I'm about to go into how much I love my church family. (This was initially written Wednesday morning, right after Bible study, but some trouble editing . . . )
But a quick thing about McCain/Palin: Aside from the fact that their names are John McCain and Sarah Palin, most of everything else I've heard them say is either misleading or outright lying.
Now. My church. I love it! I love my church family. I love the Spirit. I love the teaching. Don't get me wrong, it ain't perfect. "But if you're looking for a Christ-like Church, PGBS is were you can end your search!" In fact, right now I'm trying to find a way to get the young adult women going strong again as a collective group. But that's because of how much I love my church family and sisters.
I love my pastor and his family. Especially his wife. My pastor's wife is a dynamic woman. A spiritual force in her own right. I love her teaching, her encouragement. And once, before everyone became aware of the severity of my illness, I appreciated her admonishment to stop missing so much church. Her caring boldness is something I hope to emulate.
I love the assistant/children's pastor and his his family. Especially his wife. She has a humor that's kinda like mine. Very cutting. And she's apt to laugh at anything. I remember one of my visits to the emergency room at the hospital where she works. When she heard I was there, she came down and kept me company for a while. That's something I won't forget. Though, she keeps asking for stickies every though no one's given me any fried apples or the treats she makes every Christmas. (hint, hint)
I love the church secretary. I have a number of spiritual advisers but only one person who badger me about using my CPAP. She's both an adviser and a badgerer, and I love her for it.
Then, there's the other ladies of the church. Consider yourselves all included because I dare not go into names. They treat me as either a daughter, a sister, or a grandchild. I most especially love being spoiled as a grandchild. My grandmother died when I was 14, so now, anything approximating the affection and grace she had for me delights my heart.
And one lady especially encouraged my heart today. You'd have to be a strong Christian yourself to understand the exchange, so I can't go into much detail. But she believes as much as I do that I will change the world. She believes as I do, that "with Jesus on my side, things will work out fine."
And I have great respect for the men of the church. The deacons take their jobs seriously. The trustees and janitors and multimedia handlers all take the job seriously. And to them, I'm either a sister, a daughter, or a granddaughter. When it came time for a church remodel, most of it was done by the men themselves. Now, don't get it twisted. My church ain't some patriarchal haven of misogyny. I just appreciate when men do what the Bible says men 'posed ta do.
And let me not leave out the children. They treat me as a not-to-old adult. I can scold them, encourage them, and when necessary, get a piece of candy.
But, I guess what I love most about my church family is just the family for its own sake. "I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord." "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." And that's what I love so much about my church family. When any of us are together, like this morning's Bible study where maybe only 20 or 30 people show up; or just one or two church ladies, there's a spirit there of acceptance. Of love. Or togetherness. And I delight in it so.
By the way, today's Bible study lesson was basically about the prophesies and events surrounding Christ's entering Jerusalem on a donkey's colt - which, for all of you who accuse Jesus of encouraging stealing - had been prophesied long before Jesus was born. It was about Jesus's humility in coming in on a colt rather than a stallion. We covered a number of issues. "You just oughta been there."
But what I like best is even during the Wednesday evening Bible studies, as well as the morning studies, and Sunday schools, it's more of a discussion than a lecture. I learn not just from my pastor or assistant pastor; I learn from the lady sitting closer to the front, the gentleman sitting a few pews in front of me. I even, at times, get to share a little myself.
And I love it.
But you have to understand, I didn't grow up at Palmer Grove. I grew up at Ramseur Baptist, a church named after a school that was named after my great grandfather. I have lots of memories of Ramseur, both good and bad. I grew up with me and my cousins singing in the front row of the choir with my brother play the drums set up in front us. (And my aunts thumping us on the back when we cut out of line. I can still feel the dull pain.)
But, that's why I love Palmer Grove so much. I don't feel like I left family, I feel like I gained even more family. It helped that I had known most of the congregation since I was young, but leaving a church and joining another is not an easy thing to do (hint, hint Obama-haters). Palmer Grove gave me so much love from before I even officially joined the church, they made the transition easy.
That's all I got to say. But let me give a few shout outs to the church's secretary, my Sunday school teacher, and the lady who encouraged me so today. And Sis. Liz and Min Thurman, I love you all.