April 06, 2011


I love church. I really do. Even just the words Sunday morning make me happy. Church is like... dark chocolate, very satisfying. I like church singing. Especially our church singing- everybody belts it out like there ain't no tomorrow. I like preaching. I like the fellowship. I like coffee break when we all stand around blabbing. I just plain like church. It's fun, and it's good, and it's needed.

Bro. Haveman's April meeting is like church overdose. All day, for two days.
I love it.
It's one of the highlights of the year.
If you didn't go, you missed out.
If you don't go next year, you're a retard. Plain and simple.

There's no way I can cram the whole two days into this post, but... I'm gonna try and cram as much as I can.

Know what I love best about the meeting?
The undercurrent.
There are these moments when the preacher will say something, or one of the songs really gets going, and you hear the sharp intake of breath from the entire congregation... waaait for it... there!... then you feel it. That undercurrent. It just ripples thru the church and pulls you along with it. It's the Holy Spirit and I like to feel Him moving around us. I know it's not all about feeling, but still.
It's wonderful.

I drove over to the meeting with the Hoovers and on the way we went by this sign that said, Next 13 miles watch for sheep on road.
I was like, Sheep???
And Mrs. Hoover was like, Wild sheep, Sunny. Not domestic. Like mountain goats.
So I was like, Right. Of course. Duh.
But... what I really want to know is, how did she know that I was picturing Little Bo Peep herding her innocent lambs across the highway, frantically trying to protect them from all the semi trucks on her way to Heidi's house? And all the little sheeps were rolling their eyes around in terror and Little Bo Peep was saying soothingly, It's okay. Mommy's here. I won't let anyone run over you. It's not that much farther to Heidi's, all the while adjusting her bonnet?
I've spent way too much time with the Hoovers... they know me way too well. It's like she read my mind.
(In my defense, I have never in my life seen wild sheep on the road, nor a sign that said to watch for them.) (... never seen tame sheep on the road either, but that's beside the point.)

Have you ever listened to about 200 people, crammed into one small building, singing the old, old hymns with all their hearts? There is nothing like it. *insert goosebumps* It's LOUD. I'm talking VERY LOUD. I love, love, love the singing at the April meeting. No band, just the piano being playing for all it's worth. No theatrics. No fuss. Just whole hearted singing with the intent to glorify God. And all those voices singing When We See Christ? Holy moly. I can hardly stand it, it's so wonderful. *insert me being thrilled* You can't get any better than that. You just can't. It's for real.

There was a lot of preaching. I lost count of how many preachers we got to hear.
And I don't take very good notes, I just write down what sticks out to me the most...

Bro. Bemis said, Write this down. Got your paper ready? I'm gonna talk about A Lump in Your Throat. He said sometimes it takes a lump in our throats to get us closer to God. Too bad that's what has to happen to get us to wake up and pay attention to how important God is. But getting closer to God is worth the lump in my throat.

Aubrey Kinkade. What an absolute dork! He had me in stitches. (He and his family sat behind us and his little boy shot Mrs. Hoover in the back of the head with a popgun. During prayer.) He said, when you're having a hard time with sincerity in prayer or Bible reading... try being thankful. Looking around and being thankful for what God's done for you has this way of putting things in perspective.

Terrence Calvin. I've never heard Bro. Calvin before Monday. Wow. He was great. I was glad Bro. Haveman had him preach twice. He went to 1 Kings 22:29-36, where the Syrians are going after the king of Israel and they get all confused and chase after Jehoshaphat instead. But there was this one dude that didn't chase after Jehoshaphat, he shot and killed the real king instead. With one shot. We have one shot... make it count. We only have one life to live for God, what are we going to do with it? It was such a great message.

Tim preached about going thru the valley and keeping on walking. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. We can keep on walking because He is with us and we can do all things thru Him which stregtheneth us. Tim also mentioned how great nightlights are because they keep you from stepping on legos and matchbox cars on your way to the bathroom during the night. And I just wondered, did he mean to say Barbies and princess wands? Because he has six little girls... and they don't even know what a matchbox car is.

Jason Murphy. Tim loves "Murf" and I can kinda see why. He's contagious. I mean his attitude is. He said, I'm going to tell you how to avoid a fatal mistake. Proverbs 10:17. One, make a commitment to keep God's standards. Two, Don't disregard warnings. And three, think about the consequences of what you're doing. Then he said that he can watch tv until he has one eyeball. So thru his entire message, I kept imagining what it would look like if his eyeballs kinda... merged... into one eyeball, with two pupils. I had a hard time concentrating after that.

Tim Shanks. He's one of my favs. He has a unique perspective on the Bible and he's funny. If he wanted, he could tell Brian Regan to move on over. I wanted to lay over on the pew and expire from laughing.

Here lies Sunny Jane Wood.
Dec 19, 1983 - April 5, 2011.
Died laughing while listening to Tim Shanks tell hunting stories.

He preached twice too. Once on Me First Christianity and then on how sometimes we have things in our lives that we wrap in grave clothes, put in the grave, and roll the stone over the opening. But God's not done with it yet. John 11:30-44. We give up too early and don't give God a chance to work with it. (Whatever the 'it' might be in your life.) So what are we gonna do? Leave the stone there? Or take it off and let God finish? That was such a great message too.

Bro. Bailey said, Look at me funny and I'll straighten your grill out. He preached too, but that was all I wrote down. That's what stuck out to me... the image of nice, quiet Bro. Bailey straightening anyone's grill out. I'm intrested in seeing that.

You know, they have these shirts that say, I'M A BIG DEAL IN NORTH DAKOTA.     -Spencer Baker
(You'd had to have been there.)
(I want one of those shirts. Only mine would say, I'M A BIG DEAL IN POST FALLS.)

If the white man/Indian war was to break out again, the results would be different. We'd upgrade our weapons.     -Terrence Calvin
(You'd had to have been there.)

Part two, coming to a town near you.     -Aubrey Kinkade
(You'd had to have been there. See how much you missed by not coming?)

I never PS a message, but this time I'm going to.     -Bro. Haveman

I never PS a message, but I'm going to this time. You don't mind do you?     -Bro. Haveman

I hate PS-ing a message, but you guys need it.     -Bro. Haveman

I'll stop with the preachers now. There were a lot more though and it was all good. Really good.

I got to see some old acquaintances. Naime, newlywed to Jason and sooo happy. Daniel Nottingham who looks exactly like he did when we were little kids, still sporting the same huge, non-stop grin. Connie, my dear friend.
Got to eat some good food. Thank you, ODBC ladies. You did a great job with all that. And I loved the center pieces on the tables. Who came up with that idea? They were awesome!
Got to fellowship with good people.
Got to sit smack dab in the center of the auditorium and soak up the... vibes? I don't know what to call it, but it was really good and I liked being in the center of it all. I liked being surrounded.
Got to realize all over again that being a Christian is the best thing ever and that you might sit next to a perfect stranger in church meetings, but they're not really strangers- they're family and you feel comfortable with them because you have that Bond, our Lord and Saviour, in common.

It was such a great two days. I'm so glad I was able to go and soak it up.
Thank you, ODBC, for having this meeting and putting so much work into it.
I can't wait for our church's October meeting and getting some more soaking.

I was glad when they said unto me,
Let us go into the house of the LORD.
-Psalm 122:1