To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Monday, October 31, 2011

Well, That Was Fast

But it was a much needed weekend. Last week was full of the abundance of God's provision but I'm glad things are lightening up a bit. One of my favorite passages lately has been 2 Corinthians 4, and last week verse eight was in my head a lot.
We are afflicted in ever way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair.
It was a hard week with various trials of various levels of discomfort but God's mercy was even more present.
We celebrated Rob's birthday Saturday with a yummy dinner and a chocolate cake made from a new recipe. You make it with ice cream which seems weird because you bake it but everyone enjoyed it.

Abby made Rob the sweetest cards. He's not overly sentimental but this one I think will be kept. I also have to agree with her that the sermon series on Ephesians was exceptional and taught me a lot.

His favorite part is the drawing she made of him on the inside of the card. Each week at the end of our worship service Rob will bless the congregation and then say, "Go in peace, the LORD be with you" and the congregation responds with, "And also with you."   It really is a beautiful part of our service.

My favorite part of out service lately though has been his pastoral prayer after the sermon. He prays for the church universal and local church bodies. And not just churches like ours (as if there are many Baptist churches that partake in communion each week or have a formal liturgy :-) but all kinds of churches and denominations. It's wonderful as a way to be reminded that we are connected to others outside of that room...that we have other brothers and sisters. He prays specifically for needs within our body, for area ministries and gives us a moment to pray for someone who is on our own hearts. That prayer time ends with us all joining him in singing the Lord's prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.