).
  • “Grace is blocked when we play games and put on masks. It thrives when we find the courage to be honest with God” (p. 153).

Having suffered a months-long bout clinical depression nearly 20 years ago, I can attest the truthfulness of these words. Life leaves a mark. It wounds. It hurts. There’s no point in denying it. By the same token, God heals. There’s no point in denying that either. The key is to remove the masks of denial and despair and let God in.

If you’re looking for a book that outlines how to get through grief or one that defines the biblical perspective on loss, this is not the book to read. If you’re looking for hope, for the story of a fellow sufferer who lived to tell the tale, I encourage you to read this book.

(Full disclosure: I work for the parent company of Influence Resources, though not for Influence Resources itself.)

P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my review page.

P.P.S. The Kindle version of Earth and Sky is currently available for $0.99.

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