For any of you who aren't familiar with what that means - in CSS and blog coding terms, the "/" symbol means "end"...and because I'm a blog designer and I love geekspeak, I am saying "end excuses" when I use that symbol. The buck stops here. I'm hopping back on my blog bandwagon and not looking back at the deserted plains I've crossed in the last two months.
As I said before, our family has seen some mighty exciting changes on both the home and church front. Since I can't just compose one single blog post that encompasses the many changes that have occurred, (it would be of gargantuan proportions, believe me), I shall attempt to update you on one of the items today - Church.
One thing about blogging is that you really have to watch what you say, because it's just going to be floating out there in the world wide web for ages and ages to come. It's for that reason, and because I needed to gain some perspective and examine my heart and motives that I haven't written about our change of churches before now.
I suspect that anyone who has ever been in a church for any length of time and then moved or left it for one reason or another knows what we have gone through. It has been tough to leave our children's friends and our old church family behind, but we truly and genuinely believe that's what God was calling us to do. Every church has its issues and problems and it would be no surprise to anyone (including our old church's pastor) if I said there were things that we weren't happy with there. However, we are not the sort to leave a church because something has upset us - if we did that, we'd be church-hoppers, because you simply can't please all the people all the time. We are nothing if not loyal and the reason we left had absolutely nothing to do with anything that had occurred in our church. (Although I'm quite sure folks think it did - but again, you can't really speak to that, or you just add fuel to the fire).
My husband is a licensed preacher. He's not a pastor, and he's never been ordained in any capacity in the church, because he's never been part of a paid staff. In the last year or so, we have really felt an urgency that he should be preaching more and readying himself for something greater than what he's been doing. What? We don't know. But it's there and we've just felt that we should prepare for it.
We had been praying separately about what to do, not ever thinking we'd leave our church...but we had a Bible conference a couple of months ago and it was during that conference we began to get some little "confirmations" (for lack of a better word) that we should in fact move our membership. I didn't discuss it with Floy and he didn't discuss it with me. We simply prayed.
One night, about a week after the Bible conference, Floy asked me if I wanted to visit another church and I immediately said, "Sure!" (I might have even clapped my hands together in glee and danced an undignified dance, but don't hold me to it.) Over the course of the next two weeks, we visited two churches, one fairly large with lots of programs and youth and another with a medium membership comprised mostly of older folks (50 and up).
I can't explain how or when it happened, but we both felt drawn to the medium sized church. There was just something about it - the folks were friendly, they had "some" youth, but more than that, there was a sense that we "belonged" there. We met with the pastor and moved our membership the next week.
It all happened so fast, we sort of forgot to tell our old pastor. Again, we weren't upset about anything, so it came as a complete shock to him when my husband turned our keys in and told him what we'd done and where we were going. Bless his heart, he asked my husband, "Is it anything I've done?" (No, sir, it was not you, I assure you).
We are positively ecstatic with our new church home. God has opened up doors for us to work an outreach ministry for our church on Sundays and I'm singing my heart out almost every service doing backup and solos. I KNOW God's hand was in this. I'm so thankful we listened to his gentle leading.
/ of story.
Well, almost. I'll fill you in on some of the other things I've been up to tomorrow and next week. For now, I must finish a design I've been working on, as I promised a preview to the client by this weekend. Want to see one of the latest I designed? If you want to see it live, you can visit it here. She just had a baby, so be gentle...she's not had time to post anything yet...but you can always leave her a congratulations on the new baby!