We have lived in Tennessee for six weeks now. Alex, Jack, Max and Bella have spent the last few weeks with my parents in Illinois. They are having a great time and I am glad that they have this time with my parents, grandparents and extended family but I miss them a lot. I will be glad to give them big hugs when they return this week.
Jenny and I have had a very stressful schedule of morning cardio/weight training and afternoon pool lounging… I know, I know it is rough but someone needs to do it.
We have also met some wonderful new friends. One couple invited us to go to a Salvation Army church in Nashville. I was not sure what to expect as the area (east Nashville) was described as a ” bad neighborhood”. We arrived right on time and were greeted by some of the most colorful and friendly people. As a side note, I certainly have a greater sympathy for people who visit a church for the first time, it is scary. The “service” was like nothing I had ever attended. The format was based on I Corinthians 14:26 which says:
“Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.”
The seats were in a semi circle in the chapel so that some people were behind you, some beside you and some across from you. One person had a guitar and a base drum and lead in some pretty amazing singing (this is Nashville after all, everyone is amazingly talented). Once the singing was through the ” pastor” explained the format (I Corinthians 14:26) and lead us in prayer about how the rest of the service should go and then sat down. It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced! Everything flowed together wonderfully. Several people spoke including me. Additionally, a couple who were missionaries to China for many years spoke directly to Jenny and I about our move and the purpose of the move. It was like they had been listening to our conversations and had the answers to our questions. It was one of the most authentic experiences of my Christian life.
It was also very encouraging to see what the group is doing for their community in East Nashville. I noticed many small children outside after we had met and was sad to hear that these 5 and 6 year old children wander the streets unsupervised. They come to the Salvation Army for free food and kind people. I was thankful that these people were not only interested in getting what they needed (spiritual growth, etc) but took I Corinthians 14:26 seriously when it said “everything that is done must strengthen ALL of you.” The Berry Street Salvation Army may not be our permanent church home but it holds a special place in our hearts and it is a place that I want my kids to spend some time.
For those curious about the job thing… Not much has happened there. I had given God a deadline (I will pause here for your laughter) of July 1. That came and went with no significant activity. I did have an interview for a supervisor position with a local company but it quickly became apparent to myself and the interviewer that this job was not for me. However, they did have another position that may be more challenging and I have interviewed for it as well.
I say ” not much has happened” regarding the job front, but that is not quite true. One thing that has happened is that I feel as though I have let the fear and concern about provision for my family go and I now have a peace about it that is not contrived. Those of you who know me well know that that is nothing short of a miracle.