Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Place to Worship

This morning Josh and I visited Clifton Baptist Church for Sunday School and morning worship. We had attended there for prayer meeting Wednesday night, and were eager to see what a Sunday service would be like.

The Lord knew that I needed this time of worship. This morning I felt a little emotionally sore, like I'd had a good workout, mostly probably from saying goodbye to James and Christen yesterday. As I fell asleep last night, I was overcome with thoughts of "aloneness" in my anxiety over the distance between us and my family, the Taylors, and others we've recently parted from. Weeping as I fell asleep, I dreamed very active dreams of running 2 book clubs at the Blue Kangaroo at the same time (it seemed so real! The Dudiches were there!). So this morning, as I stretched the muscles of my heart, I felt a bit sore, and was in need of time spent with Jesus.

I was refreshed with the vertical focus of both Sunday School and the morning service, the music and prayer. The bulletin is nearly a book that contains all the info about the service, including songs, scripture reading, etc. The Lord spoke to me through His word, and in song.

  • We sang "To God be the Glory", directing my focus upward.
  • A woman read Psalm 139, which spoke straight to my heart. Tears came to my eyes as we read "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my path and my lying down" (how dare I think I am alone as I lie down?) "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it."
  • Immediately following, we had silent prayer for private confession of sin, an aspect of the service I have rarely seen, but really appreciated.
  • Following that, we sang "O Wondrous Love" a song I did not know, but I was in awe over the words! The 3rd verse has these words: "I'm resting in the everlasting arms, in the ever faithful heart, the Shepherd of my life. . . You overwhelm my days with good, Your wondrous love will never let me go."
How precious it is when you so clearly see the Lord meet you in your spirit's need! We were also encouraged because the people were so friendly to us. Even though we are just another set of seminary students, we really sensed that they wanted us there in that church. We are praying about where the Lord would direct us to attend, and we will probably check out another church this evening, but in the meantime, it is blessed to know the Immutable God I worship can be easily found, and is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth.


Anonymous said...

Oh Wondrous Love is my FAVORITE song- so beautiful!!!! "Oh Wondrous LOVE that will not let me go..."
I will make Dave sing it for me tonight!

I am glad you had a good morning...and that people were friendly to you!

Anonymous said...

Hey Gret! The peer pressure worked...I have a blog.

Sounds like it would be hard to beat that church! I know you guys will end up exactly where the Lord wants you, but it's neat that you could be renewed that way your first visit!

Did you have a good time with James and Christen?

Anonymous said...


I told Kevin you guys visited Clifton and he was very excited about that. :)

Gretchen said...

Sara, I should have known you would know that song! It is really pretty. I hope I get a chance to sing it again, so that I can learn it better.

Mandy -- WOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!! I am so excited that you are on here! Now, don't be like Johanna and never post again. (Just kidding Miss Johannis)! Yes, we had such a blast with James and Christen. They took us to the Cheesecake factory -- YUM! Of course, we were sad for them to go, but obviously they needed to be getting home to their kiddos.

Kell -- Oh yeah, Josh talked to him on Wednesday or Thursday. And we had gone there Wed. night. Wish he was here! We are going to try to hook up with Jason Erb and Andrea sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Gretchen, that song is on a Steve Pettit CD that we have---I love it! That is so cool that they sang it in the service.
I pray you guys will be able to "settle in" soon...I know how hard it is to start anew! Love ya!

brittany said...

Sooooo, tonight, after church, JoJo comes running into the auditorium w/ his pants and underwear around his knees, looking for his mom! (He needed help pulling them back up and Brenda, who's chasing him, wasn't a good enough choice, I guess!)

mitchells2000 said...

Gretchen -
I also have that Steve Pettit CD with O Wondrous Love on it, if you want to borrow it for a while. Just give me a call and I'll get it to you.

You know how you were telling me about seeing Josh Waltz? Well, I found another friend on my blog from over 15 years ago (you may have seen her comments), and she actually attends the church in Canton, MI, where Josh is the youth pastor. I found that out on Saturday... kinda weird that all of that would come together within 2 days!

Setrn said...

thanks for sharing your church visit. What a challenge to find a new home church. Also, thanks for the analogy about working out sore spiritual muscles. We are praying for you.

grammy said...

i'm really going to enjoy your blog since i can't see your face for awhile. you two are very special to our family. love and prayers. grammy fran reese

Gretchen said...

Sarah, I did not realize it was such a commonly known song. I am a little bit out of the musical loop. Josh knows more worship songs than I do, but we usually find one we like and listen to it FOREVER and thus don't get super exposed to a wide variety.

Brit -- NO WAY!!!! HA HA HA! That poor kid is going to have to live with that for the rest of his life!

Heather, sure, I like the Pettit team!

San, sounds like you guys had a great church visit yesterday too!

Grammy, thanks for keeping in touch. It is nice to know that people are reading!

megan said...

is that picture of christen taken at a cheesecake factory? the seats and the glasses look like it. just wondering ....

Gretchen said...

Meg, yes, that is at the Cheesecake factory. You are good! James and Christen treated us.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that church was such an encouragement. We have been praying that you would find the right place since church is such a major part of edification.

I love Psalm 139. Thanks for the reminder that we are NEVER alone.

I find myself trying not to think of all the goodbyes we have said and will continue to say. I think I have changed it to see you later! Either here or in heaven:)

Love and miss you!!!!