Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sparky and The Church

Everybody that knows me personally, knows that I am not a “church goer” anymore. I had many years hence given up on the earthly church. I have my own strong personal beliefs and am seeking God’s face in my own way and pace. Also, I don’t like crowds. I’m not the least bit shy, I just feel real guarded around people I'm not sure of. I imagine all kinds of horrible scenarios or mind numbing confrontations.

But, since the elections, I have felt a deep need to be with others that are like-minded in loving God.

This being 2008, I picked out a local church by "Googleing" it. I knew the church was there I just never paid attention to their teachings or the people inside. So, I read about their core beliefs, read about the pastor and perused his writings. “Ok, that one looks ‘safe’”, I said. Wouldn’t want to accidentally attend a snake handler church or something equally bizarre.

I do imagine some strange scenarios, don't I? I’m so distrusting (or maybe just disturbing .. lol). I've seen and experienced too many bad things. (Thanks Dad.)

So, courage in place, I picked out a Sunday to attend. Wore my nice togs, picked out a stylish outfit, styled my hair, dabbed on my nicest perfume. Well, just my luck, it was pouring rain that morning. Not a gentle “Gee, this is nice” rain. But a gully washer, frog strangler, can’t see 5 feet in front of you rain. “Oh great. So much for having a good hair day.” Already this was not going well and I kept wishing I’d stayed home.

There’s the church building in front of me. It looked imposing. Oh God, now there’s people coming up to greet me. I mentally check them for weapons. Here comes the constriction in my chest, the ringing in my ears as I tense.

But, hey, they’re nice but not overly nice (that can be disconcerting). They don't try to hug me or anything really disarming. There are no heads flying out of windows, no human sacrifices on the altar. It’s the typical church with the fake gold cross and plain jane ‘altar’ with adjoining pulpit. Pews were cushioned. That’s nice on the tooshy. Hope I don't doze off.

So far, so good. I breath a little easier. The constriction in my chest has eased and the ringing in my ears has subsided.

The church service started. The people were friendly, the songs fun and the sermon inspirational and short (take note here preachers, keep it short and you keep my attention). Before you knew it I was actually enjoying this place! I relaxed and smiled.

After the service, Sweetie and I got to stand around and talked to the minister. He asked how and why we chose this church, so, I related the event leading up to that point. He got really tickled and a bit puzzled when I related how I “Goggled” him and the church (I reassured him it wasn‘t anything bad). He was impressed by how much I already knew about his writings.

Then I thought I'd be brave and added, “Also, I was making sure y’all weren’t snake handlers.” I thought I’d get just the classic giggle and wave goodbye.

Without skipping a beat, the minister retorted, “Oh, we use those in the evening service!”

We all laughed so hard our sides hurt!

Well, this guy has just passed the first part of the Sparky Sez You’re OK Test.

As we were leaving, the minister also told us this joke I thought I'd share:

A guy goes to a new church. The service started when they locked the doors and got out a box of snakes.

Frightened, the man shouts, “Where’s the back door?”

“We don’t have one,” the preacher shouts back.

To which the man said, “Where would you like one ….!!!?”

I can‘t wait to see how next week goes! Stay tuned ... :o)
♥ ∞


The Texican said...

Very Interesting Sparky. I will be awaiting episode two. Pappy

Devoted said...

LOL, Sparky, you have made my day!

MuseSwings said...

Good for you, Sparkey! Checking things out is good and you may just like this one! I was away from church for 35 years. A friend invited me to a social gathering at hers a little more than 4 years ago. I had a very similar experience as you did and I have been there ever since - very involved and loving it.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Sparky, your story was so well written. I love our church, but could totally relate to some of your hesitations. Sounds like the pastor is down to earth and that is very important to me. They have a challenging job and need our prayers. I can't imagine being on display constantly and the wife also. I believe the Lord specially equips them. I also am anxious to hear about your next time.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Let me know when you are in Atlanta next time on one of your trips. You must stop and see me. I will get blue foot checked out tomorrow. Now it's getting kind of green and yellow too. Great look.

Carey's Corner said...

I'm glad you didn't encounter a den of vipers. Keep the snakebite kit handy just in case. Look forward to future episodes.

steviewren said...

I haven't attended church regularly in a couple of years. For too many reasons to list I left the church I had attended for 20 years. It was at the same time I divorced and all of my children slowly but surely went their own ways Long story short...I don't have the gumption to get to know new people alone. Most churches seem set up for pairs not singles...especially by mid-life.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Pappy ~ Oh my goodness, it took all my fuzzy little brain cells to write this one. Now the pressure is on for a Part Deux! LOL

Thank you Devoted. You are so sweet! :o)

Hi Muse ~ I do try to be a "Berean" in all things (check the Holy Scriptures first to be sure what is being taught is the truth). Yeah, I may have found a home. They're not Grace believers but I like the preacher's way of speaking. I'll give them a chance since they're willing to give me one.

Next time we're in Atlanta Nana Trish, we'll have to find a good restaurant to munch at. If you feed me, I'm happy! Yes, please take Blue Foot to the Doc and have that checked. I'm not a medical person but I don't like the sound of the color change.

Hi Carey ~ The snakebite kit is on Stand By, along with a sturdy Bowie knife. Hey, a country girl will survive. HA HA :o)

God bless y'all! ♥ ∞

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Boy, do I totally understand Steviewren. It's really not important to be a "church goer". Salvation comes from within not from without. I just felt a need to be with other like minded folks for awhile. I know going to Church has nothing to do with "serving God".
God bless! ♥ ∞

Linda said...

Well..if your ever in Tuscaloosa, AL. You will have to come to church with us. We have an awesome church! I so can relate to your fears. I am so glad you found a seemingly nice place to attend. Can't wait to hear more..Blessings

Rosezilla said...

Oh, to find a church that teaches the Bible! Ya wouldn't think that'd be too much to ask, would you? I grew up in a church that did, and married and began raising our children in it... but then we got kicked out because the new minister began preaching the health and wealth stuff and we questioned it, oh, so gently. We often "home church" - "where two or more are gathered..." Love the Berean reference.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Well, I had my rheumatologist appt. today and old blue foot is broken. You were right. I am a medical person and I just didn't want to deal with it until today. I'll be fine. I have a funny looking shoe and a wrap. I'll post on it this weekend. I'm too tired tonight. Later chick

Janeen said...

That is awesome Sparky! Having a church family is a wonderful thing but certainly not necessary to have that personal relationship with Jesus! It certainly makes the weekends more fun when you start making friends and you get to see them each week! I'll be praying for ya!