This weekend I was able to go visit my sister, her husband and two girls. It was so wonderful to see them and the fact that Suzannah is just over a week old and still has that newborn look was just an added incentive! She is so cute, tiny and precious, another reminder of God's amazing gift of life! What a blessing it was to cuddle with my two year-old niece, read books and play all the things two year-olds like to play!
I also had the chance to spend time with my sister, talking, baking, cooking and taking a walk. It's so nice to be able to do that. Gone are the days of our teen years and the fighting that we used to do! While there I made a yummy apple crisp recipe (gluten free, of course!) that turned out really great and was able to chat with my brother-in-law about life, church etc.
Speaking of church. I attended church with my sister and her family and since I have done that many times and have been to gathering with them I know many people that worship with them so it was great to see everyone there. Every couple of months their church does something really unique. They have a family emphasis day where they have the families fill out a prayer card and then at the end of the service they have a time of prayer where each person/family is given the opportunity to meet with a elder and his wife and be prayed over(using the information given on the card), the cards are kept by the pastor and prayed over many times throughout the year. It was so encouraging to see the family of believers pray for one another. It was also a sweet time of worship. I think I will have to give this idea to my pastors. What an amazing thing it would be to see all of the (many) families in my church being specifically prayed for in coporate worship. The pastor had a good message of being part of the family of God, which was a timely reminder for me to not try and do it all on my own, who I am apart of and why and how that came to be. It was also a good challenge to me of what I am doing within the family and how I can make the fmaily grow (i.e. witnessing).
After church we went to my bro-in-laws parents place for lunch and to watch the Packer game and then I headed home (with a detour to Stabucks and Target-but thats besides the point!) for Health care ministry.
To be honest, I didn't want to go tonight despite the message I heard tonight. I knew that once I got there I would be glad I went, it was just getting there that would be a push. I was tired(hence the stop at Starbucks) and wanted to rest in peace and quiet but I am glad I did not follow my selfish desires. As always HealthCare ministry with the teens is fun, challenging and encouraging. You may be wondering why this type of minsitry would be fun and encouraging since challenging is often the word used to describe it. Well, let me tell you, it is trully encouraging to see a group of teens set aside one Sunday a month, to set aside their schoolwork, plans or tv shows to minister to people who are often forgotten or unwanted in a society which is generally selfish and concerned only of the present rewards of life.
As we walk the halls, conversing with a generation forgotten and inviting them to church service we all learn so much. Many of the people there just want someone to listen to them and their many stories or to simply hold their hand. We take them to the meeting room, find them a place to sit or park their chair, give them a song book and start with prayer, reading scripture and singing songs. Oh, what a joy it is to see teens interacting with the residents. It makes me miss my grandparents, whom I was very close to, but also mindful of what part of the body of believers I can be and who they are in the body of believers. After the service we take each resident back to their rooms and say good-bye to them. Each night we know may be the last for one of these residents. We can only hope and pray that they took the Gospel message that they heard tonight to heart.
After Healthcare service we have the traditional trip to McDonald's. Not my personal choice in cuisine nor is it health or Celiac friendly but that is not the point! The point is fellowship and talking about the night of ministry we just had! I returned from a busy night to be a model patient for my sister to practice on. It was fun and she did a great job!
So, there you go, a recap of an eventful weekend in my life! It was a much needed balm for my soul to spend time with family, be reminded of the family of Christ and ministry as one in the family... May you experiance the family of believers in such a way that it renews, restores and encourages you.