This series is about our life with the church as we attempt to live together as brothers and sisters. (For a more detailed description of this series, see my post “Church Life – A New Series.”)
Monday: Monday was Labor Day. Sunday evening, our friends the Carpenters came to town to spend a couple of days with us. Eric was one of our original elders before his family moved to India. We went out for pizza for lunch, then to a local coffee house. While we were at the coffee house, we ran into Jonathan. We invited him to our house that evening for hamburgers and hot dogs. Jonathan said he would invite a neighbor who had met with us for the first time Sunday morning.
Monday evening, our friends the Henrys and Jonathan and his neighbor John joined us and the Carpenters at our house for dinner. We played games and talked until late.
Wednesday: In this series, I primarily list my interactions with other believers. But, there are many daily interactions among the church which neither I nor my family are involved with. For example, on Wednesday evening, a group of our friends get together for fellowship and Bible study. For the last month or two, this group has been spending their Wednesday evenings helping our friends the Disseaus work on their house. Since the Disseaus moved earlier in the week, this group resumed their normal Wednesday night get together. This week they started by talking about elders, since we are in the process of recognizing additional elders among the church. Then they spent the remainder of the evening playing games and enjoying ones another’s company.
Thursday: I had lunch with my friend Geth on Thursday. Last Spring, Geth and I had lunch together almost every week. We got out of the habit over the summer because he decided to travel to Scotland without me. (I’m pouting, but only slightly.) We always have a great time together, talking about life and marriage and Scripture and faith and anything else that comes up. I also like to talk to Geth about his work teaching in prisons.
Thursday night, our family and the Henry family went to the Disseau’s house to clean. They left for Texas earlier in the week. We told them that we would clean their house so they wouldn’t have to do it and they could leave earlier. While we were there, two of our friends dropped by: Katie and Laurel. They had each worked hard over the last couple of months helping the Disseaus get their house ready.
Friday: Friday evening, we had one of the most fun times we’ve ever had in downtown Wake Forest, thanks to the Wake Forest Coffee Company and our friends Danny, Adam, and Jonathan (and Danny’s guitar student Sam). Danny, Adam, and Jonathan played together outside the coffee shop while many, many people milled around and talked while listening to the music. I’ve heard about several awesome conversations that went on during sets which included Joe Satriani and Stevie Ray Vaughn songs among others.
Saturday: Saturday morning, Margaret and Miranda volunteered to help at a rabies clinic put on by the Franklin County Humane Society. They were able to have lunch with other volunteers afterward, and Margaret even found out that her waitress had a medical need. We hope to go back to the restaurant to talk to her again.
While they were at the rabies clinic, Jeremy and I spent some time in “The Neighborhood.” It was a beautiful day, and we were able to talk to one of the neighbors outside. Unfortunately, one of the ladies who has been having health problems was taking her bath, so we were not able to talk to her. Also, when we went by the nursing home, Ms. Jennie was out with someone for the day. We’ve missed her two weeks in a row now.
Saturday afternoon, Jeremy, Miranda, and I went to the apartment of our friends Jason and Ryan. They were hosting a brother from South Africa. Several other brothers and sisters were there as well. After spending a couple of hours eating together and getting to know this brother, he told us about how he and his family serve some children in a neighboring village. He doesn’t run a huge ministry. They’re just a family serving God and others where they are.
Sunday: We met for our scheduled weekly meeting Sunday morning. This week, the songs that the church chose were more recent songs, but still very relevant to who we are as the children of God. “Ancient of Days” and “How Great is Our God” stands out. After we sang the latter song, several people praised God for his blessings during the previous week.
I was scheduled to teach that morning, so I taught from Matthew 22:15-22. (We are studying Matthew together.) We started by focusing on “giving back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”, but we ended by discussing how we can “give back to God the things that are God’s.” Again, there was a great discussion about this passage. I’m always encouraged when I’m scheduled the teach, but the church teaches me as well.
As normal, we ate lunch together. Jeremy wanted pizza, so we picked up some pizza, while other brothers and sisters picked up subs, and others had brought their food with them. At one point, I was greatly challenged by a brother who was talking about struggles and trials. I tend to get angry during trials, but James encourages us to “Rejoice!” I’m not there yet, and I thank God for brothers and sisters who can exhort me (and others) toward a life of joy in spite of our circumstances. (Oh… the pizza was good too.)