GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH
I felt a faint butterfly tickle in my belly a few weeks ago. "Hmmmmm, is that the hiccup of a tiny new life?" I called my OB/GYN to schedule an appointment. Within a matter of days, I was sitting on the chilly exam table of a tiny room at the Women's Clinic.
"Exciting news!" the doctor beamed. "You're pregnant!"
"Really?" My mouth fell open in stunned disbelief. "You're kidding!"
The doctor laughed and nodded. "Absolutely positive!"
It took me a few minutes to process this startling bit of information. "I had no idea....I mean, I really didn't think....this can't be possible!" I fumbled for words while my doctor stood grinning like a monkey. "Well," I inhaled deeply, "Any idea of a due date?"
The doctor flashed an impish grin and pointed to a calendar hanging on the wall. "Next week!"
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Okay, okay, everbody calm down! Truth be told, this forty-something-year-old is closer to dementia than to giving birth. The above illustration is simply to give you an idea of the remarkable development of a Reformed church plant in our area. Less than two months ago, God very suddenly drew together a community of believers committed to the authority of Scripture and to proclaiming the sovereignty of God and His salvation of His people by grace alone. Grace Community Church is currently meeting in an unused Jewish community center (doesn't God have a delightful sense of humor?); and, for many of us, we are still amazed by the working of God's providence in forming and building this new body. In mid-September, a small handful of saints gathered to discuss the possibility of forming a Reformed church plant in the Obion County area. In less than a week from that first meeting, we had secured a place to meet and were having our first worship service. (Did I mention how suddenly this all happened?) God has provided a strong core of about a dozen committed Christian men to oversee this fledgling church, including four ordained pastors. He has added new faces to our assembly each week, to the point that we are already outgrowing our present meeting space. Members are excited by the doctrines of grace, and are eager to read, study, and discuss Scripture together. We have been meeting now for six weeks, and are overjoyed and astounded at the work God is doing from week to week among us. Soli Deo Gloria!
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EXTREME BIBLE DRILL
On Wednesday nights at Grace Community, I have the delight of working with eight (more this next week?!) very enthusiastic, wiggly 6-9-year-olds. Using Bibles loaned to us by First Presbyterian Church, Dyersburg, we have a kind of home-made Bible Drill every week, and are learning the books of the Bible, the location of key passages (ie., Where do you find the Ten Commandments?), and memory verses. In the short time that we've been meeting, we have learned the names and locations of the books of the Bible from Genesis to the Song of Solomon. A favorite study method with the class is reciting the names of the books as we take turns skipping rope. Last week, one of the young boys suggested we recite them while we did push-ups - I suppose that seemed a more manly approach to our study! Anyway, everyone sprawled in the floor and began doing push-ups. "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, ...." For those of you who don't know, I am in my mid-40's, overweight, and have given birth to seven children. Yes, I DID do twenty-two push-ups on the hard linoleum, thank you very much, although I must admit that I was puffing pretty hard by the time I finally gasped out "...Song of Solomon!" By Thursday evening, my arms were so sore that I couldn't even lift them over my head. (Okay, Dalton, why don't we try jumping jacks next week?)
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PAPAL BULLS, INDULGENCES, AND TRANSUBSTANTIATION...
(For complete lyrics, Google The Reformation Polka, by Paul Gebel.)
Brothers and sisters from Grace Community and FPC Dyersburg, along with a few neighbors from our rural community, joined us here at Kendallville for the annual Reformation Party this past Wednesday evening. About a hundred folks celebrated with fellowship, music, games, good food, and a bonfire that was probably visible from space. Some of my favorite highlights: the caramel apple eating contest (Oh, I'm sorry, were those caramel onions? Shame on you, Gaye Lynn!); watching Julie and Melissa compete in the banana race (Yes, ladies, we have this on video!); singing I'll Fly Away, with Mr. Ed and Billy playing guitars; and visiting with old friends and new friends while getting toasty around the fire. Several people thought the traditional singing of The Reformation Polka would've been more fun - more authentic? - if we'd had steins of German beer on hand. Maybe next year....
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AND IN OTHER NEWS...
I am enjoying the mild weather we've had this past week. Monday's freeze has brought the color out in the trees around our hay-field yard, but the grass is still emerald green. Gorgeous contrast. Ben's beautiful Rhode Island Reds are giving us 15+ eggs a day now. Ben supplies the family egg demand, and sells or gifts away the rest. That's a nice chunk out of our grocery bill - thanks, Ben! Nate harvested his first deer of the season last Saturday ("Looks like meat's back on the menu!"), and is pleased to have a jumpstart on the trapping season with two prime coyote pelts in the deep freeze. Martha has successfully put a saddle on Little John - he was perfectly acquiescent and didn't protest an iota. I tell you, that horse is in love with his girl! Thomas seems to be pulling out of the moody teen thing, and has been a hard, cheerful, willing worker of late. He has such a fun personality and often has the entire family in stitches. He and his brothers fired a blackpowder, Civil War-era replica pistol this afternoon, and now he wants to try out the blackpowder rifle - the ghost of Daniel Boone walks! Helen has been busy in her room all afternoon working on Christmas presents for her siblings (I think Martha has been teaching her how to knit.) She and Martha have also been practicing cosmetology on one another - we've seen some wild hairdos over the past couple of days! Reuben, Emily, and Dennis are plugging their way through fall semester classes at UTM, and we are counting down the weeks until winter break with them. Reuben is sacked out on the couch at present, catching up on some much-needed sleep....guess that means he studies really hard during the week, right?! Well, I've been officially notified that my husband and children are in danger of starving to death any minute, so I'd better post and head to the kitchen. Hope I'll be back before another month slips by!