Sunday, May 27, 2012

27th May 2012

Some days we really do get hot and tired… but not too grumpy! Not today anyway. Yes it’s been another scorcher, too hot and sunny to spend much time outdoors anyway. Sunburn just isn’t part of the plan for any holiday of mine, much as I enjoy being outdoors. But this week is the first time my knees have seen daylight this year so that’s good, even if they almost instantly began to turn a little red. I feel really relaxed and it’s great being able to sit outdoors of an evening, I’m convinced the Lord is changing me as I spend this time with him. I almost feel happy. Though if I’m not careful I begin to sense a little guilt at even saying that… aren’t I still a grieving widower? Maybe God is truly doing a new work in me and he’ll enable me to begin to move on. I’d love to see that happen! I know I keep saying it, but the message needs to be received by my heart, not just my head; Jane’s doing fine in heaven, she’s moving on quite nicely thankyou very much. Now it’s my turn.

It’s been an interesting day actually, starting with a walk into Deal when I decided to attend a church I’ve never been to before. It turns out today is Pentecost Sunday; I had no idea as I’ve not been raised in the sort of church which remembers dates in that way. And it was a very unusual meeting as they talked of the birth of the church, even choosing to sing Happy Birthday to one another. I didn’t quite tune into that one I have to say and I’m not really sure about the message either. But when the preacher revealed a large electric fan to illustrate his point on the wind of the Holy Spirit I felt much more connected. A lovely cool breeze across the pews was most welcome! Nonetheless I was full of admiration for how this quite elderly congregation accommodated and encouraged a group of folk from a local residential home. Yes, maybe a couple of dozen had very obvious mental health problems with very few inhibitions. I loved it. Every church should have a few folk prepared to engage in a running commentary with the meeting leader, at least in a polite and encouraging way as most were. Almost Pentecostal I reckon. But it did feel a little strange though having one person literally growling, quite loudly from the back, and the elderly guy in front of me continually talked to himself. Half way through the message he stood up just a few rows from the front and continued his muttering. An attendant carer spent a long time trying to persuade him to move to the back of the room though he wasn’t very happy about that. Don’t blame him I suppose as there was a crying baby back there! Any church that cannot welcome those who for whatever reason are different from the norm should shut up shop and close down I say. A well-presented and orderly preach is always going to be of secondary importance to caring for the needy. Hey, of course I include babies as well; every forward looking church should welcome them.

Psalm 69:33 ‘For the Lord hears the cries of the needy’ (NLT)

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