Beauty for Ashes

Remember last week’s post?  I wrote that any time I was invited and thought about attending a service it seemed that the universe was plotting against me?  Saturday was nothing new.  I’d been invited to a ladies’ retreat that ran from nine until three.  I woke up after nine, but I needed the rest, so I wasn’t really worried about the extra sleep.  I had a list of things to get done before I went, and that ended up taking longer because I sat around with coffee too long.  After a quick shower, though, I was on my way.  I figured I’d arrive during the lunch break since it seemed like a logical time to avoid interrupting.  Before heading to the church, I took out the trash and stopped at the store for some necessities.

While in the store, I ran into someone, and we started chatting.  Time escaped, as it does, and I noted it was after one while I was in the checkout line.  I drove up the block to the church anyway and pulled into a parking space right in front of the door.  That rarely happens, and I took note of it.  It was, again, chilly, but I dragged my carcass out of the car anyway.

The pastor’s mother-in-law was the guest speaker, and her message was from the book of Isaiah.  She noted the multiples of three in his message.  I’d never realized that before.  At the end of the meeting, we ladies were given a rose for ourselves and a rose to share.  I brought mine home to my Bela.  They serve as a lovely reminder that all women are beautiful.


The Spirit is Willing…

…but the flesh is weak.  Believe me because I know all about it!

I was invited to Sunday’s service because of a special guest from Chile.  The invite was days before, so I had time to decide and plan.  I set Sunday’s alarm for 8:30 so I’d have plenty of time if I wanted to go to Sunday school at ten or the service at eleven.  I got up, had coffee, checked email and everything else online.

I was undecided about going to church until almost 9:30, but then I managed to take my shower and get dressed.  You know how it goes—every reason NOT to go crops up in a matter of minutes.  The wind was vicious and cold.  I hate to walk into a meeting that’s already in progress.  I don’t know what to wear.  I’m tired.  I could read a book instead.  I took all of those excuses as a sign I probably should just go.  I warmed up the car and drove to the church.

I pulled in at about 10:40.  I knew it was class time, so I waited for ten minutes.  The wind was still nasty, and I was still cold, but I dragged myself out of the car anyway.

I finally got the sanctuary door open and was welcomed inside.  They had coffee and bread set up for everyone.  Jim was an interesting speaker who spoke about Chile and the work his ministry does there.  They focus on children being raised by single moms or grannies.  He takes food to the homes if needed and tells them about the love of Jesus.  Since Chile is a Spanish-speaking country, I expected to chat with him in Spanish later, and I did.  He also shared that he had encountered a deaf child, so the team members were learning sign language.  My friends know I speak Spanish and have studied sign language as well.

Teams are welcome to come and help with construction and more.  That might be our next trip.