Sunday, March 3, 2013

Church #4

Jesus is interested in a relationship with you, not a 45 minute date every Sunday morning. Make Him first in your life ~Joyce Meyer

You might be wondering what has happened to me since I only posted four times in February and the last time was nearly two weeks ago. I was deep into a home organization project that I will post about later...hopefully. For this past week I have been preparing for a seasonal consignment sale and I still have some finishing touches to do on that yet, but it will be done tomorrow by the drop off time in the late afternoon. Also, my husband was away for work for nearly four weeks. Actually, it was three weeks solid then he came home on a Friday night but unexpectedly had to leave early Sunday morning to Thursday evening and then work in town until late Friday night. It seems he has not been in our time zone long enough to reset his internal timer, so we are trying to have a relaxed weekend.

However, since we were finally all together again, we did visit another church for the first time. This one is about 25 minutes west of us in a small rural town with a water tower but no post office. The church meets in a converted steel warehouse near a Dollar General Store, a gas station with a convenience store, and a tiny dwarf goat farm.  No kidding!

The service was more conventional in its structure, but with stage lighting and a good sound system. With that and the contemporary Christian music lead by a large praise and worship band, the church seems targeted for younger adults, but we were pleasantly surprised by its multi-generational and multi-cultural congregation of around 150 for this second service, as they have two each Sunday morning. Three total strangers hugged me as if I was being greeted into heaven where I was expected and I was surprised by how much I wished all Christians greeted each other like this.

They also had a choir, which was anything but traditional. The choir director in dreadlocks had a unique style of directing and the choir of varying ages, even a few children, was phenomenal. They wore just their regular clothes and since this is a "come as you are" church, most everyone was in jeans. (The Princess had worn a dress and remarked that no other girls wore dresses.)

The service was lively, but it was the preaching that so much spoke to my husband and me. The pastor started a series for March called "Radical" and it was very similar to my own thinking. He did not pull any punches when he said that most people pray for God to do something that they want rather than surrendering self and asking to service Him in want He wants. This is something that I have been talking to the Princess about for some time. This pastor has two published books that may would be worth reading to know more about their doctrines.

From the literature, the church has drama practice and a youth band also. The choir and drama really interested the Princess, after she got past the sulking because it was new and different. I am hoping it is just a phase, as she used to embrace new things, and she did warm up about halfway through the service. I am thinking that this may be one of the reasons we are not being called to a particular church at this time: the Princess needs to experience differing ways of worship and service--perhaps we all do.

This church is not close to our home but it is very close to friends of ours from our former church. I was just saying to my husband today that I miss talking with them after church and the husband later text my husband saying the same, but they were too busy to get together today, so maybe next weekend.

~ My Lord, thank you for interesting experiences of worshiping with other believers. It has been enjoyable. I miss the intimacy of a church group, but I appreciate what You are showing us in being freer in our worship so much. This is a delightful and enlightening season of our lives. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.