It's 3:55am and I haven't slept yet. I read, but that didn't help. I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to stay awake and make it to church because I'll be dragging like crazy. Please, Lord, let me be able to go to church because I would have to miss it and be disappointed and upset!!
Well, if you can work on your memory issues the way you say you can, then that's great. I'm glad that most of my problems were a result of medication. It would be hard for me to have memory issues all of the time.
Yes, I have a lot of wish lists on Amazon. Categories: Fiction, NonFiction, Christian, Jewish, Kindle, Reserve at the library, my Grandma, and a wish list for each of my five nieces and nephews. It makes it really easy for me that way. We are having a tougher time buying gifts for family, so they will get what we can afford. And I've not really been able to buy hardly any books for the past year. I'm glad I can get lots of books through my library.
Speaking of, have you read The Chronicles of Narnia? They are awesome books and are probably the books I've reread the most. I watched the Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time based on Madeleine L'Engle's book. The movie was made in 2003, but it was made for TV, so the special effects were really bad. I need to go back and read that book and the whole set. There are five books altogether and I think I've only read two of them. If we can, we want to get the set for Abigail for Christmas. We have a set of books we are thinking about getting for Joce that is called The Critter Club. She is a freak about insects, animals, and sea creatures - most especially dolphins, then sharks and sea turtles. For land animals, she is a cheetah freak. She has a lot of cheetah patterned clothes that she wears to school practically every day. I've never seen such a passionate child in my life! She is COMpassionate as well and I know both of these girls will grow up to do great things! Anyway, both the Chronicles of Narnia and the Wrinkle in Time series are allegories about God - kind of like Pilgrim's Progress and Hannah Hurnard's Hind's Feet on High Places. I need to reread Hannah's book because i haven't read it in a long time. Pilgrim's Progress is boring to me, but I really should read it. Have you heard of or read any of these books? Oh, and I do ILL when I need to. Sarah, who does the teen program at our local library where I volunteer, is in charge of ILL and just loves her job. She and I are good friends, so I never have a problem asking her for something.
I went to the library today to pick up my books and Patty's books. I haven't seen Amy in maybe three weeks and she said it looked like I'd lost more weight. So, I came home and weighed myself and I'm back to where I had been like two months ago. Maybe our scale was wonky the day I weighed myself.
My favorite puzzles. I like word searches, crostics, anagram magic squares, flower power, escalaters, quote fall, alphabet soup, syllacrostic, crypto-families, letter boxes, code word, brick by brick. There are some scattered in between these that are so simple it's crazy. Then there are the hard ones like logic problems or simon says. Simon says is simply about following directions so that by the time you get to the last direction you should have a short quote that makes sense, but I never even come close! Sometimes I do crossword puzzles, but I have to be in the mood for those.
Oh, I saw an eaglet poop today! Gross, huh? I barely watched the eagles today. When I had the camera on, the two BIG chicks (they are growing fast) were mostly sleeping while mom was keeping watch or flying around to stretch her wings. One time I checked back and the chick had his bottom in the air and his head down and I thought maybe he was trying to pick up food he dropped. Next thing I know, it looks like a worm is flying out of his rear end. At least he was smart enough to aim OUTSIDE of the nest, which is already swarming with flies from all of the MANY dead fish, a few squirrels, the decomposing skunk, and now some unidentifiable creature that had fangs. Ugh! My sister Mary was right when she said nature isn't always pretty like in a Disney movie!
Now, to answer your questions about my church:
*I know you already told me what denomination you follow, but I already forgot. Methodist?
---Yes, I go to a Methodist Church. My Grandma and Pop were United Methodist pastors, too. I didn't go to the church because it was Methodist, though. The last church we had gone to was non-denominational, so they kind of did their own thing. We also went to an Assemblies of God church when I was little. I just really like where I'm at because of Pastor Cathy and all of the nice people there who want to get to Christ better and want to become better Christians.
*So you talk a lot about Pastor Cathy. Does that mean that you don't have a priest?
---No, we don't have a priest. Pastor Cathy is an ordained minister through the UMC. She told me that once ordained, always ordained when you are a UM minister. Because I had asked her about Dianne who had been an Associate Pastor at the church for a very long time and Dianne does some services with Pastor Cathy. She is still an ordained minister even through she doesn't work for the church. Pastor Don used to be the lead Pastor of the church for nine years, I think. He was recently hired back full time to be the visitation pastor. He does weddings and funerals, too, which is kind of good. He was the pastor back in the 90's, so he has quite a history at our church. The people who have been at the church for most of their lives would want somebody they know to perform their wedding or funeral.
*If you don't have a priest, do you celebrate mass? Or is it just like a sermon?
