Sunday, September 2, 2012

Last call

9:33 p.m. Today's project was to attend our church service this morning. Steve did well getting himself into the Jeep, so much better than yesterday afternoon after our day at the beach, that I told him, "Looks like you're a morning person!" That's one more thing we've always had in common--we're both early risers and very energetic. And while I didn't appreciate this when they were toddlers, so are our kids!

It's interesting to me how many references there are to "rising up early" in scripture. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David, Job, Hezekiah, Jesus Himself, and Mary Magdalene going to His tomb--all rose early either to meet with the Lord in prayer, or to carry out His commandments. King Darius, after a sleepless night, rose early see whether Daniel had survived in the lions' den. There is something quiet, cool, still and anticipatory about the early morning, when believers take that time to greet the Lord and spend the time with Him as much as their work or school day allows. We may be seeking Him to praise Him, seeking to receive guidance, interceding for loved ones, or confessing sin to Him before we can feel comfortable proceeding with our day. For me most days, it's all of the above!! Proverbs 8:17 (KJV) says,

Those who seek me early shall find me.

We attended the 9:45 second service today. When the girls and their husbands came over later, somehow they were talking about attending 1st service for years at Harvest. I told them that with their dad getting up at 3 or 4 each weekday and sometimes Saturdays to commute, we needed one day to get some rest. So we did change to 2nd service. Heidi exclaimed, "With all of us kids, how did we make it to first service? How did we do it?" I felt like ribbing her and saying, "Pardon me, but who's this 'WE?' " But it's a good question: how did Steve and I do it? It was the Lord enabling us to consistently provide that solid grounding in God's Word, prayer and worship, it was and is, all Him!

Church attendance has been a major commitment all of Steve's life, because he was raised with a solid church-going background as Lutheran. I, on the other hand, was instrumental in getting my sister and mom to our old Methodist church; and then led all my immediate family members to the Lord when I became born again in 1980.

Today was Steve's last day to attend our Sunday morning service. He'll be moving into Raincross on Saturday, where they do have church services for the residents. The friendly hugs and greetings he received from his men's Bible study friends were so touching and encouraging to him, that he didn't want to let go of their hands so we could enter the sanctuary. Same with the ushers and everyone else we know. Yet, even though he was singing along with the praise songs, he was bent down uncomprehending during the sermon and prayers, as far as I could tell, though the Holy Spirit was undoubtedly still ministering to his heart in a way I wouldn't understand.

How do I feel about his not coming to service any more? I'll see next Sunday when it becomes a reality. I was weepy today during worship, but "praising in the storm" as the song goes.

Would covet your prayers for this week of "last calls."

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