I truly did not realize until I looked in the “post archives” that it has been almost a month since I posted anything! Does that say anything about the craziness of the last month? I hope so . . .
Scott, Tanya and Matthew moved in, together with 90-lb. Lab Vader, and 2 grown kitties. Making a house reasonably safe for a busy, crawling (almost walking) baby is a challenge when the house is basically a construction zone!
Katie (Nate’s wife) moved in as well, and stayed with us while Nate was in Asia on a mission trip. He was gone October 21 through November 2.
To update on the “construction zone” comment, the kitchen is almost done! There is just some trim work left to do, but the vinyl is installed, the walls are drywalled, mudded and painted, all the appliances work, and all the cabinets are installed. I so appreciate having a place to cook, and a sink with running water.
The “laundry room” (aka the former orange and black half-bath) is almost complete. Some trim work needs to be done, and the bi-fold doors installed, but the appliances are running (we really needed a washer/dryer with the increase in population) and Tod has even installed a small countertop as well as shelves. It is very usable, and, nostalgically I suppose, the walls are still orange . . .
Church-wise. . .
On October 10 we moved to our new location at Tomahawk Creek Middle School. We have access to the auditorium (no more need to set up chairs) and have the entire cafeteria for the VillageKids.
In the midst of all the construction and adding new home-dwellers, we prepared and sent out a mass mailing (29,606 postcards) for Village’s new sermon series that began October 31. There were boxes and boxes of postcards in the living room and dining room. There were postal “carrier boxes” that had to be assembled in order to ensure that many people were invited to hear the gospel and be a part of the church in the Midlothian area. Last week we had 101 people attending; this past Sunday, November 7, 117 people attended Village. That is the highest attendance we have ever had in the 13 months of Village!
Tod and I started a small group just about a month ago, and we already have 10 regular attenders, with 3-4 coming off and on. We expect to be adding more members (and quite possibly a second group) with this sudden jump in attendance. Each Wednesday we squeeze everyone around our table (thank you, Lord for a large dining room!) to eat supper, and then discuss the previous Sunday’s sermon. The regulars are beginning to connect as family. One of Tod’s “assignments” is to ask each week, “who did you meet this Sunday?” That simple question has prompted an outreach mindset; the people are deliberately noticing the visitor, the newer person, and making a point to make them feel welcome, and invite them to our community group.
I have been asked to lead a women’s group that is starting on Saturday mornings. We are studying, “Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days,” by Kay Arthur. Just three of us met this past Saturday, but these women are excited to invite their friends and encourage them to come, even though the holiday season is quickly approaching. We will evaluate at the end of December, to see if Saturday morning is a good time (there are so many working women here, and we want them to attend a community group during the week as well). Prayers for wisdom and discernment are appreciated. We KNOW that Village Church needs to be a praying church. Village was birthed by much prayer; it will only grow and be the agent of transformation by prayer. This is God’s church.
And then, on a personal note . . .
I have been dealing with some significant “health challenges” in this past month (I know, what else is new?) but these are more challenging than normal. This week, in fact, is a week of more tests, xrays, ultrasounds, myelograms. I want to fuss that “I don’t have time for this!” but then I remember a question I often ask others, as well as myself, “does God have the right to interrupt my life?” The answer must be yes . . .
I’ve been spending some serious meditation time on 2 Corinthians 1 during the past month.
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters,* about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
Suffering has a purpose.
Suffering brings perspective.
Suffering produces compassionate comfort.
Suffering develops dependence on God alone, and not on ourselves.
The goal of comfort is to proclaim the gospel.
Prayer is essential.
Thank you so much for your part in our ministry. We love you deeply.