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I made it to church and helped out with setting out the refreshments in the lobby. And we had services, and I've lost enough weight that I can sing and hit the high notes, and that felt really good.

One of the older brothers sitting in front of me was a balding man about my Granddaddy's age, with that particular palsied shake that my grandfather had at the end. He held up his hand in worship... and he had to hold it up with his other arm.

And we were singing this:

(video link to music)"I Will Rise"

I choked up about four lines in and cried through singing the rest of the song, cried like my heart was broken, and like I could sing my way through it and come out the other side.

And... I did. I'm still sad but it's not the same sadness. At the bottom of despair is a bubbling spring of hope.

I'm so grateful for all my friends, who have taught me what it is to be there for someone, by being there for me. God bless you and all the good things done because of you.
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Just got an email from church with the subject "Need immediate help."

"[Church member]'s friend [name removed] is single-handedly bringing 12 orphans out of Haiti tonight. (Wednesday, January 20, 2010) They are coming with only the clothes on their backs."

TWELVE. CHILDREN.

I just can't even imagine. I have to run by church tomorrow morning with some money for them. I'm just torn between "Poor kids!" and "I'm so glad we could do SOMETHING."
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My church sends out a weekly mailing called QuailMail. In this week's, we have an essay by Rob Parsons about prodigals. (If you aren't familiar with the story of the prodigal, or lost, son, here's the Wiki explanation and here's the Bible story itself.)

I love this part of the essay:

"...I also want to challenge the church about the part we've played in "creating" prodigals. There is many a young person who has been branded a prodigal because of his hair color, the cigarettes in his pocket, or the music venues he visits. Never mind the fact that he might care for the poor, have a wonderfully forgiving nature and, in his heart, love God. We may be satisfied with an outward conformity, but God isn't.

I wonder whether the real problem the church faces with regard to its prodigals is that half of them are still in the pews, not realizing how far from the Father's house they have wandered. Perhaps one day we will discover that our bitterness, judgment toward others, and putting down church leaders in front of our children were what God actually considered offensive."

Easter.

Apr. 12th, 2009 02:03 am
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Haven't got much this year; I'm severely lacking in time to pray and study alone.

And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, (bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him.

Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"

Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away...





If you look at this one way, it's the behavior of people who were following the Messiah, the son of God, and who just had Him taken away despite all their expectations. It's the behavior of people who, rather than feeling that God is with them and watching them, are grieving because He's not, and still doing their best.

And if you look at it another way-- it's the first tiny glimmerings of the stars in the sky, after the setting of the sun.

Don't wait.

Apr. 8th, 2009 01:29 pm
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My friend [livejournal.com profile] amysuemom lost a friend yesterday, and her children lost a teacher. He was in his 40's, and though I didn't know him, from all reports he was a pretty awesome guy.

Tonight at church* we're writing notes of encouragement to people who might need them.

Please think about what you'd say if you were asked to say a few words at the funeral of someone you know, someone who really impressed you, maybe even someone who usually goes without thanks.

And think about why you're not telling them today.



*I should note that I'll be there ONLY if I don't fall asleep, which is generally what happens about 4pm. *sigh*
corrvin: a half-pint jar of lemon-dill marmalade (marmalade)
A couple of links, to start off with:

The Mennonites have a cookbook about eating locally and in season, and a study guide to turn it into a food-and-faith workshop.

Angel Food Ministries is an organization that buys food cheaply and re-distributes it all over the nation, selling a box worth about $60 retail for $30 or so. There are two big differences between AFM and most food resources, though: first, they don't require any kind of need statement or proof of need. Second, the boxes they provide are "balanced" meals-- meaning there are large amounts of actual protein in them. Check out the current month's distribution list to see what's available. A few of my co-workers have had boxes from them and say the food is fresh and tasty.

I'm now thinking about our church and whether we could buy a few of these boxes for our neighbors who come for benevolence, at least to the ones who come during the week they're distributed (AFM only provides once a month). I think this would be an awesome way to supplement the shelf-stable stuff we have to offer already. I should talk to the Benevolence folks at church and see if we have any freezer/fridge space we can use there, and whether we could squeeze some money out of the budget if needed.

Other plots roaming through my fevered little brain currently include possibly starting a community garden on church land (now would be the time!) and having a get-together on a Wednesday night to prep and can vegetables or fruits as the summer progresses.

Church.

Feb. 23rd, 2009 03:19 pm
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So, last Sunday was the one Sunday of the year when we do all our fundraising for missions for the entire year. (We teach English to people in Rwanda, help people in Honduras have clean water and sanitation, and there's also a mission here in OKC...)

And I'm sure the preacher had a really awesome sermon planned out. We had a video, and had the kiddies bring in their change they had saved, and had some good music.

However, all that anyone managed to talk about afterwards was one of the lights catching on fire.
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I got the cat food and the cat litter and some watermelon jelly beans.

I went to church and sang along, and there were rockin' loud guitars to cover my singing. (I'm not that terrible except that I don't know all these songs and don't know the tunes and have to fake with enthusiasm what really should be done with knowledge.)

And I went to Bible class and the elder teaching it is pretty good, and funny, and had a cartoon about a cat as part of the PowerPoint, and we're talking about the book of Acts which was written by Luke, and the elder has a degree in pharmacy so it promises to be rockin' on that account too. (For those of you unfamiliar, Luke was a doctor.) It's a multi week class thing so I am definitely going back next week.

And I met a lot of interesting people, most of whom were elders who make a point of introducing themselves to new people, and next week I can call them by name...

because, thank you God, they all wear NAMETAGS.

Whew!

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