Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sundays in the South

Technically speaking, I do not have to blog today because Sundays are the free pass day of Lent.  I'm not sure I understand this logic since Lent is supposed to honor the 40 days Jesus spent preparing to die for our sins, and I don't recall reading anywhere that Jesus took Sundays off. I'm really liking the blogging anyway.  It makes me think about a wide variety of topics.  I probably come up with 3 - 4 things to write about for every single thing that makes its way to this blog. My mind just works that way.  Today's blog was an easy choice.  Today is Sunday, the Lord's Day.  I absolutely adore Sundays in the South. If you are not from the South, you may not understand why I had to differentiate that I love Sundays in the South and not just Sundays in general. If you are Southern though, you know that Sundays are about friends, family, rest, and most importantly, serving the Lord.

I attend a small church in Liberty.  I love the people there.  Church services begin at 10:30 a.m. I normally arrive around 10:25 a.m., so it is not like I have huge amounts of spare time to play with if I am running behind.  This morning, I was doing just that.  I forgot that it was daylight savings, so even though my clock said I had plenty of time, I did not. I rushed to get ready and leave the house only to realize that I was out of gas and needed to stop to refuel before church or risk not getting there.  I also needed a bag for a wedding shower to be held after church which I meant to get yesterday and never did.  I thought about not going at all since so many things were going wrong, but I went. I am so thankful because if I had stayed home, I would have missed a blessing. God was at RCBC this morning.

This is Steve McLane who is serving as the preacher during the interim period.  He preaches more like a Wesleyan than a good ole Baptist, but God is in him. This morning he led service using scripture from Matthew and his points were simple.  We think there has to be so much more to salvation than there is.  We feel we have to work for it, that we can somehow become worthy of it.  God does not deal with us based on our worth.  Did you get that?  God deals with us even though we could never be worthy of the sacrifice. Second, God doesn't charge us for His gifts.  They are freely given.  You could never afford the peace of God. I need this peace more than ever, and I just have to pray for it. It's free. Jesus paid for it on Calvary. He descended and snatched the keys from Satan before ascending to Heaven. "Jesus Christ ain't no wimp."  Steve did a colorful version of how he thought that went down with Jesus kicking open the door, slapping Satan, and taking the keys.  We are no longer in bondage because Jesus Christ died for our sins and was resurrected. Wow. I serve a powerful God. His final point was that we are to give to others.  Share what God has given you.  No one is talking money here.  God has given you a gift.  Use it. I'm so glad I showed up this morning.

Sundays in the South are also about family and friends.  Although Taylor was raised in RCBC, he changed churches as a youth to Red Hill where his best friend attends.  I am okay with this change.  He is under the word of God and is involved.  I love the people at Red Hill; I just feel God wants me at Rices Creek.  However, every Sunday, I meet Taylor and a huge group at Michaels Restaurant in Pickens for lunch.  Michaels in locaed on Main Street and serves a basic meat and three dinner.  The food is great! It's hilarious to sit at the table and listen to five different conversations that are going around around you.  It's a mixed group of school teachers, teenagers, a court reporter, and a retired highway patrol.  Everyone likes each other, so we can just laugh and catch up on what has been happening since last Sunday. My biological family gathers en masse about five times/year; this created family of friends gathers every week.  Nothing better than Southern food and laughter.

I normally try to grab a nap on Sundays as any good Baptist does.  Today, I couldn't because I had a review session for my AP US History class. I try to hold a review session every Sunday before each unit test. With AP classes, there simply isn't time to cover the material and review in the allotted time. We meet at the public library and review for about an hour. A third of my students were there today. Because it was sunny and beautiful outside, we reviewed on the picnic tables.  The girls hair got tangled by the wind and it was a little warm, but the fresh air did us all good. Good weather just makes Sundays in the South better.

Still no time for a nap because I had choir practice at 5 pm. I cannot sing.  I love to sing, but I cannot sing.  I can, however, talk so I am serving as the narrator for the Easter cantata.  Jared Roper (our music minister) does a great job of playing and singing every single part.  I never hear any difference but the real singers do.  I just smile until it is time to speak.  Speaking is easy.. singing is prettier though. God works at all times.  During rehearsal, Jared entioned that he had been reading the Bible through with his children every night and people are taught HUGE lessons that they then promptly forget until they are taught the same lesson again.  It was not the sermon; it was a simple conversation with people in the choir. I felt like it was God speaking to me though.

When Taylor was born, he was not breathing and he did not have a heartbeat.  His Apgar score was a 0.  For all intents and purposes, Taylor was dead.  However, he was revived, spent a long time in the hospital after I went home ~ well, I was discharged and went right back to the nursery where Taylor was ~, and recovered.  The doctors told us at one point to say goodbye and yet he made it.  Prayers surrounded him and he lived.  He has thrived.  God took care of him.

When Taylor was about seven, he had a lump in his neck.  The doctor ran tests. While I was sitting at my desk one day, the doctor called to tell me that he thought that Taylor had leukemia.  "If we get really lucky, it's a bad infection of his lymph nodes, but we need to discuss treatment options right now if it's not." To say that I was terrified is an understatement.  The only prayer I could even say was PLEASE.  I sobbed.  I finally called family and started them praying. It was an infection. God took care of Taylor.

Taylor is enlisting, and I am terrified.  I am terrified that he will be hurt, that he will move far away, that he will need me and I won't be there for him.  God has already proven to me that He will protect Taylor. I have to trust Him. If you think I made a lot out of a conversation that wasn't even directed at me, that perhaps it wasn't God the Almighty speaking to me to calm me, the sermon tonight was on following God's will.  We dampen the spirit of God by not following his will. See, God knows that sometimes I need to hear things a few times to get the point.  I am listening though.  God is in control, and Taylor will be fine.


  1. Thank you for this...I really needed it! You are blessing so many people through this blog. We serve an awesome God! He will take care of Taylor AND you!!!!!

  2. You are an awesome mom. I never knew those 2 pieces of info about Taylor. He is lucky to have you as a mom...of course that was not luck. It was designed that way! Thank you for being the person you are and all that you do for a LOT of people. You (we) touch lots of lives that we never know about...I love you!

  3. Thank you both! Taylor has been a blessing to me every single day.