Sunday, July 17, 2011

Community gathering place

3:33 p.m. Today's project was to attend the 9:45 service at our church. Steve and I had planned to get to church early, because I needed to meet up with a friend. We also like to sit near the front so we can pay close attention to the worship, anouncements and message.

The morning started out in an un-promising way about 5:45, when I heard whimpering from one of the dogs in her crate down in the garage. Because of his C-pap machine, Steve can't hear them any more, but if it keeps him breathing, it's a small price to pay. And I wear a Freedom Alert pendant to bed, since he wouldn't hear me choking or having any other kind of distress, either.

God gives us wisdom, doesn't He, and the ability to prepare for the things we can. Proverbs 27:12 says just that, that a prudent man foresees evil and flees...bascially, as Chuck Swindoll used to say, we should "control the controllables."

Lo and behold, Bailey had had another accident--ugh! So I let both dogs out, sprayed her towel and crate with Shaklee Basic G germicide, and went back upstairs. At 7:00, the mess got cleaned up and went into a bleach load in the washer to soak. "Looks like the new Disney dog food is bothering her tummy," I told Steve, "So after church we'll stop at Winco to get some of their 35 cent/lb kibbles, start a half and half mix, and then slowly get her back to the 50 lbs of the brand of food we just bought!" Funny, but the last few bags of the brand that bothered her Friday and Saturday nights had given her no trouble whatsoever.

Odder still, when we were at Winco last Friday, the Lord allowed us to see that there were 50 lb sacks of the cheap food, but I told Steve, "It's the same price as that Disney brand they just love." So in essence, I didn't listen to the Spirit telling me to buy the Winco brand, and ended up with two days of mess. Another Proverb, 23:19, covers this aspect,

Hear, my son and be wise; and guide your heart in the way.

I exemplified the case that the same person can be both prudent and unwise in the same day, even the same hour, to my embarassment! I'm so glad God loves me just the same, with an everlasting love!

Despite the smelly start to our morning, we left the house nice and early, with wedding centerpieces for our son-in-law Pavel in a box, and all of my products in case I ran into anyone who needed anything after church. Sure enough, my friend and I had a nice chat and I helped her with the perfect colors for her skin tone. Then, despite peering around in church before the service, during the greeting time, as well as after, I realized I hadn't seen my son-in-law when church let out. So Steve and I got into the car, drove around to the front of the church and there was Pavel talking with friends in front of the space I parked in. Good! He got the centerpieces and saved himself a trip to our house. (And we rid ourselves of 2 out of 18 vase arrangements gracing our garage)!

As I was looking for Pavel right after church, I asked a friend Karen if she'd seen him, and commented, "I'm always looking for someone, aren't I?" We shared a laugh, and that's a sign of good fellowship at church, a real gathering place for the Family of Christ in Moreno Valley. I love that about our nation, the way that churches are the center of activity and personal support for multiple millions of people, in caring ways that government, or even the neighborhood school, can't match. Whether at Harvest or Calvary Moreno Valley, I seek members of our church family first for help, and they in turn seek me out as well. Professional and personal assistance takes place among the members, and arrangements are made for future get-togethers of every variety.

Personal friendship opens doors to a even larger community on the social networks of like-minded people who can help one another in "real life," so it's a beautiful, scriptural circle of community, inspiration and expertise that produced the pastor, photographer, seamstress and cake baker for our daughter's recent wedding, as well as all of the bridal party who weren't siblings!

Psalm 133:1 so truly says,

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity!

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