Dan recently decided that we were driving too far to church. We live not far from a little town -- and there are several churches in the town... why not try something closer. You know -- don't you -- that gas prices are very high. So -- we started our search.
First thing we had to do was tell the people we were leaving -- that we were leaving. That's always very hard to do. So I asked people to pray... "If this is God's will -- help us to find some place closer -- or to lower the gas prices." Right? We serve a mighty God -- he can handle the gas prices if He wants to.
Well -- the gas prices haven't lowered any -- and we think we have found a place.
It is Faith Baptist Church in Knoxville -- about a 13 minute drive from our home.
The pastor and his wife are very nice. He is actually a very good preacher. I like listening to him. He hands out a note sheet every service -- and I usually can keep up. Sometimes I struggle when my 12yo or 8yo get lost and need my direction. Then while keeping the 4yo and 5yo busy -- distracted -- quiet -- sitting still.... I do OK. Praise the Lord for the note sheet.
Sunday mornings we get all the kiddos to their classes. Wayne goes to the nursery. So far so good... we only had 1 crying session -- and it didn't last long. Dani and Milo get to share a Sunday School class. This is nice because they work together on learning their memory verse. Right now -- it's about being kind. What a great subject for 4 and 5yos. Very appropriate! Mansel loves his class. He hit right off with the boys in his class. I'm not sure there are any girls. Oh he loves it! Then Tori -- there are 6 kids in her class. She is old enough that she gets home work to do during the week. That is excellent. They use Regular Baptist Press materials. Great stuff. So each morning -- she'll add that in with her devotions. Nice!! Her mind is like a sponge... she memorizes her verses so quickly. Makes me jealous! I'm struggling with their school verse. I'm trying to keep up with that.
During the morning services they have a Children's Church up the grades 3. So Tori, Dan and I sit together.
Sunday nights the 2yo and the 4yo can go to the nursery, then the rest of us sit in the service together. I like this -- the first Sunday of the month -- they celebrate the Lord's Supper. Fantastic. This makes it very special. One time the pastor toned it down a bit and educated the children on why we were doing this and what we were doing. Great educational tool. Each evening after the 1st Sunday of the month service - we have a fellowship time. Hooray -- you know my kiddos love that. This church has a lot of ground, so they run, and run, and run. I've seen soccer balls flying... footballs tumbling... bug biting! Ha ha... now that the cold has set in -- there wont' be as much of that... but they'll still be running. There is a hill there -- I wonder if they sled in the winter. We'll have to find out.
Wednesdays are set aside for a time of prayer for the adults. The pastor mentioned that the Bible says we are to be a house of prayer! GREAT -- the church is so biblical -- it's awesome. They do A.C.T.S... Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. We have been reading 1 chapter out of the Bible, then do A.C.T.S. from that chapter. This is all done corporately... not individually. For the supplication we divide up into small groups -- men with men, and women with women and pray. Cry out to God. I have gotten acquainted with several ladies while praying with them. I really like it. Dan has gone once, and he got to pray with the pastor. NICE! And the next week he was sick.
While the adults are praying the kids have a children's service down stairs with the pastor's wife. She gives HOMEWORK. Another memory verse and things to do. Usually they involve prayer, some pencil or coloring activities. More neat stuff.
Another neat thing they do -- which will happen this month -- is... Every time there is a 5th Sunday, we will have a potluck after the morning service, then have an afternoon service and not "evening" activities will be planned. We can go home as a family and do family things. It happens about 4 times a year. I hope Dan plans something extra special those nights. What a great idea... don't you think?
They support 1 of the same missionary families. I was reading a magazine that I found in the church entry way and there was the John Leonard family in that magazine. I met that family at Grace Baptist church. So -- there are a lot of similarities between the 2 churches. Faith is smaller than Grace -- but I think we can handle that. It will require us to serve more. There is nothing wrong with that. (If you ask me!)
We already knew one of the families that attended. BUT the neat thing about that was -- very time we tried the church -- they were gone. Vacation, or family camp. But we weren't dependent on them to feel welcome. The strangers we met were very friendly and godly people.
I'm so glad God has met our need of finding a church that was closer where we could worship with fellow believers.
Little Dani - who is 4 now - doesn't get it yet. She'll put on a new dress and say, "Oh, I can't wait to show Clara." Well - Clara goes to Grace... now we'll be showing Emma at Faith Baptist Church. She'll get it after a while.
What I love about this day of age is the electronics -- I'm still able to e-mail my Grace friends... lots have called, one has even come over!! So I'm not losing many friends. I'm about to gain a bunch more. And I can't wait!
Thank you God for leading us to Faith!