Thursday, 10 October 2013
Because Amanda Asked: One Grad., Dinner.
My friend, Bec, did the decorations for this. The picture doesn't do it justice. It was soft & ethereal with little touches of humour. Beside the drink stand, for example was the verse, Come to me all who hunger & thirst... It looked so lovely. I was impressed ~ especially as I think red [a Rhema colour] is hard to work with.
I am so not the person to drag along to these things. I propped up a wall watching the passing parade of promiscuous hugging & kissing with bemused fascination, slow to realise I was meant to be a partaker, not just an observer.
I was not left alone long. Suzy, whom I don't know all that well, tottered over & we began a most fascinating conversation on science in the bible which led to a discussion of what NASA recorded. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork ~Psalm 19 Yeah, I know. Extreme Geekiness.
The meal, as I suspected was roast ~ pork or beef. Pork is waaay too rich & anyway the girl & I haven't been eating meat for some years now. Unfortunately just the smell makes me feel queasy these days. I am so much more suited to the Hippie/Pagan/Wicca lot ~ & I get on really well with them too! No; I am not apostate. Just sayin'.
I hadn't prepared anything to speak on because I had a general sort of idea to just talk about Church in the Park. After all, I only had 2 minutes ~ which was never going to be enough.
As we were sitting round these big round tables chatting over our meal someone teased that John & I had the Perfect Church. Now our lack of numbers is something of a sore point in some ways. The ways in which it is not are ....well, peculiar? I am not your regular run of the mill pastorish sort. However the phrase grabbed my imagination & so I used it as my springboard ~ & got my laugh for the evening.
Yes, it went well. I spoke of Gideon & how God sometimes leaves us with the least so that we know it is all of Him. I spoke of how God is planting His people & the spiritual groundswell I sense happening because this is what Rhema students train for: to be a part of the army of God. I can be funny & entertaining & I am so grateful for my training in theatre; which is an odd thing to say, but I am. It teaches you to Claim Your Space, so you don't come across as mousy & intimidated on stage. It teaches you how to project your voice & look as though you're engaging, & it teaches you how to hide your fear & be energised by your audience. All these things can be learnt but I am waaay too old a dog to be learning new tricks at this stage so having them already in my bag of tricks is just so liberating.
Then Tony spoke. Patsy is sweet & encouraging but for me Tony was hitting nails on the head, one after another: wham! Wham. Wham. He spoke about keeping integrity, not becoming competitive with other pastors, about obedience....all things John & I have been dealing with. It was such confirmation that we were dealing with things correctly. Such encouragement.
As I was running for my boat Tony stopped for a word with me, because, as he said, Church building is hard. I mentioned how our biggest problem was other pastors & he just said sadly, Yes we forget sometimes our greatest opposition is from the church itself. So true. So sad.
Patsy left me with one thought because in all honesty it had never once crossed my mind. I mean, so far as I was concerned, I rocked up to class & the whole thing was totally random: who is in class, who I sit next to, the gifts & callings they have on their lives. Nope, said Patsy. None of it is random. She is always fascinated to see who is called together any given year because God puts them together for His purposes. I know 2 of my seat mates, one from each year, have become my very good friends. And being my friend is no easy task because I come well armoured with a book!
An interesting evening that has produced food for thought ~ & I do so love food for thought. So much better than the other kind....