Sunday, January 08, 2012

My good shepherd

What a perfectly satisfying weekend I've had!
Yesterday was tailor-made, I did not step one foot outside of this house! I cleaned, laundered and moved in very slow motion. I made waffles for breakfast. I made Mrs. Grass soup for dinner. Jay and his girl came over Saturday evening to watch football play offs with the Mr. and Mac. I, being a nonfootball lover, snuggled up in bed with my Kindle and a book by one of my favorite authors (Jan Karon.) The next thing I knew, Jay was poking his head in the door asking if I was asleep. Surely not, since I don't sleep. And yet, yes indeed! I fell asleep long before 10:00 p.m. and awakened Sunday morning rested and joyful at 6:30 a.m.
I enjoyed a leisurely cup or two of coffee before heading out into the unseasonably mild weather for my first visit to Good Shepherd Methodist Church. My mom came along as she and I are in search of Father Tim (one would need to read the Mitford series to understand, and one certainly should read the Mitford series. ) Father Tim is Episcopalian but nonetheless, it makes sense to us.
Are you waiting anxiously for my review of the Methodists?
It was an absolutely lovely experience. I'd be planning on returning next week if I weren't working. The people had such a sweet spirit from the little ones to the elderly. Without pomp or gimmicks we sang hymns to the accompaniment of a single piano played beautifully. The words to God of Wonders sung by their choir were crisp and clear, each one ringing with the awe of his glory. The sermon was encouraging, Let there be light...the first words of God. And something that a larger church just can't do? Answered prayers shared by the congregation one by one and then requests brought before the church for prayer; offered on the spot. On the back of the bulletin, a list of those needing prayer as well as those in the military and shut in.
I sincerely hope that no one interprets this sharing of my spiritual journey as an attempt to persuade anyone to turn away from one church or toward another. This blog has always been a transparent view into my life and heart and this is another chapter. I've been hesitant to take this step knowing that there are those in the charismatic movement who will be disapproving and possibly pass judgement on my heart. I've spent a good part of the day wondering if it is appropriate to share my experiences.
As always when considering how much of my life to share, I have examined my motives. More than once I've deleted posts that were self-serving or attention-seeking. My motive now is to be unashamed. Leaving church this morning, I had a sense of rightness that I have not felt in church in a long long time. It was not that I had found a right church or that I have been in wrong ones. It was that I have realized that God has created me to be more of some things and less of others than I have been. If there is a value for you in this realization, it is that you were not stamped from a mold any more than I was. If you suspect there is something quite wonderful beneath the surface of you, find and nurture it.
This afternoon I spent a brief time in prayer, again double-checking myself. Can I really be someone who doesn't attend a charismatic church? God, is that...ok? God, what denomination am I? Am I Lutheran? Pentecostal? Methodist?
Do you want to guess the answer?

I am, it seems, simply a sheep.


Pat said...

I spoke to God with the same prayer when I got home also. Just who am I?In which denomination do I belong? Answer? You are mine - where ever you worship me.
It truly was a good morning, very different from our lifelong form of worship, but good. Such peace and presence of the Lord filled that Chapel.

Margie said...

I understand why you were hesitant but I don't think that attending and loving one church doesn't mean that you're putting down another. We were all created differently but, can worship as one.

If someone might be offended, I'd wonder more about their motives, than your own. Currently attending both a big church and a small one, I love them both for different reasons.

Diane said...

I love your heart! So open, so pure, so filled with the love and grace of God!

As you said, we are all unique and God isn't disappointed in us when we discover that 'uniqueness' and become comfortable in who He created us to be. It doesn't matter what denomination we are, they were all man-made anyway. The first centure church wouldn't recognize the 21st century church.

Some respond better to large groups and a very charismatic environment; others do better in a small group with a less interactive musical program and more interactive worship time. Neither is wrong and neither is right; whatever suits your needs best is right. As Dolly Parton's character says in Steel Magnolias "God don't care where you go to church just as long as you show up"!

Praying for you as you continue your journey of spiritual awareness. God walks with you and I love you! (Well, so does He!)

Many hugs...........


Sara said...

Thanks girls! Actually, my "concern" was not the size but the denomination of church. Love you all a bushel & a peck!

Trish said...

As long as you see Jesus and souls are being saved, it doesn't matter what door you walk through on Sunday mornings. It's walking through those doors that matters...
I love you!

Trish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trish said...

By that I mean that you are taking steps to find your place of worship. And after being raised in a Baptist Church, there have been times that I miss the quiet.
But God is good...we have been singing some old Hymns in church.
Yesterday morning we sang "Power in the Blood!" Awesome...
It's not where you Worship...It's that we don't turn our foot away from the Sabbath. Isaiah 58
(Pastor Frank's sermon yesterday.)