_______________________

Sunday, October 30, 2005


sunday joy


If you'd asked me to create a perfect Sunday, I would have tried to assemble all the ingredients that have gone into this day. But the fact is, perfect days can't be ordered, assembled or fabricated. They're gifts, and the best you can do, when you find yourself in the middle of that gift, is to look up and say "Thank you."

Before I could even reach the front door this morning, Paula (of Tony and Paula) greeted me me with a hug and a smile and grande mocha. She does that sometimes, just because she thinks I'd like a mocha during church. I like the way Paula thinks.

Once I stepped into the lobby, Mark and Taryn greeted me and handed me a bulletin. Something about those two always makes me happy. Don't ask me to explain. I've given up trying to trace it down to something understandable. I just like them a bunch.

Said hello to Tony, and Jon (of Fran and Jon), and John Watson. Hugged Elaina. Got a hug from Chris Underwood. Asked Cora about her sniffles. Had a nice conversation with Bonita, who had been a pastor's wife herself before losing her husband in a plane accident several years ago. She is a sweet, gentle woman with beautiful, soft brown eyes. She asked about my recent pastors' wife conference. "Did you have a good time?"

"I did. It was wonderful."

She smiled. "We were praying you'd be refreshed." ("We" being Bonita and her new husband of six months, John). It blessed me tremendously to think of this woman asking God to refill me. Only another pastor's wife would know how much that was needed.

After talking with Bonita, I met a new couple, saw a couple I hadn't seen in awhile, and indulged in a few quick heart-to-hearts to straighten up a few must-straighten issues. Those are private, so you'll just have to wonder.

Worship began, and as it did, every difficult moment of the past week slipped away. I loved the fact that my husband and brother-in-law (who are both crazy-good singers) were back on the worship team; loved the way Elaina and Tarri harmonized; loved the set Corey picked out; loved the words to Brett Williams' song, Hideaway:

The arms of God are open waiting
Everlasting, loving saving
Underneath me when I fall
Outstretched every time I call
The arms of God are always near
They hold me high above my fear
This is where I want to stay
My hideaway

When I feel God's arms around me
Healing, rest and peace surround me
My weakness only brings to light
The arms of God, such strength and might
The arms of God will always be
Open, waiting here for me
This is where I want to stay
My hideaway

Men: My hideaway (Women: You are my rest)
My hideaway (You are my home)
My hideaway (Safe in Your arms)
You're my hideaway (My hideaway)


When you sing words like that--words that remind you God is near and good and strong, and ready to hold you just as soon as you're ready to be held--it patches the little cracks your heart gathered through the week. It soothes your hurts and fills your lungs and clears your vision. You remember what matters--and you remember that He won't be long in coming for you.

Dave's message was wonderful. He taught on the first half of John, chapter two, and he began by pointing out that the first miracle of Jesus happened at a wedding. As Dave sees it, there's an awesome significance to that. He thinks it's to remind us that Jesus came to find a Bride. We're that Bride--all we imperfect, fumbling beings who continually fall and and are continually restored. He came for us. I was humbled anew at that thought.

Dave had so many great insights into that half-a-chapter that my Bible now contains a new series of scribbles, stars and arrows on that second page of John. I almost couldn't write fast enough to keep up with all that wisdom. Tonight I want to go back and try to decipher my notes, and ponder all those new thoughts.

After church, more fellowship happened. More hugs were exchanged. Laughter punctuated a dozen clusters of conversation. A cup of coffee was spilled on the gym floor; three people helped to clean it. Plans were made for lunch, and dinner, and paintball. A borrowed book was returned. My nephew, Nathan, ran in with a basketball. A trio of boys chased each other around our legs in a game of tag. The men stacked the chairs, Laurie and her helpers walked around offering trays of leftover muffins ("Please take these home!"). And in the end, we stragglers escorted each other to our cars.

I'll see some on Tuesday night, when we gather for women's ministry, and some Wednesday night, when we'll meet to study the book of Ruth. Four of us will meet for prayer on Thursday.

