Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Spirit moved

Sunday night we attended a Life Group meeting at one of the member's home from the congregation where we attended Sunday morning. It was wonderful. We knew several of the people there, because we had gone on several church-building mission trips to Mexico with them. They were glad to see us. And the first thing the leader did was to ASK Emerson to lead a couple of songs. (He had quit leading singing at our old church because he received so much negative feed back about the way he did it, ie. if he changed the ususal 2 songs and a prayer routine.) Then we had a discussion about the blind man, Bartimaeus, from Mark 10. The discussion was excellent. I really felt like I came away with a better understanding of that passage. Emerson talked about how his oldest son and his wife had separated early in their marriage and how the elders met with him and prayed with him. He went on to say how they were still married and have 2 boys (the youngest one was just baptized at church camp about a week ago). I know you may not see how that fit in with the blind man passage--but you'll just have to trust me that it did, because that is not really the crux of this post.

At the end of our discussion, John (the leader) asked if anyone had any prayer requests. This lady began to share with us how her son, who has just been married about 11 months, and his wife have split up. As she explained the situation, tears rolled down her cheeks. She kept looking at Emerson--I'm sure she thought he must surely understand (and he did) how she felt. We all stood in a circle and prayed for this woman and her son and his wife. She quietly sobbed through the whole prayer time. We talked to her afterward and tried to encourage her. We also shared how I had been divorced 2 times--and now am HAPPILY married to my wonderful E.

Well, I just got off the phone with this lady. I called to get her son's address so I could send him a card. She was really glad that I called. Now get this!! She said, "I know that God had you come Sunday night just for me!" WOW! Once again, the Holy Spirit is alive and well. We may have found our new church home after having visited only one place!!

I just thought this was so neat, I had to share!!

BTW, the young man's name is Casey and his wife's name is Camber. Please keep them in your prayers.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Aging--Like Fine Whine!

Sleeping until 10:00 a.m. used to be a luxury, a decadent pleasure that I tried to partake of as often as humanly possible. And I could not, for the life of me, figure out why my mother got up at 6:30 every morning--even after she retired!! I always thought it was because my Dad was a diabetic and had to eat on a regular schedule and had chosen that ungodly hour to eat his breakfast. But now that the big five-OH NO! is just around the corner (September to be almost exact).... I have a greater appreciation for her reasons for greeting the day at such an early hour (I used to call it "zero-dark-thirty"!). I am not one who normally goes to bed at an early hour. Late evening is when I find the time to get on the computer to check my e-mail, look up digital camera prices, and keep track of e-bay items. Usually, it's after midnight before I leave the blue glowing screen to take my night's repose. Then around six a.m. the strangest phenomenum occurs. The bed suddenly takes on a whole new personality! The mattress puts on it's boxing gloves and starts pummeling my body. First it socks the lower back, then it punches the left hip, then the right hip, and then the feet. And my pillow! No matter which way I turn it or fluff it, it still is a hot thing which tries it's best to cramp my neck and make me sweat. By this point, my husband has either pulled all the covers off of me and I am cold, or else he has pushed them all to my side and I am sweltering. Once my eyes pop open, I'm a goner. No amount of self-cajoling (i.e.--"You don't have to get up for another hour!") can put me back to sleep. The little voice in my head becomes increasingly louder--"You need to get up and ___________ (feel free to fill in the blank)". And besides that most places on my body are now too uncomfortable to go back to sleep. So I get up. And the day begins.

This is only one of the changes that is occuring. Just yesterday I used to be the one with the small children and it was my mother who hosted and cooked the famly meals--oh, we would bring side dishes, but she would cook enough even if we didn't bring anything. Now I find that I have assumed that role. And for the most part I really enjoy it--it's the cleaning up afterward that I seriously detest. For one thing, by that time, I'm usually beat--another "benefit" of getting "more mature". I just don't have the energy I used to. But I love cooking everybody's favorite dishes. My menu usually starts out rather modest--but then someone will say "You ARE going to make mashed potatoes, aren't you?" or "What KINDS of pie are you baking?". And so the menu grows. When we all sit down at one big table to eat, it's all worth it. Everybody talks and eats and laughs and tells stories.

Change comes hard for me, so I guess this gradual aging is a good thing. It lets me get used to it in little steps.

I do wish the ole body was more like it used to be. But cling, I will (no wait, that's Yoda) to the verse in II Corinthians 4:16, "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, our inner man is being renewed day by day." And I refuse to act old--I still love to laugh and do silly things, play with the grandkids, jump up and down when I'm excited, and learn new things.

