Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating;.....

.....there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~ John Ruskin

John Ruskin obviously never lived in a part of the country where ice storms are common winter occurrences.

Today the forecast is for an ice storm later today and tomorrow. We had freezing rain already this morning and it is expected to be much worse later today as the temperature drops. And, it's technically not even winter yet.

Yesterday it 65 degrees. This morning at 7:00am is was 34 degrees. The temperature has since dropped to 30 degrees and counting. Perfect gift wrapping and cookie baking weather, but not good for much else.

We attended a different church yesterday...Crosspoint. It's new, like Grace was when we first started going there. But, even though Crosspoint is a fairly new church, just beginning to build the congregation, it felt very familiar. Our former pastor's wife, Marsha, was there, as was her son, Charlie. Charlie and his wife had twin boys just 10 weeks ago and we got to visit them in the nursery (Marsha is very excited about being a new grandma). Chris (a woman I first met while serving on a jury in Federal court) and her husband, David, were there, too. And, of course, the pastor, Tammy, who was assistant pastor at Grace Church when we attended there after the first building project was completed. Crosspoint is small, but warm and welcoming. The music was a mixture of old hymns and new Christian music. Rather than a piano or organ, the band was comprised of a guitar, bass and drums. Tammy's sermon was inspiring and heartfelt. She personalized the message with own stories of her childhood and Girl Scout activities. It's not easy to humanize biblical characters, but Tammy related the story of the shepherds to the "shepherds" in each one of us...often crass, mannerless, rude, living on the outskirts, out of the mainstream. It was perfect.

Tom and I lingered after service, chatting and getting caught up, and when we got in the car we just looked at each other and knew this is where we should be going to church.

Later in the day, Tammy dropped by to thank us for attending and we had a really nice conversation about her vision for the future of the church. She invited us to participate in any way we feel comfortable. Tom jumped in with both feet and offered to build at least one kneeling rail and an alter. Now that he has committed himself, he will beat himself up until he finishes them...every Sunday after church he will come home and say, I have to get those done. I have to get those finished. I'm not sure where I want to contribute, but I know at some point an opportunity will present itself.

Of course, Tammy left me with a little tidbit to ponder this week and perhaps beyond. We were discussing people, change, churches and how different people and personalities react to changes within a church, like a change in pastors or programs or service styles. Somewhere during our conversation Tammy said, "Maybe you guys have the desire and the talent for starting churches..." When she said it, I had a little Thwap! I could have had a V8! moment. To say the least, she presented a very interesting perspective which I have been pondering silently ever since.

So, today...I am wrapping gifts and the several kinds of Christmas cookies I baked this last week so I can get them ready to ship.

But, since I was discussing church today I thought I would leave you with another quote, that unless you live in the Baptist bible belt, you won't really understand how accurate it is...

"There are three religious truths:

1) Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah,

2) Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith, and

3) Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters."

~ Author Unknown

Or, like the joke our pastor, Bob, told during a sermon one morning:

Do you know the difference between a Methodist and a Baptist? When you meet a Methodist in the liquor store they'll look you in the eye and say Hello.

Have a Great Week!

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