Monday, November 21, 2016

I Love Sundays II



I'm a bad pastor's wife/church member and always neglect to make myself a name tag, but if I had made a name tag and written something I was thankful for on it, "Sundays" would have been high on my list of choices. Right now I am thankful for so many things, so maybe I'll write again on Wednesday and tell you more about that.
These cheerful faces often greet me and everyone else who arrives.
UMass and Amherst College each have the entire week off, so the student crowd was a bit smaller than usual this Sunday.  Lots of former members were there, though, because of a wedding the night before.  It was a fun reunion weekend.
Cindy (our worship leader) was at church, but it was also her due date with baby #2, so she recruited others to lead...
 ...including a beautiful young lady who helped her mom lead the worship band. Gwyneth was born with spina bifida, but she's beating all the odds for her condition. Her parents regularly testify to God's healing and provision in her life. She did a GREAT job on vocals and violin.
 Robert's sermon was on...the rod. (Yikes!) But it's difficult to preach a sermon series on Proverbs and not mention it. It was the grand finale of weeks of potentially controversial sermons. The sex sermon was a month ago. Then it was the godly manhood sermon from Proverbs 31:1-9, and last week it was a godly womanhood sermon from Proverbs 31:10-31.

I stayed home for that one.

It's not that I don't love Proverbs 31. I do. It's just that so many don't, and the possible reactions have come to make me nervous over the years.  Plus, somehow I always wind up being mentioned by my hubby in those sermons, which makes me even more uncomfortable.
 So yesterday's sermon was on God's discipline in general and parent's discipline of children specifically, including spanking. Faith is not my top spiritual gift, and so I'm pretty sure I said something to Robert as he was walking out the door for church like this: "Babe, I'm pretty sure spanking is illegal in Massachusetts."

"And?" was his response.
As usual, he did a GREAT job with a very uncomfortable topic. The kids sitting in front of me kept looking over at their mom and dad and giving them big smiles and knowing looks. Later their mom and dad let Robert know how encouraging the sermon was.  The kids then brought Robert all of these drawings after the service.

(Pretty sure that's a cow jumping over the moon in the Nativity scene.)

Want the links to those crazy controversial sermons?  Here ya go:

(This one was preached by Chris Gow, a 2016 Amherst College graduate/football player, who decided to return to Amherst with his new wife, Katie - a UT grad, and serve on staff with Intervarsity there. Really incredibly delivered sermon by such a young man!  We are so thankful to have them in as ministry partners in this town!) 



 Amanda and Kevin got married on Saturday afternoon, and it was such a fun celebration and reunion of lots of old friends and church members who now live in Boston. People regularly leave this area, which is one thing we grieve in this church.  Everyone eventually graduates and moves to Boston, or New York, or Philadelphia, or D.C.  So sad, but to be a "sending church" of sorts is good, I suppose.

Gigantic Jenga and regular table-sized Jenga were the activities while we waited for the bride and groom to take their pictures.
Robert and Gabe set the wedding record at 23 blocks high. It was a nail biter!
Last Sunday's lunch and small group was a bit challenging without countertops. We are slowly renovating the kitchen, and the granite installers cut this piece wrong, so we had to wait over a week for them to come back with the proper piece. Cookie sheets across the future granite backsplashes were the makeshift serving space for corn chowder and sausage-kale soup two Sundays ago.
This Sunday's lunch had a brand new and even larger space from which to serve - black "leather" granite.  Not shiny and slick like typical granite.  I love it.

The tile backsplash went in this morning and things are beginning to come together!
Here's a peek:

A Mexican-themed lunch yesterday...


 And we finished up John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life over the last two Sundays...
 ...with drawings portraying the integration of faith and work...


 ...and discussions regarding the call upon everyone believers life to be a missionary in one capacity or another.

There's always one last stack of dishes...
After everyone left, these two stopped by. Brian washed every dish left over from small group that wouldn't fit in the dishwasher (there were a lot!) while Molly and I caught up over warm drinks at the dining room table. These two, who became dear friends while they were students, moved to Philadelphia after they got married in April.  See what I mean?  Everyone leaves us. Sigh...
It's always such a joy to be with them. Lots of laughter. Lots of love. They brought Robert coffee and me tea - tea that's good and soothing to the tummy.

(And speaking of tummies, I am feeling SO much better!  So many of you reached out to me over the candida issue, and I was so encouraged. It was a relief to know you have been through this exact issue or similar ones, or just to hear that you cared and were praying.  Thank you!)
After they left, I put on my pjs and drank some of that delicious tummy tea - ginger, licorice, and turmeric - and dreamed about my new tile backsplash while watching an episode of Blue Bloods with Kayla and Robert - our favorite these days.

I'm thankful for Sundays - overflowing with worship, the Word, friends, and fellow believers - even pjs, hot tea, kitchen upgrades, and Tom Selleck. ;-)


P.S. MY boys are BOTH coming home from college tonight to spend the week, and I can hardly wait!

I'll see you Wednesday, so I can tell you what I'm thankful for and how it all relates to them and to Psalm 144.

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

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