So just maybe, the big five-OH NO! won't be so bad after all. And when the big six-OH! comes, maybe I won't have to do the dishes anymore!!


Leaving is a hard thing to do.

Today is the first Sunday that we visited another church--meaning we have finally made the break from the congregation where we had been attending. I know I've only blogged about this recently, but it's something that has been happening over a period of several years.

E talked to the preacher this week and then we both went and talked to one of the Elder's and his wife. We wanted them to know why we were leaving. We thought that doing that was the right thing to do, rather than just leaving.

It really isn't easy. We leave behind family. We always sit in the same pew with our son and his family. I missed them today. We leave behind friends. One of them called last night and said "We'll see you in the morning!", we won't be there. Today was fellowship Sunday--all that good food and fun visisting with people. This has been a long time in coming. A hard decision to make.

But.....the truth is more important than all of that. And feeling like we belong. And that we're useful in the kingdom. And that we're not just warming the pew. And that there is more to worship than just hearing negative things from the pulpit. we went someplace else. And you know what??? We came away feeling like we had been EDIFIED!!! Now please don't mistake what I am saying....I KNOW it isn't all about me--it's all about GOD! But it can be BOTH! And today it was! I was actually humming today when we left the building!! WOW! That hasn't happened in a long time.

We went where we already know a lot of people. They were very glad to see us. They hope we will come back.

Bible class was good. The elder who taught it came in and listed MANY scriptures on the board. And then he began to speak. It was about "Why we sing". It was very positive. The scriptures were used in a positive way. We sing when we're happy. We sing to teach scriptures. We sing to be full of the SPIRIT!! The teacher didn't go over every scripture he had on the board, but he used several of them to show how important our singing is to our worship and to our relationship with God. People were interested in the class. Discussion ensued. Various points of view were brought out. We didn't feel threatened.

After services this morning, E and I were talking about how the same lesson would have been presented where we had been going. It would have been quite different. We would have heard that you should never use intstruments. (That was mentioned only in passing in the class this morning). We would have heard how there are songs we shouldn't sing because the words are "not scriptural". We would have heard how we shouldn't clap or raise our hands. (Which by the way, I can go with either way. But this teacher didn't even address the issue. It wasn't the time or place. It would have been an important part of the discussion at our old church.)

Then the worship service began. The songs were shown on the overhead. With words AND music. I like that. There was a mix of old and new songs. YEA!!!! And it wasn't just 2 songs and a prayer!!!!! The men who were in charge of the Lord's supper had good and uplifting comments about what we were doing. I was able to focus on taking the bread and the cup. A young man (John T) gave a stirring message before the giving--this was a special time of giving for missions. The sermon continued the subject matter of Bible class. Again in a very positive manner. We were given a loaf of bread after the service was over--with a note welcoming us to the church and stating that their purpose is to share the True Bread of Life!

We went to lunch with friends. We had a great visit.

Emerson commented on the way home that he felt like we were on vacation!!

Tonight we are attending a Life Group from the same congregation. We are looking forward to it!!

Just "Poolin" Around

Just a couple of notes first:

1). For those of you who work full-time and still blog regularly....WoW! I am impressed--how do you find the time???? I've been doing some "fill-in" work for people on vacation, etc., at a couple of the local newspapers--usually just mornings--and I do well to read blogs, let alone write them!! So to my regular readers....sorry I've been so sporadic in blogging...and to my regular readees....thanks for all you entries. I love reading what you write!!

2.) The title of this entry is dedicated to my husband, Emerson--this is his kind of humor!!

Now, for the real post. Just a little humor! :)

Jayme and I were in the pool playing volleyball with a beach ball. No net. Just hitting it back and forth. Sometimes it went into the deep end. And one of us had to go get it.

Jayme: "We need somebody really tall to play the deep end. Hey, Goliath, over here!!!"

Jayme (reading a CAUTION on the beach ball): "ONLY to be used in water in which the user is withing its depth. WHAAATT? Oh, Made in China."

Neal joins us in the pool. The beach ball is a big yellow with a big smiley face on it.

Neal (missing the beach ball): "I lost the big yellow ball in another big yellow ball." Translation: "The sun was in my eyes."

And Ellie! Ellie is just too cute. She loved the Happy Ball! The first picture is such fun...the second picture is to prove SHE thinks its fun too!