Monday, April 4, 2016

Sunday Reflections

By all accounts from friends the winds around here Saturday night were some of the worst in recent memory. Trees down throughout the area and patio furniture and toys blown into the next neighbor's yard.  A huge section of west Asheville went without power for an extended time, almost twenty four hours. Out here it felt like the house would be picked up. In the midst of that wind I was giving thanks that we had all those leaning trees and junk trees cut down in the back. The only thing we lost to the wind was part of a bird bath. Everything else stayed in place.

Sunday morning, the winds had calmed and the sun was brilliant. I let my time get away from me on Sunday morning and was just a tad late for church. Ann, a friend from Sunday School, and I walked together from the parking lot to inside. While I waited for her to gather her things out of the car I stood there on the rise and listened to the familiar sound of a piano playing hymns and the richness of those hymns wafting up from the church to the rise where I stood. It took me back for just a second of childhood memories attending church. Of course there weren't any hills for the music to rise upon back then but walking the hallways, getting to your classroom, was filled with each department lifting up songs that morning. Thinking back some departments had better pianists than others but it all sounded beautiful to me back then, just like it sounded to me yesterday morning.

We had a full Sunday School class. We are now in the book of Joshua and yesterday we studied when the walls of Jericho came a tumbling down. We reviewed chapter 2 where the spies are hanging out at Rahab's home on the wall...almost always she is referred to as Rahab the harlot. I could not help but think during the lesson, these secret spies for the Lord were scouting out Jericho for Joshua, finding intel on the city for battle plans, for the land to be defeated and they are at Rahab's? Were they just taking a break? I know that commentaries say that this kind of place would be the best for camouflage in the city. No one would question strangers in the night going to her house. One thing I found kind of funny while looking at different articles and commentaries on this passage was one man's take on the whole thing. He wrote, well, it is obvious why the men might have been there at Rahabs, all that pressure from spying but also they wanted to go the problem here is that Rahab lied to the king's men about the two strangers. Was it right for her to lie? She should have been punished for lying! But he regretfully concluded that the Lord used her and she is found in the lineage of Jesus....but he again wanted it duly noted, Rahab lied. Good grief man! It is kind of funny thinking back once again to childhood and Sunday School lessons. We learned about Rahab the harlot and Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, the woman with the issue of blood, the virgin Mary...all those titles and as children we have no clue what those titles mean or at least we didn't back in the day. For years I thought Virgin was Mary's first name and Mary was her last name when learning the Christmas story.

In the service the choir sang We Shall Rise, a favorite of mine from choir in the Gerald Ray days. Our pastor resumed his series on Ephesians, just taking a two week break for Palm Sunday and Easter. It was a good message but I loved that he said on a little bunny trail he took, pastors should not be so busy personally endorsing candidates. No, they should be endorsing and preaching the Gospel. It reminded me of something John Bisagno said. He didn't endorse candidates because what if at some time they say or do something that he couldn't endorse. His choice was best kept personal because of his sphere of influence.

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon around here. I tried to take a nap but my family didn't seem to think I needed one. So, instead I tried to find the next book off the TBR pile and I opted to go with a local author's. Three pages in, the brother in the story had already maimed two animals, a kitten and a puppy. Nope, cannot read this book. I don't think I like where it will take me. So, it is on the stack of books to the used bookstore pile.

Sunday evening as I was taking the garbage down to the road and then leaving for choir, I think I saw my new neighbor that bought the house and acreage above us. Nice looking, probably in his late 50's and his dog is really beautiful. When I got home from choir the lights were on in the house and the gates were open to his land. The people that lived there before hardly ever opened their gates except for coming and going. Hope the new neighbors turn out to be friendlier than the previous ones.

The day awaits, there are errands to be run and temps in the 70's to be enjoyed. By the end of the week we are supposed to have two nights of a hard freeze and maybe even some snow showers.

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