Sunday, April 23, 2017

Forgetting to Remember

"What are you guys doing here?" I heard my son's voice and saw him looking down from the SUV beside us a few weeks ago.  Well, we were actually getting something inside the store for his daughter's birthday! "We'll see you there soon," he called as they went on to the party location. 

We didn't see their car as we pulled up, so we waited patiently, then decided to go in. We were sitting on a bench by the door when the hostess asked,  "Would you like a booth?" to which I replied, "No, we're waiting for family."

After a few minutes I said to Howard, "They did say Pizza Inn, didn't they?" He said he thought so, so we settled down to wait. Just then the phone rang. 

"Where are you guys?" Our son queried. 

"We're at Pizza Inn!" I exclaimed. "Where are you?"  Then I heard him say, "We're at Pizza  Hut! I told you!"

After I insisted he'd said Pizza Inn, we drove the short distance to Pizza Hut.  We found them waiting to cut the cake with several others around the table for our granddaughter's 8th birthday celebration. Later I looked at my phone and found the text that did indeed say Pizza Hut!

I've got to quit speed-reading and scanning print! Twice recently we showed up for church events that I was sure were on particular nights, only to find we were the only ones there! Although I get the church bulletin, they often get misplaced or don't make it home with me!

The aforementioned incidents pale in comparison to scenarios the past couple of days. Our visit to son Mark's home in Austin was expanded to include visiting son Jamie's family in Houston.  The guys met halfway to alleviate the distance to transfer their parents, the procedure being repeated when we would go back to Mark's to catch the train. 

"We have extra time," Jamie said as we prepared to meet Mark at Brenham, to which I said, "Well, we could visit the Blue Bell creamery near there." Little Isaac heard us mention ice cream, and he was excited.  I was enjoying the scenery and the puffy white clouds floating past the car window when a horrible thought hit me.

"I made a mistake!" I announced ominously from the back seat. "I left my phone plugged into Jamie's wall!"

"Well, we won't be getting ice cream," our son announced as he resolutely turned the car around, prompting a little voice to protest, "I want ice cream!" It's a good thing we left early, I thought. Isaac's daddy consoled his son by promising ice cream at the Dairy Queen where we would meet up with Mark for lunch.

Up bright and early getting our things together to catch the train the next morning, I discovered we had left medical equipment of Howard's at Jamie's! Jamie would have to mail it!  Thankfully, it was nothing urgent. 

We were almost to the train station, even a little early, when Mark's phone rang with the news that I had left my computer! How could that be? I remembered packing it in its special carrying bag! We turned around to go to meet grandson Grant who would relay the computer to us. But as time was running short, Mark called Grant to squelch those plans, as we might not get to the train on time.

Mark said he could mail the computer, but just then the phone rang with Grant saying he would meet us with it at the train station!  Miraculously, he made it  just in time to hand the computer bag out the window. I knew I had put it in the bag! "It was sitting on the chair!" Grant exclaimed.

We sat down on the train with a sigh of relief. We had made it, with the help of our  family who had loaded and carried our luggage back and forth numerous times. And just 3 hours until we would meet son Trevor, who would take us out to eat during our Ft. Worth layover, after which grandson Adam would meet us in Oklahoma to drive us home! Thank you, God, who works things out when we mess up, and thank You for dutiful, caring loved ones who help when we forget!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

He is Risen!

"We're having the children's bell choir again, since the Summers Six were not here earlier," our son Mark announced laughingly as the children lined up in front of the congregation. I laughed, too, since he is the eldest of our six kids. Turns out this family's name is spelled Sommers, but the coincidence is amazing. We had four boys and 2 girls, while they had four girls and 2 boys!

Mark drew his sermon from I Corinthians 15:13-14, where Paul puts forth the dichotomy of what it would be like if there is no resurrection. "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been  raised, our preaching is dead, and so is your faith."

"Why then have Easter?" Pastor Mark asked, "Why drag everyone from bed, get the kids ready, look for lost  shoes, and go to all the trouble?" (Later, he laughed again, after learning that was indeed the case when the Sommers family was late because of their small son's missing shoe!)

His father and I do not often get to hear our son preach, and we were bursting with parental pride and gratefulness to God at his eloquent and heartfelt message. Our spirits agreed with the several people who greeted us after church with nothing but fervent appreciation and love for their pastor and his wife.

And it's no wonder, as what we saw from them that morning was nothing short of amazing. The church is a satellite church from a larger campus that for the past year has been using the facilities of an elementary school for services. This entails literally taking a church from a box (truck) and setting it up every Sunday morning!  Teams of dedicated members busily and efficiently set up chairs in the cafeteria-turned-sanctuary, partition off children's classes and a nursery, place musical instruments on the platform, and dozens of other feats, including turning it back into a lunchroom, unfolding tables to leave it as they found it!

"Please stay on the canvas when we take communion," Mark advised. It seems the school doesn't appreciate any grape juice dripped on the carpet. "Just receive the elements there and return to your seats," he instructed. A large canvas had been taped down at the back of the room for that purpose.

Although the Last Supper was the scene of the first communion, now known as Maundy Thursday, and Jesus died on Good  Friday and rose on Easter Sunday, we took the bread and juice in remembrance that morning, being careful not to spill the representation of the blood, which was spilled so freely for us at Calvary. 

As Paul said in I Corinthians 15:20, "But Christ has indeed been  raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." He is risen!