Monday, April 16, 2012

Surely the Presence

Amazing things going on this week at Calvary.

We are just so blessed to be part of this fellowship, surrounded by Godly folks, working and living out His will.  I love how I'm challenged by the sermons, how our pastor throws in some bit of history or culture or language (Tetelestai!!) and I learn something new, think in a new way.  How we come together to comfort one another, to pray and love each other through good times and bad.

I grew up in a small baptist church, in a small town (200 pop max).  Only when I went off to college did I experience anything approaching 'large/mega' church status. (this was 20 yrs ago)  Coming home, my little church was 'home', but it wasn't.  It seemed dead, muted, restrained.  I longed for emotion, for displays, for hands in the air.  Some sign of joy in the worship. 

I will admit that I was 20 years old and starry eyed, too full of myself by far.  But that was the beginning of my journey to a different kind of worship.  Eventually, I fell away from church attendance, and lived in and of the world a while.  No earth shattering things to report about this time, I never did drugs, sex, parties, ect.  I was boring.  But I was worldly.  Church wasn't a big priority for me.  Or one at all really.

Jump ahead, I'm married, and Dh and I joined a small (less than 50) church.  They had a new pastor, and he was on fire for the Lord.  Wonderful things were going to happen.  But we fell away, because the church was 25 minutes away, one way.  The pastor left, and the little church resumed its search for another.  More years passed, too many.

Dh had mentioned getting back into church, coming back to God, many times.  I always agreed, but we never did anything about it.  I never stopped believing, or praying (but nothing like I should have, I wasn't living my faith), but I was def doing my own thing.  Jump ahead again, our son was born.  More talk of God and church and goals of that nature.  I knew I had to get my life in gear with His will, in order to raise up this small one to become a Godly man.

Dh suggested Calvary.  Now we live in the country, in a subdivion about 8 miles from town.  Calvary is right in the middle of town.  Not so far by a long shot, but Calvary was big.  Well, about 400 people regularly attending, I'd say, but to my small town/small church eyes, it was BIG.  New sanctuary, educational building going up behind, ect.  I was intimidated.  I was leaning more toward the non-denom church closer to us.  It sounded more modern, more upbeat, more 'right' with what I had in mind for worship. 

But I agreed to try Calvary.  I am so glad I did. God was working His hand in this, every step of the way.  The preaching/teaching is sound, the music is a lovely mix of hymns, psalms, and contemporary songs.  People are excited to be there, friendly and welcoming.  And hands go up, heads nod, feet tap.  Many times, I want to break into dance I'm so filled with the joy of worship.  I've seen many other folks swaying or tapping or clapping , too, unable to contain themselves.  It is awesome!  Amens abound, folks take notes, heads nod in firm agreement.  I look forward to Sundays and Wednesdays and all the extra get togethers we have. 

Once again, God has proven the adage, don't judge a book by it's cover.  Especially when it's one of His 'books'.  The content will suprise you every time!

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