---I'm not exactly sure what a mass it. I only went to a Catholic church once and it was a while ago. It made it extra difficult because it was done in Latin. Our early service is traditional and mostly people over 60 go to that service. It's kind of bare bones with a Call to Worship, hymns, special music sometimes by a soloist, prayers, Scripture reading, offering, and the message. I still like the service, though, and I have been going to both the early and late services every week for a while now. The late service is different because they will have one non-traditional song, we have a choir every week that does an anthem, sometimes we have the youth or children's choir perform and do an additional anthem, or the girl's ensemble amount the youth, or special music with people singing and others playing instruments like a flute or violin or something. Sometimes they do the handbell choir, which i just love! We often have a children's message. The CONTEMPORARY service is done at the same time that kids and adults have Sunday School. I've gone a few times and the praise team has improved since the first time I went. They do not do any hyms or call to worship. They sing choruses led by the praise team and they play the keyboard, drums, guitars, and have singers. Pastor Cathy is a concert pianist, so sometimes she gets up there and plays, too. Her singing voice sounds very different from her talking voice. I'd like to hear her without the piano sometime so I can clearly hear the difference. At this service, there is no big deal made out of taking the offering. People sit in chairs lined up in the Family Life Center or chairs at round tables, so it's very informal. It seems to me that during the last chorus before the Scripture reading and sermon, the ushers quietly walk around with the offering plates and there is no special prayer over the offering or anything. Then people help put the tables and chairs away after the service. My Grandma was surprised to hear that I wasn't going to the contemporary service over the traditional and semi-traditional services. I still like the hymns and traditions and I don't want to miss Sunday School. The church she and my Pop go to now is an Assemblies of God church, but it's not a traditional AoG. They have an hour of worship and my brother-in-law, Lee, leads the praise team. Abigail just started learning the violin this year, but she plays with the praise team, too. If the attendance is low, then both girls help lead the worship by singing at the mics. They dance and use flags and my Grandma blows the shofar. The Pastor teaches more than he preaches and the message can be up to an hour long. They also incorporate a lot of Jewish traditions into their services, especially around Jewish holidays.
*Do you ever have communion?
---We have communion the first Sunday of every month and on special days. Sometimes the people come up to get communion, if they are able, and they can take it at the altar and go sit back down. Other times the ushers pass the communion plates along the pews and we take communion together after everyone has received the elements. Our church just this month our church started to offer gluten-free wafers so that everyone can participate. And Pastor Cathy always announces that the UM have the policy of an open communion. You don't have to be a UM or anything to participate in our communions.
*And if you don't, then you obviously don't have First Communion, right? Do you have any sacraments?
I haven't been at the church long enough to know if they have First Communion, but I don't think they do. The kids are taught what communion is all about and when the parents feel that the child is old enough to take communion and understand what it's all about, then the child can take communion. I have been to a formal First Communion service before. It wasn't in a Catholic church. I don't remember the denomination, but it was mostly a Hispanic population. The girls were dressed like they were wearing wedding gowns (practically) and the boys were dressed in high class suits. It was a huge deal. UM Sacraments are Communion and Baptism, which can be done by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.
There are times before we take communion or before we have certain prayers that we are given the opportunity to confess our sins, but we don't believe in confessing through a mediator other than Jesus.
*Even you're not Catholic do you still follow the Pope?
We respect the Pope, but we don't follow him. We pretty much look to Christ and not man. The Pope has a lot of power to influence every Catholic around the entire globe. That job is even higher and more complicated that being President of the free world!
*Do you have a catechism?
--- I know the UM doesn't have a catechism, but they have traditionally had something to teach the youth about the church and it's beliefs because my Grandma used to teach that since she was in charge of the youth. I don't know what they called it. I don't know if this church does it and I just haven't been here long enough.
*And does the church itself have an alter with a crucifix hanging? Or do you not do that?
Our church has a huge cross hanging in the front of the sanctuary as well as another cross that sits on the altar just below that cross. On Easter we have another cross, too. But we don't have a crucifix with Jesus hanging on the cross because He rose from the dead.
*How about Holy Water? Do you do have the little bowl/fountain of Holy Water at the entrances of your church? We dip our hand in the water and then do the sign of the cross before entering in the Catholic church.
The only Holy water we have is for baptisms. Pastor Cathy has told me a couple of times that a healing service is being planned. In that case, if they feel led, they can anoint someone with oil that has been made Holy by being prayed over.
Wow, that was a lot! I hope I answered all of your questions, but if you have more, you can ask. This took almost two hours to write! I so want to go to sleep at the same time I so want to go to church! WHICH DO I DO??? Ugh! Decisions!
Later, George =)