But it was still hard to say good bye. I sure do love the Bride of Christ.

I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, "Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one ..." Song of Solomon 5:2 (NKJV)

Labels: ,

11 Comment:

At 10/30/2005 5:41 PM, Blogger Darlene had this to say ...

Wow, great day. I especially like that Dave was so inspiring with the word. That must feel wonderful when a day comes together so beautifully.

 
At 10/30/2005 8:58 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess had this to say ...

I had a day almost exactly like this, too. I ADORE Sundays. Singing, praising, learning, teaching, praising, living in worship of my Beloved. Amen.

 
At 10/31/2005 7:00 AM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Darlene, I can't even describe what a great teacher Dave is. It's the oddest thing, but when I'm sitting there in the front row scribbling notes and nodding my head and crying, I don't think of Dave as my husband. He's just my pastor then, and the best I've had. :)

Hello Gina! So glad you had a similarly wonderful day. :)

 
At 10/31/2005 10:10 AM, Blogger Nancy had this to say ...

Shannon,

I think Dave is a great also! He isn't my brother in-law, he is my teacher and pastor! I don't normally write notes, but yesterday I found myself jotting things down in the too skinny margins of my bible.

When are we getting together again? Movie, dinner, just chatting?

 
At 10/31/2005 10:55 AM, Blogger steve had this to say ...

love Sundays... I LOVE SUNDAYS!!!

 
At 10/31/2005 12:07 PM, Blogger Bill and Glory had this to say ...

This sounds so much like our church, we even sang the same song during worship!

Sadly, I remember a time not long ago when I really struggled with going to church (not OUR church, another one). Those were such difficult times and I do thank God for setting us free!

Isn't God's family wonderful?

 
At 11/01/2005 2:35 PM, Blogger Lauren had this to say ...

Days like that really are a blessing. I'm glad you had such a meaning-filled Sabbath. I love those days when the God's scent just lingers among His people--it makes me really long for home.

Thank you for putting the profound simplicity of your weekend into words for the rest of us to read.

In His Grip,
Lauren <><

 
At 11/04/2005 10:11 AM, Blogger Dionna Sanchez had this to say ...

I love the picture and name of your blog. It speaks to my heart! Stunning.

 
At 11/11/2005 7:55 AM, Blogger Alicia had this to say ...

Thank you for your wondeful writings! They always warm my heart, I too love the Bride!

 
At 10/14/2007 7:46 PM, Anonymous jo had this to say ...

hi, i'm jo from harvest christian fellowship here in the philippines. we are also under calvary chapel. :)
i was browsing through the net for the lyrics of the song "hideaway" and chanced upon your site. :)
i just want to say that i was blessed with your post about 'sunday joy'. for me, every sunday is perfect because i get to see my brothers and sisters in Christ whom i love very much. I can very much relate to what you said about trying to understand and know why you feel happy seeing someone, but i guess the only explanation i can say is that we love them. :)

we just sang this song in church last sunday and this is what it did to me when I meditated on the words,
it patches the little cracks your heart gathered through the week.

 
At 10/14/2007 7:59 PM, Anonymous jo had this to say ...

hi, i'm jo from harvest christian fellowship here in the philippines. we are also under calvary chapel. :)
i was browsing through the net for the lyrics of the song "hideaway" and chanced upon your site. :)
i just want to say that i was blessed with your post about 'the perfect sunday'. for me, every sunday is perfect because i get to see my brothers and sisters in Christ whom i love very much. I can very much relate to what you said about trying to understand and know why you feel happy seeing someone, but i guess the only explanation i can say is that we love them. :) it's so nice to be able to follow God's command to love one another! ^^
Thank you so much for your post. :)
God bless you, your family, and your ministry.
Press on!

oops. sorry for the earlier post. clicked 'ok' by mistake! :S

 

Post a Comment


Thank you for your kind, loving comment. Um ... you were kind and loving, weren't you?

Back to the home page...