When I was a little girl (okay, that just made some of you reading this stop reading because I'm going down some bunny trail to get to the main point!) in Marietta Georgia, we went to a church that was Methodist, but had as many church meetings as any Baptist church. Of course, we got out earlier so we could get to the cafeteria first! LOL! I remember having Sunday Night church. My most memorable experience with this is the night my friend & I went to the church playground before church started. We didn't know what time it was until our mothers found us about half-way through the service and marched us back into the sanctuary. I am pretty sure I saw steam coming out of my mom's ears, which was a rarity for her.
As I grew up, and we moved around, churches didn't seem to have services on Sunday nights. We had youth groups, but not a regular service. One church I attended as an adult, fresh out of college, did have Sunday night services, but I only went occasionally. I was normally furiously grading papers on Sunday night! Today, it is very difficult to find a Sunday night service, even in those good ol' Southern Baptist churches. Saturday night church has caught on (hey, the Catholics had that idea a long time ago, and the Jewish community had Saturday WAY before that!), but Sunday night has faded away.
Almost. One church, at least, in San Antonio has started up a new service on Sunday nights. It's an offshoot of Trinity Baptist Church, where my nephew Nils is the youth pastor, and where Katie (his wife) grew up. We went a couple of weeks ago. Bethany didn't like the music because it is VERY loud. I mean, concert volume loud. It is kind of cool, though, because the church bought an old grocery store, and that is where this new church service is held!
Sunday for us have become a day of rest. TOO much rest. We often are so physically exhausted by Sunday that our bodies will not wake up. Today the girls & I did get up in time to go to a different church, where the music isn't AS loud (hee-hee). When Phil got up he asked if we were going to church, then said we could go tonight to the night service. So, what did the grown ups do? Take naps!
Sunday afternoon means AWANA (Approved Workmen are not ashamed---2nd. Timothy 2:15-- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.) from 4:00 til 5:45. It's a Bible based group that is international and helps kids learn the Word of God and how it applies in their lives. Today we tried going straight from AWANA to church. I THINK we can do this. Plus, AWANA only has a few more weeks left.
Nils had told us the speaker tonight was a guest & was really good. When I told the girls someone different was speaking, Bethany said, "I hope it's Katie or Kelly." Kelly is Katie's sister. Then she said, "I think Chris should preach. But I don't think he's ever preached." I thought she meant Phil's good friend Chris Loyd, who is a preacher in New Jersey. I said, "Of course he's preached. That's his job." BOTH girls knew what I meant, and filled me in on what Bethany meant, "NOT THAT CHRIS. Becky's husband Chris!" So, there you go, nephew, I not only messed up your birthday, but mistook you for someone else!
He was good. His name was Scott Crenshaw. He was funny, yet had some great things to say. Being the deeply spiritual person that I am, the thing that struck me the most was that I am SURE I knew him in college. I didn't recognize him (I doubt anyone from college would recognize ME today), but the name was SO familiar. Then he told us he graduated from the same college I went to. I couldn't tell how old he was, so I checked on the Internet. He is 44. I'm 43. Yep, he was there the same time I was. So, if ANYONE reads this and knows me from college (fat chance!), PLEASE tell me if we knew this Scott Crenshaw person!
I know I should have something deeply inspiring to say about church. He talked about the fact that to get to new places with God, sometimes we have to let go of old places. That makes me think of the passage in John where Jesus said that He is the vine, and we are the branches. If you've never seen the tiny little book, The True Vine, I highly recommend it. It's a short devotional based on that passage. I read it in college (see, there WAS a connection in all this) the first time. I remember being struck by the passage that told me that He prunes the vine to allow for new growth. It doesn't have to be bad growth, but it is usually stagnant growth, or overgrowth. What things was I holding onto that needed to be gone for Him to work more abundantly in me & through me? What things am I now holding onto that I need to let go of?
And, back to having church in a grocery store. I took Bethany to the bathroom (you do know that it's a rule that one child MUST have this sudden urge right in the middle of the best part of the sermon). The area where church is has big black stage curtains cutting off the rest of the, well, store. When we walked past those, it was quite funny to see grocery carts and the different sections where the pharmacy or meat market would have been. And it's the only church I've been to with automatic doors.
If you are wondering why I'm rambling so, it's mainly because I have to wait for the dryer to finish before I can go to bed and you get to "listen" to me wait. Aren't you glad you popped in today!
P.S. Becky, I've now blogged about Katie, just sayin'! xoxoxoxo
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