Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Five: "Auld Lang Syne Version"

Singing Owl brings us this RGBP's Singing Friday Five; It is hard to believe, but 2007 is about to be history, and this is our last Friday Five of the year.
With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007.
These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember.

Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us. Or more particularly, you.

Oh my, I got to remember back that far and through all those events?
1. This is actually in answer to the Bonus Question; At the beginning of the year I went to a week long Prayer Retreat with other ministers in my conference. I felt led by God to go to this. I have always believed in prayer, but wasn't sure about how this was going to work and how one could pray for a week. We did though and it was a very powerful time that stayed with me throughout the year. The hope was to break down some of the barriers and differences in our conference and I believe it did. I know that God was with me then, and with me all year long. The prayer retreat is being offered again this year, and I plan to go to it if I am able. (If you want to read my posts about the 07 Prayer Retreat, then you can read Prayer Summit, Day One, and Day Two)

2. Funniest moment was trying to Baptise a child in the Baptist Baptismal. At least I didn't drown anyone doing it. I have got to get some of my own waders if I am going to keep using the Baptist Baptismals or ponds or lakes or creeks or rivers.
The funniest moments though for me are at our Supper Table. We just have a good time together eating, talking, listening to the kids tell their stories, and getting tickled with each other. And to me these are also God moments.

3, Sad moment was the death and funeral for my Grandfather, P. T. Carlisle, although we called Pop. He lived to a ripe old age of 101. He had a profound impact on me. He had a sense of humor that wouldn't stop. He also had some thing that kept him alive and going through all the losses, dissapointments, tragedies in his life. I will really miss him.

4. Festival of Homiletics stands out to me as one of the highlights of this year. I got to be with my RGBP's friends, friends from this conference and got to hear some of the Rock Star Preachers. It is just an awesome experience all the way around.

5. The other highlight has been vacation times in the moutains with my family. Although the first night on Sugar Mountain I thought was our last night. The wind blew so hard we thought we were goners. But it is always nice to spend some relaxing fun time with them. To take them to see some of the beauty of the mountains. To do some hiking with them now that they are older. But I got to tell you they love the swimming the best and the NASCAR Fun Park. I like the mountains and the Tenn. Aquarium. But most of all I like being with them.

6. But if you asked me about other highlights, I would say how this little church inspite of the number of deaths and aging people have been willing to try to do some new things in their ministry to this community, the world and been willing to listen to and follow God. I honestly think that the Evil One has tried very hard to keep them from being the church God wants them to be, but I see that there are enough of the faithful here to turn their hearts and minds to God and let God be at work in them. I don't think the Evil One will succeed. If you have ever been in this battle you know it is a difficult one, but one where God is actually doing battle. When I read and watch Harry Potter in his battles with the Dark Lord, I think of this battle. This church has started the NCD process and have continued in it, even though like all the other churches they had to take a hard look at their weakness. But they also found out they have strengths, strengths that God can use to help them work on their weakness. This church has started Angel Food Ministries, which is a servant ministry and does take a lot of people being involved in it, and they have gotten involved. In the last children's activities they have hosted they have made it a priority to have good PR so that the community knows about it and will come. They had a successful yard sale to raise money to upgrade our facilities for the disabled, work which will begin in Jan. They even built a new playground to show the community we love children and are open to them. I see God at work here, people of faith at work here, and it is hopeful.

7. But you know I am going to write this, the best highlights are the every day things that happen with family and friends. Enough said!

12 comments:

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

What a memorable year you have had. Enjoyed reading about it.

Mary Beth said...

You are a joy to me, Abi!

pastornines said...

Thanks Rev Abi! What a wonderful testament! Sometimes it's hard loving our folks - but then, they surprise us. Gene Peterson claims we need to keep remembering that all of us are sinners together. Then, our expectations won't get out of line, and we will find hearts to rejoice in the many ways our churchfolk answer God's call instead of focusing on how often we miss the boat. Thanks - and happy New Year!

Sally said...

I love that you see the chatter of a supper table as God moments- they surely are.

revhipchick said...

beautiful post Rev Abi!

i can only imagine how fun your dinner conversations are!

love and blessings!

Muthah+ said...

Abi, If you thought a week a prayer as a long time, try a 30 day retreat. Thirty days of silence for this extrovert was an amazing fete. I am glad that even UMC folks get into retreats. I try to make one each year.

Singing Owl said...

That was great, Abi! I went back and read the baptism post...heh heh heh....

Barbara B. said...

Memorable year indeed! And I agree about "the best highlights are the every day things that happen with family and friends" Well said!

Rev SS said...

Ah, thank you for this. Love reading about the Sat nite dinners.

I resonate with the experience of The Evil One trying to keep the church from renewal and life ... That adversary is still winning in too many places, one of which I had to leave behind. Blessings for more growth and health in '08.

mompriest said...

Abi, what a year. I have so enjoyed reading about it, the ups and the downs. You have been a blessing to me. May 2008 be filled with lots of life and laughter.

RevDrKate said...

This was such a wonderful post. What a full year. I love your ability to see blessings and presence in all things.

Diane said...

it has been good to meet you in 2007 and blessings on your 08! and prayers for your little church!