Friday, September 19, 2014

This Must Be a God Thing

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him. ~Jim Elliot

Some would say it is a coincidence, but I would say it must be God. It all started with me posting... well, actually, it started before that....


How does one get from changing phones to finding a reputable siding company to confirmation of home church concerns?

I guess the very first thing that put this into motion was that our wireless phone system was not doing its job very well anymore. You see, I like having my hands free when I talk on the phone, so I always use a headset. Most of the time, I talk while doing quiet, mind numbing tasks that have no favor with me, like folding and putting away laundry or dusting...these are extremely boring, need-no-thought tasks that I found go so much faster and are far more enjoyable when I am talking on the phone.

Now the problem was that the phone system, being older, was not doing well with all the other wireless technology we have added. A few years ago, we had changed from a land line to a VOIP, which took care of the line static that was quite annoying and made it difficult for both parties to hear each other. The VOIP was very quiet, however as time went on the signal between the base and the phone being used was breaking up in more areas of our home, so that there were few zones with a clear signal for a conversation. One of the worse zones is where I fold my laundry and go to talk in solitude. After a couple of years dealing with this difficulty, my husband and I seriously began considering changing over to completely cellular even though it would be a greater monthly expense.

I did have a cellular phone--a prepaid flip phone that usually cost me only $50 a year, because I just did not use it much--so we decided to keep that plan and get a new flip phone for our daughter. It is not hers, per se, but rather the one we allow her to use when we are apart. I looked at phones a few months before choosing my smart phone: Samsung Galaxy 5. I had not had a fully functioning smart phone before, but my husband assured me that once I picked the phone I really wanted, I would love it...and I really do love it. It is like my Kindle with more and I can access the Internet from anywhere, which I rarely do but that feature has come in handy a time or two. What an amazing feat in technology! It is great for picture taking and then I can send the photo immediately. You might be rolling your eyes here and I know others have been doing this for awhile, but I only had a flip phone before. The downside is that I have had to get use to taking my phone with me everywhere or placing it near me even in the house, which was new. I have willing tethered myself to this small bit of technology; owned by it as much as I own it. Now on any given moment of the day, I find myself moving my laptop with my Kindle and Galaxy also in tow. So it goes with technology enslavement!

After the phone switch, we then had an unused three-phone, two-line wireless phone system I bought when I had a home business and needed the second line, although I had not used the second line feature in nine years. I listed the phone system on Craigslist for a very reasonable price and got a good bite within a day.

I met with the woman to make the transaction with the three phones, head set, and manual (yeah, I do keep everything) and tell her about the one phone, which was used more than the others, might need a new battery as it is functioning but quirky at times. She was far more interested in the intercom workings because she is going to use it in her business...which originally was a roofing company but with her partner it has added siding, windows, gutters, and more. Just what we need to fix our home. The company has her father's name, but he retired giving half of his business to his daughter and the other half to a young man who was a developer that he hired years ago--not sold, gave. I was impressed when she told me that they never do anything on credit in their company. We used to see their billboards in the area with their name, but her father told them that Jesus was the only advertising they needed, so no more billboards. That impressed me even more and since then God has blessed them so they have been busier than ever.

I asked to set up a time to get an estimate because we probably have just under half of what we need to have the work done and I have a very good feeling about this company. When the partner came to talk with both my husband and me about what we wanted to have done, we were pleased the quality of the products he uses and his candor, but we are still cautious having been burned so badly the last time we had such major work done.

As we talked, the conversation somehow turned to churches. We told him that we might be looking again for another. This man also has a Christian band and has lived in the area all his life so he gave us referrals of churches that might be more encouraging of getting the Princess involved with music. We also mentioned that we were having issues with "Encounter." It was not until then that he told us his sister used to go to our church and she left over that same thing. There is such tremendous pressure and secretiveness encircling Encounter that it just did not feel right to her.

That was confirmation I had been praying about for sometime. I had been questioning myself, wondering if I was making this more of an issue than it is because when I am sitting in this church, I  cannot help but feel like they (all the ones who have been to Encounter) think I am second-hand Christian. I cannot see how anyone can feel like he belongs in this church without having been to Encounter. Also, I have noticed over the months that a few people are missing who used to go every Sunday and I thought maybe they were going to the later service or to the other campus, but we have had a few services with everyone together and I still have not seen these people. I know that a few did not have any Internet access and it is frustrating how heavily the church relies on Facebook. Honestly, I do not know why these people are no longer coming, but it seems it started a few months ago with the push for the last Encounter.

I also want to say that I do not feel Encounter is a bad thing, I just still feel no leading from my Lord to go to it and I am concerned about what I am seeing, how such importance is being placed on it within the church...actually the many churches that embracing this across the country. There is good that comes from it for many people (we don't know exactly what because they are told not to talk about it to people who have not been to it--the outsiders that they do not call "outsiders") but there is also division and an undercurrent of judging to which they would never admit...and tactful, but ever persistant urgings that all this would go away for us if we would just go to Encounter. Yet, this is not a good reason to go.

~ My Lord, thank you for your answers to prayer about getting our house fixed and about concerns we have had with our church. Please guide our steps and have us follow You closely as decisions are made. ~