Monday, February 22, 2010

Role Reversal--February 21, 2010

Woke up at 9:06 A.M.  Went down and grabbed some quick breakfast...they closed up at 9:00!

We had rain and thunderstorms on the way.  No flying today. 

But I did do something that has seemed out of my grasp for the past several weeks...I went to church.  I did the painful Google search for a church...and it brought up what seemed like 100.  And each had a different name...if not a different denomination.  I HATE THAT.  Well, most didn't have times listed, so I simply grabbed the keys and headed out.

I was going to church today!

I drove all around...passing by the HUGE Pentecostal church right off the interstate...definitely tens of millions invested in the mammoth structure.  It's crazy big.  I passed.  I got off the interstate in North Little Rock and drove and drove.  I couldn't find any churches!!!  I drove some more.  I just took road after road.  Nothin'.  So I drove some more.  I was frustrated beyond belief.  Here I was READY to go to church...and I couldn't even find one.  Agh.

Well, I drove through a neighborhood...and I passed one on the right.  There were only a few cars outside...and I didn't want to be bombarded with the new visitor attack.  So I kept going.  And in a few blocks, I came upon another church...with loads of cars outside.  It was a simple older church, but it seemed packed inside.  Something was going on in here!

I got out of the car and was instantly greeted by a very strapping older black man in a fancy suit...he was stepping outside his BMW.  Frankly, the car looked out of place...the church just didn't seem the type.  He was awful nice, though.  I walked inside and was greeted by a couple more people...even shaking hands with the pastor!  So far, so good.

I was pointed in the direction of the service, and I walked inside.  You have got to be kidding me!!!  I was simply stunned...I didn't know what I was expecting, but it was NOT what I saw.  I walked into the back...and it took all of about 2.3 seconds to realize that I was the ONLY white person in a group of more than 100.  ha!  Frankly, it didn't really bother first.  It was only several minutes later in the service where I started to wonder what they were thinking about me.  Why was I here?  Why now?  Did they have the "race card" on their minds, too?  Was I wrong to have it on mine?!  Silly thoughts.  But real enough.

Well, I just took it all in.  From the VERY passionate singing (I'll never forget how the MEN sang along with the whole church...we "white folk" would be wise to learn from that!) to the focus on prayer to the passionate preaching.  It was certainly not just sitting in the pew.  It was a fresh change.  I know each church has its weaknesses, but I was just refreshed by a church that seemed to be on the right path.  I also liked how during the specific prayer time, they brought out 19 chairs.  Yup, 19 chairs in the front of the room.  For each request, a member was asked to "sit in" for that specific prayer request.  I thought that was pretty powerful...and important.  They were literally praying on the behalf of someone else...intercessant prayer...a command in Scripture.  It sure beats the quote "and all of the requests in the bulletin."  I've said that countless times.

The service was longer than what I was used to...I came in around 10:15...and didn't leave until 12:45.  But it was sure good.  It was encouraging, refreshing, and stimulating.  I didn't agree all with what the pastor terms of what he was taking out of a specific passage.  I feel like he was focusing on the secondary material...facts that were not the purpose of the writing.  But he ran with it nonetheless.

All in all, it was just good to be amongst believers again.  Even if I was the minority.

Actually, one of the men gave me money!  I, of course, I didn't need it, but he insisted.  I couldn't deny the man's generosity...that would be offensive.  I accepted it in gratitude.  What a kind gesture!

I drove back to the hotel where I picked Matt and Jensen up.  Then we headed out for lunch...we ate at a Greek diner.  It was good food...I wish I ate this stuff more!  I did find it interesting, though, that when I paid, I noticed a flyer for a teacher.  A teacher to teach Islam rules and the Q'uran.  It was a shock...though maybe it shouldn't be.  And my mind ran with how to respond to think.  I don't know how to live in a society where we are not separate from people with other beliefs.  But my thirst thought was, "I just supported Muslims!"  And then I thought that I do that every day in just about every other encounter in life.  No, no, not Muslims.  But non-believers!  Almost every transaction I make is probably supporting people who do not follow God.  It was just a couple of quick thoughts, but that's how my mind responded.  Interesting.  But it just didn't settle right with me that I was supporting someone who was going to be teaching Islam to his kids...and other people.  And my country.  And...I don't know.  It happens all the time.  But this just hit me the wrong way.

From there, we went to Barnes and Noble where we spent about an hour.  I grabbed a book on personal finance.

But I ended up losing money today!  Even on Sunday!  I had Mom and Dad look at a couch and chair for me today...and they bought it!  And while there, they found out a TV was also being sold.  I bought that, too!  I paid $400 for all three today.  Yikes!  Having a house is crazy expensive!  And every transaction I make is more money that I can't invest!!!  It's killing me!!!

But the couch did look nice in my house.  Mom sent a picture!  :)

Jensen and I went out for Chinese for supper...a bad idea.  I really need to NOT eat that stuff ever again.

I watched the Olympics tonight...and went to bed at 12:30 A.M.!

I won't be flying tomorrow.  Clouds are forecast to be at 1500 feet.  I'll scout, but that's about it.

I did get word today, though, that I'll be heading to Branson, Missouri, next.  We have a HUGE project there...and five of us will be based out of there for four to six weeks.  I started looking at cabins and other places to stay.  If I'm goin' to be there that long, I might as well get out of a hotel.

C'mon, Little Rock.  Let go of me.  I have work to do...

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